LITTLE BLUFF JOURNAL - NOVEMBER 2019 (previous months)
Little Bluff Journal cabin cam November 13 - a balmy 18 degrees with brilliant sunshine at dawn today
Journal updated on the 13th
Slide shows this week:
Print Of The Week special (above) - click here
11/01/19 There's a beautiful, bright orange glow all along the eastern/southeastern horizon early this morning at dawn. The color reaches skyward and blends into the deep blue sky. What is orange mixed with blue? That's the color on between - a very smooth gradient. Looking higher still, the sky eventually turns very dark, almost black, and stars appear faint at first, then clear way up at the top where it is still nighttime. The temp was 33 when I got up, now it's down to 31 about an hour later. While the darkest is about 90 minutes before sunrise, the coldest is just before sunrise.
So tell me how this can happen - we started Halloween night with a full tray of treats at the front door, not a single haloweener showed up, yet this morning the tray is EMPTY! the pups and I spent most of the evening at the gallery working on stretching canvas prints. Hum...
That orange glow is getting BRIGHTER - WOW!
We have several folks visiting the gallery today - it is quite a MESS right now, especially back in the print room and book warehouse area. We've been collecting supplies all week (delivered by UPS and FedX) for the holiday printing season, pulling out and dusting off all the program equipment and supplies, and oh my goodness there are stacks and piles and more stacks of stuff! Canvas rolls, boxes of sheets of photo paper, foam boards, black mats, bags bags and more bags, shipping boxes and more boxes and more boxes, stretcher bars/frames for the canvas prints, frames for Pam's pastels, rolls and rolls of packing tape, boxes and boxes and boxes of packing material (paper, peanuts, foam sheets), print mailing tubes. Our goal of course is to get ALL of that stuff GONE by Christmas! We have to order enough to cover our needs, but not so much that we have a lot left over - it's a guessing game.
An amazing moment at the gallery yesterday. A nice gentleman drove over from Bella Vista with a lady friend to look at the gallery and buy some calendars (everything is on SALE at program prices!). In conversation we lamented how we've been going nuts trying to find a backup harddrive that was made just before we left for Canada and hid somewhere in the gallery or cabin (since we had our normal computers with us on the trip, which is what the backup drive was a copy of). We've looked EVERYWHERE - and needed a single file that had been accidently deleted from our main computer. Anyway, the young lady noted that Saint Anthony was the patron Saint of lost items, she recited a little prayer to him, then the couple left with their prints, books and calendars. Then I SWEAR this actually happened - I walked right on over, bent down, moved a dog bed out of the way, opened a bottom drawer that we never use, and THERE WAS THE HARD DRIVE, hiding beneath a yellow pad!
NOVEMBER is here, and it's going to be one long, exhausting, and frantic month (we'll have three gallery open houses and at least a dozen programs). But we are looking forward to it and hope to see you somewhere along the way...
11/06/19 Sunday was a great day to be in the woods, with brilliant sunshine, bright blue skies, and our waterfall was flowing well. It was a crispy day - not only because the temps were cool, but it was also crispy underfoot. The trail around our little ridgetop here was covered with freshly-fallen leaves, and the humidity was quite low and those leaves were very crisp - so it was crunch, crunch, crunch as I hiked, a sound I rather enjoy. This was my first trip around the north side of the trail (to the creek and waterfall) in quite a while - and much of the trail had grown up during the summer and was not even visible in some spots - needs many more boot prints. The south side of the trail we have been using and it's nice and open and wonderful - it goes through the old homesite, and past many GIANT, towering pine trees - but also through beautiful stands of maple trees.
We had our first of about 20 slide programs the day before in Springdale. One issue that is getting worse as I age is dealing with having to load and unload all the book boxes we bring to these programs to sell (which is the #1 reason we do the shows - to sell books, calendars and prints). I figured out that each heavy box of books is picked up and moved at least seven times per program, mostly by me or my lovely bride (sometimes it takes both of us to lift a heavy box). When her dad comes along he does most of the heaving lifting, but still most of it is left to us just getting everything into and out of the van at the gallery before and after each program. Anyway, I figured out a new system that MIGHT help us out with two of the worst types of loading/unloading, and it WORKED in Springdale - YIPPIE! We won't get to test it again until next week since it looks like we'll have to drive our RV to Missouri for the big show in Jefferson City Saturday (it will be a 16-hour day on the road for us and the pups), and my new system won't work with the RV. But we have four shows next week and hope to test everything further.
By Monday something happened with the leaves at our property - almost overnight the color POPPED and all around us the maples, hickories, and even oak trees turned beautiful shades of yellow, orange, and even some red. I also heard a number of geese headed south - must have been the crispy temps that got everything going.
Late last night as I was making my way back down to the cabin from working at the gallery, the 1/2+ moon was so bright that I could see the geese who were flying just above the treetops. Honk, honk, HONK! They seemed happy. This was one of those old "Cloudland" moments that made me smile. Hiking in the moonlight does that to a guy. So does approaching your cabin and seeing the orange glow of the fireplace and knowing your lovely bride is probably standing in front of it to welcome you home with a big hug!
