Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I don't know why those danged Carpenter bees have been drilling into my house this year and last. There aren't visible signs where this was a problem in the past. It must be the stain used back in 2007 when I had the place done. There just isn't anything else that makes sense. 17 years and no holes and suddenly a bunch of them in two years.

Just this year about a dozen holes started in the porch roof with two becoming home until I plugged 'em up today with some 1/2" wood dowels. Why they start some holes and abandon some is a mystery to me. Near knots yes, but away from them? Must be the taste.

And we had a visitor from the creek this morning. It was about this time last year we had the same. Snapping turtle trying to find a place to lay eggs. She didn't go far. Looked around and went back over the patio head first towards the creek. Notice the claws.

No sign of any snakes this year and I have been digging through areas where they would be hanging out; rocks and such. The place is pretty lively around 6AM with some song birds tweeting away.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

One Set Of Stairs Complete

Took awhile to figure out how to build this thing. A little pre-planning would have worked as I constantly ran into problems with a drain pipe from the driveway above.

Before. Last Summer.


Closer Pic....

Haven't finished that retaining wall to the right of the steps. I'm just lousy with "grouting" Maybe some bushes will hide it. About 12 bags of quickcrete in that area. This is something I planned on doing down near the creek if it showed signs of moving.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bikers Dream Ride. Great Smoky Mountains

It started after driving down the Foothills Parkway from Townsend TN. I was trying to get back to 441 that runs down into Georgia from Knoxville for the route home. Must have read that map wrong. I saw the signs..."switchback roads, trucks not allowed" Made the wrong trun and came into this lake area. Not in any hurry here. Why not explore.

Started noticing a few bikers here and there until it became obvious this was a bikers paradise through the Great Smoky Mountains.

There's even a bikers resort or gathering place near the TN-NC line at Deals Gap. I can imagine what this place looks like on weekends! Bikers of all ages, types, small sports cars here and there buzzing through the winding roads.

Maps showing the general area...

Sunset In The Smoky Mountains

I'm not usually good with darker photo settings, but I did discover a new setting on my camera. Huh? Almost two years and I found something new? Lost or misplaced the manual. First off I'm here to see a custom hardwood flooring stain job with one of the hardest types of hardwoods to stain...Maple. Some guy from New york with too much $$ has a house under construction on a mountaintop in a place called Kinzel Springs, TN.

The driveway! OMG. 350 yards of concrete (according to the builder) nearly straight up with switchback turns. Don't try it in the winter. Not a very attractive house, no pics.

Doing floor samples.

Lot's of wood carvers in the area.

Near the Morton Overlook on highway 441. Elevation 4826. Located about 14 miles east of Gatlinburg or near the TN, NC border. Nice drive, steep, but nothing like the PCH, plenty running water to see.

Looking east into North Carolina.

West into TN

Saturday, May 16, 2009

New Projects, Birds Etc

I guess it's been awhile. Busy with other stuff, mainly "work" if you wanna call it that. It had been some time since I put a serious effort to my real work. With the internet one has to keep a step ahead of the crowd otherwise they'll sneak up and take you off the first page of Google.

Anyway. New Projects

Fence along the west side of the lawn. I still have some leftover from the driveway. Probably put some kind of climbing rose bushes on front. Birds love to sit and crap on it:(

Oh that's new. Pics are in a different position. Must have changed sumthin. Looks better anyway. Lesse what else is in the camera. Mom and Pop birds. Yellow Finch I think. They took off before I could get a better angle.

Rain has stopped...finally with the exception of some sprinkles. No major rain for eight days! I think the lawn has been invaded by grubs. I treated it with something in late March that was supposed to last all season long. I'm thinking the heavy rains just diluted it to death.

Next New Project

Wall area next to driveway. It will be PT 6 x 6" but stained, beveled and distressed with the chainsaw. Kind of a rough sawn lumber look. Wall height will be three foot back filled behind. What to plant there? As far as the gardens..waiting till they are done, if Mom can keep up. Headed to TN for a few days next week for "work."

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

We Have Bird Feeders

But a local squirrel has been stealing the goods. It seems to be only one using the gourmet counter. Large number of those critters around this year. The expert seems to think it has something to do with the number of acorns that fell last fall. They're sprouting everywhere.

Birds so far this year:
  • Blue Jays
  • Cardinals
  • Chickadees
  • Titmouse
  • Indigo Bunting- my favorite,very colorful
  • American Goldfinch
  • Robins
  • House Wren?
  • Pileated Woodpecker
  • Redheaded Woodpecker
  • Hummingbirds

A temporary break today from more thunderstorms expected Wednesday. Late afternoon sunshine for the first time since Friday.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Little Progess - Rain

Rain, rain, and rain again. Now I'm wondering if my lawn will rot. It got so bad in late winter that algae was forming all over the place. Anyway my drainage is working well (above). Weather forecast doesn't look good for the next few days. Grrrrr.

Creek is healthy.

Ferns are sprouting all over the place including "the protected area."

Friday, May 1, 2009

Yummy Country Odors

Somebody has been fertilizing close by. The smell of crap has been in the air since yesterday afternoon. This is the first time I've noticed it around the property. Riding into town I get a whiff of it now and then. Hopefully the drizzle today will keep it at bay.

As for that plant list. I can think of a few. Hershey Red Azalea and Chinzan Azaleas are in the photo above. The Chinzan has yet to bloom, with the flowery Hershey in the background. Another small plant in front is called Mexican Heather.

Oh boy do we have all sorts of plant projects around here. I just wonder if the plant expert has more than she can handle? Tomatoe plants and other misc small vegetables to get in the ground too.
I discovered a few weeks ago before I left to Florida there's a place up the road that is offering all the mulch one needs so the pathways are being resurfaced. The original mulch (from the tree cutters in June of 2007) has been decaying so the paths needed some spucing up.