Our Home Away from Home!

Our Home Away from Home!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Little Bandit Stole My Heart......

Well I just couldn't be more excited!  I feel so much better and thank you to all of you for your most kindest of well wishes. The weather is still raining and cold, but we have great big nice windows to look out of and this week the RV goes in to get all well too.  Oh... is this why I am excited? Well partly, I am excited because I got a picture of something. Something I wanted all last year while we were here but the little stinker out foxed me all the time. I guess he heard I had been sick because yesterday I was sitting at the table and whalah there he was pretty as a picture hanging on the tree looking at me. So here is my first picture out the window...Barbara this one is for you. 

Yes, I know, the clarity could be better but...I got a Pileated Woodpecker.  How thrilling for me anyway. Now some of you may be going hooo humm.  What can I say I get excited over little things.  :)

And I am not done. Oh no the creatures are ascending upon us like the animals did to Noah and the Ark. Not really but it sounded good.  Art sees this one for me....

It was right at sundown and there she was. Standing right beside the camper just back in the woods a little. She just mosied around eating new leaves and shoots coming up out of  the ground.

She wasn't very big I'm guessing a year old, maybe.  She is darker here as the sun didn't bleach her out as much.  Isn't she adorable??

 It was just our week I guess for animals.  Art just about gave me a heart attack when this girl appeared out the window.  "Tam, a turkey."  And NO not that softly.  Well all was going well; she was laying down on her side dusting herself in a mole's run when here comes Bill, another host on his golf cart and scared her.  Thanks Bill way to go!!!! He knows I'm just kidding! 

Look at her! Off she goes in a dead heat behind the bathhouse. She looks more like a Roadrunner at this point, but hey I gotta turkey!

Okay I'll give you a break from the animals for a minute.  I shared with you a few blogs back the other camp hosts sights but at that time 2 of them weren't here yet. So now I want to show you where they live....

This is where Harold and Nancy the beach mangers live.  It wasn't very pretty and sunny out when I took these but can you believe the photo on the right is what they see out their back window.  Not too shabby is it? They have a gorgeous view of Lake Monroe from their site.

This is Glen and Casey's site on Bluegill.  He also is employed by the Forest Service. 

Guess what returned to us this week. I guess others have seen them in the park but he was a first for us.  I was so excited I was doing my hummingbird dance....

This picture I had a little fun with can you tell?  He was sitting in the tree and as you can tell he was puffed up some as it was cold out.  Since the photo quality wasn't that good I decided to try this different editing option.

The work here at the park has really slacked off as much of it is done.  So that gives us more time for walks and taking the golf cart out looking for photo opportunities.  While we were riding on the golf cart Friday I told Art that I wished I had discovered this love for photography earlier in my life.  He asked why and I said, "because I look at the world differently now."  I take the time to look at the area I am in and I look at it at different angles. I don't want to rush at what I'm doing for fear I might miss something.  I guess in my older age I appreciate the world that I am living in and enjoying the beauty of it far more than in my younger years.  I know I never knew a flower had so much detail as before, or that a tree looks different when you stand directly under it and look up at the sky, or that you need a vast amount of patience when waiting for a turkey or deer to come walking out of the forest.  And I know from proof in these next few pictures that I 'notice' what is going around in my world from the ground all the way up into the trees.  All the time we were here last year we heard they were here but I never got one picture of them.  I am so glad I did not for I am awarded this year by this amazing set of pictures.  How marvelous to witness this act of nature.....

I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw this....I have seen it before when I was a little girl growing up in the woods but not with a camera in my hand ready to get a picture.

She definitely saw us watching her but she never hurried, she went slow and steady up the tree with this precious little bundle in her mouth. 

You could just feel her sense of relief when she deposited that little bundle in his new home.  As a mom I could sympathize with how much she wanted her little one safe.  She stole my heart.

We just sat in the cart a ways off and waited and remained very quiet as not to alarm her.  And you know the thing that really puzzles me is Cooper and Effie do not bark at wildlife. They will bark their heads off at a person but a deer or squirrel runs across our path...nothing.  Which is good, for me and I'm glad so it didn't scare the mama raccoon.

It wasn't long before this little bandit of a face appeared in the hole.  "Are you still there?"  You could only imagine that was what she wanted to yell at us. 

