Never while anything is left of me shall this camp be forgotten. It has fairly grown into me, not merely as memory pictures, but as part and parcel of mind and body alike. -John Muir

Friday, July 15, 2011

an owl update.

Besides the occasional calls back and forth along the creek we haven't seen much of our little neighbors for a few weeks. These pictures were taken in June just after a rain.

These little ones are such characters...we caught them on video hissing and carrying on at us though we were on the other side of the creek from them.

All 5 babies, (yes there are still 5!!!), were very interested and curious of us but on guard at all times.

We also caught daddy fishing. This is the "wet and wild" looking father himself. We are not completely positive that he has a second leg. We watched for a while as he would gather up yummies from the creek and pile them on the bank. Then we watched as the little ones flew over, acting very juvenile by hissing and pecking and then he fed 2 of them.

Me went over to the bank after they flew up into the trees and spotted a couple of crayfish claws left over from dinner. ;)

Oh, and our (human) neighbors spotted a barred owl fly into a try in their yard a few weeks ago. We've been hearing a barred owl now off and on at night too! Very exciting!

xo Stephanie

Thursday, June 2, 2011

thursday smursday.

In regards to Memorial weekend..."move em in, move em out.", as M would say. We had M's parents up from Thursday through Sunday. Little sister and her honey from Friday through Sunday. Two friends from back home from late night Saturday through Sunday afternoon. S's mom and honey from Sunday through Monday. And we had a our annual cookout on Saturday with the neighbors, local family and most of our weekend-campers. Shew. Monday morning we were both looking at each other with sleepy eyes and sunburns, begging for another hour of sleep and an evening of relaxation. I just finally got the camper vacuumed and mopped yesterday afternoon and emptied out all of the leftovers in the fridge. Back to normal for a bit.

Our owl friends have moved up into the trees on the creekside and besides this morning we haven't heard them even calling. But they're still there, I'm sure of it.

We do however think we heard the mythical Sasquatch (Wild man, Yeti, Meh-Teh, Kikomba); Big Foot. M was woken at around 4am Wednesday morning to a strange kak-kak-kak sound coming from near the bridge at the corner of the property...I even woke up after hearing a loud WooOP WooOP. This repeated many times very loudly, much like someone standing in the yard with a megaphone. The only way we can think to describe the WooOP sound is like the obnoxious Jakovasaurus from South Park. Strange but true. Wonder what kind of wild animal it actually was....? Even stranger was that the little forest creatures such as crickets and other night-musicians were silenced during these calls. Were they hiding?

until next time,

Thursday, May 26, 2011

well hello there.

It's so hot here today. Actually just now the sky broke and let large bits of hail fall from the sky. It was so loud and there was so much of it that I yelled as loud as I could but couldn't even hear myself!! Maybe the brief storm will cool it down a little.

It was 81 degrees in this camper hot. I have been trying my hardest to get chores and the likes done but have to take breaks in between so I don't over-heat! I decided to take a walk through the creek and wandered up on this little fawn resting in a patch of grass and rocks. I actually climbed back up the hillside through the weeds to get my camera.

I wondered if she were hurt. I got all the way up to where I was almost able to reach out and touch her until she jumped up and ran off as fast as her little uncoordinated legs would allow.

A magic moment indeed.

As for our little owl friends...there just so happens to be 5 babies and they have all learned to fly. They seem to have taken over the hillside along the creek now. They have become the illusive beings that they are...we have only seen the momma hunting since Tuesday night.

until later.
xo Stephanie

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

baby owl pictures.

3 little owlets were all spotted yesterday, 2 on a branch and 1 in the hole. This morning M said he saw all 3 out when he drove by on the way to work. I was able to photograph only 2 yesterday, the other was up too high in the tree.

Here we have juvenile 1 morphing when we first met. It remained like this for quite some time until I came back around later for more pictures...that's when I was able to capture it as below. So cute and fluffy all covered in down.

Below is juvenile 2, so curious and ready to meet the world. I hope I am able to catch all 3 of them today.

