Tuesday, February 16, 2016

They said, "January is the coldest month."

They were wrong.

February has been mostly low twenties.  For the HIGH temperature, that is.

We've also had another eight or so inches of snow over the last few weeks. 

It is really pretty and the campground is very peaceful what with our being here completely alone.

However, getting outside for any length of time, can be uncomfortable for any exposed skin.  Thus, we brave it in short bursts so that the light of day can touch our skin and then retreat to the warmth of our little cave on wheels.

That's not to say that it is always below freezing.  We had a two days in the thirties and forties recently that felt down right HOT.  So, we got out and took a walk to the wetlands to bird watch.

Our timing was such that our regular avian gang was up there at the same time.

                                 As were a few of our resident crows.

So, we didn't see any new birds but we did get to enjoy the sunshine and also saw these.

                               Two big floating masses of bullfrog eggs.

The little ones don't even have tails yet but still they look like a bunch of eyes watching you.

While Nicole took a closer look, Mama or Papa (didn't see the ears so don't know) kept a close watch.

Unfortunately, the day after we spotted these little ones (who were due to tadpole in just a few days) a solid week of below freezing temperatures struck.  It is unlikely that they survived though we'll go up to check out the scene once the snow clears.

There were a few other little critters present like this Soldier Beetle Larva who was doing its best to swim across the pond.  He didn't really look like a swimmer so Nicole rescued him with a reed and placed him on the shore.

          Sunshine through sunglasses made for a cool image on the tree.

On another (seemingly) rare warm day, Nicole took a walk on her usual path.  There wasn't much to see.  Everything and everyone still recovering from the recent freeze.  A few of the smallest of things, however, were still going about with business as usual.

      Art by Mother Nature - a.k.a. the Leaf Miner (larva of creative insects)

      These microscopic bits were very happy with the break in cool weather.

It is really hard to describe their size.  They are nearly invisible to the average naked eye.

These spiders (whose abdomens are about the size of a pin head) have given Nicole's pocket camera quite a time.  Not only are they microscopic but they don't seem to stop moving.

At one point Nicole thought she had lucked out and found a rare non-mover.  However, after putting on her up-close specatcles, she realized that it was not the spider but its prey.  Even a shot of this captive creature was difficult because the spider started defensively bouncing the web as Nicole moved closer.

As of this writing we are two weeks away from departing Kentucky.  Current predictions are for the temperatures to hit 50's or 60's in a few days time.  So, we'll see what our final two weeks here brings.

2016-02-07 Kentucky, The Red - Bird Butt

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Blogger Buddy Hike

We've been in touch with Pam of the NomadicNewfies blog for a while now via email.  So, it was awesome that she decided to drop by Koomer for a live and in person meet-up.


Trying to escape Wisconsin's winter blues Pam and her son had made a break for the beautiful Red River Gorge.  They were a little surprised to find that Kentucky's state of weather affairs was worse than what they had left behind.  None the less, once the Rangers had plowed a path for us to leave the campground, Pam and her son were finally able to visit.


After some meet and greet chat between the three of us, Pam and Nicole headed off to blaze a path on the still snow colvered Silvermine Arch Trail.

Though ours were the first people prints, there were a wide range of the non-human variety running in every direction.  We saw deer, rabbit, squirrel, coyote and the very large print above that we assumed may belong to a large cat (or a very large stray dog).  Cat seems more exciting, though.

With so many shared interests to talk about, Nicole didn't capture much with her camera this time around.

However, she learned a lot from Pam's interest in and knowledge of fungi and lichen.  So there were plenty of stops along the way to put on the up-close spectacles and marvel at their small intricacies.

     This one sort of looks like a hand reaching up from the depths.  Pretty cool.

You may recall our previous post about the Silvermine Arch and the grotto behind it.  Well, this is the spectacular scene the areas recent winter storm created from the dripping water.  Those icicles are close to 20 feet long!  It was absolutely beautiful.

Although winter still has its hold on most things, on the hike out, we saved this very fuzzy potential sign of spring from harm by moving him off of the trail.  Perhaps he'll take wing one day not too far from now.


Returning to the van, Darlene joined the fun and we visited for a while before it was time for Pam and her son to hit the road for home.  It sure was great to finally cross paths in real-time.  Perhaps we'll meet again, down the road.

Meanwhile, we've got just under a month left on our camphosting stint in Kentucky and our ideas of what will come next seem to change daily.  Guess we'll see where the wind blows us.