Thursday, December 20, 2007

2 cords of hardwood for $400

I had a dump truck show up with 2 cords of hardwood this morning.

The hardwood consists of the remmant ends of 6 by 8 inch untreated railroad ties. The remnants are between half an inch and 6 inches.

I think this is a awesome deal, and I almost hesitate to write about it because I don't want to drive up the price because more people want it.

If you are interested, and you live around Boulder, Colorado, give Rod of RC Construciont a call at 303-935-6231

Blogging course

I'm evaluating a multi-media course on blogging from the folks at Simpleology. For a now, they're letting you get it for free if you write about it.

Ok, the simpleolgy folks bribed me into doing just that, but that's because I like the rest of their stuff.

The course is about:

  • The best blogging techniques (Let's find out if I'm trainable?)
  • How to get traffic to your blog (Ummm, writing about something more people are interested in would help, which exclude long diatribes about the content of my navel lint.)
  • How to turn your blog into money(I've made $4.49 with this blog so far - Guess I'm not in it for the money) .

I'll let you know what I think once I've had a chance to check it out. Meanwhile, go grab yours while it's still free.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Fences don't make good neighbors when the elk are around.

The following is from a neighbor that has a little farm. During the summer months he has a farm stand where he offers truly locally grown produce.

I know what he means about the elk knocking down fences. It got so that I gave up having a fence.

hello everyone, just wanted let the list know that we found the
horses. they did a little tour of the twin sisters area and made
their way back home this morning. it turns out the elk herd had
knocked some of our fence down, so thanks to everyone who was keeping
an eye out.

peace, josh and family

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Elk came through

Last night, the a herd of elk, probably the same ones that I saw in the last entry, came through the yard.

The moon was nearly full, and reflecting from the fresh, cold snow, so it was easy to see them.

It was about 7 degrees F, so we thought about inviting them in, but then we realized we couldn't fit all 30 of them. Besides, they looked hungry, and they don't eat turkey.

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Elk Are Back

I've been waiting for the elk to come down from the high country to these mid-altitudes. There is a herd of elk that prefers to spend as much of its winter around here as possible.

At this time of year the high country becomes snowed in and the plains are to populated and dangerous. So the elk pick the area around here as a suitable compromise between a rock and a hard place.

Anyway, I saw the Elk at the top of Lazy Z the day before yesterday.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Almost Cloud Nine

One of the joys of living in the high country is that sometimes we get sun up here while the clouds settle below. In other words, we have a completely different climate up here.

This picture was taken today about an hour after sunrise. The view is toward the south east, which is toward Denver from here. The clouds are at about 7000 feet, and the picture was taken at 8400 feet. There is a cloud bank at the top edge that is hiding the sun.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Janet Bychek

I've been slow to get these pictures up that I took while on a hike with my friend Janet Bychek up.

The first picture is of "Solstice Rocks." I call it that because the winter solstice sun appears to shine through a small arch at the very top of it.

The second picture is of Coal Creek canyon, about a mile downstream from Pinecliffe. The creek flows through a very rugged, remote gorge at that point on its way to Gross Reservoir. The picture was take from the north shore at a bend in the creek.

The two pictures where taken about a hundred yards apart.

The Rest of the Story about the Mountain Lion

The following was published on the Daily Camera today. Of particular note is that the person that claims to have shot the mountain lion is from out of state, and that it is implied that he shot the lion in self defense.

This is a great angle if you're trying to minimize the consequences of shooting a mountain lion.

Man shoots, kills mountain lion near Gross Reservoir

Cougar had attacked a puppy chained on the property

A man shot and killed a mountain lion outside a home up Flagstaff Road near Gross Reservoir after catching it attacking his puppy, which was chained on the property, according to the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

Wildlife officers are investigating the shooting Friday and are trying to determine whether the man was within his legal rights when he killed the adult cougar, division of wildlife spokeswoman Jennifer Churchill said.

“We’re investigating what will happen to the person who shot the lion,” Churchill said. “We do have laws that allow people to protect their safety and the their livestock. But this is the tricky gray area of it being a dog.”

