Our Home Away from Home!

Our Home Away from Home!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Bird, A Bee, and A Butterfly...oh and a snake.

I just love my mifi. We are working up at the gate house this morning and so I just brought it with me and when we are not busy I blog. We have been really busy the past few days and so I haven't had as much time to spend on the computer. Tonight Al and Dee are having Barbecued Ribs for us and the hosts are bringing in side dishes. Mmmm I can just taste them ribs! 2 of our hosts, Ann and Carl and Betty and Billy are leaving tomorrow so this is a good bye dinner too. :(  We have really enjoyed getting to know these fine people. THAT,  is the greatest benefit from doing camp hosting you get to meet so many wonderful people. Friendships to cherish for a lifetime.

I finally got a bird picture, not a great photo but wow they are hard to get in all these trees. They fly from one to another to another, and by the time I have them focused in off they go again.  This is a Downy Woodpecker, it is cute you could hear him pecking at the tree as I was taking this photo. Right where his head is there is a hole in the tree. I'll bet he was having a feast.  There has been a Pileated Woodpecker in our loop and he has been flying around making all kinds of racket. I sure hope I can get a picture of him before we leave but I have my doubts. 
Mmmm...insects, great breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
This little guy was having his breakfast too. He was sucking out the juice from this Persimmon.
He looks like he was sitting on a pumpkin, appropriate for this time of year. :)

 Ok I have been running around after butterflies for weeks, not having much luck. But I did get this one flying around the Persimmons too. He landed on my hand once but nope didn't have the camera focused there.
I have no idea what this little guy is, but he was lavender in color and was so cute.
This photo just had to be enlarged to get the full effect. The trees down by the lake are just starting to turn color. Can't wait until they are in full color the pictures then should be gorgeous.
I tried a different angle here.  I stood under the tree and looked up. I think the dark branches in with the colored leaves is a neat picture.

While we were out driving on the golf cart taking pictures, these kids on Pine Loop saw Effie and ran over and asked if they could pet her. She loves all the attention. Cooper not so much :(

I had an idea while they were blowing leaves that they all turn and face me with their blowers pointed at the camera.  Now....if they had revved up those blowers :)) I would have been taking this picture from down over the hill. Whew! Glad they didn't.

Karl, Miss Mickey, Al, Art, and Billy.  ''Official Hardin Ridge Leaf Blowers.''

I was following Al, Karl, and Art while they were blowing leaves. There are so many leaves to fall yet that they have to keep the ditches and culverts clear so that they have room. Water doesn't flow to well in packed, down leaves. Effie and Cooper lay on the seat next to me and sleep while I drive along, s l o w l y.  Great opportunity to get photos. Donnie and Kevin ended up joining them later on.

The guys were blowing the leaves up and found this snake buried under them. Guess he was making a nest in the leaves to keep warm. 
As I was sitting in the truck following the guys that were blowing leaves I was watching for traffic coming up from behind me.  I then had a thought....a picture in a mirror. It was unusual, but neat.
This is what the leaves look like when they are piled up and need to be blown out.
See how nice it looks after they get them blown up the bank.
The Harvest Moon last night was just beautiful. Coming through the trees made a great border for the moon.  Soon they will be big and orange. 

So from Hardin Ridge we send hugs and best wishes.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

New Sweaters, Squirrels, and Deer (of course)

Today we awoke to another soggy morning as it rained again last night. I love the sound on the trailer but I am getting tired of everything being soak and wet. I know I shouldn't be complaining because of the drought but when you are in a forest you want to get outside and the rain makes that 'uncomfortable'.  However, the backpack blowers they have here to blow leaves are so powerful they blow the leaves even when wet. So Art, Kevin, and Karl starting blowing leaves on the main road. I followed along in the park's truck with the flashers on to alert cars that the guys were on the road. They were going along smoothly until Kevin and Karl got into a Yellow Jackets nest. Oh boy!! Kevin was stung once, and Karl got it three times. Time to quit! We came over to our trailer and I got out the Alka Seltzer and wet it to make it bubble, then we put it on the stings. They said it helped immediately, taking away the pain. I gave Kevin liquid Benadryl also because he has ended up in the hospital before when stung due to a reaction.  He did just fine this time, I'm sure the Benadryl helped, getting it into his system fast.  I didn't have the heart to ask the guys if I could take their picture while they were in pain.......so just imagine in your minds two grown men with Alka Seltzers 'bubbling' on their heads. Not funny I know.  We the ate some lunch of left over fried potatoes with scrambled eggs. Mmmm.
Then we drove into Bedford which is approx. 23 miles from here. I wanted to go to Walmart and pick up a memory stick to back up my pictures on.

When we got back to the trailer I just had to get out on the golf cart, the sun was out and I needed a ''deer fix'', I am attached to these guys can you tell??  I went down the Bluegill loop which has a pond on it. The deer frequently drink from it and so I thought I might get lucky. Well I did. This one was coming up over the bank and she looked so cute standing there with only half her body showing and those big ears alert. She just stood there and looked at me while I shot the pictures.

"Hey, have you heard any good gossip lately?''
               In this one you can just barely see the water from the pond at the bottom.

She finally just turned around and walked back down into the woods. Guess I was boring her :) I got this little guy sitting one of my pine cones on my lighted tree by the trailer door. He is a Katydid. It is evident they are around, they light up the night with their songs. "Katy did, Katy did"

So cute he picked the pine cone to sit on, sure shows up doesn't he?
When I was in at Walmart they had just put out a new display of dog sweaters for winter. Effie and Cooper each have one but if they get wet or really dirty they have to be washed. Now since a washer/dryer isn't all that handy now I just 'had' to buy them each a new one so they will have two. They were so excited Effie got a pink camouflage and Cooper's is a black/white/red design.

