25 November 2009

November Rainbow

When you think of rainbows the image of warm spring and summer days comes to mind and not late November. While checking a local pond this afternoon I took this photo of a November rainbow.

13 November 2009

Karson's web site

In September Brian and Atisha Hopkins' son Karson was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma cancer. It's a childhood cancer that is somewhat rare and he has been receiving chemo treatments at Geisinger in Danville.

The Brian and Atisha have created a website for friends & family to keep up on Karson.

Link to Karson's web page

02 November 2009

Seismic Survey part 4

The Geokinetics' crew was back in the neighborhood for the next phase of the seismic survey. The crew tested the geophone cable connections prior to exploding the seismic charges.

Muffled bangs could be heard when the first charges were exploded in the neighborhood but the sound increased as they worked down the valley behind the house. We watch the crew connect the wires on the explosive charge behind our house and waited for the explosion.

The seismic charge was about 80 yards from the house and had enough force to lift the ground above the explosion and scatter leaves. It sounded like a very large rifle going off very close and shook the house.

23 October 2009

Signs of Autumn

The first snow of the season came and a couple of days later the temperature was back in the 70's. The cold and snow must have triggered the geese to head south and hundreds of geese can be seen on Miner's pond.

The early snow may have forced many of the trees to drop their leave but I did find some Autumn leaves at a local pond.

16 October 2009

Seismic Survey part 3

The Geokinetics' helicopter was back in the neighborhood delivering equipment to the workers as they connect the network of geophones for the seismic survey.

The following photo is the equipment bag that was dropped off in our lawn by a helicopter.

This photo shows some of the geophone placed on our property. This location, in our lawn, has six geophones (the blue dots) and the cable network that sends the collected data to the transmitter unit.

This photo shows the data transmitter (box with yellow antenna) and the battery pack (red box). When the seismic survey is conducted, controlled explosions will be detonated to create a seismic shock wave that will travel through the underlying rock and be reflected back to the geophones.

The triggering of the explosive charges and data collection for this area is done with radio signals to/from a command center located in a truck on route 706 near Camptown.

First snow of the season

We had a wet and cold summer this year and now it looks and feels like we skipped over Autumn and went directly to winter. The fall leaves were about to reach the peak of their color this week but the early snow will shorten the viewing time.

The white snow does add some contrast to the bright red of a burning bush.

But ... The marigolds didn't even have time this year to form seed heads.

05 October 2009

Seismic Survey part 2

Geokinetics Inc. was back in the neighborhood preparing for the seismic survey. This phase requires the laying of geophones and cables. A helicopter is used to deliver packages of cables to the different locations. One of the cable drops was in our lawn and less than 100 yards from our back door.

East by Northwest

The company that our son Brad works for is re-locating his job from San Jose, California to a new site near Detroit, Michigan. Brad will start work at the new site on October 19th and for the next two weeks he will be on vacation as he drives from California to Michigan. Brad plans to take an indirect route to Michigan and document his travels with daily blog updates.

You can follow Brad's travels at East-By-Northwest (http://east-by-northwest.blogspot.com/).

28 September 2009

Deer Antlers

The bucks at Greg and Linda's deer farm on Joyce Road have completed the growing cycle for this year's antlers. Each year the bucks will shed their antlers in the winter and grow a new set during the summer. During the summer the developing antlers are covered with a highly vascular skin called velvet, which supplies oxygen and nutrients to the growing antlers. Late in the summer the velvet covering is shed and the new antler is exposed.

Once the antlers are fully developed Greg and Linda remove the antlers from the deer for the safety of people and the other deer at the farm.

The first step in removing the antlers requires the deer to be darted so it can be handled. Once the deer gets "dopey" they are able to catch it and put a blindfold on it. The deer will settle down when blindfolded, but it still takes about three people to hold the deer while the antlers are removed.

Once the antlers are removed the deer are given a B vitamin, Ivomec wormer and vision 7 to fight off parasites that live in the blood of both tame and wild deer.

The last step in the antler removal process is to watch the deer for the remainder of the day to keep them on their feet and make sure they don't lay on their side. If deer lay on their side, gas can build up and kill the deer.

