Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Most everything is back to normal after the Flood of 2010.  Some things are better than ever.  When Winter arrives we can discover still more stuff that the River dropped in amongst the trees and underbrush; they're mostly covered by all the foliage now.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Sabotaged again

Another flat tire, another inner tube from the local farmers' co-op.  We're getting pretty quick at this.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Two tired? and Tireless

Riverbank, early this morning
What's in store for today?  Enjoying the River in the early morning.  But, before it gets too hot today (heat index forecast to be above 110°), need to finish mowing the lawn.  Can you find the tractor? (look along the Riverbank, near the right edge of the picture).
Zoom in on the tractor

It's two front tires are missing.  One lost its air, the other had a slow leak that needed pumping up: every other day, 100 strokes with the tire pump. Honey Locust, aka Thorn trees, are the culprit.  The ubiquitous thorns stick into the tires and pierce them.  So, it's time to quit messing around and get inner tubes inserted at the local Co-op.  That should put us back into business.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Helping Mother Nature with the Path to the River

July 2010 - sprucing up
The Flood of May 2010 did some "re-arranging" of the Path that leads down to the River.  

  • The bridge survived, nearly intact.
  • Lots of sand was dropped on the downstream side (to the right of the bridge)
  • A sycamore was uprooted and toppled at the river's edge.  It's making new trees from its fallen trunk (upper right)
Now, re-filling some of the washed away earth at either end of  the bridge is underway.


August 2002 - the Path is born
The path has undergone a lot of change over the years.  It was just coming into its own eight years ago.

Another great day awaits

Peaceful, quiet, full of the wonder of what the day will bring.

The cat was stalking a crow out in the yard.  The crow flew away when the cat, having slowly crept toward it for about 25 feet, made his sprint for the kill.

Have fun buzzing all around the neighborhood on the Tracker.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Peaceful in the early morning

Two geese just flew down the river, then made a lazy turn over our River bank to fly East over our path.  Honking all the while, they were like a major pleasant interruption to the peaceful transition from early morning fog to sunshine skimming across the yard as a new day begins.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Hundred-year Flood

Tennessee got flooded. Big time.  The Buffalo River was at an all-time high.  Gigantic amounts of water.

(compare to the graph in the post from April 25th):
Notice how the scale, typically going to around 13 feet, has been expanded to 33 feet.  With around 15" of rain around Middle Tennessee in 2 days, the water couldn't empty fast enough;  the River shot up to 25 feet high.

The pictures below tell the sad story.

Home is an ISLAND

What a difference a few days make.  Look how happy and proud the Garden Cottage is wearing its new coat of paint.  And its "big brother" house is nearby.

Then it started to rain... and rain...  and rain... and rain:
Now, see the Garden Cottage.  Well, at least you can see the very top of its roof.

Look carefully and see the Garden Cottage's roof in the distance, at the upper left of this picture:

A neighbor who lives on higher ground took this picture.  Can you see how the River has come to visit the house.  The River is enjoying wrapping around the wrap-around porch.  The trees you see grow along the "dry creek".  Today, the dry creek is the Buffalo River.  

It will be interesting to see what surprises await as the River returns to its normal height.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Spring rains

Night before yesterday we had ½ inch rain.  Then yesterday, another 2 inches of rain; tornado and severe thunderstorm warnings  throughout the day.The garden is happy.

The River has risen a lot, and will be rising more, but likely will not spill over the riverbank onto the yard this time.
Just a bit ago a bunch of intertwined logs and branches went racing downriver.

This morning the wind is calm, the skies are all deep blue and many different birds are chirping.
It is fascinating to see the goldfinches zooming all around as they race from tree to tree.  What are they doing—maybe they're choosing up partners?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Leafing out along the River

So many colors green in the early spring along the River bank.
(click to enlarge picture in new window)

The big walnut tree at the left is one of the last trees to leaf out in the Spring.  The river birches, with the white trunks have begun to sport new green leaves.  The several "wild" trees at the right are still getting themselves ready for Spring.
This picture shows our entire riverbank in early-mid April.  Weather has been perfect; temperatures about 10° above normal.  The river is flowing slowly.  With nothing more than a gentle breeze, the river is like a mirror; notice reflections of the trees on the opposite bank.  The year is freshly mowed.

This picture was created from twelve individual photos that were stitched together by Photoshop into this panorama.  Each photo was manually exposed at 1/800 sec., f8.0 with ISO of 400.  The photographer was standing on the cabin's roof; notice the lower right corner of the panorama.

