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Monday, August 19, 2019

Early Winter????

I certainly don't want to disparage any weather forecasters but we pay more attention to the environment around us to predict seasons than computer evaluations. We have noticed the past two weeks that toadstools and mushrooms have been appearing a month and a half before normal. The grasses have ceased to grow, leaves falling from aspen trees, ground ivy is changing color, insects like the ants are working overtime to store up food. Even more is that the Rufus hummingbirds have migrated and the black throat and Broadtail Hummingbirds are migrating more each day. The songbirds have migrated over the past several weeks. The bees are working overtime getting the pollen from the remaining flowers.

We totally missed summer this year - probably one day we over slept - and it appears we are going to cruise rapidly right through fall. Nights are slowly getting colder now.  Whether this means we are going to just have colder earlier or snow we don't know. We are working hard to get those summer/fall projects done while we can.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

We Watched This Fawn Grow Up.


Dealing With Deafness In Dogs

 Some how this photo did not get into the Mother Earth News blog but this is one of the reasons we keep our dogs on leash when they are not in the back yard.  Don''t know what a dog will do and it could provoke a bear to attack. 


Check out the latest blog for Mother Earth News about dealing with deafness in our canine fur family at: https://www.motherearthnews.com/nature-and-environment/communicating-with-deaf-dogs-zbcz1908

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Deck Stain

Every few years we treat the deck with wood sealer. This year we decided to use a top quality deck stain to give it a more uniform color.  This is Carol's job as she likes painting and she is doing a very good job at it.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Trail Camera Over The Past Two Weeks

We don't know when the photo was taken because the trail camera doesn't have a date and time setting but this was probably taken over a week ago. It was in earlier photos.

Mountain Weather

It has been getting cool at night and I saw a post from a friend in Boulder, CO that from this point on statistics show that from here forward that it will get consistently cooler each night until winter arrives. It has been getting down to 50 - 55 degrees each night which makes for great sleeping conditions. The wind has been 2 - 7 MPH, which is a nice breeze. It gets up to 78-80 degrees during the daytime but with the breeze it is very comfortable.
So far we have all the indicators that we will experience an early winter so we are taking full advantage of the ideal weather now. We are getting late afternoon showers which cool it off nicely and make for great sleeping weather. During the day it is great weather to work or play outside. We try to ignore the fact that soon we will be shoveling snow and just enjoy this great weather we have presently.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Fireweed

This started out several years ago as a single plant and over the years it has grown into more plants. It is liked by both hummingbirds and bees. It grows about 5' tall and is not fragrant but attractive to many bees.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Perfection

The baby robins have taken flight and left the nest. We took the nest down this morning and it is composed of grass, twigs, moss and mud. The inside of the nest is smooth and round. These robins constructed a perfect nest and just large enough for the three babies to grow up in. The skill to build this nest took time and experience. We were fortunate enough to see the baby robin's take their first flight under mama's close supervision.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Did You Know???

We have a nest of robin's under our deck where I park the tractor. I therefore see them each day frequently. Now that the babies are getting larger and are crowding themselves out of the nest I see the mom and dad robin working frantically all day long from first dawn to evening bringing them insects to eat. These robins are the hardest working birds I have seen. They are constantly on the hunt for insects around the house.
I wondered what the life span of a robin was and discovered it is 15 months. Perhaps their short lifespan is due to the fact that they work themselves to death trying to feed their young. Fortunately we have abundant insects for them to bring back to the nest.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Senior Dogs

We are limited to 1000 words in our blogs for Mother Earth News so often I don't get to include all the items  I would like to unless I make it a two part blog. When I do that I sometimes have to use filler which makes the blog drag.
One of the benefits of adopting an older dog in addition to all the reasons I put in my Mother Earth News blog is that they go out of their way to please you. Because they generally know they are old and were passed over they are super sensitive to your every move and try so hard to please. Probably for fear of ending up in the shelter again. It is therefore important if any discipline is needed that it be done gently and not roughly or loud and angry.
Also, they will trust you long before you trust them so that aspect needs to be handled carefully. they sometimes have medical needs and those need to be addressed quickly so they are not in discomfort which makes adjustment to their new environment much harder.
These are the things I would have added to the article if I had the room. Give an older dog a chance because you won't be disappointed - they will turn themselves inside out to please you given the chance.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Day Two Of Recovery

 One of the three surgical sites on Ruby.
"I hate this collar"...

