Saturday, October 22, 2016

This Fall at Shabo-Mekaw

If you're a regular reader of my blog, you may recall that we had a bad storm this Spring, which brought a "micro-burst" (which I believe is like a small tornado) that took down several of our huge oak trees.

 Five or six of them were laying across the drive, and were just too large for my husband and I to handle, so we got a logger to come in and remove them.

Loggers only take the main trunk of the tree, however, so we were left with a lot of this kind of mess to clean up.

Larger branches were cut into firewood, while smaller ones were burned. Let's just say we won't need to cut firewood for a very long time.

 The log cabin looks so strange without the trees that used to frame it. To the left of it were two white oaks and a black oak.One of the white oaks was dead, and they were both very close to the cabin, so we decided to have them both taken down. During this process, the black oak was hit by one of the white oaks - which we knew was unfortunately very likely to happen.

The place looks even more naked because we had them cut a huge pine which was only a few feet from the front door, and had had most of its branches torn off by the fall of a tree across the driveway, which had been blown down in a storm a couple of years ago. Though these were all prudent measures to keep the cabins from being damaged, it still looks to me as if something important is missing. I'm sure I'll get used to it, though, in time.

We haven't had any rain to speak of for a while, and the water level in the Kinniconick is very low.

On this day, the weather was perfect - the sky a clear azure blue with a few puffy clouds, the trees beginning to reveal their fall colors.

These are plentiful down by the creek, and are actually kind of pretty - until you start trying to pull them out of your dogs' fur.

Cardinal flowers always grow near the creek in the late summer to early fall, the brilliance of their color standing out against the grey rocks.

Looking up from the bottom of this huge sycamore tree, I'm struck by the light's effect on the changing leaves.

Here, I'm standing on the island, gazing across the "swirl hole" towards our little "beach". As it rounds the bend  and splits to go around the island, there is very little water in either branch.

Even the flowers that have gone to seed still have their own kind of beauty...

Walking up the creek, I was able to go much further than usual, and even cross it without getting my feet wet.  Normally, the rocks you're seeing here are under water.

Fall flowers are not finished yet, and I'm surprised by all the different kinds growing here so late in the season.

Arlo set up a big ruckus, as he stopped up ahead of me and began barking, growling, and whining at something on the ground. Knowing his hatred of snakes, I was afraid he had found a copperhead, and hurried, though cautiously, to where he was. You'll notice that, in true Arlo fashion, he has already rolled in something black and slimy. What he was barking his head off at was an evil, horrendous, dog-eating box turtle, and a rather small one at that. Sheesh! Apparently his fear extends to all reptiles in general.

Sunny and Arlo have crossed the creek to investigate and are on their way back. You can just barely see Sunny swimming in the distance.

These are a type of lobelia; I've forgotten which species.

A wider shot looking up the creek...

Turning to look down the creek toward the swirl hole...

I hope you enjoyed the sights here at Shabo-Mekaw on this gorgeous fall day. If you're interesting in finding out more about our beautiful country get-away, there are more posts here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Happy fall (or spring, as the case may be), everyone!


  1. beautiful photos, we humans are such strange creatures... I lived on a farm with a kind and gentle single father half a lifetime ago & helped build a handmade house under a giant Blue Gum. I loved that tree it was well over 100 foot high but one day it dropped a branch (gum trees do that regularly & are commonly known as widow makers) to cut a long story short the man cut the tree down... I was at art school here in Sydney at the time and never went back...

    1. Building a house with your dad must have been a wonderful experience! I have helped to build 3 log cabins now and renovated another, and while I enjoyed it the time, I'm not doing it again - getting too old for that! We'll still be working on our cabins for years to come, I'm sure, but when I look back I can't believe all the work we did by ourselves. We have 60 acres of forest there, but it still breaks my heart to loose these old, old beings...

    2. Geoff was a defacto partner not my dad!

  2. Thanks for the tour...can really feel the fall!

    1. Yes, it was warm that day, but not hot - perfect, really. Today is our first "cold" day, but not really; it down to 40 last night but will get up to 70 today, so not bad at all. Glad you liked the tour!

  3. Always so sad to loose a tree.. But such a beautiful spot, you must love it so.. Xo

    1. We do love it; it's our escape from the crazy world. We lost many giant trees with this storm, and I miss each one... my husband thinks I'm silly, but I can't help it.

  4. Saddened by the loss of the trees but always thrilled to recapture moments in my past, thanks to your photography. The shots of lobelia especially touched me because I had never seen the cardinal flower until I discovered Shabomekaw. And one photo shows slate on the creek floor with a vein of igneous rock running through it. Could be the one of solid silver, Sharmon!

    1. If only it was, Ken! Didn't look like silver to me, though. I love the deep pure red of the cardinal flower. The wildflowers at Shabomekaw are so different from the ones in the woods where I grew up - they seem exotic to me. It is sad about the trees, and hard to believe one storm could take down so many old oaks. I hope we don't have any more of those "microbursts".

  5. I bet that logger was happy to get that oak wood! wow. I love oak trees and they also make fabulous firewood. We don't really have oak trees here, just a few burr oak.

    enjoyed seeing your photos. Lovely week to you Sharmon.

    1. Yes, the oak brings a lot of money, which is the only good thing to come out of this. Glad you enjoyed the photos, Tammie!


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