Don't they look thrilled :)
When I was driving on Bluegill I saw this pop up camper in a site and thought it was neat looking with the colored leaves on the trees. Wouldn't you just love to be them?

Cool how the color on the camper matches the leaves on the tree.

You remember a couple of blogs ago I had a picture of a Persimmon Seed with a spoon on the inside which means lots of snow? I think the squirrels broke one open too, as they are super duper busy gathering nuts. They are everywhere in the park, jumping from tree to tree and the roads are just littered with nut shells where they have dropped them from above. They are hard to capture on film but I did manage to get a couple today.

What's that? Oh you want to see one with a face....OK.
"Hurry up would ya, I've got nuts to gather!"
I drove down to the lake area, as I haven't been down there since the day we went out on the boat with Al. Wow! The leaves have really started to change down there. These are just gorgeous with the pine trees.

Guess what???? Yep, you're right more deer. I was driving up the trail towards the road and I was talking to our daughter, Lindsay, on the cell phone when I looked to my left and there stood a deer just staring at me. I don't know who was more shocked me or her :)

"Hey, who are you talking to?"
Turned out it was a baby from this year, can you see the mama's tail on the right side of the picture? She went to eat and the little one just stood there for the longest time and stared at me. Then she went on to eating...she was crunching something so I assume she was eating nuts.
Look at those big brown eyes.  So adorable!

Here is the Mama.  Pretty face, and she looks pretty good.
Mama just went on down over the hill and finally the baby took off following her. So I drove on down the trail and low and behold what do you know another.....

Look at the difference in color between this one and the mom above.
I came out onto the road and in front of the Amphitheater there stood a mom with twins. I always wonder if these are ones I photographed when we first arrived. No way to know as there were several moms in here with twins. I would bet these two are a boy and girl as one is so much bigger than the other.

"Hey, we know you."  Mom apparently does too look how unconcerned she is.
The leaves starting to turn in the back ground make a pretty contrast. 

 Down at the beach area these Turkey Buzzards were flying around and one landed in a tree. This would make a good Halloween picture wouldn't it?

"Mom and Dad said we send hugs and best wishes, from Hardin Ridge."

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sunsets, Cookies, Meredith, and a Turtle.....

I hurried down to the beach area Sat night and wanted to get some more sunset pictures.
My new camera has a sunset feature on it and I think it does an awesome job of capturing the colors. I will start in order of how I took them.....

It is almost a sunset rainbow...see the different colors of yellow?
The bright yellow color became larger as it went down.
I love the way the sky was becoming darker and the water too.
This is taken from a different spot on the beach, so the sky was lighter.
I have to post my new deer photo. This one looked a lot healthier than the ones I usually see in this area of the park.

She only had this one baby and he/she was bigger so probably not nursing any longer.
This Walking Stick was on the refrigerator outside one evening....
I touched his antenna and it made him mad so he raised up his L front leg at me :)) He was missing a back L leg so I couldn't blame him for being defensive.
OK it is granddaughter Meredith's turn. We babysat her last week and we went outside and took her shopping cart  with us that she got for her birthday. Someone had left a new phone book by their mailbox that must have been 5" thick. (We are talking about Indianapolis here) She just had to put it in her shopping cart to push around, I think it weighed as much as she did.

And she absolutely will not look at the camera any longer. She was sitting on the porch step looking so cute so I went and grabbed the camera and asked her if she would sit there so I could take her picture? She said, "no." Little stinker. So she was walking and I just kind of said Meredith like I wanted something and took this photo.

Her expression says it all. "What do you want, I'm busy playing."
Her hair is so fine now and won't hold a barrette. Doesn't seem to bother her, plus, it was windy. We had to follow her because she was pushing her cart around in the driveway. I just love this look she has with Art following her.

"Good grief is he going to follow me all day?"
We left Cooper and Effie in the car while we were outside because they were not staying with us and wanting to wander. I just had to laugh when I saw Cooper doing this....

"Ah Mom, hello I can't see out."
"Now, that is more like it!"
I bought a pumpkin yesterday and decorated it. I got the idea from reading Muffy's Marks, she is another blogger that I follow. I did a little twist on mine with the paw prints.

Thanks Muffy.
Then I got ambitious this afternoon and made cookies. I love to cook but not bake because it takes forever. But the outcome is sure worth it. I use the Hugs on mine because  I like the look of them better than just the solid milk chocolate kisses.

We are playing cards with the other hosts this evening and believe me they are going with us so we don't eat all of them.  Which I could do...they are good! Peanut Butter Blossoms is the name.
Yesterday Art and I went down to Southern In. close to the Kentucky/Indiana border. We went to Tipsaw and Celina lakes. They are also managed by the Cradle of Forestry that manage Hardin Ridge. I finally got my turtle but this was sure a surprise I sure didn't expect to see this guy. I was after the little duck you will see in the bottom of the photo.

Can't you find him? Little bump near the top of the photo. Ok, I'll zoom in for you.

A little closer. Look at the size of this guys head...man I'm surprised there are any ducks in this lake. I have seen what snapping turtles can do to a stick and the ones I saw were not this big. Hey Mike what about us catching this on Sugar Creek? :) Mike is my big brother and he used to take me turtle hunting when I was a little girl. He would put me on his shoulders and wade through the creek to where he put his bait. I was probably 5-6 yrs old.

He was laying on a log almost to the other side of the lake, so I'm surprised that zooming in as much as I had to didn't make it more blurry. After we left Celina Lake we went to Spring Mill State Park. I just loved this fall picture with the colored leaves coming out of the bedrock.

From Hardin Ridge we send hugs and best wishes.