Tuesday, October 31, 2006

RU tames Huskies, 24-13
Remains Undefeated

Rutgers R.small
Sunday night, the UConn Huskies came down to Piscataway to square off against the nationally ranked and undefeated Scarlet Knights.

The Huskies started a redshirted freshman Donald Brown II at running back in place of an injured Terry Caulley. All Brown II did was rush for 199 yards on 28 carries including a 65-yard TD romp. He added a second TD on a 7-yard run.

On the RU side of the ball, Ray Rice was held to just 79 yards rushing and scored the only offensive TD the Knights would get.

But it was an evening when the RU defense, while bent never broke. The Knights scored on defense (on a fumble recovery) and they scored on special teams (on a blocked punt) and Jeremy Ito kicked another field goal.

In the end, while it wasn’t pretty, Rutgers won as a team. On a night when their offense sputtered, their defense and special teams made up the difference.

The Scarlet Knights are now 8-0 and 3-0 in the Big East.

Next up is a huge Big East game at Rutgers Stadium against Louisville on November 9th. The Louisville squad is currently also undefeated but faces undefeated West Virginia on Saturday—and one of them will not be undefeated after that game!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Hunting the elusive Adirondack White-tail

The term Adirondack is alleged to be an Iroquois term meaning “bark eater” and was meant to disparage the Algonquin who lived to the north of the Mohawk River in the great wooded expanse that now encompasses the Adirondack Park of New York. The term referred to both the scarcity of game and the Algonquin’s hunting skills.

Now, I can’t speak about he Algonquin’s hunting skills, but in the small area around my cabin my buddy Mark an I have been able to get four or five white-tail bucks and as many does on our trail cameras—not to mention four or five different black bear. Heck, Eric even managed to kill one of the bucks with his bow a few weekends ago. Things change, however, as soon as we start carrying our muzzleloaders or rifles. Suddenly, the local deer become very elusive.

It doesn’t matter if I’m still hunting (really slow walking) or sitting in a likely area, I have seen a grand total of three deer and only one buck in the last two years. I saw all three last year and never got a chance at a shot. This year, I’ve seen nada, zip, zero, nil….

Mark, on the other hand, is always reporting having seen something. Usually it’s a couple of does walking past him as he sits in a hemlock up on the beech ridge behind my place. Or perhaps a quick glimpse of a tail as he still hunts along the ridge.

The cameras still record deer right behind the cabin but they are usually photographed between 6:30 PM (after shooting hours) and 6:30 AM (before shooting hours). I just can’t find them during the day.

Oh, I find signs of deer. Thursday was overcast and cold (just above freezing) and a little snow flurry fell all morning. I still hunted the beech woods behind the cabin and found three fresh scrapes where a buck deer had pawed away the leaves and marked his territory. I located and followed tracks in the wet leaves. I even found a tree rub that was probably two weeks old. But in walking four hours in the morning and four more in the afternoon, I saw no deer.

Friday was clear and crisp. Walking in the morning was like walking on corn flakes. So we decided to sit. I picked a spot near the state line that forms the northern border of my property where I could look over several trails while Mark and Eric opted to go up on the beech ridge on state land. I saw no deer. I the afternoon we did it again. Still I saw no deer.

That being said, I did see plenty of interesting critters.

First and foremost were the red squirrels. From where I sat, I could see—and hear—at least half a dozen red squirrels. Sometimes they were chattering at me, sometimes they chased one another and sometimes they took issue with a chipmunk.

The chipmunks seemed to be picking up leaves to insulate their winter quarters for, unlike the squirrels, they will be going into hibernation as soon as the weather gets colder.

In the leaf litter at my feet were a couple ever-active least shrews. Or at least I think there were several. I only saw one as it quickly crossed over a hemlock root to dive into the leaves again.

Several bird species, both common and unusual, also visited.

Among the common birds that I often see were the chickadees in the hemlock boughs directly over my head. They were accompanied by a tufted titmouse. As a group they searched the branches and bark looking for insects and spiders.

