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

― Frank Herbert

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Thunderstorms



We have thunderstorms rolling through this afternoon.  With any luck, that's all it will be.  Unfortunately, this region has a long history of April tornadoes.  It wouldn't surprise me to see a few of those blow up.  They usually tear up the counties to the Southwest of us. I can remember driving through two adjacent counties a few years back and seeing great views where there had been none before, because the forest had been uprooted.

In some places, where there had been little groups of houses, there were only flat cement foundations with pipes sticking up out of them.  In general, we have been lucky here, only one tornado has touched down in our county in five years, and that was up by the North Carolina border.

I have new chicks running around outside.  Four black chicks and two yellow ones, all with the same hen.  My dogs are good at finding the nests and eating the eggs, so this hen must have done an outstanding job of camouflage with her nest. We have big clay pots on the porch, and the hens like to lay in those. My old labrador makes the rounds checking the pots several times a day. When she gets an egg, she carries it off and just keeps it for awhile. finally she cracks the egg very gently and eats the contents.  Good for her, and good for me because I already have more chickens than I need.  The roosters kill each other wholesale in spring, so too many roosters isn't a problem.  I should cull the hens, but my wife and daughter forbid the shooting of the "chickies" so that's out.


It's also the time of new kittens.  The mother of this batch won't keep them in a box. She moves them to the porch.  So I put an old robe down for them and walled it in with diesel jugs.  Doesn't look very homey but I find they have a higher survival rate if you comply with what the Queen wants. Otherwise she tries to carry them off and they die.


I'm very grateful that Spring is finally here. This last winter nearly finished me off.  The leaves are all back on the trees now, the meadow is full of blue flowers and green grass.  At this point the climate is perfect, I don't have to run the heater or the air.  In a few more weeks, I'll be running the air conditioning in the house, the shop, and the apartment full tilt all day and night  The main culprit is humidity. The humidity here will hit 90% on a normal day, and you have to keep the enclosed spaces dry and cool.  Not just for the humans and ferrets, but to prevent mold and mildew.


This is the time of year when gold panning is best, because it's comfortable by the streams. I'll probably do some panning this week, near the house.


Last year my son came down for a visit and we did some panning way back out there.  It would be nice if he could make it down again but I don't know what the status of his vacation time is at work.



This time last year I was spending a lot of time walking around the lake for exercise. I think I might start doing that again.  It's only about a ten minute drive if I cut through the forest on an old forest service road.  That's an early morning activity, you have to do it before it gets hot.  But it's a nice start to a day.

22 comments:

  1. I'll trade ya some cats for chickens... straight up even trade, one for one :)

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    1. I gave some chickens to a guy once, and we had the very devil of a time catching them. They're all over you normally, but I think they got suspicious when we brought out the net. I gave him two roosters and three hens, and now he has a flock of about 30 on his little farm.

      The number of cats here doesn't really bother me as long as I have enough to keep down the rodents around the house and in the barn. They get fed once a night and I doctor them to the best of my ability for infections, wounds, and sickness but they are pretty self sustaining.

      Too bad you don't live closer. I'd be happy to give you some chickens, as many as you wanted, gratis.

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  2. Hi Harry, just returning the visit. I have enjoyed reading your post here. I have never kept chickens or panned for gold but who knows, maybe one day. I like chickens and have seen a lot of them on our trips around. Family out in ND have them and I enjoy visiting the old homestead. You mentioned the hippo at Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. He's still there and I took photos of him. I'll be making a post of him for next weekend. Thanks for stopping by and have a great week.

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  3. I'm glad the old Hippo was left alone. The people who wanted to take away his little pool and send him off to a zoo because he didn't "fit in" were wrong. He was there a lot longer than any of them, because I remember seeing him when we used to go down to the cabin on the river when I was a kid.

    Chickens are good security alarms, nothing gets near the house without them fussing, like the sacred geese on the Roman forum. I get too many eggs but the dogs help with that issue. I enjoyed reading your posts, and appreciate your stopping by.

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  4. The waterfall is pretty.

