Thursday, December 27, 2012

Snowmobile Paradise

Snow House

 Well, we had 11" of snow last night and I am sure 3 or more inches on top the mountain. The weather is near 32 for highs so the snow is getting heavy fast. It was hard to clear with the four-wheeler. I made it only cause I cleared about 8" last night when it was lighter.
The snowmobilers are out and I am sure it will be a great weekend for them as more snow in smaller amounts is scheduled for the weekend. If you are planing on coming up the only road plowed is from Parker Hollow on Leetonia Rd to the intersection of  Cedar Mountain Rd., otherwise you will be dodging snowmobilers on very difficult roads.
The Chihuahua, Speck, is not at all happy about the deep snow since it is taller than him. He sticks to the plowed areas and Lee Anne's lap or the fireplace most of the day. Whatever you do enjoy the is more than we had all of last winter.
Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Day and Storm on the way

Valley Hi


 I took some pictures of several of the camps on Christmas day few people were up. Things are going to change fast as a big storm is now pumping snow down on Leetonia.
As of 9 PM I have cleaned up 8" of snow and it is still coming down. Saw a couple of snowmobiles, but expect a larger amount in next few days. So far the snow has been light so not too hard to move with the four-wheeler. Of course I had a few mechanical problems that kept me kneeling in the snow to fix. The estimates I have heard are anywhere from 10-15" by the time it is over. This is more snow then we got all last year. I will post some pictures tomorrow when it is all over to let you know the final count. Mountain girl, Paula, wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Old Herre Camp


Bob Paul

Hill of Camps

Stetz Town

Home Sweet Home

Friday, December 21, 2012

500th Post for Lost in Leetonia

Well, seems like yesterday I started this blog and today on the end of the world I made the 500th post! To celebrate Mother Nature added a bit of white slushy stuff outside. We got about 2 inches of wet snow last night which has condensed into a less than fun mixture of water and snow, which will become frozen hard as the temperatures go down tonight. Then it will be only one step to the road from the house the rest will be a long slide.
The snow and wind last night knocked out the power around 9:30 pm, when we called they said we were the only ones to call so far. However, I am thinking they must have had more cause at 4 am they called us to let us know we had power. Gee thanks for that I am sure I wouldn't have been able to figure it out in the morning when I woke up. Guess we are in for more wind tomorrow and may get a white Christmas after all.
Lee is starting to feel a bit better, but I don't think she will be out splitting any wood soon. Hope you all have been enjoying the blog. I will try to go around on Christmas Day and get some good Leetonia pictures. Mountain girl, Paula, logging off.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Tough Times for Mountain Girls

Well, this year is going out poorly for us. Last Tuesday Lee Anne complained of severe nausea  upper back pain and shortness of breath late night on the 11th of December. It is a long way to the hospital when you are in pain and on bumpy roads. We got there close to midnight, I feared she might be having a heart attack, since they tell you those are the symptoms for women. Turns out she had a badly infected gall bladder. They took it out on the next day, but could not do it laproscopically, since she had previous surgery adhesions. So she ended up with about a 7 inch long incision under her right rib. Recovery is more difficult when the surgery  is done this way and she was in a lot of pain. 
Two days after the surgery I came home after visiting her during the day, I received a call she had gone into intensive care for A-fib(heart problems). I spent all night watching the monitor along side her bed and things even out enough she could come home on Sunday. Lee is very drug sensitive and we felt it had been a reaction to one of the drugs they gave her. However, to be on safe side we are going back today for echo-cardiogram. 
You would think that would have been enough drama from the entire year, but the day after I brought her home Scooter and Leo got into a bad fight over a grouse on my woodpile left my some hunters for me. Try as I might I was helpless alone to get them apart in the wide open space. They fought until one of them didn't move (Leo). I put Scooter away and went back to retrieve Leo. I had fears he might be dead, but he was standing and limping toward me. I had to take him to the Vet to be fixed up, Scooter came out good enough he just needed some antibiotics.
So now I must find a new home for Scooter preferably without other dogs. I can't risk anymore fights it is dangerous for the dogs and anyone trying to separate them. Needless to say I have shed more than a few tears over this decision, but it is the right thing for both of them and us. Scooter has gone everywhere with me the last five years as many of you know from watching the blog. He will be 6 in May is neutered, has good basic obedience commands and loves to retrieve tennis balls. He weighs 95 lbs so he is not a little dog and he loves attention sometimes a little overbearing in that regard. If you know of someone who can give him a good home email me directly at Don't post a comment if you want me to contact you because I can't respond directly to you.
So along with a low amount of work and high expenses. I have decided to sell five acres of land I own on the other side of the road. It is all wooded on the North slope and has Buck Run Creek going through it. If you are interest see sidebar and contact me direct. It is also listed under Zillow.
2013 can only be up. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Friday, November 23, 2012

