Saturday, February 28, 2009

No More Snow?

The weather has been very warm here for the last few days, but it's been raining for much of that time. This rain is actually a positive thing right now though. With the warm temperature and the rain, the snow has been melting away.

The rain was due to stop today, so I made a plan to go out to one of the hiking trails and see if there were any changes. I picked my newest one, Carpenter, to walk through today. I've already seen the others without snow, so I was hoping the snow was melting here.

As soon as I got there, I was greeted with a wonderful sight. Most of the snow was gone! There were still some patches of white snow in some places, but it was mostly gone. This was the first time I was able to see what the trail looked like.

I found out recently that this park is only about two years old, so I've been expecting something good. The trails seem to be made of gravel so there are no muddy puddles to have to worry about. The water was running off the trails really well, so it looked like today was going to be great.

As I moved around the bend in the trail, I noticed that there was still some ice on the trail up ahead. That was no problem. I knew I could deal with a few icy patches with relative ease. It looked like there was a little more snow up ahead than I wanted there to be though. I hoped this wasn't going to be a problem.

As I got into the trees, I realized that the white I was seeing was not snow. The trail in here was a solid sheet of slippery wet ice. This was going to make things difficult. There was ice on the trail, and water on the sides. I came this far though, so I was going to try to keep going.

As soon as I took my first few steps on this ice, I knew I had to be careful. Even if I took things very slowly, I was going to have a lot of trouble walking through this. I didn't bring my ice cleats because I didn't expect this. I was beginning to regret this trip.

As I walked along very carefully, I still almost fell several times. I was trying to walk on the snow that was on the sides of the trail, but there wasn't much room between the ice and the pooled water. I was now thinking that maybe I should turn around and go back home, but then something changed.

As soon as I made it to the first fork in the path, I discovered that the trail up ahead had no ice on it. I was through the icy part of the trail, and it looked like it was going to be easy going the rest of the way. After that icy trail was behind me, I was ready to begin my journey to see the sights.

This park was now naked of all of the snow from before. What would I find up ahead? There are signs throughout the park that promise wild animals. On my previous trips there have been absolutely no signs of life. Would this change with the warmer weather, and lack of snow? I still had not gone very far. Would I continue to ask so many questions throughout my journey today?

Find the answer to these exciting questions and many more as my thrilling adventure continues! I'll see you here tomorrow with some questions answered and some mysteries solved!

Related Posts

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Fallen One

I decided to tell another old story of mine that should fit well with Alice's description of dragons from last week. This will be one of my strangest Fiction Friday stories yet. I have to warn you that this story gets a little scary, but it's incredibly stupid too, so even any kids should be okay with it even if it scares you a little bit. Just remember that the only things here that are real are my pictures.

Fiction Friday

I began my journey late in the day, with the shadows lengthening on the ground. Maybe it wasn't the best time to go hiking on a nature trail, but I really wanted to see what was out there. My curiosity was greater than my sense of danger.

I crossed a long bridge into a dark part of the forest. I looked around and saw that there was no one else about. I usually like that, but for some reason it made me feel uncomfortable. I figured it was nothing, and kept going on my way.

I made sure my camera was ready. I wanted to get some good pictures today. I've been getting a lot of photos of animals lately. I wondered what I'd run across today. Maybe I'd see a bear or something. Heh Heh.

It's strange, the further I went along the nature trail, the darker and darker it got. I also started to notice the lack of any animal life. What would I do if I didn't see any forest creatures? Well, I'd just have to find something else interesting. It shouldn't be too hard.

In the darkest part of the forest, I heard a long, deep howl. It sounded almost like a cross between a human and an animal. I'm not sure what made the sound. I just knew that I didn't want to meet it.

What should I do now? I was too scared to think. The only thing I could do, was to keep moving forward. That was now the shortest way back out of here. So I continued on, and my fear began to subside.

The sound didn't seem to be coming from close by anyway, so maybe I was safe. Maybe it wasn't so bad here after all. Hey, look at that rock. I'll take a picture of that. It's a nice interesting landmark out here in the wilderness. I stopped, and began taking the pictures, when something really strange happened.

A light shined down from... somewhere. It was a cold, harsh, blinding light. It was like standing in the center of a lightning bolt. It made me afraid to go on, but I couldn't go back. I had to make it past this sinister light, to continue my journey and make it out of this dark forest.

But as I stood there in the light, all sorts of whispered thoughts came into my head, 'Give in. It'll be so easy. The light is what you want. Believe in the light. It will change your life forever. The beast will show you the way.' I resisted these foreign voices and urged myself forward.

As I moved past the light, I came upon something rising up from the earth. It was a young dragon, getting ready to spread it's evil wings for the first time. I've seen dragons before, so I knew what this was. These beasts were evil eating machines, and they hated all things human.

