Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Happy Aniversary Grubes! Plus narrow work

First I want to say Happy 54th anniversary to John and JoAnn Grube of the Bear Mountain Camp. They kindly shared their anniversary with me and feed me a delicious meal: roast beef, green beans, noodles, gravy and pickled beets with eggs. I will have to say the only thing better than the food was the company and conversation.
The evening reminded me so much of how my grandparents would entertain others at their home. I fear this kind of conversation and fun may be a lost art with the advent of computers, cell phones and texting. We talked about animals, hunting and weather. The three big topics here.
Most might think this is boring, but I never tire of hearing people's stories. John shared one about seeing a hawk attack a turkey while he spotted for deer through binoculars. John said the turkey got a terrible blow at the base of his neck, but turned to defend himself against the hawk and succeeded in scaring the hawk off. John watched the turkey go to roost that night badly injured. Then he saw it come off the roost in the morning to once again walk through the woods. He asked if I had seen many bears and on the way home one ran across the road in front of me as if to say off course she sees bears.

The travel to work this morning was blocked in two spots as I headed to Blackwell. The first being just after I turned on 414 headed north over the bridge at Cedar Run. They were fixing some axel breaking holes on the road and I waited. The next is the work they started on the narrows a month ago. They diverted people down the bike trail(15mph). They are pouring concrete to shore up the side as you can see in second picture. As I got closer a backhoe worked a hundred feet above me(3rd picture) and they blocked the road as rocks fell to the bike trail. The flagperson said she had seen rocks fly all the way into the creek. In the last picture you can see how steep and rocky the cliff is behind the flagger were rocks dropped as I waited. The road is limited to 7' wide which excludes my construction trailer. This makes it difficult to get materials to the Blackwell area as going around adds about 50 miles and another hour. But it will all be worth it to see the narrows fixed. They don't expect to be done any before November.
Thanks again to the Grubes for a great night, great food and great company. Mountain girl, Paula, logging off.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hurricane Irene

Last night I went to bed wondering how much wind and rain we would get from Hurricane Irene. As I went to sleep in the silence of the forest I could hear the sound of Giants footsteps through the woods. Was the storm coming so soon? I strained to listen... Sure enough the rhythmic beat of large feet coming through the woods could be heard. My heart beat just a little faster. I could imagine the wind tearing trees down like on the memorial day storms. I could imagine water tearing through the dam and bridges like during hurricane Agnes in the 70's.
I tried to silence my own breathe to listen closer and realized my giant slept at the foot of my bed, LEO! Breathing slow low breaths that sounded like footsteps. Mystery solved I went to bed to see what morning would bring.
As the sun rose or should I say it got a bit was raining. It rained on and off most of the morning and the wind gusted at times but never enough to drop the forest to its knees. By late afternoon the clouds disappeared and the air went cool like autumn is supposed to be. I took this picture of the apple tree in our front yard around 6pm. Although, it is difficult to see, there are many small apples on the tree. In fact, there is an abundance of apples this year, which should make the bears and deer quite happy soon.
The male hummingbirds have all left, but due to an abundance of babies this year I am still feeding quite a few of them. I did take down 3 quart feeders so now there are only 13 up. By the end of tomorrow I should know if I can take anymore down. They won't completely be gone until the end of September. Lee always keeps a few up for travelers coming through on their migration south.
Lee is still with my mom. This is the beginning of week four alone in the woods. I will have to say I will be happy when she is home so I can have someone to talk to besides the dogs. Mom's surgery went well and we will know by Thursday how soon Lee can leave. I think she is anxious to be home too. There is no place like Leetonia. Mountain girl, Paula, logging off.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Hummingbirds still at it....

Rain has eluded us for the most part, but when it does start a storm the hummingbirds go crazy. The above video is just one on the 16 feeders surrounded by anxious hummingbirds. I haven't noticed much of a drop in the amount of food they are eating. I keep expecting the males to start leaving and the amount of food to drop. The roads have been dusty and it is still hot working if you aren't in the shade. I did the corner of a storm damaged roof for Tom Finkbinder and it was not the week to be up on a roof. His house is in the direct sun. It got to 89 degrees and the roof was hot enough to burn your skin if you knelled on it or touched it with bare skin.
I keep hoping for rain, since when it rains I get a day off. So far not many days off in August. The creeks are bone dry. I happened to meet some bicyclists coming up Leetonia road and they asked me where the falls was. I had to tell them it was dried up. For some reason they thought all the snow we had would have stuck around long enough to make the falls nice for them in August...go figure.
I can hear the sound of thunder outside and it is starting to rain the plants will be very happy tonight. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Ruins Camp for sale

All good things come to an end and it seems the members of the Ruins Camp are all getting older and decided to sell. This camp has three acres and at least a couple hundred feet on it are right on Cedar Run Creek.
They put a kitchen addition on a few years ago...which is very nice. The rest of the camp needs some work. The water comes from a spring and I am not sure what the septic system is.
The camp has 4 bedrooms, one of which holds to bunk bed units(one is 3 bunks high..the room is tall in bunk room).
There is an old barn on the place which had a new metal roof put on it last year. The back side near
creek needs some foundation work.
The creek view from the deck is unmatched. There is a solid rock bottom to creek that runs at least the length of the cabin and makes for great body sledding down the stream. You can always see trout swimming just outside the back door.
For someone not afraid of a little work this place has a lot of potential. They have made me in charge of showing it to people and are taking offers. Contact me at if you are interested.
The hummingbirds are still at it strong and it seems all I do is fill feeders when I am not working. I am down to my last ten pounds of
40lbs I bought just a week ago. For such small birds they can sure eat a lot. If you are in the area come sit on our porch in the evening or morning it is quite a treat. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Hummingbirds are at their Peak

The hummingbird babies have hatched and are feeding vigorously. Lee has 15 feeders around the house and while she is gone helping my mother I am in charge of keeping them full. The first day they went through 4 gallons of fluid. That is ten pounds of sugar to make the 4 gallons. Every feeder was emptied by the hungry birds. Looks like I will be running to the store for more sugar. The feeders were again half-empty this morning.
We only have a couple weeks of heavy use by the birds then the males will start leaving around the end of the month. Even with fifteen feeders you can often see 8 to 10 birds around each feeder in the evening. We truly live in a humming bird hive. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.