OLT - Items filtered by date: January 2019
Tuesday, 12 February 2019 05:28

Mark Cunningham, NASA Solar System Ambassador!

We would like to congratulate Mark Cunningham on receiving the honorable title of NASA Solar System Ambassador! Mark has been the lead astronomer at OLT since 2014 and was an integral part of the installation of our new telescope and training of volunteers to operate it.

Mark received his first telescope at the age of 12, which began his lifelong love of astronomy. He is an Astro-photographer with over 20 years of experience, has had his photos, and articles published in Astronomy Magazine. His photos have won several awards, including Best Solar Eclipse Photo of 1991, and have been published on SpaceWeather.com where they went worldwide, presented on the London evening news and published in the England Royal Geophysical Journal. Mark is a featured artist in several art galleries, including Paragon Art Gallery in Crested Butte, Colorado. He is a dedicated volunteer doing research work for several organizations. Mark photographed, documented nightly observations for the International Halley Comet Watch, his data being published by NASA. He was the first astronomer who photographed the tail forming on Halley's Comet and has done extensive comet research for CU in Boulder, studying Hale Bopp, Ulysses, and Hyakutake. Mark was the first astro-photographer to discover that the nucleus of comet Hale Bopp had split into two pieces and was able to capture the photograph. Awarded time on Denver Universities Meyer-Womble Telescope with Dr. Roger Stensel, he spent a week on top of Mt. Evans doing an independent study on colliding galaxies. Mark has worked with Galaxy Zoo online doing a galaxy classification project and super nova search.

The Solar System Ambassadors program is a public engagement effort that works with motivated volunteers across the nation to communicate the science and excitement of NASA's space exploration missions and discoveries to the people in their communities. It is a public outreach program of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. More than 700 volunteers in all 50 states as well as Washington DC, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and Guam share information about exploration missions and recent discoveries to their local communities. The program is an extension of the original Galileo Ambassadors program created to share information about the Galileo mission.

Mark joined OLT's volunteer program in 2007 coming from Missouri with his own telescope and offering astronomy tours in the summer. He moved to Colorado five years ago and has been a dedicated volunteer since that time, offering his expertise year round. He was instrumental in OLT building the current astronomy pad, building and acquiring the new scope. Mark has been an integral part of our kid's science camp, giving tours to youth and sparking their interest in science. In 2018, we offered 139 astronomy tours attended by 2,693 kids, adults and seniors, our highest attended educational program to date! Mark worked with other volunteers and astronomy enthusiasts, training them to operate the telescope adding to our pool of qualified tour guides. Our goal is to have the telescope available with a guide every night, spring through fall. Every year we move closer to that becoming a reality.

Orient Land Trust attracts great volunteers! We are fortunate to have Mark Cunningham leading our program and sharing his expertise and experiences with our guests. We are proud to acknowledge his accomplishments and congratulate him on becoming a NASA Solar System Ambassador. Thank you Mark for all that you have given as a volunteer at Orient Land Trust, we are so grateful to have you leading our astronomy program!

Mark_ready_to_lead_a_kids_program_for_summer_camp - Robin Rosenberg Mark_Cunningham,_OLT_Astronomy_Show - Mark Cunningham Telescope,_Mark_laser - Orion_Nebula - Mark Cunningham Andromeda_Galaxy - Mark Cunningham

Tuesday, 12 February 2019 05:27

Nantucket Pumpkins

The Story of the Long Pie Pumpkin

Also known as Nantucket Pie Pumpkin. Said to have migrated in 1832 from the Isle of St. George in the Azores to Nantucket on a whaling ship, whence it was picked up by various seedsmen and came north to Maine. Burpee offered it in 1888 as St. George. It was and remains highly esteemed as the best pumpkin for Yankee pumpkin pies. It was so widespread a couple of generations ago that many people who grew up on Maine farms never saw a round pumpkin.

Widely grown in Androscoggin County 60 years ago (an old-timer remembers them stacked up on porches like firewood), it was nearly forgotten and narrowly saved from extinction.

LeRoy Souther, a Livermore Falls, ME, native who had been maintaining it for more than 30 years, sometime in the late 1980's brought seeds to cucurbit aficionado John Navazio at his Common Ground Fair squash booth. Navazio took them with him to Garden City Seeds in Montana where he re-introduced them to commerce. 3–5 lb. fruits look like overgrown zucchinis to the uninitiated, but the telltale sign is an orange spot where the otherwise all-green elongated fruit rested on the ground. In storage, the whole fruit first blushes, then glows bright orange, signaling that its delicious flesh is ready to be turned into incomparable pies. One of the best for continued ripening after picking, Long Pie stored at 10C degrees keeps all winter.

What makes it a "Pie Pumpkin"? Pie pumpkins are smaller, sweeter, less grainy textured pumpkins than the jack-o-lantern types. The Long Pie pumpkin is a dark zucchini-green ripening to pumpkin orange. It is one of the very best for pies—if we had to choose only one pie pumpkin, this would probably be it. The fruits are almost a perfect cylinder, slightly rounded at top and bottom. Do not hesitate to pick this even if it is still dark green—the idea is that it will orange up in storage, letting you know when it is at its best for making a fantastic pie. Long Pie has virtually string-less, smooth and brilliant orange meat.

A big part of what we are doing at Everson Ranch is trying to find what works well. The garden was started as part of our soil restoration projects in 2016. One crop that has proven to grow really well are the pumpkins! Originally, our pumpkins were grown for stock feed and now are grown both for feed and pumpkin goodies. We have tried a few varieties and all have grown successfully! This past summer we were looking to grow a pumpkin that would be best for baking and storage. Last year we were able to process many of the pumpkins we grew to use during the winter months for baking. What a great way to enjoy the garden produce in the winter months! Although we were having good success with the baked goods, it was challenging because the pumpkins we were working with tended to have too much moisture in them to work for high altitude baking. Through a little research, Ranch Manager Mike, came across this super unique pumpkin that was said to be the best for baking you could grow. The long pie pumpkin turned out to be a hit! This variety of winter squash has the most sweet/savory depth of flavor and fine texture that truly makes for some extraordinary pies We decided to try them, not only for the great baking qualities it promised but also for the shorter growing season it requires which is great for folks like us who garden on the edge. The other great thing we are now discovering to be true is the storage ability it has and the long shape is great for stacking. The pumpkins were harvested green with just spots of orange in September and now in January they are completely orange and at the peak flavor development.

Tuesday, 12 February 2019 05:26

Winter

It has been a snowy winter with temperatures colder than the mild weather we enjoyed in January of 2018. Snow capped peaks are a positive indicator for more water this summer. However, the volume of water we have coming from the springs is about a third less than average and much lower than 2018. This results in less electricity from the hydroelectric generator, which means less electrically heated water for the heated pools. We are still able to heat the sauna to normal levels and other electrical use has not been compromised much. However, the heated pools are not as hot as they were last year.

Use electricity conservatively to maximize what is available for the heated pools. Be prepared for lower water temperatures in the heated pools. With snow cover, air temperatures, especially at night, are cold so bring appropriate clothing. Interestingly, the top pools are holding higher than usual temperatures but the path can be slippery. Wear shoes or boots with good traction and use anti-slip devices to be more sure footed.

Tuesday, 12 February 2019 05:24

News from the Bodywork Cabin

This winter has brought with it some colder temperatures and increased snowfall, but we're still enjoying an abundance of big dramatic skies with beautiful sunsets and warm sunshine. This year the peaceful land at Orient Land Trust, along with the San Luis Valley's dramatic peaks are cloaked in a beautiful covering of pristine snow.

Situated near the Pavilion, just a short walk from the apple tree pools, is the Bodywork Cabin (used for food storage in summertime), which becomes a warm and nurturing space where guests can receive a range of therapeutic treatments during the winter months.

Many guests come to OLT to take time away from their busy day to day lives. The natural pools and wilderness setting here present an opportunity for deep relaxation, unwinding and quiet reflection. Some guests also choose to take this opportunity further, with massage therapies.

Our bodywork sessions can help deepen your experience at OLT. The hot springs can prepare the body and mind for massage, then continue to support the work of the treatment afterwards. All in all, the healing waters combined with bodywork can create a wonderful restorative, resting place for body, mind and spirit. Whether you are wanting help with aches and pains following a long road trip or sports activities, or needing support to release built up stress so you can relax and unwind more easily....we are here to help with over 100 years combined experience.

With 5 therapists we have a full range of therapies including Swedish Massage, Reflexology, Deep Tissue, Hot Stone/River Rock, Acupressure and Shiatsu, Neuromuscular Therapy, Reiki, facial/scalp massage, aromatherapy and Watsu. We carry the appropriate licensing and insurance for professional practice in Colorado and live in Saguache County.

Visit our Website anytime: https://www.olt.org/vvhs/massage

Tuesday, 12 February 2019 05:23

Memorial announcement for Mary Mahoney

Mary Mahoney, a long time guest and volunteer at OLT, passed away on January 29th, 2019 from breast cancer. Mary volunteered at the Everson Ranch in the garden and with the goats, at Valley View Hot Springs doing trail repair and moss removal from the creeks. Mary was a wonderful person with a great big smile and kind word for everyone she met. She had many friends here and touched everyone's heart with her positive attitude and love for Valley View; the land, the water, the people. We will miss you Mary, you will remain forever in our hearts. For information concerning Mary's memorial service, please go to the following link:

https://memorials.aspenmortuaries.com/margaret-mahoney/3707944/service-details.php

