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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Wind Sculpture

These are the raised foot prints of a bobcat that was hanging around our house yesterday. We saw him thanks to Lucy alerting us but she scared him out of range for our camera. The other two photos are the 6" of snow we got yesterday that the high winds has sculpted into art. 


Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Clarks Nutcracker on suet feeder. 

Monday, November 23, 2020

Winter Birds

We feed the birds in the winter when life in a burn scar area makes their food scarce. This year we seem to have more than usual birds. We have Stellar Jays, Grey Jays, Clarks Nutcracker, Mountain Chickadees, Nuthatches, Pigmy Nuthatches, Finches, Juncos and Hairy Woodpeckers with an occasional different species. We usually go through around 120 pounds of sun flower seeds a winter. We also give them suet which the larger birds break apart quickly. We provide unsalted peanuts for the Jays. 


Celebration Time

Yesterday was the final day of big game season and the elk are passing the word that all is safe now and kicking up their heels in celebration. They are safe for one more year and can let down their guard for another year. .


Sunday, November 22, 2020

Ice And Ballet


This winter so far is different from other winters. One year I can remember walking down the road with no snow present in February. Last night we had a rain storm complete with lightning and thunder. Can't remember that happening before.
Over nilght the rain froze so we have ice and it was 22 degrees when we got up. Thanks to all the ice I have mastered two skills. One is the penguin walk. The other is ballet. I have some moves that should be included in swan lake: graceful arm movements and fancy foot work. Some would call it out of control arm flailing but I call it ballet.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020


What could be better at the end of the day than enjoying the radiant heat of a wood stove? Having those you love with you to enjoy the warm comfort. Being enveloped with that warm radiant heat, watching our Lucy stretched out in front ot the wood stove deeply sleeping and very content. Seeing Ruby stretched out on her bed soundly asleep. And on our television a funny movie that keeps us laughing and involved. What could be better??????   

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Falling Trees

 Trees have been falling down with regularity. Some across the road all dead and burned from the wildfire. I just limbed another one that was fully across the road and pushed it over to the side. Two days ago there were at least five trees that had fallen across the road. The wind has been brutal. I cut three of the previous trees off the road and the association had to use their heavy equipment to push the others off the road.

The expected aftermath of the wildfire two years ago. We have several on our property that are leaning into other trees or have fallen. We don't go outside much when the wind blows like this. One lady was out walking and had a tree fall on her. She spent a couple days in the hospital. Not worth it for the fresh air and we wait until the wind stops. Moving dead, burned trees can wait until it is safe to be outside and the wind stops.

Trail Camera Photo's


Thursday, November 12, 2020


 Just finishing lunch when Lucy started barking at the back door. She rarely barks and in fact I don't think she has barked two times in the past year. I went to see what was going on as her hackles were up and she was really on alert. I was just in time to see a mother bobcat and two little cubs walking up by the woodshed. One of the babies sat on the deck oWhat a cute f the woodshed and watched me for several minutes. 

Didn't have a chance to get the camera as I knew they would be out of range by the time I got the camera. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Power Outage

 We just came off a 30 hour power outage. Over the many years we have lived here we have experienced outages before so we are prepared. A generator is important to keep our food from spoiling. We did discover that our land line which used to work during power outages is now supported by battery backup that lasts around 4 hours. So we were without communications and power for over a day. The outage was caused by high winds (not unusual for the mountains.). Trees were blown over and fell on lines and pulled poles down. 

Everything seems to be back in order now and this outage gave us a chance to catch up on reading, and some much needed rest and sleep. Also a chance to play a card game and pay more attention to our fur friends. The longest we have had an outage is several years ago it was out 5 days. For the most part it is usually only out for a few hours. We have an excellent electric cooperative and they do a great job in keeping us with power. 

Friday, November 6, 2020

Mountain Chickadee

 This little guy got pushed by the wind into the window and knocked himself out. We finally got him around but it took him half an hour to fly off again. Finally he did recover and flew off. A little dizzy but recovered. 

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Elk Photos

Trail Camera photos. This area is deep in snow now. Elk have long gone for this year - down to lower elevations. 


Monday, November 2, 2020

Cincinnati Chili

 A different kind of chili that is unique and delicious. When I was relocated to our home office in Hamilton, Ohio, after a few weeks when the other supervisors decided I was okay, they wanted to acclimate me to the area. The first thing they did was take me to Sky Line Chili which is famous in Cincinnati for its chili. 

Perhaps the best testament to the popularity of this delicious meal was there was a wrongfully convicted man who had served 20 plus years in prison. A reporter ask him what would be the first thing he planned to do when he got out - his answer was he would go to Skyline and order a big plate of Cincinnati chili and two Coney dogs.   

One of our disappointments when I was promoted to a field position in Pennsylvania was not being able to get any of the cherished chili. I then found out you could order packets in the mail and we have been enjoying this delicious (secret) recipe ever since, and often. It can be ordered on line through Amazon and may be found in cans in some grocery stores.  

The second place they directed me to was Montgomery Ribs. It is so popular that you have stand in line to even get in. Clearly the best ribs I have ever had and well worth the long wait to devour a meal of them. 

The third place they took me was Hooters by the river. That was when I was promoted after 6 months of home office life. I think I was the quickest promotion to a superior field position than the regimented life in home office. Those three places however were the most unique places and I still crave those ribs and we eat chili frequently. 

