Wednesday, June 9, 2010


So I've been compiling a post in my head about the scrub oak leafing out, the lilacs in bloom, and the gorgeous purple irises we've inherited.  Buuuut, that post is trumped.

This evening, just before sunset, we were lounging on the couch, just chatting softly.  The front door was open, the screen door shut.  We have hung a birdfeeder out above the rail on the front porch.  Partly this is because I was told that woodpeckers dislike finches, but now that the woodpeckers have left for the summer (thank goodness), the bird feeder is more for watching cute little birdies.  We've had gold finches, a red tanager, and lots of common brown finches.  Earlier this evening, we noticed a squirrel, and laughed as he contemplated how to get up to the feeder.  He gave up before success.

Bird feeder location, as viewed from inside the front door.

Then, as we were laying here, chatting. We heard a scratching at the deck, not unlike the sound of the squirrel.  Then there was a BANG, like someone was walking on the deck or trying to get into the screen door.  Thinking someone had come up to visit, I jumped off the couch and whirled around towards the door.  And there, standing on the ledge  of the driveway, with his/her massive paws leaning on the porch railing like s/he wanted to order a beer, was a large brown bear.  The cute, cuddly face peered curiously into the darkening house through the screen door.

Bear location

Naturally, I panicked.  We slammed the front door shut and locked it.  By the time I scrambled and got the camera, it was long gone, no trace anywhere.  We must have scared it, poor thing.  It sure scared us.  I wonder what it wanted: the birdseed?  the birds?  the squirrel?  curiosity about the creatures living in the house?

The previous owner told us to expect the bear once a year.  I hope he was right, this was our only sighting for this year.

And while I'm here posting:

Purple Irises (in a bed that needs weeded)

Lilacs in bloom.

I think I shall name our bear Winnie the Pooh.  And report it to the Division of Wildlife.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

It's May

This was the view out my window this morning:

And guess what?  It's snowing again.

Luckily, it's really pretty.

But I'm ready for my May flowers now.  Didn't anyone order the May flowers?

Also, check out the slab of snow sliding off the metal roof.

Neato, unless you are standing directly underneath it.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Flippin' Flickers

The flickers are drilling holes in my house.  Exhibit A.

The large orange blobs are, I believe, expanding foam from where the previous owner was filling flicker holes.  I keep finding more and more of these holes around the house.  I'm monitoring at least four now, and that's not counting the ones in the front porch, that aren't really integral to the house.

What's a flicker, you ask?  These guys:

Bane of my existence.  (Image from Wikipedia, where you can read more about these menaces.)  These guys sound like jackhammers.  And like any good jackhammer operator, they take great pleasure in their skill at waking me up on Saturday mornings when I'm trying to sleep in.  And I thought I moved up here to get away from the city noise!

Well, today, I learned that it's not only the flickers.  No, now I've also got these teeny tiny chickadee-looking peckers.  Instead of jackhammers, they prefer a more subtlely artistic chiseling.  They look approximately like this:

And just when I'm prepared to run out and purchase a BB gun, I spot the following on the interwebz:

Woodpeckers are migratory birds and are protected by the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty.  A federal permit is required before any lethal or harmful control methods can be employed against the Woodpecker

Awwwww... DANGIT.  The same website says they'll be gone by July 1.  Will that be before or after my pretty new house looks like swiss cheese?

A happier thought: Steph came to visit last week (yay!), and brought tulips.
Spring may bring woodpeckers, but it also brings tulips.  Ah, the yin and the yang.


Friday 9 April: We hosted the turkey farm on our driveway.  Two toms and eight hens.

And this guy, keeping watch up on the hill makes 11:

Monday 12 April: Elk!  Eight in total, including 3 males with very nice racks, indeed.  (It's okay for a chick to comment on a dude's rack, but not the other way around.  So say I.)  I didn't get pics due to low evening light and being on the phone with mom at the time.  I hope they come back soon.  Word is, they like to come down here for the bugling (mating) season in the fall, and even one of the hiking trails nearby gets closed while the elk come shake their groove thangs.  I mean... they ain't nothin' but mammals.  I mean... *sigh*.

On that note...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Hope Springs Eternal

I know now that this house was meant to be mine.  Why?  There were daffodils here waiting for me!!!

