27 December 2012


We've had a few dustings of snow this Fall/Winter season, but this is the first "plow-able" snowfall in almost 2 years.

Our son, Matt, was home for Christmas and his dog, Colby, acted just like most kids with the first snow of the year...

Colby ran up the road ...

Down the road ...

And sometimes stopped to look for rabbits (he loves to play with rabbits).

The snow on our solarium formed lots of icicles as snow started to melt.

The snow acted like a mini-glacier as it slid off the solarium roof.

A picture of Wysox Creek.

16 December 2012

Oh christmas tree, oh christmas tree ...

I needed to thin out some of the white pine trees on our cabin property and the Hopkins family was able to select a Christmas tree.

Brian supervises as Daylan and Brady saw the white pine tree.

Brady, Daylan and Brian.

Dragging the Christmas Tree home.

15 December 2012

White Christmas (?)

When most people think of a "White Christmas" they think of the  1954  musical film  starring  Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, but "white Christmas" has a different meaning to Brian & Tish Hopkins.

The trees at Brian & Tish's are decorated with toilet paper (this week's special bargain at TOPS Super Market)  and not  the typical Christmas tree garland.

Tish isn't sure who volunteered their decorating services  but she hopes to return the favor.

It almost looks like snow on the ground.

05 December 2012

Time to relax

With Thanksgiving over and the fall turkey season closed, this flock of turkeys was taking it easy and enjoying the mild December weather.

30 November 2012

Why did the grouse cross the road?

Q. Why did the grouse cross the road?
A. To get to the other side of the road.

We were driving on Joyce Road, between our barn property and the cabin, when we spotted this grouse standing in the road.

After some hesitation, the grouse slowly walked across the road.

The grouse may have been looking for new territory (or lost) because all it found on the other side of the road was a large pond. After a short walk along the edge of the pond, the grouse had to fly across it.

25 November 2012

Big Bird

Matt and I were checking out a hunting spot on our property for tomorrow's start of rifled deer hunting in Pennsylvania when we were approached by "Big Bird". The emu came within 25 feet of us and watched as we trimmed some limbs from a white pine tree.

We're not sure where this emu came from, but it followed us around for at least 30 minutes.

19 November 2012


Earlier in the year I was able to find skunks everywhere in the neighborhood and then they disappeared overnight. It looks like at least one skunk survived and is still active in the neighborhood.  I found this skunk within a hundred yards of the pipeline valve assembly.

14 November 2012

Buck Rubs

In a recent posting I described the white-tailed deer's breeding season, known as the "rut" and how the bucks are looking for does (female deer). While walking around the neighborhood I found some of the bucks calling cards, "buck rubs".

During the "rut", bucks rub trees and shrubs with their antlers and head transferring scent from the forehead glands to the tree, leaving a scent other deer can detect. The scent on a buck rub communicates a challenge to other male deer while also attracting potential mates.

The size of the rub usually varies with the size of the deer. While most buck rubs won't kill larger trees, they will slow the tree's growth and may disfigure some trees.

13 November 2012

The view from above

Google Maps has updated the aerial view of the Rome area again this year with an image that was taken sometime in September. This image shows the new pipeline activity in the neighborhood. Here's a view of our cabin property showing the access road to the valve assembly.

A view of the pipeline valves.

The prior Google Maps image, taken October 2011, showed me working on the lawn at the cabin, the new image shows my pickup truck being driven on the access road.

06 November 2012

The "Rut"

On our way home from voting we noticed a buck deer wandering back and forth in the road,  not paying any attention to our truck. It is the white-tailed deer's breeding season, known as the "rut", and the buck has one thing on his mind,  find as many does as he can. White-tailed  bucks are more active and less cautious than usual during the "rut" and this makes them  more susceptible to being hit by motor vehicles

This buck would walk up to the 5 foot high fence, look through it, return to the road, walk up the road a short distance and repeat the process.

After determining the fence didn't get any lower, the buck made a standing jump and easily cleared the fence.

After jumping the fence to enter the pasture the buck soon realized he needed to be on the other side of the pasture fence...

From another standing start the buck jumped over the fence, onto Joyce Road and walked into the woods.

Within a couple hundred yards of the buck jumping the fence we saw a doe run across Joyce Road and soon followed by another buck (with one thing on his mind).

As we approached our driveway we watched six more doe cross Joyce Road.

02 November 2012

We've been on vacation ...

You may have noticed the lack of updates on this blog for the last month ... We've been on vacation and out of the country. This vacation took us to Turkey, where we've been twice before while on cruises, but never got to see the interior of the country. I've taken a small sample of the nearly 3,000 photos we took on our 2,000 mile tour of Turkey and created the Turkish Tour photo blog.

I have divided the photos into related groups based on locations or events. Click on the links below and check out just a few of Turkey's treasures.







Cappadocia Balloon Ride


17 October 2012

Signs of Autumn

With the cooler days of Autumn, the trees around our pond take on their fall colors. Several trees in the neighborhood have now dropped their leaves preparing for the Winter weather.

06 October 2012

Barn Project

It seems like we take on a construction project each summer that involves concrete. This summer's project was a new floor in the basement of our barn. The barn is over a hundred years old and was once a working dairy barn. The old, uneven concrete floor was designed for milking cows and not storage. Two years ago we fixed the floor on the south side of the barn and this year it was time to fix the north side floor.

The first task was removing the old concrete. Much of the old concrete had deteriorated and was able to be broken into manageable chunks. I was able to use my old John Deere tractor and a back bucket haul the old concrete out of the barn.

With the old concrete removed, the floor was leveled with crushed stone and compacted.

The floor was now ready for new concrete. Due to the size of this concrete job we hired Jim Histand and his crew to pour the new concrete.

The new concrete floor.

We also had Jim and his crew pour a section of concrete in front of one of the barn's garage doors, while they were here.

The finished approached to the garage door. This section of concrete also has a floor drain and will be used to wash our vehicles.