“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.”

― Frank Herbert

Friday, February 14, 2014

There and back again.


The snow is melting off.  There's still a lot of it out there but if tomorrow is warm, I think it will be gone. The dogs and I trekked down to the hard surface county road, and it was relatively dry.


This is the old forest service road I use to get down the mountain to the paved county road. Strangely, there were no tire tracks on it at all. Usually after a snow young people come out into the forest on their four wheelers or in four wheel drive vehicles, but there were no tire tracks. There were lots of animal tracks though.  I saw possum tracks, deer and raccoon tracks, and bear tracks. Also lots of canine type tracks but I can't tell if they were coyote, dogs, or our little Red Wolves from Florida. Probably coyote and dog tracks.  I am not Daniel Boone but those are all relatively easy to recognize.


Here's the creek at the foot of the mountain.  It's between 3 and 4 feet deep in most places, and the water is not polluted because it comes out of the national forest. There is nobody up in those woods to throw trash in it or whatever.  There's not a lot of water in it right now, it's much prettier in the summer.  There's one deep pool with flat river rocks at the bottom where my kids used to swim when they were little.


This oak tree down by the gate is still alive, and growing that way.  It's on the bank of a spring that comes up on my property, and has just leaned over across the road but it's not dead.

It was nice to get out for awhile.

28 comments:

  1. G'day Harry,

    The walk down the road looks very pretty, I think I could handle that much snow as long as you gave me some cold weather gear, I really don't have any and would not know what to wear (other than wool which I know will keep you warm even if it is wet).

    Here it has been raining all night and morning and is very humid, I am sitting in front of the fan typing this. At least my wife won't have to spend hours watering the vegetable patch & garden, it has been a pretty dry summer this year. Nice to hear the creek out the front of the house flowing again too.

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    1. I'm sure you would have enjoyed the walk today. It was so much warmer, and the sun was out. On the way back I wished I hadn't gone so far, but I wanted to make it to the county road and see if there was ice on it. There wasn't but I'm sure on the curves where the sun doesn't shine on the road there still is.

      Does your house have air conditioning? I know some places in the U.S, people don't need it but I'd think if the humidity was high it would be essential.

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    2. No we don't have any, we have ceiling fans in the rooms which do a reasonable job in keeping us cool. Mostly we get dry heat, Feb is probably the most humid month. We have insulation in the roof and as the house faces west we have big pull down sun shades on the outside of each window on the front of the house to keep out the worst of the sun.

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    3. Sounds like you have a nice set up, and it's outstanding that you can be comfortable without air. I wish I could, I'd have a lot more reasonable power bill. Summer here is really humid though, I swear I don't know how people lived here before AC was invented.

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  2. I would not touch the leaning Oak...very picturesque...

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    1. I switched propane companies because of that tree not long ago. They bought new trucks, and the trucks had some kind of smoke stack. They couldn't get under it. So the manager came out and told me I had to cut the tree. I told him I didn't have to do anything but die eventually. I went and switched companies to one that had some trucks able to get under it. That tree has probably been there more than a hundred years. No way am I going to cut it.

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  3. Harry some great photos. You are in a truly beautiful area. I love the creek photo. Stay safe.

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    1. Hey, Rob. It's nice here. Especially since 2007 when the population decreased dramatically here in this county. Peaceful.

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  4. The family and I got up to the retreat around noon today with 5-6" of snow on the ground. I didn't make it 30 seconds out the truck and had my first snowball in hand and oldest son targeted. Remember, this is the first time they have been in snow. They thought it was cool, until their feet got cold and wet and hands were frozen. We did manage to get a good 1 hour snowball fight in before it really started melting here in the upstate. Wonder if this will be the last for the year? Glad to hear you got out today, everybody here has been cooped up since Tuesday and they were all out today.

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    1. I was sure you would cancel the trip with all this weather. But if your kids are in snow for the first time, then that just enhances the trip. North Georgia usually gets snow right through the second week of March in a normal year, but this hasn't been a normal year.

      It was great to get out and walk some, nice day for it. It's raining pretty hard here right now, so maybe tomorrow I can get the jeep out and go to town, such as it is.

      I'm really glad you and the family made it to your place. I'll bet it was a treat to see it in the snow. I'm sure your wife got some pictures and I look forward to seeing them.

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  5. Are those bald cypress or pines mostly? And does that stream have fish in it? I dearly wish I had a good fishing stream near me. As I have said your a lucky man and I just cannot understand not being content to stay on that mountain forever. I dread going into town most times I have to.

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    1. There was a hatchery two counties over, and they used to come put fingerling trout in that creek every year. The state shut it down to save money, but I still see trout in it, especially at the deep hole where the kids used to swim.

      Those are pines. We don't have any cypress trees here. I wish we did.

      I don't go to town a lot, but I like to look at the magazine rack at the grocery store, and I like to eat lunch in there, or just have coffee.

      It's not so much me that wants to leave as it is my wife, but lately I've had some aggravation with upkeep, and some annoying things like "is there a leak in the pipe to the apartment or not." Living some place where I just pick up the phone and say "come fix this" sometimes has a certain allure. Who knows. Nobody can tell what will happen in the next hour, let alone five years from now.

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  6. It will be nice to walk around with the snow off the ground. It snowed here last night. Just enough to cover the streets. Tomorrow it's supposed to melt.

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    1. Yes, I'll be glad to see the last of this. It was an interesting experience but overall, not one I would care to repeat any time soon. It's raining hard here now, so in the morning maybe all the snow and ice will be gone.

