Wild Grapes

We have wild grapes growing in the woods beside our house. The other day MD asked if we could make juice out of them. Since I had the day off, we tried it this morning.

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Muscadine Grapes

We each tried mashing the grapes, and discovered that they were harder to squish than they looked.

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Squashing the Grapes

Everyone had a taste. CDF said the juice reminded her of Aunt Sena who used to grow grapes.

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Grape Juice

Snapping Turtle

Yesterday evening we went for a walk in the rain — outfitted in boots and umbrellas. When we got back, the girls spotted somthing in our front yard, near the ditch, and called me over.

“It’s a snapping turtle!”

“A little one?” I asked.

“Umm… not really. Come see!”

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Common Snapping Turtle

We bothered the turtle a little bit, but it was in no mood to move. It just pulled it’s legs in and blinked slowly at us. So eventually we left it alone and went inside for a little bit. We came back out about 10 minutes later because the girls wanted to show it to their Mom.

CE was the first to notice that it was gone! We looked all around and decided it must have gone into the culvert. Then I noticed a dark spot in the part of the ditch still filled with water. The turtle had submerged itself — probably to get away from us — so we let it be.

Forest Fire

This summer started with a forest fire near our area. The blaze in the Holly Shelter Game Land area was started recently from a lightning strike and has been burning mostly uncontrolled until this past weekend. On the way home today I noticed that the smoke plume had become very pronounced instead of just looking like just a haze covering the land. I grabbed the camera and headed back out on my bike to take a few pictures.

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Holly Shelter Fire

What looks like a cloud is actually the smoke from the fire. I’m wondering if it was caused by a particular wind pattern, or if it’s something from what the firefighters are doing.

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Closer View of the Smoke

Crazy Cat

CDF sent me this earlier…

For some reason our crazy cat, Cali, decided to climb onto a fence near our house & jump onto the roof our house. She seems quite content up there…which is good, as I do not have a ladder to get her down, nor am I calling the Fire Dept to come & get her down.

[Our] friends that rescued [jModule] from a tree to get said cat, currently live in [Africa]. I’m not sure where their ladder is. We should have offered to keep it in storage for them while they are overseas!

I hope I was able to give you a laugh for the day!

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Walking the Roof
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Taking it all in

Winter Snow

This past weekend we had an unexpected snow storm. It came after the storm that hit Washington DC and took a more southerly route, covering Alabama, Georga, and even Florida, beforing moving up the coast and gifting us with snow. It arrived Friday night as we were finishing dinner.

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Snowing Friday Night

The next morning the yard was covered with a nice white blanket. I was surprised how much snow we got. My guess was that it was around 4 or 5 inches, but there were places that were 7 inches deep.

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The Back Yard

The pets were almost as excited as the girls. The cat wasn’t sure at first, but her curiosity overcame her hesitation. The dog was already running and jumping around.

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Cat in the Shed

The girls went outside as soon as they could get dressed after breakfast. We played in the snow for a while, building snowmen, throwing snowballs, and making snow angels. First MD went inside to warm up, and eventually CE got cold too. So as one was going in the other was coming out. Meanwhile CDF was going around and taking pictures of the snow.

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Looking Down our Street

Before everyone went in, our neighbor came over from across the street. She and her sister had told the girls that they would help make a snowman, and so they made a little one in the front yard.

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We Enjoyed the Snow

Christmas Cat

Soon after our cat adopted us we decided she was going to be an outside pet. We’ve managed to keep her out there, and she has a nice warm and cozy bed in the shed (when she’s not sleeping in the childs seat on the back of the bicycle). She does manage to sneak in at times, usually when we’re trying to come inside.

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Christmas Cat

She got a new colar this Christmas, but promptly licked it and caused the top to fray some. But even if it’s not as pretty as when we first put it on, the little bell still helps us find her now.

An Old Bridge

Over the Christmas holiday, MD and I were exploring the wood behind our house and clean out some of the brush to make paths. We worked our way all the way back to the ditch on the other side of the wood from our yard (not quite sure if our property extends to the ditch or not) where we made a discovery. I was going along the ditch, which is deeper than the one that runs along the side of our property, and noticed an old, leaf-covered bridge going across the ditch to someone else’s yard. In addition to leaves, some old vines had grown across it (probably honeysuckle or wisteria) and it looked like it hadn’t been used in a number of years.

I started cutting back some of the vines so we could get to the bridge. It was still in good condition, no signs of rotten wood. So we walked across and found it connected us to a house on Walker Street.

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Bridge in the Woods

MD and I cleaned off most of the leaves and cut back more of the vines that covered it. While we did that, the cat crossed over and poked around in the neighbors yard to see what she could find.

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MD Exploring the Bridge

More recently we were in the woods again and saw a couple of boys who live in the house directly behind ours on the next street. They came and crossed the bridge to join us in our exploration, but they didn’t know anything about the bridge either. So for now it’s builder and purpose remain an mystery.

Leaf Pile

Today we were raking leaves in the front yard. The girls were working on the leaves under the Oak trees and came up with the plan to make a big pile of leaves to jump in. It took them the whole time to get something together (though they did have help at the end). Once it was ready, the fun started.

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Jumping in the Leaf Pile

That cat wanted to get in on the fun too, but her idea of fun was to burrow under the leaves. I don’t know how she managed to avoid being jumped on.

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Cat in the Leaves

Cat Pictures

Pictures of our new cat. The first after she was awake from a short nap.

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Cali

Then she decided nothing interesting was going on and went back to sleep.

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Napping In the Living Room

Cali the Calico

From CDF:

Well last night a kitten wandered into our backyard and Dixie found her — she ran back on the other side of the fence. We saw no sight of a mom, so we bathed her and brought her in the house with us. Here are some pictures of the kitten. She likes Dixie — though Dixie is not too sure about her! When Cali comes to be beside Dixie, she normally gets up and leaves the kitten — who then follows after Dixie. Kinda funny.

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Dixie and Cali
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Playing with MD
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Worn Out
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Get the String Again