Asheviller: Ron and Valerie Move to Asheville…

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Sat
30
Jul '11

Ribs and ‘Shine

Last night we had Lisa, Josh, and Greg (our future neighbor who just started construction on their house) over for BBQ beef ribs. Pork ribs are the defacto standard, here, and they’re good, but they’ve gotten a bit monotonous. I miss beef ribs. Luckily, we have Hickory Nut Gap Farm, a local farm that supplies pasture grass fed beef! Valerie ordered two racks and picked them up yesterday. We had to explain what we wanted (full ribs, not cut in half for short ribs) because, apparently, it’s not a typical cut outside of TX. Our cow was “harvested” on Wednesday and the ribs never went into a freezer. Valerie took a couple pictures of me doing the prep before I put the ribs into the smoker. [For all you BBQ buffs, I used a modified 3-2-1 process. We tried several different rubs and sauces.] Unfortunately, we didn’t get any pictures of the finished product. We ate the ribs before I could get the camera and then my fingers were too covered with BBQ sauce to press the shutter button. But…they were GOO-OOD! Maybe next time I’ll get some progress shots. I did, however take a picture of the beverages. Can’t say where or how this came into my possession. It is North Carolina, after all…

  

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Sun
24
Jul '11

Pappa Bear

This morning Pappa Bear lumbered past the house. He’s at least twice as big as the two-year-old bears (we call them ’teenagers’) that we frequently see and the one that Serena chased. You don’t want to mess with this big guy. I shot the picture out our office window. He’s about 75′ away. Check out the bottom of his right-rear foot.

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Sat
23
Jul '11

Graveyard Fields

Yesterday’s parkway hike was to Graveyard Fields about an hour south of us at milepost 419. Graveyard Fields got its name from the thousands of tree stumps and fallen trees that remained after a massive windstorm several hundred years ago. The foliage grew over the trees and made them look like grave humps. Then, in 1925 a huge, extremely hot-burning, forest fire incinerated everything completely away down to sterilized soil. Although that was nearly 90 years ago, the area was so devastated that it is just now coming back as a meadow. Even though the stumps and trees are long gone the Graveyard Fields name has remained.

Waterfalls are the major attraction of Graveyard Fields. Most people go to the lower falls because it’s closer to the trail head and offers large flat rocks with Yellowstone creek flowing over them – think mega-sized-slippy-slide. Our hike went to the less traveled upper falls. It was a bit warm but as we got to the falls the rains came in and cooled us off.

 

 

 

 

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Sat
16
Jul '11

Pretty Red Hourglass

On my walk with Serena, today, I noticed that one of the steel covers over a nearby water meter box was askew. Earlier this week a utility truck was parked on our street so I suspect that a worker must have done a repair and left the cover out of position. I stuck my finger in the lid’s hole to slide it back on but, first, decided to pop it off to have a look inside. Whoa! This is what I found amongst lots of webbing.

I knew black widow spiders were indigenous to the southeast as Valerie had a close call with one in our mailbox when we lived in Johnson City, but now I know they’re in Asheville, too. It’s time to spray around the house and, in the future, I’ll be careful where I stick my fingers! This big girl, though, was set free in the brush at the end of our street…

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Sat
2
Jul '11

Black Balsam and NC Arboretum

Yesterday (before the bear incident) we went hiking on one of the Blueridge Parkway ranger hikes and then on the way back stopped at the UNC Arboretum to take advantage of their free admission to celebrate their 25th anniversary.

The hike was in the Black Balsam area to Sam Knob and back (we didn’t summit Sam Knob – but we want to next time!) via Flat Laurel Creek and Sam Knob trails.

 

 

Valerie shot a few pictures of flowers at the arboretum. With flowers come bees and one got me on the knee. Otherwise, it was a fun day!

 

 

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Fri
1
Jul '11

Dog Bites Bear

It’s been a month since I last blogged (sort of a writer’s block vacation) and I had planned on catching up this holiday weekend. Tonight, though, warrants a special entry.

First, I need to tell you, before you read the rest and watch the video, this all ended well, thankfully.

Just before 9:00 tonight we were settling down in the screened porch to watch some TV and read the paper. Valerie opened the door to let Serena out onto the deck since Serena likes to lay out there while we’re in the porch. Right about then our outdoor lights popped on — something had tripped the motion sensor. At first I thought it was Serena but then I saw that she was still on the deck and nowhere near the sensor. I peeked out the porch door expecting to see some dog walkers, but there was nothing there. Weird. Then, in a flash, Serena TOOK OFF, faster than I have ever seen her run, straight out to the front yard growling and barking as she ran. Watch the video to see why and what happened…

This young bear (he’s just over a year old) may think twice before walking by our house again. He ran down the street and then down the hill to get away. We called Serena and she immediately came back and never left the street (thank you Positive Dog Training for teaching us – and her – unconditional recall!) We didn’t really know what happened, or how close she got, until we looked at the security camera footage. Yikes!

P.S. Notice any similarities with this picture…?