Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year 2012!

 A little music please...

My wish for you and yours in 2012 is to have a safe place to call home and the opportunity to follow your dreams....
                                       Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Fill in the Blank

Hubby and I are moving along slow, but sure on our house building project started July 22, 2009.

We needed a a solution to cover the white material,Ty-vek, until we are eventually able to put a window in place.

What to do? What to do?!?

We,( I ), needed to decide on medium and subject matter to be used for a temporary cover.

It had run across my mind to put up a German hex design . My heritage is mostly German.However, that idea didn't win out over my interest in wildlife found here at Timber Life.

This is the trail camera picture I felt simple enough for me to try to replicate or at least attempt  some resemblance.
We decided on pine siding cut vertically for easy assembling once transferred from production area to side of the house via an extension ladder.

A little machine helped me to get the outline of the picture in place since I am not particularly gifted with drawing abilities.

My contribution  for reassembly a top the ladder will be a support person at the bottom. 

I am glad for artistic license where you can decide on color and image perception.Redesigns are ongoing...

There is certainly much left to be done to get the project completed...Unseasonably warm temperatures this week should give me a chance to spend time with putting some trees in the scenery since the house is still an unheated studio.

Once finished this will be the answer to "Fill in the Blank"....

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wild Pole Dancing Bear

Speaking of Wild...My goodness! This bear sure is Wild on two accounts. By nature and by getting into scratching that itch all UP and down.

Hope you get a laugh out of watching the video like I did....

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas to You!

I would like to share this Nativity that I found at my Mother's Retirement Community as a remembrance for the reason for this special season of Christmas...

                                   Luke 2:15 -20
15. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass,which the Lord hath made known to us.
16. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
17. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
18. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
19. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.
20. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

           Merry Christmas to you and yours from Timber Life!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

2 Bucks in 2 Years

I want to congratulate my neighbor Sam Huntrods for being able to bring down two fantastic looking bucks in the last two years.

Sam uses a Remington 870 shotgun with a Nikon Prostaff Shotgun Hunter Scope to zero in on the right shot.

Sam Huntrods December 2010 - 16yrs. old

The 2010 buck was a part of a large hunting group sweep from the timber here at Timber Life during the first Shotgun Season. If memory serves me the group came through between three and four in the afternoon. It was a successful day for most involved.

The second buck in the background belonged to Sam's dad taken out of a family timber south of us.

Sam Huntrods 2012 - 17 yrs. old

This fine looking buck came out of a late afternoon hunt the second day of the first Shotgun Season,December 4th. Sam, was hunting on a smaller scale with his dad and uncle this time around.

Sam shared that he worked at getting the best angle to limit his activity to one shot, because the buck had a harem of six does, he wanted to limit any extra movement and noise so he wouldn't get busted...This time he was closer into the timber for the hunt.

We have had the opportunity to hunt without snow cover this year - cold days, yes, but snow in our location was conspicuously absent .  I appreciate having brown ground . However, other hunters voiced their preference for snow and being able to track their kills better.

My wish for Sam is that he is able to see continued success from year to year with the early start he was able to achieve.

Congratulations Sam!

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Soldier's Silent Night

We have been seeing a draw down of troops from the Middle East...There are still some yet to be called home and even some being sent to relieve others in a zone where you aren't sure of who your allies are from moment to moment.

It is with gratitude to our Troops at home and abroad that I send you Merry Christmas Greetings...

My nephew served with the Iowa National Guard 1-133rd Ironman Battalion in Afghanistan, over the 2010 Christmas Holiday. They returned  July 18th,  for which I would like to Thank God.

Watch More Christian Videos on

In the New Year we ask that prayers continue to rise up for the safety of those remaining on the field of service and a safe return to family and friends...

                                                Merry Christmas!!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Housecat or Bobcat?

Some days you just want to get up on a tree stump and holler,please forgive my colloquial term for "Shout" or "Exclaim" with exuberance.The latter do NOT fit my train of thought.

On my trail camera on October 5th, this year I caught the image of what I believe to be the rear half of a feline creature of sorts, during the daylight hours no less. What is vexing me,vexing a term used by a past blog posteress Dana at The Wildwoods Woman when she got disturbed, is that the picture was a one time event and not extremely clear. Low camera batteries were leading to some eradic captures about that time.

My picture has been shown  to a trained Wildlife Biologist and I have shared it with a couple other people. The opinion as to specific feline varies. Others won't go as far as to say it could be a Bobcat, but I will. That possibility exists because one was caught on a trail camera north of our place less than a month ago.

The reason given by most is they feel it could be a feral cat...However, I haven't seen a spot pattern like that on a domestic/feral cat. Another reason they feel it can't be a Bobcat is because of the tail. They can't see a bob tail and it appears more bushy than that of a Bobcat .

