Off the Grid  Retirement at our remote log cabin in Colorado

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

A Busy Bunch of Beavers

Posted by: Lynne

Our land has always had a beaver pond. When we first bought the property back in 1988 there were active beavers. Something happened, not sure just what, but the beavers abandoned the pond and over the years it has actually started to silt over into more like a boggy meadow on one end. It's been that way a very long time.

We were shocked to hike down there this past trip to find it occupied again -- big time. Our little pond has tripled in size and we can longer reach it easily. The beavers had "beavered" away at tons of aspens. Chewed off stumps were everywhere. We now have a clearing where once stood an aspen forest. 

All that destruction to build this huge hotel of a beaver hut:

And this double dam:

In this photo taken from the beaver hut side of the pond you can see the clearing that's been made by taking out so many trees. It used to be solid aspen trees.

See that tree hanging over the pond on the end? The fourth photo down (above) is that same tree. Someone didn't have their engineering degree yet I guess because it obviously fell the wrong way. A waste of a good tree. A BIG tree.

Here's another example of bad engineering. This tree is almost there. But not quite!

It ended up resting on other trees. Pretty amazing. I am thinking that over the winter either the snow or wind will finally take it down. I bet that beaver was pretty frustrated after all that work!

I am glad we have beavers again but I wish they weren't quite so descrutive! I hope after all this work that they stay awhile and don't abandon it yet again! 

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, June 07, 2015

Morning Selfie with Bull Mountain

Posted by: Lynne

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Rock Formations

Posted by: Lynne

Let me first say that Sand Creek Park and the area surrounding it has some pretty unusual rock formations. The sandstone over centuries has been worn away and some interesting shapes have occurred. This particular landmark everyone seems to know by name. But I will not name it here. It's _____ Point.

This particular piece of property has some very interesting formations and wonderful views. Many of the rocks feature this strange striation running through them. Some geological event caused this square rock ridge to appear.

Click through for more ...


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. 

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