Colorado Mountain Brewery

The first day in Colorado we went to Garden of the Gods.  After a morning of hiking and photos, we stopped for lunch at the Colorado Mountain Brewery.

The atmosphere is much like a sports bar with sports playing on the big screens above the bar, tables scatter throughout the pub, some areas with more intimate seating and outdoor seating as well.  They have a nice selection of beer and food.  I chose a stout from their brewery called Monumental Stout.  The description had me at coffee, as one of my favorite seasonal  beers back home is a Coffee Stout.  

From their website:

The Stout begins with a rich, roasted coffee bouquet and progresses through an array of milk and dark chocolate flavors. Beautiful medium body malt finish. ABV ~ 7.9%

Sounds good, right.  It was! At first sip,there was a strong roasted coffee taste (slightly bitter),but had a nice smooth finish. 

I also tried one of their Colorado Mountain Brewery specialties – Bison Poppers. These were jalapeños stuffed with ground buffalo and cream cheese.  Then it is wrapped in a thin pastry dough and dipped in a batter their menu says is their Ole ’59er Amber Ale Batter and fried.   It was so good!  Not too spicy, and had a wonderful crispy texture. The sauce was slightly sweet and complemented the mild spiciness of the jalapeños.

Unfortunately we will not be able to go back and try more from their menu.  If we venture to Colorado Springs again, I would definitely go back.

Captured Moments – What prowls in the night.

Yesterday I posted an update on the new fall chickens we are raising and that we lost one to a predator.  Hungry wildlife finds all the places we miss when critter proofing a coop. I reinforced the area around the mobile coop with heavy paving blocks and rocks.  The larger coop is more protected and I will be relieved when they are big enough to live with the older hens.  

I set up our game camera last night and checked on them periodically through the night too.  I wasn’t surprised to see a raccoon in the first clip.  I knew from the holes dug to get in the coop from the night before that it was something with small paws and strong., but I really thought it was a opossum.  The second video confirms my suspicions.   You can see the opossum walking on the other side of the coop.

 

  It appears about 3 seconds into the video below.

 

It appears that the reinforcing worked.  The young chickens have yet o learn to go into the top area and roost.  I am not sure why.  I see from the videos that I have a couple of areas that I need to work on today, just in case.   

Captured Moments – Fall Chickens – Update

The chicks came home with us on August 25, 2017.  Our first foray into raising chickens in the fall.  It has been nice that keeping them warm has not been an issue.  I had forgotten how fast they grow.    Here they are on September 04, 2017 12 days old.  They are already losing the fluff and feathering out.

It didn’t take them long to decide they wanted to see the great big world outside the brooder tank. I got our old mobile coop ready and took them out there during the day when it was warm while I cleaned their brooder.  This was very different from the spring chickens we have raised.  I would need to place them in a kennel while I cleaned because it was too cold to take them outside.

They loved going into the mobile coop.  As soon as they were a bit bigger, I moved them there with a pet carrier filled with hay, so they could go in at night.  As they get bigger they will be able to climb into the roosting area.

Here they are September 28, 2017 . Thirty-six days old.  They have grown a lot and they are changing color.  The golden sex links are getting more color, kind of a reddish blond and cream.  The red sex links are turning a deeper red with some brown and black on their wings.  

This is the only one with a prominent comb at the moment.

I love the coloring on this one, a lovely golden color.

We can’t put the chicks with the older hens yet, they are too small and I have seen the chickens attack birds at the bird feeder.  We also read that this breed does not mix flocks well.  We will see.

Sad update:

Leave it to hungry predators to show you where the weak spots are in your coop.  The mobile coop doesn’t have much ground protection due to it being mobile.  The large coop has hardware cloth extending past the bottom, out two feet, covered in dirt and then large rocks.  This has kept the digging predators at bay so far.  Our little chicks were not so lucky.  We lost one of the red sex links last night some time.  The digging looked small, possibly a possum.  Our predators are possums, raccoons, and foxes.  I have spent the morning reinforcing the area around the base of the mobile coop.  I will be glad when the girls are big enough to go in with the older chickens.