A Thanksgiving day walk

Scooter carrying food and water

Walking up Leetonia Rd

Wilson Pt Rd turn

Lee Fire Tower site

Heavy Mt Laurel and wrong turn

Beginning half-mile trail

There is a video with this so if you get blog by email and want to see video you will need to go to the website.

So I decided to go on an eight mile hike for Thanksgiving. The weather was perfect and it saved me tons of calories eating a big meal. I took only Scooter with me as I knew the trail was going to be too rough for Speck, the Chihuahua and Leo had cut his foot on a hike the previous day and I didn't want him to damage the foot anymore.

I packed Scooter up with all the snacks and water and we headed up Leetonia Road from the house. It was 22 degrees out so I dressed in layers and found out my sweatshirt was too hot by the time we walked a mile up the road. Hiking upwards creates it own heat and the sun was warming things up quickly. When we turned onto Wilson Point Road I thought the worst of the hike was over now it would be mostly downhill when we got to Half-mile trail.

I took a picture at the old Lee Fire Tower site, I remember as a kid coming up there and climbing into the lookout station when they still had rangers that looked for forest fires. The new technology of satellites sadly ended the need for a fire tower and it was torn down in the late eighties. My mother who never liked heights barely could stand even watching us climb up in the tower that moved in the wind. I had seen a marker on the ground up there and was going to take a picture of that as well, but the leaves hid it so well I couldn't find it.

Just about a quarter mile past the fire tower site I saw what I thought was the beginning of half-mile trail. It didn't take me long to figure out it was an old logging area so heavily covered in Mt. Laurel even Scooter refused to move without encouragement. Mountain laurel has very crooked branches that seem to grab at you as you try to make your way through them. We both tripped and stumbled looking for what I thought would be the trail soon. Once you go so far through hard brush it is hard to think about turning around and going back through it again, but that is exactly what I had to do.  At first I thought the trail had disappeared in the logging and laurel as you hear me state on the video. So I decided to walk farther down Wilson Pt road and within another half mile I found the sign and trail.

The trail was overgrown with Mountain Laurel, but not to the point a small path had disappeared. The further down the trail we went the less Mountain Laurel, but there was a lot of debris and downed trees across the path. Half-mile trail's name is deceiving because it is not a half mile long in fact it is nearly two miles long. The only reason I can figure they called it that is if you drive from the point on Cedar Mountain Rd where it comes out to the place on Wilson Pt Rd it is about 5 miles so going through the trail cuts that in half. Well, a bit more than half. The trail is beautiful going down the side of the mountain along a creek bed, which at one point you feel like you are getting close to then it stays an even distance from you most of the way down as it descends with you. It is only the last half mile of the trail you see the water close to you.  It is a shame the trail has not been better maintained for if a hunter tries to use it to bring back game it is pretty much an obstacle course. However it is pretty well marked and nice as a long hike.

