Friday, August 19, 2022

Northern Flicker hatchlings, travelling Flamingos & cooler weather

 We had a planned power outage the other day which, when combined with the glorious weather (sunny and low 70's), presented the perfect opportunity to take a nice walk across the river and around the neighborhood. 

Hwy 14, which runs east and west through the canyon, has a few bridges for access over the river to the roads running parallel on the far side. In previous years we were able to walk these roads together quite often, however foot problems in recent months have put the kibosh on that.

It worked out great, with my feet on good behavior for the 1+ mile trek. I know, some of y'all can hike for miles & miles (you go!), so my effort seems kind of puny comparatively speaking, but I was happy with it. 😊

The pale blue arrow points to our car/site, for some perspective
of our location vis-à-vis the river. Nice and shady too.

We've been under a flash flood watch due to a fair amount of rain, and you can see that the water is a bit ashy with runoff from the burn scar up the road.

A while back I posted about the Northern Flickers nesting in a cottonwood next door to us. Well, they were noisy chicks, and I was hoping to watch them fledge, but one day that was it - dead quiet at the nest and no more sightings. We didn't know what had happened, but maybe 2 weeks later, here was the family of 5 back "home" for a visit and to search for bugs in the lawn next door. Whew, so happy they all made it.

The parents watch the kids on the ground.

Speaking of birds, these "travelling flamingos" showed up on our neighbor's lawn the other day. A note around one's neck suggests moving them to a new locale every week or so, haha.

The are metal and very well made - cool idea
as long as they don't travel home with somebody.

We are car racing fans, F1 and Indy in particular, which we record so we can stream them at our leisure. We usually have some good eats ready when watching at dinnertime.

A race and a half rack of ribs to split.

Another drive and picnic lunch up north to the Dowdy Lakes area. Lots of dirt roads around but fortunately, most are in decent shape.

Dowdy Lake @ the Day Use entrance

Some sights of the area we travelled through. Big bee on thistle, birch tree with a blemish, and rock formations.

We've had some great sunsets and moon sightings, so I've included a couple of those here as well. With cooler weather we have checked out the sunset and evening approach in front of the firepit too.

Sunset and moon above.

A nice evening was had by all.

Well, that about wraps up this post, thanks for visiting, and come again!

Monday, August 8, 2022

Neat diversionary jaunt to the USFS North Michigan Reservoir State Park

 The other day, the 1st of August, we had an internet outage throughout the entire canyon, so we packed up a lunch and headed out for an auto-tour with the objective of riding through the North Michigan Reservoir USFS State Park, out west of us some 40 miles.  After passing over the Continental Divide at Cameron Peak, we came to the State Forest State Park Visitor's Center with their magnificent full-sized, barbwire moose sculpture. I wanted a pit stop and to take in the scenery of the area.

Full-sized for sure, I think he's been waiting for me 
for a bit to take the shot, I was distracted by flowers.

I took a companion shot from inside the lobby of this stuffed moose in a diorama setting.

 Anyway, beyond that maybe another 6 or 8 miles is the entrance to the North Michigan Reservoir and campground. The main road, although unpaved, was nicely maintained and easy going. There were plenty of less well-maintained side roads, leading to cabins, yurts and dispersed camping sites. Some were specifically meant for off road vehicles, horses, hikers and the like.

Eventually we made it to the reservoir, which was slap-up full with water running down the spill-way. So nice to see, an abundance of water. I guess being fed by the Michigan River, there's most likely water in the spill-way most of the time.

North Michigan Reservoir - so pretty

Here's a shot of the spill-way.

The reservoir side of the spill-way.

The valley side of the spill-way, the water flowing down the concrete
 and into the creek/river down below. It actually looked a bit swampy.

Very pretty around there, lots of wildflowers, large queen anne's lace for one, and plenty of wild daisy's.

Another shot of the reservoir and it's surroundings, so lovely!

We ate lunch, then as we were leaving we came upon this guy, standing in the middle of the road ~ deja vu! He skedaddled pretty quick.

Yep, an antelope. He's checking us out.

We decided to head up to Walden to pick up a copy of the incident report from our antelope encounter back in May. Driving along with the Medicine Bow Mountains on our right and another range on the left, the middle area is called North Park. I love it because of the vast views. The photos don't do it justice though.

North Park heading north to Walden, Colorado.

A shot out the driver's side. All the rains have really greened things up.

This is big-time cattle country, these pastures are full of cattle, so it's no wonder we spotted a few of these signs around.

I can't say I blame them if you look at the predation caused by coyotes
and the damage caused by the feral hog problem plaguing the southern states. 

Once we retrieved our report from the Sheriff's Office we headed out of town. Ed spotted this house with this wonderful garden. I couldn't fit it all into one shot. They had 2 fantastically gnarly, weathered tree stumps as focal points, and plenty of flowers of all types. I liked the tall, blue larkspurs - super nice job folks!

I wish I had the space, talent, patience - did I leave anything out?

The ones here in our RV park are 5' tall - larkspur.

Well, that's the day for you, we were gone a lot longer than I had figured on, but luckily I had Italian Sausage spaghetti sauce in the fridge and even cooked pasta all ready to go. I always cook a lot of extra pasta and dress it with EVOO or butter plus a few sprinkles of garlic & herbs seasoning.  It reheats really well in a frying pan or covered pot with the smallest dab of water for some steam.

Thanks for dropping by, and we'll see you the next time.