I tried to hide, but it knew I was there. It turned towards me and spoke, "Hello Ratty."

I was now completely terrified. I said, "How do you know my name?"

"I know you, Ratty" it said. "We have met you before. You were once offered a golden apple while you were on one of your journeys. Why didn't you eat it when it was offered to you?"

"Everybody knows not to eat strange fruit! It's one of the first lessons we learn." I said.

"You're quite wrong," he said. "Many others have eaten the fruit, and they now believe it will change them forever. Go ahead and eat it! Everybody else is doing it."

"Well, maybe if everybody... No! How does it change them?" I replied

"What does it matter? Just eat one! You know you want to! Everybody wants to! Who are you to go against everyone else?" the dragon angrily said.

I answered quickly, "I'm not everyone else! I'm me. An individual. I have my own thoughts, feelings, and opinions. And I do what I want, when I want. Just because others do something so foolish doesn't mean I need to do the same. Why do you want me to eat that fruit so badly? How will it change me? You still haven't answered that one."

The dragon was now seething with rage. Even so he calmly replied, "If you plan on writing about this encounter with me, I'm going to mess it up. I'll ruin it so you can't recover. You'll learn not to disobey me. All of my enemies will learn. Each one in a different way. Some lessons will be harsher than others. Soon I will spread my evil fruit across the world, and no one will be safe. It will paralyze them so my brothers may feed. You are all doomed!"

With that, the dragon spread his wings, and leaped up into the sky. He was soon far out of sight. As I stood there watching, I realized my blood had run cold from the experience, but I was sweating profusely. I had to do something.

I started running towards the exit. I had to warn everybody! They were all in danger! But wait. Who would believe me? They would all say I was crazy. I know... I'll write about it on the internet. What could go wrong with that?

That was going to be the end of my story, but since then, all sorts of strange things have been happening. The evil dragon has messed up this post several times, in an effort to silence me. I'm sure the dragon had to be the one responsible.

Now in my haste to warn you all, I can't clearly explain what happened. But believe me, we are all in danger! If you come across a strange beast offering you something remarkable, don't take it! It will doom you forever! Ask what it really is that the creature is giving you. Heed my warning! We are doomed! Doooooomed!

42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42

Related Posts

Thursday, February 26, 2009

New Spring

Before I start this post, I want to let everyone know that Sharkbytes has continued the 5th Picture Meme game over on her My Quality Day site. Here's a link to the post: 5/5 Meme Ends Up in North Dakota

Don't miss this one. Her picture is animated, and she did a really good post. Plus she has an irresistible mystery post coming up. I can't wait! Read her post either before or after mine. However you do it, you'll leave a little happier. Now onto my story for today.

Today is going to be a very warm day here, and yesterday saw more warm weather. The snow is melting again, because of this warm winter weather. We have been going from cold days to warmer days and back again lately. We will go back to cold temperatures before the week is done.

Are these new warmer days a sign that winter is almost over and spring is coming? Yes! These are definitely the first signs of spring. But wait, I'm not saying spring is here yet. I'm just saying that we're seeing the very earliest signs of it now.

It's still possible for winter to rebound and throw us down into the icy deep freeze that it kept us in last month. But it doesn't have much time to do that anymore. We have only a little over a month before winter breaks it's icy grip on us.

I know there are some doubters out there. I know who some of you are. Winter always makes one last gasp attempt to keep ahold of all of us. It may happen some time at the beginning of April. We will think spring is here, and a huge snowstorm will hit. But it won't last long.

By then, winter will have to turn over this part of the world to the warmth of spring. It's coming and the signs are all around us. Our snow has been mixed with rain now more and more. Our frozen lakes and rivers are beginning to melt, and each freeze is weaker than the last. We are truly seeing the decline of winter.

With this new ice melt, I found out that there is a river running next to my new found Carpenter Lake. I can't wait to sneak down there and find out where it goes. I'm finally seeing what this park will be like when it gets warm.

Another great sign of spring here in the USA is the first games of Spring Training Baseball. I'm a huge baseball fan, and I have high hopes for my Detroit Tigers. Spring training is always a good sign that spring is coming. The regular baseball season will begin in only one month from now.

Baseball is definitely a warm weather sport, so we know they're hoping for warm breezes and sunny skies when the baseball teams get ready to start battling each other. Right now they are only warming up in two of our warmest states, but baseball is one more true sign of spring. By the way, my team won it's first game 5-4.

There it is, my secret way to sneak baseball into my usual nature stuff. I think it fit pretty well. I don't know if anybody noticed, but I snuck another reference in there too. For all of you book readers out there, can you guess where I stole my post title from?

Okay, I'll talk to you all in the comments section later, and in my next post tomorrow.

