Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Last of the Mountains

Culture shock has come and gone; back in the city again. Road works and trucks and traffic oh my!! But before that...

Luckily the big dog that belongs to this house was on a leash...

The Coffee boys still keep the best old vehicles!

Still used as a hot rod
(probably once used for 'shine runs)
The Blue Ridge Parkway was color full

Bamboo Gap
There are a lot of good barns around but they sneak up really fast in the up and down of the mountains. I caught what I could.

Just in case you forgot it was Halloween soon.
American pumpkins!

I like the town of Boone a lot but it was packed the day we went there.
Still some good doors though!

A Christmas tree farm

If I were a collector of things instead of photos...

Where are the windows?
Do these sections open? I'll have to find out next time. 

The prettiest barn around
It's good to be back in shorts again!! Tomorrow I'll head up the coast with a friend, back to my old stomping grounds for a few days before coming back here to get back home. It's a good thing I don't make plans...

Have a treat your toes to tapping Tuesday. Do something ticklish. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Moving Right Along

As my time in the mountains draws to a close, fall is really ramping up (no ramps though, that's a Spring thing - how to forage sustainably for them can be read about here). Every day brings brighter colors, every more than a breath of wind brings a shower of leaves letting go, returning to earth to do what leaves do if you let them. I like that much better than plastic bags full of leaves taken...somewhere. 

My daily walks get longer as it gets cooler (though today they say it will be in the 80's! I'll believe it when I feel it), but keeping an eye on things seen before is fun. 

This is what happened to the mushroom family.

Mushroom flowers!

The way they shred out as they open makes me want to try eating one so much - but I won't. I definitely need a mycologist up here someday!

This little one is still bravely blooming
My brother will be up here tomorrow and everything will change. From food to activities. I've not been off the mountain now for a few weeks, which is nothing like not being off of Culebra for a few weeks. It's been a good time of sorting things out for the next phase of the journey. I dare not say a plan because that word and I don't seem to get along very smoothly. I didn't go stir crazy. Well, except for that one night but what is wrong with singing along with Eric Clapton songs very loudly while dancing? Maybe scaring away any wild creatures for the foreseeable future but hey, there's lot of forest out here.

You just keep me hanging on...

Surprising me, no rain came from this very dramatic cloud
While out walking, I saw another tree that had broken during the storm. It wasn't in the road but it was stuck in a wedged place against another tree that eventually could have fallen and done some damage. At least, that was our story when LC tossed a line over it, secured it to the truck and pulled it down. 

Sadly, there aren't many of these particular pines left as a nasty beetle
has made inroads, killing many of them

Unfortunately, this tree was a victim of the beetles
so when the wind came it was just weak enough to break
Things get done up here much like they do at home!

It took a few truck tugs to bring it down 

Did you know the smell of pine sap deters cottonmouth snakes?
It's true.

All piled up for someone to use AFTER the fire ban is lifted

Poor tree
It is/was such a gorgeous tree, it makes me a little sad just to walk by it. Even though there is no shortage of gorgeous trees here, this one always caught my attention because of its curvaceous limbs and beautifully figured bark.

Falling in love with trees is sort of like having fun with balloons; it is best to keep in mind it's a temporary pleasure. Damn you, Shel Silverstein!

The moon is still pretty glorious in rising. Keep your eyes open tonight!

Have a treerific Tuesday! Do something totally tingly.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Why God Invented Heaters

After the wind and the rain blasts of Hurricane Matthew, the beauty and drama of fall is taking center stage. 

Here in the woods, it’s hunting season. Bow season for deer has been underway and now, pig season has begun. While I might have the occasional ‘OH MY GOD, I’M SO FAT! moment, I do have a big love and respect for my body parts being attached to each other in a symmetrical, upright and breathing fashion, so my walking attire probably needs to have something brighter than anything I own except for red moccasins. Unfortunately, I doubt hunters are looking at a pig’s feet while they are still moving, rather, they save that for the brining jar after success, so red shoes are not going to be a big help. 

But oops! I was then reminded, it’s not pig season, it’s bear season. I was so all over not wanting to be taken for a pig I just ran right over the fact that being taken for a bear would be a lot easier. 

Yesterday, while walking around with a friend who knows from experience a whole lot about bears, he stopped, smelled the air and casually said he thought one was nearby. I believed him. We just kept walking. For some reason, bears don’t really scare me (well, okay, hearing one snuffling nearby? that concerns me to awareness factor - if it's dark and the only thing between me and a bear is a tent wall? yes, color me scared, hence the RV - life is too short to be scared when you don't have to be scared). 

Of course, I'm talking about black bears, not brown bears / grizzlies, which scare me sincerely. But with a black bear, for the most part, unless you are between a mama and her cub(s) or acting aggressively - like taking away your candy bar that you foolishly left out on your picnic table - you probably, most likely good chances are, you aren’t going to get into trouble if you play by the rules* (see *rules). 

The best thing to happen yesterday is that I finally got to use a two handled crosscut saw. As many old readers know, I have a bum arm, so I really never thought I’d get to do this thing that I never tried, before the time for trying new arm things was up; there's not many times sailing when you need to use a cross cut saw, thankfully. But this wasn’t a redwood, it was a soft pine and I had to give it a try with an experienced person on the other side to teach me how.

Not a huge tree but big enough to block the road
I forgot to get a photo actually using this baby
Surprise! It doesn’t really take a lot of push pull. It’s more of a 'guide the glide' back and forth in a straight fashion. Of course, if I’d done it all day on hardwoods? For one (and the only) thing, that wouldn't have happened. This was three full cuts through a small diameter tree. Using a saw that was last used 50 years ago, a saw still sharp and clean. Yeah. That was very cool. I didn't know it was on my bucket list, but I'm crossing it off anyway. No pun intended.

It's out of the road and smells like Christmas!
The sights keep changing and staying the same. Wild turkeys in the yard, too quickly scared by the sound of my feet on the porch for me to pixel them, the leaves of the trees now moving into new colors every day, mushrooms popping up only to soon return back to earth

One day brilliant

The next day not so much. I wonder what nibbled here and
if it is still alive?
The leaves have almost all fallen from the wild grapes, leaving them exposed and looking like they are part of the pines. I've heard they sweeten with the first frost, but can also make you an instant member of the Imodium club (oh! folk cure for that that really works? Nibble some burned toast. Try it).

Wherever you are, enjoy this time of change. I'm ready to be warm again but until I am? There is a lot of beauty to visually wallow in (not physically, there are chiggers here!).

Have a tactile Tuesday. Do something teachable.

Sunday, October 9, 2016