At the bottom of the trail they are working on one of the bridges so the road down to Leetonia is temporarily closed. During my entire walk I saw only birds, some chickdees and about six grouse. There were however signs of deer and turkey scratching things to eat from the ground. The walk with my mountain laurel detour and taking time to eat a lunch took me four hours and I covered about eight miles. Certainly this is no speed record but it was a nice hike to appreciate a wonderful day in the woods. I felt especially thankful for the opportunity and the health to complete it.  Scooter crashed when we got home tired from being the pack animal. The other dogs were full of energy and I think a bit put off they didn't get to go. Have a great Thanksgiving from Leetonia and remember to enjoy the things we get for free that are priceless. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Firewood pile is cut

Speck on top wood pile

Side of wood piles

Front of wood piles

It has been a great week of weather staying dry enough that I finished cutting all the logs up into pieces. The next chore is running them all through the splitter and stacking them in the sun to dry. The couple rows in front are the large logs where the pile sat. They were very large in diameter my 16" saw couldn't cut through them from just one side. This made them extremely difficult to lift even the cut pieces and this is why they aren't stacked very high. This will be 2013-14's wood. It is a big job cutting two years worth of wood at once, but on the bright side I get to skip a year.

Seems like a lot of bear hunters stomping through the woods but I haven't heard much of anyone close getting anything. The nice weather has been kind to the hunters as it has been getting close to 50 during the day. I been trying to do some last minute cleanup and straightening of things before we get snow. It is harder to find stuff when snow is pilled up on it.

Lee is in Arizona visiting some friends so it is just me and the dogs for Thanksgiving. We had an early nice dinner when some hunters gave us three Grouse. I cooked them up and shared a few bits with the dogs. I have to admit the Grouse are one of the few animals I enjoy the taste of. For such small birds they have quite a bit of meat. They are worth breaking my mostly vegetarian diet to indulge in.

Straightening up the garage is my next project and I have to admit one I have been putting off. I look at it and just shake my head wondering where to put everything. The strategy hasn't made it clean itself so far. Mountain girl, Paula, logging off.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Misner Trail walk

Frost on Plants

Misner Trail

Hickey's Clubmoss

Decided to go for a walk this morning it was around 24 degrees when I started. Last night it got down to 16 degrees, but promises of upper 40's made a walk seem like a nice idea. The dogs have been a bit cooped up the last few days with bear season starting so they were anxious to go on a nice walk as well.
Scooter was so wound up he was racing back and forth annoying Leo by taking little nips at him on the way by. Finally  Leo had enough and snapped back at him. This didn't seem to phase Scooter too much as his lack of exercise lately just exploded out of him, grabbing sticks and jumping into the freezing water. Finally, about half the way up Misner trail he settled into more of a normal dog speed.
There are a few trees across the trail, but for the most part it is a nice short cut to the other side of the mountain and Francis Rd. We walked over to Dee's camp about a 2 mile hike and back. The dry weather has made for easy walking and the sun coming through warmed things up nicely for a walk.
My last picture is off a plant called Hickey's Club Moss. They look like a little pine forest growing, but never get any taller than about 6 inches. I guess it is a pine forest for faeries. I always thought they were some kind of fern, but found them listed under club moss.
I didn't see anything bigger than a Chickadee all the way over and back. Hunters I have talked to have complained as well about the lack of game. There are a few deer who mostly come out after dark during hunting season and the rest of the animals stay hidden at the sound of the first bullets.
 Seems like most of the deer like the good life on flat farm land where getting a meal is as easy as walking through a farmer's field. Life up here is much tougher for deer, predators, changes in the forest and hunting practices have all contributed. Giving out of doe permits here seems counter productive if you want more deer, but I believe this forest makes more money off trees and gas than hunters will ever bring. You can draw your own conclusion from that.
The weather is supposed to stay dry and seasonable through the next ten days. My focus today is getting the rest of my wood cut up for next year. Have a great Leetonia day. Mountain girl, Paula, logging off.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Leetonia spared from Sandy's Wrath

