Friday, December 31, 2010

Winter Fly Tying

Hudson got a Cabela's Fly Tying kit for Christmas and he is really turning out some nice work. The picture in this post is a design he calls "Creek Witch". He is going to try it on Black Bass this weekend at Lake Swan.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Rita Bonita

This is our new Leopard Cur Rita. We have had her now about a month. She comes out of a long line of Boar Hunting Stock bred by Robert Fortson in the Mexia,Texas area. The sire was a half Leopard / half Plott Hound named Gunter which is where she gets the brindle color. The gyp was a straight Black Mouth Cur named Erin. She has brought much joy to our lives, and I am looking forward to her companionship in the woods. I will blog more about her adventures in future posts.

Friday, December 10, 2010


Great day to get out and saw some wood. It was around 55 degrees with a light breeze in East Texas, and sunny skies! An old Oak on my land had dropped a large limb during the summer, so it made for some nice firewood. The Stihl 210 performs flawlessly for this type job and is a real pleasure to cut with. Very light, and plenty of HP for light farm work. The True Temper splitting Axe in the back just will not die. It has had 3 hard seasons now splitting wood and rarely ever needs a touch up. I have been thrilled with the performance of these two pieces of gear. I will blog later on a Swedish Hatchet I picked up for camping and kindling work.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Mongo Grass Carp!

Hudson caught this Muleskinner of a Grass Carp today at Lake Swan on dough bait that had some Raspberry Flavored Tea in it. He was only fishing twelve pound line on a small spinning rod so it was quite a battle. The Carp was released with no ill effects. It was a gorgeous day to fish!

Winter Parka Update

Found time over the Holiday to finish the Winter Parka Project. I pinned it to a wall and because it was actually 50"x60" I took a tape measure and marked 30"over and then 25" down and marked the center with a small piece of duct tape. Then I found a yellow  line in the fabric pattern (for a straight edge) and cut about 4" each way to allow for the parka opening to put my head through.

Then using #18 Nylon Craft Thread and a Tandy Leather Needle I whip stitched (learned on YouTube) the edges of the hole that I had cut...........

I finished up the stitching on each end with a simple tie back loop for hanging up the parka if needed...

And finally wearing the completed parka in the crisp fall air.......
(It now resides behind my backseat in the Tacoma Pick Up for when needed)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Wildflowers

Sarah Grace found these in the woods today, and made an arrangement for her Mother. The red ones have a minty smell. Thanksgiving has brought with it beautiful fall weather to East Texas.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Buttercrunch Lettuce Update

The Buttercrunch did really well in the big planter this year. We have had many harvests of wonderful lettuce from this planting. I still can't believe how big and tall they got this year! The lettuce has also provided very economical greens for Daniels Guinea Pigs.

Sweet Fall Onions

I planted some sweet fall onion today. One thing I learned last year with these was that they do much better when planted in loose soil. If the tops of the bulb can get some sunlight they mature faster, and larger. The bulbs are much easier to plant if the soil is watered a bit prior to planting them also. Last year Sawyer,Daniel, and Sarah Grace had a fun time harvesting the onions with me when they were ready!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Spoon Carving

I recently got a Joe Beardsley Bushcraft Knife and wanted to try my hand at some spoon carving. I found a suitable piece of Yaupon Holly (We have it in droves here in East Texas), and gave it a whirl. I put two stop cuts up near the head of the spoon so I would know where the handle profile stopped, and the head of the spoon began. Then I started thinning the handle down until the head of the spoon started to shape up. I used a sharpened painters key to hollow out the head as I don't own a crooked knife yet. This spoon won't win any awards, but was a bunch of fun to carve! Joe's blade cut like an extension of my hand. Fit and form are near perfect. The ATS-34 Steel held a great edge, and would still shave afterwards.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Early this morning we were blessed with some rain! I could hear the wonderful pitter patter of the first precious drops late last night. The earth has been so dry you could almost "feel" the relief in the air and ground. Thank you Lord!

Monday, November 1, 2010


Did some light pruning on the Rosemary Plant this morning in the cool morning air. How wonderful to tend herbs and the peace it brings to the soul. The plant has summered well, and seem to take on the brutal East Texas temps with abandon. If I forgot to give it a drink for a week or two it just kept putting on needles. I have established that the deer have no interest in it, which is a relief. There are very few species the deer won't nibble on. In his wonderful book "The Green Pharmacy" PHD Herbalist James Duke expounds on the amazing recuperative properties of rosmarinic acid. He also states that the herb has anti-oxidant properties that mop up free radicals in the body. It has been nice to have the plant at the ready by the grill for those summer BBQ's. Long used as a meat preservative and spice, teas can also be made with the needles. I will most likely bring this plant into the garage before the first frost this year.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Winter Parka Project

I found this old electric blanket at a yard sale for a buck. The controller was not the correct one so no big loss. I really liked the pattern and material however. Two Acrylic/Polyester blankets whip stitched together with a great deal of air mass area in between. It is a small blanket (58"x50) so it got me thinking about making my first parka. I washed it first, then removed the wire from the inside through the connector hole, and I plan to cut a slit in the middle of the blanket and learn how to whip stitch the edges. Will post more as it progresses.

Fall Lettuces

For a fall lettuce this year I planted Bonnie Buttercrunch, And I am very pleased with how they did. I did about 18 plants in a 100 gallon water trough with some chicken wire to keep the deer out. We had some today with Sunday Lunch and it was nice to have it fresh from the garden. Sends the right message to the kids as well. Things just don't magically appear on the grocery shelves! It takes work and effort for even a small harvest. Sarah Grace came out to pick with me today before lunch. It is a beautiful sunny 75 today, but we badly need rain. It has been months since we have had a good rain in East Texas!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

October in Texas

Here is the first post on the new blog. I am new to this and want to keep it light and have fun with it. The blog will have an outdoors focus but I intend to explore and post on many interests. The cool nights are finally here in East Texas, and it's a fun time to be in the woods. I will post on some excursions into the Texas Countryside soon.