The shooting happened about 1:30 a.m. Friday in a neighborhood just east of Gross Reservoir, at the west end of Flagstaff Road near its intersection with Lakeshore Drive.

Churchill said the shooter, whose name, age and hometown haven’t been released, is from out of state and was visiting a person in the west Boulder neighborhood. Three dogs were chained up outside the home, and several people inside the home heard the mountain lion attacking the dog in the early-morning hours, Churchill said.

“The people went outside and started yelling at the lion,” she said. “It wouldn’t drop the dog, so he got a shot gun to scare it.”

But the lion approached the man with a gun, Churchill said.

“So he shot it,” she said.

The puppy that was in its mouth is going to survive, Churchill said.

“He had a couple lacerations on his belly, around his neck,” she said. “He was in the lion’s mouth for a few minutes, so he had to get stitches and antibiotics. But he’ll live.”

Wildlife officers confiscated the lion and sent it to a lab for testing, Churchill said. She expects results back in a day or two, but it’s unclear when officers will make a decision on possible charges against the man who killed the cougar.

“We are still looking into it to make sure it was done appropriately,” she said.

One area resident, who didn’t want to be named in this story, speculated that the slain lion was responsible for killing a man’s pet miniature horse in the Nederland area Sept. 2 and a couple’s 60-pound Australian shepherd in Nederland on Sept. 27.

Officers with the Division of Wildlife in September tried to capture and euthanize the lion after it killed the horse, named Bodacious, but traps weren’t successful in snagging the cat.


Correction - Mountain lion picture not the local lion

It turns out that there is a miss-communication about the picture that was published in yesterday's blog entry. I now find out that this picture is an EXAMPLE of a mountain lion, not the actual lion that was shot.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Local Mountain Lion Shot Dead

The mountain lion that was referred to in previous posts appears to have been shot yesterday because he attacked a puppy. This is likely the same mountain lion that ate a miniature horse a few weeks back.

[UPDATE: the picture at the right is NOT the mountain lion that was shot, lthough I initially had the impression that it was. I'm leaving the picture in as a EXAMPLE of a mountain lion]

As reported in a email on the PUMA email list:
"A neighbor to the east of here with 2 small children felt compelled to shoot a mtn lion dead yesterday morning about 1:30 am. This cat moved towards him when he went outside to rescue their puppy who was being attacked by the cat. This neighbor immediately reported his shooting to the DOW and is now facing possible consequences as a result of his decision to shoot the cat.

It is believed by other neighbors who saw the cat after it had been shot that this same cat had killed another large dog earlier in the week. In the same area east of the CR 68J deadhead and up the 4 x 4 trail past Fred & Betsy's property about 3/4 of a mile. There may be a DOW investigation report that provides an opportunity for residents to voice their opinions on this matter. "

Saturday, September 22, 2007

More Fun With Bears

A met a neighbor on Lazy Z today and he told me the latest on the local black bear.

As there was some chatter on the local PUMA email list, I posted the following to it:

There is a bear here at the end of Lazy Z that has repeatedly tried to break into his cars. I myself saw the bent frame of a passenger door from a minivan. The bear had tried to peal away the door the top edge with its claws. Eventually the door glass shattered as the fame was bent outwards.

Now my neighbor keeps the doors unlocked and the windows down. This seems to keep the bear from trying to peal away doors, destroying them in the process.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

First Frost of the Fall

This morning there was a coat of white frost on the ground. Also, yesterday's rain had frozen on blades of grass.

However, the Goji Plants and house plants seem to have survived it, so it was not a hard frost. Does that make a soft frost?

I suspect this frost will the trigger for the turning of the Aspens.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Livestock Puma will not be trapped and killed

Thank you Sue (see below) for doing all this wonderful research and summarizing it in a email. I can picture the incident in great detail because I knew the horse and I've wandered through the pasture where it happened.


Hi Everyone,
An update about the lion situation: The trap has been pulled.

At this point they are not planning on taking any further action other than to keep a close eye on any further incidents that arise.

