Off the Grid  Retirement at our remote log cabin in Colorado

Friday, July 01, 2016

Progress Reports, Updates and More Moose

Posted by: Lynne

I have been so bad about blogging! I've been pretty active posting photos and such on Facebook but I have neglected the blog. Somehow it's easier and faster to do the Facebook route, but when I do that the readers of the blog that are not on Facebook miss out on a lot. 

First of all, some progress reports:

We now have HD TV. The third try was the charm to finally get a person out to exchange our old Direct TV dish for the new HD one. That happened about three weeks ago and I'm so happy to have a DVR again where we can record our shows, pause shows and all that other good stuff. Our new TV is wonderful and best of all hardly takes any electricity to run at all which is very important in a battery-powered house.

We now have phone service inside the cabin! woohoo! We finally broke down and bought a signal booster and we now have four bars inside and our phone now rings! Amazing! I know this doesn't sound very exciting to most of you, but to us it's a big deal.

The barn delivery. Sigh. Today was the second scheduled day for the delivery of our barn and they cancelled because they were afraid of the rain that was predicted for us. It was put off from its original delivery date of June 17th because they could not get the barn down our driveway without a certain piece of equipment that they had on order. We had to wait for the "mule" to arrive at their facility and then wait for them to mount the "mule" on a flatbed trailer, or whatever. Maybe the third time will finally be the charm for the barn. We are now scheduled for a Wednesday July 6th delivery. Let's hope the roads in aren't muddy and there is not a big rain event happening. We really need that barn to arrive! 

The lupine is rampant in the meadows and along the roadsides right now. All you can see is a purple haze, it's just gorgeous. Now joining the lupine in bloom are the yellow Alpine Paintbrush and the magenta Loco. I need to get out there and take a photo of our "flower garden." 

The rose bushes are going crazy as well as the columbines. I have never seen so many columbines here before. They are spreading across our newly opened meadow.

And folks, none of these were planted, all the flowers are wild.

Now for the birdhouse updates. You'll remember I said we had a resident house wren. Well, that turned out to be a false alarm. He built the nest, sang his heart out for days and when he couldn't attract anyone to come and live with him, he abandoned the twiggy nest. The minute we put another bird house at the top of the driveway, yet another wren made a twiggy nest and then we saw nothing. We peeked in last week to see an egg but no bird around to hatch it. Next time we looked there were a few pieces of shell in the nest and nothing else, so we dumped the contents. Now there is yet another twiggy wren nest being built.

Success with one bird house, a pair of tree swallows are at home and hopefully raising a family. It's supposed to be a bluebird house, but so far no blue bird takers. At least we have a renter, even if it's not blue. We often see them poking their heads out when we go by.

On the moose front, we have seen so many different moose now. Sometimes we only catch them on the game camera, but we've been lucky enough to see a few in real time, like this cow moose and her young calf at our salt lick. The baby was very curious about our fire pit and we watched it as it sniffed our Adirondack chairs. He/she was so close to the cabin that I shot these two pics from the front porch through the screen. The photo of the two of them was taken from the game camera because I could not get a good shot of them. We've caught them on the game camera one other time -- and at the very same time of the day! I vow to look out now every day at approximately 2:30 p.m.

We also had this big bull moose visit us. In fact, on the morning I saw him I had looked out the windows first thing in the morning to be sure no animals were around in the meadow, opened the door to let Destin out and he just stood there looking at something and not getting off the step. When I looked up I saw this huge moose right there in our driveway! Yikes, he was big! I scooped Destin right up and came inside while the moose trotted off up our driveway. The game camera caught him visiting and he was here most of the night before. Here is a capture from the game camera and also a short video clip of him which you can see at the end of the post.

You can see the time stamp on the photos is 4:39 a.m. and I saw him not long after this at around 5:00 a.m. We've seen at least 8 different moose so far and I had started out naming them like I used to name the bears in our yard back in New Jersey. Now I decided that was not going to work -- too many! Love seeing them.

To finish up, we had our very first Rufous Hummingbird of the season this morning. Bossy pants that he is, he's gorgeous! I need to get a photo of him soon.

Well, I hope you've stuck with me through all this rambling on and tons of photos. If you have, bless your heart. I think that about catches you up for now. I'll try and do a better job of blogging so the posts don't get this long!

OH, BUT WAIT ... I left Destin out of this mix. He's growing like the weeds outside and last weight check was this past Monday when he turned 14 weeks old -- 35.2 lbs of puppy! Here he is:

He's had a growth spurt over the past few days and can't lay under the bed anymore. He has outgrown all his favorite spots to sleep and gets very cranky. He continues to be a joy. His adult coat is starting to come in a bit and he has what looks like a receding hairline on his forehead. Pretty soon he'll have a puppy "fro" going on which is always a funny stage of growth. He's growing up fast.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Fishing Lesson!

