...random thoughts, opinions and secrets on children... aging... cooking... crafts... nature...divorce...second chances...
and whatever else I deem curious...
~Copyright 2017. Hootie~

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Crafting Girls...

My daughter and I love creating!  
I think we inherited our crafting gene from my mom. 

Something Old,
Something New, 
Something Borrowed and 
Something Blue.

I recently made this handkerchief for my niece who is getting married.  The handkerchief originally belonged to my father-in-law, her grandfather, who passed away in late April.  I asked my MIL if I could have all his old handkerchiefs and was rewarded with a pile!  

After embroidering the handkerchief using waste canvas, I dressed up the edges with a bit of lace.
You should be able to click on it to enlarge it and see the detail.

My niece can use this as her something old, something new or something blue if she wants next week. 

My very talented daughter has been taking Bead Work and Jewelry classes in high school for the past four years.  I love that there are art classes now-a-days that allow smart children the opportunity to be well rounded too.  When I was in high school, the options we had were Band, Track/Basketball, Shop or Home Ec. I did go to a very small school.  I was happy as a Band Nerd, but I wasn't as talented at playing my musical instrument as some of my classmates.  Fun? Yes.  Creative? Not really.  The art classes my daughter takes are wonderful!  She has learned so many techniques and has so many more tools available to her.  Her creative juices have been allowed to flow.  

The above bugs are made from copper with enamel heated on to them in a kiln.  The leaves are from flooring or counter top samples. She is making them as pendants for her class this semester, but I would love to see them placed on a 3D iron vine!  

I know just the spot for them to live!  :)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Good Day for Preying...

Some times, it's a blast to be hiking alone in the chilly fall mornings.  

High above one of the trails, I spotted a Turkey Vulture nestled in the bare branches of the trees.  

Turkey Vulture

Turkey Vulture
 As the trail approached the dry lake bed, hawks and vultures circled over head...
I think this is a Red-Tailed Hawk, but the early morning sun makes it hard to tell.
 A pair of Red-tailed Hawks danced together on the air currents rising from the warming surface. Their show was spectacular because they were dancing just above me!

 Even Winston found it to be a wonderful morning to catch one of his favorite treats...a mole!
Believe it or not...he was on his leash!

Birds of Prey are fascinating to watch, but even more fascinating to hunt along side.

Another life time ago I dated a guy who had a Red-Tailed Hawk as a pet.  On the weekends we'd take his hawk out hunting.  I can't recall all the details, like why the bird actually came back to him when he called versus just flying off...certainly birds in the wild don't hang around with their dinners when I walk near them.  I do recall being bundled up, since it was January, the bird being released to circle overhead, or perch in the top of a nearby tree, us walking around an old field with sticks and beating the grass, hoping to scare up a rabbit.  If you were lucky enough to be the one who scared up the rabbit, you gave a call/cry out loud and if the bird wasn't all ready watching the area where you were, it would quickly tune in, locate it's prey and dive bomb it's dinner.  My friend would quickly come over, give the bird a small piece of the rabbit and put the rest away in a bag, to be served later on in the week.  The bird would be released back up to it's vantage point and the process would start again.

Pretty cool, but...I think I prefer my hunter who doesn't look at me like a possible dinner choice!  :)

Monday, October 08, 2012

Uncle Sam...is back!

Winston and I went out for our late afternoon hike today at about 4:30 p.m.  He was searching for moles or chipmunks, but I was looking for owls.  I wanted to head back down to the Eagle's nest because Great Horned Owls had used that nest this summer and I recently saw one or two hanging out in the area.  

Boy was I surprised!  

Since I can't tell if this is a boy or a girl, I will just call it Uncle Sam...it works for me.  When I registered what I was seeing, and he was only about 50 feet away from me, I quickly thought about the date and realized it was about a year ago when I noticed the eagles were back from their summer travels.  I know if the conditions are right they will spend all year here, but the past two years they haven't been around through the summer.  At least not around this nesting sight.  For the past four years I have watched the eagles return by late November.  

This past spring I did see a pair at the nest, but they didn't stay and the Great Horned Owls used their nest instead.  Being an owl lover too, I didn't mind their show.  Still, eagles are SO majestic and regal!  

I received an extra treat today as Winston and I continued on our walk around the almost completely dry lake bed...Uncle Sam was enjoying easy fishing too!  

Fish in his talons
  In flight he reached down with his head to his talons and put the fish in his beak.
The two pictures above are the same and the two below are the same.  The bottom of each is the enlargement to help point out the fish. 