My reason for seeing it as a larger animal than a housecat  is the strong design of the rear leg caught in that one camera view.
My Mystery Feline?

One person even told me they thought it looked like a picture of our Miss Kitty...I just smiled and said"you think so eah?", as I shook my head.

Have you caught anything like it on your trail cameras? Does it resemble a domestic/feral cat from your point of view?

Let me hear what you think on the matter.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Are You My Mother?

Miss Kitty the first time I saw her

This past summer, specifically July 27th,as my daughter visiting from North Dakota and I were returning from a visit with her Grandma & and truck driving Uncle in Des Moines...We came across an unusual sight in the drive in front of us,across the field from Timber Life.

The little kitty seemed lost and at the time... keeping company with the big doe standing tall for her own candid moment. As we sat and watched for a while the kitty tried to get the attention of the doe. Did she want to play or was she plying the Dr. Suess story question "Are You My Mother"? I believe this little one was a member of another household and dropped off in the country for one reason or another.

A few days later, on one of the hottest days of the week, the kitty showed up on our deck...Meowing loudly as if to share how hungry she was and needing some help to weather the elements.
She didn't even wander into the shade when the heat of the sun came around the house, bearing down oppressively on any creature touched by it's light.

I didn't have any cat food  so I scrambled up some eggs with a little cheese for a couple of days.

Learning a little later that dog food could be a substitute for a short time. That I could do!

Our dog Sadie has been an only pet for 3 and a half years...Now, sharing an owner is still a challenge,but at times they can share the same deck.

Miss Kitty is an outside cat, because we aren't prepared to have an indoor cat, not that she hasn't made an attempt to change that status.

Sadie is a guardian against  feral cats, raccoons, and opossums, wanting to dine on the morsels in kitty's bowl. Sadie sits by the steps ready for a chase if something comes to push Miss Kitty aside.

Slaps without a sting, and clawing at a wood post leaving no shredding,  revealed that she had been declawed.

In spite of lacking her front claws Miss Kitty is a stealthy huntress in her own right. She brought me gifts of her kills shortly after she came. I have become a trusted friend.

Not long after her arrival on one of the many walks in the yard with Sadie, Miss Kitty, joined the outing. Now, when I go to pickup the trail camera card and she gets a late start for the excursion, you can hear a mini-stampede come rustling through the dry leaves of fall until she gets to my location. I wasn't expecting her one day and Sadie was off at a distance, but still within my forward view...Turning to see what was in swift pursuit , I had to laugh, Miss Kitty was in  high speed to become a part of the group.

I haven't had a cat since I was a child, way back when.My choice to put food out was more, or less, "You aren't going to die on my watch", reaction.

Now we have been adopted and Miss Kitty has put on weight, so we will see how long nature will keep us together...

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Ticks Alive!

We often think of ticks as being a scourge in the spring and summer, not so likely come the fall, especially after having some hard freezes in the neighborhood.

What we have come to realize in the last two weeks here is that ticks are a hardy sort of creature.

Sadie had found two that were in contact with her long enough to embed a couple inches from one of her ears.

I ran out of her flea and tick protection and now realize it was deflecting those little denizens through the worst of the infestation season. Thank goodness!

Not having experienced ticks this far into December I wasn't as vigilante in looking for them after our forays into the timber and pastures. It was only after petting her and feeling an unusual growth were my suspicions aroused.

Both ticks were in the larval stage of development in their life cycle when they hitched a ride. Larval and nymphs each must take a blood meal to develop to the next stage. Larval ticks, known as “seed ticks”, can be distinguished from nymphs and adults because of their small size and six legs. My reading at an Iowa State Extension publication seems to indicate this variety is the Black Legged aka Deer Tick.

It is my belief that our relatively warm temperatures have extended their reproductive capabilities - which could create bumper crops of the little blood suckers next year.

So, even if your weather has reached some extreme cold temps beware the little hitchhikers if the days return to the balmy upper thirties as it will here in central Iowa again come the weekend...In time for Iowa Shotgun Deer Season II Saturday, December 10th - Sunday, December 18th.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Five Year Blogoversary Celebration

Eye of the Timber caught many years ago at this time of year

 Five years ago today I wrote my first blogpost.

I started out with the blog title Walking in the Woods, but soon did a Google search and found a whole bunch of other people at that time feeling the same way I did about the great outside. In an effort to gain some individual distinction ...A bit of reflecting on a moniker to be associated with, brought me back to Timber Life repeatedly since that is the life I am blessed to live daily.

