Deer Level

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They say that some of the best photos are taken from your subject’s perspective.  So if you are taking photos of a child or pets… to do it from their low vantage point.  It brings more story telling to the photograph, seeing the world from their eyes.

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One of my recent favorite subjects are these baby deer I keep seeing.  There must be 4 families, with one mom and one baby each.  Sometimes I see them all at once… sometimes only one at a time.

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However I see them, it’s always a treat, and something I never tire of.  The little fawns are each different.  Some more playful, some more timid… some more scrawny, some more filled out.

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Mom is ever watchful and protective of their new little ones, and quick to sense danger.  It has been fun to watch their behavior and individual traits.

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For more deer photos see my photo … here.

 

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Fall Trees

People call us ‘crafty’.  I actually resent that term.  When you’re using jackhammers and shoveling rock, building pizza ovens and garages, ‘crafty’ is the last thing you feel you are.

But yesterday, I must even admit, I practiced ‘crafty’.

I saw this little project, I got a wild hair, and decided to make some myself.

It’s a little ‘crafty’ table ornament made with readily accessible resources – sticks, twigs, and branches.

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We started cutting branches into little rounds which I then brushed with Thompson water seal, and then drilled a hole in the center (but not all the way through).

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I cut little tree-like twigs and fired up the hot glue gun.  I think when the hot glue gun comes out, you are squarely in the craft zone.

And cut tons of little paper cut-outs of oak leaves with our handy leaf punch (doesn’t everyone have one of those laying around – available at Michael’s and JoAnn’s).

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With glue gun in hand, I glued the little twig trees into the branch bases… and the paper cut-out leaves onto the trees.

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And, wa-la.  Fall tree table ornaments.

Ok… maybe I am a little crafty.  But just today.

 

Spots

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We saw our first fawn, and I posted the photos here.

Since then we have had several sightings of different families.  It has been an enormous treat to see these precious baby deer.

deerlick_IR.jpgMom is still very protective and constantly checking on her little ones.  It’s so awesome to watch.

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I can tell one family that comes by, as dad is still hanging out with them… usually waiting in the wings ever watchful.

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Red Tailed Hawk

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The other day we had a hawk surveying our property.  The blue jays and birds were none too happy about having this predator in their midst.  The blue jay dive bombed the hawk to let him know he was an unwelcome guest.

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The ground was still and quiet.  The squirrels and chipmunks generally frolicking about were hiding … shivering in their little makeshift homes maybe.  You could almost hear the ground settle with a sign of relief when he left.

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It reminded me of this stunning video from National Geographic.  Have you seen it?  How did they get this footage… amazing.   Check it out….      Epic Chase video

It’s A Small World

If you may have read my last post here , you saw that we had a traumatic event when we lost the truck & camper we had spent the last 18 months custom building.  That event was 5 weeks ago this week.  The pain and drama of it all has worn off, and we are moving on.

Today… a fellow fire fighter sent us photos that someone going the opposite direction on the double divided highway had taken of John fighting his own truck fire.  It’s not often you get to see yourself in action at a major event in your life.

All I have to say is… it’s a small world, that these photos found their way to us.  What are the odds.  It has brought it all back for us… though we are still in the middle of cleaning up the aftermath, but the emotions of the moment are brought back to the forefront.

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BTW… the guy with the fire extinguisher in his hand (on the left) trying to put out the flames before the fire department arrived is John (my husband… and hero).  The guy standing behind the truck is a guy who was on his way to fire school… where John was headed… who was kind enough to loan him his fire extinguisher.

There has been a myriad of details that have come to light just in the stories that John recalls from the frenzy of events of that day.  The one that sticks the most in my mind is the fact that he estimates he had 2 minutes to get out of the truck.  He had tried to get back into the truck after trying to put out the engine fire to claim other goods.  In the midst of the engine fire, the doors of the truck had automatically locked.  Had John been inside he wouldn’t have been able to get out.  As it was he escaped with nothing more than the clothes on his back.  The Blue Ridge Fire Department t-shirt he is wearing, is the only one he has left, as all the others he had were destroyed in the fire… along with everything else in our 20 year old truck, less than year old utility bed and camper top… all GONE and destroyed in the fire.

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Sooooo…. there is a moral to this story.

We have purchased rescue tools for all our friends.

John has one tie wrapped to the hold bar on my Jeep.   Everyone should have one.  It may save your life one day.  Get one today.  They are cheap.  It’s like a center punch… one little click and it shatters the window and allows one to get out.  Never know when you might need one.

First Fall

It seems too early, not even in October yet, but there is a definite chill in the air and you can feel winter is coming.  So we decided to do a scouting trip to check out Fall Colors.

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It’s a strange year, as some leaves are just turning from their resident bright green to shades of pale green.  Other maples are in full color and even falling to the ground floor.

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It certainly isn’t in full color, as the leaves are patchy only in some areas.  There’s no denying it though… it has started early, with more to come.  I love the mosaic tapestries that the leaves and tangle of trees weaves.  It’s fascinating to watch this myriad of color dot the landscape.

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It’s always fun and challenging to try to capture this awesome season and convey it’s many splendors.

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Mossy Rock Wall

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If you have followed a number of the posts on this blog, you would find that we have been doing front yard ‘landscaping’.  We built a paver stone pad for our corn hole games… and then got completely carried away and built a pizza oven.  You can see the posts on that here (Part 1), here (Part 2) and here (Part 3).  If you take a look at these, make sure you click on the videos to see the videos – the best part 🙂

To complete this section of the yard we decided to build a little pony wall and ‘decorate’ it with solid rock face made from mossy rocks we would collect in the forest.  Little did we know when we took on this project how much work it would really be!

Once we dug and poured the footer, laid the block wall and filled it with concrete we were ready to begin the real work!

First we collected a number of trailers full of hand selected flat mossy rocks from the woods.

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Then we carefully put a large rock base layer along the bottom.

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We chiseled rocks that were too roundy or large, down to a more flat even size.

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And proceeded to build up the wall with stone.

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Because they were such large stones we used screws anchored in the wall to hold them in place, mortared the back side, and used large metal ‘sticks’ to clamp them in place while they dried.

We worked side to side every day, picking the perfect rock to fit into its given space, trying to maintain as small of grout lines as possible.

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When all the rocks were in place, we used die to color our grout and custom applied and finessed the grout between each rock.

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Finally we made a cardboard template for the rock top.  The rock top will be custom cut to our template from rock we pick from the rock quarry in Drake, AZ (about 3-4 hrs from our home).

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Whew!  A lot of hard work pays off with a beautiful detail wall.