I saw—and heard—blue jays as they scolded some unfortunate in the hemlocks fifty yards away. They moved in total silence, however, when they wanted to come down to the spring to drink.

Then, suddenly, I had a regal visitor in the form of a northern goshawk. It swooped in and missed a red squirrel just twenty yards behind me and then sat on a branch 10 yards from where I sat. It swooped off its perch and settled into the ferns when a raven passed overhead. The raven’s “caw” is more nasal than the crow’s and it has this water-like chortle that sounds like a stream flowing over a steep, stony riffle.

After the afternoon hunt, I was walking up the trail at twilight when I stopped to look into the woods where there was some open space between the firs and hemlocks. In total silence and coming right at my face was a saw-whet owl. This small night hunter swooped at me, swerved at the last wing-beat and then perched a mere three feet in front of me as it tried to puzzle out just what kind of creature I was. I think it may have seen my eyes and took them to be a much smaller critter climbing a tree. (I was dressed totally in hunter’s camo in a leaf and bark pattern.) It sat for several minutes cocking its head to one side and then another. Then it swooped at me again to land just a few feet away along the trail’s edge. It then took off again and I lost sight of it in the trees. Its wing beats were totally silent. A hundred yards later and right behind the barn, it swooped over my shoulder from behind to land in the tree right in front of me.

The rain moved in late Friday night and has continued all day to this point (it’s 2 PM on Saturday) with no sign of letting up. In fact, it may get worse. Yesterday’s forecast was for some lake effect snow in this area starting tonight and going into tomorrow. They said 3 to 6 inches are possible. Just what we need—tracking snow.

UPDATE: Thanks A.G.T. for pointing out that all my carefully selected links to enature.com came up with the Jefferson Salamander. Sheesh! I'll get them fixed soon as I can get a better source. By the way A.G.T., the Adirondacks are in New York State, and all those links were for critters I saw there, not in PA.

UPDATE 2: Things should work better now. I had to find some new sources for the pictures and data on the species to which I linked.

UPDATE 3: The weather hasn't improved. It's still raining at 8:30 PM and we are inbetween the 6 and 10 inch area for lake effect snows tonight and tomorrow. Might be more than we are willing to go out in.

Log Home Update: Part 48
Tile work, Sheetrocking, and Painting and more

Another week of multitasking at the Aerie.

Due to time constraints, Don has opted to have the tile work in the three bathrooms done by the folks who will be supplying the tile. Before they can do their thing, however, all three baths needed to have their sheetrock (aka drywall) installed as well as the tubs and showers in place. To that end, Don worked Monday thru Wednesday getting those rooms ready for the tile installers who were due on Thursday and Friday.

Meanwhile, Adam worked with Braun to finish the entryway to the attic. They were installing tongue and groove boards on the walls and ceiling of that little alcove until they ran out of polyurethaned boards last week and Braun had to revert to the basement to prep some more.(It is far easier to have the finish applied and boards dried on the rack than it is to have to try and polyurethane the boards sand them and apply a second coat once they are in place.

While they were working on that, Terry (yeah, she finally spent some time on the job!) did some staining of the 1x boards that will form the trim for the doors and windows and polyurethaned some more tongue and groove…just in case. Debbie showed up after her day job and chipped in with staining, polyurethaning and sanding. She also made stops at the building supplier in town and picked up things we were running short of when necessary.

I helped Don with some of the drywall in the upstairs bath and then went to sanding the log walls on the first floor. Some of these had already gotten their first coat of polyurethane sprayed on and they needed to be prepped for their second. The first floor bath was getting a special brushed on application of marine quality polyurethane. Once sanded, I wielded the brush to finish the first floor bath and then did the small hall area (ceiling and beams) where the doors to the bedrooms, bathroom and basement steps all come together.

Monday evening one of the first floor bedrooms got its last spraying of polyurethane. (The other bedroom had gotten its final coat over the weekend.) This allowed Adam to begin boxing in one of the chases between beams with 6-inch tongue and groove to hide the wires for the ceiling fan/light. Since the ceiling/floor boards are 6 inches wide they match the tongue and groove perfectly and since the box used in the electrical installation is one of the thin ones, the difference in depth is hardly noticeable.