Posted by: Lynne

The other day in the driveway I got my very first lesson on fly fishing. All I did was practice casting and I had a little trouble getting the hang of it. This morning dawned bright and beautiful, so after eating a light breakfast and walking the dogs we went down to Bucky Beaver's pond for me to try out my not-so-great new skills on actual water.

We spooked up a herd of six or so antelope but these two got separated from the herd. There have been a bunch of antelope hanging out up here by the cabin which is kind of unusual as they tend to keep a little lower down.

After a few false casts I did manage to get a few that got "beautiful cast" and "nice one" from Rick. I tend to move my wrist and not my whole arm when casting, something that just takes time and practice to get the feel of it. I didn't catch any fish, but I had fun trying. It was so peaceful there with just the birdsong and one bird/duck/grouse that had a strange call that sounded like an Apache hiding in the bushes. Not sure what it was as it never revealed itself to us. 

Right now the wild iris are in bloom. They love the wetter lands close to ponds and streams.

Monument plants are also in bloom. Strange plants; beautiful blooms up close!

All in all I would say it was a successful morning, fish or no fish. As Rick always says, it's about the fishing, not the catching.

Such a pretty spot, don't you agree?

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Baby Moose

Posted by: Rick

We are not sure how we missed this around noon yesterday, but here is a very short clip from the game camera that shows a cow moose and her new baby. I am going to lower the camera, so maybe if this happens again, we'll get a better shot.

Monday, June 13, 2016

OtG Progress Report

Posted by: Lynne

Painted birdhouses that Rick's dad built for us.

When we first arrived we still had snow in the meadow, and for a short time there was an actual little creek running through it. Now the meadow is grassy and green and star arnica is blooming everywhere. Just gorgeous. It remains to be seen if the wildflower seed we planted last year actually came up. We have more seed coming from Pawnee Seed Company — a mix of prairie grasses and wildflowers that we'll spread around the burn pile areas and the area that was excavated for the trenches for the new solar panels.

There is lots of lupine coming up around the house as well as Wyoming paintbrushes, pink plume, larkspur and fireweed. Most of it will probably be blooming later this week. Soon we will be surrounded by flowers of all different colors. Already the meadows are full of brilliant paintbrushes!

The pasque flowers have gone into gossamer seed mode, but still equally as beautiful.

Unfortunately the mosquitoes are also "in bloom" right now. They say the mosquito hatch only lasts three weeks up here, so we shall see. Right now we douse ourselves with repellent before we go outside. We both smell like Lemon Eucalyptus all day, not a totally unpleasant smell. We've found a repellent without DEET that appears to work great. We also have one of these handy little gadgets, the Thermacell Mosquito Repellent Appliance, that uses butane to heat a synthetic form of natural insecticide, forming a 15-foot-wide area of protection. We used it yesterday while out in back potting the herbs we bought. No mosquitoes dared come close!

More...

Thursday, June 09, 2016

I’m Melting ...

Posted by: Lynne

Here is the progress on our huge snow bank on the road below the cabin. It's melting, but it's also had some help along the way. 

Two days ago when we walked up to the top of our driveway we saw a truck parked at the edge of the snow bank. The tailgate was down and there was a guy doing something, but it wasn't clear exactly what was going on. Since either side of the road where he was is our land I walked up to him to see what was going on. It turns out that he's a new neighbor and he and two friends were digging with snow shovels to create a path for them to get through. 

They seemed nice enough, young men in their 20's, and said they wanted to be "good" neighbors. The parcel they bought shares a property line with the cabin parcel up the hill in back. There is nothing on the land, no cabin, etc., so I am not sure what their plans on for it. I hope that they are just weekend campers. More than likely they bought the land for hunting purposes, and if so we'll have to have a conversation about where the property lines are.

They were not successful that day at getting through, and I warned them about the steep drop-off if they tried to squeeze through in their truck. Plus, the weather turned stormy and I think they turned tail and went back to wherever they came from. 

You can see that soon it will be possible to get a vehicle through but there is still A LOT of snow to melt.

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  • Sounds like you’re managing well, all things considered! Hopefully the next snowfall won’t be as…

    Posted to: ‘Road Closure and Updates’ by Steve on 02/21/2017

  • Bigsis, it’s just a little tractor! smile It does…

    Posted to: ‘Ironic, Right?’ by Lynne on 02/17/2017

  • BTW, I love your jacket.  Looks cute and WARM.

    Posted to: ‘Ironic, Right?’ by Bigsis on 02/17/2017

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    Posted to: ‘Ironic, Right?’ by Bigsis on 02/17/2017

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    Posted to: ‘Ironic, Right?’ by Lynne on 02/17/2017

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