Saturday, April 28, 2018

Dawg gawn it...

Dixie to Charlie: I got this! I am a 'Coon Hound!

Charlie to Dixie: Oh I think you may need my help. Seriously, this raccoon has a squeaker in it, seems dangerous to me!

Dixie to Charlie: I got it by the ear, you get the tail end.

Charlie to Dixie: I don't know, we better take it up on the porch and give it to Her!

See? I can dig in gravel too!

I like my little bed.

I like to play with it even better!

Life with dogs. I just wouldn't want to miss it for the world.

Friday, April 27, 2018

The never ending farm job

I know that it seems that I am always doing something to the electric fence. It seems that it is a never ending job sometimes. However, spring clean up is always a must.

I use endurosoft electric fencing. Sometimes when the deer jump the fences during the winter months they stretch a wire or pull it off an insulator. I generally walk the fences once a day anyway in the summer to check on them. 
Yesterday I had both Charlie and Dixie helping me out in the woods.

The temperatures were quite warm and the 'kids' helped me by just being there. I talked to them asking them to inspect and of course they did. Dixie stuck her wet nose on my glasses while I was hooking up a wire and Charlie crawled up onto my legs.

When we were finished with a section of the fencing, I took them back to the porch so we could all have some water.

The kids started to play with a raccoon squeaky toy.

Dixie would take it and Charlie would try to get it back.

What really surprised me was how gentle Dixie was about the whole thing.
Neither dog growled, but played for quite a while together.

Eventually Charlie laid down on the rug I'd put on the porch and Dixie sat near him. I think eventually they will be an inseparable pair.

I let each dog rest and gathered my things to do some more fence touch ups.

I had a venison roast in the oven and garden veggies ready to eat with it after chores. It is nice to eat a whole meal gathered on your own land.

I guess that is why I keep up with this never ending job.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Spring Work includes

The dogs of course.

Dixie assisted with cleaning around the fences and checking them. It was hot and she spent most of the time with her tongue hanging out watching me. She has a great respect for electric lines.
Even if they were not on.

There were a few messes to clean up, most of it could be taken care of with branch loppers and my handy little machete.
I'm going to redo the fencing.
One Electric fencer is doing most of the work.

There is a second fencer that was used for the Merry Meadow, but we won't be doing that any more. I will use that fencer to charge what I will call the 'above the creek' woods and the back meadow.

It was time to water the stock tanks when I got back from the woods.
I had helpers.
My black and tan dogs supervised while I watered.
I gathered up two rakes and a shovel and began to do spring clean up on the driveway.
Again, I had supervisors.

I needed a break and joined the dogs on the grass.
Instant Dog Pile.

I worked until my arthritic hands protested and then decided to go sit on the porch for a bit.
My supervisors had a different idea.

I should play ball.

And our day was complete.
Well, after they helped with evening chores....

Monday, April 23, 2018

Warm weather!

Crocuses from the yard are coming up alongside the tulips and daffodils.

Meanwhile further down the valley in one area.
The Skunk Cabbage has made its appearance. It only grows in one part of the valley.

Lately guys with 4 wheelers have been riding pretty hard through the property. I am assuming that the land holders know that their brother is allowing 4 wheelers to ride all over. The riders must think that the louder their machines are, the better they are?

I sort of have a dislike for the noise and mess they have created. However they are making trails through what used to be nearly impassable places because of the multiflora rose bushes and wild berry bushes.
I will have new trails to walk or ride a mule on only during the weekdays though...

However, this time of year, the soil in the valley is quite delicate. And it makes me very sad to see this.
To me, the destruction is pointless.

Really? What is the point of making a huge trail of mud on such beautiful fertile soil? One big flash flood and ... think of the erosion!

My neighbors and their kids took a hike with me on Sunday. The kids love the creek and enjoy hunting for bones and interesting rocks.

I found Spring Beauties poking up from the soil on a eastern hillside.

When they come up and open they look like this shot below!

I am overjoyed at the prospect of the warm weather for this week. It means the bloodroot should be shooting up along with Trout Lily's in Tainter Hollow.

My CareGiving Duties for my husband and currently my MIL, will keep me from Tainter until at least Thursday.

Spring is coming!

About Birds

First let me say that I have never been a Bird Watcher.