I used some left over floor boards to built a really massive door to the attic. It’s an unusual size and using the tongue and groove floor boards matched the tongue and groove boards of the alcove.

Kyle and one of his buddies from the high school soccer team have been working weekends and after practice to install insulation in the garage roof. With all the stuff stored in the garage attic, this has not been an easy task. Sometimes they can access the roof from the garage itself and sometimes they have to move things about in the attic in order to reach the roof.

Terry left Wednesday morning to go to Richmond, VA for some Smocking Arts classes so I left that afternoon to head back to the cabin in the Adirondacks where there were three very lonely cats waiting for me. (Mark had come over to light the wood burning stove a couple of times as the temperatures took a sudden turn downward and he played with them a bit but it’s not the same.) As a result, I didn’t get to stick around to see the tile job or what Adam and Don would be up to while the tile guys were doing their thing.

I did, however get to spend some time in the woods with Mark and Eric looking for white-tailed deer and maybe a bear. But that’s another story.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Log Home Update: Part 47
Lots Doing

I made it back to the job this week. The bronchitis/walking pneumonia is gone.

We're working long days trying to get things completed and that means lots happening this week.

We finally got all the issues with the well water solved. When the pump ran for a long period, the water became cloudy. Lifting the pump just five feet from the bottom solved that. And clear water meant that the heating system (radiant floor) could be filled and—once propane was delivered—we could have heat. And hot water.

Don and Adam got the final pieces of siding done on the dormer and the two ribbon rows all around the house so the exterior is finished.

The remaining floor materials have been delivered along with the kitchen appliances (refrigerator, range and dishwasher). The kitchen cabinets were put into place so measurements could be made for the Corian countertops.

Sheetrock has been installed in two of the three bathrooms in preparation of the tilemen who should be on the job next week.

All the exterior stiles, rails and posts have been sanded and given a coat of stain. All the grilles that will be installed in the windows have been stained, too.

The remaining ceiling fans have been purchased as have the washer, dryer and freezer.

Deb (Don’s wife) has been coming to work on the house after completing her day job. She has done some staining and polyurethaning in the basement and she has been allowed ‘upstairs” from time to time to sand and polyurethane the walls.
Deb polyurethanes the walls by hand

Braun continues to do her magic with the sanding block and stain but she too has been working “upstairs’ from time to time. This week she helped Adam install some ceiling boards in the master bedroom closets and in the little entrance to the attic.
Braun assists Adam with some ceiling installation

Closet interior
Closet interior

Kitchen cabinets were placed for countertop measurement--and then moved again to spray the ceiling with polyurethane.

RU 20, Pitt Panthers 10

Rutgers R.small
The No. 19 Scarlet Knights continued their unbeaten string (now 7-0) by traveling to Pittsburgh and downing the Pitt Panthers 20-10. RU improves to 2-0 in Big East play while the Panthers drop to 2-1 (6-2, overall).

After being held to less than 100 yards rushing by Navy last week, Ray Rice exploded for a career high 225 yards on 39 carries with one TD on a 63-yard run. The Sophomore Rice has surpassed the 1,000 yard mark for his second year. It is the fourth time Rice has rushed for more than 200 yards in just 19 career games.

Mike Teel threw for 72 yards and one TD (to Tiquan Underwood) while completing 10 passes in 18 attempts. And he threw no interceptions.

Brian Leonard caught a pass for the 41st consecutive game setting a new Big East record. He also tied the school record for career receptions, catching his 192nd pass.

Jeremy Ito made two field goals in the first half for the only scoring by either team as RU took the 6-0 lead into the break. Junior Ito has now connected on 45 field goals and is just one shy of the school record.

Rutgers remains one of the few unbeaten teams in the nation—and one of THREE in the Big East.

(Game Story and stats here.)

Next Sunday night, Rutgers plays at home against UConn (3-4, 0-2 in the Big East) in a game to be televised by ESPN at 8:00 PM EST.

