Monday, August 29, 2016

Eight Hours with Kobae

Kane Creek

Couple of my favorite petroglyphs on the Kane Creek road.

Hatch Point

The Pipeline

Lucy and I have hiked up to the mines to look at the pipeline that comes down from the top and to understand it's reasoning.

I Don't Know

Lucy and I had been email negotiating for weeks. She's lived here most her life and knows where many things are that I don't. I know a lot too. We should trade knowledge. Lucy has conditions. She knows I have a blog and has been on it before. She's nervous that I show things that I find. I explain I do but any photos that I show other than the object that have backgrounds in them I take somewhere else, further away, so people I don't know and don't trust are unable to find the location and do the artifact or object harm or theft. She wants more. No photographs and no telling anybody where they are or taking them there. I don't blame her. Just in the ten plus years I've been here I've seen plenty of damage. Still, we think we've come to a compromise of sorts so I'm on the way into town on Saturday morning to pick her up and do some cultural exchange, maybe, if the agreement holds together. It didn't last time.

It's about 7:30am Saturday morning. I've crossed Hurrah Pass. I'm past Kane Creek. The valley is just starting to narrow into the canyon on the Grand and San Juan County cattle guard divider. A rabbit runs into the road and I slow the truck down so I'm barely moving. I see movement to my right coming down the rocky slope. Something, walks into the road thirty feed in front of me. It's dark colored, ears like a mountain lion, a long tail like a mountain lion, but not much hair and the hair it has is short. It's 30 to 40 pounds, maybe a little more. I'm thinking I'm looking at a mountain lion, but it's too small, and I've never seen one with brown hair like this. Maybe it's a bobcat, but I've seen bobcats and this doesn't look like one. Maybe it's a panther, but out here? It never looks at me. Walks calmly across the road and goes down the hill into the wetlands of sort around Kane Creek. My mind is racing trying to figure out what I just saw but I'm not stopping. I don't want to be late for the meeting with Lucy.

A little further down the road I find this lying in the road. I'm thinking "What could so cleanly shred a ringtail or something similar and not leave skin or blood or anything on the hair?"

I take the hair out of the middle of the road and put it in the back of the truck. I show it to Lucy and she thinks it's part of a wig or something, not off a critter, and looking at it closer I agree.

Saturday evening when I return to the lodge I spend an hour looking at mountain lion pictures, bobcat, panther, red fox, everything i can think of that it could be. I can't figure it out. It appeared focused on the rabbit and didn't care about me. I don't know but from the hundreds of photos I looked at of what could be similar creatures, I don't think this one has ever been photographed before.


I have internet again after a five week absence. Thanks Hughes Net. Never get tired of this view in the finger canyons.
Came back from hiking with Kobae and despite the lodge being sealed up tight there was a House finch inside. After a couple minutes of open door policy it departed. Hadn't seen a hawk in a month to six weeks, then saw one, next day saw two, next day saw three working together around the lodge. Now nothing in a few days. Still feeding hot dogs to the polite fox but others have sorted it out. Now when they see the polite fox sitting at the edge of the sidewalk they start gathering around in attempt to chase it down and get the hot dog. It's not the strongest fox by far as there have been a couple that have intimidated it into leaving and taking it's spot. I don't feed them. A few nights I have opened the door and saw three foxes sitting in the parking lot. Two are imitators trying to get the hot dog. I say "Are you my friend?" and the polite fox runs to the front and snatches the hot dog I throw it. Last night I walked outside and there were four polite foxes sitting in the driveway and three more sets of eyes behind the bushes by Kobae's house. It's getting complicated.
Last night, 10pm or so, I see headlights coming from the front gate. A couple pull up in a small SUV. They explain to me how they got here like there are a lot of options and they want to "go back to civilization". I tell them the same way they got here is the way back. I can see the guy looking at his GPS screen showing the route down Lockhart Basin and a few GPS show getting on the Shafer Trail but it doesn't show the river between here and the Shafer Trail which is kind of a big deal. He wants to know if I'm sure there's no other way out. If there is, it's invisible. As they are driving back up Hurrah I see on top there are emergency lights flashing. When I call San Juan County Sheriff's office they say they are looking for two lost people and have the lights on to help them navigate to their location. I call back in fifteen minutes and they say those were the people they were looking for and all is good.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Raccoons

With nine raccoons trying to eat out of the Kit & Kaboodle bowl all at the same time it's bedlam and a few arguments here and there. For the last week one parent has brought up three or four of them around midnight and the other parent has brought the rest up around 4am. However the last two nights the seven babies have come up by themselves. The parents have figured out how to take a break.

The Skunks

The two babies are crazy. With fox all over the porch they run right into them sending them scattering in every direction. I thought the fox would make quick work of them but even when the fox are eating out of the bowel they are always looking around for the skunks and when they come the fox retreat. It's weird.

