Fungi, Greensboro North Carolina, hiking

Making brushes and a walk in the woods

I had a good weekend. On Saturday morning I drove to Chapel Hill and played with the Triangle Book Arts group. We spent the first few hours making brushes with bamboo and driftwood and deer tail and horsehair and feathers and various plant materials, then the last two we spent making marks with things such as small pieces of wood and bleach on black paper, and using salt on wet pigments and spraying through made stencils and such. When I got home Sandy and I went to the Deep Roots Grand Reopening. A fun day.

It seems to be a good time for fungi, even though we haven’t had any rain since we got back from Colorado. The temps are still in the mid-high 80s and it’s muggy. You’d think that we would have gotten some of this hurricane action on the edges, but no.

The Sierra Club sponsored a short hike on the West House Trail and I made myself get out in nature. A good group and a nice walk in the woods. I took a few more fungi shots. The hands are not mine – my nails have never looked that good!

On Sunday I was a domestic goddess and my house still looks terrible but it looks less terrible, and sometimes you just have to go with what you got. I am told all the time that my house looks “lived in” which is meant well and I take it as a compliment. People don’t worry about putting their feet on the furniture at my house. I’m always more at ease in a friend’s messy house.

The main focus was dealing with the fleas again before they reproduced a lot so I did a lot of washing bed linens and the rugs in my bedroom. The diatomaceous earth did work well on the carpets and I’ll continue to use it, but I think that I’m going to have a problem with fleas as long as the boys hang out on the front porch. Putting the d.e. on Pablocito was an experiment and it did help a lot for a couple of weeks. Diego got the dose of CatMD during the same time, which is a cheaper version of Advantage. When the fleas came back on Pablocito, I decided to dose him with the CatMD stuff too, and boy, was it strong. My poor boy blinked his eyes rapidly and squinted all night from the fumes and my throat tightened up and got sore just from being in the same room with him. We were both fine the next day but it makes me hesitant about these other five doses. They were still expensive. Maybe I’ll try the pill route.

Dried more peaches and tomatoes in the dehydrator too. I joined a dehydrator group on Facebook and now my head is swimming with other ideas.

Glacier National Park, hiking, Montana, Montana/PNW trip, National Parks and Monuments

Glacier National Park, May 17, 2016, Part I

We decided to explore the east side of the park on Tuesday, sticking fairly close to the East Glacier depot since we didn’t want a repeat of nearly missing the train. After a visit to the Spiral Spoon and Brownies next door, we headed to Two Medicine Lake.

On the way, we stopped for a small herd of horses in the highway.

A young couple equipped with bear spray let us tag along with them on an easy trail to Running Eagle Falls. Part of the waterfall seemed to pour out from inside the cliff. We saw moose scat on the trail and later we saw a female moose back in the trees, as well as a big-horned ram running along the road.

Then at Two Medicine Lake, there was a spot on the shore that must have had a special meaning for Native Americans.

I wonder what the story was behind these two sites. I told Sandy that this was a place that I would like for my ashes to be scattered. I’d like to think that I might end up in a rocky stream headed for an ocean. Traveling after life.

art, Dinosaur National Monument, hiking, National Parks and Monuments, Utah

Dinosaur National Monument – The Petroglyphs

We had seen some petroglyphs at the Swelter Shelter site, but there are many more in the park. Looking at these on the east side of the Green River off Cub Creek Road, we definitely understand why this art evokes the idea of alien visits.

The first set was easy to get to and they were so amazing I thought that they might be all on that road. But noooooo…we had some climbing to do. It was getting hot and Sandy is not that fond of cliffside heights so I decided to see how far I would get before I chickened out. But I didn’t chicken out. I yelled down at Sandy not to climb up because it was scary. He thought I said “Come up here!” So we both hung out on the cliffside with a beautiful view around us and ancient art on the cliffs around us. The trail wound up gradually and was very pretty too.

There was a flute player and many lizards, painted and real, at this site, along with a ham-fisted fellow.

If only we had food and some more water and time, we would have loved to explore this area more. But in our enthusiasm, we had only eaten a couple of granola bars that day and we were getting a bit shaky.