We went down in the evening when M got home from work so that I could show him the babies. We again spotted the grey male-adult sized screech. We also witnessed juvenile 1 trying to take it's first flight and blue jays trying to move it. We watched in terror as 1. the little owlet struggled to keep itself on the little limb it ended up on, and 2. both momma and the male grey-adult hooted and chased off the blue jays. There is nothing we would ever do to disrupt the natural process of nature so we pray that the blue jays do not come back to attempt the take over again anytime soon. p.s. The male adult has got the be the daddy...wonder where the other red male went that was there just last week...

Here's another shot of momma. She is so fat!!

Amazing. ♥ ♥

Monday, May 23, 2011

an owl update.

Yesterday we went down to watch the female and spotted a juvenile peeking it's head out from their hole. It was very curious, still flully and grey. Then yesterday evening we were there again to see momma, baby in it's hole and yet another male-sized grey phase screech hanging out just a few limbs from momma. We just saw the red phase male the other day so it's a mystery!!

Yesterday we planted a Big Boy tomato plant, some summer squash, cucumber and strawberries. We are trying out the hanging planters (Topsy Turvy) until we decide on a permanent garden location. M also built a 4x4 raised garden bed that we are going to fill this week. This weekend was spent working hard to finish our chores early so we could relax in the afternoon. This place has really came alive with sounds and lush greenery over the last 2 weeks! Our hammock will be worn out by the end of summer!

p.s. We have also recently spotted a Spotted Towhee, Rose-breasted Grosbeak and heard the loudest Whippoorwill ever, many nights.

xo Stephanie

Saturday, May 14, 2011

We have new neighbors!

Last week we began hearing a Screech Owl by the creek just a few yards from the camper. I wandered down there one evening with binoculars to see if I could spot it. There she sat in the laurel watching me, comfortably, purring her little song. So close the binocs were not even necessary. Ever since then all of our neighbors have also welcomed her to the area. She had a big surprise for us yesterday...there are two...a pair!! We spotted them both on a branch together and they are living in a tree just a few feet from there.

Expect more pictures...and hopefully I'll be able to catch both together and some little ones in the future!!

♥ ♥

Sunday, May 1, 2011

specimen: Narcissus pseudonarcissus

Wild Daffodil
(Narcissus pseudonarcissus)

We've been wandering around in the woods alot lately...hunting for morels. We have so many pictures to share with you! First off, as I already mentioned in the last post, we had daffodils everywhere here. They have finished for the season, as is the Coltsfoot, but we were fortunate enough to have them along the edge of the road during their season. It ended up that we had two different kinds...

a trumpet.

and a double.


Non-native. Blooms in Spring. Found here in woods and grassland. Also know as Lent Lily.

Some yards we pass on the way into town were lucky enough to be filled during the early Spring. And while wandering through the woods you could also find patches here and there...usually near old foundations. Daffodils are not even from the states. It really makes you wonder how long ago these were planted and by whom.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

specimen: Tussilago farfara

(Tussilago farfara)

 ugh...invasive species. Patches of Coltsfoot accompany the Daffodil as the first blooms of Spring here. After a little research I found that the pappus (silky hairs) of the seed head are often used by goldfinches to line their nests. We spotted a female goldfinch at the bird feeder this past week. =)

Family: Aster Family (Asteraceae), Composite Family (Compositae)

Similar species:
• Sweet Coltsfoot (Petasites frigidus) - Has white flowers, different leaves.
• Common Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) - Leaves are different.

Non-native, invasive species. Blooms in Spring. Found here along the road, in gravely areas. Used in Europe for medicinal purposes.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


I can officially say that Spring has arrived here in "the holler"...even as I sit here staring out at a bleak, rainy, 42 degree day. Hey, it's Spring! The weather is excused from being a little iffy from day to day. I just wonder how that differs from our snowglobe winter here?? Definitely over that.

The ramps are up. The grass is growing. The birds are singing. There are daffodils everywhere everyone's yard, along the road...every...where! I have never seen such a sight.

There are also baby animals everywhere! Our closest neighbors have had 6 goats, with more on the way. They also have cows ready. Our other neighbors have lambs...of which I am kicking myself for not going down to visit yet!

This is a little female kid that has been being nursed. Her momma would not take to her so they have been bottle feeding her. I have been helping when I can during the day and have to admit that I have a little soft spot for this sweetie. I call her "Puppy". If you know know I'm silly like that. ;)

She likes to have her head scratched, climb onto my lap and tiptoe quickly after me in the yard. We have high-hopes that she will continue to grow strong and healthy to pull through.