I have met some very interesting and positive people in the blogging world over the years. Check out my Blog Roll please for the first bloggers for whom I  found an interest in reading when I discovered My Blog Log. A website now gone from the internet under reorganization by its provider. I do have a few others that have come and gone within those years that I continue to wonder how things are going for them...

Although my posts may have extended periods in between or don't have a rational thought to convey - sometimes I still have days where I want to sit and share some thoughts that seem particularly pressing.

Thank you  to all who have stopped by for a visit!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Iowa Deer Season I

Deer Shotgun Season I opens here in Iowa today, Saturday, December 3rd, and there has been an item that keeps trying to work its way into the tangible part of my hunting paraphernalia. Sometimes we dream and scheme for a long time before we settle...again to start the process to move up in the future.

Last Saturday I decided I didn't want to go through another opener sitting in freezing rain/rain. I guess you can call me a fair weather huntress. Although, in the last 5 years I have been out in some pretty extreme cold temps with wind whipping snow -  it is becoming less desirable to do so.

Our forecast for Today: Rain. High near 38. South wind 6 to 8 mph becoming northeast. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New rainfall amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.

Saturday Night: Rain and snow, becoming all snow after midnight. Low around 25. North northwest wind between 6 and 13 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New precipitation amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

Shopping for an economical alternative to get out of the weather, that could hold two people comfortably, took me to The Sportsman's Guide. I decided on a Guide Gear Winds and Water 5-Hub Pop-Up Blind after considering an Ameristep G3 Blind. This G.G. blind appears that it will work fine for gun season, but I won't be able to use my Martin Jaguar Takedown Recurve bow from it during the Archery  seasons.

I have some concerns about this blind since I set it up Wednesday afternoon. The top can be removed for water fowl hunting which I find to be a plus - it has velcro strips and corner straps to hold it on.

However, I am only able to get three of the four sides attached on my own. My thoughts are that if I had a second person to tug it down while the I held down the opposite side it would get secured, at this point it is unsecured leaving a space for the wind to blow the elements inside. There is another thought going through my mind...if all else fails use Duct Tape.

Another concern that became apparent when I climbed inside Thursday morning was all the visible pinholes in the interior blackout finish as well as the holes created by the window stitching.

Before I purchased anything I read of others who had experienced the same difficulties with other products and their solution. They used water repellant sprays to seal the surfaces. I decided to purchase Ambush Triple-X Ground Blind Spray , not only to create a scent eliminating covering, but to add a  moisture repellant barrier.

In the future I can see maybe a different brand of  ground blind  tall enough to allow for my recurve bow in the future. Ultimately, I want to work for some stationary blinds because the deer trails don't change much over time here...they are passed on from generation to generation. 

Today will most assuredly give me a product trial on the blind and protective spray.

Yesterday morning I sat watching the deer feeding and running by my ground blind. I only hope they will  be so plentiful in about an hour and a half with the weather changes as Deer Shotgun Season I opens.

Time to be off to the blind!

    Sunday, November 27, 2011

    Vardaman, MS Sweet Potatoes

    The Thanksgiving Holiday starts the seasons for bringing out the best of our recipes to put festive touches to the abundant fare we share with family and friends.

    My brother on a short stop over this past summer
    I put in a request to my brother to get on the Vardaman Sweet Potato loop for his truck driving business in hopes he would bring me some of those delectable goodies from the South back to this Northern Lady.

    A weekand a half ago he came running past making a connection with Hubby before he blew on by to his next drop off an hour away.

    He was able to get his route headed back this way to join us for a family Thanksgiving this year.

    Being a gardener I have grown sweet potatoes, but this year I didn't get my plants put in the ground so my next best option, go directly to the source...

    For a time I had 80 pounds of the orange sweets taking up space just off the kitchen waiting to find their way into one of those special recipes I spoke of earlier.

    One of the 40 lbs. boxes remains for me to try out homemade  sweet potato fries, sweet potato pies,casseroles etc...etc...etc...

    Sweet Potato Bake
    Wednesday, we weighed out 3 1/2 pounds for my daughter Tamara to boil up and mash for one of her
    "Paula Deen" recipes to put on the Thanksgiving Day menu.

    This one is called Sweet Potato Bake;a different spin compared to how we usually serve them. Traditionally, it is brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon with mini-marshmellows browned on top about ten minutes before serving.

    There is a Southern Lady from Vicksburg,MS, whose recipe for her famous Sweet Potato Pie I would like to share with you.

    Marian  from Marian's Hunting Stories etc..etc..etc... sent her recipe my way. Now is really a good time to pull it out to add to the Holiday table.With all kinds of get togethers yet to take place by the  New Year I know I will be able to offer a tasty treat for dessert.