Woody said there was no way he was being left out of the blog so he came and lit on the tree right outside our trailer window too.  I tell you with all the rain we have been getting I may have thought the animals knew something we didn't as much as we saw of them.  But wait...I'll bet the bird seed and corn I put out had something to do with it. 

And I hope you are not tired of butterflies because this plant is a magnet.  I told Art you are probably wondering if I am sticking fake ones in the plant to get these pictures ha ha...

There were five on here at one time.  These are Western Tiger Swallowtails, they are so pretty and colorful.

When I was a little girl and grew up where I did it was really much like where were are now. I was surrounded by woods and creeks. And one thing we had many of were these little ground squirrels. My Mom loved them and always nicknamed them Freddy.  Here is our little Freddy at Hardin Ridge.
I guess I will end here tonight.  I am tired and need to turn in as we have to pack up and leave tomorrow morning. We are leaving a day early in order to go by our house and unload the fridge and our clothes and then get up early Tues morning and take it to the dealership. Here is crossing our fingers they have it fixed and ready for us to return in a hurry.  Freddy, Woody and all our animal buddies will miss us, and I expect the hand outs we are giving too. Truth be told I will miss them.

So from Hardin Ridge take care everyone. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

I'm Sick, the RV is Sick, but the Wildlife is Still Beautiful.....

Sorry it has been so long since my last blog...I've been sick.  I have the flu.  Art came down with a sore throat Friday night. It was really red and swollen but he drank some hot tea and that seemed to take care of it.  Then I started to feel bad on Monday. My head was hurting and was feeling congested then...the worst~ I came down with a fever. Now fevers and me just don't get along. I have seen Art have a fever of over a hundred and still work, me, 99.5 and I'm down and out. I hurt so bad I felt like a Mac truck had run over my body.  I am feeling a little better, I spiked a fever again last night and today I am still very weak and congested. When I get something like this it takes me days to get over it.  I am so mad I wasn't sick all winter at the house, not even a tiny little cold and then we get here and I get this flu. Urr.... but I will get better soon from such wonderful and thoughtful care.  Art went to town and got me some good medicine which has helped with the congestion and body aches. And Nancy, another host just brought over some delicious chicken soup, thank you Nancy. See now who wouldn't want a life style like this?  Such wonderful friends and lovely scenery to look at even if you feel terrible. I am just happy I feel up to doing this blog before you all forgot me :)  Just kidding......    Now if only we had some medication for the RV.  Yep, we already have  problems.  Remember when we had to move it last week so they could cut down some trees that were too close to us?  Even though at the time it seemed like a lot of work thank goodness we needed to move because we have a major water leak under the tanks. Water was pouring out from under the trailer as Art was moving it. He took the panel off the bottom and the insulation was dripping wet. So we have to tear down 'again' and take it back to the dealership on the 30th.  Art has been on the phone with a service tech and they are hoping for an easy fix of just a leak in the tank vent.  But they will still have to replace all the insulation under there. Now if the tanks are leaking then we may be gone for a while. Isn't this just ridiculous?? We have only been here a few weeks and already a major problem. I want to call Keystone and tell them they need to at least pay for our diesel to take it back to the dealership.  I don't know what is wrong with these companies but the workmanship is really really crappy. I could understand if this unit was a few years old but a new one you expect a little different experience. Thank goodness it is still under warranty. Will keep you up to date on the findings.    Ok now on to good things.  I have wildlife YA!!!!   The first picture I cannot take credit for though ~~  Kay one of our host was able to snag a picture of this little guy while they were putting up new clips on our posts for reservation slips.  And you all know how I love turtles so I am starting with him. Thank you Kay for sharing this with me so I can share with readers of the blog.

"Hey, what cha doin? I'm just coming out to get some sunshine, so please move a side." 
Isn't he just the cutest thing?  I know I know not furry and cuddly like a bunny but you have to admire these little guys who carry their home on their backs through the rain, the mud, the wet leaves, the branches....hey they could carry mail.  :)

This little guy was sunning himself on one of our logs. I have no idea what this is. I looked up Salamanders of Indiana and couldn't find anything that looked like him. Then I looked up Newts and he looked even less like one of them. Anyone know??

