Friday, September 25, 2009

Lifting a mountain girl

Lee and her sister Diane finished staining a large cabin in Leetonia last week. They did everything except this back from ladders. At first Lee was a bit nervous about riding in the bucket, but once she got the hang of it she loved it. It reached the hard to reach spots near windows over 30 feet high without the need to move a ladder or worry about it falling.
I am afraid the one downside to this rental was that now Lee never wants to use a ladder again. Something I think the people at the Wellsboro Rental place secretly know before they rent these addicting machines out. Although, this unit was nice on this camp it is limited to places you have enough room to set it up. They have another unit which is larger and is self-propelled eliminating the space needed for the truck to move the unit. Lee painted the whole back side in one long day(about 11 hours).
The summer has been bad for doing outside painting jobs until just recently when the weather changed and has been much drier. Now all we have to worry about is frost. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

First frost and will the color be good this year?

The picture to the left has nothing to do with frost, it is a fire pit project I finished. I built the benches out of left over hemlock from the earlier dam project.
Its official last night was the first frost of the season. It got down to 31 just enough to leave a little glaze on the ground this morning. I thought I would see if there is anything that might predict the fall color and the following is what I found.
During the spring and summer the leaves have served as factories where most of the foods necessary for the tree's growth are manufactured. This food-making process takes place in the leaf in numerous cells containing chlorophyll, which gives the leaf its green color. This extraordinary chemical absorbs from sunlight the energy that is used in transforming carbon dioxide and water to carbohydrates, such as sugars and starch.

Along with the green pigment are yellow to orange pigments, carotenes and xanthophyll pigments which, for example, give the orange color to a carrot. Most of the year these colors are masked by great amounts of green coloring.

Chlorophyll Breaks Down

But in the fall, because of changes in the length of daylight and changes in temperature, the leaves stop their food-making process. The chlorophyll breaks down, the green color disappears, and the yellow to orange colors become visible and give the leaves part of their fall splendor.

At the same time, other chemical changes may occur, which form additional colors through the development of red anthocyanin pigments. Some mixtures give rise to the reddish and purplish fall colors of trees such as dogwoods and sumacs, while others give the sugar maple its brilliant orange.

The autumn foliage of some trees shows only yellow colors. Others, like many oaks, display mostly browns. All these colors are due to the mixing of varying amounts of the chlorophyll residue and other pigments in the leaf during the fall season.

Weather Affects Color Intensity Temperature, light, and water supply have an influence on the degree and the duration of fall color. Low temperatures above freezing will favor anthocyanin formation, producing bright reds in maples. However, early frost will weaken the brilliant red color. Rainy and/or overcast days tend to increase the intensity of fall colors. The best time to enjoy the autumn color would be on a clear, dry and cool (not freezing) day.

Our experience has been that the rain tends to knock the leaves off a little faster so for long lasting color we need little rain or wind during the color period. The frost we had last night was probably not heavy enough to affect the tree color and we often get frost in the middle of September. So we will see how true this information stays as we progress into the fall color season. Our best color usually lands in the second to third week of October about a month from now. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Fall is in the air.

This morning I woke up to see 35 degrees on the thermometer just a few degrees away from frost. The trees have just started to change in the last week and the large maple to the left is just hinting at turning yellow. Mums and pumpkins are for sale everywhere. I did succumb to buying a mum, but it is too early for a pumpkin. Halloween is still over a month away.
Today I will prepare the house for the fall. It is my annual bug spraying of the exterior. This helps stop the ladybugs and flies from migrating inside and making a mess to clean up. The ladybugs are really Chinese Beatles that look like lady bugs. They were brought in by the State to help control the gypsy moths and now are a big nuisance. After we have a few cold days and then we get a warm day they will swarm out of the woods and land on everything. When they are really bad they bite and leave a yellow residue on you. When you suck them up in a vacuum cleaner they smell real bad. Before I used to spray the cabin you could shovel them up. Now only a few get in usually tagging a ride on the dogs or us.
My other project is the annual cleaning of the chimney something that isn't as much hard as it is dirty. My mother is coming to visit this week and she gets cold easy so having a fire could be a real possibility. Lee will protest the fire if it isn't below 50 inside the house, since she is some sort of Polar Bear, but she will just open the windows to compensate. The temperatures look fairly moderate for the week with chances of rain most days so maybe we won't have to start a fire. The last project is three dogs getting a bath so the visitors don't have to smell them. Scooter rolled in bear dung yesterday(one of his favorite things to do) and did get a fast creek bath to get the black out of his fur. He is the worst at rolling in things and being white it shows up real good. So it sounds like a day I am going to be wet, smelly and dirty, pretty much a normal day at Camp Eaglebear. Mountain girl, Paula, logging off.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Wetmore Run Rd Gaswell

This is the drilling rig set up on Wetmore Run Road, which is just the other side of Cedar Mt. They are drilling at least eight different gas well sites on the other side of the mountain from Leetonia. All the sites are outside the State Forest Boundary.

