Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Meet Our Greenhouse!

We took some time last weekend to enjoy the sunshine and get a jump on our spring planting by clearing out the floor of our greenhouse. We saved this amazing greenhouse from a life of abandonment and it's still in great condition - we just needed to work on the floor, since some weeds had taken over since it was moved here. I failed to take a "before" photo - but it was a weedy area filled with briars and a small tree. 

We added weed block...
 And then a pathway...
Our next step is to put in the pea gravel and level the pavers. We can't wait to add our shelves and plant our first seeds.  We hope our little one loves it as much as we think she will. Digging in the dirt is pretty fun, too.
We'll post an update once the floor is finished.  We hope to grow a variety of veggies, leafy greens, flowers, herbs, and more in addition to our traditional garden, which is adjacent to the greenhouse. There, we're going to plant sunflowers, gem corn, lots of tomatoes and maybe some pumpkins! 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Your Natural Destination!

We love our beautiful mountain home and we have an idea for the blog that will highlight our favorite place on earth - Graham County, NC.  We will be sharing our Graham County Bucket List with our most favorite hikes, meals, drives, lakes, rivers, kid-friendly activities, places to stay, sights, and sounds.  Stay tuned!  We've lived in Robbinsville for most of our lives, and that is by design.  We truly feel at home here and we like to experience all that our area has to offer.

Can you believe the temperatures last weekend hovered around 70 degrees?  We're talking windows down riding to the playground at 9:00AM type of weather. I'll take it! Our Facebook feed reminded us that a few years ago we were enjoying 7" of snow!  Either way, my spring fever is in full force by mid-February.  I'm ready for more hours of daylight 😎

Leave us a comment if you have questions or ideas for our bucket list :)  See you next time! -A

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Hey, Stranger!

Wow! It's been a while! We have been so busy with life that the blog has taken a serious back seat! Sorry about that.  We enjoy our blog and we'd like to stop neglecting it, so here's our first little update: we have an awesome addition to our family.  Meet Clover!  She was a local rescue. We fell in love with her sweet and playful personality - and she lets the cat boss her around. She enjoyed playing in the snow with our daughter and another of our 3 dogs, but she prefers the couch on a cold day. 

Anyway, we hope to be more faithful to our blog and post updates more often.  Hope you'll come back soon!  A&B

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Tentsile Stingray Hammock Tent - A Review

So I had been eying the Tentsile Stingray tent ever since I discovered it back in the fall. However, they are kind of pricey and didn't make my Christmas list. But after the Christmas holiday season, they went on sale and I scrounged up all my birthday and Christmas money and splurged on the Stingray, a cover for the hatch and a ladder for the tent.

The tent arrived a couple of weeks later and I took advantage of the first pretty day to set it up in my yard. I took a time lapse video of the whole process from initial unpacking to complete setup that you can see below. The whole process took less than 15 minutes. I think it will be even faster now that I know how everything works.

This is is a pretty substantial tent, weighing in at about 19 pounds. Most of that weight comes from the straps and ratchets - but of course they are strong to hold the advertised 800 pound weight limit. That means it won't replace my backpacking tent, but will become a staple for lake campsites and car camping with my little girl in the future.

Upon setup I could tell that this tent is made of quality materials. The bottom of the tent is a thick nylon, while the upper is completely mesh. This will be great for hanging out in the summer. The rain fly is waterproof sealed nylon and should be pretty solid once it is staked out. I left the tent up overnight and it rained. I didn't have the sides and corners pulled tight and I think this led to the drips and wetness inside. I also did not have the tent level and I think the rain ran down the support straps and got the interior wet.

Overall, I am very happy, impressed and excited about my new Tentsile Stingray. I was also very happy about the customer service that I received from Tentsile. I had some doubts about the website they were offering their discount through - I like to deal with companies directly or with known outfitters - and they reached out to me through social media (both Instagram and Facebook) to assure me that they would be fulfilling the orders directly from their own warehouses. After my order, I contacted them through their website because I didn't get my ladder with my initial order. Within an hour, I had a personalized reply and a new tracking number. The ladder shipped from London because their US supply ran out - and this didn't cost me another dime in shipping costs!

If you love hammocks, make the splurge and go get a Tentsile tent. I am so glad I did! Also, look for more reviews of our favorite gear coming on WNC Outdoor Life.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

2015 Delayed Harvest Dates

While regular Hatchery Supported waters in North Carolina are closed for the month of March, those creeks designated as Delayed Harvest are still fishable (catch and release, of course).

Here is the stocking schedule for the different waters around Western North Carolina. These delayed harvest waters are stocked eight year as opposed to five or six for the hatchery supported creeks. There are also more trout released per stocking - specific numbers for each creek in each county can be found by selecting your county of interest here.

In the past couple years I have heard rumors of otters invading our local streams here in Graham County (I have yet to witness an otter outside of Fontana Lake). This leads to people asking what is the point of these delayed harvest waters if the otters will get all the fish or if the fish can't reproduce or if you can't keep the fish, and so on.

To these people, I say that if you have to ask what the point is, you are missing the point. To me, the beauty of catch and release fishing is that if it is done right, the fish you enjoyed catching will still be there for the next guy to enjoy. It's not in the taking, but in the planning and the preparation and the work it takes to coax this wild animal into thinking your fly is actually something edible...not as easy as it seems.

I love the delayed harvest waters on my "home creek" in Graham County - Big Snowbird Creek. I was able to share a day with some students back in the fall. I threw in one time the whole day, andI was rewarded with the fat brook trout you see here. For me the more enjoyable thing was to watch these boys catch fish after fish and to know that the next time they are on that creek, those fish should still be around. I hope they don't miss the point.

2015 Cheoah River Release Dates

The Cheoah River in Graham County is quickly becoming one of the premier whitewater destinations in the Southeast, and maybe the country. On the first frigid weekend of release in February, I saw dozens of cars piled high with boats headed toward the river.

Book your trip with the Nantahala Outdoor Center or Endless River Adventures, both based near the Nantahala River in Swain County.

2015 Cheoah Release Dates:

February 21 & 22

March 21 & 22

April 11 & 12

April 25 & 26

May 16 & 17

May 30 & 31

June 27 & 28

September 12

October 3

November 7

See you around!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Fall Trail Camera Update

As is usual, the animals have been pretty active this fall, meaning we've seen plenty on our trail camera. I have it set up near a big oak tree with plenty of acorns. I have enjoyed this thing so much, it's one of my favorite Christmas presents ever!

This fox came through almost every night.

A doe enjoying the acorns.

A lone turkey

A bobcat on the left, behind the tree.

The bobcat again in the middle of the picture, walking away from the camera.

The first bear of the season!