Related Posts

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

5th Picture Meme

I was invited to a little game called 5th Picture Meme last Thursday by Karen & Gerard Zemek (Great blog, check 'em out). But due to my laziness, and having a case of the winter blahs, I have been putting this off for a few days. I waited because I wanted to do it justice. It's very similar to the Tag games that go around all the time, but this one seems much more interesting to me. Here's a link to the original post: 5th Picture Meme

This game gives a topic that makes things fun and easy for us to continue the game. It's not a scary challenge to reveal our deepest thoughts, fears, or secrets. It just asks each blogger that plays to show a picture and then describe it to everyone.

Well, that's exactly my kind of thing. I do that every day! So what more could I ask for than an excuse to do a special post about something that I like to do already? I could ask for a million dollars, and I think I will. If anyone has a spare million or more dollars, would you please give it to me? C'mon, I'll be your friend.

Oh yeah, in my greed I forgot the rules of the game, so here they are, quoted directly from Karen's site.

Open a document or file folder,
click on the fifth folder

and then the fifth photo.

Post the photo and describe it.

Then tag 5 other bloggers.

Well, since I'm a terrible cheater and a rebellious scoundrel, I'm not going to tag 5 other bloggers. I'm going to tag everybody. Every blogger that reads this. Every blogger that exists. And even others that aren't bloggers yet. Go and start your own blog, and continue this little game. Ha!

Okay, on to the description of the photo.

My photo here is the entranceway to my favorite hiking park, Woodland Hills Nature Park. This particular photo was taken not very long after I got my camera and started this blog. It was the first time I went to this place since I began taking pictures and writing about them.

I hadn't even gotten in there yet, so my adventures there were about to mean something completely different than they ever did before. This entranceway was a very familiar sight to me, but not to most of the rest of the world. That was about to change forever.

I remember taking that picture. I wanted to get the most important features of the park. The entry point is obviously one of those things. After that, I remember walking about twenty feet into the trail, and after taking about five pictures my camera batteries died.

As I stood there disappointed, I remembered that I had forgotten my spare batteries. So feeling incredibly stupid, I had to turn right back around and go home. When I retrieved more batteries at home, I came back to the park immediately and began my new journey.

And there you have it. That's my description of this one lonely little photo of today. It was fun looking back to that day. I had forgotten all about that incident until now. But now you all know of it too.

Now, for anyone still reading after that long bit of great art (windbaggery) I call a post, I invite you all to try this same thing. It's pretty easy to do, and for some of you it's what you've been doing all along. You don't even have to specifically name anybody else to continue it. I didn't.

So go ahead and try it, or don't, it might be fun. If you decide to give it a try, leave me a comment right here so I can help you promote it. Even if you don't decide to do it, leave a comment so I'll stop crying because there are no comments. That's it.

Related Posts

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Monday, February 23, 2009

Alice's Little Deer

A while back when Alice made her special little post, Greetings From Alice, she showed you this photo of a cute little baby deer. I told her she could show anything she wanted from that day, and this turned out to be one of those things. I think she did a very good job with her post, but there was only one problem.

The problem was that I wanted to be the one to show you the deer. So when I saw that she had picked that one, I was extremely disappointed. Still, I would rather be the one that was disappointed than her, so I didn't say anything. I just let her show the photo, because I wanted her to be happy.

I was glad I didn't spoil anything for her, because as it turned out, she was very happy and proud of her post. It was the only time I ever let anyone else write anything on here, and she knew it. She had been going out on those trails with me since before I had this blog, so when she asked to write a post here, I knew that it was the right thing to do.

Anyway, back to this little deer. We didn't actually see it at Carpenter, where we went that day. We were on the way home, when I remembered a road that lead into the other side of the forest that was behind my house. I actually never went in there before, so I asked her if she'd like to go sight seeing before we finished our trip.

Well, that is one of Alice's favorite things. It's the real reason she likes to go on the hiking trips with me. Alice is a very curious little girl, and very much like the Alice in the stories, so she immediately wanted to go.

The road is an old dirt road, and we had no idea what to expect. When I turned my truck onto it, I noticed immediately that the road went uphill right around a blind corner. It wasn't a very wide road either, so I had to drive carefully. I was watching out for any vehicles coming from the other direction when I saw it.

It seems after not seeing any animals at all at Carpenter, Alice's magic of Wonderland began to work again! There was that little deer walking around in the trees by the side of the road. I pointed it out to Alice, and she immediately wanted to stop and get some pictures. But I couldn't do it, because of the blind turn we were on. So we kept on going.

We drove up the road and discovered that there was a quiet little neighborhood up there. It was like being in the country right inside the city. The people that were there weren't like country folk at all though. People from the country are mostly friendly, but these people just stared at us with suspicion in their eyes.

So we drove back out hoping that our little deer was still there. I knew the road by now, so I knew I could stop safely. As we approached the spot where we saw the deer, I began to drive very slowly, looking out for it. Sure enough there it was, still in the same area, but further back in the trees.

