Monday, September 18, 2017

Meeker

This is the last of my scheduled posts...I don't know where I will be on the 18th I may be HOME....when this posts, today in RT is 9/13..but I wanted to share my ride up to Meeker, on 9/11.   I stayed up late to get this done while I have internet access.  


Hwy 13 north to Meeker.  I stopped at the mostly famous City Park.  BOY if you've been here before you will hardly recognize the place as they are in the middle of refurbishing it.  They allow camping in the this park, mostly it's tent spaces but they have one full hook ups spot...it's pretty popular so don't count on it being available. 


They have paved the parking lot, and put in this nice River Walk sidewalk with a diagram of the Flat Top Scenic Byway on it. Pretty cool!  


The river is the White River.  Elk hunting and trout fishing is really a big deal here so they sort of cater to the "sportsman".  




Had my picnic lunch here...

then a walk after up a hill by the river...


I saw lots of Barn Swallows in the picnic area...



And one Eastern Kingbird! More grey in color than the ones back home..


I drove out Hwy 8 towards Buford, my intended destination Avery Lakes but I turned around in Sleepy Cat...


By these 2 ponds...when I heard the thunder and saw the lightening in the distance...It can pour down in one area and the other stay dry as a bone...


I had these 2 beautiful ponds all to myself to explore so that is what I did...



At the end of this pond is an old Beaver's Lodge....you can just see it in the distance on the right upper of this photo...I saw movement pretty far off on the other side of the ponds in these trees...if you look really close you see 2 white dots on tree tops! 


With a lot of trying finally got the zoom to move and got the following shots...


Tree number one, and farther down the line tree number two...was a little closer to me so a little better shot.  I imagine this is a  mated pair.  


a little preening...


So that was awesome to see..

I continued to back track and stopped at the information kiosk I had missed on the way up...they have some nice informative plaques of the history of this Valley here...but I got the story firsthand...  



I had passed this Shepherd's wagon in town...and snapped a photo of it on the street.  


and when I pulled into the Information pull off there was the same truck with wagon on back so I struck up a conversation with the couple, a rancher and wife last name Livingston.  They have been in Colorado all their lives.  He told me about how John C Fremont was the cause of the Ute Indian uprising that is memorialized not far out of town (my post on the Yellow Jacket Pass and the Memorial here) 

You see the Ute had horses and they had a race track, Fremont was a religious man and felt the racing was not a good use of time they should be farmers, so he had the track plowed up to be used for farms and that started the whole dang thing!! 
Mr Livingston's father was a sheep rancher and this old shepherd's wagon has been in the family a long time they had it refurbished and it was used in the Meeker Trails a yearly sheep herding competition they had this past weekend...so they were picking it up to take back home...A very interesting couple.  AND what did I hear?? MY hunch was right----> Sandhill Cranes in the fields, they call this the Meeker Pastures..


Already on the migratory route probably will end up at Bosque del Apache NWR down in New Mexico. I counted about 40 birds here pretty far away...and they may have come from the Platte River in Nebraska where they breed, and the plains of other states to the North of Colorado.  I spotted Cranes west of this spot 2 years ago when I was on my way to Oregon..so that was my hunch, that they would be in this area. 


...and wouldn't you know that rain circled around and got me on the way home, 


But it was nearly finished when I hit it so no problems...

I stopped at the Bookcliffs Art Center in Rifle, saw this new mural has been put up I agree with this 100%


Never stop dreaming!


...and never stop believing in your dreams...

PEACE
Every day is a new Adventure.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Cool Birds in Cool Places!

I've been trying to get in some last minute visits to places I wanted to explore more...Saturday it was the Buford-New Castle Road in the White River National Forest aka West Elk.   It was ATV day as most Saturdays are in National Forest Lands, but I found a quiet road and was able to seek out a few interesting things...at first I stopped at what is called the Old Gravel Pit...


I stayed off the OHV trail and skirted the open area following the trees on the left.  Phished up a few Mountain Chickadees, but none wanted to show themselves.  This little fellow came out to see what all the ruckus was about..

Alvin the chipmunk!

the forest was glittering with awesome light as the smoke was chased out by rain and some wind too...



here is the spot I found to park on the quiet road...


It turned out to be a good patch busy with lots of Yellow Rumped Warblers, 


Mountain Chickadees, Juniper Titmouse, and Red Breasted Nuthatch added more activity to the patch...


