Thursday, July 30, 2009

A New Lifer!!

Hi Everybody! Remember me? I think this is the longest I've gone without a blog post. Lots of reasons- summer's been pretty busy. Work is progressing on our construction up north at Hasty Brook. Our two-story garage is on moving along. The septic system is in and has been inspected and the slab has been poured. The trusses are being ordered this week and materials will ship next week too. I received an email a few weeks ago from Richard from At the Water with suggestions and an amazing offer to help with the wiring of our new building. Last Friday Art and I took of for a drive to meet Richard at his lovely lake home to discuss the plans and get an idea of what we'll need.
My new life blogger is Richard of At the Water!!!!

What a nice fellow. Art, who can be a bit shy with new people said the meeting Richard was like meeting an old friend. Within minutes we were chatting like we'd known each other for years. Richard is a really interesting and multi talented man. His career history is amazing.
I've always said that the best part of blogging is the people I've gotten to know and the friendships I've formed. Richard is a perfect example. We got a tour of Richard's gardens and beautiful yard. We got to see the deck project he's been working so hard at. It's just so nice to actually see the views that I've seen through Richard's wonderful photos. I even snapped a few pictures of the young Orioles at the nectar feeder on his deck rail. We spent hours talking and laughing.
We even got to meet Richard's dog Jessy. I grew up with pug dogs and have a very special love for that breed so it was so nice to be able to spend time with this sweet old girl.
Isn't that a face to love?
Thank you Richard for letting me add you to my "Blogger Life List" and for your wonderful hospitality and friendship.
Somewhere along the way this month I lost the ability to download photos to my laptop. Not sure what the problem is, but I'm hoping this weekend Art, my "computer master" will try to figure it out. In the mean time I'll try to get some Hasty progress pix onto my little net-book so I can share the developments up there.
Sometime last year I put a little "Blogiversary date" button on my sidebar and then completely forgot about it. Last week I hit the three year mark on my blog. Here's what I said in my first post:
It's time to just jump in with both feet. I've stalled and fretted long enough. I decided to start a blog as a sort of electronic journal to record pictures, observations and thoughts of a piece of land we call Hasty Brook. We bought ten acres of wooded land in northern Minnesota in the spring of 2005. We justified it by calling it an investment/savings plan for the future. On the first trip up just to look at the property I was hooked! I'm not a photographer or writer by any stretch of the imagination, but I'd like to try to share what I see and feel when I'm at Hasty Brook.

I'm still taking photos (and I hope I've improved a bit), and I'm still writing of my love for that place. I have learned so much from you all about birds and life and friendships. I share parts of my life here at home, my travels, and my love for birds too but I think I've stayed pretty true to my intentions. The part of this whole blogging experience that's really caught my heart is you all who come here to read and maybe to comment. The friendships I've found here are extraordinary. The people I've been blessed to meet through this blog have enriched my life more than I can say.
Thank you for all of the kind words over these past three years. Thanks especially for the kindness and support during my tough times with the loss of my Mom and then my sister.
I wish I could meet you all!
Remember- there will aways be a place for you at Hasty Brook Assisted Living Community!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Come on Minnesota Birders!!!

Attention all Minnesota Birders!!
Dawn Fine of the blog Dawn's Bloggy Blog and Sharon Stiteler the Birdchick are coordinating a bird outing and social on Saturday, August 15 here in the Twin Cities. Dawn formed a Facebook group called "Birders who Blog, Tweet and Chirp." It's a network of birders and nature lovers who blog and/or use Twitter and Chirptracker. There's even a website: Birders who Blog, Tweet and Chirp. You can read about it here and here
Dawn will be traveling through Minnesota and wants to do some birding and meet other bird/nature bloggers, Tweeters and Chirpers. So on August 15th Dawn's BwBTC will meet Birdchick's Birds and Beers!
I'm not sure where the outing will be but as soon as I hear I'll let you all know.
So come on Minnesota birders!!
Let's get together and meet. I've been fortunate to meet quite a few bloggers and to be very honest, it's a blast. Lets meet and put faces to names, share our knowledge, our love of birds, our stories and laughs.
So, take a big black marker and circle the date:
Saturday, August 15th!!!
"Birders who Blog, Tweet and Chirp" meets "Birds and Beers"
here in the Twin Cities!
Let's get the word out there readers- If you think you'd like to come (or even if you can't make it) please publish a post about this get-together so we can let all of our readers know about this fun day.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

News Flash!

I have big news!
I worked the 4th of July weekend but we were able to take a few days midweek before the holiday weekend to go up to Hasty Brook. I am thrilled beyond words that we signed the contract and construction will begin soon! We've decided to build a big garage (32x32) with a roomy loft above. The loft will be roughly 32x15 and there will be two 12 foot dormers in the center of each side giving us a "plus sign" shaped living space. There will be big windows on three of the loft ends and on the fourth we will have a sliding glass door that will open out to a balcony! The balcony will have a wonderful view of Hasty Brook (that's really the name of the creek). Included in our contract is the installation of a septic system and a drilled well. We plan to put a small bathroom on the garage level. Running water and a flush toilet!! It will be like a palace! Work started on clearing the garage site while we were up there. Art and I had all ready taken down the trees in this area in early spring. It's hard for me to believe that we are finally moving forward with our dream of having a home up there. We think the loft will make a great place to stay when we visit Hasty until we build a home in the future. We'll be doing a lot of the finishing work ourselves but we hope to have a completely closed in building by late summer. We've chosen the vinyl siding, steel roof, windows and trim. We'll do the wiring, insulating and sheet rock/indoor siding ourselves.

The creek water level was way down from our last visit. It's still a really birdy place though.

Chestnut-sided Warblers are singing everywhere.

American Redstarts are nesting near one of the tall spruce behind the camper.

We enjoyed watching these White-breasted Nuthatch babies beg (and beg and beg and beg) for food from their tired looking parents.

I love the song of the Red-breasted Grosbeak. Any opinions out there- is this a first year male? He sure looks tatty.

Red-eyed Vireo's song is a bit repetitious.

On one of our trips in to town to the hardware store I spotted two Purple Martin houses. They were just outside the nursing home. There were several faces in the windows watching the Martins swoop and dive. A friend gave me an old Martin house. I'll need to find out from Katdoc if our place at Hasty is a good spot for Purple Martins.
I left my feeders up and filled two weeks ago when we were there last. When we arrived this time the poles were bent to the ground and the feeders were smashed and/or gone.
I should have known better than to leave them because the same thing happened last summer in June. Art and I went on a long hike along an old logging trail through our woods. We came across an enormous pile of bear scat on the trail. Hmmm...
I know there are plenty of bears up there and I'd be thrilled to see one . I'd just like it to be
from a safe distance. Maybe from the high loft balcony!