Posted in Nature, pictures, Snow

SNOW!!!

In the Piedmont part of NC we are experiencing snow. Since we live in NC, it is pretty rare to get snow but we get once or twice or even thrice a year. The first day of the snow, (Saturday) was not as good of sledding on our dirt road:

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but the second day, (Sunday) was really good!

See how shiny the road is? That is ice.

But today! oh my! I just flew threw the air like never before! You see, on Friday night we got a sheet of sleet and then snow. Then on Saturday night it got down to the single digit numbers so our packed down snow from our sledding tracks became ice! Then today the ice was even more slick. It was super fun to sled on.

Here are some pictures:

Elisabeth takes care of some neighbor animals and this is what there water looked like.
Elisabeth takes care of some neighbor animals and this is what there water looked like.
This is Bethany sledding on her feet. It was pretty fun doing that as you will see in a video later.
This is Bethany sledding on her feet. It was pretty fun doing that as you will see in a video in another post.

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Me sledding without a sled.
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“Will you please take a seat?”
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Posted in Bethany's Posts, Nature, pictures, Trips

Point Lobus ( Bethany’s Perspective)

Hey! Today I’m going to tell you about the Monday we spent in CA. On this day we got up (surprise!) and Jesse and Annaliese came to the hotel we were staying in. Then all of us set out for Point Lobus south of San Fran. We basically walked around the whole point because it’s pretty small. Yosemite was magnificently beautiful, but I’m not sure which was more beautiful: Point Lobus or Yosemite. They were both amazing, but each in their own way. The waves at Point Lobus were huge compared to anything I’ve seen. It was a lovely day and a nice change for the rain that we had been having, although the Californians were very glad for the rain. We had brought a picnic lunch, but the idea of a nice outside picnic lunch was not to be had. We brought all the lunch supplies to a picnic table, but as soon as we had started preparing, yellow jackets started getting at us and so we decided to go over to another place, which was by the water. Well, we had settled ourselves on rocks when the yellow jackets came after us again so we ended up eating in the van with the doors closed. 😉 We then started walking again. There were so many good smells! There were lots of good-smelling plants and pines and the fresh-smelling ocean. We got to see otters, which are really cute, and a sea lion. Then we went a small whaling museum. For dinner we went to Taqueria Los Gallos, which was really good. The chips were especially good. So that ends our day!

One thing I really liked about Point Lobus was the variety in landscape. At this part it reminded me of Lord of the Rings or some other out-of-this-world wood. It was so beautiful.
One thing I really liked about Point Lobus was the variety in landscape. At this part it reminded me of Lord of the Rings or some other out-of-this-world wood. It was so beautiful.
This picture reminds me of a satellite view of the earth.
This picture reminds me of a satellite view of the earth.
Lydia and Elisabeth
Lydia and Elisabeth

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Elisabeth's hand
Elisabeth’s hand

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Orange trees
Orange trees

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One of the HUGE waves in the air.

Annaliese and Jesse.
Annaliese and Jesse.

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Kelp
Kelp

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Jesse and Annaliese in the whaling museum.
Jesse and Annaliese in the whaling museum.
The whaling museum
The whaling museum
A sea lion
A sea lion
One of the tunnels
One of the tunnels

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These people decided to get in to the pots. :)
These people decided to get in to the pots. 🙂

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Dad, Elisabeth, and Lydia took the pictures.

-Bethany

 

 

 

 

Posted in Bethany's Posts, Nature, pictures, Trips

CA Trip: Days 2 and 3 (Bethany’s Perspective)

Hello, folks! I’m so glad we got to go to Cali to see everyone. I think my favorite part of the trip was getting to see all my family. Here’s what we did for the first two full days of being there.

