Thursday, October 6, 2016

Autumn, the First Snow, and BRAT!!

Seasons are Changing!

This is always a special time of year as the seasons really begin to transition from warm summer-like temps to chilly winter weather. The trees have been putting on quite the show this Autumn and the high country has already had a few small snowstorms rip through bringing the winter chill back to the tundra. 

Here at the lodge, the aspen start to turn in mid/late September and the ground covers displays brilliant reds and yellows to add to the fall atmosphere. The mornings become crisp and we all pull our jackets out of the closet for our morning rounds. Smoke starts rising from the chimneys as a crackling fire certainly adds to the ambiance as guests enjoy their morning coffee and the spectacular views from their cabins. 

On the slopes of Deer Mountain, across the Fall River Valley, the aspen put on one last display before their winter dormancy. We know that the first snow is only days away and our winter preparations get going. We get the plow ready, we order or sand for sanding the driveway, we stock up on firewood, and get jackets/hats/gloves ordered for staff to make sure they are warm enough out and about during the winter months. 

The wildlife also starts behaving a bit differently. Bears are frantically downing as many calories as possible. The mule deer are constantly foraging as their winter coats start coming in and the elk begin take part in the annual rut which, if you've never witnessed it, is a truly magical thing to witness. The bull's bugles fill our valley with enchanting sounds that help to welcome winter once again. 

First Snow

And then the first snow comes! The pics above were taken yesterday (October 5, 2016). It was a bluebird day, sunny, mild, and beautiful! We awoke to snow falling and an inch or so on the rooftops, trees, and grass. The low storms clouds were hanging below the visible summits  revealing only the occasional ridge lines and outcroppings. We are certainly looking forward to the beautiful winter ahead!

Brat is Back!!!

He's back! Your favorite elk is now back "home!" He showed up this morning, gave us a few bugles, raked some bushes with his antlers, then settled in to chew his cud in front of our Knotty Pine Rooms! As always, it is so good to have him back with us! He has called McGregor his winter home since the autumn of 2008, and has been back every year since! At that point, he was already a large and mature bull, probably 7 or 8 years old. So we guess that he's 15 or 16 at this point. Be on the lookout for a lot more Brat pics on our Facebook and Instagram pages and here on the blog!

Thanks for reading and we hope to see you soon!