Trail Camera Photo


Monday, July 29, 2019

Ruby's Surgery

Our sweet girl Ruby had surgery this morning to remove one cyst about the size of a golf ball. It turned out she had 5 cysts (all removed) and more stitches than a baseball. She is still foggy tonight but starting to look a little more alert. Her surgery ran longer than expected but she is slowly coming out of it.
We finally got her up to improve her circulation and keep her from being depressed. She is elderly and it is taking her longer to pull out of the anesthesia... We had them check her ears and the report there is not good as she will remain deaf as the cause is not repairable.  Currently she can't walk without help but one of us is by her side so we can help her pull out of the anesthesia.

Friday, July 26, 2019

LaPuente Rides Again

 LaPuente came with volunteers from Monument CO and they lugged, strained, pulled, dragged and rolled a full load of fire wood for those in the valley who can neither get it for themselves or afford it. It is so nice to see all that wood that would otherwise go to waste or rot leave for people who will really appreciate it.
 It is also rewarding to see  people drive down to our area and donate their valuable time to work to provide firewood for people they have never met nor may never meet. What an honor it is for us to meet new people who have a heart of giving of themselves. LaPuente brought another volunteer in yesterday and cut the trees, de-limbing them and cutting them up.
 We are in a special vantage point because we get to see the good hearted volunteers.When I was very young I remember one admonishment from my mother. It was that like it or not I would be judged by others from the company I keep so, choose wisely.  LaPuente attracts some very nice people and make that admonishment from my mom those many years ago still applicable today..
 The last two photos show the rest time and picnic of those hard working volunteers. What an honor to have them visit, work hard all for people they don't know.

Nala Needs Help



Here is your chance to help a senior dog that is in twilight years and needs a loving home..







Looking for a hospice home in Colorado:

This beautiful 9 yr old cattle dog mix is Nala, and she is so special❤️. She is smart, affectionate, devoted to her human, adventurous and very cute. She is in need of a huge-hearted human who would give her the gift of opening their heart and home to Nala even though she has some health issues that could mean she may not be around for very long. 

Nala has a good quality of life right now, and is active and enjoying life. She does need to get out frequently to potty and drinks a lot, but other than that she seems to be feeling good at the moment. The shelter vet believes she has an underlying condition that could be quite serious, but unfortunately there has not been straight forward diagnosis and treatment found for her as of yet.

Old Dogs New Digs would be happy to help with veterinary care if we can find a kind hearted human who has the right situation and is willing to welcome Nala into their home. 

Nala does well with other dogs outside of the home, but in the home would need some supervision because she gets jealous when other dogs are getting attention from her humans too. She has done fine with cats and has lived with older kids.

Please help us in spreading the word about Nala so that she can have a loving, comfortable home for the remainder of her days.

Adopting Senior Dogs

I would invite readers to check out our most recent blog for Mother Earth News at the following site: https://www.motherearthnews.com/nature-and-environment/adopting-senior-dogs-zbcz1907


Monday, July 22, 2019

Trail Camera Photos

 The deer population appears to be very healthy this year. Below is the bear that we have seen signs of but not seen him. He tried to get in our swing but instead turned it upside down. Would have loved to have come upon him sitting in the swing....Did not see any signs of this bear today so maybe he has moved on.


Sunday, July 21, 2019

Deaf

We have questioned why Ruby doesn't seem to respond to her name or voice commands. We have a dog whistle which has several pitches and when she was not watching we tried the whistle.  No ear flicker or indication she heard the whistle. We are training her to respond to hand signals which is what we have trained all our dogs to do just in case their hearing got bad in old age. Ruby does take many of her cue's from Bozwell so that helps her.

