Friday, August 31, 2012

Fritz Chaple.

 Friday evening with temps still in the upper 80's, I stopped by Roli to take a dip in the pond.  After the social I took off cross country past the local you pick strawberry patch, then up wolf hollow past the Pecosh farm, on to sieverding ridge and down the next hollow past Fritz chaple on my way over to the cabin.

When i noticed a new sign opening up some land to public hunting.  I'll have to do some research and see what's all open.

 About 20 yards down the road was a gypsy moth trap
Last spring 7,344 gypsy moth traps were placed throughout Iowa by the “Gypsy Moth Slow the Spread Foundation”. The traps were picked up in the fall with a total of 347 traps capturing 478 male moths.
For about 12 summers i worked for the Iowa Department of Agriculture  placing  the triangular traps through out eastern iowa.


 When Susie and I first moved into the area we would walk down the gravel road north of  us.  After about a three mile walk we would make it to Fritz Chapel.


Fritz Chapel 1852
Matthais Fritz, a stone mason, erected the Fritz Chapel in thanksgiving for the safe arrival of his family of eight after a terrifying sea and land voyage from Luxemborg

 He carved the Crucifix and hewed the walnut arch from a single piece of wood. Fritz Chapel continues to be maintained by Matthais Fritz Chapel Fund, Incorporated.

 As a man who's laid a few stone in my day I've always appreciated the stone work and the spirit in which it was built.
God grant that I may live to fish, until my dying day. And when it comes to my last cast, I then most humbly pray, when in the Lords safe landing net, I'm peacefully asleep, that in his mercy I be judged, as big enough to keep. Rest in peace Big Jim, you will be greatly missed.

Monday, August 27, 2012

A country so full of game

Indian Agent Joseph Street said it well in 1833 when he described his trip across Iowa: "I had never rode through a country so full of game." In the early 1800s Iowa's deep soil, free-flowing rivers and streams, and favorable climate had combined to produce the welcoming habitats that supported a surprising variety of animals.

Tonight's drive just reaffirmed this statement.

Saw the frog at home.  Then off to the log yard to catch up with RR. Where i saw a wood chuck and a gray squirrel.

Swing by the cabin to talk to Bob and Alana and it was a beautiful evening down along the Mississippi.  All kinds of birds;  Humming birds,Vultures, and Seagulls. 

Over Sieverding Ridge and down wolf hollow and I see  a Jackson Co. cougar on a fence post,  a doe and a skunk.

As I passed the Mill pond the swans and cygnets were sitting in what little water remained in the basin and a pair of sand hill cranes searched for amphibians at the upper end of the pond.

Out at rolli I saw a raccoon making a raid on the sweet corn patch.

It's a good sign going into fall to see so much wildlife on a  ride down the back roads.

Take the time to travel the back roads of Iowa. Look around. Ask yourself where a pheasant could live. Where can a covey of quail make it through a February blizzard? Where does the water go when it runs off this land? And if you’re not satisfied with the obvious answers, dedicate some time to developing habitat for wildlife, a marsh, woodlot, fence row and brush pile at a time. To make sure Iowa remains a country so rich in game.

Friday, August 24, 2012

An Apple a Day!

 The old adage promoting an apple a day for better health seem to be working for Susie, the dogs and I.
This week we hiked down to the  old abandoned  farmstead several times to pick fall apples from the old Macintosh apple tree that has been on the farm for over 40 years.

I love apple season. There are few things better than a good apple eaten out of hand. Whether the flesh is mild and sweet or tart and winey, when you bite into it, a fresh-picked apple will make a crisp cracking sound and you'll get a spurt of juice.  It's

 It's a big old tree that could use a good aggressive pruning.
Pruning should be done in late winter or early spring before the leaves begin to appear. When there are no leaves on the branches, it is easier to see the structure of the tree and what cuts are necessary. By late winter, the tree is fully dormant and less susceptible to injury. Also, it has a chance to form a protective barrier behind the pruning cuts before insect and disease organisms become active.

