Off the Grid  Retirement at our remote log cabin in Colorado

Friday, April 10, 2015

Sand Creek Photo Fest!

Posted by: Lynne

This past week I started posting a photo every day on Facebook of photos I have taken around Sand Creek, the area surrounding our cabin. I am going to start doing the same here so they will be enjoyed by people not on Facebook with me. I am calling the series: "Around Sand Creek Park." So, here we go!

"SUNRISE, SUNSET"

Photos taken out the back door of our cabin. They have not been "touched up."

Friday, April 03, 2015

Wolves

Posted by: Rick

About ten years ago I spotted a large gray wolf while I was fishing down at the beaver pond. I looked up and saw a large gray dog-looking animal staring at me from across the water. It jumped with its front paws in the air and twisted to run away from me. And, it was gone. I was sure I had seen a wolf. It was too big and it was the wrong color to be a coyote. It was not one of my dogs which are black and can't move that fast. The whole episode took about 3 seconds. But, I was sure of what I'd seen.

I told this story to a few people, and none believed me (other than Lynne.) It was well known that there were no wolves in Colorado and had not been for decades. However, a couple of years later, a gray wolf was spotted along I70 between Denver and the Eisenhower Tunnel, and my sighting became more credible. It became even more credible when the department of Colorado Parks and Wildlife released a wolf sighting form to be used whenever a wolf was spotted.

Wolves have been reintroduced into Yellowstone National Park, and it is now believed that some of these wolves have migrated south. I'm including a video, below, that hypothesizes the impact this wolf reintroduction has had on Yellowstone.

Recently, a Sand Creek Park neighbor wrote me warning us to be careful with the dogs the next time we visit. Three calves (cattle) have been found killed near Bull Mountain. And, the kills have been confirmed as wolf kills. So, I guess we'll need to keep a close eye on the dogs, make sure they wear bear bells, and not let them wander outside alone.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Best Places to Retire

Posted by: Rick

This is kind of interesting:

Best Places to Retire

Considering that the cabin is in Colorado and about 6 miles from Wyoming (where we will do the bulk of our shopping, banking, etc.)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Aerial View of Cabin

Posted by: Rick

Here is an aerial view of the cabin site, taken from Apple Maps. Google Maps and Google Earth have similar views.

You can see several features of the cabin and surrounding land. There is a small shed, about 8' x 8' just "below" the cabin. That is where we store the backup generator, tools and various supplies. We will likely build a larger storage shed to the left of it. You can also see the white 1000 gallon propane tank in the same area. The solar panels on the roof are just visible. When the wind turbine is recommissioned, it will be between the propane tank and the entry road below the cabin.

You can also see many downed trees to the left. That is west of the cabin--the direction that fire is likely to come from. The trees were all killed by pine beetles, and thus were a fire threat. They were cut down many years ago and most were hauled away. Those you can see here are subsequent blow-down. They are now cleaned up and stacked ready to turn into firewood. I'm guessing this photo is 2 to 3 years old. All the gray/brown trees are beetle kill, so you can see there is plenty of additional firewood coming!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Shedding

Posted by: Lynne

Shedding!? No, not the dogs or cat, but shedding stuff. Going through a household of things that haven't been used or looked at since we moved here nine years ago is not an easy task. Sorting, packing, throwing things away, etc. It's not much fun but it has to be done. I must admit that bits of it are rewarding:

1) I have a big box full of Berner things that I am donating to various Bernese Mountain Dog fundraisers. On April 2 I will meet with someone coming from Maine and heading down to Pat Long's area. We are meeting not far from my house. I like the thought that I've got some really good things in there that should raise good money for them.

2) I sorted through my stash of knitting yarn and found a bunch that has never been used, the skeins never touched, that I don't want anymore. I called my local knitting store and they said to contact an assisted living or elder care home. So I contacted the Chelsea here in town (a lovely place!) and they were thrilled to accept the donation, so I dropped it off yesterday. Now I can imagine my yarn helping someone with arthritic hands through knitting therapy.

3) Today a took a marionette that I bought in Germany some 30-odd years ago when we lived there to our town library. She is wooden and dressed in a striped housedress and white eyelet apon. She has a mobcap on her head. I've always thought the expression on her face was rather creepy to tell you the truth. She's just been sitting in a box since before we moved to New Jersey. I figured that they might like to have it for their story hour. Oh my goodness! The librarian who presides over the children's part of the library was totally enamored of my little hausfrau. She was so excited — she just kept hugging her and telling me all the things she would be great for during story hour, one of which I thought was perfect: Mother Goose!  She was truly grateful and seemed to hardly believe her good luck. I felt so good about her having a good home where she can be useful. (I just hope the kids don't find her as scary as I did.)

All these things that I donated will go on to give their own particular piece of joy to someone. And for that I am so glad.

Shedding can be a good thing!

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