I stopped the truck and began taking as many pictures of it as I could before another car came, or the deer decided it didn't like us anymore. The road stayed quiet of other vehicles, but the deer began to edge away from us. I didn't want to frighten the little child deer too much, so I handed the camera to Alice, and we drove away.

There is actually a good sized herd that lives in that forest, but that little one must have decided to try a small adventure of it's own. Hopefully it made it back home safely. City deer like ours seem almost like pets, so they are mostly protected. As long as they stay in their little forest, they're safe.

That's the story of the little deer in Alice's picture. We went home happy with lots of stories to tell. I'm glad I let Alice give everyone the first sighting of the little deer, because I think it was really there for her anyway.

Related Posts

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Frozen Fishing Platform

Today we had more snow and cold weather, so I didn't get to go anywhere. I really wouldn't have a big problem hiking in a snowstorm, but I have no way to get to any of the nature parks. The problem is driving on the snow filled roads. It gets kind of treacherous.

I was actually very tempted to go back to one of my hiking trails, and just walk around enjoying the snowfall. As long as you're dressed warmly, walking in the middle of all that snow can be just as enjoyable as walking in any quiet forest in the warm summertime.

Just one week ago we were experiencing a sort of false spring around here. Everybody hoped it was the real thing, but we all knew it was still way too early. We still have a little over a month before we start to see the first signs of spring around here.

I mentioned last week because I was back out at my new nature park, Carpenter Lake. Unfortunately I didn't have Alice with me this time, but I did get to enjoy the peaceful solitude of the forest. I know that some of you like when I have Alice along, but I can do many more adventurous and dangerous things if she's not there.

That's not to say that I would ever leave her behind if she was with me, but I only see her every few months. I guess it gets hard to leave Wonderland very often when you've chosen to live there permanently. Besides, would you want to leave a place like that for very long?

Oh, but I'm neglecting to tell you about my two pictures of the day. These photos look almost identical, but there are a few differences. The one at the top was from my last visit to Carpenter. They are both shots of my new fancy bridge playground. At the end of it is the fishing platform.

If you look at the right side of both photos, you can see in the one at the top that the ice on the lake has begun to melt. It was like that all over the park that day. Nobody would foolishly walk out on that lake now. Maybe only something as small as a rabbit would be safe out there.

These photos are just to give you a preview of what I did that day, and I really like the photos very much. Don't worry though, I still have a few last stories of Alice's latest visit for you. I just held them back so I would have them in reserve for you. I guess the most interesting story is what happened to make Alice not want to go back out there the next day.

Related Posts

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Winter's Tale

The Everyday Adventurer is back with a vengeance! What? You say I wasn't gone? Oh, but I was. My presence here was down to a very minimum. Exhaustion because of boring normal city life had limited my presence here and at my beloved nature areas to almost nothing.

I have now decided to fight that awful demon of concrete and steel with every inch of my soul. Nothing can stop me now. I may lose a few battles, but I will win the war. I will emerge victorious and bring justice to the love of nature that wants to emerge from deep within my heart.

So now, on with the spectacle, on with the show. Let's begin a great journey, and see where it goes!

I was almost to the back of Carpenter Lake Nature Preserve, and there was a hill leading further to the rear of the park. I had to find out where it lead. Oh, I forgot I just said it lead to the back. But what was back there? Let's find out.

As I reached the top of the hill, I saw something in the distance. It was some sort of structure. It looked like a wrought iron fence, similar to the one that surrounded the dam. Just to the right of the fence was something else completely.

It looked like a stack of huge boxes. It was hard to see since everything was covered in snow. What could be in these boxes? Why was there a fence there? I was very curious to see what these things were, so I had to move closer and investigate.

I was right! It was a fence and some boxes. I had some good pictures of the boxes, but they seem to have disappeared into the ether. In the boxes were more pieces of fencing. They clearly aren't done building this fence, but why?

This fence marks the very back of the nature preserve. On the other side of the fence was that awful beast, civilization! It looked like one of those dreaded things they call neighborhoods. I hoped I wouldn't see any of those hairless apes that live in the buildings there. They so often mean trouble.

I hoped that extra fencing was there to keep those apes out of here. They always scare me. Wait! What was that? Did I see something moving out there? I'm not going to stay and find out! With that, I bounded off into the trees up ahead and to the left. Now safely hidden in my forest, I'm going to go home and rest. It's been a long day.

Related Posts

Friday, February 20, 2009

Alice And The Dragons

Fiction Friday

This post is based on some of the things that happened the last time Alice was with me. Some of it is true, and some of it is not. Alice did see dragons, but the rest is just a story.

What is it that Alice is staring at? While I was walking down the new walkway, I saw her looking at something off to the side of the railing. I wondered if she spotted a duck or something walking around down there.

