Saturday, February 28, 2015

On the road again

We stayed in Moab last night and wrapped up our driving about mid-day today. Sure nice to get home and snuggle with our pets. I caught a cold and it hit me hard yesterday and today, so taking meds and sleeping a lot now.
We saw a Golden Eagle just north of Monticello and then these pigeons in an old building in Price. Fun.

Friday, February 27, 2015


Ravens seem to be everywhere in the West, especially in the drier areas. Taos had its share of them. Out at the Monastery I sat and watched and listened to them - very interactive with one another and not always via sounds. The range of their sounds is intriguing and always makes me wonder what they are saying to one another.
So in their honor here are a couple of shots of ravens - and an old truck!


Easy capture - the Iron Raven.

I often see the ravens in conversation - sitting on a telephone pole crossbar and looking like they are kissing one another!  Here I think they were conversing about whether Jr should be allowed to go out on a date!

And then it got a little bit more animated!

Finally the truck. Sitting in a parking area with snow clouds and mountains behind it and a little light on it, gosh what a find!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

More Monastery

A few more shots from our trip to the monastery...

Cholla cactus getting ready for warmer weather.

What is it with crosses and sky - photographers love it.

A mural in the community dining room.

A metal wall hanging representing the Last Supper.

This mural is on the back wall in the community dining room - you can see size by finding Diana.

Christ in the Desert - Abiquiu'

Yesterday started out sunny and beautiful so we traveled over to Christ in the Desert - a Benedictine Monastery. Its at the end of a 13 mile Forest Service road in a beautiful valley. They brew beer, raise bees and sell honey and do a number of other things to produce income.
We were in time to attend a short service in the chapel, then wandered around and enjoyed the beauty and silence. After quite a while in the gift shop we spent a little time with a Brother from Mexico who showed us around a bit. A wonderful place and it has a guest house so perhaps we can come back and stay for awhile.
I took quite a few photos (what's new about that?) so will be sharing them over the next few days. Here's a starter bunch..

We crossed the Rio Grande just outside of Taos and looked down into the gorge.

An old schoolhouse on our way.

Spectacular country - bentonite hills and all colors of sandstone.


The Chapel

Inside the chapel the monks are leaving after the service.

The chapel structure is straw bale.

Three crosses on top of the mountain.

Looking back toward the chapel, gift shop on right, monastery housing is on the left behind the wall. Graveyard is at front right.

Looking out from the gift shop the views are inspiring.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Greetings from Taos!

Diana and I are taking a break and relaxing here in Taos.  We drove down yesterday and cannot recommend driving it all in one day. We hit the backend of the storm and had to change route to minimize snow issues. But we arrived safe - had a coyote run in front of us at night and a doe mulie standing in the highway at another point. No traffic - just fools like us on the road.
A relaxing day today with rest and good food; tonight wine and food and a video! Rough life.

Here's our abode - Wyndham in Taos.

Had to sneak a photo - but he and his wife were absolutely beautiful.

We wandered around this place - lots of artistic and craft beauty.

Had to get a bird in the blog!

A shrine at Our Lady of Guadeloupe

Architecture fun.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Fallen warriors

Yesterday afternoon I had some time to spend at the cemetery off 11th avenue - first looking and listening for owls and then taking photos.  A bit cool with the breeze but I had some good opportunities - here's one of them.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Back to the Refuge

I spent the morning at Farmington Bay Wildlife Refuge with friends and had my first opportunity to be a rider instead of a driver. Love it!
We saw quite a bit of wildlife - a number of Harriers early on, lots of Tundra Swans, GBH's, Kestrel's and the Great Horned Owls have returned to their nest!!  Here's some shots. Did I mention Canadian Geese - everywhere!

Gorgeous birds but noisy!

Welcoming songs.

Who's the cutest guy in the marsh today?

Love to watch the geese land.

The rebuilt rookery is mostly populated.

Beauty in motion.

Friday, February 20, 2015

We had a great time watching the European Starlings eat at the feeders where they really don't fit! Beautiful birds and goofy as hell!

Garden preparations

With this wonderful daily weather - also called "sucker weather" - we get the itch to plant our garden. Instead we are building out the infrastructure so when it is time to plant we are ready to go. Raised beds built and laid out, an arbor for entry into the garden and a picket fence to separate the garden from the rest of the world. Drip lines are being laid out and connected up - our goal is not to have to hand water anything on a regular basis. The plants and us do better with routine watering.
Diana is attending the Master Gardener courses in Tooele and getting more information about how to handle the alkaline and saline soil that we have. This is fun.  Of course, garlic is coming up and the arugula should sprout soon - can't not plant anything :-) !

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Through the looking glass

Mornings here have two major bird components - Meadowlarks singing and Lesser Goldfinches feeding (and singing sometimes). The House Finches come a bit later to join the Goldfinches as do the Starlings and Doves. It is very peaceful to sit on the deck and watch and listen to the life around me (including the kids that are running for the schoolhouses).

Here's our Goldfinches taken through the kitchen window with our Christmas tree serving as a sanctuary for them when needed.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Raptors and flowers

Murph and I took the long way into and back from Tooele yesterday to do a simple errand. A nice thing about where we live is the opportunity to get to Tooele without ever getting on the busy highway - plus the chance to see wildlife.
Well we were somewhat disappointed since we had seen nothing till just about home - then this Ferruginous Hawk posed for us and shortly after the Prairie Falcon made an appearance (although less willing to pose). Once home, the sun highlighted a Valentines orchid in such a manner that a photo was absolutely essential!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


Our favorite kitty hasn't been on the blog for a while - Fuzzy has his thick winter coat and lions mane.  He brought in a dead gopher about his size the other day, fortunately leaving it just outside the door.
Clouds and color continue to show us the changing beauty of the skies.


Moon over the Stansbury Mountains.