Monthly Archives: July 2010

Gourd House

Gourd House

Purple Martins love to nest in a large gourd. The practice was begun by Native Americans and continues today.

The Purple Martin is a very beautiful friendly native bird found in the Eastern half of the U.S. who is being decimated by the introduction of the European pests Starlings and English House Sparrows. The Martin loves to live near humans and is indeed now dependent on humans to help provide nesting places. Its beautiful song and a graceful acrobatic flight make it a favorite to watch.

 

Click here to listen to the Purple Martin’s song

 

This weekend, Mike built a hanging gourd “village” in hopes of attracting some Martins to nest here.

        

 

 

The Grandkids come for a visit (2010)

The Grandkids come for a visit (2010)

Remember when your Mom would, on a special occasion like a birthday, announce tomorrow we are going to have Mickey Mouse pancakes for breakfast, spend the morning at the pool, go for ice cream, and then go see that new Walt Disney movie. And Dad would add, and you can stay up late with me to watch the Twilight Zone on TV….. as if after all that fun  I would be able to stay awake after 9 PM!

The anticipation of such a day would almost be more pleasurable delight than one could stand. And afterwards the blissful remembrance of the day, for months to come, would be almost as lovely.

The last two weeks of June were like that. The anticipation built as I yearned to see Cat and Sam. It had been far too long since their last visit, and their home in Denver was so far away. But finally the day arrived and the wait was over. First a few activities in town: Sam went fly fishing with Mike; while Cat and I went to the fabulous Fox theater to see a touring company do Phantom of the Opera. Then we were off to the cabin.

First up was a rafting trip down the Ocoee River in white water that would scare the fleas off a dog. Our son, Matt, joined us for the adventure and we hired his friend Mark, of Ocoee Adventure Center to guide. Cat and Sam proved the stuff they are made of. When the raft lifted as it rode a crest it should have plunged back down, instead the bow rose higher and higher till the raft flipped back over on itself spilling everyone out into the turbulent icy water. It was everyman for himself at that point, because no one could do anything other than follow survival procedure and keep their feet pointing down steam and not swallow too much water, as the river rushed all onward. The guide recovered the raft and picked began picking up the swimmers, Sam was all the way through the next big rapid, somehow managing to keep his head mostly above water and not smash into any rocks. The kids had both remembered the safety talk and did just what they were supposed to do.

 

Next, we invited friends and neighbors over for Barbeque and a Porch Pickin’ . Both Cat and Sam are accomplished musicians so they fit right in and found that Appalachian Blue Grass music was not too different from their Rocky Mountain style. In no time at all they were jamming with the other players.

We are going to make the Porch Pickin’ an ANNUAL EVENT at the cabin.

Having never seen lightening bugs (you might call them fireflies), it was a new experience catching a jar-full to light their sleeping loft.

 

 

 

 

When the “old folks” retired too early they stayed up playing cards.

 

Feeling that the backwoods seclusion of the cabin might eventually become a bit too “quiet” for the kids, we finished off the week with a drive up to the Great Smokie Mountains National Park and a trip to the Atlanta Aquarium.