Category: fields and forests



One of those ‘perfect’ June afternoons, my toes want to be dangling in cool creek water, splashing gently in the rocks, helping the little ones catch a minnow or crawdad, smelling the wild flowers, listening to the birds and bugs sing the time away… then maybe some hotdogs and s’mores over a camp fire to finish off the day.
Cedar Grove camping trip 2012 010
Better yet, camping along a river, but for today, I will have to be content with just the thoughts and promise of these things to come.


Recently, several of our chickens have gone missing.
We are now down to four hens and one young chicken.
They are free range critters and only go into the coop at night or to lay eggs in the nest boxes. Not long ago, Hubby found a large black snake in the coop. It is no longer there.
Over the last couple of weeks, the outside dogs have been raising a ruckus at night, and a few times I have heard snarling noises around the place.
Yesterday, after the loss of two more of the young chickens we were out checking the game camera and there for us to see was a bobcat. May or may not be the decimater of chickens, but the evidence surly points that way.
In a court of law, I am pretty sure said bobcat would be convicted on circumstantial evidence.
We’ve had the live trap set for a few days, maybe we will catch the culprit, without losing any more chickens.


We went camping on the Mississippi River last week with family. Tents, no electricity, no running water.
“Real” camping, well sort of, I admit, we had portable sanitary facilities and propane stoves for cooking.
The stars were so bright along the river that you could see well without the lantern or flashlights. The campfire made a welcome glow late in the evening.
Night cries of owls, coyotes and herons complimented the quiet hours.
A fine added touch was watching a recreated paddle boat travel past one afternoon.

It only takes a moment to go back 100 years or so

It only takes a moment to go back 100 years or so


Yes, it was a grand trip, and it makes us really appreciate hot showers when we get home.


jelly 006motto
This little fellow was ‘hiding’ on a corn stalk in the garden.
It led me to wonder first of all how he had gotten 3 feet up on the stalk and then why he chose to do it in the first place.
Sort of like people, who often tend to make me wonder about their antics, ideas and actions.


Sometimes, it is funny how my mind works.
It all started today, when my daughter, Tara Banks, posted this on her blog. I highly recommend that you click the link and read the post.

http://craftytara.wordpress.com/2013/06/25/so-there-i-was/

Reading it brought back a lot of memories. Mother used to make these ‘toad in a holes’ on her big square griddle, and in later years we would whip them out to hungry kids while camping.
Enjoying many a sunrise on the river or at the beach, Hubby and I used a cast iron skillet for the delicious morsels. Sometimes on the trusty Coleman stove and more often over an open fire nest to the coffeepot. Kids waited patiently, or not for their plates to be filled.
The thought of those camping trips reminded me of some books we bought long ago. Dian Thomas produced “Roughing it Easy” and “Roughing it Easy 2″. I went to look and sure enough I do have them! Worn and well used.
That led me to a search on Amazon.com. Both books are still available.

If you are a seasoned camper or are thinking about it for the first time, there are many fun and interesting ideas to make your trip more enjoyable.


gooseberries, blueberries blooming 003
Today on our walk, Hubby and I came across a troup of ballerinas, pirouetting just for us.
Clad in gossamer, swaying in the slightest breeze, these delicate ballerinas dance.
I look at them and see not only the beauty in these blooms but the promise of ripe gooseberries to come.
Chubby, tart, basketballs of purple and green.
Sturdy enough not to crush when picked and make a jam or jelly with a distinct tangy flavor.
Two patches endure, and have for 30 odd years, over at the ‘old house place’ where my late mother-in-law first started them.


Years ago, our family and many others made frequent trips to this little spring to bring home water for household use. Back then, the water came down a moss – covered wooden trough and flowed across the road to the creek.
Often the kids played in the creek while the adults filled the water containers. I remember more than once, hearing my grandmother say, “I wish we could turn it off, so it won’t run out.”

Spout Spring, B Highway, Reynolds County MO

Spout Spring, B Highway, Reynolds County MO


I have no idea when the trough was replaced by pipe, I had not been there in years, but this morning while Hubby and I wandered about, we thought it would be a good plan to stop by for a drink and a look.

red sunrise, spout spring, old places 073
I followed the pipe up under some rocks and found the ‘real’ spring flowing out of the hillside. May-apple umbrella leaves have sprung up around it and some water cress is growing in the tiny pool formed before it runs into the pipe.

We were a lot more conscious and conservative of our water use back then. Each use was considered and each drop accounted for, not like we are today, with a seemingly endless supply at the turn of the tap.

I took an empty water bottle from the truck, filled it and enjoyed a deep satisfying quaff of cold clear water. Ah, the taste, and even more the memories.


I often post photos in a ‘photo a day group’ on Facebook. Each day has a topic, and folks are allowed to interpret it and post their own pictures.
Today’s topic was ‘tiny’ and I posted this picture:
clearwater lake trip 128tiny flowersA
I looked in my “Missouri Wildflower’ book and did not find a ‘match’, so I indicated that in my post about the picture.
This is how things work: A lady in the UK posted that she thought the flower was called ‘speedwell’.
My daughter in California looked it up http://greennature.com/gallery/weeds/weeds-in-lawn.html and sure enough, the flower is speedwell.
I found this very interesting, as long ago ancestors arrived at Plimouth on a ship called the Speedwell.
And that, friends, is ‘how things work’ sometimes…


These pictures were taken of the plum trees, as you can see by the dates about 2 days difference.
kids, stuff 018
Just barely showing the white of the blossoms.
clearwater lake trip 002
Fully bloomed and abuzz with insects.
Now for rain and sun to bring a crop.


In spite of all the fuss, false starts and fury of wind and snow, it appears Spring has arrived on Sunrise Ridge.
How do I know? Well of course, I do not, but the peaches have started to bloom.

peach blossom

peach blossom


Although nothing is planted, the greenhouse is started and work preparing the garden has begun.
A little travel shows that fishermen and women are out, enjoying the warmer days and trying to fill stringers.
Let's go fishing

Let’s go fishing


Yet, I have not heard the gobble of wild turkeys early in the mornings, and I wait in expectation for it.
The sounds of evening include peep frogs and owls, I remain still impatient for the return of the whip-poor-wills, but these fulfilled promises encourage me.
They will come!

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