Saturday, May 25, 2013

1,2,3 Pet the Kitty

Lee Anne came inside this morning all excited. "The cat let me pet him!" 
Now to most of you this may sound like an everyday occurrence, but for the feral cat who stayed with us all winter it was a major trust step.  
So after her announcement, I had to try. Armed with a piece of cheese to lure him in, I got him to come down to the area we feed him. But every time I would move my hand towards him, he would jump back. I thought Lee would be the only victory for the day. Then he started rubbing against the cage and he got closer and closer until he let me scratch his ear and then his entire body. It took a long five months of feeding him and watching him run at even the sight of us to this point. He is still jumpy at any quick movement and as I was close to him he seemed to have a bit of a sniffle. As time goes on I am hoping to get him some shots to avoid any diseases he might bring home. But, I am thinking to wait and not have it be the first thing that happens to him now that he trusts us. 
It got down to 31 last night and is expected to do the same tonight. I had to start a fire for my mother who is more used to Texas weather and was just about freezing when our house got down to 68. She actually went to Goodwill and bought a winter coat. I will have to admit with the wind at 25 mph yesterday and 50 degrees it was a bit cold. The only thing nice about the cold is the bug population is slowed way down. Enjoy the holiday. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Friday, May 24, 2013

The New and the COLD

My mom is up to visit and on our way into Wellsboro they were treated with the arrival of a new fawn. The Fawn still slightly wet around the neck stumbled into the path of our car as its mother stomped angrily in the forest behind it. It baa-ed a distress signal as I tried to get a few pictures of it and herd it out of our way. Just barely able to walk it was a joy to see. Just a quick warning do not try to rescue any fawns you see alone. They are left for long periods of time by their mothers who return to them periodically to feed them. They often freeze laying in one spot and may appear abandoned, but unless you see a dead mother along the road near them be assured they are quit well.
On the cold side our hummingbirds are pumping themselves full of sugar to make it through a night that promises to be on the very cold and frozen side. I expect a frost tonight with temps in lower 30's and the same for most of the weekend. So bring plenty of firewood and lots of warm clothes if you are planning a camp out. I have also spotted a lot of bears moving around so keep your food out of their reach. Lee has seen new triplets two days in a row and many other mothers are out and about. Have a safe and fun weekend. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Middle of May Deep Freeze

May 13th snow

May 14th Freeze
Well there is a fire in the fireplace this morning, since temperatures dipped to 21 here last night making it a record cold night for May. Yesterday the poor hummingbirds were flying around in the snow trying eating from the feeders; today they are stuck waiting for the feeders to melt before their sweet liquid will come out. It is a very cold start for the few birds who are here. I felt sorry for them watching them search the feeders for something liquid only to find their treat had gone solid overnight.
It is supposed to get up into the low 60's today, but it has a long way to go. I am afraid the apple trees will once again suffer the fate they did last year and we will have few apples to show for the blossoms which are now out and very frozen. Of course it is supposed to be back into the 70's by the weekend, but it will be little condolences for the apple blossoms by then. Once again the weather trumps us all. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother Nature Day Flowers

View from the top

Huckleberry Blooming

Wild Strawberry blooms

Apple bloom up close

Apple Tree in yard

For Mother's Day I took a short walk to the top of our hill and looked at all of Mother Nature's flowers. Most of the berry plants are blooming and Apple trees. There were several violet colored small flowers so shy they blurred their pictures so you did not get to see them. All the trees are getting at least some green on them and starting to leaf out. It is always amazing what even a day makes in the color of things. After a long brown/grey and white winter it wakens up the happiness inside all of us to see some color.

We've had a lot of rain in the last few days bringing the creek up from 1.75 feet to over 3.5 feet in a short amount of time. This would be a great day for the adventurous mother rafting trip down Pine Creek. It would be fast and possibly a little cold as the temperatures are in the mid-forties this morning with a lot of wind.

We also went from one hummingbird to about twenty overnight and Lee has increased the amount in the feeders. She is trying to decide if she wants to risk putting them out front this year and deal with the bear again. We don't know if he learned his lesson from the electric fence last year or not. She didn't care much for mowing around the electric  fence, so the decision is still up in the air.