Here are the facts as shared by the DOW information officer, Jennifer Churchill who was very informative and nice. Most of you already know these but here it is for those who don't:
  • The pony was killed on Saturday night at the top of the lower meadow of the Kellogg's property. He was then dragged down near the corral which is near William Kellogg's house.
  • The lion did not kill the pony at Otsie's house, nor did it ever go to his house, it was seen only on the Kellogg's property.
  • The main concern was after Otsie had his farrier down to work with his remaining horses (I believe on Sunday or Monday). The lion stayed next to the pony's remains for the hour or so that Otsie and his farrier were working with the horses. Again-the lion was in the open meadow next to the pony's remains. The Camera reported that it was in an open meadow and neglected to mention that it was next to it's cache, very typical lion behavior.
  • We discussed lion behavior and she agreed that some lions do stick closer to their cache than others, but it always makes them more cautious when they see lions who stay near their prey in the presence of humans.
  • For what it's worth, I'd like to share my perspective on such behavior: I have done research on Open Space properties for the past decade and work in an area where road killed deer (and lion-killed deer who are taken too close to residential areas) are dropped off for lions to be able to eat in a safe location away from people. Many rangers have commented that they will often have to shoot lions with rubber bullets in order to get them away from their caches and I have pictures here, here, and here that show a lion in my study area in South Boulder doing just that, hunkering down on his cache, despite the rangers watching them and taking photographs from a truck.
  • The only other killings that she said concerned them were of a llama and a pony. One was on Flagstaff and she couldn't remember where the other one was (I believe the llama was Sugarloaf). She said there was no way to know if this was the same lion, but they were concerned that the lion had possibly shifted it's prey choice to livestock rather than deer/elk and they target lions who start focusing on livestock.
  • I asked if there was any regulation regarding responsible livestock or pet ownership and she said no. She agreed completely that the lion is the one who pays with his life when we choose to let our dogs run free or we don't keep our livestock in safe enclosures at night. Even if you don't report it to the DOW when your dog is killed, it's clear that word of mouth spreads the story and then, when an event happens as did with the pony, the stories fly such as "I know of 7 dogs in the Magnolia area that were killed by lions." Unverifiable information but quite powerful when rumors start to make it back to the DOW. When a decision about whether to kill a lion or not is unclear, those stories push the DOW into choosing a lethal option.
  • I asked if we could organize a neighborhood meeting with their district rangers and she said she would make some calls and see if they can pull that together. I offered to organize things from this end and will call her next week to see what kind of time constraints they have on their end.
  • If anyone has a venue that they know about or could volunteer to host such an event please let me know.
  • Please send me a private email stating if you would like to come to a meeting with Sinapu and the Division of Wildlife and I will start contacting everyone to see what dates are best.

Thanks to everyone for their feedback. I still would like to gather as many factual accounts of lion encounters so that we can have the right information available should there be any other lion predation event. I'd also like to hear from people who have had no encounters as those are valuable as well.

Thank you all for taking the time to read these updates,

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Mountain Lion Causing Quite a Local Buzz

We were repeatedly buzzed by two Helicopters this afternoon. The first was red, and the second was yellow with a blue tail.

I was not sure what it was about at first, but I'm guessing the following has something to do with it.

Mountain lion kills horse in Boulder County foothills

In case the Daily Camera link does not work, the articles says:
"Colorado Division of Wildlife officials are responding to property in the Boulder County foothills where a mountain lion attacked and killed a horse, sheriff's officials said this afternoon.

The property's owner reported that the cat was still in the area, located off Magnolia Road near Pineglade Road. "

Also See:


I've seen the pony that was eaten any number of times. I'm sorry to hear it's turned into cat food. I assume this is the same mountain lion that's been sighted on our land here. The pony lived about a mile from here, on the other side of Winiger Ridge.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

True Confessions: I was a unpaid scout for the power company

We've had three lightning caused power outages in the last few weeks. It's fashionable to blame weather weirdnesses on global warming, so I'll jump on that band wagon to explain it.


A few hours after this latest lighting induced power outage, yesterday, a large Excel Energy Truck with a cherry picker shows up.