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  7. Harry - i am really glad that you got out today! your place is beautiful and i love that tree that you are protecting! your spring/river is beautiful too - i love running water. i can sit and listen to water all day long!

    today is our community smelting tournament...it's just before 5am and i am too excited to sleep. i am waking the man at 7am. he is helping our friend drill all of the holes in the ice before the tournament. it's windy, rainy, snowy, sleety and windy some more....but the smelting tournament must go on. i love smelt!

    your friend,
    kymber

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    1. G'day Kymber, can I ask a question? what is smelting? I presume you are not melting down a batch of lead or something like that!

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    2. Don't fall through the ice, you and J.

      I think it's about fishing, isn't it?

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    3. g'day Sgt - smelting is fishing for smelt. i asked Stephen if he knew smelt and he did so maybe they call it something different where you. smelts are like big sardines and you ice fish for them. yell if you have any other questions!

      Harry - no one fell through the ice but the smelt just weren't biting today. it might have had something to do with 5 atvs doing donuts out on the ice! only 2 out of 80 people got any smelt - one guy got 20 and then jam was the last off of the ice because he promised to get me some smelt - he got me 4 good ones. he's going out with another friend of ours on a quiet evening and they should do much better then.

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    4. I've never been ice fishing. I think I'd be afraid of falling through the ice. How can you tell it's thick enough to go out on. Aside from picking the heaviest person in the group and telling them to walk out there, I mean!

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    5. Harry - here is a link to the old farmer's almanac for safe ice fishing:

      http://www.almanac.com/sites/new.almanac.com/files/258_icethickness.pdf

      the lake that the tournament was on was a good 2ft deep of ice. the only way to make the holes was to use a gas powered ice auger. our friend brought his and made about 40 holes. it takes less than a minute with the auger to dig the holes.

      this was an ice fishing tournament in memory of a dear friend of both of our communities who died several years ago. they hold the tournament and charge $10 dollars, all of which is collected for a charity called Christmas Daddies. it was a fun event, me and my friend c even went out to cheer everyone on. however, it was much less about fishing and more about hanging out on a frozen lake on a beautiful, sunny day drinking your face off - bahahahahah! jam had a really good time, but he definitely wants to go out again, with one of our friends, just the two of them to get me more smelt! i loooooooooooove smelt!!!!

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    6. Thanks for the answer Kymber,
      I live in Australia so the only ice I ever see is in the ice cube tray in the freezer! I'm with Harry, I would be really hesitant about walking on a frozen lake, especially as I am probably the bloke they would pick to test the ice.

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    7. bahahahahahaah Sgt! i don't know which was funnier, your first sentence or your second! i'll be giggling all night! and you are very welcome, my friend. i served with many Australians during my time in the CF and they were all a real hoot! i also once did a temporary duty in Sydney and what a beautiful city! but i really liked Canberra!

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    8. Two feet thick? God, it must be cold up there!

      You're not having us on, are you Kymber? I mean, this is not the Canadian version of a Snipe Hunt, or a Sea Bat, is it?

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    9. Harry - i have never heard the terms snipe hunt or sea bat - bahahahahaha! we did a similar thing with newbies when they got to our signals station. out in the field were bazillions of antennas and satellite receivers. when a new person came on shift, in the middle of the shift the Warrant Officer would come in looking all freaked out and go to the Sergeant and whisper. both would then look very upset. the Sergeant would then announce to the shift that one of the antennas wasn't working. he would then give the new person a long piece of metal and explain that he needed to go and stand by the antenna to fix the signal. this was always done on a midnight shift so the person would take a flashlight and go out in the middle of the antenna farm, we would all be watching from the deck and the Sergeant would say " a little more to the left....no a little more to the right". and then we would leave that person out there in the field for 2 or 3 hours. it was a hoot!

      you don't even want to know the shenanigans we pulled on people in Alert - bahahahahaahah!

      2ft thick is a little uncommon here but normally we get at least 1ft thick on our lakes and small rivers, etc. the lake we were on isn't very deep so it freezes quickly especially when we've had a month of sub-freezing temperatures. this month of sub-freezing temperatures came earlier than normal and was consistent. hope this all makes sense! thanks for teaching me new words - bahahaha!

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    10. Cheers Kymber,
      I am from Sydney so I am biased, Canberra would be ok if it wasn't full of Politicians and "Public Servants"!

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    11. Sgt - i completely understand loving the place that you are from as i love my island fiercely. Sgt - did you know that we only have one city here on the island? it has a population of 36,000 people so it should probably be called a big town. do you know what the name of that city is???? now go do some looking up on the interwebs - i think that you will be quite surprised - bahahahahah!

      i just really liked how nice the folks were in canberra. that and the fact that we had a real good "hoot-out" in one of the pubs there!

      Sgt - my email address is kymberzmail@gmail.com - i'd love to chat through email so that poor Harry doesn't have to put up with us using up all of his comment space - bahahahaha! i have some seriously awesome stories about the tasmanian devil that i worked with, who was contracted through the UN here in canada, made about $10,000 dollars american a day, who came from a village of 75 people in new zealand!!! this guy was a scream! and i'd also like to tell you of my good times in australia. and i'd like to tell you how well canadian and australian siginters worked together. if yer interested, that is!

      harry - sorry for hogging your comment section but i meet so many interesting people here. in fact, harry, i blame you for it - bahahahahah!

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    12. Well blow me down! Thanks for the e-mail address, will drop you a line.

      OK Harry, I'll get off now and get back to work!

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    13. Hey, I was enjoying just listening in. Don't drop off your conversation on my account, I enjoy it. It's like talking with friends.

      Sea bats and Snipe hunts are exactly like what you did in the antenna field. Just a joke you play on unsuspecting marks.

      Kymber is good people, Sgt. You'll like her a lot. Everybody does.

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