Mary_Mahoney,_OLT_Volunteer - Mary_Mahoney_at_the_Ranch - Mary_Mahoney_at_OLT_Volunteer_Weekend - Robin Rosenberg

Friday, 08 February 2019 01:22

Copy of Directions to the Orient Mine

Sign from Highway "7 miles to OLT"

The Orient Land Trust protects and shares 2,200 acres of open space located 4-1/2 miles south of Villa Grove, Colorado and 7 miles east of the junction of U.S. Highway 285 and Colorado Highway 17 on Saguache County Road GG (a gravel road). This high-mountain, rural oasis is far removed from gas stations, grocery, and other services. OLT stocks a small selection of local foods and snacks. It is a 175 mile drive from Denver (over 3-1/2 hours), 146 miles from Colorado Springs (over 3 hours), 198 miles from Santa Fe (over 3-1/2 hours) and 260 miles from Albuquerque (4-1/2 hours). The closest towns with services are shown on the maps below.

The Orient Mine is located approximately 2 miles north of the the Welcome Center and Valley View Hot Springs. Free guided tours hike there from the Welcome Center a couple hours or so before dusk.  Bat outflight times vary so call the Welcome Center with correct times for that day so you arrive with plenty of time to make the hike.

Orient Mine and Bat Caves at the Orient Land Trust
via OLT Welcome Center
64393 County Road GG
Moffat, CO 81143-9723
719-256-4315

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Friday, 08 February 2019 01:22

Copy of Directions to Everson Ranch

Sign from Highway "7 miles to OLT"

The Orient Land Trust protects and shares 2,200 acres of open space located 4-1/2 miles south of Villa Grove, Colorado and 7 miles east of the junction of U.S. Highway 285 and Colorado Highway 17 on Saguache County Road GG (a gravel road). This high-mountain, rural oasis is far removed from gas stations, grocery, and other services. OLT stocks a small selection of local foods and snacks. It is a 175 mile drive from Denver (over 3-1/2 hours), 146 miles from Colorado Springs (over 3 hours), 198 miles from Santa Fe (over 3-1/2 hours) and 260 miles from Albuquerque (4-1/2 hours). The closest towns with services are shown on the maps below.

Please check in at Welcome Center before visiting the Everson Ranch and Reservoir. Be careful to close all cattle gates behind you. Do not enter the historic structures without a guide.

Everson Ranch at the Orient Land Trust
29398 County Road 61
Moffat, CO 81143
719-256-4315

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Friday, 08 February 2019 01:21

Copy of Directions to Valley View

Sign from Highway "7 miles to OLT"

The Orient Land Trust protects and shares 2,200 acres of open space located 4-1/2 miles south of Villa Grove, Colorado and 7 miles east of the junction of U.S. Highway 285 and Colorado Highway 17 on Saguache County Road GG (a gravel road). This high-mountain, rural oasis is far removed from gas stations, grocery, and other services. OLT stocks a small selection of local foods and snacks. It is a 175 mile drive from Denver (over 3-1/2 hours), 146 miles from Colorado Springs (over 3 hours), 198 miles from Santa Fe (over 3-1/2 hours) and 260 miles from Albuquerque (4-1/2 hours). The closest towns with services are shown on the maps below.

The gate closes at 10:00pm each night after which no one is allowed entry. Reservations are highly recommended without which admission cannot be guaranteed. Please plan accordingly. We sincerely regret having to turn visitors away. If delayed, please call as soon as possible to coordinate other arrangements. We will assist however we can.

Valley View Hot Springs at the Orient Land Trust
64393 County Road GG
Moffat, CO 81143-9723
719-256-4315

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Friday, 08 February 2019 01:19

Copy of Maps and Directions

Sign from Highway "7 miles to OLT"

The Orient Land Trust protects and shares 2,200 acres of open space located 4-1/2 miles south of Villa Grove, Colorado and 7 miles east of the junction of U.S. Highway 285 and Colorado Highway 17 on Saguache County Road GG (a gravel road). This high-mountain, rural oasis is far removed from gas stations, grocery, and other services. OLT stocks a small selection of local foods and snacks. It is a 175 mile drive from Denver (over 3-1/2 hours), 146 miles from Colorado Springs (over 3 hours), 198 miles from Santa Fe (over 3-1/2 hours) and 260 miles from Albuquerque (4-1/2 hours). The closest towns with services are shown on the maps below.

Everson Ranch

Valley View Hot Springs

Orient Mine and Bat Cave

Orient Land Trust
Home of Valley View Hot Springs, Orient Mine, and Everson Ranch
64393 County Road GG
Moffat, CO 81143-9723
719-256-4315

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Orient Land Trust is a nonprofit land trust
dedicated to the preservation of Valley View Hot Springs (VVHS) and its viewshed—
including natural and biologic resources, agricultural lands, wildlife habitat,
open space, and historic and geologic features of the northern San Luis Valley—
for the education and enjoyment of current and future generations.