Priscilla had gone to Cindy’s work to take care of Johanna so the rest of us met Josiah, Cindy, Johanna, and Priscilla at the Hong Kong Lounge for Dim Sum. We got there before them so Gabriel attempted to order, but we don’t know Chinese and didn’t know what was the best food to get so it was nice when Josiah and Cindy got there. Then some of us attempted to hold Johanna. The food was amazing! I love trying all different types of food. There was donuts (which are a lot better then normal), chicken wings, shrimp dumplings, fish eggs, turnip bites, fish porridge, and a bunch of other things. We then hung out on the street and got bubble tea at E Tea and Share Tea, which is really good. Next we went to 4 Barrel Coffee Bar to meet Gabriel’s friend and Gabriel’s friend’s friend. 😉 The coffee place was a really cool setting. We then left and got in our 15-passenger van (don’t ever get a Chevrolet), and with four girls (Priscilla had gone with Josiah and Cindy) in a van it can become pretty loud, especially when they have to get the scoop on every one’s life because of not seeing each other in a while. We then dropped Gabriel off at the BART to get to Jesse’s to hang out with him. The rest of us went to Josiah and Cindy and her family’s house. They had made us a delicious dinner of steak with grilled garlic sub rolls, pizza, salad, and Mr. Liang’s super good noodle dish.

Gabriel and JC
Gabriel and Johanna
Lydia and Johanna.
Lydia and Johanna.
Dad
Dad and Johanna
At Hong Kong Lounge
At Hong Kong Lounge

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Mama
Mom and Johanna

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Cindy doing Gabriel's hair
Cindy doing Gabriel’s hair

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Hannah and I had to do our
Hannah and I had to do our “band” picture. 🙂
4 Barrel Coffee Bar
4 Barrel Coffee Bar
We saw this pretty dog at the coffee bar.
We saw this pretty dog at the coffee bar.

On Saturday we got up around 4:30 to go to Yosemite National Park with Gabriel, Hannah, and Priscilla. The 4-hour drive to Yosemite is gorgeous! There are windmills, orchards, neat towns, and cool landscapes. Since we were kind of on a push for time we had to hurry so we all spit up into groups to hike to the Vernal Falls. At first it was the fast group and slow group, but by the end we were in tons of groups. Gabriel had his heart set on reaching the top, but we were trying to hurry so we ran/walked up. Gabriel, Hannah, and I stayed together the whole way up until we got to the steps, which is the very last leg of the hike. Hannah and I decided to wait while Gabriel ran up more than 800 steps and got his wish of reaching the top. He was able to touch the water at the top of the waterfall and when he came back to where Hannah and I were sitting he said it was totally worth it. I definitely agree, because another time we did reach the top. The view is amazing, but even where Hannah and I were it was just beautiful! Gabriel was the only one who got to the top. We then all walk-ran back down. We were supposed to meet Josiah and Cindy there, but having a baby can slow things down so we weren’t ever able to see them at Yosemite. We were riding in a 15-passenger Chevrolet van, and on the way back down it was shimmying badly so it was a bit interesting getting back down on a super steep and very curvy two-lane road. We got pizza for dinner and ate at the hotel with Jesse and Annaliese. It was great meeting Annaliese and seeing Jesse. Josiah and Cindy joined us later on and the whole family was finally all together, which was amazing! It was only for around 30 minutes though. So that is the first two full days of our trip.

On our drive there
On our drive there
One of the many orchards
One of the many orchards…
and a cute little town
and a cute little town

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hikers
hikers
Priscilla
Priscilla
Gabriel
Gabriel
One of the many beautiful valleys
One of the many beautiful valleys
A lot of the trees were burned.
A lot of the trees were burned.

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Dad, Elisabeth, and Lydia are the photographers.

-Bethany

Posted in Bethany's Posts, Nature, pictures

Labor Day

After several hours of driving we arrived at our destination: South Mountains, and apparently that was the destination of a lot of other people that day too because the parking lot was packed to the brim and cars were all lined up along the road leading to the parking lot. So we had to park on the road and walk a ways to get to the hiking trail. It turned out to be not that strenuous of a hike, but it was still fun. There was a stream running along the path. It was glassy clear and the trickling sounded so sweet as it raced down the mountain. When we got to the top there were several pools of cool mountain water that we got in.

Elisabeth PictureCredit: Dad
Elisabeth
PictureCredit: Dad
PC: Dad
PC: Dad
Elisabeth, Mom, me, and Lydia PC: Dad
Elisabeth, Mom, me, and Lydia
PC: Dad
Elisabeth, Mom, and Lydia PC: Dad
Elisabeth, Mom, and Lydia
PC: Dad
Me PC: Dad
Me
PC: Dad
One of the many waterfalls PC: Elisabeth
One of the many waterfalls
PC: Elisabeth
We ate lunch on this rock away from the crowds. PC: Elisabeth
We ate lunch on this rock away from the crowds.
PC: Elisabeth
The water was so crystal clear
The water was so crystal clear
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PC: Elisabeth

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PC: Lydia
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PC: Elisabeth
There was lots of people enjoying cooling off in the cold water.
There was lots of people enjoying cooling off in the cold water. PC: Elisabeth

 

 

 


Posted in Bethany's Posts, Nature, pictures

Bucket Loads of Rain!

