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!

The Beat Goes On

The weather in Benezette has been perfect for wildlife viewing. However, the wildlife are being less than cooperative at In The Sticks Cabins.

The flowers on the other hand! Well, they’ve come to play ball! I’ve found two in the backyard and learned a little about them (this is where you get to learn too!):

This is Scarlet Beebalm.

Scarlet Beebalm is a member of the mint family and was used by the Oswego Native Americans to make tea from the leaves. The Beebalm is pollinated by ruby-throated hummingbirds (which! Yay! I have got to get a hummingbird feeder!) and butterflies.

This appears to be a Blazing Star.

The Blazing Star can grow to be SIX. FEET. TALL!! They also attract butterflies, bumble bees and hummingbirds! Native Americans used it to treat swelling and snake bites. I’ll see if I can get in any closer and get a better picture, now that I know more.

We did get to see the momma deer and the fawns who are living out back – turns out they have a whole little posse back there. Look at the party they were having next door!

This coming weekend is the 100 Mile Yard Sale. The sale runs through Clearfield, Cameron and Elk county but is headquartered in Karthaus. Participants are asked to pay $10 and display their official participant sign. We’ve set up the past two years and continue to be blown away at how far people travel to attend. Last year we met a mother and daughter who drove from Michigan!

This year, there are 95 participants listed in the directory! We’re going to take a small lap this year and see what we can find.

We’re also welcoming our first guests this weekend! So, that’s the most exiting part for us! I’ll be working on getting an upcoming events page on our website – but for those of you wondering when you should come – the answer is always! There is always something to do in Benezette, even if it’s just sit on the front porch!

She Works Down at The Snake Farm

What a busy, busy weekend in Benezette! The 50th Annual Snake Hunt at the Sinnemahoning Sportsmen’s Club was going on all weekend long so we checked that out on Saturday. Then, we headed over to the Elk Country Visitor Center to check out the arts & craft festival.

Then it was back to the cabin for official cabin business. For me, that’s finishing touches. I’ve gotten most of the art on the walls, made the beds and started putting away the pots and pans and dishes!

Living Room

Bedrooms

Kitchen & Bath

The husband has been fighting with digging the final power line for the sewer system. Two weeks ago he busted the scoop off of the bracket that holds it to the skid steer. He got that welded back on but now the hydraulics are acting up. He finally broke down and rented a little Ditch Witch (which, come on, how fun is that to say!) and got it dug and the lines run. We’ll see if she powers up this weekend.

It’s almost rental time folks! If you haven’t yet, join our mailing list so you’re in the know!

Finally – we saw quite a bit of wildlife on our escapades.

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.