I can't imagine how hard it is for a senior dog with hearing loss to adapt to a new home late in life but Ruby is doing well. The hand signals seem to be working where voice commands don't. It is sad to me that she will not know her name because of her deafness.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Ruby Watching AGT With Us

 Ruby was intently watching a dog show on AGT. She couldn't figure out how that dog got in here and went around behind the TV to see if the dog was hiding back there.

Baby Fly Catchers

It is hard to see but there are 4 tiny heads just barely visible in the nest. The fly catcher family has had 4 babies instead of 3 as in the past. I take that as a good sign and if they can get rid of some of the flies that are so pesky they will always be welcome at our home.

Right around the corner of the house and under the deck is a robin nest with babies also. So glad that we are safe habitat for the birds to raise their young.

I'm not a bird watcher but I do watch birds when I'm outside working. The robins, fly catchers and wrens are all flitting about everywhere I look for insects to feed their young. Fortunate for them we have plenty of insects for them to catch.

Monday, July 15, 2019

New Family Member - Ruby

Meet our newest family member chilling out in her new home. We adopted her Saturday. She is 11 years old and has some medical issues but she is happy to have a new home. The shelter gave her the name Doris but she didn't respond to that name or act like she had a desire to. She had been in the shelter over two months. We changed her name to Ruby and she does respond to that name. I went through hundreds of names to see if she alerted to any but sadly she did not so her name is now Ruby.

She is a very easy going laid back girl and once we get her medical issues resolved she should settle in and live out her life in a home where she is spoiled and loved to no end. She was picked up as a stray and has no history but from what I have observed so far it appears she was an outside dog. She has not demonstrated any prior training so that has already begun. 

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Pesky Deer Fly Bites

 This time of year there is probably nothing more annoying than deer fly bites. They are sneaky and tend to fly around your head at supersonic speeds. What they are really doing is posturing for a rear sneak attack. You don't feel them when they land and they anesthetize the area before they bite but when a certain spot on the back of your head or neck starts to itch you are the victim of a deer fly. 
I bought these patches so many years ago that I can't recall where I purchased them from but they work well. I put a patch on and went outside and immediately four biting flies landed on the sticky side. I did find that they can be purchased on Amazon for $12.98 plus $1.60 shipping. The package shows the patch being put higher on your hat but I found the opening in the back of the hat still leaves vulnerable scalp to get bitten. I have used them for several years now and they do work.  I still get a bite on occasion but this patch shows that I avoided 4 bites.

They will still swarm your head and you will still wave your arms wildly but they eliminate your getting bitten. Before I came in and put this patch on my hat I about knocked myself silly slapping my head, face plus getting my arm exercises for the day. I was doing windmill arm exercises so hard that I almost levitated off the ground. These patches have really saved the day for me and I recommend them. HINT: if you put them on like I have in the above photo you will need a piece of paper between the patch and your head in the open area of your hat or it will stick to your hair.

Friday, July 12, 2019

How To Out Smart A Ground Squirrel

Ground squirrels can be a problem for those with gardens. We certainly have our share of them and I keep them out of our leaf greens by having a totally enclosed garden box with hardware screen on all 6 sides. However we do have current and gooseberry bushes that produce heavily each year and the ground squirrels eat all the fruit off them leaving a mess behind. They are large bushes that can not be protected by fence or netting.

I finally figured out how to avoid that by feeding them myself. I keep them full with unsalted peanuts and they like the peanuts so well they don't bother the bushes. In the past I have live trapped them and taken them to other places but the peanuts are a better solution. I started out by putting a few where they like to sit in the sun and they quickly figured out how to shell and eat them. Now they wait for me to toss a handful out to them.

