Off the Grid  Retirement at our remote log cabin in Colorado

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Cold Spell Coming, and Unplanned Meal

Posted by: Rick

As you can see from Lynne's previous post, we are expecting a change in the weather. Thursday's high temperatures will be in the 20s and it will get down to around 10 degrees at night. That is a bit different from the daytime 50s and nightime 30s we've been having. Today is bright and sunny, in the 50s already (10:00 a.m.), and a bit breezy. It is also supposed to accumulate snow, and I think we are ready.

Since I'm sure the ponds I like to fish will freeze up, I went fishing yesterday to see if I could make a last nice catch of the season. And, I caught one nice rainbow trout. He was 14" long and weighed a couple of pounds. He was plump from a nice summer in the pond. His flesh was very pink ensuring a great flavor. 

The dogs were particularly interested in the fish. (But they got their normal kibble with some Alpo on the side.)

We decided to ditch our dinner plan and have the fish. It was big enough to filet, so we had trout filets fried in seasoned flour with a topping of crumbled bacon. First, I fried the bacon. Then, most of the bacon fat went into a cast iron skillet where I heated it up and tossed in some cubes of potato. Once that was mostly cooked to a nice crisp brown exterior, I dredged the fish filets in flour seasoned with salt and pepper. The filets then got fried in a little of the bacon fat supplemented with some canola oil. When done, after only a few minutes on each side, I removed them from the pan and deglazed with white wine. I added a few drops of cider vinegar and some chopped fresh savory (from our pitiful herb "garden"). We also heated up a can of mixed veggies--tomatoes, corn and okra. I served the fish with sauce and crumbled bacon on top with the potatoes and veggies on the side. The result was a fresh, yummy, and unplanned dinner.

Saturday, November 05, 2016

What Does a Bear do in the Woods?

Posted by: Rick

We found this down by the pond yesterday. From the amount, shape and size, I'm thinking black bear. From the contents, I'd say he's been visiting our bird feeder.

Scat is about 1-1/2" in diameter.

Guess we need to put the game camera back down there!

Friday, November 04, 2016

“Big Boy” the Elk

Posted by: Rick

I think we may call both a big moose and a big elk "Big Boy". Or, maybe Lynne has a different name for the big elk we are now seeing on the game cameras. (Would love to see him in person!) Is this the same elk that we saw a couple of years ago with a large herd walking through our meadow?

Big Boy the elk at the salt lick.

Maybe the same elk from a few years ago?

We have all game camera shots that we think are worth keeping in one of our photo galleries. You can see it here, or link to it from the links on the right side of this page--just scroll down to "Photo Galleries". The most recent shots are on the second page, including three nice shots of Big Boy.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Oh Deer!

Posted by: Lynne

Rick seems to have taken over posting blogs lately. I guess must be lazy, or maybe it's just that I blogged for ten long years in New Jersy on the now defunct "new" Jersey Girl blog. It's nice to sit back and have him take over that duty.

To start off this post I am using a photo of our bench in the little grove of aspens next to the house covered in our first snow from Friday morning. It wasn't much, just a skiff really, and was gone before you could blink your eyes. We went from wearing gloves and layers of clothing to just a t-shirt yesterday as temps were in the high 60's/low 70's with a bright blue sky. Colorado, ya gotta love it! This is not unusual for this time of year, as you can see in this past post. Three years ago, if you remember, we got snowed in while on vacation here. So, like I said, normal!

But, I am digressing as usual when I actually sit down at the computer and get started. Words just dump out of my brain sometimes. The REAL reason for this post is Bucky. A very beautiful 4-point buck mule deer that decided to visit us around dinnertime the other night.

He was right outside our bedroom window munching away when I saw him. So close to the cabin too! Here he is as seen and taken right from our window. (Solar panels in background, sorry, but they keep us in electricity. The other strange looking object in the photo is our aluminum canoe upside down.) And, normally this area is covered in sage and other native plants but it still has not recovered from being dug up when the solar panels went in earlier this year.

He was not bothered by us taking photos or talking just a few feet away from him inside the house. We knew he could hear us because he kept picking up his lovely head and looking right at us. Not bothered by us at all, he stayed for a good hour. (Love his "eyebrow" facial markings.)

Other animals around us have not fared as well I'm sorry to say. We are down by two more pack rats who choose to go into a trap other than the live one. And, we are down by two rabbits which makes me very sad. One was found not in the trap, but a little way away from it, just lying there (not alive). We don't really know what happened to him as he was unharmed in any other way. The trap was tripped. A heart attack? The other bunny made me even more upset. Bella is a bad bad girl. On one of our walks to the top of our driveway she saw something scurry into the woods. We were thinking squirrel and so was Bella because she was looking up in the trees. She persisted in her search for the animal while we continued our walk. We heard a commotion behind us and Bella came bursting out of the woods with a rabbit in her mouth. She had it by the neck and it did not make it. Too sad. How she managed to catch a rabbit we can't fathom. But she did, and she seemed to want us to be proud of her. Now if that had been a packrat ... whole different story.

Bucky was back the next morning. I went to let Destin outside for a pee break and just ilke he did with Big Boy Moose, he just stared straight ahead and refused to get off the porch. Bucky was in the driveway and not too worried, although he did bound off a little distance, stopped and turned around for another look and when Destin started barking his "big boy bark" and Bucky decided to take off.

He'd obviously been hanging around that same morning unnoticed by us at the salt lick because the game camera captured this video of him. He is welcome in our "yard" anytime.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Not Much Happening (on the Game Cameras)

Posted by: Rick

A neighbor recentlly made the observation that the number of game shots he was getting on his game cameras had dropped significantly since hunting season started. I agree. Normally after a week, I'll have many hundreds of photos on a game camera. Most are triggered by wind, but there would be a few shots of deer, moose, elk, squirrels, birds and sometimes exotic creatures like mountain lions or cows. But, over the past few weeks, nothing.

His theory is that trespassing hunters are flushing the game off our property. My theory is that the animals somehow know it is hunting season and have gone elsewhere. Whatever the reason, scanning the shots from our game cameras has been pretty boring lately.

Still, I can be surprised sometimes as I'm clicking through the hundreds of shots. For example, the next two shots were "back to back" on one game camera.

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