A "old fat man" (these were his words) jumped out and started asking directions to a pole so that he could replace the fuse.

It was twilight and I knew the moon would come up any minute because we'd had a lunar eclipse the day before. I'd not had my habitual walk either.

So I volunteered to show him the way. OK, I admit, I was curious too how this all worked.

The power pole he was looking for was in the narrow valley on the other side of Winiger Ridge. This meant going up 100 yards, then down 300 very steep yards. At night.

Fortunately, I knew most of the faint trail that would take us there pretty much by heart.

We set off and about 30 minutes later we where at the pole with the blown fuse. This is where it gets tricky. The fuse is nearly 40 feet up and the only way to get at it is with a 40 foot long telescoping fiberglass pole. Given the flex of the fiberglass pole, this is not easy.

Also, if the lightning had taken out more than just the fuse, it would have created a very loud explosion as the new fuse also blew.

After about 15 minutes of fussing, the utility line man was able to install the fuse. It held. No explosion.

My curiosity was also satisfied about how this all works.

On the way back up , I learned that the lineman would retire in 3.5 months, after 37 years. I wondered where the new talent would come from to replace him. Nobody in "the younger generation" seemed interested working in the wilds of Colorado in all kinds of weather conditions.

I had volunteered to carry the collapsed telescoping fiberglass pole back up after seeing how much of a strain it put on the lineman to manipulate the pole to get the fuse back in place. It got quite heavy by the time I was back on top of the ridge.

After we got back, I got to keep the old blown fuse as a souvenir.

Then, it was back to business as usual... at least until the next global warming induced lighting strike.

Monday, August 27, 2007


I just picked up some folding tables that I had loaned to the NEXT DOOR neighbor over the weekend.

While I was there they showed me the passenger side front door on their van. The window had broken and the top of the frame was pulled back about an inch from the body.

This was the latest episode in a nearly nightly harassment by a bear.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Lions and Coyotes and Bears, Oh My

I just got word that neighbor saw a mountain lion in the woods below the house yesterday morning.

Other neighbors have seen the same cat at other times as well.

Also, the coyote infestation in the valley here seems to be particularly bad this year, judging from the nearly nightly yelping and howling. The deer have taken the hint and left.

And I read in the paper that bears will need to be spending 20 hours a day eating, so that they can pack on the weight for winter.

Friday, August 17, 2007

3 mile fox was hit by a car.

I feel like I lost a friend. The fox mentioned below seemed to take a special delight in greeting cars on the way home.
If you drove down Magnolia today you probably saw the dead fox on the side of Magnolia, past Magnolia townsite. He (or she?) must've been hit last night by a car. This fox was very wily to cars and people. He would run to the side of the road and turn around and look as you passed by. I'm amazed he was hit knowing how fast he got out of the way for me in car or bike. The driver must've been going very fast.

I know I'm speaking to the choir on this list (I hope) but lower speeds mean you can slow down faster and not hit wildlife (or dogs, pedestrians, runners, and cyclists). Driving 30mph down Magnolia from Lazy Z takes about 18 minutes (yes, i did the math). Driving 35 gets you there only 2.5 minutes faster. Driving 40 gets you there 4.5 minutes faster. I have 5 minutes to about you?

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Now that's a big bug

This bug landed on the living room window. The black circle next to it is a quarter that I taped to the window. The body of the bug was about 2.5 inches long.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Pine Beetles in the Colorado Rockies

Thanks Jenifer for some great research on Pine Beetles:

Dear Friends,
We are all aware of the beetle epidemic on the Western Slope. Anyone
who has driven I-70 westward has seen it.
In our own area, we need to be aware of the condition of our trees.
Over-crowded, stressed, or damaged trees are vulnerable.

Living pines should not be trimmed or cut between approximately
beginning of June to approximately September, as beetles are attracted
to the scent of sap.
Wood (and probably anything else) should not be stacked against living
Beetles don't acknowledge property lines. We must work together as
residents of Magnolia to protect our forest. Stay alert, communicate
with your neighbors. Know the signs of beetle presence. Know how to
determine whether beetle presence in a tree has been repulsed by the
tree, or is killing it. Not all attacked trees succumb! Healthy trees
can expel beetles in a flood of sap.

