Monday, August 29, 2016

Fall is Right Around the Corner

Greetings from the Forest

The feeling of fall is in the air.  Particularly in the mornings when the air is cooler and crisp.  Soon the oak brush will begin to change colors and the aspen trees leaves will turn a beautiful yellow and orange.  Along with the change of colors there is the mating seasons as well.  For deer it it is October through November and for elk it is September through November.  The crazy thing, in my mind, is that is when hunting season is.  Yikes.  If the deer and elk survive hunting season and do mate, the babies will be showing up in about 200-260 days.  Coming from the city, all this is still new to me but I find it fascinating learning about the animals.  Plus it helps to know to watch out for an amorous bull elk! lol.

One of the major landmarks in Trinidad is Fisher's Peak.  It is of volcanic origin.  Scientists date the formation of the mesa to a period of volcanic activity more than a million years ago.  The elevation rises to 9,626 feet. Fisher's Peak marked the beginning of the Raton Pass or the end depending on the direction being traveled, North or South.  It is said the peak is named after a Prussian Officer named Captain Waldemar Fischer who traveled through Colorado around 1846.  Today the peak and surrounding land is privately owned and access is limited.  The view, however, of the iconic peak is free to everyone and is captured by many local artists.

 Max and Ollie send their greetings.

And finally - cheers from the forest!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Monsoons and Morley

Greetings from the forest

Having relocated from Arizona to Colorado about 4 years ago, I can say without a doubt that I do not miss the heat of Scottsdale in the summertime.  In fact, my house in southern Colorado does not even have air conditioning.  This was something I was terribly skeptical about but many said "oh you won't need it" and they were absolutely right.  The evenings cool down and opening the windows at night does the trick.  The house is nice and cool all day long.

Having been born and raised in Arizona I knew what to expect from the summer monsoons.  The sky would darken in the late afternoon, the dust storm would roll through and we would wait and wait for a sprinkle of rain.  Apparently this summer the valley of the sun is getting its fair share of rain which is great.  Arizona needs the moisture!

 In the forest we have been getting afternoon storms which offer quite the lightening and thunder show and rain almost every day.  Some days just a lovely sprinkle and some a drenching downpour.  So I'm curious, are the deer, turkey, bunnies, foxes, mountain lions and bears afraid of the big claps of thunder or do they just hang out under a tree and wait for the storm to pass.  I'm guessing, like me, they've become used to it and just look for fire and enjoy the cool moisture that envelopes the forest.

Just down the road, located in the community that I live, are the ruins of the town of Morley.  The area was first developed in 1878 by the Santa Fe Railroad Company as a railroad stop and a place to house the railroad workers.  In 1906 the town was built when the land was taken over by the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company for coal mining.  There was a school, store, church and stables.

At its peak in the 1920's the town had some 600 residents.  In 1956 the mine was closed.  CF & I demolished all the buildings as they didn't want the liability for squatters or trespassers.  They did leave the old St. Aloysius Catholic church standing.  Today the front of the Church and parts of the walls still stand and can be seen from I25.  The property was recently purchased by a private party and is no longer accessible.

And of course, what would Lanae's blog be without the boys...

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Deer Days of Summer

Greetings from the Forest

Our forest is happy this summer.  We have gotten so much rain that the trees are smiling.  I really think I can hear the trees giggling in delight when the rains begin.  Of course along with most of our rains come nasty lightening so it's not as relaxing as one would think.  The other night we had an amazing storm.  It started with the moon behind the clouds lighting them up like frosting.  Then came the lightening and it was scary.  Many close hits. The ground rumbles for what seems like forever and I just pray for a downpour so no fires will occur.  It rained like I'd never seen it rain and in the morning you could feel the dampness of the forest and the smell was of clean wet pine.  Beautiful!

Earlier in the evening we had visitors.  Many in our community have been watching a Mama bear and her triplets.  Last night I looked out the door and thought - that's no turkey.  It was Mama and the babies. I jumped up and ran to another window and took a picture.  The one baby came right up to the fence!  I ran upstairs and out onto the balcony and took more pictures leaving the dogs inside of course.  It was an amazing sight to see and to be so close.  The babies have grown a lot in the past couple of months.  Mama however, looked a bit haggard but I guess watching after three little ones does a Mama bear in.

The bucks are in velvet as its known.  I think it looks really soft and wish I could touch it but then that wouldn't be possible so I'll just continue to imagine the feel of their antlers.

So I thought it might be fun to add a bit of history to the blog.  The community is knows as Santa Fe Trail Ranch for obvious reasons; The Santa Fe Trail was a 19th-century transportation route through central North America that connected Independence, Missouri with Santa Fe, New Mexico and into
Colorado. In the 1820s–30s, it was also sporadically important in the reverse trade, carrying foods and supplies to the fur trappers and mountain men opening the remote Northwest, esp. in the Interior Northwest: Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and Montana—connecting via mule trail (trapper's trails) to points north to supply the lucrative overland fur trade.

There is a beautiful tree along one of the main roads known as the "cross tree".  I've been told that many travelers back in the 1800's would tell each other "we will meet you at the cross tree".  It was a meeting point along the trail in southern Colorado.

As always in this blog there is a Max and Oliver update.  The fur boys are just fine and photogenic as always.

Happy summer from the forest!!