She seemed pretty interested in what it was, because when I asked her she didn't seem to hear me for a second. I asked her again and she said to come and take a look. I wasn't sure what I would find, because she has a habit of dragging parts of Wonderland along with her on our trips.

As I got closer, I noticed something big and dark down there. It wasn't moving so I knew I needed to find out what was going on. We had not seen any animals out here yet, so I didn't think it was anything that might be alive.

When I got there, all I saw were these broken tree branches that were half submerged in the ice of the lake. For some reason they looked strangely familiar though. I couldn't figure it out, and I didn't know why Alice was so interested in them.

She said that winter is a bad time for them. I asked her what she was talking about. She said that some of the dragons didn't like the cold, and they easily froze to death unless they found shelter. I told her that it was only a piece of wood.

She said that wood was what dragons turned into when they died. She said that this one must have been swimming around in the lake when it froze. Now it is stuck there forever, but none of the rest of us know that this wood used to be a dragon.

Here's another poor unfortunate dragon that peaked up out of it's den at the wrong time. Alice spotted this one right away too. She walked over to check on it, and said that it was now turned into wood too.

I asked her if she knew why they turned into wood. She looked at me as if I were stupid and said, "Because they're dead." I thought right then that I should go get the Red Queen after her. That would teach her a lesson.

Instead, I asked again, why is it wood that they turn into when they die? Then she finally explained that it was because they dried out and became petrified. That was also the reason why we never find any dead dragons lying around.

I guess that answered that question. Now we all know what happens to dragons when they die, right from the thoughts of Alice. I wonder if she'll see any other interesting creatures on our next trip together.

Related Posts

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Computer Upgrades

Yesterday I had a very strange adventure. I've been upgrading my computer! That's something that this blog hasn't seen before. I've seen it many times before, because I was a computer geek even before I started exploring nature so much. I still liked nature even back then.

This computer upgrading has consumed most of my time yesterday, so I've kind of neglected you all. Sorry for that. I really didn't know that it was going to take so much time. Today I'm going on a dreaded trip to the doctor, so I might not be much better this time either. I'll do as much as I can, but it will still be lacking.

In the meantime, I thought I'd show you what I just got. I'm still trying to fine tune these things, so things still aren't perfect. So far they have some great points, and some things to get used to.

This is my first flat screen LCD monitor. It's huge!

This is my second TV card. I use my computer for a TV to save time. I love the old one, but it's becoming obsolete.

I hope the pictures tell the story here. If anyone wants more details, I'll be happy to give them in the comments section. I'll talk to you tomorrow with a special Alice adventure for Fiction Friday!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

More Dam Pictures

Today I'm going to show you the rest of my dam pictures. These aren't really all of them, but they are all of them for now. These are the other pictures that I wanted for yesterday's story, but they just didn't fit. Since there wasn't enough room for them, I thought I would show you the rest today.

I like this one because of the way the ice forms all over the dam. It looks like little icebergs down at the base with all that water surrounding them. I look in close and have little fantasies of seeing penguins or something.

It all makes me marvel at how even moving water can freeze. It must have been a little bit at a time, but it shows the power of nature and different temperatures. I like the way it looks like the ice seems to have climbed up the side of the dam. In a way it actually did that. As it froze little by little, the ice grew and climbed it's way up and out.

These next two hopefully show you the water spraying out of the holes. It was kind of cool looking to see the way the water was escaping, even though there was a freezing mass of ice around it. This is something that you're obviously never going to get to see in warm weather.

The picture above and below look suspiciously the same, but they were indeed two different photos. I just wanted to make it clear that I didn't crop anything here to show something closer. These pictures have been completely untouched, except for my web address and shrunken resolution so they will fit on the site.

Besides, if I was going to alter them I would make them look a little better than this. I try to keep the original form of a photo if it's possible. Out of the hundreds of photos on this site, I have only altered maybe six. That was only really cropping them for the reasons mentioned above.

I wanted to show you a really extreme closeup shot here of this section of the dam. It shows the water splashing over everything. The ice makes it splash even better. Ouch! that was some bad writing! I probably should have just showed the pictures this time. Let's change the story for a minute.

This stuff with the dam happened in the past, but today I got to see two deer in my backyard. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera with me. When I went in to get it, they decided that they would rather be somewhere else. I got back out there and the deer were gone.

That was just a mini update on what's happening right now. I've been missing the deer, so I was happy to see them back out there today. Hopefully that means that I'll get to take some new deer pictures soon. It's been so long since I've seen any animals here. Okay, back to the dam, and the wrap up of this story.

Here's the last photo of the dam for awhile. Can you guess where Alice and I were standing when I took this picture? Look at the other side and you can see that fence keeping people off the dangerous side. There is a similar fence on this side.

That's right! We were standing safely behind the bars of the fence. I would never put Alice or myself in that kind of danger that I just implied. Even the seeming danger from yesterday's post wasn't as bad as it might have seemed. It was there though.

