sand dunes

Category Archives for // sand dunes
August 18, 2013

Rain, Rain, Don’t Go Away

Thanks to frequent afternoon thunderstorms throughout July, the grass is greener, the cows are plumper, and Medano Creek is flowing again!  The creek dried up early this year because of lack of snow melt.  However, the summer monsoons have brought the water back down the mountains!  Here at the ranch we got just over 3 inches in the month of July.  For a valley that gets less than 8 inches of rain annually, that’s fantastic!!  Though it may not be

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June 15, 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.

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July 7, 2012

Ride to Crestone

Yesterday, Anna, our new wrangler from Australia, and I rode to Crestone from the Sand Dunes with 5 guests. On a trail I knew well in parts, others I had seen once whilst riding in the mountains as a child with my dad and brother and many bits I did not know at all, we set off on an exciting 8 hours. We set off at the beginning of the trail at 9 on the dot and with just one

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January 31, 2012

Snow and a Friendly Owl

Last week we had a light dusting of snow on the ranch that quickly melted away on the prairie floor, but left a little moisture in the mountains. The mountains right now look like they’ve been dusted in powder sugar and usually remain that way until the next snow.

Watching the bison in the early winter morning or in the snow is always a treat as they blow big plumes of air and snort around as they eat. When the clouds

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September 27, 2011

Learning to Fly and Changing Colors

The baby swallows around the lodge have been seen running around the sidewalks lately learning how to fly. One made it up to a window ledge and I’m not sure if they’ve mastered their skills enough to make it back up to their nest. The babies we’ve seen run around quickly as they flap their wings and have brief moments of lift off. Hopefully we’ll get to see it when it clicks and they take off. The baby birds are

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August 22, 2011

Rainbow Over the Dunes

Yesterday afternoon we had a big rain storm sweep across the valley that left a huge rainbow over the sand dunes.

The rainbow got more and more intense and was almost blinding to look at.

We still need more rain on the Zapata, but the Medano is looking nice and green from receiving more rain and also having more water below the ground that feeds the roots.

The majority of the staff and guests are getting back today from a pack trip to

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October 1, 2010

How the Sand Dunes Were Created

Last week we had some very strong wind that gave me a clear reminder of how the great sand dunes were created.

When the wind heads towards the mountains, the sand hits the mountains and remains there.

Then when the runoff from the rain or melting snow begins, the sand is brought back down to where the dunes are.

For thousands and thousands of years this cycle has been occurring and ultimately created the great sand dunes.

The great sand dunes park tells this

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September 2, 2010

The Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

In an area surrounded by mountains and a large farming community, the question that is always on people’s minds is “How did sand dunes get here?”. We do know most of how they got here but research continues, new discoveries about the dunes being made every day. Primarily sand is carried down from the San Juan Mountain. Winds from the south west bring in sand and slowly carry it upwards. Medano Creek brings sand and other sediments downstream to the

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