28 November 2012

Floyd County Christmas Parade

Last Sunday was the much awaited Christmas parade. It reflects the community spirit that is prevalent here and the cultural values of the community. The floats are all home made, usually mounted on farm trailers. Many are pulled by farm trucks although the more modest ones are pushed/pulled by human power - or horses and mules.

Every year, members of the community are honored by being the Grand Marshal or the Parade Marshal. That is a significant form of recognition here in rural America.

 The Humane Society with human motivators.

 A lot of creativity lurks in these woods.

 Maybe the smallest float?

 The Snow Queen and her attendants. They must have been frozen solid by the end of the parade as my ears were hurting from the cold wind gusts.

 Around here, old tractors and old cars are major passions.

 The end of the parade is a huge line of emergency vehicles, all blaring their warning systems. Its ahrd to believe how many there are in this county of only 13,500 souls.

The tiniest fireman.

Mr. Fuzzy hopes that you enjoyed the parade as much as the community did!

27 November 2012

Sunrise Sunday

Devoted readers, as usual, the blog runs a bit behind real time. Here, I submit for your viewing pleasure, the sunrise on Sunday, the 25th. It was even finer in tone and breadth in person.

The next post will be on the Floyd Holiday parade, held on Sunday. The weather was fine although the breeze had an edge to it.

24 November 2012


A substantial cold front blew in last night and after two very comfortable days, the high today was 34F with a sharp, cutting wind, despite a nearly cloudless sky and sun pouring down. A definite foreshadowing of what is to come. It is also bone dry, it has been at least a month with no rain (not counting the little wet snow from Sandy's back side).

The sun now sets considerably further south than at the summer solstice and a few rays of sun burst into the living room for less than ten minutes before the sun slides beneath the horizon. Here is how it appeared tonight. Brian A., you might notice that I have, after nearly four years, found your snake damper handle; you cannot imagine how much I have missed it. [remember that you may click on the image to enlarge it]

23 November 2012

Wood Pirates

Dear reader, I may have lived long enough to see everything - now wood pirates.

Do you recall this image from the last post? This is where I left the tree. It was in the same condition four days ago.

Today, Mr. Chainsaw and I sauntered over to cut a little more wood. Lo and behold, no tree. There was the sound of a chainsaw on Thanksgiving morn but Mr. Fuzzy assumed it was some distance away but apparently not so. Here is what Rocky the dog and Mr. Fuzzy beheld:

 This being Floyd, where the people are kinder and more gentle, the Pirates did leave the wood I had cut and not yet loaded... but otherwise all they left was the unusable small branches.

That oak was already dry and ready to burn - and Mr. Fuzzy might add he was counting on it to fill out his woodpile for the winter. A hard blow indeed.

14 November 2012


The weather forecasters missed the mark widely last night. They predicted a low of 28F. At sunrise, the mercury barely hovered at 21F, the coldest low temperature since probably last March. At least it is dead still. The air was unusually clear and steady last night, the stars seemed just out of reach.

Between this being rut season and the beginning of hunting, the deer are moving all over the place it seems. You see them at night along the roads (two crossed right in front of me last night about 8:30), in the yard, just everywhere. 'Tis the season.

Stay warm and healthy, dear readers.

12 November 2012

Busy, busy, busy

Mr. Fuzzy was out of town on business much of last week - more on that in a subsequent post.

He returned Saturday evening right after dark, narrowly missing three deer trying to commit suicide in the last thirty miles of the drive homeward. Sunday saw a myriad of activities including (but not limited to): transplanting iris from underneath two apples trees (they never have received enough solar embraces to bloom so the color is unknown), washing and waxing Miss Betty, the 1940 Ford coupe, washing the front and side of the garage (removing some of the algae and mold which grows on the north side of buildings here), etc. In short, all out of doors activities performed on a glorious, sunny, 68F (20C) day. That may have been the last opportunity for such activities this season as a cold front now draws down upon the farm, threatening to drop the high temperatures by at least ten degrees and bringing the nights back to sub-freezing conditions. Most likely the woodpile will soon be consulted.

