Disaster aftermath: Nature heals
Finally a day to stay inside. May 11, and it’s snowing! As usual in Colorado we can’t complain about some moisture, unless it goes overboard like it did in September. We are still digging out. With the coming of spring, greening of the hillsides, the wildflowers and returning avian migrants, life is good and the healing begins. Nature, plus Craig and his newish tractor, are working wonders on the scarred landscape.
But let’s start at the beginning. The real first responders got right to work in the wet sand piles.
A salamander and a couple of frogs were trapped under the house, so we put them out in the garden with hopes they’d make it through the winter. We’ll never know, of course, but the male frogs are out again singing for the females…so maybe.
A walking bridge was required so we could get out. It works fine, but I had quite an argument with a newly arrived beaver. He was determined to use the bridge as the base structure for his dam, which would have been okay except it was on the downstream side of our vehicle crossing and the water level kept rising. So for weeks he’d build at night, and I’d tear down during the day. Finally, we convinced him, after a little tractor work, to build on the upstream side of the crossing.
Walking bridge at the driveway crossing. Abutment from missing bridge may still be used if and when we salvage the original bridge.
In February our contractor arrived to replace the old pole barn that had completely washed away. With a crew of five he had a new and much better one up in no time.
Our friend Duane helps Craig replace and rewire the electric poles to the cabin.
Craig bonds with his tractor, Thor, as he works to repair and replace the lost garden.
Pasque Flowers poke through at the end of March. Next come the Spring Beauties followed closely by the Pincushion Barrels. After that the rush is on.
The Canada Geese returned to an empty pond. Although confused, they stayed and are nesting near the beaver pond.
Deer and elk have also gotten used to the dunes.
There is more good news. Our largest female Western Painted turtle survived the flood. She is now living with the beaver. Sadly, no others have been seen.
Other good news:
We have firewood for the next several years provided it doesn’t all rot before we get to it.
AND, our neighbor Kim spotted a foot poking out of the rock debris a half mile downstream and when we started digging, three lost patio chairs appeared.
That’s it for now, and probably forever on the flood topic.
We did get our quick trip to Nebraska weeks ago to see the Sandhill Crane migration. If anyone is interested in a two and a half minute video of that, I posted it on YouTube. www.youtube.com/watch?v=AI4AuYzSiy0&feature