If you have concerns, call the Colorado State Forest Service
(303-823-5774), and/or a neighbor who has experience with beetle
management. Dan Metzger is one such person.

Here are some websites with info on Pine Beetles.


Saturday, July 07, 2007

Large, Shaggy Dog or Black Bear?

A black bear that looked like a large dog walked across our long deck a few minutes ago at twilight.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

My New Friend, A Lonely Dove

This is the kind of self-indulgent entries that blogs are famous for.

As I was walking up my very long and steep driveway this morning, a dove flew in front of me. I live high up in the Rocky Mountains, surrounded by national forest. Doves are not native around here. A couple of hours later, I'd made a new friend, who you can see sitting on my shoulder.

I called over to my neighbor, who once had brough up some doves from Denver. He told me that this last, lonely dove had been hanging around there, but he was afraid that it would soon become Red tailed Hawk food.

Perhaps my new friend figures that if its friends with me, then the hawk won't get it. I hope she's right, because after getting a expert ear cleaning from her, I'm starting to like this bird.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

The Grand Yellow Green Pollen Cloud Finali

There are some hazards to living high up in the Rockies that you don't find out about until you're actually living here.

In the winter, there are the large stinging clouds of swirling snow.

Right now, we are just coming to the end to the large gritty clouds of yellow green pine pollen. ON warm days (>80 F) like today the pine pollen gets ready in the calm morning air.

Then, as the first gust of afternoon wind blow across the hillside, the pollen takes flight, and forms huge yellow green clouds.

These clouds coat everything with a thick, gritty, yellow-green coat. This pollen keeps blowing around until it is finally washed down by a afternoon thunderstorm, like we just had.

We had similar situation last weekend. The whole process was interrupted by a cold snap that we had right after the weekend.

Hopefully, this is the end of pollen season. It takes weeks for the pollen coat to disappear from surfaces.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Finally back online

In my previous post I mentioned a bad wind storm. It knocked out our internet connection shortly after the post until this morning.

It's been stange weather. We had a hard frost last night, and I had to bring in all the house plants that did not have the good sense to come in on their own.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Wind and Snow

It has been quite windy today, as illustrated by this knocked over Aspen tree.

It also looks like its trying to snow over Thorodin.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Suggestions for a bear proof bird feeder

This morning, I heard the dogs in the neighborhood go crazy with howling an yowling. "Must be the bear" I thought to myself. Sure enough, I saw bags of scattered trash when I went throuhg the epicenter of the yowling a few hours latter.

Another bear related note: --
A neighbor suggests this for a bear proof feeder:

Hi Everyone,

A few years ago, we used a pulley system like the one mentioned here
to keep our birdfeeders out of reach of the bears. It worked for
about a year but then the bears started to figure it out. The first
bear to figure it out climbed up a tree until he was higher than the
metal cord that we had running between two trees (about 15 ft off the
ground). Then, he jumped down and grabbed the cord as he fell. This
method worked for him but it was a long jump down. We put the pulley
system back together, and the next bear (or maybe the same bear)
figured out which rope lowered the feeders. He pawed at it until he
got the feeders to fall.

We abandoned the pulley system at that point, and my husband
constructed a new system. We have a 15 ft tall metal pole sunk in
concrete, and 4 arms coming off of it near the top. There's a feeder
on each arm. We have an electric fence (3 fence posts with wires
going around them making a circle with diameter of about 2-3 ft)
around the base of the pole. We have a long pole with a hook on the
end to put feeders up on the arms (or take them down). This system
has now worked for 2.5 years or so. We've observed bears (in the
daytime) trying to get at our feeders, and they get completely
spooked when they touch the electric fence (it's not a huge shock -
we've touched it to see what it feels like). From what we've
observed, each bear never tries again after getting shocked once.

