I’m on a Boat!

We’ve got more than just elk viewing!

Well, I was. On Saturday morning-ish. The husband and I have not been putting our kayaks to good use in the past 5-9 years (roughly). So, with great weather in the forecast, we decided to take a tour of the Bennett’s Branch of the Sinnemahonig Creek.

I originally wanted to start behind the Benezette store and head to the bridge by the Driftwood Saloon. The husband and I thought this was a great idea. However, my sister-in-law (SIL) and the little niece decided they were going to join us. They were hesitant about such a long trip. Upon further research, we realized it was a 9 hour paddle. So, we took a shorter trip.

Less than 10 minutes into our trip, we saw a small elk herd on the side of the creek. Imagine our excitement to see a bull with non-typical antler growth. This guy’s antlers grew straight out! I’ve heard of him (Bullwinkle) and a bull that is supposedly his father (Handlebars).

Some online research tells me that Non-typical antler growth can be caused by genetics, hormone levels or injury – so the thought that this guy is the progeny of another straight out antlers bull isn’t out of the question!

On Friday night while we were out for an evening cruise, a bear ran across the road in front of us, and right up an apple tree. We were shocked to see him there again on Saturday night. This time, he had a friend (a raccoon)!

To round out our weekend full of wildlife – we had a nice little elk crew in the yard on Sunday morning. It was a great weekend and they’re just going to keep getting better. I’m certain I heard two bugles (the husband says not), and with Elk Expo coming up this weekend, that means it’s almost Fall, ya’ll!

Shake, Rattle & Roll

This weekend we bought some stuff, saw some elk, oh, and a few snakes…

The 100 Mile Yard Sale did not disappoint! We shopped for hours on Friday morning, bringing home a wrought-iron patio table and chair set, some huge home grown tomatoes, a chainsaw sharpener and some spools of wire. (Go ahead and guess what I bought versus what the husband bought.) The heat was no joke, my friends. The minute you stepped out of the car, you were dripping sweat.

The heat kept the wildlife tucked safely in the forest during the day, with the exception of the few brave souls I was able to grab some pictures of.

This toad was being shy!

Later that same day, I was heading inside when something in a similar location on the deck caught my eye.

“There’s a snake under the porch”, I said to my husband. Then we both realized, it was a RATTLESNAKE!

Holy. Freakin. Gosh. I don’t like snakes. I get it, they’re important to the ecosystem, they control mice and what have you – but they give me the shivers.

This guy (girl? I don’t know. Turns out determining the sex of a rattlesnake is a job for a professional. It involves a probe – so, no thanks. I’m saying this was a guy.) didn’t stay long. We saw him slithering (eww, even the word gives me the shivers) into the backyard.

He didn’t seem to know we were there at all, he didn’t rattle or become defensive, so that’s a good sign. We’ll be sure to be diligent coming in and out of the house now for sure!

We saw a few elk in the evening (my evening photography skills leave a lot to be desired, so hang tight) and some deer.

But the snakes, my gosh the snakes. We saw a few squashed on the Quehanna Highway, heading out of Benezette on Sunday night too.

There was a gentleman out of his car photographing a rattlesnake as it crossed the road. That snake was NOT interested in being photographed, so I got to hear him rattle!

We had our first guests in The Sapling this weekend. They also encountered some rattlers while they were out hiking.

Until next time – have a good week and keep your eyes open!

Uptown Down Home American Kids

We celebrated Memorial Day as we’d like to celebrate EVERY holiday – In the Sticks – also known as Benezette.

The coming weeks are focused on details. We brought the refrigerator, microwave and dining room table with us to get the kitchen and dining area close to finished. The stove was delivered this week. Once that’s in place, a few decorations to go on the wall and those two areas can be checked off the list!

I love this dining room table. We’re one of those families that eats all meals at the table, so this was an important feature for me. The MIL helped me put the chairs together, which took approximately a million hours. (I assure you they’re sturdy, I sat on each one to check our work!)

The bathroom is also just a few details away from being marked complete. I was a hand towel hook short, so we picked that up to go on the wall by the light switches. Check out the towel hooks – they’re sticks! Get it! In the Sticks (Cabins)?!

The husband’s family was in town too, so we took some time to relax by the fire. We made s’mores for the first time in ages. We’re Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup instead of chocolate bars in our s’mores people. MMMM. They were so good!

The husband and FIL built an awesome fire even with wet-ish wood!

And of course, no trip to the cabin would be complete without a few elk sightings. These three hung out most of the weekend! Isn’t it interesting how two of them are still so fuzzy and one is not? According to Idaho Public Television: Twice a year, elk shed every hair on their body. Their spring shedding is noticeable because old winter hair dangles like long shaggy beards from their necks and sides. By July their winter coat is completely replaced by their summer coat. This coat has just one layer of hair.

Wooly Bully

So much wildlife in Benezette!

Mother’s Day weekend was busy in Benezette! The weather cooperated on Saturday, which let me spend more time outside. The grass needed mowed and the husband was able to move some dirt around. The forecast for Sunday though, was RAIN.

We started the morning on Saturday with a drive around the neighborhood and found this bull hanging out! That’s a good sign for elk viewing this summer!

We also took a drive around Benezette on Saturday night and found some of the Grant Bulls hanging out.

On Sunday, the husband worked on getting the water system working. We need to use a pressure tank, which is new for him. Plumbing is also not his thing, but he’s doing great!

Because the sewer isn’t turned on yet, we can’t let the water run down the drain. We’re being extra cautious with the amount of water we use. But! We did get some water to the kitchen sink!

Let There Be Water!

Lastly – There’s been rumors going around the neighborhood about some bears in the area. Sure enough, the in-laws caught some on their game camera!

Toad Update – Here are our tadpoles.

This week we’ve been shopping for appliances and furniture. We’ve got some deliveries scheduled for next week! Wait until you see the couch we found!

We can make a Secret Rendezvous

Our official cabin business this week was not so cabin business focused.

We’ve known about the Chainsaw Carvers Rendezvous in Ridgeway for several years, but have never made the journey from Benezette. Boy, were we missing out! There were more than 60 talented chainsaw carvers who were selling their art and demonstrating their talent. It was incredible to see how many saws of varying sizes they had on hand to complete their projects. Dennis Beach carved the beauty in the header photo, you can see some pictures of the process on his FaceBook page. He won the People’s Choice Award, for good reason!

I met Gary Insprucker who had traveled all the way from Indiana (the state, not the town in PA) to exhibit at this show. He had made some of the most awesome trees (from trees!) that were on display. He doesn’t have a website, you’ll have to go next year to check out his work! These two beauties came home with me!

Holy Bull Elk carved out of wood Batman!

The husband and I also went looking for elk, since none of them were nice enough to show up in the neighborhood. We were NOT disappointed by our trips. We found a big bachelor group of bulls who already have some pretty big antler bumps growing in. I have an old information sheet from the PA Game Commission that says their antlers will grow half an inch per day until fall! There was also a sweet little baby who is so fluffy!

We planted six more apple trees, so I’ll get some pics of those for you. And – we did some work in the bathroom this weekend too. Check out those drawer pulls! They’re antlers!

The toilet is one of those fancy push button types. It’s supposed to be low maintenance and very water efficient. We’ll see!