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 weather.com 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.