I think lots of new insects are out and about cause these guys were feeding like crazy!  Another
Red-Naped Sapsucker was working on a tree trunk he didn't seem to even care that I was creeping around..



Also had a Hairy Woodpecker show up and a few Blue Grey Gnatcatchers...and a cool bird new to me was this taxa of the Dark Eyed Junco the Grey Headed Dark Eyed Junco.  He is very similar to the Red-Backed, he has the red back...but he has the solid color beak...and a very cute one at that..

Grey Headed Dark Eyed Junco

A first for me, not a lifer tho since it's still considered a Dark Eyed Junco...I was just as excited no matter!

A Golden Eagle soared overhead...


On the way back home I was checking out fields for birds because there is always birds around especially when cutting is being done that stirs up bugs and tosses up seed so it's a good smorgasbord. 


Many of the irrigation ditches have cattails and that means Redwinged Blackbirds..but I found what I think is the Bicolored form..they have an orange patch without any yellow or white...


...and what looks to be a bicolored female is on the lower mid left with the brown head.  There was a couple Immature yellow headed blackbirds in this mix too. 


Back at home the rancher was chasing his cows that broke through the fence and were on the neighbors field...


teehee...he ended up calling for backup and 3 of them finally got the cows back on the right side...

Next day I hit up Lion Park in the I-70 Rest area...was up early so caught the sunrise first..


and the moon was still around on the west side of the tree...

it's a waning 3/4 moon 

My buddy the squirrel was up bright and early that day...


I hit the walkway by the Colorado River checking for birds have more luck there than at the lake.  The Silver Bush has berries, and although I didn't see the birds eating the berries they were eating the bugs that are attracted to these willowy bushes.   Got a cute Brewer's Sparrow...


And Cedar Waxwings and Lesser Goldfinch were all over the place as well as Song Sparrows..


the Song Sparrows here are much bigger than the ones I'm used to seeing back home these look very muscular....while the SC version is like a little powder puff...

And this one stole the show cause it's rare as far as ebird is concerned...and it was a lifer for me, the
Black Phoebe



Completely adorable!! 

a couple Osprey flew over I caught one in action...

this could be the mother from the nest I watched when I first arrived here...

On the way back up the hill to this house saw a pair of American Kestrels...the female in red and male in blue!


Then today I went north up to Meeker.  (via hwy 13) I had a hunch...
That's up next!!



In real time I am packed and heading out in the morning...it's a sad day I don't want to go...but I'm trying to stick to the plan, I'm already 7 days later leaving than my original plan...One thing I have learned in my lifetime is nothing stays the same. There is so much left to see here and now most of my family is here...sigh. BUT I know we will be together again in the near future! 


PEACE
Every day is a new Adventure.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Grand Mesa Lakes II

The sun tried to come out after that hail strom....here is another video I made of the hail...


                                          video

Sorry about my Southern twang it comes with the territory...So anyways we left Ward Lake and back to the highway ducked into Corbett Lake Campground it's the smallest of the campgrounds up there...very cozy tho...and here is the lake..


....after you check out this little immature white crowned sparrow is he not adorable??



It was not a long walk to get back to this lake...so back in the van we headed to Lands End road again...a creek is just off the road in this wonderful meadow.


A good place to let Annie and Flossie out to play in the water...


Annie likes the water more so than Flossie soooo I splashed Floss and got the dust off her coat...she seemed to enjoy it..


Annie jumps right in...


...and Casey is really starting to show his years he enjoyed some peaceful time in the van...I have moved the 3rd seat into a spot behind my seat for the trip back to give them more room...so now it's Casey's Car Seat.

... he can jump down for a drink but he can't get back up unless I give him a boost...


I pulled over when I heard some bird chatter in the Aspens...and Several Mountain Chickadees were flying in and out and all around and down...and I snapped this shot when one dropped down on the ground to investigate my phishing...

Oh such a cutie!  

The next lake I stopped to see was Carson Lake...it's a beautiful drive down to see it...


these trees are dropping leaves already....there's the lake down below in the distance...



I should have snapped a pano of this lake cause this is only one half of it! 


the flat light made poor lake shots....back up on the highway this is Reservoir numbers six and nine.  



Here 's a little map snagged off the net showing many of the areas I have blogged about for those of you who enjoy putting everything into perspective!

Image result for grand mesa lakes map



PEACE
Every day is a new Adventure.