Off the Grid  Retirement at our remote log cabin in Colorado

Monday, July 25, 2016

A Walk on the Rocky Side

Posted by: Lynne

"Balancing Rock"

The other day we took a walk to "plant" the game camera in a totally different place hoping to catch more varities of game in our lens. We are actually hoping for a bobcat or mountain lion as neighbors have had a few sightings. I would love to see either one just so long as I am not standing there at the time!

We have a wide variety of woods, deep valleys filled with aspens, high rock outcroppings and high prairie grasslands on our 74 acres. The cabin is located nearest the woodsy part and aspen valley. In the valley, Bart's creek (named after our water-loving dog Bart) runs with snowmelt until late June when the tall grasses lushly take over. Monkshood likes to grow in the moist "bottom" as we call it, as it is the lowest point of our property.

But on this day the bottom was not our goal — the rocky outcroppings were. So we donned our hiking boots, and off we went. We had an idea to put it somewhere along a game trail that looks used, but not overly so. On the way there we had to pass by our marshy bog that never dries up, even in summer. And it was there that I had a joyful moment. It was almost like someone had queued up a choir of angles to sing Ahhhhhhh. I could not believe my eyes when I saw that the bog was harboring my favorite flower of all time —elephant head! I have never seen them growing on our land before, yet here they were. I nearly had a heart attack. Once you see them you'll know why they are my favorite. Their big ears, their long curled trunks — perfection.

But enough dilly-dallying over flowers — on to the main point of this blog post! Sheesh, Lynne, choirs of angels? Enough!

We picked our way up and over the granite rocks and scree like a couple of not-so-graceful mountain goats. It's a good workout, especially at this altitude. It's kind of like walking on little ball bearings on a slant. Very good for the balance!

We found a tree that Rick thought would have good coverage of the area.

Below us was the aspen forest.

So many cool rock formations up here! To me, if I were a mountain lion or a bobcat, I would hang out here.

On top, but not the highest point of our property by any means.

There are also lots of dead trees that are interesting (at least I think so). There is something very moving and thought provoking about these old giants that have given up.

I was really sad when this one fell over. It looks at rest though, doesn't it? Like someone who finally gave up after a brave battle with the elements.

This favorite still stands ... for now.

Its bark is weathered in a beautiful way. Sometimes I like to think I can talk to these old trees. I lay my hand on their bark and just stand there, listening, paying it reverance. (Not to worry, I haven't heard anything back yet.)

This same slope is also home to "Downward-Facing Dog", an old tree that was struck by lightning and gutted long ago, but after I put this up on Facebook many people thought it looked more like a wolf than a domesticed dog, one person thought it looked like a deer's head. We just thought that name up because it was catchy and like the yoga pose. 

And that my friends, was our walk on the rocky side. I know you're sad it's over but there is always more to come. I have promised the fans of "Dick the Tree" that I will do an update on him for all of those who know and love him, and it will introduce him to a whole new set of "Dick" lovers out there.

~Side note: We did switch out the cards on the game cameras (we put up one more as well) from the rocky ridge and only managed to get a shot of a doe deer and baby, the mamma moose running with the baby so that only the baby was captured, and what we think was a jack rabbit at night (hard to tell). No cats yet. Boo.

Comments:

Great post!  Didn’t realize you had 74 acres!!  Have you seen every single one?  Will never forget when I saw a bobcat up at mom and dad’s house in Estes.  Hope you see one!!  Yes, definitely want to say hello to Dick the tree.

P.S.  Great flower pics.  Can understand why you love the elephant’s head.

I don’t begrudge you your enthusiasm for those flowers! The elephant’s head is very unusual—never heard of that before. And I love all the variety in your landscape! Hope you find some interesting critters. smile

What an incredible place on your HUGE property!  Love all the pics, especially the elephant flowers.  Memom would have loved them…remember her love of elephants?  Looking forward to seeing it in person!

Bigsis, it’s a lot of land! We want you to see it too but you’ll need a pair of hiking boots or good shoes with a lot of tread to walk on the rocky side! wink Don’t bring your Converses! Yes, Memom loved elephants for sure. They are a very unique flower.

Steve, yes, a very cool flower. Our land is very varied but this parcel is my favorite with the aspen forest and the rock outcroppings. The other parcel holds a deep dark woods ...

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