A $5.00 bag of peanuts enables us to keep them out of our bushes. When I was live trapping them they seemed to have a highly developed homing instinct and it would often be a race to see who got home first. Now I couldn't drive them away as long as I don't run out of peanuts. I have noticed that ours are now a different species because they have bare bellies as they have gotten so fat their bellies drag the ground as they run. Either that or the peanuts have made their legs shorter. Either way the currants are developing nicely as are the gooseberries.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Tasty

I found this recipe on Facebook and decided to try it. Slice the top off an apple, hollow out the inside and then slice the apple on the sides. Put caramel sauce on the inside sprinkle with chopped pecan nuts, wrap it in tinfoil and put it on the grill for 15 minutes. Take it out of the tinfoil and add a scoop of vanilla ice cream, pour on more caramel sauce, sprinkle with more chopped nuts and eat.
Very tasty but the caramel sauce gets a bit runny. Besides apples are good for you........... 

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Bird Watching

Check out the most recent blog on Mother Earth News about our abundance of birds this year at:
https://www.motherearthnews.com/nature-and-environment/bird-watching-zbcz1907

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Nature Is Truly Amazing

 I have noticed that the aspen trees are really coming back after the wildfire. The top photo reflects how they had the bark burned off of them and are now dead. However the aspen trees are actually a family of trees that all share a common root system. I read that the family of trees can live 2-3,000 years since they all spring forth from the same root system.
Now that so many of the mature aspen trees have died from the wildfire there is an abundance of trees popping up like in the second photo. They are usually slow growing but this one is 1 1/2' tall already. There are small aspens like this in profusion since the adult mature trees have died and are not taking nutrients from the common root system. Nature is truly amazing....

Friday, July 5, 2019

Flash Flood

 One quarter of a mile from our house. This was our road after one inch of rain. The debris came from far up the mountain. The tree is about a 15" diameter tree. This all washed down the mountain.
 When we are told to beware of flash flooding this is what they are talking about. We had wondered why people would drive past our house and then come right back. We have one safe way to and from our house but if that washes out we will be stranded.
That is 4-5' deep large rocks and trees that 1" of rain moved down the mountain.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Mulching

 Next to cleaning the wood stove and chimney I believe mulching the limbs that have accumulated over the winter and spring is the second dirtiest job I do. It is tedious, dusty and dirty. The repeated bending over to pick up branches and limbs and feeding them into the hopper where the blade vibrates them around making your hands numb after a few minutes is exhausting. I need the mulch to level off the tractor trail and I got enough mulch to cover about 100 yards of trail.
 Tomorrow will be more of the same but after tomorrow the job will be done for another year unless more trees blow over and the limbs need mulching. In that case it will be more dirty work.
Filling in the washed out spots on the tractor trail.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Brrrrrrr

Life in the mountains.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Worsening Roads

 I don't like to complain but I did complain about our road condition. Post wildfire now each time it rains the sludge and debris runs down the mountain and it is getting serious. The ditches and culverts are full of this hard impacted stuff and subsequent run offs now go right over the top of previous deposits and across the road. The top photo show how full the ditches are and there is no place for additional sludge to go except over and on the road. The photo below shows where it has run across the road.

 The top photo shows where it plugged a culvert and the water is now running from a year around spring across the road. It won't be long before the channel keeps getting deeper and deeper. It used to prior to the wildfire run through a culvert into the meadow and soak in.
This photo shows where the water is starting to erode the road because the ditch is full of hard packed ash. In our case we can't go out the other end of the road because it is now impassable due to mud slides. This end of our road because it was previously maintained is only a few rain storms away from being the same way.  We are considering our options for access to our home in case the association doesn't keep up with keeping it open. They were going to fix a small part of the road on a day specific three weeks ago but never showed. We are increasingly becoming nervous about their ability to continue to properly maintain the roads with so much damage on going.
So far we can get in and out okay but with more rain that will change for the worse. Maintaining 115 miles of dirt roads with two operators may just reach its breaking point sooner than later and we want to be prepared.