Captured Moments – Fall color – Blanco Gardens

Good morning,

I had the pleasure of visiting my sister of the heart in Blanco, Texas yesterday.  we always make time to visit Blanco gardens.  Amelia had some beautiful fall flowers. The red and yellow gerbera daisies were some of my favorites.

Also this beautiful pansy

If you get a chance, stop by and say hello and pick up some fall color for your garden.

Blanco Gardens

Address: 500 Main St, Blanco, TX 78606

Hours:

Saturday 10AM–4PM
Sunday 10AM–4PM
Monday 9AM–5PM
Tuesday 9AM–5PM
Wednesday Closed
Thursday 9AM–5PM
Friday 9AM–5PM
Phone: (830) 833-2433

Captured Moments – Texas Spiny lizard,old bricks and memories

Good morning

We have been working on a house in Austin and one afternoon we arrived to find this lovely Texas spiny lizard sunning on some old bricks in the yard.  The bricks are reclaimed from the chimney of the house.   The house was built in 1925.  When one of the previous owners modernized the house, they took out the heating stove. It did not appear to have had a fireplace, but rather a hole in the bricks for a pipe from a wood burning stove.  The chimney had been walled in and was this small, square, floor to ceiling outjut in the corner of the living room.  The house had not been taken care of  when we purchased it and needed major repairs, this was how we discovered the old chimney.  When we first reclaimed them, a neighbor of ours, Robert Burns, took them to use in front of his house along the street.  After he sold the house and the new owner remodeled, the new owner knowing that they had come from our house, returned them. 

Captured Moments – Texas Thistle

We have several varieties of thistle growing in our area.  The main one is Texas Thistle Cirsium texanum  (of course 😉 )

The Texas thistle grows 2-5 feet tall, without branches, or sparingly branched near the top. The numerous leaves are alternate, 4-9 inches long, smaller on the upper third of the stem. Leaves are green above and white below, with a woolly texture on the underside. The irregular lobes have spines at the tip but few elsewhere on the leaf. There is 1 flower head to a stem, with no ray flowers but numerous disk flowers, which are deep rose-lavendert.

Bumblebees work the flowers when they mature.

Thistle seed

Captured Moments – Trying something new – fall chicks.

Good morning,

Most farm stores sell day old chicks in the spring.  It takes about five months to reach laying age, so if we buy in March, we can expect eggs starting late September.  It is still cool here in March and the need to shelter the chicks and keep them warm is crucial even without us reaching freezing temperatures.

In the last few years, one of our farm stores has started carrying chicks in the late summer.  It wasn’t until this year that we decided to give it a try.  We bought six chicks, three golden sex links and three red sex links.

This is what the chicks are sent home in.

Arriving at their new home

We had their home ready, a stock tank with cedar shavings, water, chick feed and a warming light.

They seemed to like exploring their new home and would all run from one end to the other.

We knew we would have to rearrange the food and water as they grew.  We also found that being summer, we did not need as much of a heat source to keep them comfortable.  The chicks will let you know if they are too cold or too warm from where they go in relation to the heat source.

We have cats.  So we needed a good cat proof top.  We had an old Ikea frame we have kept for years (we keep everything it seems, never know when it will come in handy, and it did) It fit the top of the tank perfectly.    My husband added some stops to keep it from sliding and hardware cloth.  Since it is not very cool, we can set the heat lamp on one end on the wire.

One of our cats is fascinated with the chicks.  They didn’t seem to be afraid of him.

Settled in for Cat TV.

Here they are at four days.

So far, I think I am enjoying the fall chicks more than the spring.  Our temperatures are still hot in August and do not cool until late October and sometimes later.  These girls are growing fast and will move into the small mobile coop soon.

Updates to follow. 🙂