If anyone else is interested in setting up a system like this, I
could take some pictures and post them. My husband could provide
technical details. We really like this system because we can leave
the feeders out all the time with no worries that we're helping
corrupt bears.


Mountain Lions Sited on the Neighborhood on Saturday

Just a quick report on a great wildlife sighting from a Neighbor:

Brian and I saw three mountaint lions on Magnolia this past Saturday night
about 11:30 pm. The cats were in the road as we came up, roughly 2.25 mile
mark. We guess it was a mom and cubs since they were traveling together,
but don't know for sure. Got a solid look at one, two dropped off the road
quickly but the long black tipped tails are unmistakeable!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Save Forsythe Falls

I took a walk down to Forsythe Falls today.

I wanted see how far above the current level of Gross Reservoir it was. I eyeballed it, but I suspect that there is only about 30 feet between the current full level of Gross Reservoir and the bottom of Forsythe falls. Raising the level of Gross Reservoir will destroy this beautiful falls.

I have posted three pictures for posterity.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

More Bear issues in the Neighborhood

Hi All:
Last weekend -- during the DAY a bear must have come on my deck and destroyed the bird feeders and on the other side of the house dismantled the hummingbird feeder. I want to feed the birds but I am not gonna do that anymore as it attracts the bears so much. I would love to have a bird feeder on a pully system between two trees but I bet the bear will pull on the roper or chain. Any suggestions from clever humans???

At 09:10 PM 6/1/2007, greg joder wrote:
>Hi everyone,>>The bear, or a bear, that has been around here for the last couple >weeks just tried climbing onto my deck (9:00 p.m.) - we could see >its feet, paws and face! My dog and cats went crazy!>>Just took in the feeders too (no trash out). Keep an eye out!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Contact Xcel with your power flucuation problems

In regard to my previous blog, another neighbor suggests:
I just talked to a full-service agent at Xcel, andshe recommends that everyone who has noticedrecent fluctuations in electric service shouldphone so that they can understand the magnitudeof the problem and the region affected. She saysthat the number to call is 1-800-895-1999, andselect "outage". If you don't get through to areal person, just select nothing and after about6 prompts, it will ring a real person. Ask thatperson for a full-service agent.We also suspect that we may have had damage tosome of our electrical equipment, even though itwas connected to a UPS (that has been frequentlycycling on-and-off the last few days).

Lighting Caused Power Blips

In a message dated 5/31/2007 9:10:37 A.M. Mountain Daylight Time, writes:
Has anyone been experiencing electrical service fluctuations lately? We've been have several episodes of flickering lights, and the computer UPS battery backup systems clicking & coming on. I don't know if it's surges or momentary loss of power. I'm wondering if it's our service only, or if others nearby have experienced anything similar. It's happening at different times of the day, and even when we are not using much electricity.
I read someplace that one Mt. Evans, which is actually visible from my location on Lazy Z, is world famous for the number of lightning strikes it gets.
A lighting storm some distance away can still effect our power here because of the way that the power lines run as they distribute power.

The moral of the story here is that the lighting around here is intense enough that it interferes with our electricity. However, you may just want to check that a recent storm did not blow a tree against the power line to your house. I've had that happen too.
I have included a picture above of the relative number of lighting stikes in Colorado over a 6 year period. I have called out Mt Evans. Boulder County is the rectangle above it with the ragged left edge and a notch half way along its southern boarder. We're just one County away from Mt. Evans.
P.S. Welcome to the joys of living "way out there" at the end of the line, so to speak.

Monday, May 28, 2007

702-835-1108 Harassment

If you are reading this, it probably means only one thing. You've been getting harassing phone calls from 702-835-1108. The caller ID says "CyberneticSyste" There is a Cybernetic Systems in Henderson, Nevada.

If you call the (702) 835-1108 number, there is a recording with an unbelievalble story about this being a "toll free testing service" for Service Bureau Networks. This is of course, different from what the caller ID claims. BUT if you Google that number you get an earful about a disreputable company, Telespammer

Service Bureau Networks seems to also be known as Telseven according to the posts. There are claims on the forum that people have been charged just for calling numbers associated with Telseven.

