LITTLE BLUFF JOURNAL - OCTOBER 2019 (previous months)
Little Bluff Journal cabin cam October 31 - 27 degrees and windy at dawn, and snow on our mailbox!
Our New SLIDE SHOW IN SPRINGDALE AT SHILOH MUSEUM this Saturday the 2nd. Details here.
Journal updated on the 31st
Print Of The Week special (above) - click here
10/01/19 Today is my official beginning of AUTUMN IN ARKANSAS. I have a feeling it will be a great one, with the forest lush and healthy, although I suspect the color will be later rather than early or normal (although really, is there a normal anymore?) So that means the Ozarks will possible have great color towards the end of October and early November...
10/02/19 Wilson had a run-in with a skunk just a few feet away from me night before last - Wilson lost. He is now very clean (dish soap, hydrogen peroxide, lots of water), but there is still an essence that surrounds him. My lovely bride and I saw a timber rattlesnake on the road while out hiking yesteday morning (previously flattened by someone). There are wildflowers here and there to remind us there's beauty all around us, not just skunks and rattlesnakes. HAPPY WEDNESDAY TO YOU!
10/03/19 I left the cabin before dawn but managed to be on a bike trail in Sprindale for sunrise - found this lovely cardinal flower along the trail, which is one of the most coloful of the fall wildflowers.
10/04/19 A chilly 53 degrees at dawn today - feels GREAT!!! Lots of nice color and texture in the clouds too. HAPPY FRIDAY!
10/05/19 ORION, THE HUNTER, is the king of the nighttime sky right now, and will be for the next many months. Every morning when I get up he's standing tall directly above and in between the pair of tall pine trees that guard my lovely bride's flower garden just off the back deck. He rises in the east just after dark and watches over the landscape all night.
Today was another really cool and even crispy morning, with a temp of 52. Hum, feels like FALL is beginning to creep in. The high-pitched bugs of summer have been replaced with mostly crickets - seems like there are lots of large black crickets this year, at least those are the bodies we see laying around after they have sung their magical songs to death. Otherwise the early-morning air before dawn is silent and still today, with a sea of stars above supporting Orion.
It has been cool and oh so delightful outside every morning since we've returned from Canada, with cool breezes, sweet air, and silence (except for the crickets!). This week I've mostly been on the road and leaving early each day so have not always been able to enjoy the sunrise, but when I've been here it's been especially nice. The changing of the seasons in Arkansas are so wonderful!
I've been leaving early each day to get into an allergy doctor in Springdale. A major allergy attack hit me as we were reentering the USA a couple of weeks ago and was the worst I've had in many years. It was a very long four or five day drive home, especially for my bride, who had no escape but to sit in the front of the van while I hacked and blew and spit my way across the country (she did much of the driving too thank goodness). The only relief was when I fasted much of the day, and so I did, some days only having one small half cup of lowfat milk, and even that produced a bad reaction (it's not about the lactose).
Once I started seeing my allergy doctor this week I've been able to eat a little bit, but am having to avoid most foods while the treatments are going on. That's all quite OK with me since I got about five years worth of eating done while we were in Canada, haha! I figure that I gained five pounds up there, lost all of that while on the way home (since I could not eat), and have lost another four pounds since I started the allergy treatments. I'm at an all-time low weight (151) since my athletic days in high school, and actually it feels GREAT! I just can't eat ice cream, or chocolate, or anything with sugar/grains/milk/yeast or a lot of other ingredients. Hopefully the treatments will get me back into shape soon.
I'm off to Springdale early this morning for another treatment. HAPPY WEEKEND TO YOU!
10/07/19 OK, so we finally got the heavy rains and more thunderboomers most of the day yesterday and last night - 6.52 inches as of 5:10 this morning in 24 hours...I'm headed back to the doc in Sprindale beneath a clear sky with a zillion stars. HAPPY MONDAY!