                                                         "Marian's Sweet Potato Pie
    3 large sweet potatoes cooked, drained, and mashed up. Will make approximately 2-1/2 to 3 cups. Add the following ingredients to potatoes while they are still hot.

    1 stick margarine or butter

    2 cups sugar
    1 cup milk
    3 eggs (beaten)
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 teaspoon lemon extract

    Place in uncooked pie shells. Will make 3 thin pies or 2 large ones. Bake at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes.

    For a crisp pie shell, bake for the first 10 minutes at 425 degrees and then turn back to 350 degrees for remaining 40 minutes

     I hope all my American family and friends had a wonderful Thanksgiving ! Time to prepare for Christ - mas...

    Monday, September 26, 2011

    Field and Stream -The Rut Reporters

    I am always interested in hearing what is happening in other parts of the country when it comes to the draw down of summer and fall finally arrives  - deer hunting in particular.

    My trail camera is working for me right now in an effort to watch what I have found to be a very active spot in the pre-rut.

    Once again Field and Stream is rolling out  news of the upcoming Whitetail Deer Rut nationwide. Currently, they have a contest going on to win some great gear with the prizes being provided by Cabela's.

    The first monthly drawing is going to be held this Friday, September 30th,so you still have a chance to be eligible.

    If you would like to find out the specifics on how you can win some fantastic hunting gear in their  20-weekly, 4- monthly, and one overall contest  click here...

    I am definitely looking forward to hearing about what is happening on your hunting grounds throughout the seasons. Good hunting!

    Sunday, July 17, 2011

    It Goes Bump in the Night

    For those of us who have trail cameras out, you can probably site different occasions when you see things that you can't identify right off hand.

    I keep having a few of those experiences.

    You might assign this image with the title of "Bat" or "Bird"...Maybe it's a HUGE bug? In any event this was the only picture of the "unknown" captured in the series  when the camera was triggered.

    There seems to a nebulous aura where I would assume a wing would be a flutter. 

    This image is like none other I have seen since having the camera, getting close to a year now.

    Could it be an out of focus deer face? Once again it was the only picture in a series. A fast mover!

    Usually I can tell if it is a deer getting up close. You would see the glare of an eye or an ear hair or two, and most definitely a nose or tongue,but this is  a mystery.

     I like keeping the camera low to get interactions such as the one you are witnessing in these pictures.

    Some days you have to wonder if they line up to take turns on getting a lick in?

    Then there are the days when they look like they are posing for group pictures to keep for posterity's sake.Silly Deer! or is that Deerses?

    Not only the good has been noted - some health issues have become evident within the herd as well.

    Creature in a hurry! See those streaks in the flash?

    I am beginning to wonder if the coyotes, or raccoons, are taking a minute in their nightly trips around the timber in search of food to check out that  blinking red eyed box.

    Mysteries are fun, but not knowing makes me yearn to see more.

    Until the next post, CDGardens here at Timber Life signing out. Have a Great day!!!

    Wednesday, July 13, 2011

    Pond Fishing on the 4th of July

    The 4th of July holiday last week brought a family Barbeque here at Timber Life.

    I wanted to get our new house(still under construction) used to having people and laughter filling the interior.

    Sweeping and vacuuming the bare plywood floors gave me visions of the future when it will be covered by laminated wood flooring.

    The day was hot, but the afternoon activity included a visit to the neighbor's pond to do a little fishing.

    Hubby packed the interested individuals into the pickup to head into the pasture to get a little closer. They didn't really want to carry fishing tackle for a quarter mile with a 6 year old fisher person in tow.

    I stayed back at the homestead to pick things up after the Barbecue. Then spend some time visiting with our eldest daughter , her sister-in-law and baby girl.

    The entourage was gone for a couple hours.Our granddaughter Alexa who happened to be the 6 year old was quite patient for her age. She is not one to keep at one task for very long. Finally, when she tired of the event she let it be known that "everyone had 5 minutes", then it was time to go back to Grandma and Papa's.

    Those who decided to fish were treated to some largemouth bass and bluegill , catch and release was the method used for the day. In all they had 10 hits. The summertime vegetation has become an issue with reeling in the fish. One lure that seemed to  float above the plants was a frog lure, which seemed to get the bluegill going.

    Grandson Nick with his largemouth bass
    Grandson Nick found some success with snagging fish on the pond.

    His Uncle is teaching him what he needs to know to catch a fish in whatever circumstance. Uncle Joe is to be commended for being a mentor - doing his part to get  young ones started in enjoying what the outdoors has to offer.

    The camera on Nick's phone helped to record  the event so Grandma could see it before the fish went back to swim again...