OK speaking of our log pile. We were starting to get a bit concerned that our logs were attracting mice, as Cooper lets us know they are in there. So Art decided to clean up the mess some and Abbie and Bill gave us a tarp to cover up the wood to keep it dry.  Of course with Art moving the wood he stirred up a mouse, and Cooper was on the war path. He was a tad bit angry.  See...

He was barking at Art to get him to move a little faster. I believe what he was trying to say was, "move that log for me he went under there."

"OK, fine I'll move it myself!" 
Poor little guy he wore himself our trying to catch that mouse. The mouse I am sorry to say was a little to quick for him. He would scurry around the other side faster than Cooper could so he escaped many times. As I watched him he seemed to be laughing as he would run by Cooper. :)

Cooper tried another approach, pounce from the top.  It didn't work either.
What was Effie doing while all this commotion was going on. Funny you should ask because I took this picture of her while Cooper was barking....

She wasn't one bit fazed by all the commotion. She was smart and stayed in her chair and the warm sunshine. 

Cooper finally admitted defeat and went after this green bug, that appeared injured, that was crawling on our patio mat.  This was as close as he got to it though, I guess the mouse was safer than he thought.
If you read the blog regularly you remember I said our daughters and their families were coming over this past weekend and to expect granddaughter pictures. Well here they are. Meredith had a blast sliding on the slides. She had the adults right where she wanted them. Aunt Hannah would lift her up to Daddy, Daddy would let go Uncle Dan would catch her, she would run to Aunt Hannah and it would start all over again. What a system, she didn't have to climb anything. And me, you guessed it I was on camera duty......

"Ready, set, go!" 

Right into Uncle Dan's arm. 
See her Elmo doll? She would let him go first and then she would go. So cute!!!

After a while Aunt Hannah's arms hurt so she and Meredith raced. It was so cute.

I'm not sure who was having more fun Meredith or Aunt Hannah!

She is giving kisses now. Meredith that is.... So sweet :)

Wanted to show you my new hanger for the hummingbird feeder. I had one that suctioned on the window last year but it was tiny and had to be refilled everyday. I found this hanger at Walmart and love it.  Effie loves to hang out in her bed by the window so she can look out.

Before I came down with the flu I decided to go on the hunt for wildlife. I found some!

Now if he doesn't make you smile nothing will. Is he cute or what???  Chubby little cheeks, and he just sat there and posed wasn't one bit afraid of me. 

And then look what I saw.......

"I hear you have been looking for me?"

"Well here I am all proud and beautiful. Just like last year."
I was giddy with excitement. My first deer photo of the year. She was so sweet just stood there and let me take pictures of her. And when I drove away she just started eating again, like well my deed is done for the day hoe hum! 

I don't know what was on the ground but these two butterflies were sitting side by side enjoying something.

I am thrilled with my plant I bought. Every day there are butterflies all around it.  Isn't this guy pretty. I am not going to try and identify it, as I have looked and it takes forever to find their picture. I am just enjoying their beauty. I need to find a book on them. 

I did some engagement pictures for our daughter while they were here as they had their first date walking a trail in a state park. I thought I would post 2 of my favorites.

I love the bark on the Pine Tree here in the park so they stood in front of  this large one.
And since they love walking trails we wanted to do one of those too.  So here they are walking the trail here at Hardin Ridge.....

Hope you enjoyed all the nature pictures. Next time I do a post I hope our home and myself are both back to 100%.  So from Hardin Ridge in Hoosier National Forest....
Best Wishes and take care everyone.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Spring has Sprung at Hardin Ridge....Take a Look!

The weather has warmed up and the storms, bugs, mud, and 'wet sticky little buds' from the trees that fall and stick on the bottom of your shoes and you track them in every where is here. Phew that was a mouthful!!!  My Mini Cooper looks like someone went muddin' on the outside and then didn't remove their shoes when they got in the inside.  And....there is more rain and storms coming. It just got too hot too fast. But then the 30's are coming to rescue us again this weekend. That creates a very unstable atmosphere too.  Gee, I am sounding like a meteorologist :)  The ticks are horrible. Every night this week Art has found one crawling on him and Effie had one in her bed the other night. YUK! Hate those little blood sucking creatures, give me the willies.

