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Saturday, September 29, 2012

RIDE RURAL ROCKCASTLE COUNTY

Take a ride with me through Rockcastle County, Kentucky. I'll drive my small Tacoma truck but many folks bike it for its beauty. It's very scenic and full of cultural history. 

Rusticated Metal Barn Roof

1819 House With Stacked Limestone Chimney
Original Construction is Log. Presently Weatherboard Covering

Mt. Vernon, Commercial Building With Quilt Square

Early Country Home, Possibly Log Construction Underneath Present Siding


Old barns - Still Active

Old Davis Branch Schoolhouse
Not Active - Privately Owned

Thursday, September 27, 2012

COUNTRY MAIL BOX GATHERING

The Gathering

I enjoy seeing these large group gatherings of old mailboxes along a country road. The gathering above makes me think of people that don't waste things. They put their boxes on old wood logs or cut timbers -- their boxes are worn and some rusted but still do the job they are supposed to do -- receive their mail. Any thoughts on what else this gathering tells us?

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Saturday, September 22, 2012

OLD HOME ON BLUE LICK ROAD

Home on Blue Lick Road

Two rooms across and a back attachment. Plain, simple and efficient. Today old, small country homes similar to this Blue Lick house dot the landscape in central Kentucky. 

They are one of my favorite types of homes. Usually the old tin roofs are still in use on them. A shed porch has always provided a sittin' area to feel the breeze and hear the rustle of the leaves. I think of the reasonably priced wood that was bought at local saw mills for the family to build their home using only hammers, nails, and a hand-saw. 

 Most of these homes are called Box houses as they use box construction methods to build them.Today, some folks purchase Box houses to restore. Many other similar homes are left to slowly decay.

I feel the Blue Lick Road home and others like it reflect the heart and soul of the hard working folks of the late 1800s and early 1900s. A time when these economy house types were first built on Kentucky land. Around the 1930s or so the Box  building tradition began to disappear.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

HISTORIC HOUSE RAZING


Some of you might remember when I placed a post last May about the above home. At that time the home located in Lancaster, Kentucky was being considered for restoration. Recently, it was decided, after they began work on it, that it was unstable and would need to come down. Razed is the official term. Sad, as it is part of the town's history. It was the early home of a doctor that practiced in the area. The home was probably built in the late 1800s or early 1900s. 

But some buildings just can't be saved. They have crossed the line of viability. 



So the above photo is what it looked like on Saturday September 15th. All the original brick had been removed. Leaving its interior timbers exposed. This photo was taken at roughly the same angle as the top photo.

Mark looking over some of the pieces he has saved from the doctor's old home.

The local bank owns  the building and has a record of saving several historic buildings for reuse and to preserve some of the original architectural integrity of Lancaster. This effort is greatly appreciated by the community. 

Above is Mark, a local artifact restorer sorting out architectural pieces that can be salvaged for future restorations. He decides what elements can be saved -- he then removes them carefully from the old home.  These pieces will be stored away until they can find a home in another  historic structure.  Although the building can't be saved, its architectural elements such as mantels, doors, windows, etc. will be saved. 

Yesterday, on  the 17th, the house was slated to come down. One could feel frustration that this home with so much history was razed. But, I think, the true story is that the community is proud of what has been saved with the help of their local bank. 


Monday, September 17, 2012

BIRTHDAY PUMPKINS


Pumpkins, butternut squash, and Cushow squash (striped) on a wagon bed. 
A southern "sittin" porch is seen in the background

My father was born on Halloween. All through my years of living at my childhood home and later living away I have placed pumpkins outside on his birthday to celebrate. He died in 1991 but I still carry on my tradition of setting out pumpkins. I know folks set out pumpkins for Halloween and that makes neighborhoods look very festive. I think my pumpkins add a touch to that look. My father would have liked this continuation of festive Halloween pumpkins for his birthday.

This past weekend I discovered a farmer's wife standing by a farm wagon parked in the street at a suburban yard sale selling squash and pumpkins. She told me that she had hauled the produce from her farm. Pumpkins were either one dollar or two dollars.The squash was priced in the same range. She mentioned that the pumpkins were not the same size that they usually are due to the summer drought. I thought they were just the right size.