I don't miss Hooters but it was a one time visit and did have good food and interesting sights being right on the river. I never did figure out if those girls wore skimpy outfits so they could go swimming in the river or not. They were all too busy waiting tables to take a dip so I will never really know. Maybe they took a dive in the Ohio river when business slacked off. 

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Common Sense and Judgement;


Good/Bad Judgement: 

I have over my many years had faulty judgement on occasion. It started when I was about 6 years old. Another child from outside our neighborhood approached me and said he wanted to be friends. As I turned my back the next thing I knew is I was on the sidewalk and he was on me banging my head on the cement. Fortunately my dad was close and yanked the boy off and warned him not to come to our neighborhood again. I learned that people who appear friendly are often not so. To this day I don't like people behind my back. There have been several (too many) cases of bad judgement since. 

Good Judgement I Can Trust: 

In spite of my bad judgement my deep seated love for dogs has provided me with flawless judgement. We are with our dogs almost 24/7, and as such we observe their behavior. When a stranger comes in our house for service or a visit our dogs tell us if they are to be trusted. Our past boy Bozwell would go across the room and carefully observe the  person. Our girl Lucy will position herself between myself and the stranger. They would appear friendly to most people but are on high alert until the person has been processed by them. 

Their Behavior When The Person Has Been Processed:

When they have satisficed themselves the person is okay their posture is relaxed and more normal. They tell us  if we can trust the stranger or not. They are still relaxed but watchful. I have read some of the studies that confirm dogs can sense a good or bad person. Any astute dog owner already knows this from experience. At least in our dogs they do not growl or their hair bristle but their body language tells us a lot. Judgement I trust completely and pay close attention to when others are around. 

Horse Sense: 

The term horse sense originated in the west in the 1800's and means good common sense. Our dogs have keen sense and can tell our moods or pain. Most wild animals have good sense also and can tell if we mean them harm or not. We have seen this demonstrated numerous times since living with the wild animals for many years. They are on full alert when we encounter them but when they sense no danger they quickly revert back to normal behavior. Common sense is not always common. Our dogs expect us to exercise good common sense when it comes to them. They can do things that could cause them harm but together we each help the other with our different gifts. 

Working Together: 

It is a beautiful thing to see these two aspects working together. Not all humans are attuned to what their canine family member offers nor do some humans have good common sense. It is there however if we just tap into it and take advantage of the union. These things I have both observed and applied for many years successfully.  

Ruby our deaf but loyal and loving girl at age 14 years old. 

Friday, October 30, 2020

29" Of Snow...

We finally cleared enough snow that we could get the tire chains on the tractor. Without chains we are unable to get back up the end of our driveway. We also found the Jeep and got it out and cleaned off. 
We cleared the snow from the garage and now we can access our truck. It has taken a few days but we are slowly getting where we can move around once again. 


Trail Camera Images:

I have taken the trail camera down just prior to the 29" of snow.  There will be no new photos to share but there are still several that have not been shared yet. To enlarge the photo's click on them which makes them easier to see. 


Monday, October 26, 2020

Life In The Mountains

The photo above is this morning. We woke up to 24" of snow and the temperature is presently -7. Compare this to the photo from yesterday and this is how fast things can change in the mountains. We are just shoveling a path for the dogs to go potty because today is when the forecast says heavy snow at times. We are no longer praying for moisture. until we can get out and get around the house. This reminds me of the time we got 6 feet of snow in two days. 


Sunday, October 25, 2020

Weather is Weird In The Mountains

It looks more like the smoky mountains than the rocky mountains. We went out to put the sub-frame on the tractor and it was 43 degrees outside. When we came in about an hour and a half later it was 20 degrees. The weather forecast said it was suppose to rain today and later turn to snow. I don't think it will rain now....

Friday, October 23, 2020

Temperature Drop

When I got up at 5:45 AM this morning it was 42 degrees outside. One hour later it was 19 degrees. The weather in the mountains can be pretty erratic. Today was a 21 degree drop in one hours time. It has dropped to 18 degrees since I have been posting this. 

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Trail Camera Photos

Oh oh, this isn't going to end well. 

Coyote sneaking through the dark..
Reverse selfie

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Unique Trail Camera Photos.....

 It is about time I go fetch the sim card from the trail camera again as I'm running low on animal photos. 

Eyeball this.....good selfie...

I can get my nose higher than you can.......

Monday, October 12, 2020

Pack Rats

This has been a banner year for Pack Rats. We have caught 29 so far in either snap traps or live traps. When we catch them in a live trap we take them to a remote area where there are no homes and turn them loose. I read that if you don't take them at least 1 1/2 miles away their infallible homing instinct or internal GPS will enable them to come right back. 

With the new construction plus existing homes it is getting harder to find a release point but we don't want our pack rat problem to become someone else problem. Driving back home again we noted that there are covenant violations on almost every home. We find that sad as with so many clearly visible it will make our covenants hard to enforce now. It appears that people just do what they want and hence the multiple violations. In the past the people didn't get along well together but at least they complied with the covenants. That is what happens when you have a partisan environmental control committee who selectively enforces covenants mainly against those whom they don't like or hold a grudge against. Sort of reminds me of our Federal Government which seems to be equally partisan. 

I think the saddest part however is seeing our big lake dry because someone in the association decided to drain it to see what the bottom was like and it has now gone past the tipping point and will remain dry for a very long time if not forever. It pays to consider the consequences for your actions and look forward as to what impact those actions will have in the future.  I have seen this done in the past in another area I lived in and the lake never did come back as its source dried up.