Monday, September 14, 2009

Mountain Weekend again

We went back to the mountains on Thursday night last week for another long weekend. It is now deer season, and opening day for bow hunting was Saturday. I went along with lots of projects to amuse myself, but, turns out I didn't need a thing.
Charlie and I went on a few rides up the mountain...no bears on the stealth camera this time. We walked down a hill to some big rocks overlooking Peak Creek in a beautiful spot. Here I am perched on a rock on the ravine.

On Saturday, Charlie hunted early in the morning, and in the afternoon he got ready to mow grass and I got ready to try a project with Sculpey Clay.
I have never used polymer clay, believe it or not, although I have watched hundreds of episodes of the Carol Duvall show on HGTV. I found that it was NOT easy to soften the clay by hand-kneading. I fashioned a rolling pin from this roll of tape with a handle, but it was slow going. Now I see why they use pasta machines to condition the clay.

I had only worked with one fourth of one package, when I heard the sound of heavy equipment coming our way. I was so excited when I discovered that our neighbor Ricky and his uncle Gary decided that this was the day they would help clear off the scraggly trees and pines from our hillside above the pond and driveway. We were so excited!
When we built our cabin, we had to start from scratch with building a road, having gravel added, clearing the lot, planting grass, etc. All around the house it is just rustic woods. But when they added a pond below our cabin, we could hardly see it because of all the trees. All we wanted were the big oaks and maples, the hemlocks and rhododendron. Here is the hillside before. You can see blackberry bushes coming right up to the lawn, and lots of skinny tree trunks that could not compete for sun.

Ricky started knocking down and digging up pine trees with his shovel.
Charlie would wrap a chain around the tree trunks that had been felled, and then Gary would haul them off with his bulldozer.
Now it is nicely cleared out all along the driveway, and we have a good view of the pond. I am so grateful for friends with power equipment that are willing to help out.





On Saturday, I spent the whole day with my father, who was just getting out of the hospital last time I saw him a week ago. What an improvement a week makes! He was well enough to go out to lunch with me in Blowing Rock, run some errands, visit a friend in the hospital, and do some things he wanted help with on his computer. I am so thankful to have my daddy back in pretty good health!
This picture was taken at the parking lot at Canyons, where we ate lunch.
During the Saturday afternoon hunt, I walked around by the creek and took pictures. This is a native plant called Jewel weed, the leaves and juice of which can be used to ease itching from poison ivy or bug bites. It often grows along creek banks.


These are buds of the deadliest plant in North America...water hemlock. When it opens, it looks very much like Queen Anne's lace.
This toadstool is the largest I have even seen...a full eight inches across the top.



Once again, we hated to leave the Blue Ridge mountains. But we are going back next weekend!

1 comment:

Clevelandgirlie said...

I'm afraid we are going to lose you very soon permanently to the Blue Ridge. Your visits are more and more frequent - longer and longer.