Monday, May 21, 2012

Spring Critters @ Rock Eddy Bluff

Some just live in the woods close by and try to avoid us where possible.  Others, notably the birds and squirrels, are on a welfare program that doles out needed commodities on the deck looking out over the river.  But we love them -- all of them, and this spring it seems that we have seen more than our share.
     We keep a camera at the ready, so here are a few shots we have taken in recent days.

On the river beneath us we have had geese nesting.   They are quite vocal during nesting time.  Just above them in a large sycamore tree on the long island that separates the river from the slough, we have had nesting blue herons that spring.

The little fella above nudged my leg as if I were his mama and he was wanting a meal.  Don't worry, Momma go them all back together after I trudged away.  

The eagles are another matter.  They are around here, as we see them flying out over the bluff.   But their old nest is gone and we cannot discover the new one.  This breeding pair of eagles has been here for more than 25 years.  They have built three nests, all within view of each other on the banks of rock eddy.  As the nest grows ever larger, if finally breaks out of the tree and they must begin construction of a new nest.   We simply can't discover their forth nest, but it is not far.
The rains appear to be over for a while,  the river is down to normal levels and recent nights have been gentle with owls calling. 
     If you are planning to come any time soon, check our reservation calendar.  Call or email if you have questions.   573-759-6081

Friday, March 23, 2012

Would A Privy By Any Other Name......?

Ok, I have to get this off my chest. It seems a recent prospective guest from a local village needed to come by in advance of her visit to see where she would be staying. That's fine, we love to show our accommodations. But, in her case the English language and simple logic seem to have confused her.

She booked online and the word "Privy" in our website blew right by her. Hey, it is a well-used work in her native language.

"You mean outhouse," she says. Well, it is an outhouse, but so is a chicken house, a smoke house, a garage, etc. Specifically it is a privy, a crapper, a necessary room in the yard. It serves a specific function. It is a privy.

For the record, our outhouse (privy) is not something to fear. Many folks linger there to observe the photographs and poems that line the walls. Often they leave personal thoughts in our "Privy Book' where others have been inspired to muse as well.

"Now, your website says that Aunt Phoebe's Log Cabin is 'off the grid'" and things operate much like they did in the 1880's, but will we have air conditioning?" We tried to break it to her gently, telling her that to supply A/C would require that ubiquitous power source that came into common usage around here in the mid-20th century. "No," that is?

Today as we prepare both of our Off-the-grid cabins for Chicago city dwellers who visit routinely, we are again aware of the differences in folks. Phoebe's cabin overlooking the river valley and Line Camp Cabin in the trees near the river are quite popular with some folks. For others, we have our totally modern cottage and B&B.

Can you help us describe our privies more plainly, so there will be no confusion? We dislike the word "outhouse" for the reasons stated above. Perhaps we should write, "You will have complete and private access to our secluded two-holer." "Necessary functions will occur at an appropriate distance from the lodging facilities."

Well as you can see, it is difficult. Good luck, and thanks for trying.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Hankering For Snow

There is a certain aura that descends deliciously on you when you awake to the land covered in whiteness. It came this morning for the first time this season. Snow.

The valley below is spread with snow, the darker river snaking a course through the land with the white skeletons of the sycamore trees lining the edges where snow meets water. It is a treat. So we move more wood into the stove and feel especially comforted this morning as the flame spreads heat into our bluffhouse home.

We have no guests today. Were there a way to predict the date of snowfall, I am certain we would be besieged with requests for our cabins. But, not so, those folks are busying themselves in offices, cubicles, store counters and other employments. I truly wish they were able to participate in this luxury. I'll admit to my own gratitude for this.

Here is a snatch of poetry that my mother -- long gone -- would quote on mornings suchs at this.

"The snow began in the gloaming,
And busily through the night,
Heaping field and highway
With silence deep and white."

The wind swirls fluffiness around the corners of the house. The birds attack the feast we have prepared for them: Suet, niger seed, sunflower seeds (oh, and we must'nt forget water). We've even laid out some ear corn in hopes the squirrels will stay clear the the feathered creatures flitting about.

I am certain that Aunt Phoebe is enjoying the snowfall at her cabin overlooking the valley. And at spare Line Camp Cabin buried in the trees, remnants of past occupants who have loved this place are murmuring contentment.

We will hope for more such snows this winter. But, until then, this one will satisfy for a time.

Westward, across the valley we can see another snow shower rolling toward us. We will let this one pass, then be off to track the critters in the snow on a brief foray into the woods. We'll collect an armful of wood from the pile on our return.