Thursday, July 28, 2011

Now Listen Up!

Have you read the wonderful story of Misty of Chincoteague, a real wild pony?  Well neither has Smokey, but Susie will make sure that he, Misty and the colt all learn the true story of what really happened here on the island.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Pony Round Up

 The weekend prior to Wednesday's Pony Swim, "Saltwater Cowboys" on horseback will begin to round up the approximately 150 wild ponies that live on Assateague Island. About 50 ponies reside on the southern end of Assateague Island, and will be herded into a southern corral.
 About 100 ponies reside a little further north on the Assateague Island, and will be herded into a northen corral. On Monday, July 25th, at day break, the Saltwater Cowboys will move the ponies from the northern corral, down the beach and along the Atlantic Ocean, and join them with the ponies in the southern corral.
  The ponies can be viewed by the public in the southern corral, which is located on Assateague, just off the road that leads to the beach.

After hanging with the ponies we were able to go to the beach to swim and boogie board in the Atlantic.  There were 5 - 6 foot breakers.  A real treat for this flatlander.  not even a little kahuna.

Head East

 Smokey on tour.  Frank and Smokey in western Iowa.

Smokey hanging with Ali in downtown Pittsburgh Pa.
Smokey catchin ride with security on a segway in Little Italy, Baltimore.  
Today were off to Assateague Island getting ready for tomorrows pony swim.

The Pony Swim: July 27, 2011

On Wednesday, July 27th, 2011, the Saltwater Cowboys will swim the ponies from Assateague Island to Chincoteague Island. The swim takes place at "slack tide". Slack tide is a period of about 30 minutes between tides, when there is no current. This is the easiest time for the ponies to make the swim. The time of slack tide varies each year. However, the swim generally takes place some time between 7am and 1pm. The specific time will be announced at the carnival grounds the week of the swim. The Chincoteague Ponies will swim across the Assateague Channel,  on the east side of Chincoteague Island.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


 We picked up a  hitch hiker while visiting one of the local tribes men in Sioux City last week. 

Why he wanted to leave such a lovely place we'll never know.  His name is Smokey, for the small pipe which he carries in his right hand.

Tonight Smokey lights the way as we load up for and east coast adventure.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Two Cabins

A few shots of Beau and Adam evicting one of the local residence of Heroe's Hideout.  A five foot plus Bull snake.

Bullsnakes are important members of the food chain. They are also very useful to humans by controlling rodents and may save farmers hundreds of dollars in rodent damage. Because they are excellent mousers, some people will let a bullsnake live in a barn or under a porch.  Even though this one got temporarily evicted I'm sure he'll be back for another easy meal.

From what I understand Hero's family has had a cabin along the maquoketa river  since the 1930's.  We've spent the last two days down below a lime stone bluff in a small cabin rebuilding the porch,  removing artifacts and coon proofing it.

My time their has brought back many fond memories of our family land and cabin located in Backbone state park .  Iowa's first state park and arguably remains Iowa's best state park.  Our cabin was located along a southern slope of a valley which lead to the maquoketa river.

Many a day was spent running around the bluff land exploring, watching wildlife and hunting mushrooms and many evenings were spent boating, swimming and grilling out followed by family card games and cozy cabin.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


 On Friday night we caught Denny Garcia at Keil's Tap in Bellevue. 
Denny Plays on a mahogany Martin guitar and harmonicas and a 1936 wooden body National slide guitar and some fiddle tunes and occasional banjo and mandolin while doing every song he can remember either original or other...Lots of Dylan,Grateful Dead, blues, folkie and bluegrass and improvised on the spot...


 Quick trip into Milwaukee this weekend.  After hanging out in Brown Deer we went downtown to the historic Brady Street area, it has long been an ethnically diverse community near downtown Milwaukee.
 First named in 1840, Brady Street is an architectural tapestry of buildings mostly constructed between 1860 and 1930, creating a distinctive neighborhood that was home to early Polish, German and Irish immigrants. In the 1930's it became more predominantly Italian; some of the businesses still bear the names of these pioneering Italian families today. 
We made our usual stop at Glorioso’s grocery and deli to stock up on Italian goodies, hot sausage, pastas, cured meats, and lemoncello. 


In the 1960s, Brady Street became Milwaukee's very own "Haight-Ashbury" complete with flower children, peace and love, underground political publications and the infamous hippiefest known as the Brady Street Festival that going on next weekend and some great little coffee shops.

We took our goods from Glorioso’s down to Doctors Park for a picnic.  The park is in the Fox Point neighborhood of Milwaukee, on the shoreline of Lake Michigan. It shares it's northern border with the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center.  The water was calm after an early morning storm had rolled in earlier in the day. 

Sunday, July 3, 2011


It’s been a busy June and more of the same in July

The other day I got out on the trout stream with my brother Steve and sister Alana. Pulled into fountain springs just after dawn, no one else on the stream. Lots of trout in the stream but their a little spooky with the clear water. The chuck taylor all stars worked well for creek stompin and it sure beat bush wackin for getting down to the small holes off the path. I ended up with three trout for the morning two rainbows and one brown.

I’ve been busy lately working on a post and beam entery way which will be topped with a green roof.

The roof on the sauna is doing well with various sediums growing.

The bees are doing great! End of June and I all ready was able to pull ten frames of honey off of one of the hives. All four are flourishing so there should bee more honey in the next few weeks.

I took Maxine for a drive out mill valley in the pickup last Thursday and we stopped at Rolli to wet a line an a splash in the stream. She’s not quite sure about the bass but she loves the water.
Oh, here are some of the latest stats on car/deer accidents
Conclusions:Every year in the United States approximately 1.5 million deer–vehicle collisions (DVCs) occur resulting in >29,000 human injuries, >200 human fatalities, 1.3 million deer fatalities, and >1 billion dollars worth of property damage. Despite the magnitude of this problem, there are relatively few well-designed studies that have evaluated techniques that can be used to reduce DVCs. Techniques to reduce DVCs fall into 4 categories: reducing the number of deer, reducing the number of vehicles, modifying deer behavior, and changing motorist behavior. Techniques to reduce the number of deer include decreasing the deer population or excluding deer from the roadway. Techniques used to change motorist behavior include reducing vehicle speed or increasing motorists’ ability to see deer. Modifying deer behavior includes making the roadside less attractive to deer or frightening deer away from the roadway. Despite a limited amount of data, multiple studies have shown properly installed and maintained fences combined with wildlife crossings to be the most effective method of reducing DVCs. Methods with unproven effectiveness include: intercept feeding, repellents, reduced speed limits, caution signs, and roadway lighting. Stimuli designed to frighten deer (e.g., deer whistles, flagging, and deer reflectors) are ineffective because they cannot be perceived by deer or do not elicit a flight response. Well-designed studies are needed so that we can acquire the knowledge about how to reduce the frequency of DVCs.
No scientific data supports the claim that hunting activity increases the rate of deer-vehicle accidents. However, the data does support the fact the vehicular traffic patterns influence deer vehicle accidents. Removing deer through hunting or other deer management techniques is an effective method to reduce deer populations, which will result in fewer deer-vehicle accidents.

No scientific data supports the claim that hunting activity increases the rate of deer-vehicle accidents. However, the data does support the fact the vehicular traffic patterns influence deer vehicle accidents. Removing deer through hunting or other deer management techniques is an effective method to reduce deer populations, which will result in fewer deer-vehicle accidents.