Don't bother talking to the voice that says "wrong number." It is just a recording. You can tell because there is no hang up sound. Also the timing and intonation is exactly identical each time.

We've been getting 6 or 7 of these annoying phone calls a day for the last 3 days.

Please EMAIL ME at and let me know that you've been getting them too. I'm trying to figure out what the scam is.

If there is enough interest, a class action lawsuit might be in order, as well as complaints to the FTC and FCC Those links go directly to the complaint proceedures, so have fun.

Special note to the heartless scum behind this harassment: It's not good for your mental health to annoy a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) expert. That's putting it nicely.

You'll find yourself with thousands of dollars of legal bills in short order. Harassing me and other people who contact me can get VERY expensive very quickly.

Trust me, you really don't want to go there.

Don't say you've not been warned. Please CONTACT ME if you wish to nip your punishing legal expenses in the bud.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Bear, Part II

There have been four bear sightings in the last 12 hours here on Lazy Z.

I'm bringing in the hummingbird feeder.

This is what happened last year.

Case Study

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Last Frost of the Season?

It snowed yesterday and then it looked like it was going to freeze last night.

It was a good thing that I took in the house plants that did not seem to have the good sense to come in on their own.

It made it down to 28 F last night.

However, in a conversation with a hummingbird this morning by the hummingbird feader, I found out that this should be the last frost.

But I'm keeping in the house plants for another night, just in case.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Elk Are Back... Again

I just saw a group of about 8 bull elk grazing their way through the snowy yard.

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Red Baron Won

I saw the red tailed hawk (I call him the Red Baron) resting in a tree by the house today. It looks like he won his territorial right to hunt here.

The two ravens that where harassing him last week where nowhere to be found.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

My Buddies the Elk

Two male elk just came through the yard. They both had fuzzy, half formed antlers.

They left behind a large, well formed pile of scat. This is different then in winter. At that time of the year they leave tight little oval pellets.

Dogfight over Lazy Z

There's been a fierce battle ragging in the air over this end of Lazy Z for the last few days.

Its the red(baron) tailed hawk against the dark raven. They soar and dive. Sometimes, you can hear the screaming feathers of the raven as he goes into a power dive. The raven also makes crowing sounds, but the hawk only occasionally lets loose with a peep.

I think the hawk is winning, but not be much. They are pretty evenly matched.

Last year, the hawk must have won, because I saw and heard him all summer.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Grow Your Own Goji Berries

We're doing a experiment around here where we are seeing if Goji Berries, which originated in the Himalayas. We've been reading all kinds of great things about them, so we have some seeds sprouting right now. We even have one plant so tiny that you almost need a magnifying glass to see it.

You can read more at How to Grow Goji Berries

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Growing Goji Berries

I've been studying a lot about a super nutritionous berry that became popular because of the promotional effort of a MLM company.
Turns out it really is a most remakable berry, with even more nutritional power than blueberries.

Goji berries, also sometimes called wolfberries look like oblong, red raisins. They're not very sweet, but the have a flavor that you an quickly get used to. This happens naturally once you digest a handful and your body gives you a enthusiatic thumbs up once it's had a chance to analyze what's in them.

I've also tried the goji juice concentrate

Anyway, here's a bit more about these berries. See Goji Juice Extract

It all sounds so good that I'm going to try to grow some, although it'll take years to get any fruit from them.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Our Roadless Wonder - The PUMA way

John Carter, a neighbor up here, had this observation:

The U in PUMA does mean unique.

The first link is to a story in the Daily Camera. The second is acomputer-generated video prepared by USGS scientists. The idea is that theydraw pyramids based on the distance from roads. The video spans 60 years,showing the Colorado Front Range from 1937 to 1997. When you watch thevideo, the pyramids all over the map erode away, as new roads are built. Ifyou look just below and a bit to the left of the green "B" in Boulder, thereis one three-sided pyramid that endures. That's the triangle formed byMagnolia and 119.

