Off the Grid  Retirement at our remote log cabin in Colorado

Friday, December 02, 2016

Heading into Town

Posted by: Lynne

I thought I would share the sights we saw when we went into town yesterday to pick up a few supplies for the coming cold snap.

There is something special about the colors of the West in the transistion of season.

The immaure bald eagle again, same spot!

And on the way back we finally got our bald eagle wish! Two balds were sitting by a kill — a dead antelope — and I only was able to get ready for the photo as one of them took flight.

They are truly magnificent looking birds, so BIG. 

So majestic against a backdrop of snow covered mountains. If you are thinking we have a boring 45-minute drive into town you'd be wrong. I've given up taking photos of all the antelope. Right now they are all herded up and as plentiful as cows.

Friday, November 25, 2016

WILD Life

Posted by: Lynne

It's been a good couple of days for viewing wildlife. I think we are all glad that hunting season in the high country has come to an end. Yay, no more orange!

The pronghorn antelope herd that has been living just over the hill from us is pictured above, obviously before our last snowfall. We never know when we are going to come across them. There are about 30 of them as near as we can count. 

On Thursday when we got up it was still snowing with about three inches on the ground already. When I pulled open the curtains and looked outside, there was a big black moose standing just inside of the Ewok Forest at the edge of the meadow. At first I thought it was the big black cow that was hanging around so much throughout the summer. Then it started to walk into the meadow and HELLO — it was Big Boy honoring us with a visit, not the cow moose I had orignally thought. It was truly hard to photograph him because the camera kept focusing on the snow coming down! Look at those paddles! We keep hoping he sheds them somewhere where we can find them. In fact, we are thinking of buying a kit that teaches a dog how to find and bring back antlers. Destin has such a great nose that we think it would be fun for him. Good luck and haha, right?

We were glad the dogs had already had their out pretty early on because Big Boy decided our meadow was a good place for an early morning nap. Photos just don't do him jusctice. He is HUGE.

Here he is when he first laid down and then a little later on. Funny how the snow seems to fall in a blanket on his back instead of covering him all over.

Big Boy you are welcome any time!

As far as our feathered friends are concerned, we've had some sightings there as well. Going in to town we sometimes see eagles, both bald and golden and lots of different hawks. We have missed several great photo opportunities lately, one being two mature bald eagles sitting together on a rise. No cameras! So now every time we go into town we both have our cameras with telephotos lenses at the ready. We went one week without seeing any big birds at all, which we chalked up to having our cameras with us every time.

Wednesday we had to go in to get eBay's food from the vet and we got lucky a few times.


We are pretty sure this is an immature bald eagle because of the mottling of the underside of the wings.

A little further on we came across this golden eagle sitting on the post of a cattle guard. Pretty head!

On the way back from town we took a different route since we had also gone to the feed store to get a couple of bales of hay to put out for the deer and elk. There is an eagle's nest in a big cottonwood tree and we see the pair of golden eagles that live there once in a while. 

This time instead of seeing the eagles by the tree we found this hawk (unsure of identification) sitting in the cottonwood. Hawks came be so hard to identify. My best guess is a ferruginous hawk. He blends in well!

And finally, a golden eagle just down the road.

Sitty pretty.

Lift-off!

Stupid pole, but you can see the huge wingspan.

We never know what we are going to see either here at home or on the road!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

We Pretty Much Got What We Asked For

Posted by: Lynne

WARNING! PHOTO DENSE POST!

It snowed all day on Thursday amounting to about 5 inches of fresh snow, which is just what they predicted. It came down without wind (thank god) and pretty much stuck to everything. It wasn't the world's prettiest snow to watch falling—the flakes were tiny, but dense. We stayed cozy inside with a fire going all day with the coldest daytime temperature yet: 23 degrees and 10 degrees overnight.

Friday morning dawned clear and beautiful. We decided to take the Ranger for its maiden drive with the tracks up Hidden Meadows Lane. Here are some photos from the drive.

From on the top looking back down the valley towards Laramie.

The Ranger is all its glory!

On the way back down the wind had already covered our tracks in quite a few places, just in the space of ten minutes or so. 

The trees you see in the "V" formed by the valley is our land on both sides of the road. We call that part of the land the deep dark woods. Pretty, yes?

Snow covered hill with what's left of the SuperMoon.

Wind-whipped snow!

The Deep Dark Woods.

Even though the wind had picked up we bundled up and took the dogs for a nice walk. The road had blown pretty much clear of snow so it made it easy for Hailey. 

However, Destin and Bella cared not whether or not the road was clear. They would rather play in the deeper snow.

Bella likes to stick her head in the snow and comes up looking like this!

Jack-rabbit Destin! He can move in the snow.

And last but not least, Destin finally standing still and looking very handsome just a few days shy of his 8-month birthday. Love this boy!

The only regret about the snowfall is that we made the decision not to blow the snow from our driveway. We knew it was going to be warmer for the next couple of days, but it wasn't enough. So ... now we have a layer of ice and it's due to snow again several times over the next week, but not large amounts. Still, we could have should have would have, right?

Monday, November 14, 2016

Ready!Set!Winter?

Posted by: Lynne

Home Sweet Home

We think we are ready:

Wood all cut, split and stacked.? CHECK.

Woodshed painted? CHECK.

Winter tracks on the Ranger? CHECK.

Small shed insulated? CHECK.

T@B stowed away in her winter slot for better driveway access in snowy conditions? CHECK.

Rick's snowshoe stitched back up after varmit gnawed on it? IN PROGRESS.

Acrylic windows installed over screens on front porch? CHECK. (Working beautifully, I might add.)

Winter lay-in of supplies from Sam's Club purchased? CHECK.

The only thing missing is Ole Man Winter himself. The weather has been absolutely gorgeous for two weeks now. No wind, and clear blue skies. We've had some really pretty sunsets along the way as well.

Yes, we had some colder weather in October with a couple of dusting of snow, but nothing very significant. 

And so, we wait.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Magical Morning

Posted by: Lynne

Yesterday morning was a bit magical. We had rain and a little bit of snow overnight. Not much, just enough to make the ground crunchy. As we sat drinking our coffee a big bank of fog rolled in and enveloped the cabin like a white fluffy cocoon. That good old Colorado sun came out and the fog bank retreated to linger along Bull Mountain.

It shifted and changed on our walk with the dogs. Fascinating.

When we returned from our walk the little aspen grove beside the cabin was glittering with drops of water from the melting snow. I soon became caught up in trying out different focuses and came up with some pretty cool photos of the sun through droplets of water. You may or may not agree, but here they are!

The clothesline.

I became fascintated by the prisms and how each droplet seemed to reflect a different spectrum.

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