    Monday, July 11, 2011

    High Winds Awakens Central Iowa

    3:52 A.M. RUSHING Winds of 60 MPH +,pelting rains,thunder and lightening awoke me from a twilight slumber.

    The electricity gave indications that it wouldn't be a reliable power source for much longer after I climbed out of bed.

    I did have a chance to catch some weather news before modern technology grew silent. The news only reinforced what I saw in the light of the lightening and the noise of the thunder I heard echoing all around.

    7:05 A.M., well after sunrise - technology remains silent. Mother-Nature has calmed down, but once in a while a few more drops of rain can be seen dropping into the puddles filled by the earlier deluge.

    Quiet has returned,except for the birds which found their voices...Certainly, a more pleasant way to welcome the day than the rude awakening of a few hours ago.

    Another hour and a half passed until electrical service returned to stir into action the machines that make daily living here at Timber Life move smoothly.

    Trees on houses, new construction in progress collapsed, just tasseled corn unevenly fallen at the whim of the down bursts skipping over the area .

    Assessing the damage has swung into gear.

    The deer keep vigil  over the field corn . Tassels were beginning to come out, silk and ears would have been developing soon.It looks like the harvest for man and deer will be limited this season.

    Our forecast for the early morning hours tomorrow brings a repeat of what was experienced this morning. It is going to be very interesting to see if it reaches the same intensity as it did today .

    Wind speeds were estimated to be 105 MPH at the little town 6 miles to the west of us. People throughout central Iowa felt the devastating power of the air masses mixing it up. What a fight they had! I don't want to forget to mention anyone who has been affected by the weather, but I am better informed about our little section of the State. Please stay safe during these drastically hot days.

    The ongoing strong weather for the summer of 2011...Where will it hit next?

    Saturday, July 9, 2011

    Decorah IA Eagle Cam Update

    Live Video streaming by Ustream

    Months have passed since the public started their vigil in wait for three little eaglets to hatch.

    At my present viewing I hear the parents from a distance calling to their two fledglings perched on the tree limbs around the nest.

    One has now taken flight to a different position out of camera view.Now,the second fledgling has left. How swiftly they grow from chicks to semi-independent individuals.

    The camera area is now empty of raptors...but the sounds of morning are filling the air.

    Here's wishing you all a pleasant summer day in July!

    Sunday, July 3, 2011

    Crayfish or Crawdad?

    Parked on a city street in a suburb of Des Moines, IA , yesterday. I discovered a little crustacean with a  purpose making its way along the warm concrete.

    I can't say I have ever seen one of these creatures in the great outdoors up until this point. 

    So, I got camera lens to antenna for a close-up. Of course it took that to be an aggressive action so it raised its pinchers and  proceeded , determined to get wherever the natural instinct was drawing him/her.

    Time wasn't being wasted in going from side to side...A straight line was the fastest way to achieve the objective. Get off the pavement before he/she got cooked.The day was heating up with the sun high in the sky -  it was close to noon.

    I am left to wonder if this multi-legged ,two clawed, speedster had made a trip around the block, because it thought there was something better on the other side?

    I have a feeling this is where the crawdad was going to make his/her walk-a-bout come to an end. Back in the safety of the urban pond bank...

    Monday, June 27, 2011

    Berry Picking Season Approaches

    The Wild Raspberries are coloring up and should be ready for picking this week.  They are about a week behind in their maturing this year according to my recent past experiences.

    I really like being out in the timber gathering both Wild Raspberries and Gooseberries in the company of all the other timber residents.The birds singing, deer and squirrels scampering, a refreshing solitude while I am out and about on my own.

    Ever wonder what the the difference between Wild Raspberries vs Wild Blackberries happen to be?

    I found a video done by Wild Edibles at Youtube, video quality is a little jumpy at times, but the information puts the fruits and plants side by side to give a greater insight how to identify our seasonal sweets. It isn't uncommon for them to exist in close proximity.

    The Mulberries have been falling for about a week now here at Timber Life...

    Changing the trail camera location I have found three species of ground bound animals enjoying the delectable treats , not to mention our feathered friends that are counted among the feast attendees.

    Some people see the mulberries only as animal food,but if you have ever tasted them at the mature stage, you would find them full of sweet juice. Picking them with uncovered hands leaves a stain that takes a couple days  to wash away. Messy!

    Another method for collection to avoid handling the berries is to put a catch cloth under the tree and shake or tap the fruit off like our  friend Casey is doing over at Fungal Threads.

                                                            Trail Camera Pictures
    A Doe often seen around the homestead

    Double the vision..

    Some young Raccoons getting a feel for life in the timber.

    Here's wishing you good luck on harvesting some of Nature's sweet treats while they are in season ...

