Monday, October 19, 2009

There is a pair of gray jays who often come around our cabin in the late afternoon.  They make funny jay-ish noises.  You can listen to their calls here.  This is't a fabulous picture, but they seem to know when I have a camera in my hands and object to having their picture taken.

[T- they're bigger than they look in this picture.  They're fairly stocky birds, and are about the size of a dove.  Definitely bigger than the blue jays you see around the midwest.  There aren't any blue jays here, actually, but we do have Stellar's Jays, which are also a little bigger, but not as big as gray jays.  They're absolutely beautiful, and kind of iridescent.  Our first experience with the gray jays was out hiking, when we stopped to sit on a log and a pair of them flew over and peered at us suspiciously from a low branch of a tree.  Later we read that they often poke around campgrounds or picnic grounds looking for tasty things people have left.  That pair was probably disappointed, as we didn't have any food.  Speaking of birds, we will have a special opportunity that isn't really available outside of Alaska, except for here - ptarmigans visit the area in the winter!  We're both super excited to see them, although supposedly it's actually mostly terrifying since you'll be skiing along and previously invisible birds explode out of the snow right in front of you.]

Not much has been happening around here.  Gothic is now home to only Billy, John, Thayer, and myself.  It's very quiet, for the most part.  We've been helping a little with tasks that need to get finished before winter hits.  We cleaned up two cabins- Barclay and Maroon.  Barclay was renovated this summer, so we helped tidy, sweep, and remove cobwebs.

[T - it was terrifyingly dusty, as you may be familiar with if you've ever seen anything being renovated or constructed out of wood.  Jessica attacked the ceiling and walls with a broom while I zoomed around with a 15 gallon shop vac sucking up copious amounts of wood dust and debris]

Maroon cabin is a newly constructed cabin that is rented out through the winter for cross country skiers.  Part of our job this winter will be to keep Maroon clean after skiers have used it.  On Saturday, Thayer and I helped John to take down some of the fencing around RMBL.  There are extensive fences surrounding all of the RMBL property to keep out the cows during their fall romp through the valley.  Unfortunately, though, the massive amounts of snow we get can really damage our fences and gates unless if they're dismantled in the fall.  The cows have now left, so, we disassembled the barbed-wire and high-tension fencing on a beautiful fall day.
[T- it was hard work!  Doing anything off the road is hard work here.  Trudging around in the woods and fields is a workout.  We also saw a pretty little waterfall that has cut a diagonal shelf out of the side of a rock face.  It looks fake, but it's not.  I also saw little fishies in the river!  I don't know what they were, as they had no desire to be examined closely and I was supposed to be working anyway.  Oh!  We also walked past some beaver ponds and saw a lodge in the distance, and saw quite a few beaver-assaulted aspens as well.  I don't suppose we'll be seeing any beavers until next spring, as I suspect they're lying low with the onset of cold weather.]
It really is fall around here.  All of our aspens have lost their leaves, as you can see here


Anonymous said...

Love you and your blog-s.
G & G True

Anonymous said...

Wow, the leaves really are down there--beautiful picture though, too. It's peak color here, with some leaves still turning. 60 degreess yesterday and warm today too! I love the jay, although I think it sounds more like :kkkkawkkkka than cha cha. I hope the cleaning isn't too awful for Thayer's allergies. Do you have any fences made out of my/your knitting aluminum?
Is there a certain day that you always pick up the mail (i.e. every Thursday) or does it vary from week to week?
carolyn mon

Anonymous said...

ps VERY exciting about the ptarmigans!

woolworkmn said...

I saw my first grey jay on our vacation on the gunflint trail this past mid September. I can not take credit for seeing it but another pair of hikers were sitting feeding it bites from their subway sandwich, can you imagine a subway sandwich on a hike in the boundry's wrong! Anyway the jay was beautiful and VERY shy of the camera. I have one shot of it.