summer's end ~

Aren't these some strange looking fungus?  They are called by their scientific name Xylaria Polymorpha ~ but I know them by the common name ... Dead Man's Fingers.  Every year a little cluster of them grow by the base of one of the trees in my yard.  I guess they are a pretty common mushroom in North America; but often go unnoticed ~ mainly because of their color and texture ... they seem to blend in with their surroundings more than other types of mushrooms.   Truthfully, when I first noticed them a few years back ... I thought they were a pile of dog do ... nasty.

My bamboo is finally starting to bloom.  I know there are several varieties of bamboo; and I couldn't tell you what one this is .... just that I know it's a bamboo and it has some pretty nice canes growing too.  The bamboo my sister has growing by her place has real long narrow leaves.

I never tried drying it; but may do so this year.  If it does dry hard enough it could make some pretty neat plant stakes or maybe some picture frames or fishing poles... who knows ??? There must be something crafty I can use it for.

The elder berries are ripe ~ I'll have to get them picked before the birds get them on me.  Have you ever had elderberry jam?  Very tasty!
The flowers are quickly coming to an end ... as is our short summer. 

Mr. Moose is still hiding in the shadows off the edge of the lawn ...

I keep wanting to move him into the open; but Dear Hubby thinks it's kinda funny having him standing off in the woods where you have to be looking to see him and then when he is noticed it's usually the same response, "Did you know you have a moose in your woods?"  Duh!! How do you think he got there???

School starts tomorrow for my 3 granddaughters ... one will be a Senior, one in 7th grade and one in 1st.  Talk about spaced out kids!  I always teased my daughter about having one in each of the schools some day ... well this year is it :)  ... come to think of it ... she had them in each of the three schools last year already.  It's hard to keep up. I'm just glad those days are behind me.

My grandlove, Bailey, ran into one of her friends from school this last time out camping.   It was so cute watching them ride their bikes together and having their chats by the lake ... catching up.

Until next time ...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.


pickled out ~

I know there's a phrase 'in a pickle' or 'being pickled' but is there one that's 'pickled out'?   Well now there is ... and I'm it. I'm pickled out.

I made so many jars of pickles in the last few weeks I don't want to even see another cucumber ~ let alone put it into a jar with some vinegar, water and spices and turn it into a pickle!  If there's going to be any more pickling being done around here ... it'll be me getting pickled :)

I made bread and butter pickles, refrigerator pickles, Mom's recipe dill pickles, Mrs. Wages recipe dill pickles, Suzie's recipe dill pickles, my recipe dill pickles, I even pickled some fish.

 I made jars of pickles for my kids, for their kids, and probably enough for their kids kids.  I made pickles for the guys at the mill to snack on at break time, pickles for Uncles and Aunts that don't plant cucumber plants anymore, pickles for the guy in the cabin, pickles for his wife too, pickles, pickles, pickles!!

I still need to make some pickled beets; but they'll just have to wait a week.

Don't even get me started on zucchini.

Until next time ...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.


the project ~

I'm getting an all thumbs up from Sam ... he said, "Mom, your new house is lookin' good."

They are moving right along on my new hunting digs ... aka. Mom's Shack ... the mini cabin. They are assembling it in the garage, then will be taking it apart and putting it back together out in the woods.

It's really not that big of a building ... only 6'x8' ... with an 8' high ceiling ... but to me the pictures seem to make it look bigger.

Yesterday they put the windows and door in to see how everything fit ... then took them back out until it's time for reassembly. I'm getting excited. I can't wait until I can just escape from the house and sit down in the woods with my camera whenever I want. Hunting season is going to be so much more comfortable too, having a nice little shack to sit in ... without burning my feet on the woodstove, and having to plug up the holes and cracks in the walls and floor to keep the mice and snow out.

The fall season is fast approaching in my neck of the woods. The leaves are starting to turn.

Mushrooms are sprouting up all over the place ~ I imagine one of these days soon we'll be out hunting the honey mushrooms that we pick and put up each fall.

I have a lot of clean up to do in my flower beds ... and the black lagoon needs to be drained before frost. I think there's four frogs (maybe more) in there that need to be caught and put down in the pond. I also have some goldfish that I need to get out and put into the aquarium in the house over winter. I think I'll be giving the granddaughters a call and give them some nets and let them at it :)

It's a gorgeous day here in northern Wisconsin. It's only suppose to reach the high 70's today, the sun is shining and there's just a gentle breeze out. My kind of weather ~ unlike the weather that is brewing on the eastern coast of the USA. I hope none of my readers are feeling the effects of Hurricane Irene??? and if you are ... I hope you're safe and comfortable and are able to weather this storm.

Until next time ...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.


project ~

Yesterday, I could hear the whirl and whine of the table saw and the smell of fresh cut lumber was coming from the garage.  What were those guys up to now?

Upon closer inspection ...
a floor was being made ...
walls were framed out ...

and all we're missing is the siding, a door, the window placement and a roof.

My guys are building me a  new hunting blind ... yeah!! My old one has a spruce tree laying across it from one of the storms that passed through this summer.  This one is going to be twice the size of my old one!!