The drilling rig which costs millions of dollars to move can drill 4-5000 ft straight down and the same amount in a horizontal direction. This enables them to reach gas pockets in the shale they could never reach drilling even five years ago. Needless to say this has brought Texas and Colorado gas companies to our area anxious to cash in on the Marcellus Shale gas boom, which extends from lower New York into Pennsylvania.
Leases of land to these companies can be quite lucrative for local land owners, especially if the companies find gas. The cost to the land is partially apparent when you see a couple acres of land cleared to drill. But there are other costs to the area: transport of water for drilling taxes roads that are in
minimal condition to start with, water reclaimed from the drilling has to be disposed of somewhere and contains a low grade contaminates, neighbors whose houses are along these routes bear the burden of constant truck noise without the benefit of compensation, although there are no reports of local drinking water contamination this is not the case with all the wells being drilled in the State.
This area is poverty stricken and hungry for any source of income. Unfortunately only a few locals are making any money in either drilling or supplying for these operations. Seeing the eight wells on the other side of the mountain has soured me from the thought of turning my backyard into a gas well, although I admit the money is very tempting. When the drilling is done and the gas is gone, will everyone be happy with the outcome? Probably not. I just pray we all aren't regretting any damage done will not be easily repaired in our lifetime. Now that I have stood on the soap box... if someone comes to me tomorrow and offers me 100k to lease this property with the chance of making thousands a month in gas royalties more money than I could ever make doing carpentry, will I be strong enough to say no. I hope so. But I can't say I won't be as tempted as those who have done so and I certainly will not judge them. Let all hope this boom isn't the last thing we have. The Native Americans have a saying, "Do nothing that causes harm to the next seven generation." Mountain girl, Paula, climbing down from the soap box and logging out.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Only in Leetonia

The picture to the left is horse trail people and I am using it only to add a little visual to this story. These are not the people I will be talking about.

I think I could write a whole book on odd things that happen in Leetonia, but this is definitively a funny one.

With all the rain this year it has been difficult to get all the outside painting jobs done. So when you get a few nice days naturally you paint even if it is a holiday weekend.

Lee was staining the decks at the Hooke cabin this weekend and a wooden bridge I had done some repairs on. She just finished staining and was packing up to go home when she heard some noise. She looked across the bridge to see about a dozen horses and riders on Misner Trail and to her distress she heard them say lets cut across the bridge. The bridge she had just stained. Well Lee is a quiet person who doesn't move fast unless threatened. This is why she is called,"the bear". Bears are quiet, lumbering animals that for the most part leave well enough alone unless you threaten them or their cubs. This bridge was Lee's cub and she quickly stopped the horse assault. Yelling at them, "This is private property, you will have to cross somewhere else! I just stained that bridge!"

She successfully chased them down the trail which empties out right in front of our house. Now as timing would have it I opened the front door to let the dogs out just as the horses were coming down the trail. So they got another rough greeting by Leo and Scooter. They had a dog with them and Leo seemed more curious about it then the rest of the procession. After I yelled at him he reluctantly let them pass sniffing each horse and rider then came back up to the house. I am sure these riders will choose some other trail the next time they ride after being jumped by mountain girl, Lee and the dogs. I think this ranks right up there with surprising things we see such as the bear trap sitting 20 feet from our front door filled with donuts. You can look that one up in the side topics. Never a dull moment in Leetonia and always good for a laugh later. Mountain girl, Paula, logging off.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Germania Home Days

Went to the Germania Old Home Days today. I took some pictures of the lawn tractor pull a humorous event, which these guys seem to take quite seriously. I guess the thrill of making a lawn tractor do a wheelie is all it takes to have some fun.
Germania was founded by German immigrants and has this festival every Labor day weekend. On Saturday they have a greased pig contest, which I guess can get quite rough. Past events have caused a few injuries to contestants all vying to be the one holding the pig.
They have good pork sandwiches(not from the
same pig they chased) and chicken on the Barbecue. They also have bingo, raffles and a horseshoe pitching contest. They compete with a host of other towns all having similar events the same weekend, Morris and Galeton both having events and the weather was picture perfect for everyone.
Most the camps in Leetonia were full this weekend and everyone seemed to be enjoying the great weather, cookouts and a relaxing weekend in the woods before going back to school or work next week.
The focus during the next two months is getting all the work done outside before the cold comes and the other thing we don't mention this early.
We still have some painting to finish that has been hard to get done this summer with all the rainy weather. Looks like next week is calling for chances of rain everyday. I can only hope they are wrong. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Labor Day Weekend in Leetonia

I ran in to a formidable crew down at the White Camp today. The kids in order from left to right are: Madison and Jimmy White and their friend Patrick Kelly. The taller kid in the back is Jim White supervising the lesson in gun safety and target practice.

They saw a large bear cross through the yard last night and I am sure are hoping for more of the same tonight. They will be joined by more kids later today hoping to take in the last big vacation of summer. The weather is perfect for this Labor Day Weekend sunny and in the 70's during the day. Some of the nicest weather we have had all summer. Seems quite a few camps are busy this weekend taking advantage of a well earned nice weekend. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out and watching out for the three banditos of Leetonia!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

New gas well site at Pigeon Hill Rd.

These pictures for this don't this site justice it is is much bigger than it appears here. They appear to be moving the topsoil off to piles. I was jealous looking at the soil they have there as ours is mostly rock. This site is about a mile east on Pigeon Hill from the intersection of Leetonia Rd and Pigeon Hill right were the road comes to a T.

They have a lot of equipment out there and are moving a pretty large area of dirt to put in this well. I don't know all the details yet, but thought you all might be interested.

The gas well drilling has been a boom to this area, which is otherwise suffering like much of the country in this economic downturn. Mountain girl, Paula, logging off.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

More about the roof

Since quite a few a you wondered what the roof panels looked like on this project, I took a picture of a small piece of one. This panel has high density foam attached to 7/16 OSB board. When they make SIP's Structural Insulated Panels they put the OSB on both sides and sandwich the foam in between. With it on one side it is called J-deck and is screwed to the top of an existing roof. Here is a picture of the roof finished now covered with steel and the facia painted to match the cabin. Hope that helps answer a few questions. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.