Tuesday, November 30, 2010

World Bird Wednesday II

Muscovy Duck-Cairina Mochata

I wanted to take a fresh hot off the press photo to contribute to World Bird Wednesday over at the Pine River Review Blog, but alas...its been dreary and rainy for the past couple of days so Im pulling out a recent shot  (October)...this Duck with her young was sunning on the bank of the Oak Creek pond near my sisters home in Greer, SC.  Every time I go there I always visit the "duck pond" as we call it.  Have seen other wonderful birds there from time to time also.  But I wanted to show off these little fuzz balls-


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  These little fellows are so cute!! I love all birds & have always thought the Muscovy might be the ugly duckling..but NOT TURE...look how pretty!  Here's one more... I wanted to reach out and CUDDLE them they were so charming!!

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Another fun shot I got that day was this fellow--

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"Bottoms up"-and thanks for stopping by-If you want to see other blogs of birds participating in the World Bird Wednesdays  Just follow the link below, and if you want to add your own World Bird, get on over there there's still plenty of time!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

HELP ME----WILMA

You know how sometimes you have to eat your words? That happens to me all the time, but I dont let it bother me, I just shrug and go on, I dont take life near as seriously as people seem to think I do, I would be great at stand up comedy, I have a dry sense of humor that doesnt always come across over the net, but anyways...I am- however- one of those people, like SPOCK on Star Trek..logic plays a big role in my life..
So its purely logical if someone GIVES me something that has value even if its something I said I didnt want and didnt need and would never use, shouldnt I take it anyways??...hey if nothing else I could sell, trade, or pawn, or pass it along, correct? So with a sly wry smile, Wilma II  came into my life.

The reason she is Wilma -The Second- is one of the partners I used to work with up in NYC introduced me to this gal with the same voice and the same bossy attitude!  She brought her to work with us every day and be damned if this gal's voice isnt exactly the same...like Wilma Flintstone!! You know how when Fred has a problem he yells for WILLLLMMMMMMAAAAAAAA--well I wish you could have heard me and Maria yelling for Wilma when we got ourselves in a fix up in New York City, that girl knows how to get you out of a jam!  

I actually got to know the city like the back of my hand before Wilma started riding with us, I mean when people are depending on you to BE there in a emergency you gotta know where you're going and where the closest hospital is too! So I rarely needed Wilma's help, but every now and then Maria and I would be dispatched out of our confrot zone...yeah I know its hard to imagine NYC as your comfort zone, but once you get in the city, its VERY hard going out to the "normal" world..and its DARK--when you get used to street lights everywhere you go, its a dark and desolate world out there beyond the bridges n tunnels as we used to say..
So sometimes we got the call to head upstate to places like Tarrytown, NY to transport some guy that fell off his horse and has a head injury or maybe out to Long Island to Amytiville [YEAH that Amytiville] to bring Mr Poleter Giest to the city for a heart transplant--
--and in the end I did eventually begin to trust Wilma...she got to be one of the gals, a real stand up partner, she was no skale for sure!  It was great to have a third on our bus.

Now that Wilma II is my second in command I enjoy our converstaions although sometimes I can barely get a word in...she is always watching out for us, making sure we dont get any moving violations, its all gotta be legal with this chic she's got it all figured out all you gotta do is listen...and she never lets me forget anything she gives me a heads up just when I'm at the peak of distraction-- she jerks me right back to reality...she is really on top of things...
Yeah Wilma II and me are quite a team---

I thought of naming her Rhonda, but I knew I'd spend all my time singing,
"Help me Rhonda, Help, Help, me Rhonda."....
SO please Welcome WILMA II to my family--Wilma say hello--And "NO we have not arrived yet-what are you calculating, oh you meant my other right...sorrrrryyyyy!!"

She is so pushy~


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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Giving Thanks...to the Memories~

A neighborhood landmark ---We call it This Old House, has been here for many years. ( I would guess since the 1920's)  Its stood vacant of life for the 33 years that I have owned land in the area of this old house....its about a mile away from my home...as the crow flies less.

We have to drive past the house each trip we make to "town", not just us, but everyone--I was in the area of this old house just this week....I decided to pick up the cans that line the road thrown out by the "litterbugs" and I have always done can detail on the road that takes me home, less trash and sometimes I donate the cans to the Fire Department they use the funds for various programs, such as the Stop, Drop, and Roll programs in shcools...so on Sunday I parked my car in the yard of this old house while I collected the cans strewn around the front yard...and I looked at the old house that Ive seen a ZILLION times and thought "I should take a photo of this old house." But then that other little voice said, "why, you have lots of photos of this old house, do it some other time, you're busy right now," so I did'nt, I collected the cans and left.