Monday, March 22, 2010

" ... how does your Garden grow?"

Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells, and cockle shells,
And pretty maids all in a row.

Daffodils - staying warm inside

We're happy here indoors, out of the rain (again!) and cold (still too chilly).

We're standing tall in a frog-in-a-vase that came from the Blooming Arts Festival.
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Old Time Radio Show in Linden

Dimples, on Main Street, performed an Old Time Radio Show-- Live-- for Linden's 2nd Annual Blooming Arts Festival (a spectacular kaleidoscope of fine arts, crafts, and performances).

Listen to excerpts from their show. Watch "backstage" to see the sound effects being created. 

They've produced a CD of their shows.

Spring arrives with Blooming Arts Festival

Big doings in the city!  

- Arts and crafts, music, food and more were all about the town square.  
- Music played at the Courthouse.  Live radio show was broadcast from "Dimples".  
- Artisans brought their wares for the citizenry and tourists to enjoy and buy.  
- A trolley bus came from Nashville to shuttle folks between Linden and Lobelville.  

Good times were had by all.

    Fire, glass, wood, molten metal, paint splatter, and modern dance! With an outstanding slate of educational events and interactive exhibitions, Linden's 2nd Annual Blooming Arts Festival was a spectacular kaleidoscope of fine arts, crafts, and performances.

    Well over 50 exhibiting artists presented items such as wood carved bowls, totem poles, hiking sticks, pottery, clay figures, stained glass, weavings, books, jewelry, baskets, quilts and painted feathers, portraits, photographs, paintings, dolls and gourds.

    Food was abundant and provided by local eateries and street vendors. Guided tours were available highlighting the new Linden Art District, the new Heritage and Visitor Center, and the Historic Commodore Hotel. Town Mayor Jim Azbill, was seen greeting visitors.

    Friday, March 19, 2010

    Rototilling the garden

    Every Spring the garden is prepared for the planting season. This is the time of year when we're not thinking of weeding, watering, and, yes, the work it takes to harvest all those crops. In our minds there are no rabbits, raccoons, deer or armadillos. We've ordered the seeds and are getting ready to get those cold-weather crop seedlings: lettuce, broccoli, cabbage-- to name a few.

    When it begins to turn warm, we anxiously wait for the garden to dry out enough to be able to rototill

    • If the ground is too damp we can get stuck in the mud. 
    • If we wait too long we miss out on the full growing season. The heat of the summer comes early in Tennessee. 
     Four-wheel drive helps, but it's not always enough. So it's an educated guess between jumping the gun and waiting longer than needed. This year we got lucky. Being on site, we could jump in at just the right time.

    "A labor of love" best describes this Rite of Spring. Hearing the growling, rumbly sound of the tractor's diesel engine is the music. Get a small taste for yourself from the video (click on "YouTube" to enjoy it from there).

    Thursday, March 18, 2010

    Daffodils bask in the sunshine after dawn

    Here's what we see this morning:

    • Dwarf daffodils in a row
    • Butterfly bushes - trimmed and newly mulched - waiting for summertime
    • Tractor, backed up to a cedar-tree pole, waiting to have its post-hold digger dismounted (it's behind the Garden Cottage, in front of the tiny red car)
    • Blue sky.  You can see it, thanks to Photoshop HDR ("High Dynamic Range")

    Skimming sun in the early morning

    The sun is skimming along the yard and the river.  Look carefully and you'll see

    • Bin of peat moss in the Tracker® from yesterday's planting of free trees from the Perry County Soil Conservation folks: 7 loblolly pines and 3 cherrybark oak trees.
    • Chair in the garden.  It is reserved for the horticultural Supervisor.  She's off-duty this early in the morning.
    • Some color is beginning to show in the large trees.  They know Spring is just around the corner.

    and then there was... Sunshine!

    These daffodils were overheard whispering to each other this morning:

    Wow! Feel the sunshine.  It's about time!  We struggled to poke up from the ground back when the humans were still wearing their long-johns.  We've been up here for the past several days, shivering in the crummy cold clammy cloudy weather.**

    But whistle a new tune today!  We're feeling warm and toasty.

    Do daffodils need suntan lotion?  Guess not, the sun's still not far enough north.
    Anyway, we're happy campers; hope you are, too.

    ** see Johnny Carson skit: "Clerra Clifford my cleaning lady saw Claude cooper from cleveland the kleptomaniac clopped my clean copper clappers kept in my closet and if i find him....I'll clobber him!"