Photos provided by Greg and Linda Saylor

12 September 2009

Fishing at Miner's Pond

It was a good day for fishing at Gerry's pond.

Mikayla Post with a fish. In the background, Kynlee Kunkle, Morgan Post, Kristy Cook and Tanner Kunkle.

Mikayla Post, Kristy Cook and Kynlee Kunkle.

Kynlee Kunkle.

Mason Kunkle.

Morgan Post, Kynlee Kunkle and Mikayla Post.

06 September 2009

Concrete wall

The concrete retaining wall at the barn is now complete, the drain lines are connected and we've started to back fill behind the wall.

We have now moved our concrete work to the inside of the barn and will work on footers and supports to prepare of the for pouring a section of the barn floor.

29 August 2009

Concrete work at the barn

Our barn is over a hundred years old and needed some work to help it last for a few more years. This barn had been built in a couple of different stages over several years with reclaimed beams from other barns. The support posts of the barn had been placed on large, flat rocks, placed on dirt (hard-pan). A concrete floor was added later but poured around the support posts leaving the bottom of the posts embedded in dirt. Over the years the bases of some the support posts started to rot.

We want to fix the old floor of the barn but first need to re-set the supports on a solid base. We got a couple of 20 ton jacks and raised the barn enough to remove the old post. We then removed old concrete floor, dirt and rock until we found a solid spot to pour a new concrete footer with re-bar. Once the wide base was in place we poured a new concrete extension above the floor line for the post to set on. The bottom of the old support post was cut off to the correct length and the rot removed. The post is then reinstalled (level and square) and bolted to the new concrete base.

Another part of this project required the installation of a new retaining wall on the south side of the barn to replace an old section of the stone support wall that had fallen due to frost movement. We started by removing the dirt and rock from the old wall section. A 6 inch thick base of concrete with re-bar was poured to form a level platform to build the new wall on. We then poured a 5 inch high section of the new wall to form a "key" to hold the forms for the new wall.

Once the "key" was ready more re-bar was installed and the concrete forms for the bottom section of the wall were attached to the "key".

The bottom section of the wall is 32 inches high, 8 feet long and 10 inches wide. We mixed 11 batches of concrete in our mixer and completed this pour in a couple of hours.

Once the bottom section cured we removed the forms and moved them up for the top section of the wall and clamped the form in place. This section only required 8 mixer loads and was completed in less than two hours.

A new 5 foot high retaining wall. This photo shows the wall, Mary and the cement mixer. Another extension of the wall will be poured on the right end of the wall where the re-bar is sticking out.

24 August 2009

The end of a rainbow

This weekend, like most of this summer, included rain showers. We were working at the farm when a rain storm came out of nowhere. The shower didn't last long and the sun reappeared creating a rainbow that appeared to end at Brian and Tish's house.

14 August 2009

Seismic Survey

Geokinetics Inc. was in the neighborhood preparing for a seismic survey of the south end of Joyce Road.

Shot holes are drilled twenty feet deep for the placement of an explosive charge.

Once the shot hole is drilled an explosive charge is placed at the bottom of the hole and back filled with gravel.

Four shot holes were drill on our property.

10 August 2009

Neighborhood Deer

In the past couple of weeks I've started to see a lot of fawns with and without their mothers. Saturday evening I was in the back field at the farm with our neighbor, Harley, and saw three fawns come running out of Harley's field and into our food plot. After a few minutes at the food plot the fawns ran at full speed back to Harley's field. Tonight triplets were in the clover field with their mother.

Caught this young buck behind the barn.

07 August 2009

Night time activity

During the daytime we only see a small number of the wild animals in our neighborhood. Here are a few photos taken with digital game cameras of night time activity.

I created a bird feeder from an empty coffee container and suspended by a wire in front of the camera. It didn't take long for the local raccoons to find the feeder. This raccoon studies the feeder's design.

02 August 2009

Greg and Linda's deer

Photos from Greg and Linda Saylor's deer farm

Photos provided by Greg and Linda Saylor