LITTLE BLUFF JOURNAL - SEPTEMBER 2017
09/22/17 - we love our new neighbors - HAPPY SUNSHINE FRIDAY, first day of autumn
Lots of goldenrod blooming
09/21/17 Well I must say that the BBQ ribs that our friends Larry and Marilyn (and Ken and Dottie) delivered were the best I've ever tasted by far (FD’s Grillhouse). And not a single bit of anything on the bone but pure delight (I'm not a fan of fat). We set up a table and chairs right in the middle of the canvas print gallery and we six dined in luxury (well, on paper plates - my style - but it was the food and company that were luxury!). Early next morning the crew headed to Boxley to photograph elk, but I remained behind to have a 1/2 rack of left-over ribs for b-fast. These carry-out ribs will be our standard take-out anytime we pass through Springfield.
We had PestX spray down the gallery/book warehouse building after my rib breakfast (no relation) and so I left for the day to let the place air out and met up with my bride who was on the road all day. We had a delightful camp out at Devil's Den State Park. Our campsite was right on the creek, and the puppies enjoyed splashing around in Lee Creek and got some much-needed relief from the hot temps. No cell service gave Ma and Pa some much-needed mental relief too. I know we all want to be connected 24/7, but being unconnected sometimes is much more valuable. We spent some of that time wandering up the creek bed as evening light put on quite a show reflecting trees and hillsides on mirrored pools (I left my camera at home). And even though there were a few other campers, the campground was mostly empty and everything was quiet and peaceful
Our neighbor here at Little Bluff had given us a large watermelon, and we shared it with fellow campers who were headed to the big Bikes, Blues, and BBQ weekend in Fayetteville - very nice folks.
Early next morning, I got the pups up early and we hiked the trail up to Yellow Rock, one of the better state park views in Arkansas. It was really hot and humid even at dawn though, and so the puppies spent nearly an hour soaking in the creek upon our return - I used to be able to do that myself!
This past week I've either hiked or driven through several dozen mini "leaf-off" events - a moment when trees give up their colorful leaves and hundreds of them come drifting down to the ground. We stood at Devil's Den in the creek once and were covered with one of these events at the park, stopping to allow ourselves to be pelted with Momma Nature's great natural beauty for a few minutes. Be on the lookout for more and more of these delightful events in the weeks to come...
09/18/17 It was dark when I left this morning headed to a back doctor in Springdale, so I didn't get to see the sunrise. When I got home this afternoon it had just rained and the air was cool and sweet. My lovely bride and I took the puppies on a long hike DOWN the county road that runs past our property. Seems like each step we took the air temp rose, until a mile later we were ready to turn around. Then it really got warm - up towards 90 - or at least it felt that way going back up several hundred feet in elevation. While using an excuse of me having to stop and look at colorful leaves along the way I was able to catch my breath, and we eventually made it back to the top of our ridge (2.5 miles total). There is a lot of underbrush and ground cover turning color here now, and here are a few leaves I picked up around the gallery building - sassafras, black gum, sassafras, sumac, and black gum. Hoping this is just the beginning!
We have some friends from Missouri coming by this evening for dinner and to spend the night - actually two couples will be here. We are really great hosts - not only did we ask them to provide ALL of dinner (BBQ ribs from Springfield), but they also needed to bring their own bedrooms! (they have camper vans like ours) They are coming down to photograph the elk spectacle that is getting going down in Boxley Valley. We need some cool temps to go along with elk bugling...
09/17/17 It was a breath of fresh air this afternoon. And such sweetness filled my lungs and brought a smile to my soul. Rainfall. Light raindrops dusted the landscape at my fingertips and my feet. Seems forever since it has rained - but then that's what the end of summer is - dry and dusty. We were on a hike with the puppies when it arrived. Colors were immediately richer, as was our day.
Speaking of the puppies, there is this one TREE they always run to. It's out in the middle of a forested circle drive at the end of our road. They take such delight in chasing whatever critter lives in the gaping hole at the base of this tree. I'm not sure they've ever seen this critter, and it probably doesn't matter - puppy dogs live to run and fly through the air, and ours do it well.