Sometimes you have to emphasize things like danger to show that it is very real. Even though I stay reasonably safe, there are still dangers out there. I hope to show that when you go out there that you should always watch for dangerous situations.

There are even animals that can be dangerous. We don't have as many dangerous animals here as in some places, but in the woods I've been showing you recently there has been a coyote roaming around. I saw it myself, and it was very aware of me. It was less afraid of me than I would have liked. The look in it's eyes when it saw me was more cunning and wariness than fear.

So to wrap it up, I'd like to remind you all to stay safe when you go out into nature. And I hope you liked my dam pictures. I like saying that!

Related Posts

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Carpenter Lake Dam

I finally did it! I finally brought you the post I've been promising you over the last few days. Yesterday in my Danger Signs post, I showed you these white and orange posts in the ice. Someone had ignored the danger and walked across. I hid from you what the danger was here.

Today I'm revealing it to you! It's the Carpenter Lake Dam. I have to admit that I don't know how dangerous it would be to be out there, but just for that reason I wouldn't risk it. I don't know what kind of pull the dam would create, if any. So in this case I would respect the signs.

With that, I'll say that I've been looking for a dam for awhile now. I thought I might find one at Newburgh Lake, but it didn't turn out that way so far. When I saw the sign outside this place, I didn't think I would find much. I was very wrong!

This dam was created in 1996. So that gives us a clue as to the age of this nature preserve. The lake and the dam are here to slow the river further down stream, and to beautify the area. This was another very pleasant surprise of Carpenter Lake Nature Preserve.

I started out on a viewing platform just to the side of the dam. From there you can see a great view of the river. I'll show you some of those things in a few days, after I tell you the story of how Alice and I got these pictures of this dam.

When we got to the platform, we saw a huge wrought iron fence around the dam. We thought that was the end of our journey. I was very disappointed because I really wanted to see the outlet side of the dam.

As I began to look around, I noticed a path next to the fence, and came up with an idea. I told Alice to stay at the platform while I followed the path. I then realized that she didn't want to miss out on any of our adventure, so I unwisely told her she could come along.

We had to walk over a small hill to get to the other side of the dam. As we got to the top, I realized that to get to the best view would be kind of perilous for both of us. We had to walk down the hill, and at the side of a very slippery looking slope, that led down to the river that the dam emptied into.

I knew this wasn't the smartest thing I was ever going to do. I tested my footing a few times and decided I could make it without much danger. But unlike me, Alice didn't have snow cleats on to protect her from slipping. I had to think of her first. Maybe we shouldn't do this.

Then I had another idea. I told Alice to grab a hold of my coat with both hands, and to stay uphill of me. I knew I wouldn't fall; and if she did, she would fall right into me and be stopped from falling far. This should keep her safe from any danger.

We made it as far as we safely could without the risk of falling becoming too great. As a result, I got several great pictures of the dam. This one is the first of them. You can see here a good view of the whole dam. I have some other pictures that are spectacular. They're coming very soon. I just couldn't fit them in this story today.

After the snow is gone, and I know what the safety factor is, I'll try going down to where the stream is so I can get some shots from an even better angle. For now, this is pretty good for wintertime and an area covered with snow. It should also show the bravery of one little girl.

For Alice's little friend from Wonderland, if you're reading this story today, this is another example of her adventures. It will show you that your friend Alice is like a superhero. She does things like this all the time. Tell your parents that you want them to take you to places like this, so you can have fun adventures too.

That's my story of the Carpenter Lake Dam. I finally revealed it to you all. I hope you liked it. I hope to show a little more of it tomorrow. Until then...

Related Posts

Monday, February 16, 2009

Danger Signs

Here I am, back again. The Everyday Adventurer is here to tell you another thrilling tale of the every day everyday. This time I'm going to admit that I think I got a little bit ahead of myself again yesterday. I keep promising a post about something, and it keeps getting pushed back.

This post today is actually another step closer to the promised one. It actually gets very close to it. It's okay that it's not here yet though, because I have something that's just as good today. I guess you might already have an idea as to what that is.

Yesterday in the comments section I had another sort of request. It wasn't requested outright, but it was a request all the same. WiseAcre asked about what the sign said on the Carpenter Lake viewing area. I love even the smallest requests, and I'd have trouble turning him down for even a pretty big one.

He kind of wondered if it was one of those signs that the time of year made the statement on it completely ridiculous. Well, it is kind of out of season, but I guess only a little bit. Obviously nobody is going to go swimming in this frozen lake right now, but the part about prohibiting wading is interesting.

I guess if you want to get technical about it, wading is another word for walking. So this could be interpreted as no walking out on the lake. If you think of it that way, it could be very good advice. Look back at the first photo and you can see that the ice in the background is very shiny.

