Wednesday, July 31, 2019

We've been here for 6 weeks now and I finally ran into my first Elk!
I actually almost literary ran into them, since they were nearly invisible where they were laying in the grass, and they didn't notice me until I was right in front of them either.

But they finally got a whiff of me and although I crouched down immediately, I managed to hit a pine-cone with my shoe and off they went!

It wasn't until than that I noticed many others, it was a big herd, at least about 30 of them!

I only saw one male, the one on this pic, but many cows and calves. Cool!
Although I felt very guilty about disturbing their rest .. I try not to do that with any animals I come across ..

At least these birds were not too bothered by me:


The one on the left is a Western Meadowlark and the one on the right an Eastern Kingbird.

And this Hawk wasn't so much worried about me, but more about that feisty Flycatcher that tried to chase him away from his nest/territory.

And he succeeded!


I finally finished my back-(b)log of our travel adventures from Florida to here! Yeah!
It's amazing how much time that frees up, and I've picked up several things that I hadn't done for a while, like Tai Chi and spinning ..

The weather is as steady as it comes, just beautiful warm summer weather (80-85F) and I spent most of my time outside.

Unless I'm baking raspberry scones of course. James insists that I  keep those pastries coming!
OK, he works hard for it, I guess .. he's now a part-time farm-hand too:

Here he's scrubbing out the water trough, under the critical eye of a super-visor .. we've got 5 horses in the pasture now, instead of the one when we came up here.
They're fun to watch and they add a lot to the laid back 'country-vibe' around here!

Talking about country, a couple of days ago I opened the door to see this ..

These are only a few of the 25+ steers that stood in the yard, enjoying the nice green lawn, one had even climbed in the flour-bed!

We thought we could wrangle them back to the road they came from by walking up behind them, but the only result was that they spooked, which caused them to stampede (!), and they ended up busting right through the wire fence into the horse pasture! 
Oh well, we're not exactly cowboys are we ..

I don't have much else for this week, here's a few pics of the sun going down at the end of the day. Which is getting noticeably earlier already!

Thursday, July 25, 2019

It was a toss-up this week (who'd become my 'header' picture) between a Chip(munk) and a Chick(adee). 
The 'Chip' won .. isn't he a handsome dude?

But I think the 'Chick' is equally cute.
Look at this fluffy feather-ball, with that 'bandit'-stripe over his eyes ..

They were both yelling their heads off while I was standing there taking their pictures .. they definitely wanted me to move on and get away from their territories/nests!

These pretty moths were quiet .. of course .. The first one is a Sphinx Moth ..
              And this green one is a Small Emerald ..


The meadows are full of flowers and the grasses are standing very high.
We saw a doe one evening, with what appeared to be a fawn behind her, but it was so well hidden by the tall grass that I couldn't get a picture!

These two does have been hanging around 'our' meadows for as long as we've been here.

One time, when I was sneaking up on them, they started to stamp their feet and snort at me! Yelled at by a deer .. that's a new one!

Also well hidden is Mr. Wile E. Coyote!

Always reason for frantically locating the cat .. oh good, he's inside, phew!

Smile for the camera!
James had some help .. well, for as long as it lasted ..
Miriam's brother Nathaniel had arrived from Florida, and was supposed to work for James throughout the summer.  
He seemed like a nice enough guy and a decent worker.

But after 5 days he determined it was too remote up here and he quit! 
James managed to get at least some of the two-men jobs done while he was here, like replacing the chimney pipes on the roofs.
He also got all the water-damaged drywall patches downstairs done.

Too bad,  I guess this place is not for everyone!
He might be back later in the season when his sister moves up here too. We'll see ..

We got a lot of the appliances and bigger materials in this week.
During another trip down the hill we got the doors:

And Home Depot delivered the tub, the toilets and the showers ..

See, James is putting the doors in ..

And I installed the insulation (fiberglass, brrr ..)

 And instead of one window above the tub ..


We now have two!

Sam and Pat were up this Wednesday, they drove their camper up from Louisiana, and they were very happy with the progress!
They thought everything looked very nice, also at Wet Gulch (they had not seen the barn or cleaned up shop yet). 

In fact, they're so impressed with us, that they already offered us a place to stay for free, anytime we'll be in the neighborhood in the future!
Always nice to hear, and it also means that we're definitely hired for building the new house at Wet gulch later this year, and through the coming winter!

Cha-ching! $$$ in the bank!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

This Mama Mallard has 9 babies! Busy, busy, busy ..

I think this blog has gone to the birds ...
It seems I've been taking nothing but bird shots this week. Oh well, there are worse topics, I guess.

I must have the only Hummingbird feeder in 3 miles or so, since I've got about 5 of them fighting a constant war over it!

Every now and than they share, but they're feisty little things and will break out in a fight at any moment ..

This Tree Swallow that I mentioned in a previous post, has a nest, dangerously low (Rosy!), in a fence post in the meadow in front of us.

I had to stand out of sight behind a Pine tree, to have them relax enough to continue feeding their chicks ...

 There's at least 4 or 5 in there, maybe even 6!

The wildflowers of Spring have made room for those of Summer, and the hills look so pretty everywhere you look ..

This next one is a Sagebrush Mariposa Lily:


The one on the left below here is a Deerhorn Clarkia (I can see antlers in that one!) and the one on the right is a Showy Larkspur ... I think ..


Last Friday we went to Grangeville once again. James was missing a part to continue working and we were both up for a little break.
So down the (bloody) hill we went again ..

This time though we took a different route, Center Canyon Rd, which made a huge difference in 'scary-ness' .. !

The route is the same until about halfway, just before the 'front' one becomes hair-raising (for me), but by than we turn onto a much more gradual and slightly wider road, that slowly eases it's way down the canyon following Center Creek, and eventually ends up in Cottonwood.
It's a much, much, much better road to take the RV down this coming Fall! I'm so relieved! 
It's like a heavy weight has been lifted from my shoulders! 

Life is good!

OK, 15 miles past Cottonwood we than pull into Grangeville.
It's a typical country-town, not much cutesyness about it, but it has everything we need and I start to like it.

It's basically just main street with a few side streets, almost all of which turn into gravel about half a mile in.

On one of those side-streets we found this jewel of a coffee shop:

O my goodness, it's so cute and quirky and funky, it could easily be somewhere in any big city!

The coffee is excellent and the pastries even better!

Guess where we'll end up whenever we'll be down here?

We also went for another round of golf, had a nice lunch at the (only) Mexican Restaurant and did groceries but I didn't feel like taking any more pics .. hey, I had the day off!

One of these mornings we woke up to mooing .. mooing? Yeah, mooing! 
A small group of cows, and a few bulls, had knocked down a fence somewhere and showed up in the driveway and yard, right next to the RV.

Of course that's not supposed to happen, but fences are knocked down over here on a regular base.
Roy, the Peruvian ranch-hand here, is on a never-ending quest to check and repair fences.
Since the ground is very rocky they can't put posts in the ground, so he builds a small platform against the fence pole, which he than fills up with (very heavy) big rocks:

Nice job!

Talking about nice jobs, James has moved on to the guest quarters in the basement.
He has build a new wall to create an extra bedroom, which makes the recreational room a lot smaller, but it is still very usable.

As you can see they flooded last winter, and the bottom 2 feet of the drywall has been ripped out and will be replaced.

The bathroom will get a new shower and toilet, and all the floors will get new carpet and/or vinyl.


Still a lot to do, but he's nicely on schedule, and on budget, after this first month of work. 
(Yes, we've been here for a month already)

Great job hon!