Category Archives: Animals

The Days of Burnsville…

Once upon a time, my friend named Andrew said to me, “Come up to the mountains!  You will love it here and never want to go back home again… you will need to bring all your possessions and all your family and just come up here and stay like me because I fell in love with it and there ain’t no goin’ back for me!”
I didn’t believe him.  I’d fallen in love with many a place with a small desire to stay, but nowhere ever felt like home in the sense that I would almost prefer it to my hometown of Raleigh, NC.
Still, I made plans to give the mountains a chance.  I arranged a work-trade at a fish farm in Burnsville, NC.  I also was able to convince my very good friend Joanna to come along (didn’t take much pulling and tugging).  We arrived to possibly the most beautiful place imaginable, owned by some of the best people imaginable.  Here is our tent:

Here is a boat.  I took it out for a test drive on one of the ponds with their neighbor Linda once.  It was a beautiful afternoon:

There were muscovy ducklings upon our arrival!  (Their coloring and the lighting made this picture hard to get, but I tried):

Then there was Creasy, the resident lovesick goose.  He followed me everywhere, honking all the way.  I am now incredibly interested in goose behavior.

We collected many rocks from the creek for various decorating and masonry projects around the farm: one day I found the teeniest salamander:

One day while cutting down locust trees, Tommy found this grey tree frog.

Oh, and last but not least, I met a boy named Russell who comes to the door of my tent to serenade me with blues music.  Do take notice of the indignant goose in the background.

Suffice to say, Andrew was right: I am very much in love with the mountains.  I don’t want to leave, even as I really want to get back home to friends and family.  My next goals are going to focus on ways to spend, ultimately, half my time at home in Raleigh and half my time up here in the Asheville/Burnsville area.

Stay tuned!

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Posted by on June 14, 2012 in Animals, Farms and Farming, Photography


Farm Days II

Marlee rockin’ a shotgun – i.e., what we do on our days off.
The neighbors’ horses let us take pictures of them.
Some ‘shrooms found on a hike up in Clark Creek, Mississippi
Um.  It was just one of those days.
Lovely sunsets every evening.

Bayou Trip

The McClendons sent all the Wwoofers away on a late afternoon Bayou tour near Lafayette.  This was the biggest gator spotted, a little over 6 feet.  
Tons of decoy ducks; they reminded me of the opening scene of Ernest Hemingway’s Across the River and into the Trees
Real ducks flying away – Mexican ducks, I believe.
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Posted by on February 2, 2011 in Animals, Photography, Travel


Captivated piggy banks

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Posted by on November 20, 2010 in A Day in the Life, Animals


Grand Canyon Day Two

On our second day of the Grand Canyon, I saw an elk in real life for the first time!  This was very exciting for me, having read a lot about elk and caribou in their context as wolf prey (not that there were any wolves to bee seen at the Grand Canyon… sigh…).
Anyway, this one was walking around the old train tracks at about 3 pm, minding his own business, I guess.  I wish I could have gotten a better picture, but I didn’t want to get closer as October is really not the time of year to go around approaching elk bulls.
We had taken Grandma on a bus ride along the eastern rim, and had just finished eating lunch when I headed out to catch a bus to the more western rim and saw this fellow.  I had intended to talk to some HawkWatch International people who were tracking hawk migration, but by the time the bus FINALLY got up to Yaki Point, it was very windy and rainy, and they had packed up and were getting out of there.  Fortunately I found out that they would be there every day, and not just every other day as implied by the brochure.  I also didn’t go hiking as I originally planned, as I did not like the idea of being blown off a cliff and into the canyon, as much as I was dying to get inside…
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Posted by on October 15, 2010 in Animals, Photography, Travel



…for a perfectly beautiful husky who lets me take pictures of her.

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Posted by on October 5, 2010 in Animals, Photography


CPR, marketing endeavors, and playing with snakes

Hi, welcome to my new blog. I will say nothing sentimental nor anything eloquent about “this is a blog about blah blah blah me me me blah blah blah journey of life.” I’m just going to jump into things, feel free to follow along the best that you can. 🙂
Recently I became the marketing intern for a new company called Homeschool Leadership Retreats. The name is pretty self-explanatory: they design leadership retreats for homeschoolers and unschoolers ages 13-19 with a variety of different focuses, fostering independence and showing teens and young adults how to get out in their community and start building their futures and accomplishing their dreams. This, of course, fits in very well with my passion for autodidacticism and “Life Without College,” and I find the challenge of marketing exhilarating.
Also recently I took a certification course for First Aid and CPR through the Red Cross, and that was very interesting. Though at this time I am choosing not to pursue their related fields professionally, health, emergency medical procedures, and the human body fascinate me nonetheless. I enjoy every opportunity in which I am able to learn more about these things. In the future I am interested in pursuing it further and getting my Wilderness First Responder certification.
Probably the most rewarding thing I am doing right now is volunteering with Piedmont Wildlife Center. I do a variety of things – basically, I am their slave. But surely they’ve never had such a willing one! Among other things, I feed the animals, clean cages, make signs, move things around, conduct research, make contact lists, alphabetize things, help with camps, and go to events with the program animals to promote the center and educate the public on our wildlife. In my spare time I cuddle with the snakes. I am having the time of my life.
But you may be wondering: what is all this for? Do I have a point? Am I trying to accomplish something? Don’t I need a career eventually? Is this all I am doing?
My “dream” consists of three main desires: to be in some way, shape, or form, an animal behaviorist, a naturalist, and/or an ethologist. My only preference is that I actually get paid to do these things; and I am determined to get the experience necessary for these types of jobs in other places besides just a classroom. I am taking my first steps now, and have many more steps planned in the near future. A bonus is that, all the while, I am enjoying myself right where I am. And, subsequently, right where I am is only affirming where I want to go in the future, which is a reward in and of itself.
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Posted by on April 24, 2010 in Animals, Life Pursuits, Transitions

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