It's one reason that I love Magnolia, it has been preserved (the "P").
John, ~ the chart guyJohn Carder,
CMTTopline Investment Graphics
Where your chart dreams come true! or
PO Box 2340Boulder, CO 80306-2340 USA
800.347.0157 (toll-free in the USA)
303.440.0147 (fax)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Elk Pellet fuel

We have a pellet stove in the basement. It is the primary source of heat for the house. I like the pellet stove better than our central forced air heat.

The forced air heat dries out the air, cycles on and off in an annoying manner, and most important, I consider the propane that it runs on politically incorrect.

On the other hand the pellet stove heat is steady and uses renewable wood pellets.

Therein lies the problem. This time of year all the hardware stores run out of the 40 lbs bag of pellets. So, unless you've bought ahead, it is easy to run out.

On a recent walk on the trail by the house, I had to step over some elk pellets. That got me thinking. In a recent trip to India, I noticed that the cow patties from the cows that where EVERYWHERE where quickly picked up, dried, and used as fuel. I even saw large, geometrically well contructed pills of cow dung for sale at the side of the road. Nothing goes to waste in India.

Anyway, I noticed that the elk pellets where about the same size and shape as the pellets that the pellet stove takes. I had a mad vision of putting up a portapotty that would be inviting to elk, and collecting the pellets so that they would automatically dry in the hot Colorado sun. Then, I would make my rounds, pick up the dried pellets and feed them to the pellets stove.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Humingbirds and ticks

Two days ago, I heard the first humingbird. This morning I saw the first tick. Spring is here at 8,000+ feet.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Flashback to Dec 21, 2006

At times in the last 2 1/2 months, it has seemed that a glacer, formerly known as our driveway, would singlehandedly turn the tide on gobal warming and be the nucleus of a new ice age.

But yesterday, I made a significant discovery that suggests I'm a little premature in calling for a permanent winter up here.

At the bottom of the driveway, where the glacer spills onto lazy Z Rd, I spied a tatered piece of green plastic. I dug it out of the ice and read the date on the frozen newspaper that was inside the green plastic bag: December 21, 2006.

That was the date of the first of a series of snowstorms that brought in enough snow so that I could have my own private ski slope for the last couple of months.

Perhaps spring will arrive after all.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Horned Owl Vs. the Flock of Ravens

After living up here long enough, you know that whenever a large flock of ravens gathers, there there is food nearby. Usually, it means that something has died...

So I pulled on my over boots and post holed through 2 feet of snow into the direction of the noisy flock of ravens.

As I got to the epicenter, I saw a white owl fly off. It was hugging the ground because it was carrying something heavy away.

A closer inspection of the area that the owl came from showed a spot of blood and tufts of rabbit fur. Evidently, a rabbit had hopped out from its home under a log and onto a snow bank. It presumably was sniffing the air for signs of spring, because there was nothing but a deep blanket of white in all directions.

Perhaps the rabbit was to hungry to go on, because the owl, also hungry did not miss its chance.

As the owl flew away, the large flock of raven followed it. But they stayed safely out of reach by staying up above the tree tops.

The ravens must have been hungry too, but they where not about to become owl dinner as well.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Ridge Elk

Starting right after the first big snow storm, I've been seeing elk prints up on the Winiger Ridge. At first the elk had a hard time finding a patch of grass, so they actually had to dig down through the snow to find some food.

Gradually, the wind and the sun cleared some grassy patches, especially on the sunny south east slopes.

Today, I saw a herd of over 30 elk on the grassy slopes below the ridge.

I spooked them, and the ran up over the ridge and into the safety of the dense forest on the north side of the ridge.

I thought to myself that is was a huge amount weight (30 elk) to move around, powered by nothing but grass.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Tame Deer

Here are some delightful pictures of a herd of tame deer that share the woods and yeard with a family.

A couple of years ago, I had a deer that considered its "home" to be the front porch of the barn.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Recommendation for a new plower


I am out of one of my two huge long drifts and down to the
road. This was thanks to a new plower I met. Wonderful guy named
Patrick McCarthy. He charges $75 an hour and no trip time and did a
great job with his pick up and snowplow.

His phone number is 303-241-6567.