Fungii On A Log

I took these photos last winter at Payne Lake Campground in the Talladega National Forest. I thought they looked interesting then, and when I came across the photos today, they still did. So, for your viewing pleasure:

Downed wood at Payne Lake hosts many lichens and fungi

These fungi are really pretty to me

Payne Lake Campground

These fungi have some elegant ruffles

I love the unusual shape of these fungi

I Am A Big Weather Chicken

We spent the day yesterday listening to The Weather Channel and looking at the Radar Now on the Droid, in anticipation of the severe weather that was forecast for the area. I am a Weather Chicken! I lived in Georgia for 49 years, the last 16 years or so in the same house on a hill. I had to have the roof repaired four times in 16 years due to storm damage. I kept a “Weather Basket” in the downstairs closet that was under the stairwell, just in case. It had among other things, a change of clothing for each person in the family, a flashlight with extra batteries, some matches, candles, and a weather radio. I was P.R.E.P.A.R.E.D for anything that might happen, and was just lucky that nothing ever did.  I like to think it was BECAUSE I was prepared.

The wind blew yesterday all day long. All day, that is, until about a half hour before the storm hit.  Then, all the wind just stopped. That was very creepy. Not a leaf on a tree was even wiggling. I can’t remember ever seeing something like that happening.  The electricity went off a few minutes later. I think if the power had stayed on, I would have been less frightened. I went into my “self preservation” mode of distracting myself from the weather. I have had a stack of quilting magazines sitting on the dresser for months, waiting for me to tear out patterns I want to keep. So, I sat on the bed going through those while the storm raged outside. (we have a battery on the RV that keeps the lights on when the electricity goes out. It just doesn’t power the TV.)

It was all over in about an hour, and we survived it with no damage, but other areas of Alabama were not so lucky. While there were no tornadoes in Alabama yesterday, lots of trees and other wind damage did happen throughout the state. In Georgia, five people were killed!  I hope there are no more storms here until after we leave.

Happy Birthday to FabGrandpa

Becky & Dad

Becky came to visit for FabGrandpa’s birthday weekend. We took her out to Valley Grocery for fried catfish and home fries!

Catfish and home fries

They make the best fried catfish in Alabama there. Rob and Belinda, the other camphost couple, came too! I didn’t get a pic of them though.

Gluten Free Devil's Food Cake

I had given Belinda a gluten free King Arthur Chocolate Cake Mix and some Vanilla Buttercream Frosting, and she took them to the store so the nice ladies there could bake it up. We surprised FabGrandpa with his birthday cake after lunch. He didn’t get it until he realized I was eating the cake, too. Then he asked, how in the world did you do this? He was so surprised! Everyone, including Becky and the people who work at the store, were in on the surprise!

Moundville, Alabama Indian Mounds

After lunch, we took Becky over to the Moundville Indian Mounds to take a look around. It was a gorgeous day!

Black Warrior River

The Black Warrior River runs along side the indian mounds location. It was way up due the heavy rains we had last week, but really was beautiful to see.

Here I am

Yep, I was there, but still having a hard time getting around. It really sucks to not feel good. I DID put on a SPF 100 sunscreen on my face.

One more shot of the river

We really enjoyed Becky’s visit. She had to go home all too soon, though. And FabGrandpa loved having his little surprise birthday party.

What Makes People Do This?

volunteer on public lands

A truck load of trash

Last week Rob and Belinda (the other camphost couple here at Payne Lake) and FabGrandpa and I went over to the shooting range on the other side of the county for a clean up day. This shooting range is on Forest Service property, and has no use fee. People can just go there and shoot at targets.

Joe, the resource manager was there too, so there were a total of five of us working. We picked up FOUR truckloads of trash from this property, that was maybe 1.5 to 2 acres in size. Joe said the last time they had a clean up day there was two months ago. Now, I know that this place is probably used mostly by hunters, but what does this say about the people who live in this area? I just don’t understand why they feel like they can just trash the place. It is public land, and belongs to all of us. Shouldn’t we ALL do our best to keep it clean?

volunteer clean up day

Another truck load of trash

The Gate

payne lake campground

That is one heavy gate!

The forest service has temporarily closed the campground where we are volunteering while they do a timber harvest in the area. It was done for the safety of the public, who may not realize the loggers will be in there. What this means is that every time I go somewhere, whether it is to go to the entrance kiosk to perform my volunteer duties or to the grocery store, I have to move that gate.

I know you can’t tell by looking at it, but that thing weighs about 50 pounds! It is making my back hurt moving it. Today I have to move it six times! And every time I do, I feel like this:

Mule powered carousel

I hope they get this timber harvest finished real soon!

Happy New Year, Armadillo

armadillo, wildlife, wild animals, payne lake

What the heck is that thing?

You can believe it or not, but this is the first time I have ever seen an armadillo. Well, except for the squashed ones on the side of the road.  But this thing was was in my yard yesterday, just poking around.

armadillo

By gosh, I think it's an armadillo!

It was amazingly not afraid of me much, so I could get pretty close to it. But, thank goodness for the zoom on my camera, because I really didn’t want to get too close.

Yes, That IS an armadillo!

Happy New Year, Armadillo!