My Father sent me to Old Rutgers
And resolved that I should be a man.
And so I settled down
In that noisy college town
On the banks of the Old Raritan.

On the banks of the Old Raritan, my boys,
On the banks of the Old Raritan.
And so I settled down
In that noisy college town
On the banks of the Old Raritan.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Tragedy In the North Country

Well, all hell broke loose here in the North Country Saturday.

October 14th was opening day of New York’s north zone muzzleloader season and four of us planned to hunt the knob just north of my property. Mark, my buddy/neighbor/caretaker, was going to go almost due north to a tree stand he had set up on the north side of the knob. I would stay on the south side along the state line. Eric and his brother-in-law Greg would head for the east end of the knob and spread out there. Now the knob itself is entirely within the confines of a loop in the 10-foot wide North Branch Creek that runs from east to west and bends around the north side of the knob. A smaller—tiny, really—creek drains the back end of my property and the south slope of the knob. We call this little drainage the Piss Creek.

We hit the woods around 6:30-7:00 AM and, as far as we knew, had the area to ourselves. Hell, we weren’t even bothered by any deer or bear all morning. Around 10:30 Mark walked south passing me as he headed back to his cabin for some coffee and a nap. (It got a little windy and his tree stand got to rockin’.) Then Greg called on the radio saying he was going back for a coffee and a potty stop. He came back shortly after. Finally, I decided I was bored and it was getting near lunch time so I started walking out. As I was leaving, Eric caught up with me and we both were out of the woods by noon.

It started clouding up and we got a little spritz of rain and snow early in the afternoon and, having just come through a bout of bronchitis/walking pneumonia, I decided to call it a day. Mark, Eric and Greg were going back out around 3 PM and planned to stay until dark.

Just after dark, Mark called to say there was a lost hunter in the woods. Some folks from the camp down the road met Mark, Eric and Greg as they were leaving the woods to say that a member of their party had entered the woods around 10 AM for a short walk and hadn’t returned. They were evasive about where he had gone but finally admitted he had probably crossed my land to follow the North Branch. The report is he was in his fifties and not in the best of shape. He had no map or compass and was way over due. As luck would have it, Mark had a woods camera set up some 75 yards or so from where his tree stand was located. He had put the camera there in the morning and had three new photos from the afternoon. All three were of the lost hunter taken around 3:30 PM just before Mark got back to the area. So, as of 3:30 PM, this guy was still on the south side of the North Branch.

Now, there are a few very steep slopes in the area around that camera. As a preliminary search, Mark, Eric, Greg and the local Ranger/Trooper took a quick walk along the banks of the creek from where it crosses a jeep trail just to the west of my property to the beaver dam inside state land to the east. As the crow flies it’s just about two miles but with the big loop the North Branch makes it’s closer to 5 miles. They did this in the dark between 8:30 and 3 PM and found nothing.

We had freezing rain and some snow showers last night and the temperature this morning at 6 AM was just under the freezing mark. Unless this guy was lucky enough to be uninjured and/or possessed some serious survival skills….

This morning a full search is on with about two dozen folks walking the woods, sirens sounding off on the road to give the poor bastard a direction in which to walk if he is able, and a helicopter slowly moving back and forth over head.

I feel like I should be out there doing something but since I’m still recuperating from my illness (and not in the best of shape myself) I’ll leave it to the younger, trained crowd.

They found his body Sunday morning around 9 AM. About 75 yards from the creek on the east end of the knob near the beaver dam, he had sat down on a log for a smoke. (Mark says they found two empty packs of unfiltered cigarettes and one half pack still in his pocket.) He was about half to three-quarters of a mile from where Mark’s camera had recorded him at 3:30 PM. Whether he sat down before dark or got himself lost and then sat down after dark, he never got up again.

Last year there was a lost property owner one town over right about the end of October. Fella owned 5-600 acres and had a habit of walking the lines just before the start of the deer season in November. He was in his early sixties. Anyway, he went out in a green and black checked wool jacket and never returned. It took over a week before they found his body but it seemed longer because there were two or three snowfalls during the search period. None was very heavy but each was enough to cover any tracks, make things wet and miserable and in general just make things difficult.