I still have some of my backyard fence to repair from the bear climbing it last year. Since it is only a ten foot section I am thinking of making it solid wood so I don't have to buy a 50' roll of fence to repair 10 foot of fence.

The forecast for next week is very cold we are looking at some freezing temperatures at night, which could affect the apple crop like it did last year. So we are keeping our fingers crossed it won't be too bad before we will get back into the warm temperatures by the next weekend. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Hiking Chihuahua Style 11.38 miles Cedar Mt loop

"Really, I have to carry my own water?"
Yes he did walk the whole way with me, but I carried the water. It was a bit warm walking up Leetonia Rd to Wilson to Ridge to Cedar Mountain and back up Leetonia Rd to home. The lack of leaves on the trees gave us little shade for our walk around the block. The bugs are out but not too bad as the wind blew most of them off us. I only saw a few cars one being Jeremy Bechtel one of the local Forest Rangers. He did mention I had been the only one he ever saw walking on the road that wasn't hunting. We caught up on the weather particularly the long winter, animals spotted recently; noticing near us a stop sign metal partially eaten by a porcupine. He hadn't seen many bears yet, but the warm weather had brought quite a few people out to keep tabs on. Jeremy was looking for the four-wheelers who are coming up the pipeline and other areas. So for you that don't know you will get a ticket for driving one anywhere in the State Forest. He verified the trees I saw cut along the pipeline are part of a pipeline widening project.
After he left I continued on my way on a beautiful blue day not a cloud in the sky. The walk periodically was accompanied by birds singing and woodpeckers pecking. I saw an area where turkey's had been searching through the leaves for food. It was quite a long area on the edge of the road towards the end of it I looked up to see a turkey scurry off into the woods. Since my walk started at 10 am and went through the middle of the day the animals I saw where kept to a minimum as most like early morning or dusk hours. 
This loop is about a mile longer than my Cushman direction loop and my feet started wishing it was a mile less. The bridge on Cedar Mt road is done except for any railing they might put up so I am not sure why they are waiting so long to take the road closed signs down. Speck and I enjoyed sitting on their straw-stuffed tubes along the creek for a bit, while I ate an apple and listened to the sound of the creek flowing. I sat there long enough for another person to wonder why I was in the middle of no where...really....I am beginning to think no one takes walks anymore, which is very sad. This person was not a local camp owner or he would have known better than to ask me if I was lost. Just walking around the block for a mountain girl. 
Leo felt a bit left out but he can't make it that far. Speck didn't seem to have a bit of trouble, although he appears to be resting quite well now. 
You can play the flyover to see where we walked or go to this link for a map. Oh before I forget we saw our first hummingbird today! Mountain girl,Paula, logging off and resting the toes.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Hummingbird time

Feeders waiting for birds

Green moss gathers sun

Small Fire Cherry tree
Well the first of May is time for hummingbirds. Lee has put out a few feeders for the early birds, but the 31 degrees this morning wasn't too welcoming. As of this morning we have not spotted the first one, which will be a male scouting for territory. Once we see our little friends we know warm weather is definitely on the roll.
Walking up the mountain in the morning is wonderful. Starting with cool weather and ending with a warm hug from the sun. The green moss on the rocks almost seems to glow as it soaks up the Spring sun before the trees get leaves on and shade them from the intense summer sun. Things are starting to bloom like the small Fire Cherry Tree in the bottom picture. The red buds are out in town as well as the Rhododendrons, tulips and a variety of Spring color. For those of you with tree allergies now is not a good time to visit the fores. The maples, willows and other trees are blooming and tossing pollen everywhere.
The deer seem to be moving around a lot the last couple days, but the turkeys have gone into hiding from the hunters. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly they figure out it is gobbler season. 
On the drive home the other night Lee said, "I've seen deer, turkey, porcupine, but I haven't seen a bear this year." 
It was almost like she commanded one to appear as she had barely finished the sentence when a small bear ran across the road in front of us. We both laughed at the fulfillment of Lee's request so quickly. It is always entertaining to drive home as we never know what we will see...perhaps an Elk or Mountain Lion, you never know. 
The warm weather also brings grass cutting and camp opening and repairs so we have gone from little work to seven day a week work. We are well into the work mode. For the rest of you coming here on vacation enjoy the beauty of the change from Winter to Spring. Mountain girl, Paula, logging off.