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Live from the Ranch

This is the official Ranch Journal, a collection of short reports about daily life on the ranch. Postings are made by all ranch staff, but mostly by Tess Leach & Kate Matheson, Guest Services Managers, David Leach, Business & Marketing Manager and Jeff Gossage, Ranch Manager. (Banner photo 3 by Stephen Weaver)

Flowers & Swallowtails
Each year around June 1 we pick up our flowers from a local greenhouse. We drop them off there in March and they pick the plants based on the look we're after, and nurture them throughout the winter. 

This year we went for all white, or mostly white flowers. Besides really putting the finishing touches on the buildings, they bring in a whole rabble of Swallow Tail butterflies, and charm of Hummingbirds. I know, super geeky. (Thanks to google for the proper lingo).

Posted by Tess L. on 06/17/2013

A Lunchtime Guest
 We stopped for lunch while riding out in the Dunes, and were joined by a surprise visitor.... a baby kangaroo rat!

Spotted by 8 year old Clara, the cute little guy hopped under the shade of one of our chairs and hung out for a while.   

Posted by Kathleen M. on 06/15/2013

He snacked on a leaf...
 Kangaroo Rats are just one of many neat animals that live in the dunes-- living out their entire lives in the main dunefield.  They collect seeds from various grasses and hide them in moist sand below the surface.  After a few days collecting moisture, the seeds provide a bit of water-- enough water in fact that kangaroo rats can go their whole lives without drinking.  To top that off, these little guys can jump up to 5 feet in the air to avoid predators!

It was pretty special to get to see one so close up!
Posted by Kathleen M. on 06/15/2013

Wednesday, Jun 12, 2013
Sand Creek is one of my favorite places on the ranch and I think I write a blog post about it every year. Nonetheless, I want to tell everyone about it again. Sand Creek is a sandy creek bottom lined with cottonwoods in some places, sand dunes in others, and lush meadows in some areas. It gets 100 yards wide and is dry most of the year. It’s hard to imagine, when looking at it during its dry months, it would ever hold water. Yet every May, around the 20th, the days finally get warm enough up in the mountains to melt the snow and Sand Creek comes tumbling down. It is quite an awesome sight to see the enormous amount of water that makes its way across the sand sheet to the ranch which is about 15 miles or so from the mountains. Every year, we have a picnic or just an evening hang out with everyone on the ranch. There’s places where the creek narrows and actually gets deep enough to take a dip and, on good years, is deep enough to float down in a tube for a ways. This year, the flow wasn’t huge because of our low snowpack in the Sangre De Cristos but it was still plenty to put your feet in and relax next to Colorado’s best beach.
Posted by Jeff G. on 06/12/2013

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