    My Mom and I love to go gold panning. The only place that you can go around here is about 1 1/2 hours away, and is basically panned out. We never find anything except some pretty rocks, but have a lot of fun. Ever since my Mom got the Missing 411 books, she freaks out anytime I walk around a bush out of view. It's kinda funny. So I tell her I'm going to go disappear, when I explore the panning grounds.

    Kimberly

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    1. Kim, This part of the Blue Ridge mountains was where gold was first discovered in the U.S., before the 49'ers. There's still lots of it here and it fun to pan. I liked to watch Gold Fever on the tv, it's a funny show and I learn from it too.

      I worry about my daughter all the time. She goes for walks in her neighborhood at night and calls me on cell phone to talk. I always fuss and fuss when I hear she is walking at night alone. I wish she wouldn't.
      You never quit worrying about your kids no matter how old they get. My mother is 85 and still sends me little packages of coffee and peanuts and such. Can you imagine sending someone who lives in Georgia a box of peanuts? ;-)

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  5. Glad things are good on the mountain. We had rain today and rain is forecast all week. At lest its not snow. I am sure our growing season is going to be short like last year.

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    1. It's supposed to storm here really hard tonight and tomorrow. Arkansas, Kansas and some other state got pummelled really hard today and yeterday.

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  6. Harry - your mountain sure is beautiful! i am glad that spring is finally here too! and that was sweet of you to put down a robe for the kittens - you are right tho, if the Queen wants to put them in a particular place there is no stopping her. i think the diesel jugs look quite homey!

    the other night in the hottub i was saying to jambaloney that you have such a gorgeous log home (we love it!), plus you are up there by yourself most of the time, AND you have that apartment which is probably bigger than our whole cottage. i was joking of course, but i said - we should go and move in with Harry. that's when jambaloney reminded me of the humidity up there. oh how i almost near died when i was down in maryland for 3 months during the summer. the humidity almost killed me. and of course it's 10 times worse where you are. so, you have no worries of me and jam showing up at your house in a u-haul, 13 sets of encyclopaedias, 2 truck fulls of junk from jam's garbage pile and 3 cats. just wanted to take that worry off of your mind - bahahahahaha! much love to you and all of yours!

    your friend,
    kymber

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    1. You might like it here. It does get humid, but at night it isn't so bad. Once late July gets here, it's at it's worst. You can't walk from the house to the apartment without having to take a cold shower and change your shirt. I'm not kidding, I've been in the Philippines and Okinawa, which are humid, but it wasn't as cloying as this. I bet up there on your beach it's dry, isn't it.

      You two may have to come live down here anyway when they put me in the old folks home. My ferrets will need a caregiver.

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    2. Harry - first off, how is little Ragnar doing?

      next - on our sweetest summer days it gets to about 28-30C but because of the ocean and the river, it's never humid. and we have the clearest skies known to man. we love going down to our beach - the waves are so majestic and the sun is always sparkling off of the waves. the first time i took jamie to the ocean, he couldn't believe it. he'd been to the ocean as a child but forgot that salt water makes you buoyant! he's normally a "sinker" because of his size and weight but when he is in the ocean he floats and he giggles and loves it. i would love to take you to my ocean Harry, it was and always will be my home! i love our river, it tastes salty because the ocean runs in it and i always take big drinks when i dive in. i love the river's silty, muddy bottom - jam, being a city boy always wears shoes - bahahahah! but i love that squishy feeling in my toes. our ocean is beautiful white sand and i love the feeling of that too! i always take big drinks from the ocean when i dive in, too.

      Harry, if your ferrets ever need caring for - you just yell. we have the same deal with the ferrets as we have with your kids, ok?

      and if they ever put you in an old folks home, there's a whole pile of us who would break you out and sneak you across the maine/new brunswick border and bring you here. period.

      much love to you and yours always. your friend,
      kymber

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    3. Kymber,
      His biopsy came back nonmalignant. I was already prepared for the worst in my mind and getting ready for the trauma of having another ferret slowly slip away. So, that's one thing that has gone my way and I am vastly relieved. He hasn't been himself since his operation, but the vet said he was looking good and his wound has healed up nicely.