Shiny for ice usually means that it is wet. Wet, of course, means water. Water on ice can mean that the ice is melting, and is not very solid. So if you look at it with that roundabout kind of logic, the sign gives good advice, even if at first glance it looks inappropriate for this time of year.

Just so I'm not a complete liar again today, I have sort of a preview of my promised post. It also relates to today's subject very well. Those white and orange posts in the ice say Danger on them. From where I was standing when I took the picture, there was another sign that was identical to the sign from the viewing area.

These danger signs are an extra warning not to go out on the water or even the ice in this area. You can plainly see by the footprints in the photo that somebody completely ignored these warning markers. I don't understand what motivates people to do this.

I'm not going to reveal today why it might be extra dangerous in this area, and I'm not going to promise it for tomorrow either. I do plan on revealing it tomorrow, but my plans keep changing. It will be revealed though. It's something I've been searching for, and I've been back there twice now. The story will be told.

I'll talk again tomorrow, see you then!

Related Posts

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Icy Carpenter Lake

Yesterday I showed you my new play area, and today I'm going to show you why it is there. I know I promised to shake your soul with today's post. So I'm a liar. I can't help it. Maybe if you keep reading you might shake a little bit. Probably with anger at my deception.

I'm just kidding. But you did get a little angry, didn't you? Maybe you won't shake, you'll just shiver with cold when you see what I'm about to show you. It's a lake, but not just any lake. It's Carpenter Lake, and it is frozen almost solid.

This lake is where the walkway that I talked about yesterday leads to. It looked like yesterday that it was only built for fun, but it has a good purpose. Most of this walkway is hovering over the top of this lake. It's main purpose is to be a viewing area and a fishing spot.

I took this photo while I was looking directly across the lake. You can see a house in the very back. Across the lake is a suburban neighborhood. The road that goes down the other side of those houses is a busy one. I've traveled that road many times.

All of those houses are the main reason that I didn't know that Carpenter Lake, and this nature park existed. I've been driving around here for years, but I never saw this place. I thought it was just another part of that neighborhood. I knew that the woods were here, but I didn't know they made this place.

Towards the front of the picture, there on the ice is what used to be a skating rink that somebody made. You can see some very shiny areas on the ice there. There are also footprints crisscrossing the ice. Those shiny spots are a good indication that it's not safe to walk across this ice anymore.

Here is what it looks like upriver from this little viewing area that I'm standing on. That's the direction I came from. Where I am now is about halfway to the back of the nature preserve. I do seem to remember driving over a bridge when I came here, but it was only a small river back there.

I really don't know what the trail running through the snow is from. I am guessing it is from a snow shovel. It leads right up to the skating rink. I don't know why they cleared a path in this direction. I was assuming that it was people from the houses that made the rink. Maybe not.

This last photo is downstream from my viewing area, and there is something very interesting in that direction. That's what I was actually talking about when I said I'd steal, uh, shake your soul and stir your imagination. I meant to show it to you today, but I remembered that I wanted to show this to you first.

Here at the end of today's slightly obnoxious little story, I'd just like to mention that I still had Alice with me. I haven't forgotten about her, but showing this lake to you didn't really involve her that much. She did have something to say at the time, but that is another story completely.

I promise to tell that one on Friday, because I'm going to put my own little fictional twist on the strange thing she came up with while we were here. I was going to use that one today, but it's a little too strange to be considered anything less than fiction.

Lastly, this lake isn't very big, and it looks like it might be man made. There are several indications of that. One of which I'll be showing you tomorrow. See you then.

Related Posts

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My New Play Area

I'm back today to talk about my journey through Carpenter Lake Nature Preserve with the famous Alice. I have to keep going from place to place this week, because I've seen so many strange and interesting things. I also know that some of you don't want this latest journey with Alice to get lost to time.

Some of you may have noticed in my Recent Comments section yesterday that Alice's post was invaded by a few escapees from Wonderland. They heard about Alice's recent visits into our world, and they wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Alice's little friends from Wonderland are welcome here anytime.

Anyway, on to something Alice and I saw when we were at my newest hiking trail. As some of you know, not only do I love nature, but I also really love bridges. I mostly like the smaller kind that are just for walking on, but even the bigger ones are cool. I haven't featured nearly enough bridges here.

We found something at Carpenter that isn't exactly a bridge, but I think it is one of the greatest structures in a nature park that I have seen so far. This place is a series of stairs and docks that you can go down and view the lake from. Yes, there is a lake here!

You can see a little bit of what this place is like in the photos here. I hope they give you an idea of what we saw. It was a sprawling group of wooden and metal paths that go down to the lake. Because of this new structure, I think I finally understand why I like bridges so much.

As most kids have done, I used to play at parks and outside at school. There were sometimes playgrounds with cool things to climb all over and walk on, and just have a good time. I've seen even better play areas today than when I was a kid. But there is nothing like that for adults. Or is there?