I dug down in my small stash of cash and found six dollars to buy two butternut squash and three pumpkins. It was a beautiful sunny day.The woman and I discovered we had a similar interest, photography. This led to a lengthy conversation. 




Soon I was pulling into my drive. My mind was full of my father. Then I noticed the exact place I was going to put his pumpkins. On the chair that I found beside the road about a month ago. There I could view them every time I pulled into my drive. An early Happy Birthday to you Dad!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Thursday, September 13, 2012

WEEDS FOR SALE


Many years ago I discovered a weed sale. I was driving down a city street when I noticed quite a few cars parked around this one house.


I quick turned my head as I drove by to see what was going on. A sign saying WEED SALE popped into my view.  I took a turn around at the next intersection and found a parking spot near the action. Folks were pawing over weeds -- gorgeous weeds.


 The various weeds were all sorted out individually as to type into wooden boxes and farm baskets. I was told by a woman pawing that this sale is held once a year in the fall by several women who glean fields for weeds then put on this sale. 


There were a few example arrangements displayed that were put together with the various weeds -- wreaths and a couple stuffed farm baskets. They were so earthy and gorgeous. Their prices for individual weeds were very reasonable. You could pick out the textures and colors you wanted and then take them home to arrange.


When I was in my yard today I noticed that autumn was stalking my fields. Some of the weeds were turning shades of brown, gray and gold. The goldenrod was bright in its lovely golden blooms.


Weeds really are beautiful. Mansanto trys to convince us otherwise. 


My photos are of just of few types of weeds that Mother Nature can provide for us. Above is a tangle of gray that could be bunched and hung on a door or an outbuilding. 

Rose Hips
And if you do decide to go weed hunting perhaps you'll find what I consider a find -- Rose Hips. They can be used in so many ways. Be creative -- gather weeds and use them around your home for the fall season.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

BEAUTY HIDES IN DARK PLACES


Shade tree

Did you ever think about the the dark places in mother nature's repertoire? Over time,  I have been observing these dark places in nature realizing it contains a world of beauty.



 I define dark places as shadows, stormy skies and the dark of night as palettes for her specialized beauty.


A robin's nest shaded by leaves

I find interesting wild things in shadows. Shadows are everywhere -- perhaps in your yard, or on a walk through the woods, or along a wild roadway, plus more.  These areas hold special beauties such as lichens, mosses, and wildflowers that survive best in shade.


Jewelweed  tiny orchid type wildflowers 
growing along a creek in the shade. (Identified for me by Mamabug's Nature Photos)

When my grass gets taller than I like in the summer, it invites spiders to rest in its grass shadows. When the temps rise I notice flying insects clinging to shady trunks of trees. Birds sequester themselves  under leafy tree branches of mature trees to stay cool. Here in the shadows is where we can find an ample supply of wildness. 


Storm clouds cast dark shadows on the landscape

The dark of night is essential to mother nature.  Last night, around midnight, I had a beautiful experience as I stood on my porch. I had stepped out briefly to let my dog out when I heard the call of an eastern screech owl. It came from a nearby tree. Then another screech owl called  from high up in our thickly wooded  mountains. I stood there listening as the owls took turns calling to each other, their calls  producing a rousing midnight concert. 




A walking stick resting on my window screen in  the darkening night
He is on the outside looking in.

Perhaps we should provide more dark places for nature if we continue to have scalding hot summers. By planting trees, shrubs or grasses we will not only provide a place for wildness to flourish but it would help cool down our climate a bit

Sunday, September 9, 2012

SIGNING IN


Computers can be complicated. At least for me they can be. But thanks to Dell technicians and my computer geek son, that lives over 1000 miles from me, I am now in business with my new computer. 

I have decided to give my new computer a name. The word computer can sound rather intimidating to some folks.  So, I have come up with this slang name, the hood, as my laptop has a hood. But also because I can be cool when I say to people I meet; "I have been working with the hood," which will give them the idea that I belong to a notorious street gang.

Well, I do belong to a cool gang -- the gang of bloggers that are interesting, diverse, and provide connections that keep our minds fresh with knowledge and entertainment. 

Viva la blogosphere