The arrival of true winter has been a very slow evolution around these parts. For a while after we arrived the critters were still creeping and a flowers were popping out here and there, as well.
Nicole discovered this new-to-her flower called a Round-leaf Catchfly while out climbing.
When we first arrived we saw a lot of these very colorful and large
Marbled Orb Spiders.
Actually, we've seen a lot more spiders than we thought we would.
Thankfully, the spiders that we keep catching in the van are miniscule compared to the ones we see when we are out and about.
This spider was so busy wrapping up its prey that we never saw its actual face.
It didn’t matter much because the ‘face’ design on its abdomen is creepy enough.
We were out bird spotting one day when Darlene called Nicole over and said, “There is a bird up there with a really long white tail.”
Intrigued, Nicole took a shot before truly registering what she was looking at.
Witness the very rare squirrel bird of Kentucky.
Darlene says that she had to relinquish her ‘Birding Card’ as a result of this ID.
We’ve noticed a few resident deer in our campground. Occasionally, they notice us too.
Our supervisor told us to take a ride up to the Gladie Visitor Center and see what it was all about. So, one day, we did. It's a well designed center filled with lots of local knowledge.
On the way we crossed over the Red River (the Gorge's namesake).
It was looking very subdued.
We saw a couple of very large natural arches off in the distance but we were in our government vehicle so personal explorations were limited to mobile viewing only.
The road home took us through the Nada Tunnel.
This single lane tunnel is a neat little historical feature. It is 900 feet long and was opened in 1912 for narrow gauge rail cars to carry timber out of the gorge and transport it to Clay City and points beyond.
Approaching from the south it almost looks like the road simply runs out.
The critters certainly seem to be stocking up on the munchies.
A funny critter story...
Nicole threw some old bread in the yard one day hoping to supplement our bird friends. The bread kept disappearing but only when we weren't looking. Darn shy birds.
A few days later Nicole was replacing a heater hose on Annie and had to pull the intake tube from the air cleaner. Something unfamiliar and strange was sitting inside (well, actually, anything other than air sitting in this particular tube is strange). None the less she reached up into the tube and found... a whole handful of stale bread pieces. She reached up again and found... another handful of stale bread pieces.
Ah Ha.... It was not a bird taking the bread.
After cleaning as much of the bread out as could be seen, we fired up the van to test the new heater hose. Not long after the smell of burnt toast began wafting through the air.
Guess we missed a few pieces that had dropped into the exhaust!
Not much else these days. It's been raining a lot lately so we're pretty much in hibernation mode at the moment.