There is! They are bridges, escalators, glass elevators, and especially places like the one in these pictures! This place was made for fun in mind. It brings back the mentality of a child in me. I actually laughed out loud with delight when I saw it. Alice understood completely, and we rushed down to the place just so we could walk along our new playground.

You know, this thing even has the same colors as some of the new play areas that they make for children. I now understand that it's not just bridges, but anything you can climb on or just explore that is so much fun. I don't know of anyone who doesn't like these things. Something like this is a great everyday adventure all by itself.

One last thing I want to tell you today. All of the snow you see in these photos has melted by now. The process began on the day Alice and I were at this place. I'll be going back there very soon, and there will be some very different pictures of what the place looks like. I'll have to show photos from both times, because I don't want this adventure to get lost. Some of the things we saw were magical.

I'll be back tomorrow with something to stir your imagination, and shake your very soul!

Related Posts

Friday, February 13, 2009

A Twisted Tale

Fiction Friday

Here's another older story. This story is only partly fiction, but it's too strange to be all fact. I made a sad attempt to write a newer story, but my cold is holding back even the strange things from my mind. I hope you like this one. It's fittingly bizarre for Fiction Friday, and it is actually a preview of my next story.

Some Pig! What a pig! Look at the muscles on that pig! That one looks like it's a strong pig! And it's really friendly too! Who could ask more of any pig! I wonder if it's related to Spider Pig.

I'll tell you, if I had a pet pig like this one, I would ride it to work every day. That would save some gas! Or it could pull a little cart for me to ride in. Wouldn't that be a sight? A pig pulling a cart with a white rat in it. I could feed the pig leftovers. No more paying for gas! Except maybe from the pig.

Do you ever wonder what a pig like this is thinking? I know, me neither. Really, I think this pig might be worried that Jack the Farmer might want it for a meal. That would be a shame if such a great pig ended up as bacon and pork chops. I'll have to try and talk Jack out of it. Maybe he could trade another cow for something else to eat. That usually turns out pretty well.

I do have to say, it is a friendly pig. It looks like it wants somebody, anybody to feed it. You have to get that big somehow. This pig not only tolerated, but welcomed gangs of evil little kids. It went over to them, and just loved it while they pawed at it and petted it. I think the pig was in heaven. Who would have thought a pig would act like that?

I did have a pet pig when I was a kid. We used to keep it in a pen out in the back. There used to be a garage there, but my dad tore it down, which is another story entirely. It turns out the garage, and the land around it, was full of poisonous snakes. There were a lot of them where we lived then. Pigs like ours, would kill and eat snakes. That's why we really had the pig.

When we moved away, my dad gave our pet pig to the neighbors. We didn't mind too much. The pig had to live somewhere. Then my mom told me that they would probably slaughter and eat it. What a sad day! I felt terrible. My poor pig! I bet the pig felt worse than I did. I'll always remember that pig.

There you go. I just gave you a twisted tale about a twisted tail. I hope you liked it. ...Oh, one more thing. If you have a pig of your own, give it a hug for me.

Related Posts

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Help Find Rainfield's Bird

Rainfield over at MyJourney has a picture that he took of a bird. The only problem is that the bird seems to have done a disappearing act. Check out his site and see if you can find it for him. Leave him a comment and let him know what you think. Here's the link to the post: Where Is My Bird?

Snowy Animal Tracks

I'm going to try to keep this short today, because I'm full of cold medicine. It's keeping me from knowing what to write, and the writing might come out even stranger than normal. I have some more photos from my new discovery, Carpenter Park.

My photos for today are all animal tracks, and one foot. It looks like a lot of people came through here, but not one of these tracks is human. All of these tracks were made by deer. I knew this forest was full of deer, but there are a lot of tracks through here.

Most of this snow is melted by now, because we are experiencing a false springtime right now. The only problem is that along with the warmth, it has been raining nonstop. It would have been fun to go out, but with the rain and my cold I can't go anywhere.

I'm not quite sure what made these tracks, but they look to be the size of possum or raccoon tracks. This place is going to be great when spring really gets here. It may turn out to be great even before then. I'm sure I'll find out. It's been pretty good so far.

This last footprint is only from a dog, but it was huge. I tried to give some perspective by putting my foot in the photo, but I'm not sure it worked. Just to let you know, my feet are huge. My shoe size is fourteen. Hopefully that gives you an idea of the size of this dog footprint. I wasn't sure this was even a dog at first. This must have been a big dog!

Okay, I think that's enough for today. Sorry it's such a short post. I'm very tired from this cold of mine. I just didn't want to start typing the letter b over and over or something strange like that. This cold medicine is really messing me up. My mind isn't quite here right now. bbbbbbbbb

None of that was too strange, was it? Hopefully I'll talk more tomorrow.