Speck weathering the storm comfortably 

Only tree down between Leetonia and Cedar Run

View from bridge in Cedar Run Creek 5.5 ft

We missed the bullet from Sandy. So far rain has been well under 3 inches and wind did not seem to do any significant damage, since most the leaves were off the trees, I believe this helped keep the amount of trees coming over road small. Also wind came out of N, which runs parallel to our main road to Cedar Run, which I think kept the trees from falling over the road.
We did loose power last night and it hasn't been restored as of the time of this post. Our phone and internet are still working so we are good to go. The generator is running good, although, I never like running it long since it is so noisy. Last time we had power out for a week it made me crazy to listen to it. If you have a propane one they are a lot quieter.
It is still raining today and they are calling for more wind, but most of the warnings are down for this area. The coast was not nearly as lucky and viewing those pictures reminds us all how bad it could have been and how lucky we were to have missed large rainfalls and even higher winds.
Anyone coming to their camps this weekend should be fine. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Storm preparations and update




This morning I awoke to light rain and low 40's. The rain stopped long enough to get a 1.5 mile walk in with the dogs before the major rain gets here. During the last three days it has been very quiet in the woods not much in the way of wind or animal movement. The animals seem to know when a storm is coming, although I don't think they have a way of gauging how big it is unless they get on their personal computers.

They have pushed the higher wind out to 2 pm today and it will last for several days along with the rain, which according to the weather men should be heavy. Yesterday, I cleaned up the generator and put new spark plugs in and did a test start. Well, it didn't start. Seemed my carburetor was plugged. I am not always as confident with motors unless it is fairly simple things like spark plugs, oil, filters and such are about my limit. So I hauled it to the other side of mountain and a friend helped me take it apart and get it running. Thank goodness for friends that are willing to help on a Sunday.

So we got all the food we need; the generator works; and we have a bottle of wine to celebrate the arrival of Sandy along with our possible lack of electric, phone and internet. During the tornado a while back we didn't get power, phone or internet back for over a week so I am hoping this isn't any worse. But with the storm covering such a large area our local Electric Coop won't get much help until the major cities are back up and running.

When Agnes came through in the 70's it took out roads and bridges. The mountains have a way of funneling large amounts of water fast through the streams and if we have rain amounts over 6 inches I expect flooding and road damage. Cedar Run and Slate Run are in a worse spot then Leetonia for being flooded. In the past Leetonia has lost bridges but few people have had water come in their cabins. Not so for areas down stream, they are often covered in water and cut off by Pine Creek running across 414 to the North in Blackwell and the South in Jersey Shore(the Pennsylvania one).

People who live around here are used to power going out for even the smallest of thunderstorms and won't be phased much by losing power. Most keep plenty of food around and aren't panicked easily. But, they do prepare making sure they have the things they need to cut their way out of the forest or create their own power temporarily. Usually, our bigger emergencies during storms come from people visiting who panic that they can't get home or get hurt trying to get out.

My best advice is to treat it like you are having a extended vacation, relax, celebrate time with each other. Do what Lee and I do. Stay home, keep things operational, play cards or other games, and help others when you can. If the posts stop during the next few days you can make a good bet we are doing just that. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

UFO near Leetonia?

Path of parts

More parts in path

Reassembled ring and dish

Reassembled ring

Mark and his Dad Jay Fultz came over today with some pictures. John Steffy founds these objects strewn  across the woods far from any road while scouting for turkeys. Mark and Jay followed his instructions and hiked up to gps mark them and take pictures. They all think they fell from the sky off of something. They are made of plastic and Mark said the ring had black duck tape on one side. Also he said it looked like part of it had rubbed against something that left rotating marks on it. Not sure if this is a part off something or somebody's science project gone wrong.
They located it off of a logging road about 1.5 miles off Cedar Mt road see Google Map. I will email this on to a few in the know and see if they have any ideas. Meanwhile if any of you have some guesses I would love to hear them.
Meanwhile, we are bracing for Hurricane Sandy. Generator ready, chainsaw ready, plenty of gas,  and food. I will try to keep you updated on the damage if possible. However, if I lose internet it could be a while before I can post anything. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Firewood time of year