We have even had a few warm nights with rain and in return lots of fog. Lick Run has been rolling right along and sounds wonderfully relaxing.

I have been hoping to hang my hammock from the pavilion soon. I think it might be taken over by M for afternoon snoozes during the weekend though.

In regards to identifying species here, I have a few to share soon after a mushroom hunt we went on last weekend. No morels yet.

Hope everyone is enjoying lovely weather like us.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

We're still here!

promise. We haven't fallen off the face of the earth, been eaten by a bear or froze to death. We can tell you that the new jeep that we bought broke down and had to have the transmission repaired. We can tell you that we have both been sick, S is currently in the worst of it...hopefully. We can tell you we are still working at the same places...though S is now in floral, M is still chugging along with the crew at the university, learning new skills all the time. We can tell you that we are unsure of the permanence of all of these things...hopefully the new jeep will continue to run smoothly now that it has been repaired...that we will overcome our illnesses now that the seasons are changing...and that we will continue working. We are unsure of everything except that we made it through our first winter here and the weather just keeps getting better!! {exclamation point}We are very excited about this. The kitties are also very excited about the chance of open windows and the sound of chirpping birds. Winter makes them lazy and restless.

M started pulling the hay out from under the camper and spreading it onto our mudd yard. With the seed that he spread in the fall and the hay hopefully we'll have some grass soon. We have had some chilly, cloudy days lately but the nice ones outweigh those more and more each week.

We took 2 hikes around the property last week. Thank goodness for Spring. We are ready to start enjoying the magic of this place.

Hope everyone is well and you did not get eaten by a bear or freeze to death. ;)


Friday, January 28, 2011

tired of snow pictures yet?

too bad. it's still snowing here!! Here's some pics M took on Wednesday.

Our neighbor's driveway... 

Our driveway...also know as our sledding hill. Trees were down everywhere because of all of this snow!!

Another picture of our neighbor's driveway with M's tire tracks before plowing.

The road in front of our place. Again, trees everywhere!

Snowing cats and dogs!

There is a house when you first turn onto our road that has a huge patch of bamboo. When we came home Wednesday the snow was so heavy that the bamboo was bending down over the road. It was terrifying driving through it blindly but hilarious all the same.

Hope you're keeping warm!!

xo Stephanie

Monday, January 24, 2011

cakes and such.

Some pictures of cakes that I took on my phone. Poor quality but you can see some of my favorites!

I love to airbrush cakes! This 1/2 sheet cake is airbrushed and then I used the rose tip to make both the bottom and larger top border.

This was a 3 layer, fresh strawberry filled cake for an order. The airbrushing made it look super tall!

This was for a coworker to surprise her mom. It was done in whipped icing. That stuff is sooo much better to work with than buttercream. It's not lopsided...just the way I was holding the camera...promise. =)

And this cupcake cake is my all time favorite! It's 24 cupcakes. =)

M started his new job today! I got a new jeep today too! Pics soon.
xo Stephanie

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

excursion 12.00.10

Just up the road from us is Valley Falls State Park. I've personally only been there one time before when we were visiting here. Since it's so close, a few weeks before Christmas we had a nice winter day without snow and decided to take a little hike through the woods. There were 2 kayakers there going down some of the larger drops! was SO cold!

Mostly the woods we barren but we did see 2 deer that walked up very close to us. Then not too further up the trail we watched in awe as a coyote ran across the trail in front of us in complete silence. The first time I have seen one in the wild and only the 3rd M has seen...the other 2 being on our property.

We did spot a few patches of fern and moss along the Rhododendron trail. And I'm looking forward to visiting again in the spring and this time I'll make sure to remember my tripod for some shots of the falls.

xo Stephanie

Monday, January 17, 2011

catching up

I know. It's been a while. But we have been busy!

we had some snow...

then we had lots more snow!

we went fourwheeling...

our jeep went for a ride on it's own...

i made lots of cakes...

and a pile-o-mini cupcakes...

had a root canal and M gots a new job that he starts in a few weeks! Shew. That's alot in the few weeks that we've blogged last. OH and you can see that the camper is skirted now...but I think M did that sometime in December.

until next time
xo Stephanie