The past few weeks have been packed with outdoor related activities. My sons and I have been shooting at the local range, I’ve had the D-loop replaced on my bow and timing adjusted on the cams, I’ve been scouting at my existing hunting club, putting in work days at the new hunting club, harvesting plants from the garden, planning the fall garden, taking Zachary to and from practice and working out at the gym. I’ve been a busy little bee, hence the lack of recent posts.
In an effort to peek my son’s interest in hunting and the outdoors I decided to involve them in shooting. We’ve spent several weekends at our local shooting range and I must admit they’ve picked up rather quickly. As most children normally start out I introduced them to a pellet rifle. After going over firearm safety and the importance of eye and ear protection they were confidently firing the Crossman like old pros. The next step was the .22 long rifle. Each time the ping of the rusty soup can echoed throughout the woods a smile came across our faces. Their smile was one of confidence while mine was simply seeing a piece of me in them. Every shooter knows that feeling.
With confidence growing with each outing it wasn’t long before they started to look down at the lowly .22LR. Are you kidding me? Heck when I was a child I don’t think I ever got tired of shooting my .22. Just another difference between the X-Box generation and mine, and I’m not even that old! Nevertheless, we continued spending time at the range. It’s gotten to the point where they are breaking clays at 50 yards. I think that should put a few squirrels on the ground in February.
The boys weren’t the only ones having fun. With dove season right around the corner I decided to pull the shotgun out and do a bit of skeet shooting. Zachary pulled and I filled in as the shooter. The first round was rather pathetic. As I walked to the first station I gave myself a little pep-talk. By the time I reached the red square adjacent to the high house I was mentally ready. I loaded two shells, shouldered the shotgun, anchored my cheek firmly on the stock, swept the barrel in an arching left to right motion, reset and gave an emphatic PULL! Read More of Busy, Busy, Busy
Monday February 27 I found myself at my father’s house taking photos of a gorgeous sunset. The warm temperatures reminded me that Spring was right around the corner. Suffice it to say I was also reminded that severe weather is also around the corner. Barley a day into March and tornado sirens echoed throughout the valley. The season’s first tornado was upon us and what an impression it made.
As schools released students for the day property owners surveyed damage inflicted by the initial wave. The spike in calls placed a burden on the local service provider’s network resulting in recorded messages informing callers that “all circuits were busy”. Not being able to contact my family only added to the angst. Finally, after countless attempts, I made it through! The family was ok. This would be enough to carry me through the rest of the day.
As I drove home the roads were relatively free of debris and traffic was much lighter than normal. Periodically, strong gusts of wind crashed into the side of my vehicle resulting in a noticeable rocking motion. Like a child playfully swinging the traffic lights swung back and forth to the rhythm of the breeze. Eventually I made it home and the first thing I did was greet mamma and the boys! Afterwards I surveyed the house and was thankfully that everything was still intact. After sitting around for a few minutes I made the decision to survey the damage around Buckhorn.
With the camera in hand Zachary and I headed out. As we approached the school the first cluster of damage was to a house on the side of the school. The front yard was littered by mature trees and downed power lines were strewn across the lawn. Read More of March Storms
For the past few years our Uncle Douglas has invited us to join him and his wife on a deep sea fishing trip. We were slated to go out last year during the 4th of July holiday but the oil spill in the Gulf resulted in us aborting our plans. The start of 2011 brought another invitation, one in which we accepted. Just like the year before we were slated to head out during the 4th of July weekend and just like the previous year we were excited about it.
Saturday morning we started the 8 hour trip to Savannah, GA. After making several stops for fuel, food and stretching we finally arrived at our hotel. Once we checked into the hotel we headed to our room and were sorely disappointed in the condition of the room. Thankfully we were quickly able to find an alternate hotel. After checking in and settling in for a few minutes we headed out for an evening on the town in historic Savannah.
While in the historic district we tried our best to get into Paula Dean’s restaurant, The Lady & Sons, but the wait was crazy. As such, we ended up grabbing a quick bite of pizza. After leaving the pizzeria we took a stroll to the river front. As we strode through the sidewalks a humid Atlantic breeze blew across our bodies. The sound of a live jazz band playing in the background was the perfect pairing to watching boats sail in from and out to sea. As the sun started to set we figured a carriage ride would be a nice way to cap off the evening. It turned out to be one of our favorite activities of the evening. We learned so much about the history of the area while enjoying a wonderful sunset. What a perfect way to celebrate our 13th year anniversary and spend quality time with our sons. Read More of Georgia on My Mind
My turkey season was cut short as a result of the recent tornadoes that ripped through Alabama, storms that left many without homes, some without loved ones and over 300,000 without electricity. While we were one of the 300,000 without power we were fortunate to have no damage to our home. That’s not to say the force of the winds didn’t leave a trail, on the contrary.
On my way home I saw downed power lines, trees lying on and through roofs, businesses without power and the look of a broken spirit on faces. I could only imagine what I would find at home. As I entered our subdivision I saw Bradford Pear trees snapped at the base lying in yards. Our trees were still standing, the fence still erect and no visible damage to the roof was noticed. I really thought we dodged a bullet. However, when I opened the gate to the backyard the power of the wind was clearly realized. It looked like someone had dropped a bomb on the back of the property. Trees were down in every direction. My heart sank. It pained me to see the mature Oak, Hickory, Cedar, Sweet Gum, Black Cherry, and Poplar trees uprooted and snapped. But, given the severity of the storm it was a tradeoff I would gladly accept.
And just like that my turkey hunting season came to an end. Early mornings of sneaking into the woods were replaced by mornings of running chainsaws, pulling logs with the ATV, burning brush piles, loading & unloading trailers and stacking wood. After the initial shellshock I changed into my overalls, long sleeved shirt, and work boots, walked into the garage to get the chainsaw, bar oil and fuel and began the task of cleaning up the debris. As I cut Zachary and Adrian drug branches to the curb. We worked through another band of storms until the lightning made it unsafe to continue. Saturday morning I picked up where I had left off the evening before. As the sounds of the chainsaw rang through the woods two others stopped by to help, Jacob and Preston. Jacob and Preston are friends of Adrian and Zachary who didn’t mind pitching in to help. These guys were troopers! For the next three days, all day, my routine was the same. Eat breakfast, and continue cutting, burning, piling and loading. Finally a muscle at the lower end of my forearm became inflamed and the slightest movement induced an excruciating pain. My body had finally had enough. All along my dad had warned me to slow down the pace. Now my body was forcing me to stop all together. Read More of Thankful
A little over a month ago Avitra asked me if I would be interested in participating in the Serving the City as One project. Judging by the name I had a general idea of what the objective was but for clarity I needed her to expound. It turns out that our church is the hub for the NW/NE side of town. As such, all participating churches, groups, and organizations located in our “zone” would be responsible for supporting a variety of community service projects. Sounds good so far. However, my immediate follow up question was when will the event be held? Her response: April 2nd. A red flag went up immediately. April 2nd is the opening weekend of turkey season. She kicked back with strong logic and I quickly changed my tune.
Saturday morning rolled around and we hit the road. Our destination was church for breakfast and team assignments. Avitra and Zachary supported a cleanup team while Adrian and I supported a construction team. Not expecting a construction role we were ill prepared. Once we arrived at the location our team was broken into sub teams. With the tasks identified I drove back home to gather necessary equipment. Read More of Serving the City as One