      You have the best of both, a river and the ocean. The whole time I was in the Marines I either lived on the ocean, or was sailing on it in a Navy ship. I miss it very much. Glock Mom was talking on one of her posts about a sign she made in the sand on the beach and I started missing the ocean so much I pulled up the web cam on the beach at Tybee Island and just watched the waves come in for half an hour. I do that a lot at night, just at sunset I watch their web cam. Miriam and I have to get down there for a weekend soon.

      The only way I will give up my ferrets is if I'm dead. ;-) I know you would take good care of them, but I don't know how I would get them up there and they might be a handful for you. I think I am going to make arrangements with a North Georgia ferret rescue to take them if anything happens to me and my family can't take care of them. But I think they would be unhappy, because they are used to not living in cages and most ferret rescues have to have cages to house the greatest number possible. If I build a ferret rescue up here, I am going to dedicate a small building to them, purposed designed so they can live freely and still be protected and have the environment they need. I know you and J would take good care of the little guys and I appreciate the kind offer, Kymber.

      I hope I am still in possession of my senses if it comes to the old folks home. Then I will do what the Indians did. They were a lot smarter than we are about that. When their time came, they just found a nice spot in the woods, sat down and died. That way you aren't a burden to anyone, and you go with dignity. There's no dignity in being senile and a figure of pity and contempt. A Greek philosopher once said that when a man reached his prime, he should ascend to heaven on a fiery cloud because every day after that day would be one of decline. At the olympic games, if someone did spectacularly well, the people in the stands used to shout "die now!" as he got his prize. The point being, it won't ever get any better than this. But we take old people and keep them alive long past the point where they want to be alive, and they turn into objects of pity and disgust. That's not the way I'm going out.

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  7. Beautiful waterfall & I love that 1st pic. The humidity has already found us. I was sweating just putting my stuff in my vehicle this morning. 75 at 7:30a is just wrong!

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    1. It hit 57% in the house this afternoon and I am running the air. I guess summer is coming on. It's 76 outside, but this gulf air coming up here in really moisture rich.

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    1. Just a little worn at the edges, Dani.
      Thanks for the nice email. I appreciated it.

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  9. Say, I was at work at the hospital tonight, having my supper around 9 PM Central, watching the Weather Channel and it looked like the weather had turned to crap around Chattnooga and points all 'round it. I hope and pray you and yours and your stuff, for that matter, came through all this okay. KB

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    1. KB, it was rough here last night. Chattanooga is just to the NW of me. I think we got through unscathed. I'm going out in the truck here shortly to see if my trail down the mountain is blocked by fallen trees, and then I'll check the local area.

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  10. Keep an eye out for that weather and stay safe! I can't imagine being able to live where you do. I think I'd be in the streams as much as possible. Nothing better than wading in a creek looking for frogs, turning over rocks to see what might be underneath and panning for gold- that would top it off ! The humidity would be awful but I'm outside of St Louis where the humidity surprises people. We've had people from southern TX ask how we could possible live here. If I didn't have to go to work I'd just tie up my hair and hide it under a bandanna. How I'd love to live where you do, away from everything!

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    1. Kathy, you would like it here. It's very tranquil. There is water everywhere, from mountain streams, to a river, to several beautiful lakes. I used to take my kids down to the stream, to a deep spot with smooth river rocks on the bottom, and they would swim when it was hot. The dogs would go in and swim with them.

      I have been through Missouri in a car but just passing through. Some day maybe my wife and I will buy that RV I am always talking about and get out that way to see your state. I know Missouri has some beautiful places because I worked with a woman who came from there and she told me about it.

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  11. Your dogs sound smart. Eggs are a great source of protein.

    When I little I visited a farm. I was walking around outside, and found a cats hiding spot. She had her kittens. I looked, and freaked out. They didn't have any fur. I thought the cat was getting ready to eat a naked rat, or something. -A city girl in the farm.

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    1. Poor thing! That must have been traumatic. Seriously!

      My wife usually helps deliver the kittens if there is a problem. I do the doctoring after they are born.

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