The Ringtails

Mama and the three babies as well as a couple other random ringtails show up every night. The babies are still crazy running all through the rafters chasing each other and I hear them rolling around on the roof. The foxes don't seem to be interested.

The Polite One

The last few nights the moon has been really bright and a flashlight is not necessary to watch the goings on out front. Through my bedroom window I see him lying in the driveway waiting for me to come out. Once I do he sits up and patiently waits while I feed everyone else first. The last two nights after he gets his hot dog he goes over to Kobae's house and sleeps on top in the hay bales. Kobae is sleeping outside most nights and doesn't seem the least concerned not does the Polite One seem the least interested.


There's a fire somewhere. The morning are orange, the evenings are orange, and when the moon comes up, it's orange.

Kobae is Thirsty? Or Something Else

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Monday, August 15, 2016

The Polite Gray Fox

Most gray fox run around the property, make quick dashes to the food bowl, or raid the Tiffany's locations for sunflower seeds. There is one that comes to the front and sits quietly staring at the front door. If I walk outside he doesn't run or bark a warning as most do. He watches. He waits. I've been against feeding gray foxes hot dogs for fear they'll hang longer and possibly pick off a ringtail or skunk, I like this one and I've made an exception. He's the first one here every night, sits in the same spot, and is getting a little closer to me each time. When he receives his hot dog he'll pick it up, stare at me as if acknowledging the gift, and then trots off, though not always. The other night I figured he wouldn't assume his position in the parking lot in the pouring rain but not only did he come to the same place he laid down in the rain waiting. In this video with a small ringtail on the porch walking around he made no effort to get it and instead patiently waited where he always does.

What Kobae Likes Most

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Thank You

I haven't posted for a week as the Go Pro was missing and the Fuji I couldn't find the cord. However I have both now but the Fuji pictures are bad for whatever reason when I tried to load them just now. So, starting over. Got a couple emails and a phone call checking to see if I'm ok because of lack of blog activity. I am. I've been without internet for over a month now so occasionally going next door to check email. Hughes Net couldn't fix the initial problem, didn't show up for the next appointment, lost the processing paperwork, but appears they'll be here early next week. So hopefully back to normal soon.

Still nine raccoons on the porch each evening filling up the bowel twice a night. The family of four ringtails hangs out in the rafters each night, the baby skunk sprays a rock squirrel every third or fourth day, they have no learning curve, and yesterday saw a mother gray fox with three babies. Beach left, came back, left for a week, came back yesterday. Watched Perseid from gravity chairs in the parking lot last night.

It's all good.


Sunday, August 7, 2016

Kane Creek

Left Saturday morning for town and Kane Creek was flooded. They got two inches of rain in under an hour at Church Rock toward Monticello and it comes all this way to drain into the Colorado River. Kendall from the County showed up shortly after we got there and fixed it.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Kit Fox

Ten plus years that I've lived here. I've seen lots of Gray fox and heard of Red and Kit. Last year I finally saw my first Red fox and then on Thursday morning I'm standing on the front porch with friends and I hear the White-tailed Antelope squirrels sounding the alarm from down the driveway. I look across the driveway and all the ground creatures run for cover while the birds keep eating. That tells me that a ground predator is coming, probably a fox. As I'm explaining the White-tailed early warning system to everyone, all at once everyone says "There it is." I've read of Kit foxes and know they are generally at higher altitudes than Base Camp, for example prevalent at Dead Horse Point, but I'd never seen one. Thanks to Dennis for the picture and Cory for forwarding it on.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Hiking with the Man

Kobae finally went hiking today. He started off softly walking around the hogans but then headed on up the hill.

Once we got above the cliffs a Golden eagle made four or five fly bys checking Kobae out.Then it's time to head home. I can't be sure but it looked like Kobae had a smile on his face the whole time.

Mule Deer

I haven't had internet in about three weeks so once a day I drive over to Last Hurrah and use theirs. I've had six mule deer and two white tails pretty regularly but now two of the mamas had babies so it's eight and two. One swings by to munch of some leaves.

Monday, August 1, 2016


I lost the cord to load from my camera to the computer until today so a few delayed pictures here. Kobae, Elsie, and Rachel's feet hanging out on the front porch.
Kobae wanders a little further away each day. Almost time to go hiking. A few days ago I walked down the hall and there was a Rock squirrel eating sunflower seeds out of a extra bag I had. He took off running and I couldn't find him but eventually found where he'd chewed through the office screen and come in that way. I took the office screen off and closed the window solving the problem. Or not.Today when I returned from town I heard a noise in my room and when I opened the door the Rock squirrel was in there. Chewing threw my screen was unable to get back out. Then he tried to get under the door by chewing all the carpet up. I whacked him with the broom multiple times and let him out onto the back porch through Linny's room. A few hours later I saw my friend on the back porch with oil marks on his back so I have a pretty good idea who's been climbing up on my vehicle engines and eating wires. Hopefully he got a dose of that Critter Begone that I spray on the wires every time I get out of a vehicle.