Today those clear blue skies are covered up with clouds, and the air is much damper than it has been - the humidity is 87% right now at dawn and there is some heavy rainfall on the way later today and tonight. Hum, if predictions are true, there may be some really terrific waterfalls flowing tomorrow - with a bit of left over fall color too! I'm not in "photo" mode this season and don't even know where my camera is (I have six or seven or eight different bags/boxes of various camera equipment stashes scattered around, along with six tripods), but I may try and go take pictures of a waterfall tomorrow if conditions and time permit.
Speaking of CANADA, it was not a photo trip for me, and while I did have a "real" camera with me, I only shot pictures with it twice - and those are still on the memory card in the camera - I've not even seen them. But our traveling companions, Ray and Susan Scott, took thousands of pictures. Ray is one of the best nature photographers in the state, and he has just posted several galleries of his new work while on the trip - look at his Canada, Olumpics, and Washington galleries for images made during our trip. RAYSCOTTPHOTOS.com.
Most of my time this week has been working in the gallery trying to get canvas prints made for the walls - we have FIVE open houses between now and Christmas, including the first one November 16th - YIKES! I'm told this will be our official "HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE' and grandma will spend several days baking cookies for the event, so if you are planning to come to just one, this might be your best choice, hahahahaha. Also remember that we are open anytime we are home - and it's no trouble for us to open the door and turn on the lights for folks who happen to be passing through the area, or who want to make our gallery part of your trip - just give us a call or e-mail to see if we are going to be here to confirm - 870-446-2382 (or see our CONTACT link above for e-mail).
NOTE that google DOES NOT KNOW WHERE WE LIVE and putting our address in won't help you. Directions are needed, and you can find those on our Canvas Gallery area here. Really, google won't work, nor will your nav system. Follow my directions please.
We had swarms of yellow jacket wasps and lady bugs the other day when it got so hot, but only a handful of each made it inside the cabin. They are mostly gone this morning - probably driven underground by cooler temps and a brisk wind that's bringing in all the rain.
My 32-ounce high-protein/fruit/veggie/yogurt/almondmilk smoothie is empty so it's time to get up the hill and back to the canvas work - think we'll take the pups via the south trail and see how the maples are coming...
11/08/19 Almost clear skies at dawn today and 23 degrees. There are a few feather-like clouds drifting around and waiting for sunrise. I'm sitting in front of the fireplace sipping a smoothie and waiting for a dog to bring me slippers, but fear that won't ever happen. Some of those thin clouds along the horizon are beginning to show color and I may have to jump up and run outside to take a picture - WILSON, where are my slippers!? I did, and don't think I needed the coffee I had a little while ago to wake up - FROZEN deck on bare feet woke me up just fine...
Yesterday morning at this time we had rain coming down, cold and high winds. Almost two inches total rainfall overnight. It took a little while, but I managed to find my camera, tripod, and special "tripod umbrella" and soon I headed off in search of waterfalls. I made a quick run to the stone springhouse in Boxley and found the waterfall next to it running well, with the added bonus of a beautiful maple tree that had shed many of its leaves during the rain.
Next I parked at the Ponca low water bridge - I was surprised to see some air space under the bridge with all the rain, but just in case I had parked on the high end of the parking area. It took about 20 minutes to reach my target waterfall, which was flowing pretty well - although much of the color around it had already happened. Rainfall continued, but also the spray from the falls was pretty bad and I was glad I had the umbrella.
There are many waterfalls in this area both downstream and upstream from the Ponca bridge, and I ended up spending several hours in the area taking pictures - well, mostly trying to figure out what pictures to take - I only stopped in two or three places, then had to get back to the office. (Is one of them Arkansas Falls?)
As I was approaching the Ponca bridge a moment of concern hit me - looking through the trees it appeared that not only had the was risen above the bridge, but also far up up into the parking lot - OOPS! Luckily it was mostly an optical dillusion - the bridge was underwater and I had to climb up to and across on the highway bridge to get over to my van, but only part of the parking lot was underwater so my van was safe.
Our trip to Jefferson City for our program tomorrow is proving to be much more difficult and painful than expected and we still have not even left yet. I usually regret doing programs like this so far away, but I've not learned how to say no yet. Oh well. We're hopeful the nature center will be packed with smiling faces and folks will line up with Christmas lists and take home lots of books, calendars and prints. I look forward to talking about the pictures and answering questions - I could do that all day - it's just the logistics of such a long trip for free that bog us down.
Speaking of long trips, I downloaded all the pictures from the memory card in my camera yesterday (so that I could see the waterfall photos), which included all the pictures I've taken since JUNE. There were only a handful of images from our Canada trip, and I'm finally going to show you what Moraine Lake looked like the day we got to visit. This one is for you Jeannette!
