Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Like a Rock

The hike to the top of this bluff is always a bit tough and last night I had two 30 somethings accompanying me. Teri was my ex neighbor and we've been friends for about 12 years and her pal came along also.

We thought it would be fun to hike and sweat and get a cardio work out hiking to the Rock. Once there we shed our extra shirts and took up spots to watch the valley below us.

I have to admit, I kept crawling around the rock taking photos and chatting. 
Duh. I'd ID a bird call or point out the obvious. I guess it must have been  obvious that I don't get out often with others. Generally I just mumble to myself and answer myself.

We fell into silence for a long time and just enjoyed the view. [I think I was quiet for about 3 minutes.] I really need to shut up.

I've never been to this rock in the evening. I'm so glad I did. The skies were rather bland but as the sun sank lower, the oranges came out brighter.

There were no clouds but the river and valley moisture was becoming apparent. 

A two shot pano looking east to south.

I commented that I could sleep up on the rock so I could watch the night sky and listen to the night sounds. My friends said I was nuts and I'd fall off the bluff. I laughed. 
Can you imagine what an adventure that would be?

It was time to freak my friends out. I crawled to the edge of the rock as twilight came and took a shot straight down over the edge. You may be able to make out the trail below.

I think the elevation from the trail head to the bluff is about 200 feet.

There is not a lot of room to maneuver around but I sure enjoyed seeing the sights.

We headed down as darkness descended. 

We got into the forest and turned off our lights to listen to the night creatures. There was what we decided could be some kind of bird making some really odd noises.

I said it had to be a baby Sasquatch.

When we got back to where we parked we were amazed at the sheer volume of fireflies. They danced and whirled silently, lighting up and glowing, then darting here and there.

I set up my tripod and entertained my friends by showing them how to 'catch' a photo of them.

We parted after discussing another adventure we hoped to do this summer. Stars or moon watching from the KVR Dam site.

I talked about light painting and had shown them on the bluff how fun it was...example below...

We thought it might be fun to engage in some light painting on one of the covered bridges.

They took off and I started to leave but something made me stop.

20 years now
Where'd they go?
20 years now
I don't know
I sit and I wonder sometimes
Where they've gone
And sometimes late at night
Oh, when I'm bathed in the firelight
The moon comes callin' a ghostly white
And I recall
I recall....

Bob Seger [Like a Rock 1986]

I didn't linger long because I knew Teri would be watching for my headlights to make sure I was coming down the road too.




My hands were steady
My eyes were clear and bright
My walk had purpose
My steps were quick and light
And I held firmly 
To what I felt was right
Like a rock...

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Woke last night...

to the sound of thunder...
how far off,
I sat and wondered...
Started humming a song from
Ain't it funny how the night moves... [Bob Seger]

I love the night sky too much to be afraid of darkness...

[Let me qualify that by saying that I live in a very rural area so any life I'd run into at night would be wildlife and not humans]

I couldn't sleep so I decided to take a walk across the ridge top and through the corn fields before the corn got too tall.

I brought a tripod and thought it would be fun to try some Milky Way shots. I am always experimenting and learning. I may even improve a little as I keep going!

Lightening Bugs and stars 

Walking on the road

Headed across the open fields

An attempt at a panorama shot that didn't quite work. Two shots.

I ended up a mile from home on a ridge and I wanted to try another shot where it was sort of a selfie shot with my head lamp shining into the Milky Way. 

The swirls in my light are moths
 that came to dance for me. 

I spent about two hours on the ridge walking and admiring the skies.

My night moves included watching a 'possum watch me. Deer eyes glowing in the woods and further off in the field. Unseen creatures moving about in the underbrush.
No coyote noises. 
No sounds of traffic.

I thought I'd try something different on my way home. My photos of fireflies were sort of bleh and dark so I thought I'd try some 'light' painting with my headlamp.

What felt so amazing is that I'm sure the fireflies danced just for me. I could have stayed all night.

