Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Ice and Rain

What a change in the weather.  Last weekend all was cold and icy.

The creek was frozen nearly solid.  It was iced up right to the creek bed,

Four days (and 40 degF later), the creek has water flowing in it.

Actually, it is a bit of a lie - water is flowing over the ice!

I went to the creek tonight to see what was happening.  All looked fine.  We expect steady rain overnight.  Hope we don't have any flooding...

UPDATE - No flooding this morning, but the creek was running high!  I awoke to sleet and freezing rain.  We descend back into the cold of winter.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sweetwater Ramble

I've been down in Georgia the last few weeks for work.  My days were busy, but I got a few hours off over the weekend for a nice hike.  I went to Sweetwater Creek State Park to get some fresh air.  It was just above freezing when I started, but the day was going to warm into the 50's.

I decided to follow along the river first.  Back home we were sitting well below freezing - here there was a hint of Spring around the corner.

Sweetwater Creek is a mix of slow water and rapids.  The trail was well marked, and I saw quite a few people enjoying the day.

The surrounding forest was a mix of hardwoods and pines.  I saw titmice, chickadees, robins and woodpeckers all about.

Hiking downstream I came across a straight side channel in the river.  It was the remnant of an old mill race.

One could see where the mill race was created by the hands of man.  I was looking forward to seeing the ruins of the mill which must be close...

The river started to drop more rapidly.

I cam across the old mill works.  These were the remains of the New Manchester Manufacturing Company (it was originally known as the Sweetwater Manufacturing Company).  It was a 5 story cloth and yarn factory.  It started production in late 1849, but was burnt down by Northern troops during the American Civil War in 1864.

 The mill race entered the building through the arched opening evident on the left of the building.  The brickwork is now crumbling, and much of the site is surrounded by fencing.

I continued to follow the river.  It still dropped rapidly.  The trail was a little 'greasy' in spots as it was still wet from recent rains.  It felt good to sit by the river, listen to the sound of running water, and feel the bright sun on my face.

The trail turned and headed uphill.  As I climbed up, I could here the river get quieter.  I stopped and looked down the slope.  It reminded my of mid-April back along the Quabog River by my boyhood home in Massachusetts.  My siblings and I would get in the car with our Father just before the start of trout season, checking out the river.  The warming conditions and hint of Spring around the corner reminded me of being with my Dad nearly 40 years ago...

As the trail wound around, it passed over one hill.  Now, I could not hear the river.  I kept hiking for another mile or two.  It was great to be outside.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Further Adventures of the Pike Decoy

I spent a little more time on the pike decoy.  This time I started on the fins at the tail.  I cut a deep slot in the back to accept a piece of 1/4 inch poplar board for the tail.

I rough cut the tail and made sure it fit snugly in the slot.

I then roughly shaped the upper and lower fins with the 1/4 inch poplar.

I chiseled out two notches for the fins.

I then inserted the upper and lower fins in place.

So far, so good.  I will work on the pectoral fins next.  These will need a little more effort.  Once these are in, I can roughly sand the fins to 'thin' them out, and then work on sanding the body.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

January Thaw

It seems to me we usually get a significant winter thaw in mid-January in these parts.  Yesterday we were well over 40 degF, and today we may get well over 50 degF.  The big factor will be the fog.

The warmer-then-normal weather has everything melting.

All the recent rain and melting has the relative humidity very high.  We have had dense fog for two days now.  Even the roads were foggy and misty well into the afternoon.

The warm weather has the creek up a little, but no major flooding is expected.

We are down to a few slushy inches of snow - we had 18 inches last weekend!  One of the things that amazes me are the 'varmint' trails which can now be seen that were under the snow.  The snow cover doesn't stop the mice and voles - they leave tunnels under the snow you can now see.

Most of the snow is off the roof.  A little patch still exists where the snow-guards limit it from sliding off.  They have done their job well this year.

A little snow is left on the shed roof over the barn entrance.  I expect it will slide off in the next day or so . . .

The fog continued into the night.  All was very dark.  A little light from a house up the hill behind the creek  through the trees was all you could see.  The river babbled on through the night.

We awoke to more fog and mist.  All was very dark - we had lost power.  We surmise someone hit a utility pole in the early morning.  I fired up the generator and got the pellet stove and fridge plugged powered up.  The power came back a few hours later just as the sun was rising.

Time to stack more pellets in the back room.  The fog makes me feel lazy . . .

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Favorite Things

I need to update my bio on my blog. I am now the grandfather to two wonderful little girls!  The wife and I just got back from visiting the new grandchild.  It was so good to see the new baby.  I was really moved by all the love at my daughter's home.  It was magic!

We exchanged some Christmas gifts.  I got a gift from the oldest granddaughter that is my FAVORITE gift of the year!  More about that it in a moment . . .

We traveled back yesterday, and I was greeted by a pile of snow an ice on the porch.  Those areas of the roof without snow guards decided to leave me a present.

After shoveling for an hour and using the snow rake to knock back the big piles, it was time to come inside and dry off the old boots.

I realized that I had my LL Bean boots for 20 years now.  These are the best shoes I ever bought!  Where does the time go?  Maybe I can get another few years out of them . . .

Oh - as to my FAVORITE Christmas gift - it was a glass ornament of 'Beaner' boots!  Awesome!

It's already on the tree!  We'll be taking the tree down this week, but I can't wait to put it up next year and display this beauty!  Thanks Jula!