Mt Zion Rd is one of the country roads that brings us to a main artery to town, Goodale Park Rd.  This is one of the many large tracts of land that has a Vacant Land Owner...which becomes a problem for us rural dwellers...see if the land has no visible signs of life, people start using it as if it were their own...Like a hunt club that leased the land for hunting also used to hold meetings on the porch of this old house...although the house was marked KEEP OUT...And trash dumping was common, teen parking, and pranksters a'many were always around...
So one day I decided to trespass myself and explore the interior of this old house---I keep a small pocket camera in my car all the time -just in case-...usually the battery is dead - but sometimes it works.... the quality of the following photos is minimal-

So inside this old house its kinda spooky---the floor is not safe you have to stay on the edges where its more stable.  Layers of lead paint peeling off the plaster walls show the various occupants tastes, going back in time!

I do recall one homesteader 20 years back...an elderly black woman wearing a kerchief walking with a younger boy possibly a grandson, leading a milk cow...down the dirt road one day and I was very curious to see where they were going...they stopped at this old house for a couple of months...Im sure they had no place else to go so refuge was sought and given here.




Looking back towards the entrance door....the old curtains still hang..there is an amazing amount of light streaming in through the windows and doors of this old house...




The kitchen sink...its about to fall into the rotting floor---Remember this style of sink?  Its porcelain over cast iron...in a free standing metal cabinet. 



One of the fireplace mantels



 the bedroom on the back side, the little Minolta didn't focus but I like the ghostly look of this photo...


the bathroom was most certainly added at a later time, this looks to be a 1950's bathtub


I call this shot the Door on the Right..


this is the back door this goes into the kitchen...


I know you are probably wondering why I didnt put this post up for Halloween...Im sure this old house gave someone a fright on Halloween, like I said teens like to go inside and have beer parties in the rooms that have a strong floor...such as the that back bedroom...here is another shot of the front of the old house..standing under the big tree...


And then yesterday I needed to go to the library...and this is what I found!


Someone burned this old house to the ground!


How quickly the big picture can change!! Here today --Gone tomorrow..so that brings me to this-so now I know what the First little Voice in my head was up to....and the Second little voice should have kept it's mouth shut!! I didn't listen to my first intuition...and now my chance is gone forever--
Enjoy what you have in front of YOU TODAY--many of us, myself included, get caught up in wanting tomorrow to hurry up and get here...meanwhile today is quickly becoming yesterday..

 
Many of the things in my life that I give thanks for are evolving, changing, and disappearing everyday--such as people I know or love, places I love to visit & enjoy, personal freedoms I take for granted, so I should enjoy what is right in front of me,  just as it is RIGHT NOW, maybe we all should! 

Happy Thanksgiving-

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ring Around the TUB!

Flossie
Some~body is getting a bath today-somebody else will watch then she will be thrilled to learn she is NEXT-

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Annie

NO easy feat-- I'd almost rather fell another tree than do this job, its the clean up afterwards that gets next to me!  I think the 50 lbs they each weigh is HAIR- I normally do this outside when its warm,  but now it wont be warm again untill March and they cant wait that long for a bath..so today its going to rain-- good day to close the doggie door and clean these girls up. 


Just look at the dirt in those coats!



 Life was not always this easy for these dogs...


Flossie Longhair at 4 months

These sisters have been with us since the fall of 2008 when we found the entire pack abandoned! 7 of them! 4 boys and 3 girls...I found homes for all but these 2 so even though we loved being free to come and go without the responsibility of pets (for once in my life) we had to take them in. 




These poor dogs were starving-someone had brought them here to the "country" and set them out to die! But they were pretty smart they survived by eating acrons, ripe persimmons that were on the ground, mushrooms, and pine nuts!


Annie Boo Bear at 4 mnoths


They still love to eat all of the above--Annie can shred a pine cone in minutes, and they go mushroom hunting all the time...
On Best Friends Animal Sanctuary webpage I kept a blog called the Timber Creek PACK of my efforts to find homes for this pack and the problems that hit while trying to do that.
I'm glad I kept that blog, it helped me work through my feelings and the sudden responsibility of 7 starving puppies that wouldnt let you touch them, they were so wild!

Annie Playing Touch Football with a Coconut shell

At first I really tried to find a home for Annie too, we thought we would keep only one of the puppies, Flossie, but Annie found her way into our hearts and now I adore her!! She was "that close" to being given away....



Heres some of their Favorite Photos of themselves..not exactly great photos but its hard getting a good photo of these gals they are always on the move!


here they are snow racing...


... taking a stroll in the country



Playing Chase...


Having a disagreement...


Saying Im sorry....



And taking Naps!


Showing independence...


Playing hide n seek...




Trying to out shine each other...


 Showing support for family gatherings..



ah come on give me a belly rub, you know you want to!


Hope you enjoyed this little peek into a dogs life...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

TIMBER!

My time lately has been filled with wearing plaid n
...Giving Wedgies!  Dont believe me?  Well its true- check this out..

This is one way to split a cedar log to make posts and thats to use a WEDGE-n Sledge!



lol I guess someone with BIG muscles (and a blue ox)  could use an axe and split this Eastern Red Cedar.  I cut it down!  It was 30 odd feet tall and it was planted too close to an oak tree and it blocked a lot of sunlight from the lawn so I opted to cut it! I planted it over 30 yrs ago!! Sometimes its hard to know exactly how big a tree will mature to be.