We drove out to see Josie Morris’ cabin, the homestead of a very interesting woman, but due to hunger and our cameras being out of juice, we headed back to Dinosaur, Colorado, ate at a little diner, and drove six hours back to Broomfield, near Denver.

Cannon Beach, hiking, Oregon, Pacific beaches

Ecola State Park

Susanne said, “What an unfortunate name – sounds like a combination of E coli and ebola.” But it is one of the prettiest beaches on the planet, on the north side of Cannon Beach. We only went to part of it, because it was midday on Saturday and everybody was trying to get in. We didn’t mind waiting in a long line of cars in the cool shade of the woods, but when we heard it was another hour wait to get to Indian Beach, we stopped in this part and hiked down a trail that went to the edge of the sea cliffs and looked down on the beauty below and beyond. Later I learned that Indian Beach is where people go swimming.

Looking back at Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock.

See the fisherman near the bottom of that big rock?

Yeah, it got a bit too steep at this point so we sat and enjoyed the view.

As we were leaving we noticed the fisherman was scampering around that huge boulder near the top like a mountain goat. I took this photo of him at the halfway point down. We waited to make sure that he didn’t kill himself, and he sort of slid down with that pole still in his hand.

We tried to go into Cannon Beach for a late lunch but the traffic and parking situation was so insane I nearly had a panic attack. So we headed south on the Pacific Coast Highway with its stunning views over the ocean and found Big Wave Cafe in Manzanita, where we split a fried seafood platter and I drank a Moose Drool ale, which was much better than it sounds. We loved it!

Greensboro North Carolina, hiking

Nat Greene Trail Hike

Here are photos from our Nat Greene Trail Hike yesterday evening. It begins/ends at Lake Brandt Marina parking lot. Parts of it are hilly. Sandy and I went with a member of the Triad Hiking Explorers meet-up group and her rat terrier, Daisy Duke. We were exhausted afterward which proves that we need more of this kind of exercise.

Looks like “home” (SE North Carolina) in the above photo.

So often we don’t notice reflections. There’s always a spark of joy for me when I remember to really look at a still water pool.

Another trail winds around the woods above the lake-edge trail.


Cool textures.

One day I’m gonna build me an awesome fort in the woods again, just you wait and see.

hiking, North Carolina, North Carolina mountains

Ridges Mountain Nature Preserve Hike

Ridges Mountain Nature Preserve is a hidden gem in Randolph County we were introduced to by the Triad Hiking Explorers and this hike’s leader, Mike Johnson. It is an easy hike and the boulders at the top are magnificent.

Right away I found a snake skeleton and proclaimed the trip a success. Of course I bagged it and brought it home.

An added plus is old stone walls in an area near an upland depression which could have been a small settlement or a trading post from the 17th-18th century.

You know how I love rocks and lichens and moss. Wow.

It was very hard for me to stop taking photos. Next time I will leave the camera at home and take a sketchbook and a picnic lunch. On another nice day in winter, because I hate to think about how many rattlesnakes are probably hibernating in all those nooks and crannies.

This is in the Uwharrie Mountains, the oldest mountain range in North America.

Almost forgot – Mike and his family own Caraway Alpaca Farm. We went by and met the girls. This is Rosie smiling for the camera. Beautiful alpaca yarn, roving, knitted, crocheted, and handwoven garments are for sale in their farm shop, and they sell alpacas as well.

Fungi, Greensboro North Carolina, hiking

Reedy Fork Creek play day

Sandy and I and Anne, a new co-worker, went on a short hike on the Reedy Fork Trail, one of Greensboro’s many trails around our reservoir lakes.

Love this running cedar.

Either we took a wrong turn or the trail vanished. It was in need of maintenance. We ended up crossing a power line right-of-way, in which I identified several dye plants and found a bouquet’s worth of hawk feathers.

Even the scrubby potholed service road leading back to the swampy area was interesting. Just the place to shoot an old refrigerator full of holes.

We followed the creek back to the trail and there were lots of trees felled by beavers.

Fun with leaves.

I found a huge grapevine to swing on. My new friend found out just how silly I can be.

We were more tired that we expected. I want to start doing this on a regular basis and get in better shape.

That’s not pink. I don’t wear pink. It is “tomato.”