My favorite!  They are such a happy flower - it's hard to be sad when you have daffodils.  And they bring such hope.  I found these guys last week poking out from the snow after the last storm.  If that's not hope and determination, I don't know what is.  I've been meaning to snap a picture of them all week (and in better light), but there's 2-4 more inches of snow in the forecast, and I wanted to get them while they were still in their first bold bloom, unwithered by the cruel Colorado spring weather.

It did turn cold when the sun went down - that snow's a-comin'.  My wonderful hubby had a fire burning when I got home:
Ahhh cozy perfection.  And saving on the propane bill.

Before I go, how about some more deer?
This one was from last Thursday when they were chowing down by the propane tank when i got home from work.  They were also about on Saturday afternoon, before Travis got home from his trip.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Meet the Turkeys

I had heard them before, but today I met them - the Turkey family:

A big, beautiful tom and his lovely hen.

The driveway had melted off enough yesterday in the warm, sunny weather, that I was able to drive the Jeep to the top overnight (for the first time since Tuesday morning - yay!).  So I pulled out this morning to go to work, I swung around the switchback onto the lower part of the driveway, and there they were, standing in the middle of the drive, in the snow.  The tom wasn't happy to see me at all.  He puffed out all of his magnificent plumage, gobbled, and walked straight toward me as if he was going to take on the Jeep.

Sorry, dude, but you would lose that fight.  And you look too much like thanksgiving dinner for me to feel bad about it.

As I rolled the Jeep slowly toward him, he and his mate hopped with purpose off the side of the hill and out of sight.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

After the storm... getting to work

So, I woke up this morning to the news that I would not, in fact, have a snow day.  Rats.  So disappointing.  Actually though, I ran out and measured the snow and found 10 inches, which was less than the 16-24 they were predicting.  So all in all it wasn't that bad.  I got ready and headed out to work at about 7:30am, and tried to capture some of the gorgeousness.  Snow was still falling lightly:

Of course, I was tromping through the snow to get to my jeep, and the snow was coming up to just below my knee, which would put it at about 14 inches.   The wind had been blowing pretty hard during the storm, so hard to tell what is drift and what is windblown.  I guess we got between 10-14 inches.

I then found my jeep at the bottom:

It cleaned up good, and because I parked a little uphill, I got a running start which helped me fourwheel it over the pile from the snowplow (which had already been by!).  I got to work just fine, on nicely plowed roads.

By late afternoon, it was gorgeous, sunny, and going on warm.  I got my Jeep nestled back into it's spot at the end of the driveway (only took a little knocking down of the snowplow pile with a shovel and a couple runs in 4WD in reverse to push in some tracks), and then snapped a few pics of the sparkling snow.  Complete with my footprints still around from the morning.

I love living here!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

First blizzard

Snow was in the forecast for this evening, and the heavens did not disappoint.  I had planned to leave work at about 6, but reports said the snow was beginning to stick at 5:30, so I thought I better take off early.  Boy, am I glad i did.  It was snowing with a VENGEANCE.

I saw two snowplows on the drive home, which was reassuring, but I still laid first tracks up our road.  Visibility was so bad that I almost missed our driveway.  I parked the Jeep at the bottom of the driveway, backed up the hill just a car length or so, to let the plows through if they come.  By the time I walked up the hill, me and my bags were coated in the swirling snow.  We already had over an inch on the ground, and it was only coming down harder.  I snapped some pics before dark.

Now I'm all cozied up and the wind is howling outside. We've had a couple of power dips.  I hope it doesn't go out entirely -- I don't know how to power up the generator yet.  Really hoping for a snow day tomorrow.  If it's a snow day, I'm totally going to build a fire in the stove.  :o)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Wild Turkey?

I came out of the house to go to work pretty early - about 6:30am. I heard the gobbling of turkeys, lower on the hill behind the shed. I didn't see them, but it would seem we have wild turkeys.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


We were finishing up moving in and we were surprised by a herd of 8 or 9 does all in their winter coats, grazing on the side of the hill North of the top of the driveway. They didn't seem to be bothered by our antics with the moving truck.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Moving Eve/Day

And the view:

Pine Hill: Established 17 March 2010

This family was established on 1 August 2009, at an elevation of 8367 feet above sea level.

We moved to Pine Hill on 17 March 2010, at an elevation of 7200 feet above sea level. Welcome to our lifetime of adventure!