Fish going from his talons to his mouth

Talk about having a great day!  :)

Up, up and away

Saturday night we received a call from our friend Bill.  If we were ready for some fun we needed to be at his place by 7 a.m.  Ugh!  Cold Sunday mornings are good times to hang out in bed or at least in ones PJ's enjoying the whole pot of coffee!

Since it was Bill that called...PJ's, coffee and sleeping in were all not even considered!

We were in...and here's how we started our day...remember we actually had to be up at 6 for this adventure.

I should add that Bill and my hubby grew up across the street from one another.  Bill has been piloting hot air balloons since he was 16 years old and he happens to be the son of THE Bill Oliver who started Oliver Winery here in Southern Indiana 40 years ago.  I could go on and on about "young" Bill...but I think that should be another post!  In his own right he is an amazing person!

Thanks again to Bill for a wonderful way to wake up on a cold Sunday morning.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

When the dam breaks....

For the past two summers, Bloomington, Indiana has been experiencing a severe draught.  We seem to just break even with rainfall come late autumn.  The dam at the nearby lake has had damaged sluice gates which need fixing. Both the DNR and our local government have been working hand-in-hand to address not only the sluice gates being fixed, but other maintenance around the lake.  

The sluice gates were officially opened to drain the lake by mid-August.  

All the photos below capture a very dry lake bed.

Standing on the North bank...looking East.
Causeway bridge and boat house side.
Standing on the North bank...looking West. 
View of the remaining water and dam.

The ground has really dried out.  Even when it rains, one can now still go and walk on the old lake bottom.  Winston and I head down there most days.  Even though it is pretty dry, it is still slippery!  Rocks covered in the dried mud are deceiving to walk on.  
Winston walking on the dessert looking lake bed.
Some of the cracks look like they go down 10 inches.
This is what is left of Griffy Stream. 
It ran through here before the dam was built in 1924.
When the lake is full, it is a popular place for fishermen.  

I wonder what is the story of this lost pole?  
A "big one" that got away? or just butter fingers?

For a while, the Great Blur Herons enjoyed easy pickings 
of the remaining fish.  
The Herons pictured here are in their "white" stage. 
I don't think these are the same species as the Florida, Great White Herons.  
I think they are just juveniles of the Great Blue Herons.
Although, Indiana did feel like Florida this past summer!

Several views of the dam and spillway

As the waters have continued to recede,
I have noticed more of these cement posts peeking out across the water. 
It makes me think originally this far end was restricted; 
Griffy Lake was the principle water source for 
Bloomington up until 1953
I believe this structure is leftover from when 
the water in the lake was processed 
for Bloomingtonians to drink. 
The real danger right now...getting muddy.  I look forward to the lake returning when the repairs are made, maybe by next fall.  But until then, I LOVE walking on "water"!  It only takes about two-and-a-half hours to traverse around this end from my house and back.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Survivor? Miracle? Name needed!

Four years ago I moved into the Burrow.  Shortly after we moved in, while looking out back, I noticed a deer that looked to have only three legs.  I snapped a picture and dubbed her Tripod.  When I mentioned seeing her to a few neighbors they told me she had been around for a few years.  In my guess-timation, Tripod should be around 5 or 6 years old.  

On a hike last week with Winston, I saw a fawn going through the woods.  Winston and I were trying to discover the source of a bird call we were hearing, so we paid the fawn little attention as we stood stock still.  Five minutes later I noticed Tripod had been standing camouflaged in the brush very close to us.  That fawn was by her now and trying to nurse!  

I wish someone had a camera trained on me right then, my smile and excitement was huge!  I immediately sent my husband a text telling him what I saw.  

I wasn't in a good spot to get a decent picture that day of Tripod and her baby, and after I got home I started to think maybe my eyes had been paying tricks on me.  Seriously, a three-legged deer having a baby?  What are the odds?


Two days ago, I couldn't sleep and was up near 5:30 a.m.  As I sat in my house, reading the news and my emails looking over my backyard, I noticed we had visitors!  

I grabbed my camera and quietly went out on my back porch.

I know that in a few short months I won't be able to identify Tripod's baby from the other fawns around, but in the mean time I need a name to call this little treat...maybe Peanut.

Anyone else have a suggestion?

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Off to Ballet Summer Camp

In the wee hours of yesterday morning...we drove to Chicago to put my baby on an airplane.  She's off to ballet camp for five weeks.  

I tried very hard NOT to cry, and definitely not in front of her.  I am happy for her that we can offer her this experience.  She is almost 18 and reminds me of that fact regularly. Still, she's my girl.  


On the way back home we stopped to pick up the part of our vehicle that was ripped off by the raccoon we hit just after 4 a.m.  

Yuck!  and Oooo, Gross!