Nothing is more amazing than a clear night sky full of stars and the Milky Way.

Saturday, June 25, 2022

The Happy Table


I was given this table by the neighbors as they said it would be too hard to fix it and refinish it. I knew it would become a future project some day so I stuck in in between two pine trees and used it as a shade plant base for begonias.

This year I pulled it out and noted that it was basically falling apart. I nailed pieces of wood to it from the underside to try and make it stable enough to use. 

It wouldn't become a house table. I don't have enough room. If the bottom of the legs were too rotten, I'd simply cut them off. 

I'm a terrible planner. I just started to pick colors that appealed to me and went for it. The legs had to be dressed up with bright colors. The mood is to be Happy. 

I found a butterfly sticker that looked neat and stuck it on one leg. I may do another one or not. The table is to be a discovery of sights, not something that is the same. 

I thought long and hard about the top. At first I thought of painting the top sections of wood in different wild colors. Then I took some mild green paint that is meant for porch floors and spread it on the top.

What about stickers?

I found some old neat stickers I hadn't used on other projects and laid them out.

The sticker idea was cool. But I didn't have enough of the silhouettes to achieve what I wanted.

How about tracing them? I started to trace the birds because I suck at drawing them. But then I went freehand for the branches. Why not have silhouettes of branches and birds all over the surface?

I could hand paint them black or whatever colors I choose and then run some whitewash over it to add texture and interest. 

Besides, I want this project to last a while. I am in no hurry to finish it.

Hubby says I am ruining the table. I retort that the table is falling apart and I've nailed it together making it completely worthless to anyone. 

I remind him of the Happy Chair I did for my mother years ago and how she absolutely loved it and used it to display her stuffed donkey dolls in her living room.

Below is a table and chairs I put together as a 'coffee' table for the porch. The chairs were excellent garage sale finds. I've left both of these chairs out on the porch and now they have a unique weathering to add character to my sitting area.

This chair now holds one of my newer Not Fairy Gardens I made with
and old pie tin I found in the shed. The spool
holds the little grill and the patchwork table top 
is still my most favorite piece of work.
I would love to find a little base for
it to sit on in the house.

I'm in the mood to pick up another chair and take the worn out ones and place them in gardens. I have a thing about chairs. 

I have two nice heavy stout ones in the house that are begging to be worked on. I discovered some neat old chairs in LaFarge  that I drive by on the way to KVR. Hmmm. It is a junk place that has some neat old beat up chairs that look stout. I may have to put one in the back of my Subaru one of these trips!

But first? 

More work on the Happy Table.

It makes me smile.

The table will also provide me with a nice place to do Still Life photography with flowers this summer.

Just give me colors and the freedom to paint wildly and my life brightens exponentially.

Friday, June 24, 2022

And then...

How about some fun and silliness instead of anything important?

Like a little Squatch and Hobby?

Hobby purchased a Kayak, she was tired of trying to find bark all the time to float down Little Creek to search for Squatch's relatives.

Squatch was concerned, it felt wobbly. Bark was so much more un-wobbly.

So peaceful!

Wild Bill was out gathering Golden Oyster Mushrooms to take back to the Lego Home.

Yeti and Husky gathered Cottonwood Fluff for his winter bedding.

After a few dunks in the creek Hobby announced she was going to do an experiment. 
The experiment was called Baking.

She was going to make Strawberry Shortcake and promised not to burn the Lego House down.

Squatch was not sure....

So he supervised....

and hoped that Hobby had taken a bath after their creek adventure.


Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Solstice HOT


Here we are at the summer Solstice. I try like heck to get out each 'event' of the year and try like heck to take a photo of the sunrise at least.

Over the years I've had lots of fond memories of things done with others on the Solstice nights. At times, I've gone with neighbors and children to a spot on the ridge where we lit Chinese Lanterns to celebrate the end of the day.

Other times I've had friends stay and we've delighted in hiking in the forest with the magic of fireflies around us.