10/08/19 Couple of quick updates. First, our 2020 Arkansas Scenic Engagement Calendars have been reprinted and are now back in stock - YIPPIE! If you had ordered one direct from us before we will automatically receive a new one that will ship tomorrow. And that means our 2020 HOLIDAY SPECIAL is also available, which this year includes FOUR new products - ARKANSAS SPLENDOR picture book, 2020 Arkansas Scenic Wall Calendar, 2020 Arkansas Scenic Engagement Calendar, AND a copy of the ARKANSAS SPLENDOR SLIDE SHOW ON DVD! It's our biggest Holiday Special deal EVER, with $84.79 worth of NEW products, for only $49.95!!! The new book can be autographed to the person of your choice. We're happy to fill your entire Christmas shopping list - just give us their names and addresses and we'll do the rest!
I've/we've had a toll-free 800 number for incoming calls nearly 30 years now (same one, 800-838-HIKE). While it has always been a FREE call for anyone, lots of folks don't realize that all those calls are charged to us, by the minute. Sometimes we would spend an hour answering questions (60 minutes x $.25 per minute = $15), which we've always been happy to do, but all those spam calls on the 800 number line sometimes got kinda expensive! (sometimes spammers would call while we were gone and get the answering machine, which then would record their "music" or "static" until the digital time ran out, running up our bill.) Due to the fact that 95% of all phone calls we receive these days are SPAMMERS with fake numbers, and since we don't know which number they use to call (our toll-free line or our normal land line), we've been FORCED TO CANCEL our toll-free 800 number. Sorry. In fact since a lot of them now call in the middle of the night, we've even been forced to UNPLUG our phone when we go to bed. These issues are only going to get worse - write your "congressman?" Haha, sorry for the joke... Best way to place an order is via our online store here, or you can always call our normal land line at 870-446-2382.
2019 SLIDE SHOW SCHEDULE. We are done with our new slide program schedule. Everything looks good except for Harrison - we have to pay $500 to rent the Durand Center now with the new owner. Bummer. (we can't really afford to pay to give this free program, this so it may be our last show in Harrison, but we understand the high fee) You can have a look at the schedule below, and CLICK HERE for more info. As ALWAYS, all programs are free and open to the public, and we thank our gracious hosts for making this happen. HOPE TO SEE YOU AT ONE OR MORE OF OUR SHOWS THIS YEAR! And THANK YOU for coming!!!
And here's the photo from this morning off the back deck - beautiful!
10/09/19 55 degrees at dawn (much cooler down in Jasper). Beautiful sky color along the horizon and especilly in the delicate clouds above - changed colors and lasted for 30 minutes!
10/11/19 We hit a low of 42 this morning, with another 2.9" of rain overnight. An electrical storm that lasted for more than 12 hours was one of the most electrical of all electrical storms I've ever witnessed. We sat in the prow and watched it for hours - each strobing flash lit up the insides of the cabin, even inside small areas of wall if there was a window nearby - and the bolts where white and very wide, not orange or red and narrow. The cabin shook and the power went out a time or two, but just for a second.
No deck photo yesterday morning since we left at 6am before any color in the sky to get me another allergy treatment in town. Turns out I'm now allergic to coffee, something I avoided most of my life because I hate the tast of it (love the aroma though), and also can't eat or drink hot foods without burning my mouth up. When they came out with K-cups and refrigerated French Vanilla Coffeemate, I started drinking a small cup or two each day - now there are few things on the planet that I LOVE as much as the taste of coffee that's been cooled with french vanilla! I don't really need the caffeine, but savor the flavor...
Is it the end of the week already? OH NO - I'm not fond of FRIDAYS. That's because when you are self employed it only means you've got to get ALL of your work done today that you've been putting off all week! Which, of course, runs into the "weekend" - and since I'll never get all my work done we get to work weekends too. I LOVE Mondays because it makes me fell like I've got another full week to get the work done, haha....HAPPY FRIDAY TO EVERYONE ELSE!
10/21/19 Some nice fall color happening with our black gum trees...
10/23/19 Howling winds and cold temps but bright sunshine - Pam's flowers hold on tight and reach out for some of that warming sunshine...