On a personal note, some years ago I went out in that area of woods without a map or compass. I figured I was between the creek (north) and the jeep trail (south) a well marked trail from the creek to the jeep trail (east) and the final jeep trail that the creek crosses (west). I couldn’t think of any way I could get lost. But it was overcast and drizzly and I lost my sense of direction without a clue as to where the sun was located. I foolishly tried to take a shortcut from the trail that ran along the creek’s bank to the one that ran on the east side of the “rectangle” I was hunting.

I went up and down into and out of several small depressions before I realized I was lost. I stopped to rest a bit ant to think. That’s when I heard the creek. I headed right to the water and then followed it down stream. I had planned to reach the east trail near the beaver dam which was upstream from where I was, but decided to head downstream for the more sure bridge that I knew was down that way. It took me a while, but I managed to find my way out of the woods safely. Since then, I never go into the woods without a compass and map. I also usually have my GPS unit and my analog watch (good for finding directions on sunny days).

Saturday, October 14, 2006

RU Sinks Navy 34-0

Rutgers R.small
Nationally ranked Rutgers returned to the gridiron this afternoon after a bye-week. The #24 Scarlet Knights dominated Navy 43-0 to retain their undefeated status and become bowl eligible at 6-0.

Bad news and good news:

Bad news:
Ray Rice’s consecutive game streak for 100-yards rushing has come to an end. Rice managed only 93 yards in 21 carries this afternoon against Navy.

Good news:
Everything else.
Rutgers won convincingly, 34-0.

Rutgers’ defense managed to hold Navy’s rushing attack to just 113 net yards. Navy fared far worse when they were forced to throw with just four completions in 16 attempts for a net of 48 yards.

Kordell Young rushed three times for 28 yards and a TD.

Clark Harris caught five passes and Brian Leonard two to continue their respective reception streaks.

Mike Teel completed 15 of 26 passes for 215 yards and three TDs. Tiquan Underwood caught two of the TDs and James Townsend the other.

Place kicker Jeremy Ito was perfect for the game converting two field goals and all four extra point attempts. And punter Joe Radigan averaged just over 42 yards a kick on his four punts—all of which ended up inside the Navy 20-yard line. (Only one punt was returned for 13 yards and only 2 of Ito’s kickoffs were returned for a total of 33 yards.)

Rutgers led in just about every category except time of possession.

Next Saturday Rutgers returns to Big East competition against Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Snow closes the NY State Thruway
between Rochester and Buffalo

Overnight lake effect snow dumped upwards of two FEET of white stuff on the thruway forcing its closure. As of 3 AM Friday morning over 20 inches of snow were recorded at the Buffalo airport according to TV reports.

The NY crews are usually very, very good at keeping the thruway open so it must have really been coming down fast. It may have caught them a little short handed on the plow front, too. I mean, it IS only October 13th.

Winter comes early to the Northlands this year.

Detroit gets snow

TV reports last night said that Detroit got its earliest measurable snowfall since back around 1906 or something. Tell me again why the World Series may be played in these northern climes in late October?

BTW, what ever happened to Global Warming?

Mets Win Game 1
Down Cards 2-0

On the positive side:
Tom Glavine pitched 7 scoreless innings throwing just 80 pitches and Motta and Wagner did their job to complete the shutout. The Mets still have a lot of rested arms in the bullpen. They’ll need them unless they’re lucky enough to get another rainout, these two teams play four more consecutive days in NY and St. Lou.
Despite rotten numbers in Shea this year, Carlos Beltran came through with a 2-run blast to right-center providing the only runs the Mets needed—or got.

On the negative side:
Cliff Floyd’s Achilles tendon put him on the sideline early. Looks like Willie Randolph threw the dice on Floyd’s ability to play and they came up snake eyes. Let’s hope that Floyd’s able to contribute as either a pinch hitter or later in the series if he gets some serious rest for that tendon. (On a personal note, when I had a partial tear of my Achilles, I still had trouble with quick starts such as you would need to cross a busy street some two years after the fact. Of course I didn’t get the medical attention Cliff is getting, but it is a long and painful process. And, without surgery, it still pains me some 25 years later.)

