Wednesday, June 2, 2010


On Friday, Thayer and I are leaving RMBL.  We both have such mixed feelings about this move.  On one hand, I'm thrilled to be moving into a newly-renovated two-bedroom apartment near campus in Norman, OK.  I'll be able to walk to classes and bike to the farmer's market!  And there are lots of coffee shops (and a knitting store) within an easy biking radius.  Not to mention that we'll both be starting grad school!  But RMBL is just beginning to come alive- more people, more plants, more animals (the marmots are up to hilarious antics).  And since we're moving to a different climate, we're pretty much missing out on spring and early summer.  The NOAA forecast for the day we move into our new apartment is 'HOT' (98 F to be precise).

We start our journey early on Friday morning.  We're stopping in Pueblo, CO for lunch and a yarn store visit.  Then we'll spend the night in Pampa, TX before arriving in Norman, OK around lunch time.  Wish us luck!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Dusky Grouse and Porcupines!

On a walk this afternoon, Thayer and I came across a handsome male Dusky Grouse singing his courting song.  Hoo hoo hoo.  Hoo hooooo hoo hoo.
And three nights ago, while Carolyn and CR were staying with us, this big fatty of a porcupine payed us a nighttime visit.
Some other photos from our walk this afternoon.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Our marmots are awake!  And by 'our', I mean the two little ones that were sleeping under the deck of Gates.  We've been waiting a while for our first glimpse of them.  I saw a marmot running across the grass near Ender about two weeks ago, and we've been waiting since then for the two little ones to wake up.  I heard a thump from outside our window and joked to Thayer that it was probably a marmot falling off our bench.  I looked through the window, and lo and behold, there was a marmot! (Albeit not falling off our bench)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The road was plowed yesterday!  Huzzah!  At the moment it's still a muddy slush-pile, but it should dry up and be drivable in a few days.
The weather was wonderfully sunny, but a little gusty for our visit to the weather station today.  We went on a walk and found lots of growing things.
And several beetles.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

This is what we woke up to this morning.  About five more inches of snow.  Doesn't the weather know that it's May and we want the road to open?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Also, the shawl I've been working on is finished (click for bigger photos)!  It's very large- about 6.5' by 2', I would  say.
Even though the latest storm has set us back a bit in terms of melting, the valley is looking remarkably clear!
Gothic isn't nearly as clear as this- there's still a fair amount of snow around our cabin.  Our porch is clear though, and I'm looking forward to reading outside once the weather warms up (32 F and windy with off and on snow is not warm enough).
[T - the south facing hillsides are totally out of the snow now, and the little sprouts of plants are starting to poke out of the dirt!  It's really exciting]
The sheer volume of melt is amazing.  Believe it or not, 397" of snow adds up to a lot of water, even if it's dry snow.  Here's a view of what the recent cold snap did to some of that melted snow.

[T - every little valley between hills turns into streams at this time of year.   This is one that runs under the road]


Look who we saw on our ski/walk into town today.
A handsome little mountain bluebird.

[T - they're blue all over!  When we saw it, we we had no idea what it was, since the midwest has eastern bluebirds which are quite a bit different.  We wondered if they had different bluebirds here, especially since it's just, how could it be anything other than than a blue bird?]

Friday, April 23, 2010

The melt was going so well!  Rivers of melt water were running past our cabin.

And then....
We had three new inches of snow added two nights ago, but yesterday's sunny afternoon managed to melt most of that.  Then upon waking up today, we discovered that another two inches of new snow lay on the ground.  It's currently snowing (ugh).  On average, the snow pack is at about two feet- the more snow we get, the longer it'll take for the road to open.  But as you've seen in earlier posts, it's melting very unevenly.  Our 'front yard' is mostly free of snow now, as is the slope down to the river.
I just checked the NOAA forecast: 5-9" today.  Yuck!!!

[T - it's also covering up our poor brown snow that is responsible for such a rapid melting.  The clean white snow will melt much slower.  Hopefully more dirt will blow in, or else we'll be stuck with snow forever.  Very disappointing...]

As for the shawl I'm working on, it's actually lace that needs a serious blocking.  It's nearly finished- just needs the addition of a border on one edge.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

We haven't written in a while, but so many seasonal changes have taken place since our last post.  The snow is melting at a quick pace now, thanks to a light coating of some red-brown dirt that blew in with a storm. 

There's a big temporary stream full of snow melt opening up right in the middle of Gothic, next to our cabin.
The hill next to our porch is now bare.
And so is our porch (thanks to some shoveling on Thayer's part).
Animal life is quickly returning to and waking up in Gothic.  The robins are singing their hearts out to defend territory.  I've seen one marmot awake so far, and we're hoping more will wake up in the next few days.  A few ground squirrels and chipmunks have woken up, too.  Thankfully, the nuisance bear of the fall has yet to make an appearance.

I'm working on a new shawl- 'Courting Sophia' by Kat Coyle.

Monday, April 5, 2010

What do you get when you pour hot water down a rabbit burrow?

Hot cross bunnies!

And what do you get when you add dried fruit to enriched, spiced bread dough, make rolls, and top them with flour paste crosses and orange glaze?

Hot cross buns!  (recipe from here- although beware, it's in British- grams, celsius, etc.)  They are so delicious, especially hot out of the oven.  I used chopped dried cranberries in place of raisins, and made my glaze out of strained orange marmalade (with a little extra water and white sugar).

Here are my conversions, if you're interested in baking these: 1 and 1/3 cup milk, 5 Tbl sugar, slightly less than 5 cups of flour, 4 Tbl butter, finishing amounts for paste: ~half a cup of flour, 1/4 cup water)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Thayer and I will be joining Dave Hambright's lab at the University of Oklahoma this fall.  We're moving to Norman at the end of May.  I'll be sad to leave RMBL, but very very excited to start the PhD program in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology!
The recent storm continues to bring snow our way.  We received 11" from the last round, and another 4" last night.  It's snowing pretty hard right now and we're expecting 3-7" today.  This stuff is really fluffy and it's coating all of the trees in a thick layer of fresh snow.

Happy Easter!  I made this bunny yesterday, but since I don't have any black embroidery floss on hand, he remains faceless.  Pattern available here.