IT was no small feat for my little electric chain saw--but finally it fell, I cut it yesterday and it took the rest of the day to cut all the limbs off. 


 

I decided to make fence posts out of the trunk so I cut it into equal lengths and using the wedge and a small sledge hammer split it into posts.  You have to split with the grain of the wood-I wish there was enough to make a split rail fence to go along our front yard, but I think Ill end up with about 15 posts from this one tree!



This is how it looks once its been split...I have a lot of work to go before its all done!



IT smells heavenly, I took a chunk to put in the linen closet! I have filled the trailer with one huge load of limbs and took that to the landfill, they have a special spot for orgainc stuff they let it rot down then they shred it and we can take it for mulch!  It looks like I will have at least 2 more loads to get it all carted away!  The weather is perfect for being outdoors and doing a little manual labor, something Im no stranger too!! Good thing Im still a TOM BOY after all these yrs!!


Another project I finished up was restoring an old bench we had hanging around in the yard...I placed it by the firepit...we have some big chunks of pine that we used for seating as well...I dont bother with burning logs cause then we smell like Smoke, so I use scented candles in the firepit!! ITs nice to sit around the glow and watch the moon and stars come out while sipping a warm toddy...then when the evening chill gets too much we blow out the fire and go inside!!

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Oh one more thing...Pass the linament!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Raven Cliff Falls Hike

This was a memorable day for me, because Ive been wanting to hike this trail for a long time.  I actually went to hike it a couple years ago and -DUH- got on the wrong trail, I hiked nearly to Jones Gap before I realized I was going the wrong way-- right trail, wrong direction--so finally I got my wish to see the Raven Cliff Falls!

It is located at Ceasars Head State Park in Upstate SC   There are over 50 miles of hiking trails from easy to strenous in this park.  The elevation of the park is around 3,200 ft.  The trail starts at 3,000 ft and drops to 2,000 so the way back was hard in spots...

view of ceasars rock
Once I got to the park I had to go check out the view of the area..and the color was almost at peek one more week it will be awesome. 

Ceasars Head over 7,000 acres

Here's where I messed up last time...the trail head for Raven Cliff Falls starts across the road, somehow that completely escaped me last time & I got on the Foothills trail behind where my car is parked in this shot, but this time I DID cross the road--


Trail head parking there are 3 trails that can be accessed from this lot

You have to register yourself in this little box, write who you are where you are hiking to and when you expect to be back and a number to contact if you dont show up! AND it cost $2 to hike.




This trail is part of the Foothills trail which is a 76 mile backpacking or section hiking trail with access in various places .The sections I did was the Raven Cliff Falls Trail, the Gum Gap Trail, and the Naturaland Trust Trail, which is 6.6 miles round trip. 




For the most part the trail was easy...but then the elevation drops and thats ok going out but coming back ohhhh it hurts.  Saw some great color in the forest and Im always on Lookout for odd things..like this tree with a Keyhole-




 I hiked down the Raven Cliff at 1.4 miles it interesects the Gum Gap trail but take the side trail to left for the view platform thats 0.8 mi away.  From there you can view the falls across the Gap as its called here in the east, out west it would be a canyon! 









The View of the falls is awesome although distant. You need a good zoom to get any kind of a shot..my kodak has a 24 x zoom so it did pretty good...although I like the far off shots best cause it encompasses the Fall display...some trees were already bare of leaves I see.
The falls is a 420 ft drop altogether.  The Dismal Trail which is very strenous takes one down to the lower part of the falls, I did NOT take that trail, I had a quick lunch break here on the platform and visited with other hikers...



the lower falls section

I had not decided at this point whether I would hike to the suspension bridge which is the sturcture you can see in the first 2 shots of the falls, look closely..it looks like a plank going across so I backtracked to the intersection of the Gum Gap trail and decided to go for it...I hiked another 1.1 miles to the suspension bridge...this fellow was on it when I arrived so I gave him his time alone, sort of...



Well after I totally invaded his privacy and took his photo (and a video of him)..lol I ventured up onto the bridge to see for myself...


The view was KILLER..awesome, and the brige was quite stable since its not that long...Ive been on "swinging" bridges that made me air sick...like the Royal Gorge....whew.


I was told by one of the other hikers to NOT take the trail beyond the bridge...its so steep you have to hang onto a rope to climb down...( i have a feeling that is where the DISMAL trail ends up)..SO I took that advice went over had a look and then came back down.  The bridge is positioned just at the precipise of the top portion of the falls (which is sort of a cascade but not)  behind it is this smaller cascade...



     I enjoyed this part of the falls too it was nice.  I took this short video..


video

Then it was time to hike back to the car...and I was beat so I stopped to rest on this really interesting log,



I had an awesome day...I got on the trail at 11 am and got back to my car at 4:30 so it was an entire day but well worth it...and now I can mark off page 260 of my Waterfall Hikes of Upstate SC--which is an ongoing project of mine. 

On the way home these great clouds moved in and gave me a nice end to my day...