11/11/19 9pm. The van is all loaded and we're getting mentally prepared to head out into 11-degree weather at dawn in the morning for a program in Little Rock (hosted by Lifequest). This evening the temp is 18, with a wind-chill below zero. We've got about 1/2" of compacted snow and ice on the ground - the leaves make a new sort of CRUNCH noise when I walk on them! In one ten-minute period this morning it went from a heavy downpour to sleet to snow and then the ground was totally covered and white! Then it melted to slush, more rain, sleet, snow, and it was sleeting on and off until just a little while ago, when the temp began to dive.
This will be the first full test of our loaded-cart system for programs, after a successful several hours of loading two carts with specific counts of the 16 different book titles and two calenders and dvds that we bring to all programs, plus all of the program equipment (computer, projector, stereo & speaker system), plus backups of everything and a backup screen. The three big boxes of Black Mat Prints and three print stands won't fit on the carts, but they are not too bad to load. The biggest issue with this trip will be making it up the icy hill out to the highway, then traveling safely more than 60 miles along Scenic 7 Byway to Dover and on to Little Rock.
COOKIE NEWS. Pam's mom has been busy baking lots of homemade cookies and other treats this week for our HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE at the gallery this Saturday - we'll be open from 10am-3pm and we expect to see many of you return for your annual plate full of cookies! We'll also have more then 50 canvas prints on the wall plus many of Pam's original pastel paintings, and of course Black Mat Prints.
HOT SPRING VILLAGE THURSDAY.
Two shows in one day this week - we've never done that before, but we're gonna see if we can survive. We always look forward to the great folks at Hot Springs Village, and this year we plan to drive down the night before and camp nearby so we don't have to leave at 4am (probably a lot safer too, and the pups will go with us). For Conway folks, NOTE that we have a new location for the program this year - it will not be at the library, but instead at the Antioch Church complex (the 110 Building). We hope to see many smiling faces this week all around!
Going backwards for a moment, we also took our RV up to Missouri last week and spent Friday night at a small campground just outside of Jefferson City, and so didn't have to make the long trip twice on Saturday (and the pups got to go with us). The only issue was that we had to empty out the RV onto the camping pad to make room for us to sleep - thank goodness it didn't rain! All the trails at the Nature Center were closed on Saturday for a special deer hunt, and the crowd was kinda thin for our show, but we got to see many new folks and Journal Readers and so many great questions - SPECIAL THANKS TO EVERYONE who made the effort to come see the shows - we REALLY appreciate you! (and we got to have lunch after the show with brother and sis who came down from Illinois)
11/13/19 It was a cool 10 degrees when we headed out at dawn yesterday morning with the bookmobile van packed full. The ice on the road out to the highway had soaked up during the night, and a half inch of fresh snow had fallen, and I love driving on snow so the ride was quick and easy. The highway was not as nice - many patches of ice, especially in any parts that had been shaded the day before. We were "butt heavy" as we like to call it - loaded to the gills with a half ton of books and program supplies. We drove carefully, and slowly around the curves and up into the bright morning sunshine. And we made it to Little Rock just fine and on time!
Small crowd of DELIGHTFUL folks for our second program hosted by LIFEQUEST - this group is just a hoot and so much fun to be around! Lots of great questions too, which you may know by now that is a bit part of my presentation. THANKS to everyone who came to the show!
It was after dark when we arrived back home - a long day on the road that seems to be creeping into my bones. The pups were rip roaring and ready to RUN so we did a couple of hikes around the trail here. I was surprised to find still a half inch of packed snow everywhere - and it was easy to hike on with that very quiet crunch, and with good traction. And the full moon that had followed us up into the mountains on our drive was high and bright, so I easily floated through the forest and didn't smack into a single tree! High winds made it a bit nippy though, but the pups kept wanting another round. It was great to be out in the winter woods, but also great to have a warm fireplace to come home to!
Clear skies overnight and the temp is back down to 18 this morning at dawn. The horizon was red and pink and orange all across, and the sun is about to flood the canyons below with brilliant sunshine. We have a short time window to recycle, reprint, and repack all of our program supplies for not one, but TWO programs we have tomorrow - and we all have to leave today. We'll be camping overnight just outside of Hot Springs Village tonight in the camper van and have to be at the Coronado Center there by 8am to set up for our 10am program (open to the public - always a great crowd with plenty of seats, and it is open to the public).
Pam's parents will drive the fully-restocked bookmobile down early tomorrow and meet us in the morning.
After the program we'll all drive to Conway and meet the photo club who is hosting our show at a NEW LOCATION (Antioch Church 110 Building - it is across the street from their main church and also faces the interstate). This replaces our show that we normally do at the Conway library, and we're hoping for a big crowd so be sure to tell all of your friends to come see us!
Then we'll make the long dark drive home for a few hours of rest before spending the day on Friday getting geared up for our HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE at the gallery on Saturday! GRANNIES HOMEMADE COOKIES DAY!
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