At 4:13 AM CDT, I stood on the ridge and celebrated the midsummer morning. I am weird right? 

That's fine, I can live with weird.

I'm going to borrow a quote from James Norbury's book Big Panda and Tiny Dragon:
'I wish this moment would last forever' said Tiny Dragon
'This moment is all there is' said Big Panda.

[I've always wanted to do this-- 👆 -- I did use a little
creative leeway btw. But it turned out cool.]

I had to share this moment with myself but still, it was peaceful and awesome. Even the pesky gnats agreed as they tried to feed off from me.

I went home and rinsed out the smaller stock tanks and gave everyone fresh cool water.

By 7AM, my friend Molly came to our house on foot rather upset. Her very elderly dog had disappeared. I calmed her down with some coffee on the porch and then we set out in the 'Ru to notify all the ridge neighbors who don't have cell phones or internet. All the farmers reported back to me after they'd done haying all day with no reports of sighting the aged dog. 

Charlie and I spent some time on our porch working on the old table.

I just grab colors that appeal to me and add them here and there. We will see if it is a disaster or it ends up neat. I have an idea for the top of the table, but haven't figured out how to get it done quite yet.

By late afternoon, we retreated indoors.
I stayed up to watch the sunset and for the fireflies to appear.

I think tonight [Wednesday] seems like a good night to go out and photograph the Milky Way and Fireflies, depending on the skies.

Monday, June 20, 2022

Around the house

I am happy that I decided to purchase fresh veggies at the local Farmer's Market and some of the local folks who raise produce this year.

Old Garden:

I have a bit more time on my hands which means I can spend more time making my flower gardens look a bit more tidy. 

As this new heat wave bears down on us, I am finding things to do on the porch outside. It stays fairly nice in the shade and generally there is a nice breeze that flows through. 

This old table was given to me a few years ago. It is in a sad state of disrepair so I cut pieces of wood and did what I could to stabilize it enough as I figure out what I am going to do with it. It sat under the pine trees for a couple of years with pots of begonias on it.

The table should be tossed. But I figure if I can brace it up enough and cut down the legs [or not], I could use it as a coffee/craft table on the porch. [What I wouldn't do for a nice gate leg table!]

The project table is on the porch along with paints. I spray painted a coffee can and a Gatorade bottle for Porch Vases. Maybe it is tacky too, but I like flowers on the porch as well as in the house. I don't like broken glass!

I've always loved the idea of a Fairy Garden. I am constantly moving little things around so that I can be amused at what I have put together.

I love this little Zen Dragon. 

I move him/her around quite often. 

Morning light on a 'Fairy Garden' made 
out of an old pie dish.
It sits on a rickety old chair I
gussied up.

My pallet garden is doing as expected. The tomatoes are doing great and I've used old fence posts and twine to stabilize the plants. I know, tacky, but it was on hand and easier than trying to use a cage. 

The plants that are coming up in the slats are doing fair too. They are coming along a bit slower than those flowers on the east side of the house. The west side has good sun but good afternoon shade too from the locust trees. I think with the heat wave, those plants will do better than the ones exposed to the sun and wind all day.

Other surprises in my garden.
There are the gargoyles who resided in the Forest Garden last year. Right now they are in the growing flower garden. They look happy there! 
Last year the raccoon kept knocking over the gargoyles! This poor fella had his wings chipped.

This fellow sits on another stump and is the Welcome Gargoyle. [Yeah, I like dragons and gargoyles and I am weird.]

This is the porch in the morning. Many of my plants are in old Maple Syrup buckets that Rich's Grandfather used. It is handy to grab the buckets and move them around. 

More Fairy/Dragon/Gardens. I keep changing things up as it suits me. 

Things are going to be hot and muggly. I hope all my friends and their animals do well for the next few days.
I let my mules out to the forest where they can get down into the creek area. I walked there this morning and it was definitely about 10 degrees cooler than in the meadow!

Stay cool!