Off the Grid  Retirement at our remote log cabin in Colorado

Monday, June 08, 2015

Critter Alert: Badgers

Posted by: Rick

Among the vast number of critters we enounter up here, ranging from the big un's like moose and elk to the tiny midges and mosquitos, are badgers.

The other day, Lynne and I were driving back from Laramie and were along the sandy stretch of road just beyond the cattle guard at Chimney Rock Ranch. You locals know where I mean. I saw a mass of wiggling hair making its way along the right side of the roadway. It looked to be about 3 feet wide and a foot long. It was moving as a single unit--or appeared so since it wobbled back and forth and up and down in a steady rhythm.

At first, I was not sure what it was but knew it was going to be interesting, so I told Lynne "get your camera!" As she reached for it, she also saw the bobbing blob of hair, but by now we were closer and could see that it was four distinct critters. Two little ones in the middle flanked by bigger ones to each side. It was a family of badgers!

As we slowly approached closer, the male badger peeled off the group and began running straight at the truck. This is a 10 pound badger ready to attack an SUV! Here is a photo. That is the side view mirror at the left of the photo. Lynne took this as he charged us.

Mom and the babies continued to wobble down the road a bit, crossed it, and made their way into the bushes and brush along the road side. Meantime, dad, who was so close to the truck I could not see him let Lynne know that he was ready to eat us alive. He stood his ground, hackles up, swinging his head from side to side and hissing and growling loudly. 

You can't see them very well in either of these photos, but his claws are easily and inch and a half long. This is one ferocious creature that I would not want to encounter, especially if he thought I was a threat to his family.

I continued to drive slowly and he gave chase. When I eventually saw him behind me I sped up a bit. He finally gave up the pursuit, crossed the road, and disappeared into the brush to join his family.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Sunday Catch-Up

Posted by: Lynne

Hey everybody! Hailey here. Yesterday we walked down to Bart's Creek and I chose the wrong place to cross. It was deeper than I thought and I face-planted in the muddy bank. I didn't like it much even though I am smiling here. 

Click through for MORE:


Friday, May 29, 2015

Home, Home on the Range Where the Cattle Can Actually Talk (sing to the tune of you-know-what)

Posted by: Lynne

(By the way, this little cow reminds me of an old blog post. Click here to see what I mean!)

Wednesday Morning Cabin TV Channel

Posted by: Lynne

My last post was written about the moose visit on Tuesday evening. Wednesday morning was the ultimate wildlife TV show out our window. Probably the like of which we will never see again. It started with the moose.

From this angle his newly sprouted antlers look like a big dog bone to me!

This post continues in MORE below, just click through. I am trying to abide by Rick's rules of blogging since we are now sharing this space.


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Moose Overload: or Honey, There’s a Moose Taking a Nap in our Meadow!

Posted by: Lynne


Our evening last night started out normal enough. We grilled hamburgers and I made potato salad. Both were delicious. We sat down to watch one of our favorite reality TV shows "The Little Couple" and were about halfway through when I got up to get something. Maybe it was dessert, I don't know. Anyway, I glanced out the dining room window (aka The Cabin TV Channel). I looked to the right and saw nothing. I looked to the left and saw the image above. What the? Here is a photo without zooming in taken from the window to show how close he was to the cabin. Sorry for the reflections but it's not supposed to be a great photo, it's just to show what we saw when we looked out.

I yelled to Rick honey, there'sa moose taking a nap in our meadow!

After a bit he stood up. Not afraid, just curious. He could hear our voices.

Unperturbed, he walked over to the mineral lick and started licking. Rick has some great video and you can view it following this link.

After a bit we decided to try going outside to get some photos. Again, he could have cared less and just carried on with his mineral lick. 

We stood outside for quite a while and I even sat outside on the step and just communed with him for quite some time. It was one of the coolest experiences we've had yet.

I know he looks a bit ragged but I think he's just shedding his winter coat. His antlers are just coming in. I'm not sure if it's the same moose that visited last fall, but it might be. He seems very comfortable with his surroundings. Even with us! Now, it's not smart to get too close to a moose as they can cover more than ground than you possibly can, but he seemed not to mind and we took it very carefully. 

We're so excited!


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