    Sunday, June 19, 2011

    Happy Father's Day

    I would like to take this opportunity to wish my Hubby a  Happy Father's Day.

    At this writing he is sitting at an airfield in
    Chillicothe,MO waiting for favorable conditions to return to our grass strip here in Central Iowa.

    Early Thursday morning we pulled the Voisin 3/5ths out for a long hop down to Gardner,KS, home base of the Kansas City Dawn Patrol. They have a yearly Fly-In on the Friday afternoon and Saturday before Father's Day.

    Hubby trailered his plane to the event when it was in the building stages way back when. He has watched the weather every year to see if the flight windows would be open long enough for him to get from one airfield to another before making him sit the thunderstorms out.

    When we pulled the Voisin 3/5ths out of the hangar for the this "first "  but much planned for Gardner excursion via the airways, we were aware of  forecast of thunderstorms in the target area. The clouds and rain made their returns known on the radar out in Nebraska stretching southward at the hour of our search.

    The air was perfect for departure here at Timber Life, so that he did...

    The first leg of his journey took him to Corydon, IA where he met up with his ground crew and another pilot from his local Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter. Things were good until reaching the second stop at Chillicothe on his way down. They sat until 5:00 PM, letting the thunderstorms pass before starting once again on their westward objective. I have been told that they made some in flight decisions as to where they would stop for the night. Hubby's plane is a daylight plane. He doesn't have any landing lights and he found himself landing at 9:00PM, in the dark because of cloud cover at an airport at Lawrence, KS.

    Friday morning had them waiting for the short hop back north, again due to strong rain. Afternoon brought them good flight weather and the pilots were able to join the other WWI,WWII and current planes that came to share in the event.

    During the very early morning hours Saturday, a popup camper shaking thunderstorm with 70mph winds came through. Prior to sunrise Hubby went out to see if his plane survived the hour long deluge. His heart sank when he didn't find his aircraft tied down where he put it to bed the night before. The Voisin was the only plane to take flight without its pilot in tow. Damage to important parts left the plane not air worthy until  fixed. It was good to have a place to get things patched up even though it took him away from sharing in the festivities of the day.

    We expect to have him touch down on home turf come this afternoon. Then we can celebrate his safe return and  another year of being a Dad.

    Before I end my post today I would like to wish all the Dad's a relaxing Happy Father's Day with their family and friends...

    Sunday, May 22, 2011

    Blog Hiatus

    Good day all!

    I wanted to stop by my blog and let people know that right now I am out and about. Experiencing the outside,working on the house Hubby and I are building , helping my Mother begin her transition from one living arrangement to another,trying to get a garden established...

    I would like to apologize for not stopping to read my blogs that used to be my daily ritual. Some days I just don't want to concentrate.

    Writing blog posts mentally is entertaining, but if I don't put it on paper when I'm thinking about it ,I lose whatever could have been thoughts to share. You might call it a "fleeting thought".

    Again, I would like to wish  you all a Good Day! I hope to check-in again soon...

    Sunday, May 1, 2011

    Marsh Moments

    The American White Pelicans continue to captivate me when I stop to visit Hendrickson Marsh.

    I have witnessed the single file skimming of the water surface to move as a flock from one place to another.
    They are extremely graceful  in motion... a very beautiful sight.

    The big birds have found a comfortable environment - one of the last groups to arrive seems to be lingering as they build-up reserves to move further north.
    Pulling into one of the four parking areas around the Marsh I spotted an Eagle flying at tree top level.

    I tried to get the camera to focus ,but the noble bird's tail feathers disappeared from view before I could get a shot.

    In my usual fashion I went to two more of the parking areas. It wasn't until I almost reached the last one that I caught the Eagle sitting on a Muskrat den. My aim didn't seem to be steady for a clear picture, but I am sure you are able to catch the image.
    There are two pools for the Marsh,divided by a gravel road, sometimes bird species differ from side to side.

    On this last visit I was fortunate enough to see a pair of Great Egrets doing a little feeding with a few other migrating water birds still taking advantage of a revitalized habitat.

    This Egret was in motion when I stopped to survey what was next for a picture model.
    The day couldn't decide between sun and clouds - at the time of my visit the clouds were more dominant.

    I spent a little while watching this Mallard couple.They would end up with head totally submerged, feeding on the marsh bottom - feet and tail bobbing above the water's surface.

    The colors of the ducks and geese seem to be quite outstanding. A reminder to me of the season of Spring when everything seems to takes on a brand new vibrant  appearance...

    As I sat watching the activity around the area I saw a heavy bodied, black waterfowl take to flight occasionally.

    Then I narrowed in on some groups of these birds sitting low in the water.