Basically this whole fall has been rainy day after rainy day with bits of sunny patches here and there and now this winter is following after fall in the same behavior. Well, with so much rain you’d think I’d be sick of all of it, but I’m kind of getting used to it.  🙂

So this week it rained not just bucket loads, but buckets and buckets of rain, and our creek on our road just couldn’t take it any longer and let the waters flow as they desired and flow they did over our road so we had a nice waterfall going over our gravel road blocking all the neighbors and us on the upside of the road for a few hours ( actually one of our neighbors did drive across the water, but I don’t think it was quite as much water across the road as it eventually got).  But not only did the water stake its claim on the road, but also took up acres of woods around the creek.

 

our driveway ditch
our driveway ditch

 

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woods in water
woods in water

 

water shooting from the pipes
water shooting from the pipes

 

another view
another view

 

Lydia and me walking through.
Lydia and me walking through.

 

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*All photo credit goes to Elisabeth

Posted in Bethany's Posts, Nature, pictures

A Peaceful Paradise

P1220001Swinging the side door open and jumping the stoop steps, I run straight for the great, gray Beech tree. Leathery brown Beech leaves, vibrant yellow and orange Poplar leaves, golden bronze Hickory leaves, and a host of other autumn beauties decorate the ground underneath the tree. All these delights are only harbingers for the peak of fall glory to come. My bare feet crunch on the golden palace floor. I breathe in the air and it smells like…well…it smells like what it is- leaves! – earthy, beautiful, sun-baked smell of leaves. Looking straight up into the Beech, the leaves are still a bright green and the trunk seems to go on for eternity, losing itself in the green canopy above.

Finally I grasp the smooth bark and start my upward climb. At first it’s difficult to even begin for the branches are narrow and far apart, but finally my hand grips a sturdy limb and I pull myself up onto it. Climbing this mammoth requires the full use of my body. My hands grip branches, my arms hug anything they find, my feet and toes cling to every limb, my legs wrap about the trunk, my chest and stomach push me up, and my neck and head wrap around boughs. At some points I practically have to shinny to the next branch, but finally I reach my destination. I heave a great sigh, feeling invigorated and refreshed.

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Here in the topmost branches the wind gently sways the tree to and fro. Right below the trampoline sits, appearing smaller than it is in reality. The swing set and concrete blocks seem that way too. The sky-scraping Hickory laughs at me and my Beech tree for thinking we’re anywhere near high. On the other side of our house I can see the Sweet Gum peeking over the roof. Way beyond this the woods stretch on. I can see the Liberty water tower from my perch and a tree separates the tower from a clump of buildings nearby. A Pine forest stretches itself out in a dark green blanket. Hills rise and fall. A clay dirt road goes up an incline and ends at what looks like to be a house surrounded by a few sheds, a green-roofed barn and farm buildings. Way off in the distance two cellphone-towers reach for the ever-moving clouds. Most of the trees are still green but a blend of purples, oranges, golden, and reds put a twist on the late-summer, early-autumn morning. Way up here the sun has finally reached these trees and turned the higher leaves a leathery dark green. I press myself tightly against the cold, smooth friend and soak in the warm sun. Sounds float up to my ears: a dog barking in the distance, a lawnmower puttering along, the nearby humming of a bee, a hawk screaming in the sky, the drone of a jet, the continual croaking of crickets. The breeze frolics about with my hair and blows gently on my face. Everything begs me to stay awhile, but I reluctantly turn down the offer as time tells me I should get down and so I make my downward journey. I stretch my foot and toes to reach the branch below. Locking my hands around a brawny limb, I let my body swing to the limb beneath. Finally I tumble from the last branch and trot back to the house. My arms, hands, and legs are scratched up, and I feel exhilarated and my lungs are filled with the fresh air of the great outdoors.

*All photo credit goes to Elisabeth