Winter Animals

Here are some pictures of animals at the Prop.
A beautiful Evening Grosbeak, there's usually
a flock of them, and they are very talkative!

The Gold Finches, and Pine Siskins love their
thistle seeds. They get along great!

When these Pinion Jays discovered the
sunflower, they stayed until the last little seed
was gone. They were so fun to watch!

OK birdies, you may have to take turns. I don't
think that three of you will fit!

I had the camera ready for more pictures of
Jays, when to my surprise, here came a Magpie!
I was so excited, because it is hard to find a Magpie
that will pose for a picture.
And he stayed for a few seconds munching on
seeds, I was inside looking thru the front door
blinds! He made my day.
Look who came by to visit, a nice 4 point buck.
I think he's one of Santa's reindeer checking the
way for the sleigh, and probably a place to rest,
and eat something! I know it is not Rudolph...

He was Beautiful.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas,

everywhere you go! Have a seat! Hee Hee

After I took this picture of the feeder, and steps,
I cleared the snow so the birds would have a
place to land.

Beautiful winter day.

YooHoo! Don't forget to stop here Santa!!!

Miracle Summer Flowers at the Retreat

Ana has some kind of secret loving gene for taking care of her plants. She gives more than 100% when she tends her flowers and plants. She patrols her growboxes and flower beds all summer long, gloves on and trowel in hand nurturing each plant. All who have been to Bullion Creekside Retreat in the summer have benefited from this special devotion that Ana has. Maybe you don't even know you have benefited. One lady visiting said "Wow, you just throw them wild seeds out and they grow like this right ?" I thought to myself, " if you only knew". Sometimes in the summer it will fall dark and the cool mountain air moves down the canyon. "Where is Ana ? ", I think in a sudden panic. I'll then go and follow her winding flower beds around the road in the moonlight until there she is....lovingly sitting among her beloved flowers. "Ana, let's go in ! " She relunctantly stands and says it was her goal to finish that flower bed today. I realize what a amateur I am as I take Ana away from her championship. Take her away from her flowers for perhaps an earlier dinner or company watching TV. Yes, champion, maybe world champion ! How can you be any more devoted. I know every one of her flowers will stand at it tallest and most colorful for her, their champion.

She'll often ask me "is this a wildflower or a weed?". "A weed, I'll tell her". Later I'll pass that way and see she has strenthened that little weed with hopes it will produce a flower which it often does.

Ana loves her sunflowers which feed a multitude of birds in the fall.

Ana produces potatoes, squash, tomoatoes, beans, swiss chard, beets, carrots and many other vegetables in her deer and rabbit proof grow boxes.

Ana loves her hearty desert coneflowers and purple coneflowers.

If a flower grows in the wrong place such as at the edge of the driveway, she will take care of it right where it is. Ana gathered these Bee Plant seeds along the road in Antimony. Many consider it a weed but not Ana !

Ana also digs like a badger, leave her alone with some flat stones and shovel and this is what happens! Her bones and muscles will ache for days but she'll turn around and do it again in a heart beat.

Ana with her beloved black-eyed susans.

Chica ventures into the dark forest

We occasionally doggy-sit Chica the little Jack Russel Terrier of our daughter Danielle. It's always a bitter-sweet experience as Chica has more brain power than most junior high gangsters. She knows where to find her own toys and each of their names. She understands just about everything we say, so we have to speak in code. But to off-set all the psychology we have to play, she is a lot of fun. Well occassionally Chica decides its time to explore the mysterious side of our property. You know, the side that has strange sounds at night. She will all of a sudden disappear into the dark woods and no amount of coaxing or threats will persuade her back to civilization until she is good and ready. In these cases Ana usually gets on the Yamaha Grizzley and patrols the retreat trails looking for the little rascal. This last episode lasted about an hour as we imagined Chica being stalked by bobcats and coyotes or getting stuck in some skunk hole with the skunk wanting out.
Here is what our eyes were treated to when Chica finally came prancing out of the underbrush.

Eek ! What is that the little princess is carrying ? A deer leg !?!! You never saw a little dog so proud of its treasure. She pranced around 5 or 10 minutes and finally went and laid the deer leg on the porch and seemed to say. OK what now ?

Ana pointed over to the garden grow box where Chica promptly combined our instructions and her own natural instincts and buried the leg for some future feast.

We figured that our neighbor must have shot and cleaned a buck and threw the legs he cut off out into the forest where our little princess sniffed them out. Good Job Chica , just don't take so long next time on the dark side of the stream.

Winter Arts

The winters are long and cold on the Paiute Trail. There can be several feet of snow and temperatures that can dip to 20 below zero. This leaves for a lot of time with the cozy heater to be on while we work at our arts. Ana does 'pietre dure' art in which pictures are carved and polished using diamond wheels and saws. An example of this work is 'Ana's Broad-tailed Hummer on a Poppy' as can be seen below. She is also sitting in front of her store with 'Rockin' Kokepelli' which she sold soon after. Her boot which is sold was made of beautiful Wyoming brown jade and Blue Sodalite with Green Quartz. The Chickadee is Ana's favorite. You can see the picture that she took outside the cabin as a model.

Ana also makes unique bolo ties and bracelets out of hand-chosen rocks she picks herself.

Ana also makes custom wire-wrap bracelets and rings out of gold or sterling silver wire.

Last but not least Ana designes custom necklace and earrings set and makes them for her many customers.

Bryan polishes semi-precious stones from rocks that they find rock-hounding.

Bryan makes Native American Replica knives using natural obsidian, cottonwood handles. He makes the blades using ancient techniques.

Making a smooth transition to the wilderness

Our next goal was to make a seamless transition between our yard with garden, fireplace, flowers, and the wilderness that surrounded us. Here is a picture of Anas wild flower rock garden that just extends out into the sage brush seamlessless.

From the west deck it is a great view of the riparian meadow with river birch, narrow-leaf cottonwood, some aspen, and various other trees.

Below you can see the beautiful creek and wild turkeys.

In the beginning

Ana and I had this idea of escaping from the city and building us a future retirement home that would also have some income. We searched the areas of southern Utah conveniently close to the high country and also close to the desert. We fell in love with Bullion Canyon right on the Paiute ATV trail. The Paiute ATV trail was in its infancy then and consisted of thousands of miles of ATV trails that went legally through high mountains and deserts. The property we chose was populated with Ponderosa Pine, narrow-leaf cottonwood, Gambels Oak, juniper, pinion pine, and beautiful sage and rabbit brush. It had a beautiful little stream that meandered through our meadows with native brown and rainbow trout. The locals said we were were crazy to pay 2000 per acre for this. None of the property in the area was worth more than 200 per acre. We ventured forward and built our building. It has a cozy cabin downstairs for us with two car garage. Upstairs is separate full three bedroom cabin with raised ceiling and decorated very nicely with new furniture and nice fixtures. We have been able to keep this cabin rented pretty much rented from May through October to Paiute Trail ATV enthusiasts who come from all over the USA. We added 3 Full-hookup RV spots, also. See more at