Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Finished projects from the retreat

I have finally finished the projects from the retreat that was held the first of November of this year. I think I took almost every class offered as they were all wonderful.

My favorite has to be the Russian Leaf necklace taught by Carol. I have wanted to learn how to make a Russian Leaf for a very long time. They use a version of the Peyote stitch and there are many different versions of the leaf. I love this one. I also liked the necklace the leaves are on.

This is Jan's Garden Bracelet. I used all leaves. It is a fun bracelet to wear. I want to do another with summer flowers.

Genny taught us this Inverted Round Chain maille bracelet. There are 4mm crystals captured inside the bracelet.

Kassie taught us this wavy Herringbone bracelet. I love the Herringbone stitch as it feels so soft and flowing. I really like this pattern. It was such fun to walk around the room and see all the different colors.

The retreat was a great deal of fun as they all are.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

It Snowed!

The recent snow storm that moved up the East coast leaving much of the area covered in white left us with rain. I have had lots of fun looking at snow pictures on the web, but really wanted to see real snow. With that thought in mind, we ventured up to our property in North Carolina to see snow!

This was the first view of the snow as we approached the North Carolina boarder.

And here is one of the roads near our property. They were all fairly clear as plows had been along the road at some point. There was the occasional abandoned car to dodge along the way.

The view of the private drive to our property. Hmmm No tracks on the drive. The neighbors were either hibernating in their homes or had gone to town for the duration.

We did start up the drive. It is a narrow drive that curves and changes elevation often. It had rained during the night. The snow was packed and more ice than snow. Even though the truck had four wheel drive, we were slipping on the steep, curvy portions. We had tire chains that would have helped, but there was no real reason to drive all the way. It was fun to walk on the road and see how everything looked covered in snow. We saw the tracks of the animals like those of the deer below.

The pond was beautiful with snow all around.

This is one of the streams.

The deck at the over look.

Our neighborhood bear had wandered through sometime after the snow. Our game cameras showed us that he wandered around the night of the major snow fall. He came on to the property near the pond.

He wandered around the pond and headed toward the neighbor's property.
They have put out food for the raccoons in the past. He was probably hoping for a midnight snack.

I later found his prints where he had come back on the property. The last tracks were heading down the mountain. It was fun to follow his path. The prints seemed huge, but that might have been due to the way the snow melted away from his imprint. I guess this blows the theory that the bears hibernate during the winter in the South.

Snow makes the woods look so different.

More tracks in the snow. I don't think the tracks between the tire tracks were deer. The deer seem to cross a road or path while these tracks went right down the middle. Perhaps they were coyote.

It was a fun adventure.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A seasonal favorite

This is one of my favorite You Tube Christmas videos

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Bandit Released

Video made by someone attending the release of Bandit.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Ida delivers 6 inches of rain

The tropical system Ida passed through Western North Carolina in early November, dropping lots of rain in a short time period. The pond filled to overflowing as the rain continued to fall.

Several days after the rain, the pond was still over flowing.

Run off was still coming down the mountain to the pond.

Beautiful, clear water flowing into......

and out of the pond.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Porter's orginal song

This is Porter. Not my dog, but I love his musical abilities.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Eaglet Bandit to be Released

Bandit is the eaglet in British Columbia featured on the Hancock Wildlife web cam from the time he was in the egg to when he jumped out of the nest due to being startled by a branch falling. I shared some pictures of him here. An organization called O.W.L. (Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society) has been caring for him in preparation for the time he can be released into the wild. The time this coming Saturday. He is healthy and flying. Also important, the eagles have returned to the area from northern fishing grounds. Soon the salmon will be spawning in the local rivers and there will be abundant food for him.

The release date is November 21, 2009 at 3 P.M. The place is Sandpiper Golf Resort in Harrison Mills, BC. The Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival is at the same location on November 21-22. It would be great fun to attend the festival and to watch Bandit take his first flaps to freedom. He has been strong enough and mature enough for release for several weeks. But there were no other eagles in the area as they had all gone to northern fishing grounds. The best chance for Bandit's survival requires other juveniles and adult eagles to be in the area. He will learn from them.

One of O.W.L. volunteers was granted special permission to film Bandit in his flight cage. The video shows where Bandit has lived these past weeks. It also shows the ingenious design of the flight cage. The cage is long with staggered partitions that encourage flight development. It also allows the eaglets a way to get away from the people that enter the cage to feed and clean. It is important for their survival in the wild that the eaglets do not become accepting of people.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Wildlife around the pond

We've had the game camera recording the action around the pond this weekend. The pond is a popular place with all of the local wildlife anytime day or night. I've uploaded four short videos taken from the camera.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Another Bear visit

You know, it is hard to tell one bear from another. They don't have spots or any distinguishing marks. The guy below visited the camp site on October 19. It is the only capture from that day. I don't know if this is one of the twins that visited earlier. Or momma to the triplets. Or a different bear.

