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Mar 082011

Hummingbird Knob

This year, Yolanda and I will celebrate our tenth anniversary purchasing our cabin and land in Western Colorado, Hummingbird Knob. We constantly remark that this is the best thing we’ve ever done in our lives. Of all the many properties Yolanda has owned over the years, none, has effected her life so dramatically and none is more valuable in non-monetary terms.

During these ten years, we’ve taken the land from being a remote piece of never used wilderness with a shell of a cabin visited solely by mice, flies and the flickers who poked holes in the walls chasing them, to a lovely, remote, cozy little cabin in the woods.

We have lived there for as much as seven months continuously; spring through fall. In winter, we visit for about 4-5 days each month. It’s a bit too difficult, though not impossible, to live there full time during the winter months. It would require lots of firewood especially on those nights like last week when it got down to 17 below zero Fahrenheit.

Every season has its unique beauty. I have never known it to be anything but beautiful. One friend, who visited in early spring, experienced a storm complete with dramatic, daytime displays of thunder and lightning. He said that no matter the weather, it’s always beautiful. And that’s the truth.

It is beautiful, whether it be the profusion of wildflowers and intense greens of spring with the creek raging in flood; the warm, occasionally hot, languid days of summer that bring the ripening of the choke cherries and, our favorite, the-much better than blueberries-serviceberries; the brilliant color of fall with its shortening, indian summer days and golden Aspen, scarlet Gambel Oaks, orange Hawthorne and bright yellow Cottonwoods; or the intensely quiet, pristine landscape of snow-covered trees and frozen creek following a winter storm.

In a phrase: We are blessed.

The Knob, being visited by one of the many elk wintering on our land. Five elk initially were on the knob before I took this. As I approached on snowshoes, this single sentry remained, barking her warning. They sound exactly like dogs.

Our neighbor runs cattle in the fall on the hayfields above our land and drives them down to lower pastures when the snow gets to deep.

We have the privilege of accessing our neighbors 600 acres. The 360 degree view, isolation and utter serenity in winter is, to say the least, marvelousl.

Ermina and her family are year-round residents, turning tan in summer. She’s an Ermine.

I’ve been building a portfolio of snow and ice formations I find on our creek:

Porky hangs out in the oaks, napping safely in the branches to conserve energy during the winter. When I took this, after noisily bushwacking on snowshoes through the thicket, his attitude was one of, “Aw come on. Can’t you just let me nap in peace?”

On the middle bench: Gambel Oaks, Serviceberry bushes and a Blue Spruce, typical of much of our land.

Well over one hundred aspens populate our small aspen grove.

A view from our deck: Blue Spruce during a gentle, winter storm.

Three young spruce on the creek bench.

Wild turkeys are frequent visitors in the spring, summer and fall, but rare in winter.

I found Rocky trying to get at my bird feeders one gorgeous, January day.

Looking down from the deck to the creek bench.

My Playhouse, uh, I mean, my office.

My Playhouse, uh, I mean my office.

Nana’s Cabin, our guest cabin on the upper bench. We built it as a memorial to Yolanda’s mother and contains some furniture, books, knic-knacks and pictures that belonged to her.

The interior of Nana’s Cabin. With it’s small loft, containing a queen mattress and futon, it sleeps four.

Our solar shower gets little use in the winter for obvious reasons.

A view from the deck after a fresh snowfall.

Copyright 2010 Dennis Jones/Dreamcatcher Imaging