Today was the transition perhaps from a mild autumn into a more seasonable pre-winter condition. It also saw Mr. Fuzzy in transition, being dragged yelling and screaming into the 21st century. Whilst away last week, his simple four year old cell became severely unreliable, seizing up or discharging the battery in a matter of less than three hours. He had already noted that everyone else (about 400 souls) at the meeting wielded an iPhone or its equivalent and that the meeting had its own apps and Twitter hastags.

As of 1:35 p.m. this afternoon, Mr. Fuzzy began the long journey of learning to use an Apple 4S phone.

Should you have any favorite apps - or warnings about bad apps, he would be most grateful for your illuminating criticisms.

Modern times, brace yourself for Mr. Fuzzy's impending arrival.

04 November 2012

More fire wood

Yesterday the chainsaw and I went back to  the downed oak and cut another 1,000 pounds or so of prime fire wood. And just how does Mr. Fuzzy gauge the weight? By observing the distance betwixt the tyre and the fender well which closes as weight is applied. The trailer is used to bring gravel for driveway repair and the gravel is purchased one thousand pounds at a time; thus, when the tyre-fender well gap is equal that when hauling gravel, then that weight has been reached (it is also the safe limit of the trailer's structural capacity).

Most of the easy wood has now been removed. Study this photograph and note that most or all of the remaining branches hold the tree up from the ground and the others are above Mr. Fuzzy's head (never, ever, cut wood that is above you). Unless the sawyer wishes to be crushed to death under several tons of 'dead weight' oak, these must be removed stategically. Mr. Fuzzy is going to deliberate a few days before making any new cuts. At least it lays on relatively level ground.

Chickens prefer to roost in elevated positions with nothing of equal elevation nearby. As the trailer load of wood was being positioned next tot he woodpile for unloading, Mr. Fuzzy caught the chickens on the little hand cart, taking in a brief late afternoon sun beam.

02 November 2012

An Interesting Day

The night was long - Rocky, the smaller dog, was sick. He and his bigger buddy, Rufus, ran loose yesterday and at least Rocky ate something he should have passed. All night long he was sick as a dog, passing rancid gas (although the sound effects were sometimes amusing), burping a true stench, whining because of his belly ache. Difficult to tell if Mr. Fuzzy slept any better than Rocky. As Mr. Fuzzy arose at 6:15 a.m., Rocky was no better. Not one iota. When 7:30 rolled around, the veterinarian was duly telephoned and a 10:00 a.m. appointment made, not just for Rocky but also Beatrice Tweedle, one of the feline Tweedles who were born here three and a half years ago. Bea (as she prefers) had a swelling at the base of her tail for the last several days which seemed not to trouble her but after three days, it troubled Mr. Fuzzy.

So as 9:30 came, Mr. Fuzzy walked out the door with Bea in a carrier and Rocky in tow. After an hour of time at the vet's office and $300 lighter, Mr. Fuzzy had a cat with an abscess and a dog who had probably found a dead deer and had a completely filled digestive system from stomach to the, uh,  well, tail end... Rocky's problem seems to be solving itself (much fur in evidence) and Bea needs an antibiotic twice a day for a week.

As this trio rolled to a stop at the the front porch, a huge hawk flew away from the carcass of one of the first chickens on the farm, a Cochin. They are fine chickens, good layers and excellent mommas. The hawk was so bold as to not fly away until Mr. Fuzzy has exited the car and stepped in his direction - from less than twenty feet away. The poor little hen was killed within three feet of the porch. The hawk's wingspan was perhaps five feet - huge.

The good news of the day - sunlight! Mr. Fuzzy thinks the last sun beams were viewed on Saturday. The day broke with scattered clouds but those dissapated by noon and old Sol ruled the day from then until sunset. What a pleasure and relief to feel the warmth and enjoy the visual intensity of a sun raked fall landscape.

Mr. Fuzzy cut and loaded about a thousand pounds of oak fire wood yesterday and so today was reserved for moderate activities. On the morrow, however, as the weather is due to hold well, the chainsaw and Mr. Fuzzy will be tight companions for another thousand pounds of oak firewood from a triplet tree which shed on third of its size in a wind storm last summer. Mr. Fuzzy had hoped to have cut this two months ago but the blasted pneumonia disrupted his plans. It is fairly dry and hopefully will be ready to burn in a month or two of curing. Mr. Fuzzy's woodpile is nowhere near as voluminous as it should be and he fears a rough winter.