Saturday, January 31, 2009

Quick Update

We still have no power at home. Yesterday (Friday) was the first time we were able to go to town and restock provisions like lamp oil, milk and bread. After getting a few supplies, Gary and the Garrison rode back home from Kingston with our neighbor and I went on to work. The little car might be able to make it up Snotgrass hill (maybe it's 'snodgrass', but it sounds like they call it 'snotgrass', lol), but yesterday it would not have. So I stayed overnight at work and caught up on all that I've gotten behind on and am still doing that today. Maybe tonight I'll try to get home, but I can stay another night if needed.

Woodstove cooking has been the highlight of my week without power. I learned how to cook full breakfast (eggs, sausage and biscuits) on the stovetop. Also made cornbread, chicken pot-pie, and a delicious deer soup. So we definitely have not been going hungry, haha. Extra lamp oil would have been nice so we could have had more light. Otherwise, we've been good out there hunkered down in the ice.

Zack got out this morning to go to work. He called while on the road to say that Highway 21 north of Kingston appears to have no standing trees left. The path cleared through was only wide enough for one car and all the trees have been pushed off to the sides. Many are still without power and it might be a week or more before we get it back because there are so many downed power lines and trees. I imagine a lot of fencing repairs will be in order for all the farmers out this way, as well. In my immediate community, there has been no injuries or losses that I know about.

So, until we get power back at home, this might be the last post for a little longer. When power comes back, I'll also have a couple pictures to upload from my phone camera. Charged camera batteries is another good thing to have ready for long power outages and I wish I'd have remembered to bring my charger and camera with me to work.

Good luck and stay warm to all you others out there without power and stuck at home.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ice Storm

We are in the midst of a serious ice storm. Full grown trees are snapping and falling outside. This morning I actually witnessed one falling; usually I hear them and can't tell where they are, but this one was across the creek on the mountainside opposite and I had a clear view. It was so loud, the dogs were barking and the horses were alarmed. I hope none of the big trees on our side fall. Lots of limbs have been snapping under the weight. I moved the horses over to the paddock because our power feed line passes right over the stall and the tree over it is drooping precariously. I'm afraid if the limb breaks it will snap off the feed line to the house and electrocute them in the stall. Or me when I try to help them. Tonight the temps are going to be low enough to freeze all the slush and water solid and we won't be able to get out again tomorrow. Right now temps are just above freezing so the rain is puddling over all the ice already on the ground but it doesn't seem to be melting it off the trees and powerlines, only causing longer icicles to grow everywhere. Power went out shortly after I got up this morning, but now it's back on so I'm trying to get all my email checked and my news read before it goes out again.

This was not a good week for me to have to miss days at work. We've got a huge new project that will take me down to Louisiana next week and I needed this week to prepare. Hopefully I can get out if not tomorrow, then by Thursday or Friday. I'll have to spend all weekend at the lab catching up again before I can leave for the trip.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Last night on my way home from work, a few snow flurries wiggled down from the dark skies. No snow or precip of any sort was in the forecast, so I didn't think much about it. This morning it looked like a blizzard on our way to school and work - beautiful powdery snow, and large flakes! We left Snippy in the stall with hay and water and Comanche is on the outside because they fight too much if left together in close quarters for too long. Comanche handles the cold better anyway. The kids were disappointed that school was not called off, but excited at the pretty snow. We haven't had a good snow yet this year.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Here are some more pictures from today's walk, which this time was with Garrison. This is a strange rock that he found down the road at his friend's house: This is another strange rock that Zack found outside at our house. It's rounded and looks a lot like a turtle sans legs and head.
The picture really doesn't show this one well, but it looks like fossilized coral or sponge. The entire rock is full of holes on all sides.

And this one has an imprint that resembles a brain. It is probably a shell or something, but we like to imagine it is a brain fossil, lol.

Here's Garrison, eating an apple on our hike with Bobbie Sue beside him. Bobbie Sue is the dog we got from the pound as a puppy to be Badger's companion. She has turned out to be a great dog, after a rocky start. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to stop her from chasing the chickens, but she learned and is now a very good guardian to them. I never could understand why she always got in front of the things she tried to herd, as she has a very strong herding instinct. Then I learned that herd dogs come in two types: headers and heelers - she must be a header. She escorts all the cars up and down the driveway, and harrasses the horses from the front of them constantly, trying to make them chase her.

Here is our collection of arrowheads and flint pieces that we've found around the place:
And this fossil looks like either fish scales or the bark of a tropical palm-type tree.

The cave entrance. It's very difficult to access:

So those are the photos from today's walkabout. Hope you enjoy them!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Today's Fun

The first thing we did today was work on the fence. It was steep and hard to do, so we only got a short distance finished, but what we did looks good. For now, the horses will have to stay in the paddock because it's not ready for them yet. Here's a pic of Gabrielle in rare form. She helped me do the hard part today. I bought a fence stretcher, and I can't believe it took me so long to find out about this handy tool.After we wore ourselves out on fencing, we took the horses out for some exercise. They enjoyed themselves and ran from one end of the field to the other, back and forth. Gab is riding Snippy and that's Comanche beside him. This summer, I'll teach Comanche to ride me around. He'll be three in May. He lets me sit on him, but he doesn't know what to do. He likes wearing his saddle and bridle.
Comanche kicking up his heels:
Well, the horses ran off to the other end and didn't come back, so we went off in search of them. They have to go back in the paddock before tonight. We made it over to the cedar grove. The cedar grove seems to be a bone yard, where cows and deer go to die. Zack found a nice 8-point deer skull and skeleton. There are lots of cow skeletons lying around out there among the moss. There are also a few portions of rock walls lost in that area. You can't get to them hardly in summer because the rose and briar brambles are so thick. Here's Gab and Badger. The dogs always go with us on our hikes. I forgot to get a picture of it, but there's lots of bear poop lying around, too, full of persimmon seeds.

Some plants were out to see, and today I saw a sort of grape fern that I've never seen before. It's frilly, very pretty. I think it's red because the frost touched it. But it might just be that color. I don't know exactly what it is, but I'll be looking it up. If you recognize it, send me an email or comment so I'll have a clue.

I didn't know what this pretty little plant was, but Bev let me know that it is a Downy Rattlensake Plantain (Goodyera pubescens), and that it is an orchid, not really a plantain at all. Later in the season I'll go check on it to see if it has flowers and how big it has grown.

Another partial wall:

Another red grape fern, this one more like the others I've seen, with less frill:

And we found a little waterfall, just right for fairies:

Badger on another rock wall, with a cow skull on it:

We made our way down to the gate and there the horses were, wishing someone had left it open.

Here's a bear claw rock: