Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Fun on the Flint River

We learned several things on the recent Flint River canoe trip: First, that you don't have to have as many people at the take-out as at the put-in. We started with six, but only ended with five! Second, gar fish make lots of noise when they are mating. Third, Joe is a pretty good fisherman. He caught two types of bass, two types of bluegill, and a crappie. Fourth, Mississippi Kites are fun to watch as they soar overhead. And the fifth thing that we learned on this trip was that when you are confronted by the owner of the land adjacent to the sandbar that you have already put up your tents upon...a smile, a polite attitude, and a few "yes Sirs"; and he just might invite you to take some his wood for your campfire! Overall, it was a great trip.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

sleepy cat

Miss Callie was not pleased that I snapped her photo this morning. She gave me a cold stare and even a little hiss after the flash went off. Maybe she wasn't quite done with her beauty sleep?

I know the feeling.

I am not in the mood to be going to work at all today. My head is throbbing and my sinuses are a mess. But I need to get over this before the holiday weekend gets here.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Heading to the River

I will be heading over to the Flint River for the holiday weekend. We are paddling on it for 3 days and 2 nights, and I really am looking forward to it. This spring has been so busy that I just haven't been able to go paddling very much at all.

School will be out by then...the kids have gone home, as have the teachers...so things at work will be switching over to summer mode....so it is a good time to take a few days to relax.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Mother's Day Tornado Damage

Two days after the Mother's Day tornado, we are beginning the clean up. Here are some photos that I shot while traveling around at work today.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day Tornado

The rain and hail from Saturday night was just a mild sprinkle when compared to the storm that came through about 5:15 this morning. We officially had two tornadoes hit the town, along with lots of other wind damage.

There are literally thousands and thousands of trees down...many on houses and cars. About 150 businesses were damaged, and probably thousands of homes damaged...some destroyed. Huge pines and oaks were snapped off by the estimated 130 mph winds.

Fortunately, my part of town wasn't hit too bad. There are a few down trees, but nothing like the west and south part of Macon. So far, only one confirmed fatality, which is a miracle when you look at all of the damage. A curfew is in place during the night hours tonight.

Of course, most of the power was out today. Georgia Power said about 60,000 customers lost power locally. The power failure also caused a lack of drinking water for a part of the day today, but they eventually got the generators running to pressurize the pipes again.

Here are a few damage shots that I gathered from local sources. I would have liked to take some photos, but it was way to dangerous to be out on the roads today just to see the damage. Lots of power lines down everywhere.

I spent the day at work trying to coordinate the school system's evaluation of buildings. We lost power at about 20 of our buildings, and lost part of the roofs on four.

Lots of minor damage at the others, but only one was really hit hard....Westside High School. We will have to work hard all summer to get it ready for school next fall. There was a partial roof failure, and multiple other areas of the roof that were tore off. Also, the portable classrooms took a beating. The big rooftop a/c units were tossed about and likely ruined. Some other structural damage that will require an engineer to look at before we even know what can be saved and what is just too unsafe to keep.

The bottom photo is a shot from my front yard webcam. It was taken at 4:51 this morning and the entire area was illuminated by lightning. Normally, it is pitch black at night. About 10 minutes after this snapshot was recorded, the power failed.


Saturday, May 10, 2008

Boxes, boxes, and More Boxes

I grabbed my cell phone and snapped these two photos, just to show that yes, we did work like dogs today....so if you click to see the full size image, they are a bit blurry (cheap cell phone camera). By the end of the day, more than 90% of Mom and Dad's house was loaded. The 26' moving truck was full, the back of Dad's pick up was full, and the trailer behind the truck was full. In addition, we moved their freezer (with the hundreds of pounds of last year's butterbeans, squash, and other such heavy items) and a chair over to my brother's house....and I brought home a mattress and springs, and a couch. I got the bed inside, but will have to wait on help tomorrow on the couch (possibly made of lead). Of course, I got in a huge storm with rain and hail on the way home. The stuff in the back of my pickup was wrapped in tarps, but still got a bit wet.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Moving Day

Well, my parent's have finally did it. They have sold their house near Atlanta and are moving up to their mountain property near the Georgia/North Carolina state line. You may have seen a post several weeks ago, when a previous buyer backed out on them.

And as a part of sending them off to retirement, I am heading up there this weekend to help them load up their stuff onto the rented moving truck. I did take some photos of the property, but can't put my hands on them at the moment. Here is one that I found that shows their barn and valley land (future homesite).

You can see the property though from a vacation home that is for rent up the hillside. Go to this link and scroll down to the 2nd & 3rd from last photo (the one labeled Mystic Ridge) and you will see a small barn down in the valley. That is my parent's place. They will be building a house down there over the next several months and living in their fifth wheel camper in the meantime. My mom likes to joke that they are about to become homeless...but only for a few months. And no...their new house will not be as fancy as the one in the link above.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Mountain Laurel is Blooming!

I went on a short hike on the Hitchiti Trail this morning with my friend Bonnie. Along with us were 10 students and parents from the Matt Arthur Elementary School's Ecology Club. The kids dodged the poison oak, squealed at the sight of a spider, collected some snail shells, and learned some things about loblolly pines and hardwood bottoms as we hiked along Falling Creek and had lunch at the Ocmulgee River.

Along the way, we passed several large clusters of mountain laurel blooming profusely. It was at the peak of flower power!

After our snack lunch, we watched some fly fisherman catch a nice shoal bass out of the Ocmulgee, then returned up the trail as the rain began to fall. Although we were a little damp, we still had a fun day in the woods and by the river.

Thanks go out to Bonnie for snapping the pics of the kids! I forgot to bring my camera!