If you're a follower of my blog ~ you may remember me posting about my hunting experiences and sitting down in the woods in my little hunting shack ...

the old hunting shack
 Dear Hubby said he's putting a gas heater in my shack for me this year ... no more having to burn firewood and waiting for it warm up AND with the added room I won't be sitting 'on top' of the stove either.  I'm so excited :)

Yes, it was a bit tight in my other shack.  The new one is going to be big enough for two people to comfortably sit in.  I was even promised shelves and a coffee table.  I'll keep you updated:)

It's hard to believe how fast our summer is getting over with already.  It will only be a matter of time and we'll be seeing the snow again.  School starts next week already for my Grandloves.

Soon, Dear Hubby and I will be out in the woods on a steady basis, making our firewood, cutting boughs and trapping season.  Fall is a very busy time around here before we are allowed the luxury of settling in for the winter.  Included in that fall season is my hunting season for the whitetail deer.  Dear Hubby doesn't hunt anymore for deer ~ he said he's harvested enough of them in his lifetime ... now it's my turn.  Two years ago, I harvested my first deer ever ...

last year I didn't get one; but hopefully this year I will have a chance at one again.  I'll be posting again about my hunting experiences, come November ... from my new hunting shack.

Until next time...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.


mia ~

So you think I've gone MIA ~ wrong ... I'm still here ... it's just that I've been super busy.  Busy picking berries and keeping up with the kids celebrating birthdays and anniversaries, camping and a class reunion.  I've been making jelly and canning pickles.  All kinds of distractions going on :)

Dear Hubby had four days off from work and we were on a mission ... picking berries.  It takes LOTS of berries for me to keep up with my jamming.

At Nelson's Berry Farm in Westboro you can pick blueberries as big as quarters.  
We picked 5 gallons of them!  That will make a BIG batch of jelly :)
They have several varieties in their fields. 

 Those berries sure make for a yummy pie too ~
... and some scrumptious jam.

Then we headed into the woods.  We drove for miles through the Chequamegon National Forest and Nicolet National Forest in search of wild black berries.  I just hate buying berries when The Good Lord has them growing in His Garden ... all you have to do is take the time to go and harvest them.

We drove down a lot of gravel roads ...

some of them were pretty narrow ...  more like ATV trails instead of vehicle roadways.
We went uphill and down ...
pass creeks ...
choked off with water hyacinths ...
pass little pot hole lakes ...
This was a nice stopping place for our picnic lunch.

We found some black cherries ... so we picked a gallon of those.

a stem of wild black cherries
BUT .. I needed black berries, not cherries ... but we just couldn't find a good picking of them.

Finally ~ we hit a good patch.  Just follow the bear trails and you don't get too stuck and stabbed by the thorny brush.  When you find good black berry brush in the wild in my neck of the woods you also find signs of bear.  It just makes the berry picking more interesting :) ... a little competition between you and nature to see who gets to the berries first.  We found quite a few patches along the way; but the bear had beaten us to most of them.

We picked and picked and even went back a second day and picked some more.
The picture of them on the stem are pretty small.  We found some that were as big as your thumb and hanging like grapes.

All total ... we ended up with 8 gallons of them! That's a lot of black berries ... but I'll use them up.

We also found a nice batch of highbush cranberries.  They aren't ripe yet but I picked a branch of them anyways.  We'll be heading back into the woods in a few weeks to get some of those if the bear don't beat us to them.

I wish I could take a break today and just enjoy the view out my window ...

... or just sit out on the deck and sip tea and watch the hummingbirds ~

... but I have a big bucket of cucumbers sitting in the kitchen waiting to get turned into pickles :)

1 Thessalonians 4:11-12
 Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, 12so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

Until next time ...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.



We spent another day with the girls out at the Twin Lakes campground.  It was a lot of fun swimming and playing card games with them.  Amanda had made "the rule" once you start a game you can NOT quit it no matter what ... you had to play all the way through.  Well.... I don't know if you're familiar with the card game Phase 10 ... but after 2 hours of it,  I have to admit, I was feeling about the same as Brooke was. She's sitting at the end of the table... the one sighing ... "are we done yet?"  Playing that game also reminded us how Amanda (our oldest granddaughter, holding the fan of cards) got her nickname from Grandpa ... he calls her Pokey. lol

The kids got me on the bike again.  They were having a pretty good laugh over the matter that the seat mysteriously disappears when I get on it ~ I told them I used to sing alto but now can sing soprano.  Mercy!! They sure do make bike seats smaller than I remember them being.
Even Grandpa Slim got on the bike and made a few loops around the campground :)  Does the law about drinking and driving apply to bicycles?? Put down your beer Grandpa!!

Bailey has finally mastered riding without the training wheels over the weekend.  She was one happy camper.

We went on a few nature walks ...

doing the board walk again

checking an old road bed for berries and mushrooms
we found a nice tree full of service berries

aka. juneberries

Isn't this a pretty little pic of the second lake through the trees:

Our strangest find was this ~

Somebody let their reading glasses laying on a balsam tree branch.  We left them there for some nearsighted bear.

Thanks for coming by my blog and spending a little piece of your day with me :)

Until next time ...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.