Tri-axle load of logs to be cut,split and stacked

Logs to be cut,split and stacked

This years firewood ready to go
  There are two seasons in Leetonia firewood cutting season and firewood burning season. They overlap a little in the Spring and Fall when the weather is cooler it makes for much easier work. But there is no way around getting dirty and your back tired from bending over and picking up wood. The sight of a year's worth of wood ready to burn and a couple years of wood stacked and split drying in the sun always gives me such a rich feeling. It is like no matter what happens in the world it is going to be warm and cozy inside the house.

My two short-cuts to firewood are getting a tri-axle load delivered every two years and having a log splitter. Both of these make it much easier to get the six cords of wood we burn each year cut and split. Lee is the stacker as she has developed a method of stacking the wood she doesn't care to have changed. I am the cutter and we both share the splitting. Scooter likes to grab some of the small pieces and make them even smaller, which isn't very helpful. So I have to keep an eye on him. Leo now and then will grab a piece, but for the most part leaves it alone. The chihuahua, Speck, must be kept away from the operation as one log slip and he will be hurt badly or worse.

The key to cutting the tri-axle load is to always work in a way that keeps the wood from falling on you. It is like a big game of pick up sticks with higher risks. I always work from the side of the pile that is uphill and try to get higher or side pieces cut that won't fall on me. Of course there is always the fight over my 16" measurements. Seems they are too small or too big and I am too lazy to add measuring to the operation. So the too big ones become two small when I cut them in two. As long as I can get them in the stove they all burn the same.

 Looks like the weather is going to be on the warm side tomorrow and stay pretty warm most of week with some on and off showers. I don't count on the rain part of weather forecasts to be right. It seems like more than not it rains on the sunny days and gets sunny on the rainy days. Best weather prediction is looking outside the day you want to do something. Not sure if I will get everything cut,split and stacked before snow. But I will at least get it all cut so it is out of the way of plowing the drive. Mountain girl, Paula, logging off.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fall Morning in Leetonia

Fall Color

Cushman View

Francis Rd

It was a crisp, but beautiful start to the day this morning. The color on the mountain is at its peak for this year. While driving around to a job on the other side of the mountain I took a few pictures.
The first picture is just above us shooting through a  logging area. The second picture is a top Cushman View, it was still a bit misty this morning so the colors didn't show through as well as they will later in the day. The last picture is traveling down Francis Road. There was something about the way the light filtered through to the road and the combination of the different kind of trees that made the trip special.
Today, I must get started cutting firewood for the following year. It would be nice to get the huge pile moved before winter so I have somewhere to push the snow. It is supposed to get into the upper 60's today and on the South slope in front of our house it can be quite warm even hot at 60.
Hope you all enjoy a bit of Fall from Leetonia. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Wolly Bear Walk Predicting Winter?

Leetonia Wolly Bear  Caterpillars

Tiger Moth
Here is some interesting facts about our little Wolly Bear Caterpillar friends from Wikipedia:

