Friday, July 4, 2014

Colorado: Home at Last

Deer standing by the road near Carter Lake in Berthoud, Colorado. 
Photo by Darla Sue Dollman.

I am home. I've now been in Colorado a little over two weeks, spending most of my time unpacking and exploring my new home with my two oldest grandchildren. The house is dome-shaped and reminds me of the house in the movie Tangled--I would love to paint pictures of suns, moons, stars, trees and animals on the triangle-shapes walls. For the moment, though, my energy is all spent on organization and exploring.

Photo by Darla Sue Dollman.

I was thrilled to discover the neighborhood hawk that lives near my daughter's home is still on his same perch a few blocks from her street. Unfortunately someone is building a subdivision behind my granddaughter's school and I suspect that is where his habitat is, but they are at the base of a mountain so perhaps he has already moved his home to a safer place. 

Photo by Darla Sue Dollman.

I have a barn, and I will need it to complete my dream of raising goats and chickens because there is a mountain lion that has built its den on one of the two mountainsides that line this valley. The valley is packed with deer, rabbits, prairie dogs, and just about every type of bird and bug you can imagine. The deer at the top of the page was crossing the dirt road when I came home with my grandchildren one evening.

Photo by Darla Sue Dollman.

I am intrigued by these orange birds, who seem to be intrigued by me. They flock to the trees when I am planting seeds and bulbs in the backyard and chatter like children, but I can rarely see them as they generally like to hide among the leaves.

Butterfly Moth. Photo by Darla Sue Dollman.

The Butterfly Moth is a regular visitor. It likes to sit on the screen door in the cool morning hours, disappears when the sun shines down on the top of the house, then returns at some point in the evening. I'm not sure why it likes our screen so much, but I'm fairly certain it is the same Butterfly Moth returning night after night.

Carter Lake in Berthoud, Colorado. Photo by Darla Sue Dollman.

The grandchildren and I walked down to Carter Lake this afternoon for a picnic. We played in the water, which is very deep and cold from spring run-off so we didn't do much more than stand on the rocks on the water's edge. I can't wait to get my canoe up here, or a sailboat. The lake is perfect for sailing.

One of my garden visitors. Photo by Darla Sue Dollman.

I was planting sunflowers this afternoon when I heard the sound of pounding feet. I know most of my neighbors already and quite a few of them walk early in the morning, but this sounded like running so I assumed it was animals.

I slowly turned around and the running stopped. I found myself facing two young deer with fuzz still on their antlers. I was told there are no squirrels because the mountain lion eats them, but I have plenty of corn that I will now set out for the deer. Unfortunately, they had wandered into a neighbor's pasture by the time I grabbed my camera, but I did manage to get a few photos of the pair. I also took a great picture of the neighborhood Turkey Vulture flying past my house!

The neighborhood Turkey Vulture. Photo by Darla Sue Dollman.

It's been cool and breezy since I came here, except inside where it is hot in the daytime and cool at night, typical of Colorado. At last, I am home.