Thursday, April 23, 2009

Could it be that spring has finally sprung?

I'm not quite ready to wholeheartedly believe that spring is here, but it sure feels like it lately. As I went out this morning to do chores I noticed that Blue Mountain still has some snowy patches toward the top, but the weather down in the flat lands has been absolutely beautiful.

I met josh at the bike trail for a ride yesterday. I put in 45 min before he got there then road an additional while with him in tow. It was a windy day, making the ride easy in spots and quite difficult in others.

The river was high due to the recent snow melting and the grass in spots was almost a foot tall, so lush and green, a color I have missed seeing for the past 6 months. Some of the shrubs are 3/4 leaved out already and I noticed several plum thickets in bloom.

I'm starting to think I need to get the garden tilled and planted. I should have started seeds earlier, but I think I can catch up. Wonder what treasures will surface this year from the old mining shack that occupied my garden spot.

Josh on the trail. Such a nice backdrop!

Josh & me. I've gotten a bit fluffy over the past few years...time to work it off!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Big Thaw

Saturday brought a slow, steady, cold rain rather than snow, thankfully. The temperature hovered right above freezing and it stayed a dreary, sunless day. I have several buckets and water troughs around that ended up with around 4 inches of water when all was said and done. If that had been the powder we normally get here, we'd be looking at 4 feet of snow. At that, I count my blessings! This is the wettest snow we've seen in our two years here. Normally the snow falls as such a dry powder, that one could potentially "shovel" the driveway with a leaf blower. But this snow was a beautiful, large-flake snow, the kind I love to watch.

As darkness settled in, I finished up chores and headed toward the warmth of the house. I stood quietly in the darkness and listened to the run off; a new sound, the sound of babbling steams filled the air. Soothing, it immediately carried me off to my childhood and the creek I played in as a kid. Catching crawdads, finding buffalo bones and arrowheads, and sifting fine gravel sure I would find gold or something equally exciting. I'm brought back to reality by the gentle mooing of Chance as she settles into her rest in the barn. The voice of the water makes me wonder if all of Blue Mountain isn't running down across my land.

Today as we headed to church we noticed some of the weather's effects. Like a voracious lion on a wildebeest, the run off has eaten deep ruts into the roads, in some places as much as 6-8 inches deep as it gathered its momentum. With incredible timing the road association had already scheduled road blading for today and the grader was busy at work by the time we headed for home. Hopefully the run off has slowed enough that the work will not be undone, as the dues that are collected only equal enough to blade it twice a year.

The sun has decided to come out after being hidden for two days...unusual for us. The snow continues to melt and I am happy that the retention areas are full enough that I don't have to haul water to the calves for at least a few days. With temps scheduled to be in the 70's for most of next week I think things will really green up by next week end. At times I have to remind myself that the storms in life are what bring future growth and abundance. I guess I'm happy for the snow after all.

We've rarely have water in here unless we've had a heavey rain. Its about 3 ft deep at the deepest. As of this afternoon, about 80% of Friday's snow has melted.

Another retention area at the south east end of the pasture. We've never seen water in here in the 2 years we've been here. Its a good 5 ft deep at the center. We're still in process on the fence. We've got all strands strung, but only the bottom two tightened. It looks a bit sloppy because of it.

Ben, Jerry and Chance enjoying a bale of alfalfa. I alternate between hay and alfalfa on days the grass isn't visible.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Snow, snow and more snow!

I'm beginning to wonder if this will be the year with out a spring. Are we going to just straight from winter to summer? Are we going to have winter year round? Will it ever stop snowing? Why again did I move to Colorado????? Someone please come out here and smack me up side the head for that decision. I don't like cold and snow and yet I find myself at almost 7000 ft, sitting in the shadow of the Rockies.

We've had some nice days this year so far, but every time I finally allow myself to accept the fact that spring has arrived we get a monumental snowfall. Today, as I sit and type, mind you its mid April, we are in a winter storm warning with 15-22 inches predicted. I can't see the end of the drive, the wind is whipping the snow around like a child with a rag doll and the district did not call off school. I wonder if the kids will be able to make it back up the mountain this afternoon. If not, I guess they will spend the next night or two at Becca's apartment in town.

We decided to turn the furnace off this winter and burn only wood. I thought we had made it through the season, but as of today its cold and I'm out of wood for the wood burner. Due to the snow Steve is working from home. It's 56 in here, he is chilly and pestering me. He has stooped to suggesting I start on the furniture, log steps or perhaps even try to burn chicken eggs. I may have to resort to turning the furnace on.

One one nice day I hiked up the hill to the rock I call "the Altar" to sit, pray and think. I took the camera along and got a couple of nice pictures.

A cactus on the hill

After I've been sitting for a while, the birds start to come around again.

A view to the west from The Altar. The snow caps look so beautiful.

Another view, this time to the south

A nice hot fire in the wood burner

I think the birds are ready for spring too!

we live on the mountain in the middle of the picture about 3/4 of the way up.