Thursday, November 17, 2016

First Frost, Frosty Agility Trial

I don't recall a year where the first frost has come so late.  We had a very light frost in late October, but it was only down in the low areas, like where we live.  The first real frosts have come only in the last week or so.  I'm not really complaining, but Grover suffers from seasonal allergies to something in the environment that begins in late summer and ends only with the frosts.  He scratches out much of his coat during that time.  This year, allergy medication helped a lot, but he is now off it and still scratching, though it is lessening in severity.

My husband, Sam, is a hunter.  He loves to bow hunt and spend time in a tree stand watching the deer.  He has seen young bucks sparring and he has watched a bobcat chase a rabbit across the snow.  I am sometimes envious of what he sees from those tree stands, but then I think of all the hours he spends sitting up there and how seldom he sees anything but squirrels and chipmunks.  Sam gets a couple of deer every year and that is a lot of what we eat all year.  However, like most hunters, he has been dreaming of getting that big buck someday, and on Nov 4th, he finally got it.  He generally hunts in the evening and he will disappear a couple hours before dusk and reappear 1/2 an hour or so after dark, just in time for dinner.  He usually "unloads" his crossbow into a target by the driveway and then comes inside.  This time, he pulled up to the back door instead and I knew he had shot something.  And the way he was acting, I knew it was something big.  He said it was too big for us to lift into the back of the buggy, so he drove the tractor to the very back of the farm and I followed in the buggy to help.  It is a very big deer.  I think the outside antler spread (widest part of the antlers) is over 23".  He is having it mounted, but all that meat (90 pounds processed) was in our freezer by Sunday evening.  I have never wanted to hunt and I don't approve of hunting just to kill something, but harvesting a deer to put meat on the table is different.  Sam enjoys spending the time he spends outdoors and it puts meat on the table.  Meat we do not buy at the supermarket.

can you spot Grover in this photo?
Earlier that same day, Grover had a vet appointment in town and afterwards I decided to drive over to a local county park called Piatt Park and take our daily walk.  This park is kind of a little gem in our county and there are almost never very many people there.  There is a hiking trail, about 3/4 of a mile long, that goes along the rim of a gorge to some sandstone caves.  What I like to do is go in dry weather, hike the trail to the caves and then go down to the creek in the bottom of the ravine and "scramble" back up the creek.  It is full of huge boulders and overhanging rock formations.  It is not a long hike, but I do not recommend it for everyone as both the trail and the creek scramble are uneven and rocky and there are very steep stairs from the caves down to the creek.  Grover had a wonderful time.

I took a few photos with my phone because I did not have my camera with me. 

Grover and I attended a trial In Morgantown, WV this past weekend, which is a little over 2 hours away.  I have not been to this trial location before, but many of my club-mates have and I was warned that there is really no heat in the venue.  It is like being in a huge tent.  If the sun shines, it warms it a little.  Very little.  And of course, the overnight temps dropped into the upper twenties.  Let's just say it was extremely cold in there.  It was a 3 day trial and we were there all 3 days.  I think we had a fabulous weekend.  We Q'd all 3 days in standard and on Sunday we also Q'd in jumpers, which means we added a second Double Q to our record.  We also got 29 MACH points, which gives us a total of 81.  I was extremely pleased with our runs.  Our next trial is less than 2 weeks away, but we will be attending only one day, the Sunday after Thanksgiving (which is next week!).  

 The studio is coming along.  This is not the most updated photo.  This side is entirely sided now and 2 of the other sides are partially sided.  Today Sam is at his dad's because his dad said he had some logs long enough to cut 12' boards from which we need for the front and back  where the peak of the roof is.  He will mill the boards on his dad's sawmill and bring them home.  He will also be bringing home some insulation he bought at the auction last week and I can start putting up insulation in the interior walls.

Life is going to be very busy the next few weeks.  Next week is Thanksgiving and we will make the trip to my mom's as we do every year.  Then Sunday Grover and I have the agility trial and on Monday gun season for deer starts in Ohio.  This means Sam will be hanging out with the guys playing cards every night for a week.  Then December comes in with the Woodsfield Christmas Festival (for which I have been weaving things), the dog club Christmas party, and on and on.  And one of these days it might snow.  Actually, I believe that is in the forecast for this weekend.  I'm glad I have no plans.

early morning frosty fencepost


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