Friday, September 26, 2014

26 September, 2014 Bow-killed Elk, Woods, Lakes, Canning, and more...

 Fall is definitely here.  The nights are colder and days are shorter and the air has that clean crisp feeling that's the prelude to winter.  It's my favorite time of year!  I've already put the antifreeze in our automatic washer and after I get the brush piles burned I'll drain the water pump and tank to get them ready for winter.  (We may need the pressurized water for fire control.)

These are the last of our chickens.  We will never buy that many (84) meat chickens at one time ever again.  Even though the meat is good it was just too much work.

Susan ordered a set of lego blocks that light up.  Scott absolutely loves them and has been building robots and planes and rockets.  He's very creative in his designs and some are quite elaborate.

We love his imagination.  Here he's sitting on an old tree stump.  He put another section of rotted tree over it for a seat then pushed two other pieces on the sides to use for control handles.  He spent quite awhile making robot noises as he fought bad guys while piloting his "robot."  We got a kick out of the comments a couple of high school girls made one day in the store when he was playing in the cart.  One looked at the other and said, "how cute, he comes with his own sound track!"

Susan canned up some soup for future use.  You'll have to go to her  Poverty Prepping blog for details. Here are the beginnings ...

Step two ...

And finished!

And, yes, it's very good.  We had some last night.

We took a short (eleven mile) bike ride yesterday just to enjoy the fall weather.  I took these photos of the green box site.

Looks like they added some electric wire since we were here last.  Evidently they've had some bear problems.

We are now at Dickey Lake.  Scott found a "chair" that someone carved out of a large stump with a chain saw.  Scott probably sees it more as his "throne" from which he rules his kingdom.

After being in the bike seat he had lots of energy to burn and was on every rock, stump or pillar he could find.

Susan handed him the camera and asked him to take our picture.  He turned it to see the shutter release and put his finger on it, then pointed it our way and took two pictures.  Both were composed well.  Not bad for a three-year-old.  Of course he quickly handed the camera back and took off playing again. 

He spent as more time playing in the water from the fountain than he did drinking from it.

We had the lake to ourselves for a short while so Scott went skinny dipping.  A couple of women from New York state drove up so he got dressed and went to see them.  They asked us if he wanted a float toy so we said okay.  We thought it would be small but it was this one instead.  Of course Scott loved it!  The water was surprisingly warm for this spring fed lake.  When I was camp director for the Christian Camp on the other side of the lake our kids would don their dry suits and go swimming here in the spring while there was still ice on the lake.  The water wasn't a whole lot warmer in July during our youth camps.
We rescued several people from this lake every summer.  A lot of macho types thought they'd swim across it since it's only about a half-mile from one side to the other (the narrow way).  What they didn't realize was how the cold would get to them and most needed help before they got half the distance across.  The vast majority of people are smart enough to have a boat stay alongside of them.  The others often have to flag down a boat. While at the camp we watched for lone swimmers and took the boat out to escort them across the lake.  To my knowledge, no one has ever made it swimming across without a wet or dry suit for heat retention.
Lake temperatures are often in the 50 to 60 F. degree range. The maximum depth is 67 feet.  Somewhat shallow compared to many mountain lakes around here.

Scot went into panic mode when we began deflating the floaty until we explained that we needed to deflate it to take it home on grandpa's bicycle.

The is Murphy Lake along highway 93 below Fortine.  We passed it on the way home.  It has some huge pike and bass in it along with lots of perch.

Back to our starting point.  We'd parked at the Fortine Mercantile since we needed to buy milk before heading home.

I finally bought a new bar and chain for one of our older saws.  I did a little engine modification to this one to give it more power but the bar was worn enough that it was hard to keep the chain on it.

Back in business again!

Bacon and eggs cooked on the wood stove.  The colder weather is nice for cooking on the wood stove.  It really heats up the cabin but that feels pretty good on a cold morning.

Our daughter and SIL moved out of state and left some of their firewood out in the weather.  I carted it up to the woodshed so we can use it this winter.  I found out he had a bit of a splitting problem with one piece!  That's one reason you should always have at least two splitting wedges.  Incidentally, the spear type wedges are okay until you hit a knot.  Then they stick tight!  A regular wedge will eventually cut through the knot. 

Some of the wood I've now spilt and stacked.

These are green logs from trees I cut while thinning.  I'll cut them to firewood length then store them outside under a tarp for the winter.  They'll be perfect for next spring or winter.
I have three more trees down and cut up in the woods next to the garden.  I need to load them in the truck and split them yet.

Our daughter and SIL have an apple tree in their yard so Susan and Emily picked the apples for canning and pies.

Susan peeling apples while we are watching a movie in the evening.

Here she's making raspberry cobbler to can for later use.  We had some last night and it was great.  That's canned chicken on the counter next to the wall.

She has another food preservation book under construction but it won't be finished for awhile.  We try to anticipate the photos we'll need and take them in advance.  That way if we work on the books while we are snow-birding in our motor home we'll already have the photos taken.  Otherwise we have to put the book on hold until we get home in the spring.

This is the canned cobbler after being processed. The wide mouth jar on the far left is Cherry.  The rest are raspberry.  We are seriously running out of room to store everything she has canned.  We may need to dig another root cellar.

Home canned cherries ready to be made into pie or cobbler.

Chili left from 2011. It's still very good stuff!

Home made/canned pound cake from two-years-ago.

Our oldest son got his first bow-kill yesterday.  He and some friends are way back in the mountains hunting and they called in this bull elk.  Details are sketchy since they barely had enough cell phone access to send the photo and texts but not enough to talk.  The photo was taken in the dark and had to be run through the computer's photo program to lighten it up.
Incidentally, around here we often type out a text then throw the cell phone up in the air hoping it will make enough contact with a  cell tower to send a message. (And hoping we can catch it on the way back down!)  Sometimes you can just stand on top of your truck and/or tie the phone to a rope and swing the rope in circles until it gets high enough to make a connection.  We used to have people think we were pulling their leg at the Dickey Lake Christian camp when we told them to take a canoe out to the middle of the lake to talk on their cell phone.  It usually worked though!  All of you with good cell phone access everywhere should be thankful for it!

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