Up to one-third of the live wood on an apple tree can be removed each year. If a tree has been abandoned for a long time, cut only diseased and damaged branches before removing one-third of the live wood. In a situation where the whole top needs to be cut off, the tree will be highly stressed and may not produce apples for a few years. 


But for now it's climb up and monkey around trying to get to the beautiful apples near the top. 

 The ground crew with the apple picker.

Return trip home at sunset.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Biolite Stove charges USB devices with FIRE

Re posted from the solar burrito blog.  looks pretty cool(hot)!

Biolite Camp stove charges your gadgets
Check out the BioLite CampStove! This is a cool product for people who love to camp, backpack and would still like to charge their phones, ipods, gps, camera batteries or other USB powered gadgets. Also would be a nice power/cooking source in an off the grid or grid down situation. Solar power works great when there’s sun but in some situations you don’t have time to stop and wait in the sun for a charge and you may be hiking in the trees all day so the sun is not giving you enough power. The BioLite stove lets you top off your batteries while you cook lunch or dinner with just some sticks you find on the ground. I must say I’m impressed with the concept and at $129 it’s reasonably priced compared to other camp stoves or solar panels. I’d love to try one out. Read More or buy on the BioLite Site
What do you think about this idea?

How the Biolite stove works
How to convert heat into electricity

Thursday, August 16, 2012

First day of the 2012 -13 School year. Доброе утро!

A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold

“In our attempt to make conservation easy, we have made it trivial.”
–Aldo Leopold

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Home Away From Home.

My  home away from home for the past week has been on the side of Gladstone mountain.

When we take off for the week to stay in the mountains people often ask, why?   And,  after sleeping on the ground for a week, i some times wounder that myself.
 Beau's camp in IORADO.  Looking up from Mikie's kitchenette. 

another shot of beau's camp.
Tara peeking out of JJ's tent in louieville.

 one of the six teepee's
Flip's Teepee with a nice stone base.

Bog House.
 Dannie's hobbit house.
 front door of the hobbit house.

inside looking to the North.   I love the roof details.

 and to the south.

here's an old shot of Chris and Maggies tent they have a nice site a little higher up the mountain above IORADO.

 Inside they have a nice cot and a little camp stove that'll keep them warm if their little pig Bode doesn't do the trick.

 Camp down in the parking lot.
 bog catwalk.

other side of the bridge. 
Wil on the deck overlooking the fire pit.

 the kitchen.  this shot does not do justice to the beautiful and efficient cabinet work that was done this spring.

 a place for everything.

and everything in its place, for now.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Big Rock Candy Mountain.

This was our third attempt to reach the summit.
Gladstone Peak is part of the San Miguel Mountains.

It  is one of those 13ers that most people have never heard of, and in fact, it is rarely climbed. It is a long ridge that divides Cottonwood Canyon (that leads to Cottonwood Pass) and South Cottonwood Canyon (home of Cottonwood Lake and Mineral Basin), with a high point at 13,209 feet.

 Our group included Joan, Marty and JJ, Tara, KC and Beau and myself.

On our way up to the lower mine we passed the remnants of the dry stone arch that I built the previous day.  By the time we hiked up it had already been washed down.
 Back side of the restored lower mine cabin

Another Miners shack.

Bob Playtex,Dirt surfing wipe out on Gladstone mine tailings Beau is right behind him.

going vertical.

  Even the EASIEST route on this peak is said to be a class 4!

Beau and KC Hard core parkour both going up Gladstone and going down. 

If you've seen people doing crazy jumps over railings and through cities, these trained experts are probably practicing either parkour, or Free running. Parkour is a form of movement that stresses efficiency and speed, requiring you to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible. Free Running is similar, but it also involves aesthetic movements such as flips, spins and many other forms of flair.

the boys did take a break every now and then so we could all regroup, snack and hydrate.

We all made to the top of Gladstone and we were rewarded with a great view and a spectacular sighting of a large heard of more then 50 elk on the ridge across from us.

 I'm sure there are some great photos of this but Tara's pictures aren't up on line yet.  but I'll add them when I can.

Tara has a great eye for the camera lens.

that's Yogacharya JJ behind me.
 As a newbe yogi, i can do both the tree and the log. "Karma yet to come!"