    My search led me to the Double-crested Cormorant to classify what I was seeing.

    In summary of my Marsh Moments it seems we are still seeing the Spring migration, but the number of birds are most definitely dwindling in number.

    I know the time will  fly-by swiftly until the southern return begins in late July or August for some of the species spoken of in this post. Another opportunity to share my Marsh Moments views with you on the Fall migration...

    Have a great day!

    Monday, April 11, 2011

    Evidence of Spring in the Timber

    This morning brought a little trek over a deer path, or two, to retrieve the trail camera card which hadn't been viewed since Friday. The weekend brought a few other things to do ;I thought maybe there would be a bunch of deer activity if I stayed away for awhile.

    Our thunder chickens have been calling in the vicinity of the camera and that was another reason I made myself scarce since I didn't get a Spring license to be out sitting in wait for them to parade at the edge of the timber. Maybe they would by chance leave a digital impression for future viewing. It hasn't happened yet this season...

    Along the trail I found some May Apples starting to send up their whorls. This weekend we had some summer like temperatures which seemed to spur the plant growth  already awakened by the seasonal highs.

    I wonder how long it will be until they are in full flower and the morel mushrooms are popping?

    Little violets can be seen sprouting above the surface of the ground...just big enough to know what type of plant it will become in the future.

    Honeysuckles are sending out leaves as are the rose brush,raspberry brambles and gooseberries.

    One of the concerns I have again this year is that everything will be encouraged to bloom and then an extreme cold snap will happen at the same time. A chance for snow this coming weekend still has things not totally out of harms way. The forecast said it won't last long. Here's hoping that is true.

    We have lost some acorn production the last couple of years due to ill timed freezes. Fall deer food supplies were short and the winter was  frigid ....Created some stress that some hadn't overcome from the last long winter.

    I did a small experiment beginning the last of February, when the snow initially started to disappear. Having some empty spots in our yard where the grass had been killed off by construction materials for our new home, I decided to seed some turnips. It is my understanding when some of the perennial broadleaf weeds start to grow you can plant cole crops and things that enjoy cooler temperatures to germinate. So, I gave it a try. This is my first seeding which became more prominent this past week.

    These little turnips were planted just before the rain came last week in one of my small deer plots. The winter greens had been totally chewed away so I wanted to get something going to get some food supplied to build up for the upcoming fawning season. The wind helped the seeds clump together while I was broadcasting so might end up doing some thinning. 

    My experiment leads me to believe that the turnips still need ground temperatures into the upper 40's for sprouting to occur,but pre-planting allows them to come up as the weather becomes optimal. 

    I am thankful for the moderate days we have been given and definitely looking forward to the sweet scents that will soon be wafting on the calm breezes emanating out of the timber at Timber Life.

    Have a good day!

    Tornadoes Hit Northwest Iowa

    The beautiful April Spring weather turned tempestuous in Northwestern Iowa as a supercell thunderstorm came charging in from Nebraska on Saturday.

    Blogspot Storm Chasers from Kansas and Iowa share their eye witness experiences of what they saw when this weather system started its destructive path.

    I found the following videos from the weekend  at  , a website devoted to showing us the extreme weather that has a growing number of people trying to capture digitally for others to view. More and more information is being gathered and the tools some of them use is quite sophisticated to track the developing storms.

    My thoughts and prayers go out to all the communities that were touched by the numerous funnels. Reports say that as many as 27 twisters were spawned as the system passed over from mid-afternoon into the early morning hours.


    Twin Tornadoes at Pocohontas,IA

    We were not apart of the extreme weather here at Timber Life, but did see the lightening and hear the thunder in the distance to our north as the storm raced on to adjacent States...

    Monday, April 4, 2011

    Eaglets Hatch at Decorah,IA Raptor Resource Project

    Video streaming by Ustream

    Good News has come to the patient and watchful eyes viewing  the Raptor Resource Project  Decorah,IA Eagle Cam. Over the weekend two of the three eggs have hatched with the third expected to make its debut in the next couple of days.. 

    Mother and Father Eagle still are taking their turns in providing nurturing heat and now hunting for food to feed their growing brood.

    I hope you will continue to enjoy catching the activities of the now globally watched Iowa Eagles.
    Have a great day!

    Thursday, March 31, 2011

    Spike Buck still Carrying

    My trail camera has been out watching for events such as you see in the picture to your left . This individual has yet to shed his little spikes from last season. The picture came off the camera on March 22nd. His first digital capture.

     I have wanted to keep an eye on antler growth of our Whitetail Buck population passing through daily.

    Some of the bucks still show recent effects of rubbing their antlers off; others are on their way to new velvet development.