The moth Pyrrharctia isabella is known by different common names at its two main life stages. The adult is the Isabella Tiger Moth and the larva is called the Banded Woolly Bear. The larvae of many species of Arctiid moths are called "woolly bears" because of their long, thick, furlike setae.
The insect can be found in many cold regions, including the Arctic. The banded Woolly Bear larva emerges from the egg in the fall and overwinters in its caterpillar form, when it literally freezes solid. First its heart stops beating, then its gut freezes, then its blood, followed by the rest of the body. It survives being frozen by producing a cryoprotectant in its tissues. In the spring it thaws out and emerges to pupate. Once it emerges from its pupa as a moth it has only days to find a mate before it dies.
Caterpillars normally become moths within months of hatching in most temperate climates, but in the Arctic the summer period for vegetative growth and hence feeding is so short, that the Woolly Bear feeds for several summers, freezing again each winter before finally pupating. Some are known to live through as many as 14 winters.
My interest in this Wolly Caterpillars is the theory they can predict the length and harshness of the winter according to the band of reddish fur compared to the black. According to legend, the more red the easier winter we will have.
So during my 2 mile walk, I observed 22 caterpillers. Eighteen of the caterpillars looked just like the two in the first picture, 4 had a bit stronger bands of black. My interpretation from these caterpillars is for a mild winter again in Leetonia. Let's see what happens. If you have these near your house do your own survey and post results. This is best time to do it. Post them on comments. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out and hoping for another mild winter.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fall is here and fading fast!

Top of Hill

First Fire
Sorry not to post sooner, but I have been gone for 12 days helping my mom move from Iowa to Indiana. At 80, her energy puts most of us to shame. Lee has been holding down the fort.
Went to top of hill to get a picture of the color. Unfortunately, much of the trees have dropped leaves and the colors are hit and miss in different places. Top of our hill is definitely a miss for this year.
It got down to 27 last night, so the wood ogre finally decided I could start a fire this morning. This is our first fire of the season and the push is on to get all the firewood up closer to the house for the winter.
The high today was supposed to make it to 53, but the thermometer says 47 at 1:45pm, so don't think we will make it. The sun and dry weather makes it feel a lot warmer and if you sit out of the wind it is quite comfortable.
My favorite part of fall is the disappearance of the bugs. No swatting at anything while you enjoy the view is a welcome addition to the woods of Leetonia. The smell of dry leaves crunching under your feet on a sunny day is great too.
I did see a strange thing the other day I have never seen before. A porcupine was killed on our road and the Turkey Vultures were having a feast. It was who they invited to their feast that surprised me. Mixed in close among them were several Ravens. Apparently, willing to eat next to the vultures. I have never seen two groups like this share. Usually, it is a fight to the finish on getting a carcass. Maybe a few politicians could take a lesson from these two unlikely dinner companions. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Walk to Cushman View


Mick Freed's Resting Spot

Mick's View at Cushman

I decided to take a long walk up to Cushman view, which is about 4 miles from the house with the dogs this morning. It was cool when we started about 47 degrees, perfect for a walk. The hardest part of the walk is the 2 mile climb up Cedar Mountain you go up about 1000 feet in elevation. About a mile from the house are the Triplets three oaks growing together that mark my half-way to the top of Cedar Mountain point.
When I reached the top of Cedar Mountain, I decided to walk the pipeline, which comes out just about a half a mile from Cushman view. I let the dogs romp a little farther from me in that area, since I didn't have to worry about cars. The distance proved too much of a temptation for Scooter and he found some bear crap to take a roll in just out of my control. So the rest of our walk the air carried a bit stronger scent of bear.
Cushman view is on a turn in the road that opens up a view of hundreds of square miles of forest. Above the road is the resting spot of Mick Freed long time resident of Leetonia, who passed on a little more than a half year ago. Mick has a nice rock below him and his view of the valley is unsurpassed. I talked to Mick a bit and seemed to sense he is happy not to be working so hard now. I have often felt him sitting there on that rock overlooking Leetonia and making sure all is well with the place he loved so much. Leetonia gets in your soul as much as any relationship, but it is a hard place to crack out a living. For people who love the company of a lot of people it can be desperately lonely. Still sitting there looking out over the forest it is hard to deny anywhere is more beautiful to live. The early color in the trees is disappointing this year as most of the maples are just dropping leaves. Hopefully, the oak will come through with a bit a red sometime in the next couple weeks. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.