Also, the hitting was woeful. Some of that may have been due to the generous strike zone that helped both Weaver and Glavine, but still….

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Kitty Kat Pics

Kitties 09
"Hey, Sis, wanna know a secret?"

The two of them curl up or stretch out together all the time!

Sleep is probably 80% of their day. Eating is 5% (but only because they wolf their food down!) Running around like dervishes and chasing one another or snagging cluster flies off the windows makes up the balance.

Kitties 20
Chester and his sister, Shadow, seem to sleep most of the day away. Usually they curl up or stretch out together as though they were still in the womb. You’d think they shared an umbilical cord and it never got cut.

Even when they're soundly sleeping, however, I can't open a can of food to give a little to Julie. These two bound in from wherever demanding their share---and usually Julie's, too!

Log Home Update: Part 46
More Progress

Don finally got the replacement window in for the master bath. The original had one of the stops driven right through the vinyl to the wood underneath. It took almost 10 weeks to get the replacement. So far this is the only real disappointment with Beaver Mountain and they were just the middle-men in the deal. Andersen Windows was slow to recognize the damage just might have been done on their end. (Nothing short of a framing hammer wacking on the stop could have done it on our end!) As a result, Don and Adam can put the finishing touches on the outside now. In fact, that’s exactly what they were doing when I stopped by between doctor’s and DMV visits.

Inside, the tongue-and-groove boards have been used to finish the two gable ends and there is plenty left over to do ceilings and walls for which they were not intended.

gable north 14
The tongue-and-groove ceiling material is sooo abundant that we will use it everywhere! Here it has been applied to the north gable wall. (The chimney goes in the far left corner so the boards don't extend that far.) (Tough to get a clear picture here because the light was streaming in the window and prevented the flash from firing.)

gable south 17
The south side is the master bedroom wall. This tongue-and-groove wood treatment is perfect for that log-home feel that would otherwise be lost with sheetrocked walls.
(If the weather gets drippy, Adam will be back to use the jig saw on the boards overlapping the window.)

Meanwhile, Braun continues to wield a mean paintbrush as she polyurethanes everything in sight! She has done more than enough tongue-and-groove boards to finish what needs to be done (and there are nearly 150 ten-foot long boards left over!), has tackled some of the indoor spindles and hand rails for the stairs and loft, and even did the faux-beam that goes on the edge of the loft. In between she has stained some of the deck spindles and posts. I would have included another picture of her at work here, but she was moving too fast!

Adam and Don pulled the pump up about 10-feet from the bottom of the well and that seems to have solved the murky water issue. That means we can finish the plumbing for the heat in the upstairs and fill the system for the floors.

On a negative side, there was an error in the cabinet measurements and we have had to order a replacement floor cabinet and one for the wall too. They should be in by mid-week next week.

Also, I have been sidelined--still--by this nagging bronchitis/walking pneumonia. I hope the second round of meds proves more affective than the fist. At least the chest X-rays were "normal." Maybe I'll be able to do some moderate amount of exercise or talk for a little longer and in more than a whisper without having to cough up a lung by this weekend. Then I can get back to work. (Or hunting....mmm?)

Friday, October 06, 2006


After a string of incredibly bad luck with their aging (aged?) starting pitchers—Martinez’ leg/arm/shoulder and then Hernandez’ leg—they actually got to play the games.

John Maine stepped in and despite all the weeping and wailing about his inexperience in the post season, did quite well. Some Dodger base-running blunders and a couple of homeruns, not to mention David Wright’s doubles, gave the Mets a first game victory in Shea.

They then sent Tom Glavine to the mound for game two and the old man pitched lights out before handing the ball over to that incredible bullpen with a 4-0 lead. No one who stepped into the batter’s box for the Dodgers looked like they had any idea where Glavine’s pitches were going. No one seemed able to get any kind of good wood on the ball while maintaining their balance. You’d think they were trying to hit a wiffle ball while standing on a wire—elbows and asses were going every which way.

