Off the Grid  Retirement at our remote log cabin in Colorado

Monday, October 22, 2018

Webcam Photos

Posted by: Rick

Here is a webcam photo, updated every 5 minutes or so, that shows the current weather conditions the cabin:

Looking west toward Bull Mountain: 

Looking SE

This photo is looking east toward the solar panels.

Looking East

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Who Doesn’t Give a Hoot

Posted by: Rick

A few posts ago I mentioned that one of our evening pleasures was sitting on our front porch with a whiskey in our hand (which occasionally makes its way to our mouth), while watching for moose and listening for the Great Horned Owl that has occupied the land for many years. This year, our efforts were disappointing. Even depressing as the owl's silence led us to think that perhaps he was gone--for one reason or another.

However, as this rare game camera shot shows, the owl is still around. And, hunting in our meadow. 

I walked out on the porch for some reason and spooked the owl who was sitting in the meadow near the salt lick. I suspect he had a mouse, vole, or chipmunk cornered. He took off and flew north toward the woods, and luckily triggered the game camera pointing at the meadow. I know it is not much of a photo, and I've enlarged it some, but it does prove that he is still around. And, we hope, will soon grace us with his hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo.....hoo-hoo message.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Wildflowers Galore

Posted by: Rick

Since it is a cold and snowy day (as predicted in my last post), it is a good day to catch up on our wildflower posts. The purpose is to not only show the great diversity of wild flowers, but do chronicle when we see them for future reference.

First, however, here is the scene out the window as I write this post:

With this weather, the satellite Internet connection is pretty unreliable, so it may take a while to complete this post. Bear with me.

Okay, here we go with the recent wildflowers. Now, keep in mind that wildflower identification is an art, not a science. Well, to botanists I guess it is a science. But, for a couple of amateurs with a few apps and a stack of books, it is an art. Many of the flowers look alike and are only distinguished by their size, leaves, habitat, season, etc. And, most have many variations. All have multiple common names. So, this is our best stab at these, feel free to comment. Also, I am not a very good photographer with my phone. Lynne does much better with her camera and she tends to remember to get a couple of shots from different angles and include the leaves and stems, etc.

This one is pretty easy. It is Arnica. It grows prolifically in the forest around here. It seems a bit early to be seeing it, but there were only a few.

This is also pretty easy. It is a Ball Cactus (it has other common names).

This one is a bit trickier. Sure is pretty. We are pretty sure it is some kind of False Dandelion. There are no leaves along the stem, only at the bottom. May also be known as a Cat's Ear of some kind.

This one has us scratching our heads some. We are pretty sure it is Lambstongue Groundsell. We have obviously struggled with this in the past also since there is a dried version from years ago on the Lambstongue Groundsell page of one of our books!

We think this is a Lanceleaf, also called an Alpine Spring Beauty, although there are other types of Spring Beauty.

Another pretty easy one: Larkspur.

Loco. (Don't let your horses eat this.)

Oregon Grape Berry

Slender Fringecup.

This is a patch of Wild Strawberries near the cabin. These plants will produce tiny strawberries that pack a huge flavor. Unfortunately, we hardly ever get to harvest them since the local critters love them too!

And, finally for today, a beautiful Yellow Violet.

A note of comments left on the blog site. While the commenting seems to work, notifications don't. So, you won't get notified if someone else also comments, etc. The software platform that runs this blog is now very, very old and frankly, I'm a bit surprised it still works at all...

Friday, May 22, 2020

A Memorial Day Warning

Posted by: Rick

First, let me say there is nothing quite as satisfying as sitting by a camp fire, eating 'smores and sipping peanut butter whiskey. Those flavors blend nicely and with the smoke in the air, it is heaven. That is what we did last night. Today, we did laundry to get rid of the smokey smell in our clothes.

I was born in Colorado, but don't remember much of my childhood. So, leaving those years out, I've been in Colorado for memorial day for 25 of the past 40 years (or so). And, in every single one of those years, we have crappy Memorial Day weather. Usually, some combination of cold temperatures, rain and/or snow, and wind. So, let that be a warning to those of you who are choosing to adventure out this weekend, getting away from the comforts of home or distance yourself in nature. Winter has not yet let go, if history repeats.

We've got some flower photos to catch you up on. And, we are considering a "bird" post and maybe even a "food" post. But, that is for a rainy day.

For now, we just wish you a very happy Memorial Day.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Quick Update to Yesterday’s Post

Posted by: Rick

Glenn L gets the "win" for identifying one of the wildflowers from yesterday's post. We believe he is right in thinking the daisy-like flower is a Hooker's Townsend Daisy, aka Townsendia Hookeri. It is a member of the aster family, so at least I got that right.

There was more struggle with the yellow flower, but Lynne finally recalled it is Golden Smoke or Corydalis Aurea. The photo on the linked website is not great, but be careful if you decide to Google "Golden Smoke". You will end up with a lot of smoke shops in Colorado! Try adding "wildflower" to the search.

We had a nice long walk "around" this morning, after a breakfast of eggs, bacon and pancakes. The dog's should sleep well all day.

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  • YIKES! That’s a lotta snow for June. I wonder if the bent trees will right…

    Posted to: ‘I've Been Lazy’ by Steve on 06/29/2020

  • Steve! Nice to hear from you! I still read you, but I just can’t comment.…

    Posted to: ‘Webcam Photos’ by Lynne on 05/28/2020

  • Coincidentally, I just came across a post on another blog that mentions hawkweed—and in this…

    Posted to: ‘Wildflowers Galore’ by Steve on 05/26/2020

  • Your cat’s ear (or whatever it is) looks almost exactly like our hawkweed, AKA fox-and-cubs,…

    Posted to: ‘Wildflowers Galore’ by Steve on 05/26/2020

  • I’m glad your owl is still around! We hear one every once in a while,…

    Posted to: ‘Who Doesn't Give a Hoot’ by Steve on 05/26/2020

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