Monday, February 17, 2014


February in Crested Butte brought a lot of snow.  With the snowmobile racing at the bottom of Snodgrass over temporarily, the foxes began to appear.

This one and a very small, young one come over to investigate and play.

We made another trip over the pass to the west to Montrose to have our new car's 1st check-up.  It was a cloudy, dark day as we left home, vut the sun lit up some of the surrounding peaks.

Blue Mesa had a good coating of snow covering the ice, and we were pleassed to see the water/ice level much higher than last summer.

On our return trip the snow had been blown into interesting patterns on top of the ice, and blue sky was prevailing.

But soon the snow came down in earnest - a recorded 7 feet with 2 weeks, and our decks and railing began to disappear beneath the white fluff.  Chuck had to do double duty to keep our driveway clear enough so that we could get the car and truck out.

Looking out my kitchen window the porch had virtually disappeared beneath the snow.

And from our bedroom the view had changed completely from what it had been several weeks before.
Last weekend we decided to make the trip over Monarch Pass to the town of Pueblo on the other side of the Rockies to play in a bridge sectional.  Though the pass haad been closed in the morning to clear avalanches - we had an uneventful ride.  The sun kept peeking through the clouds to light up this mountain top and that.

I was fascinated by this one particular cloud - a formation that I had never seen before.  Does anyone know what it is called??
And though we get many interesting ice cycles when the snow on the roof melts from the heat of the sun, I had never seen any that looked like a pair of geese.


Things kind of settled down here after Christmas, I regained my strength (guess the car accident took more out of me than I thought), and the snow began to arrive on a regular basis.  One morning I looked out of our kitchen window and saw these strange tracks that I had never noticed before.

We soon discovered the source, when our beautiful blue spruce began to look very ill.

A very hungry porcupine had decided our trees would be a good place to live and eat.  Porcupines favorite food is the bark of healthy young pine trees, and as they strip off the bark the tree looses it vascular system allowing it to transfer the nutrients from the roots up to the top of the tree for healthy growth.  The result of course is a dead tree, and I expect we will have several come spring,  Not wanting to shoot the creature (as many suggested), our son, Scott was finally able to knock him off of the tree into a trash can and transfer him up the mountain to a more remote and fertile location.

However, a couple of days later we discovered this very happy smaller porcupine basking in the sun  on our wood pile.  A push in the butt with a pole (in an attempt to get her too into a trash can) convinced her that there might be a more pleasant place to live.  We have not seen her since.

The following week we made our first trip west to Montrose to find a car to replace the one I wrecked.  Passing Blue Mesa Resevoir we noticed a low cloud at the end of the lake.

As we approached that area, we found all of the shrub coated with ice, even though the temperatures seemed above freezing.  It was quite a pretty sight.

Returning to Crested Butte with our new Subaru and heading up past Almont, we found the big horned sheep had come from the higher mountains to feed at a lower altitude.

This one horned female was very curious about my presence even though the ram next to her seemed to have no concern.
A few days later we heard a lot of noises in the field across the road, and from our deck I spied several snow-mobilers  racing and jumping over bumps on a newly formed course.  Little did we realize what lay ahead.

In the meantime it was full moon time, and as it shown through the cloud  into our bedroom window it was a beautiful sight.
In the morning, the rising sun lit the trees as the setting moon descended over Snodgrass Mountain on the other side of our home.

And then the "fun" and noise began and the snowmobile races advertised as " Boost the Butte" began. Several days on continuous noise in our quiet mountains made me feel sorry for the wildlife - especially the foxes that we know have dens in the area,

Our road was jammed with trailers and cars of both competitors and supporters for several days.  We understand that there will be another competition when the ski area closed.  I think we will find an excuse to be away.