10/23/19 Bright sunshine at dawn, and the puppies inspection of the back yard turned up nothing to chase.
10/25/19 My girlfriend's odometer rolled over once again - she keeps getting BETTER every year!
10/31/19 Kinda chilly with 27 degrees and blustery winds but it felt GREAT to get out and roam through the woods while hiking to work! Seems like our fall season was short, although I suspect we'll still have plenty of warmer weather before the official beginning of winter.
COLORS have been widespread muted in the High Ozarks, but with brilliant splashes from individual trees and clusters - more color to come though I bet. I think we had too much moisture this fall, which is why many of the leaves are spotted instead of being pure, clean color - but we'll take the color however we can get it! The past few days have been cool and wet, and with all the moisture in the air as fog it's been really nice in the woods - moisture brings out more color. I've not been anywhere else then Newton County (plus several highway runs into Springdale), but have seen photos from other parts in the Ozarks that look pretty nice, especially lots of WATERFALLS running - YIPPIE!
Seems like my old stomping grounds in the Upper Buffalo Wilderness surrounding Cloudland have been especially nice, but I've not been able to get over there. My days have been spent still trying to catch up - I'm so far behind now that I've lapped my self going backwards a few times - ever feel like that?
I have been in the woods for short periods early morning and evening and on into nighttime, mostly going back and forth from the cabin to the gallery. Many times I've veered off the trail and found a spot to just stand (or lean up against a giant pine tree), and soak up Momma Nature for a few minutes. Once I got pelted with TONS of acorns when the wind blew.
I made three hikes in a row to Eden Falls and the trail at Lost Valley - once to scout for the photo workshops, and then twice during the workshops. Only once did I stop and take pictures, and it was a wonderful fifteen minutes behind the camera (I try to stay busy with my students during the workshops so usually don't take pictures). And my goodness we had two really great workshops with a variety of folks who all took home a beautiful print they had photographed in the morning.
One evening while the pups and I were roaming around back towards the cabin Wilson ran into another black and white "kitty" and so he and I got to spend some quality time in the shower with a bucket of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and a dash of soap. We were banned to the guest room that night. Mia has been busy hunting moles/voles. My lovely bride has been busy setting up a new credit card processing system that we hope will be much easier, although more expensive for us. She's also been busy getting the gallery organized and set up for open houses to come, and also working a lot on her art - I expect you'll be hearing and seeing a lot more about my artist bride in the near future!
Sometime during the week Pam switched the cabin over to winter mode - that meant dragging our two sitting chairs from their summer positions just inside and pointed towards the prow view, across the room and in front of the fireplace. It is so nice when we get up early and get the fire going (push a button) to warm up the place. We like to sleep cold.
This week we've been getting ready for the start of our program season - first show in this coming Saturday, Nov. 2nd, 1pm at Shiloh Museum in Springdale. That's about a week early, but that doesn't really matter much when a guy is YEARS behind anyway, haha. This will be the first of 20 slide shows between now and Christmas, plus we'll have five Gallery Open Houses, and what will amount to about a month of travel to/from the shows. I'm hoping to see as many of you as possible at the shows and/or at our gallery - we LOVE meeting Journal readers!
Thoughts going out to our beloved county sheriff, Glenn Wheeler, who has a bout of some sort of really bad illness that is as yet undiagnosed. We really need him upright and without pain!
And CONGRATS to our friends Damon and Christina Shaw, who got hitched recently - they are the lovely couple who now own Cloudland - a perfect match for each other, and for Cloudland! We wish them DECADES of bliss! (Damon just happens to be one of the best nature photographers in the USA - and as you can see here, even in other countries!)
Looks like today is Halloween, but I have a feeling that we'll go our 22nd year without any trick-or-treaters to the cabin. Just in case a scary little critter does happen to get lost and knock on our door, we'll have a bowl of treats to hand out - well, if Pam can keep me away from them long enough.
OCTOBER is over already? Wow. Hold onto your hats - it's going to be a marathon to December 17th and we're hoping to make it to the last program in Dover...
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