    Saturday, March 13, 2010

    The River is rising

    The script for the video:
    Here's the River yesterday. Notice it's up to the bridge.

    This graph shows the River height (on the left)and the Flow, or speed of the water (on the right)
    The blue line is actual observations. The green line is the future forecast.
    The double lines are readings 30 hours later. They were added to show how more rain increased the river's flooding.

    A day later the River is already covering the bridge and the water is moving swiftly.

    Let's throw a log into the river and see how quickly the water carries it downstream.

    Recall the forecast says the river will continue to rise. The river could get much higher as it did last summer. Not a good time to go kayaking.

    Sunday, March 07, 2010

    Let's go for a kayak ride!

    (remember to click those 4 arrows at the bottom to see video in full screen)

    In less than 4 minutes:

    • Let's get a kayak from under the porch, 
    • drag it down to the River; 
    • climb aboard and 
    • paddle around. The other kayak is waiting for you.

    Bonus: the River in the early morning. The scenics are so different in the winter; in the summer everything is so green.

    [video created from a few clips; Canon SX120 on tripod]

    Saturday, March 06, 2010

    Birds chirp in the early morning

    (remember to click those 4 arrows at the bottom to see video in full screen)

    Early morning is a special time at the river. The birds are hungry and happy in the early-morning sunshine. Often, the River is calm.  This morning there's a clear late-winter blue sky.  We can see beyond the trees and,  especially, we can see the riverfront.  Already the birch trees' branches--  at the river's edge--are picking up some color; soon it will be spring.

    The video pans from the road, across the west yard and garden.  Then the River comes into view.  Look along the entire riverfront.  Listen for all the birds.  Finally, we're at the covered porch where we get to see a surprise.

    Saturday, February 27, 2010

    Turtles were hibernating? Hatching?

    (click on the picture to open, see it full-size; use your browser's back arrow to return to blog)

    Some of the ground washed away from our bridge over the course of the last few floods.

    • I dug out a couple of now-useless cinder blocks that had been serving as retaining walls, and pulled out another that had fallen into the water.
    • Build a new retaining wall to hold the dirt just this side of the bridge.
    • In the course of digging some dirt and wheelbarrowing it down the path to the bridge, here's what I picked up with the shovel.  They were getting ready to hatch?  In February?
    These are tiny little guys.  Almost like the kind you used to be able to buy at the Five and Dime store.  You can see their size by noticing the orange ladybug on the porch deck.  Looks like their eyes aren't ready to open (see lower left picture).  Not to worry, these two guys were replaced back in the dirt where they had been living.

    Armadillos invade Tennessee

    Notice that before 1995, the Armadillo weren't in Tennessee.
    Now they are here.

    The next  posts shows the cat and one of our Armadillo.

    After that, enjoy a video of our two new "friends"

    Cat watches Armadillo

    (click on the picture to open, see it full-size; use your browser's back arrow to return to blog)

    Armadillos in the yard

    Enjoy these critters before the crops are planted.

    Cat in the tree

    The cat enjoyed getting out in the sunshine.

    Winter at the River

    (click on the picture to open, see it full-size; use your browser's back arrow to return to blog)
    It is so peaceful at the River in the winter.  The sunshine finally turned the sky blue.  You can still see some snow on the shady parts of the river bank.
    The horizontal tree at the left arrived during one of the more recent floods.  Look carefully above the river bank and you'll see a cabin and garden cottage.
    The river is still a little high.  In the summer the water on the right will be gone.  Grasses and poison ivy will take its place.
    (This is a panorama from several shots of the river; looking downstream.)

    Wednesday, February 03, 2010

    Pretend it's summer

    Listen to the sounds of the paddling in the water.

    Pretty soon it will be spring.

    Relax and enjoy the short, boring video.

    Tuesday, February 02, 2010

    Late January Snow

    Schools closed - plenty of snow in Perry County.

    • The Barn looks cozy.  
    • Can you see the elk?  
    • The highways were covered in snow.  
    • Look at Main Street-- what happened?  
    • Snow plow travels along (won't do much good with it's plow up).

    (see more at the Buffalo River Review)

    Go Green

    Saturday, January 02, 2010

    ... settled down for a long Winter's nap

    While the River remains a little high, we've certainly settled in for the winter's nap.
    It's cold and very still, but the birds like going to their feeders--  especially the Blue Jays where a bunch of sunflower seeds spilled on the ground for them to feast upon.

    The little tree that could

    It's cold in the wintertime, eh?
    Come back again soon!