    This picture came off the camera this morning. The young buck still seems to have no indications he might be losing his little spikes anytime soon.

    We will just have to keep an eye out and see if we can catch him later sporting a new look.

    This is one of my favorite trail camera pictures I have gotten this Spring.

    I'm going to head off topic here -

    Adding a bit of art has made it appear like a print I would like to put in a frame at a future time.

    Hubby and I were given a Kodak EasyShare P730 digital frame for Christmas. We got it out of the box recently and plugged in a memory card. Easier and more economical than printing ALL my pictures off.

    Oh my! Did the creative ideas begin to form then. I can keep the deer walking around the house all day.They'll never get off the trail again...

    Have a great day!

    Disclaimer: I am not in anyway affiliated with the Kodak company and will not receive any monetary funds for mentioning their product in my post.

    Take Action to Stop Gun Ban

    We are again being asked to garner public comments on a recent study of  The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).

    The Firearms Coalition is making gun owners aware of the actions now being considered and the timely manner in which our responses need to be submitted. Please checkout the link for more specific information.

    Below is a sample comment you can paraphrase or simply cut and paste into your own email:

    Subject: I Oppose Further Restrictions on Shotgun Imports

    I strongly oppose further restrictions on the importation of shotguns and disagree with the findings in the ATF shotgun study.
    The constitutional authority for import restrictions based on a vague “Sporting Purpose Test” is highly suspect in light of the recent Heller and McDonald Supreme Court decisions and the Court’s previous decision in Miller.
    Under the definitions contained in this study, virtually all pump-action and semi-auto shotguns would be banned because all of them are capable of accepting a magazine – box or tube – capable of holding more than 5 rounds.  This and other characteristics determined to be “military” in the study are utilitarian and often significantly enhance a gun’s usefulness, particularly for people with disabilities.  Denying access to certain designs or features can effectively serve to disarm (for personal defense and sporting purposes) vast numbers of disabled veterans and others with disabilities resulting in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
    There are a variety of popular and growing sports which utilize shotguns with “military” features.  These guns are dominant in USPSA, IDPA, IPSC and other popular shooting sports.  Refusing to recognize these sports as they relate to shotguns based on the implications such recognition might have on rifle and pistol importability is disingenuous at best.
    Applying import restrictions does little more than increase costs and complicate compliance for US shooters and gun owners.  Foreign manufacturers remove features and adapt their firearms to comply with US import restrictions and then US shooters modify the firearms back to the desired, original configurations.  This can be expensive and legally dangerous since failing to comply with obscure provisions of the laws related to altering imported firearms can result in unintended commission of multiple felonies which carry serious penalties.
    ATF should shelve all plans to implement any of the findings of this study.
               Respectfully submitted,

    I strongly recommend adding some personal opinions of these actions and your feelings of potential,broader restrictions that could  be implemented. If they get the ban for shotgun imports put into law...Will they then work on domestic brands? 

    After the series of shootings that has happened, we see the push to take away the rights of individuals to carry firearms of any sort. I am going to echo the frame of thought that it isn't the gun acting on it's own that causes the problem,but the person handling it...

    Wednesday, March 23, 2011

    Robins in Waiting

    This past weekend was extremely moderate for this early stage of Spring here in Central Iowa. As the day progressed I observed Robins filling the fields.

    Late in the day I saw a partial Albino Robin hopping around with his flight mates. I tried getting a picture of it in the field, but due to distance it didn't workout at the time. Patience gave me another opportunity when part of the flock wanted to search our backyard for a treat. Among them the Albino I caught sight of earlier.

    Heading off to pick-up my memory card from the trail camera the next day, I once again found a partial Albino Robin with the pack hanging around our homestead.

    According to the link I found, one in 30,000 Robins exhibit this trait.

    My curiosity was sparked a few weeks ago. When my son got this picture, snapped with his cell phone,while he was out on a Disc Golf course 30 miles to the West of us.

    This Robin certainly is exhibiting more absence of color than the one I saw flying around here.

    Makes me want to carry a camera around more in case something out of the ordinary should happen to cross my path.

    Our fields have been home to 1000's of migrating Robin Redbreasts since things have warmed up.

    I am wondering if they are waiting for the snowstorms
    to  move out up North before they leave the R&R they have found.

    Mass ascensions from trees and ground created some awesome scenes over the landscape.

    The only problems that may have kept the Robins looking over their right wings would have been the
    local Red -Tailed Hawk, Sadie on her runs and me with my camera in hand.

    This local was being harangued by the crows who are constantly making sure it keeps moving.

    As it rose over the pasture on my way back from picking up the mail, I caught it gliding high on the wind, surveying all that lay below...

    Here's wishing you a good day!