Ok now on to happier, prettier thoughts. The trees are greening up in here everyday. The leaves are being born into little toddler leaves.  See took a picture today.

Just beginning to see the green shades returning in the forest.

                                Then you take a picture up close and you see this....

Little babies in the center then they just unfold and begin their new life.

        Now here are the pretty ones and my favorites only they don't last too long.....

The Redbud

The Dogwood
I wanted to say I'm sorry I haven't blogged in awhile. We have still been working outside on the campground trying to get it all prettied up for the campers.  Some of you know I have a bad back. I don't have a disc between 2 vertebra and then I have several degenerative disc.  I have a lot of pain and have had epidural injections which help alot but they don't last long. About 2 months and you can only have 4 in a years time. Well yesterday I over did it. Dumb me I know better, but I raked way too much and then I stepped in a hole which just kills me. The uneven ground makes those bones grate together, causing pain and then the muscles tighten and become like rocks.  I sat on the heating pad last night and then today did laundry and took it easier.  I did want to blog today to show you something I did. I made my own picture frame out of sticks....

These are our daughters Hannah and Lindsay. I wanted to hang up the photo but didn't want to put any nails in the wall or use a traditional frame. One day I thought hmmmm,  I have all the wood I need at my finger tips how about a rustic looking one.  So this is what I came up with.  I attached them to the wall with the tacky puddy.  Worked great!
Then we didn't have any kind of end table by the side of the bed. Now that wasn't going to work as I need my "nightime" stuff.  So since there are only hundreds of logs laying around that have been freshly cut I had my pick.  Art removed all the bark and we let it dry out in the sunshine and put plastic on the bottom.  Good idea, don't you think??

I was going to make a little round brown covering for it and then I looked at  it and thought nope I like the rustic look to go with my rustic picture frame :)

Remember my little Chipping Sparrow?  Well I put some seed out on a (guess).....
Now how did you guess, a log?  Only I think this one is a little precarious for the little fellow.  Hope the ax doesn't slip!!

I don't want this to be his "last supper" so I may have to tell Art to put his ax in another log :)

Now for those of you concerned that we are still working Effie and Cooper too hard :)  no worries we are not wearing them out now the storms are. They in one word (HATE) thunder, lightening, and rain. In the camper the rain is magnified a lot so they freak out even more. Poor babies.....

Look at him give me that evil eye.  "Don't you dare take my picture."  Snap too late!!!
And Effie is taking up the other recliner in her bed.  She feels safer in there so we let her sit in it "in" the chair. Are we good doggie parents or what???

She is thinking I am taking Cooper's picture.  So she didn't shut her eyes.
Anybody getting cabin fever and ready to get outside? The Forest Service has a great trail here to walk.  And the weather has been great to do so. Have had a few people in here hunting for morel mushrooms but I don't think they are finding too many yet.  Still it is fun to walk.

The squirrels are still at it.  Guess they are still hungry after such a long winter. And there are little tiny grey ones all over the place, running and playing. They keep a person entertained for sure.

"Boy I sure don't remember burying those nuts this deep last fall."
I also took pictures of Easter Lillies...ok I thought Easter was over with but no problem they are still pretty.  So I will just share photos with you to enjoy....

More Dogwood Blossoms

As I was taking pictures of the Easter Lillies at the office I look over and see this. They were both looking at me until I point the camera their way.  Just so funny, I guess they have heard the expression "point and shoot" too often.  :))

We just came back from a walk (between rain showers) and saw a hen turkey, too dark for the camera. Then Art saw a deer going up to the office to get our laundry but he doesn't take the camera, and I saw a coyote run across the road yesterday while racking sticks, and I didn't have the camera, and some other hosts saw 2 turtles yesterday but I wasn't with them, hence no camera.  Are you tired of the excuses and no wildlife pictures?....me too! I am going to have to get out more and just look for opportunities.  But this weekend our daughters and their families are coming for a visit so I won't be doing it then. You can expect granddaughter pictures first :))  Won't be long the deer should be out with their fawns, now you had better believe I will have my camera then.

  So from Hardin Ridge in Hoosier National Forest best wishes and take care everyone.