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LITTLE BLUFF JOURNAL - October 2018

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Little Bluff cabin cam October 15 - low ceiling today with chilly temps - another BEAUTIFUL day in the woods!

***Space available in my last two photo workshops - for novice shooters - October 21st and 28th (gift certificates available!)

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Print Of The Week special

10/01/18 Cool, lush and BEAUTIFUL at first light today. Oh how I LOVE October!!! But today I went back more than 60 years to the homestead where I was born and spent my first 20 years of life, our house which was at the time on the outskirts of north Fayetteville. My first stop was to the "local" woods just up the hill from our house. I grew up on that hillside running as fast as I could, and often just sitting on the forest floor doing absolutely nothing at all except being there in the forest. I hunted birds and squirrels with my trusty BB gun, built an igloo one snowy winter day, and built more than a half mile of hiking trail with nothing more than my feet (with my brother's help of course) - They are called "social trails" now when a trail developed on its own from folks taking the same course through the woods or across a meadow. That's just how we traveled - running through the woods, and eventually trails developed beneath us - and those trails still live today in an official Fayetteville park (Gegory Park). It's kind of a mountain bike park now, with special courses built for the bikes. Which I find ironic because we also spent quite a bit of time growing up on the seat of a bike too, tearing all over the place - ours were fat tire bikes, although that's all there was back in the early 1960's.

The reason for my visit today was because I got an e-mail a couple of weeks ago asking "Is it true that you grew up in the house at 1742 Woodland?" YES, I did! was my reply. The lady who just happens to live about two miles from here near Parthenon was asking about me because a neighbor had told the company who had just leveled and rebuilt our old homestead had heard from a neighbor that I had grown up there. Turns out my brother's wife, Marsha, had been corresponding with that same company for the past six months as they rebuilt our old house. So today we all got together - one of the guys who designed and rebuilt the house, and my brother and sister and their spouses (all from Illinois), and had a look inside.

Here is the listing with lots of photos on Zillo. And the firm that designed and built it, 3 Rocks Construction.

What an amazing transformation it was! Our house was built in the late 1940's and was very small as most were back then, at the edge of town in a heavily-wooded and undeveloped area. I came along a few years later and lived there until my early 20's. (Family of six with ONE bathroom - my brother and I lived in our parent's room, so we had four in one room with the only bathroom down the hall - I peed outside a lot!) We sold the property in 2002 after my mom died. Anyway, the 3 Rocks company literally took everything down to the cinder block foundation and completely rebuilt everything from that point on up. The house sits on a tiny lot in between two other houses - those lots were vacant when we lived there. The inside is filled with amazing ultra-modern finishes and built-ins - they turned my old bedroom in the corner to a giant master bath. They built the ceiling much taller (I used to be able to reach up and touch the ceiling throughout the entire house), but otherwise kept the exact footprint. Named Baile An Speir, or Home of the Sky, by British designer Damian FitzPatrick

AND a great surprise was the fact to many GIANT oak trees remained from my youth! In fact there are huge trees on three sides of the home - they had to be more than 100 years old since they were giant oaks when I was growing up. Even my mom's English ivy has survived and covers two of the trees and a rock wall and walkway. Great to hear tales and facts from my sister and brother (older than I) from before my time.Oh so many memories.......

home

10/05/18 Another SPECTACULAR light show at dawn this morning. Sometimes ya just can't do anything but stand (or sit) and gawk. Hopefully by the end of this month the trees will be as colorful as the sky.

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My lovely bride left me yesterday - we left for the airport at 4am and she landed in Canada mid-afternoon. A group of 100 outdoor painters will be spending a week painting in the Canadian Rockies at their "fall color" paint camp. As luck would have it, they will also get to paint a little bit of SNOW - turns out a record winter storm dumped more than a foot of snow in the area this week, with more to come next week. Temps will be in the teens (F) at night, and fairly brisk during the day. So it may turn into a snow camp, but knowing this group, they will have a terrific time, an epic week in fact. I only wish I could paint!!! (Some of you may remember that I spent more than a year trying to learn how to do even a simple painting and failed miserably. Some year I may give it another go, but for now I'm thrilled that my bride has come as far as she has already.)

Back here at the home front our HVAC guy Brad fixed both the AC and Heat at the cabin, and MAYBE our shower tile guy will get a little more work done this weekend. Only a few things left to do before we can claim almost-complete.

In the meantime, here's a snap of some goldenrod growing in the meadow below the cabin. MANY folks blame their fall allergies on this beautiful wildflower, but fact is the plant doesn't give off enough pollen to make anyone sneeze. Ragweed is in full bloom right now, and that's what most folks are sneezing at. So ENJOY the bearty of all the bright yellow goldenrod that is quite showy in the Ozarks right now.

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10/08/18 Cool breezes, clear skies, and delicate rich color at dawn here this morning - a textbook early fall day in the Ozarks. And the air was oh so sweet! I made a mad dash out to our campsite in Colorado this weekend - left Friday morning and was home Sunday afternoon. Aspen and cottonwoods in Colorado were ablaze with color, but I never took a singe picture - I was just there to decommission our campsite, took a quick nap, then headed for home. The puppies were with me and spent a while chasing the ghosts of chippers (chipmunks) - who all had already gone to sleep for the winter so the pups didn't find any. (non-stop enjoyment for them during the summer, chasing chippers)

While we were gone Tyler the tile man was here and got about half of the shower in our bathroom tiled - maybe one more trip and he'll be able to complete. And our old neighbor from Cloudland, Kinnie, came by and loaded up another trailer of lumber. We were left with six or seven piles of unused lumber from the cabin build here, and so we donated most of it to the Woods Boys (a tiny repayment for all they did for us while we lived at Cloudland!). Our yard is far from all cleaned up, but that helped a great deal. I'm happy to report that I made only one stop at McDonalds on my trip to Colorado - the rest of my intake was mostly protein bars, bananas, and Starbucks mocha.

My lovely bride has had an epic trip so far up north - she's painting all week with a large group of outdoor painters in the Canadian Rockies and staying at a wonderful resort - she reports the food is as amazing as the scenery. Here's my bride with her pastel setup today after the clouds moved in...

pambunny

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