Fall Weather is Perfect!

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Posted by Annie in Twain Harte News on November 8, 2012

Wasn’t today perfect?  Yes, it was chilly, you really needed a jacket but the air was fresh and clean.  It’s been trying to rain all day.  I hear rumblings in the distance (probably up the mountain) which means we are really going to get some wet weather.

English: A female deer (doe) and three babies ...

A female deer (doe) and three babies (fawns)

There are calls for 1 – 2 inches of snow but no one really knows.  It feels like rain but we could end up with some of the Sierra Cement we love so much up here.  Hopefully it will melt by morning – no shoveling.

There is so much color this year.  I don’t know whether I’m just going different places now, or what but there seems to be more oranges, reds and lots of yellow this year.  It is so beautiful.  There are leaves and pine needles everywhere and it looks just like a fairy tale.

I had breakfast at the Sportsman the other morning, I had forgotten it could be so good.  The hash browns were perfect, the eggs (over-medium) excellent, biscuits and gravy – the biscuits were tender and flaky, they gravy had more pepper than I like but it was good just the same.

The guys had went paint-balling at Heavenly Hills Christian Camp and they had a blast, so I had the morning to myself. You can find more information here about Heavenly Hills’ rates.  Just be forewarned, the paintball field is on the side of a mountain — you will get a workout. But it’s a whole lot of fun, not to mention the exercise you’ll get.  I didn’t even know it was here!

The pass is open one minute and closed the next.  It could be closed for the season by now.  Currently all three passes are closed.  You can still get pre-season passes to Dodge Ridge for a really good price ($279) until Nov. 12.  If I were a betting person, I’d bet they have a really good 2012-2013 season. Only time will tell.

The deer are plentiful and they don’t care where they walk, so please be on the lookout for deer. Some days it seems like they are everywhere.  I have a dozen that come through here nearly every day, though I haven’t seen “Bucky” lately.  Bucky is a little forky, still in his velvet and he is just as sweet as he can be.  He trails a herd of three does and two fawns.  I think the female is his mom and he doesn’t quite know where to go or what to do with himself.

He’s a cute little thing. I’ll keep a look out for him. I hope some hunter doesn’t have him for dinner one night but that’s the circle of life.  I see it working so plainly up here.  Everything – no every one – has their place in life: we live a little then we die.  It’s so natural and so comforting to know where you fit in the grand scheme of things.  Maybe I’m I see things differently but to me it’s comforting to know I have a place.

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Fall is here…

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Posted by Annie in Outdoors, Twain Harte News on October 6, 2012

Fall is here, but it feels like winter.  We went from 100° weather down to the 40’s in nothing flat.  Just Thursday is was 102° in Sonora. I wish we would get a little warning. At least when I lived in Michigan we would have sometimes as much as a month of 60° weather. It sort of gets you used to it. As it is now, I’m freezing. I actually turned on the heat.  Sad…

Fawn

We had 8 deer in our yard last night — all at once — 3 bucks, 3 does and a couple of fawns. They had lost their spots already – you could just make out where they had been. They were so cute. We’ve got kind of a refuge up here for the deer. The houses are spread out but too close together for a hunter to hunt, so the deer tend to hang out. We are just on the outskirts of town (easy to do in a town this small). Sometimes the deer will walk by a dozen at a time.

One of them was an 11-point buck. Shawn is waiting for it to grow another point, so he can post a picture to our website, 12 Point Design. They really are magnificent creatures. I can tell the 3 bucks are related, they have a little mask that runs down their noses. If you look closely at the two larger bucks antlers they appears to be glued on. There must have been some fierce fighting going on.

The fawns have lost their spots, just in time. We had a doe and a fawn camped out in the yard one afternoon. They were within eyesight, maybe 50 yards or so. They were just laying there in the brush. I had seen them earlier in the day, so I knew the fawn was there, but all I could make out was the doe. I got out the binoculars and low and behold, there was the fawn, it blended in so well with it’s surroundings that I just couldn’t see it.  It had been laying down next to it’s mother. It’s amazing how well nature works. Everything has a time and a purpose.

The aspens are changing colors and fall colors will be making drastic changes over the next few weeks. Don’t forget to get outside and enjoy the cool crisp air.

Top Ten Locations for the Best Fall Camping – Yosemite is at the top of the list, of course.

Leaf-peepers get ready for another ‘Awesome Autumn’ – Plumas County claims to have fall colors to see. Join them on Facebook.

If you decide to come to the mountains, bring a coat and your shorts. You never know what you’re going to get. It can go from the high 90’s to the low 40’s every day. The pass is still open, but it could close at any time.

 

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Curious Whitetail Bucks

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Posted by Shawn & Annette in Outdoors, Twain Harte News on July 20, 2011

Whitetail Buck

Whitetail Buck Image by funpics47

When we returned from our trip to Modesto on Tuesday, we used the upper driveway for the first time since it was paved, the ‘Beca was loaded down with people and camping gear.

We had been shopping for a mess kit and tent, since 0ur son and his friend will be doing a three day camping trip with other young men from the Twain Harte Chapel in the Pines — and they are very excited.

Just moments after the ‘Beca came to a stop, I pushed my door open, arms loaded, headed for the house and just about ran smack dab into a huge buck, standing stately near the edge of the driveway, I am sure he was wondering if I was going to stop. All I could think was, “darn, darn, darn, here is this magnificient buck standing just feet in front of me and me without a camera!” He stood tall and proud, his rack was large, at least 10, maybe 12 or even 14 points.  I was too numb to think, move, speak and especially…count.

Much to my surprise standing not two feet behind him was yet another buck. This one was much younger than the first. Both bucks stood motionless for the longest time. Have you ever sat and watched deer? They can stay still for an amazingly long period of time.  I headed for the house and when I turned around to get one last look before opening the door, they had vanished.

For the past several weeks all I’ve seen in the yard are does. We have two that visit regularly — since we haven’t mowed the weeds in our yard. (Don’t judge, it’s a BIG yard!) The deer love the vegetation and I’m happy to let them have it — I just wish they would eat more of it. Faster.

Put it this way, we could have a mountain lion living in the front yard and no one would ever know.  We have some pretty dense vegetation out there. I keep hoping some industrious young man will show up and offer to mow the grass and clean up the yard for me, but so far that hasn’t happened. I asked for a quote from some men who were working nearby but they wanted $800 to clean it up. Wow! It’s not that bad and for that price the mountain lions can stay.

I’m keeping my eyes open for those bucks to return but it could be at least a month before they make their way back here again. They seem to operate on a cycle and I believe they only came down the mountain because our temperatures have been cooler than usual. I expect them to wander back up to the high country once the summer heat hits us again.

Lily Mae update

Lily Mae gave me quite a scare yesterday. Try as I may, I could not get her to eat or drink anything (not that she is eating yet), nor was she using the litter box. This morning was another story. She had three small meals this morning and afternoon. She actually stayed awake for several hours this morning.

She is resting now and appears to be healthy and happy. I will be happy when she starts eating regular food. It’s been 14 years since I had to warm bottles and mix formula. I forgot just how much work it can be.

Take it slow folks and watch for the wildlife. If we don’t protect them, then who will?

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