Today was laundry day, our first without a washer and dryer in 20 years. Luckily, we snuck into Pam's parent's house while they were away this morning - they left a cookie on the counter top that disappeared - I wonder if they planned it that way?
There was another red-ball sunrise today, and I wandered over to the corner of our property where I could see across a neighbor's rolling pasture to hills and ridges beyond to get a snapshot. The beginning of each day is my favorite, for it holds so much promise (and most folks are still asleep and I often have the dawn to myself).
NOTE: This Journal will continue and has been renamed the LITTLE BLUFF JOURNAL. There will be lots of photos and stories to continue here in the coming weeks, months, and years as we transition to our new lives at our "Little Bluff" property near Jasper/Mt. Sherman, Arkansas. Hope you will come along with us...
To see the last part of the Cloudland Journal click here - September 2017 CLOUDLAND Journal
09/16/17 Got out and wandered around in the forest early this morning just before dawn. Warmest morning in a while, but still quite cool at 65 degrees and just DELIGHTFUL out there. There was a brilliant silver-sliver of a crescent moon shining, and also tons of stars still out, including Orion, The Hunter, which is now rising in the east - it's one of the main constellations that will be with us all fall and winter.
There is a stand of black gum trees in a line about 100 feet from our gallery building here at Little Bluff. This past week I made a quick trip up north for a couple of days, and when I returned all of the "gums" had turned a bright blood red, standing out against a backdrop of mature pine trees. Black gums have small leaves and so have to pop before the rest so they will get noticed!Sassafras trees are showing some nice color too -
Speaking of that trip, I happened to be going to Kansas City just after midnight and found myself in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the I-435 bypass - WHAT THE HECK, it was the middle of the night in the middle of the week! The traffic was moving, just solid cars as far as I could see in both directions. (maybe a late Royals baseball game - I had/have no idea) Then just as I topped up over a hill, I almost wrecked when a bright orange 1/3 moon appeared on the eastern horizon - I pulled over and just started at the scene. Thousands of cars, zillions of city lights and buildings, and this SPECTACULAR nighttime scene in the sky. It was quite moving to be part of such a natural scene right in the middle of town.
When I arrived home my lovely bride had transformed the mountain of rubble in our book warehouse to an actual livable space - I have no idea what she did with everything from our move - I guess that is called "organization." She stood there proudly, looking around, and proclaimed "I CAN live here for the next year." Thanks to my bride, I can do so too - anywhere she is, I can manage just fine!
Today we're having a "lean-to" roof added to the side of the gallery building that will allow us to move items like the forklift from our "living room" to its own location outside. We have seven pallets of the new picture books and calendars arriving in a couple of weeks, so that new space will fill up quickly. There will be a small room built into that outside space, which will be Pam's new "nest" studio space for the next year. It will be a LOT smaller than her original studio, but it will allow her a separate space to create art - no boys allowed, well, except for Wilson. Maybe I'll sneak in once in a while...
HAPPY WEEKEND EVERYONE!
SUNRISE UPDATE - as John Denver would say - HOLY MOLY did you see that sunrise!!!!!! After Pam headed off to a meeting in Siloam Springs, I took the pups down to the end of the road to the cabin site and could see IT through the trees - perhaps the most brilliant RED-BALL sunrise I've ever witnessed. No camera, nor an open view, but it was one of those scenes that literally took my breath away - WOW!!! Our view will be several miles away to the next ridge in that direction - on the other side of the Little Buffalo River. And I swear the sunrise was lower than our cabin site - is that possible? Ours is a narrow ridgetop, but not as tall as others around. Oh my...
TIME TO PRE-ORDER! We just received a sample copy of all our new publications and they look AMAZING! The full shipment is in route and should arrive in Arkansas later this month. We are hoping to have them available and ready to ship to you by October 1st. Click on each picture or the links below for more info and to place your order to be the first on your block to get them!
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