The Mets take a 2 game to none lead into Dodger Stadium for Game 3 on Saturday with Steve Trachsel facing Greg Maddox. That will be a tough one. Trachsel hasn’t pitched in almost two weeks and Maddox has always proven difficult for the Mets.

If a Game 4 is necessary, Oliver Perez seems likely to be the Mets’ starter but Willie Randolph hasn’t ruled out John Maine who only threw 80 pitches in game one.

Log Home Update: Part 45

Bronchitis/walking pneumonia has put me on the DL in the log home building game. Instead I’ve been confined to my Adirondack cabin where I’ve been taking my meds, sucking on Hall’s cough drops, sleeping when I can and coughing up a lung or two when I can’t.

Anyhoo. That’s the reason there’s precious little to report from PA. We did go out on Tuesday to see a doctor and then visit with the screwy PA DMV system. And I thought NJ’s long lines were bad! At least in NJ the offices were open six days a week. In PA, if you need to get a driver’s test or a new license, it’s Wednesday only. If you want to renew your license and need a photo taken, you can do that on Saturday or Wednesday. Of course, in this post-9/11 world you need to have all sorts of documents to prove who you are in order to get a new license. Well, Terry had all hers but she left my “state issued birth certificate” back in the cabin so no PA driver’s license for me! Gotta wait until next Wednesday.

Don and Adam are making progress on the rest of the ceiling and finding there are huge numbers of tongue-and-groove boards left over. We decided to use these to finish the interior of the gable walls instead of using sheetrock. We have log siding on the outside giving the appearance of log walls in the gables, so the T-&-G boards will make it look like log walls from the inside, too.

The wiring is all complete and the phone is operational. Now the security guy can come back and hook up his monitoring system. The well, which had been pumping nice clear water earlier, is suddenly murky. This may be due to sediment buildup on the bottom and having the pump too close to the bottom. We'll try raising the pump to see if that improves the situation. Once the water is clear again (or reasonably so) the heating system can be put on line.

Terry and I did stop at the tile store to pick out the tile for the three bathrooms. We had done this once before without placing an order but changed our minds once we actually saw the size of the areas being tiled. We chose smaller tiles because the areas were small and using large tiles, as we originally planned—would have looked a bit strained.

So, here I sit in the Adirondacks, wheezing and coughing, when I would rather be helping out in PA. Maybe next week.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

One TWO deer on the meat pole

Well, there’s one less deer roaming the Adirondacks this week. New York’s Northern Zone archery season started back on the 27th of September and on October 1st, Eric, the one other person besides Mark and I who have hunted around my place, arrowed what we thought was the five-point buck.

Eric and Mark were standing at the base of the tree Eric had just come down from Sunday evening around 6:30 PM when two does and the buck came wandering their way. Mark had his back to the deer and Eric got a shot at about 25 yards. Eric said he knew it was hit pretty good but just behind where he thought the heart was, so, after marking where they last saw the deer, they retreated to the cabin to get some flashlights. When they got back up to the spot around 10 PM they couldn’t locate any blood and decided to wait until Monday morning.

When they got back up there, it took less than 30 minutes to locate the deer. It had been hit in the lungs and was just 60 yards from where they had last seen it the evening before. The arrow had not gone through the deer and it had bled out internally leaving no blood trail to follow at all.

It actually had just four points. The right antler had three but the left antler had just a little nub that wouldn’t hold a ring. We figure it weighed about 130 to 140 pounds dressed out.

The buck hadn’t gone into full rut yet, not having a swollen neck or anything, but it was following the two does. With the full moon coming up this weekend (October 7-9) rutting season is not far away. In the photos that we have from our woods cameras, this deer seemed to be dominant over the 8-point buck we have also seen.

Eric and his buck

UPDATE: Adam got his buck in PA on Saturday, September 30. Using a cross bow because arthritis makes it too difficult for him to draw a regular bow, he shot a nice 7-pointer on the other side of the mountain on which I am building. It's the same area where the group he and Don were hunting with got a good sized black bear last year. (Sorry, no pictures of Adam's deer.)