However curiosity does get the better of me as my Grandmother was The Absolute Bird Expert.

We'd go fishing on Little Balsam. We'd sit quietly in the old boat and I'd listen to the water tap the side of the boat. I learned some very important lessons while fishing with my Grandmother.
Silence was a good thing. We could sit quietly for what seemed like hours without having to talk.

Listening to the woods around the lake was what I learned to do. My ears could pick out someone down the lake slamming a door to their cottage as it echoed across the water.
Sound traveled.

Grandma would tell me which bird was making the song we heard. I'd listen and could pick out the general ones but was always frustrated that I couldn't always see the bird.

Grandma Pearl taught me to listen. Often we'd be doing something and she'd say "Sparrow..." or "Black Cap Chickadee" or some other distinct voice in the woods.

So far this spring I have identified several birds by their 'calls'.
Eastern Phoebe
Tufted Titmouse ~ Peter, peter, peter! I do love its song!
Blackcap Chickadee
Purple Finch
Pileated Woodpecker
Redbellied Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Eastern Towhee
Barred Owl

I can't wait for the wren to start yammering at me and for the Orioles to show up and start to sing.
The Wood Thrush is probably one of my favorite songs of all.

The snow is just about all gone and the birds are finding food again.

Just color me happy.

One day I just might become a bird watcher instead of a bird listener.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Snow! April is Bizarre!

We had quite the unusual storm for April. These are views of the driveway and then scenes from the top of the ridge where the mailbox is.

Charlie didn't mind the snow until it was over his head. Here he is running and playing. He also was under the impression that he could catch a Robin. Or at the very least chase it.

He gave up later when the snow was over his head. I had to make a trail for him to do his business.

Morning came and the new snow added some beauty to the dull landscape.

Sunlight arrives in our valley about an hour after sunrise.

Charlie threw a fit when I got dressed to walk out and explore the morning light. I let him out with me and we got about 30 yards before he squalled about the snow being over his head.
I stuffed him in my coveralls and took a walk.

Home Sweet Home. Everything seemed more brilliant in the fresh snow fall.

Even the 'Ru looked pretty.

I took Charlie back in and went back out to do chores so that Rich could just concentrate on plowing.

I knew there would be a rapid snow melt but Charlie had a vet appointment for his distemper booster and I had to take care of some MIL business in town.

I thought the snow was stunning.

The Plow Man, however, was not impressed.

And the blue birds weren't either.

Charlie though, thought he had a great place to observe the plowing and cleaning of the Subaru.

We lost most of the snow in one day.

I hope to get back from my errands today to observe and enjoy the snow melt and run off into the creek.

It will be in the 50's again today.
I'm going to take my SIL to check out an Assisted Living place in town.

Enjoy your day. Generally this time of the year I am out in the forest photographing these little beauties....

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Still Life on the Cheap

This is the spare bedroom. In the upper left corner is a fold up futon type bed. There is my basket of odd toys and other items.
The window is west facing and it lets in diffused light on cloudy days. I have black curtains on it for when the light is harsh, or I want to do some shots with a black backround.
On the floor is Charlie who is playing with an antler shed I found a few years ago.
I decided it was easier to have him underfoot than to having him upset at being in his crate while Rich was napping.
I collect old recycled things like the green bottle. In the summer I use old bottles and jars to put flowers in. They are my vases.

I put some Christmas lights in the bottle.
I played around with the two branches of fake pine.
It wasn't coming out exactly how I imagined it.

So I kept messing with it and decided to work some editing magic.
That was closer to what I wanted, but not anything that was super stellar

I gave things a rest and decided to go back later.
Note, the room is sort of a mess with things tossed all over.
Rich was awake and he and Charlie were watching Netflix, so I decided to try out some other ideas.

Colored pencils. Well, there you go. I just held them up in my hand and took a shot.
I worked with some ideas after the fact.

Still not anything I'd 'write' home about.

So back to the drawing board.

My favorite cracked cup.


I liked this, a straight 'down' shot. The cup, the saucer and the little pitcher were all purchased for about a dollar at the flea market. The pages are from my pencil coloring book.
I really wanted a different look and feel.

Edited with a preset for Vintage colors and a slightly white vignette.

This one I could live with.

~~ These are things I do when I can't get out to go hiking. I was waiting on more phone calls and watching the snow fall.