The next night these two were back. One is behind the table and a bit hard to see. It had been a month since these two were last captured by the camera.

One thing we noticed was the water jug on the table was not disturbed during either visit. Last month the same jug was on the table, but it was covered by a black trash bag. Both sets of bears investigated the jug and knocked the jug off of the table. We wondered if it was the black bag that attracted them. Since the jug did not have a bag over it and they did not bother it, it seems the bears associate the black trash bag with goodies.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Osceola, the Hang Gliding Eagle

I love this video and story of Osceola, a bald eagle who lost a wing as an immature eagle and was able to return to the skies 13 years later. John Stokes tells the whole store here. Enjoy the video and visit the site to learn how this all came about.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Oh My--back for another visit

This past week there was an opportunity to retrieve the SD card from the game camera on the WNC property. And guess who had paid a visit.

But, doesn't this one look a bit smaller than the other two? The game camera was moved because the bears were able to get to it and knock it. It is in a different tree and higher up. So this could be the one of the two bears that visited before. Wonder where the other one is?

There's the second one.

Uh...three? So these probably are different bears. Are they old enough to be away from their moma? Where is moma? Do I really want to know?

We have never had the bears visit while we are staying on the property. I'm not sure I want to be there when they visit, but it looks like it will now be a possibility.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

No Lions or Tigers, but---Oh my!

We keep game cameras up on our property in Western North Carolina. It's fun to see the various wildlife that live in the area and visit the property. We have captured pictures of turkey, deer, and raccoons. I know there are coyotes in the area, but they stayed away from the camera lenses.

Black bears live on the mountain. Our neighbors have reported seeing a 'baby' black bear, so we knew we had a chance to capture one on the game camera. This does not look like a baby to me! The camera uses an infrared flash to take pictures in the dark so the animals do not see a white flash. That also means the picture is black and white.

They visited 3 nights in a row.

Our neighbors feed the raccoons which is why there are now bears in the area. They are not happy about the bears visiting. We pointed out if they stop feeding the raccoons, the bears might stop coming. They said they would continue to feed the raccoons.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Of Honey and Bees

My hair seemed to be a bit dry, so I thought a SMT might be the ticket to add some moisture and shine. What is a SMT? Snowymoon's Moisture treatment--named by the creator on a long hair forum that I visit. The treatment involves taking 4 parts of a hair conditioner, preferably without silicone or protein, 1 part honey, 1 part clear aloe gel. Heat in the microwave about 30 seconds and mix well. Make sure it is just warm, not hot enough to burn. Put on dry or wet hair, cover with a plastic cap. Leave on for about an hour. Rinse well. I have to lightly shampoo or my hair seems coated. But the treatment seems to work.

The honey is a humectant and will draw in moisture. Everyone's hair is different and has different requirements. The great thing about the treatment is that it is easy to tweak to individual needs. It is also cheap as I use Suave brand Naturals conditioner.

I mix my SMT, glop it on my hair, cover with a plastic bag, and a bandanna. Now--what to do for an hour or so while the ingredients work their magic. The yard needs mowing---why not.

I head out to the back yard, pull out the mower, fill it up with gas and then look for my work gloves. Found them---sitting on the edge of the screened porch.

I grab a glove and it buzzes! I carefully look inside to find that a carpenter bee has turned my glove into a cozy bee-bungalow. Not cool. Carefully putting a stick into the glove thinking the bee will climb on the stick and I can pull him out. Nope. The bee retreats farther into the glove.

See the yellow speck far in the glove. It's the bee.

A little closer look...

And a bit closer. He is really hiding in there.

Here is a picture of a carpenter bee on some blossoms. Carpenter bees are huge--about 3/4 to 1 inch in length.

Want a closer look?

The bee was not leaving the glove. Perhaps the bee was hungry. I place the glove the bush with the blooms and wait for him to crawl out. Not going to happen. Admitting defeat, I mow the yard without gloves. The honey and conditioner mixture start dripping out from under the plastic and bandanna wrap. At one point I wondered if I should see if the bee would climb out of the glove for the honey in my hair. But the loudness of the buzz coming from my glove convinced me to leave the critter alone.

Carpenter bees are neat critters. They do not live in hives like other bees. They will drill into wood and make little tunnels where they lay their eggs. Here is a neat site explaining all about carpenter bees.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

End of Summer

This time of year I am always looking for signs that summer is ending and autumn is near. One big one seems to be the size of the pond.

It is depressing how the lack of rainfall shrinks the pond. While the drought is not as bad this year as in years past, the area is still over 10 inches short of rain. But there are late summer flowers everywhere.