Image Of The Day- “Burnt Holler Encounter”


by Charles Oliver


"Burnt Holler Encounter" by Charles Oliver

Click image to view full size…

For more art by the artist visit…

Charles Oliver Art – Contemporary Art
The Shenandoah Collection – Traditional Fine Art


This Is October? Part II- Aftermath

Autumn Leaves and Winter-like Snow

Well it appears as though the freak October snowstorm is over and headed for points north and east. It was a very heavy snow which caused some trees and limbs to fall. We had about a dozen very brief power outages. This is what remains. A rare sight indeed. White snow and the colored leaves of autumn…

Previous article on this October snow-
This Is October? Whaat! (

Related articles

This Is October? Whaat!


This Is Crazy

Virginia 10/29/2011- We live on the top of a little mountain in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. About 10 miles from the crests of the Allegheny Mountains where the Virginia – West Virginia borderline runs.

Map of the Shenandoah Valley

Usually we don’t have a significant snowfall until early December. I believe the most snow we have ever received in October since records have been kept is 2 inches back in 1925.

Here are some photos I took a short while ago. We currently have about 5 inches. It’s still coming down and is supposed to end later this afternoon.

I had to duct tape the broom and swifter handle together so I could reach the satellite dish and get the snow off. Reception is back to normal now. Mission accomplished.

This is crazy…


This was a post I had put up 18 days ago. A completely different scene then….
Autumn- Right Before Our Eyes (

Take This Law and Shove It! Leave The Dude Alone

Outsider Architecture: 1 Man + 30 Years + 20,000 Sq Ft =

Slated for forced demolition, can the colossal Phonehenge West yet be saved? While many of us marvel at the work that goes into such decade-spanning, single-person construction projects, the authorities are not always as impressed – one man may learn this lesson the hard way.

Alan Kimble Fahey has labored for much of his life on this offbeat compilation of  interconnected structures and hodgepodge spaces. Now, however, Los Angeles County is coming down hard on the un-permitted piece of architectural art.

Aside from zoning issues, there are likely-legitimate fire code concerns … though for a state with an already-overfilled prison system, up to seven years behind bars seems a bit excessive. Many fans of this unusual masterpiece strongly agree.

This specific dilemma raises a more timeless question, however, for historic preservation: at what point does personal or public interest play a valid role in creating exceptions to rules? One man’s scrap heap is another man’s castle of trash, after all – and asking someone to demolish their abode is a rather big deal. It would be unfair to call the work a pile of unsafe junk – much of it is traditionally-framed and solidly-built, even if it does not conform to traditional typological norms.



Current Seal of the County of Los Angeles, Cal...

Sheesh let the man be already. Mind your own damn business LA County. Find something better to do with your taxpayer dollars and leave this taxpayer alone! -Bloggo

From The Old Farmer’s Almanac- Halloween Stuff

Saints and Spirits

On random wires the rows of summer swallows
Wait for their liftoff. They will
soon be gone
Before All Saints’ and before All Hallows’,
The changing time
when we are most alone.
–May Sarton (1912–95)

October 31—Halloween (All Hallows’ Eve)

Halloween (October 31) originated with the ancient Celts, who celebrated the new year on November 1. They believed that the souls of the dead returned to Earth the night before (Samhain).

In later years, the Irish used hollowed-out, candlelit turnips, carved with a
demon’s face to frighten away the spirits. When Irish immigrants in the 1840s found few turnips in the United States, they used the more plentiful pumpkins instead.

See more about Halloween traditions in our
History of Carving Pumpkins video.

Quick Clicks

• The new Moon will occur on Wednesday, the 26th. See your Moon calendar.
• On Thursday, the 27th, Jupiter makes its closest visit to Earth. See Sky
• Will you have a clear night on Halloween? Check our 7-day weather forecast.


There are no tricks to making these Halloween treats!
Caramel-Covered Apples
Sweet and Cruncy Snack Mix
Oven Caramel Corn
Popcorn Balls
Molasses Candy

NEW! Visit the Halloween page for more recipes—and holiday crafts.


Fabled uses include the warding off of vampires. For Celeste, it’s simply garlic-planting time. As always, Celeste throws in a potpourri of advice—from what she tells the garlic gnomes to cooking tips. See post—and pictures

Sincerely, The Old Farmer’s Almanac


"Spider infestation" at a row house ...

Locals Bear Witness To Bear In Act Of Burglary

Bear feasts at candy store in Tenn. mountains


GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) — A bear has feasted on pecan logs, caramel
apples and other treats at a candy store in the Smoky Mountains resort
town Gatlinburg, Tenn.

Employees reporting for work found the bear Wednesday morning at the Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen, where the animal apparently had knocked a hole in a glass front door to enter, according to The Mountain Press ( ).

Police propped open several back doors and made loud noises, and the bear ran into the woods.

The animal had spread candy on the floor, and wrappers and packaging were strewn throughout a back storeroom. Pecan logs had been chewed and chunks were missing out of caramel apples.

The Abrams Creek entrance to the Great Smoky M...

Image via Wikipedia

Bob Miller of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park said bears are active this time of year, searching for food before hibernation.

More from the Mountain Press…

‘Bear’glary in ’Burg: Hungry  bear breaks into candy store

by RACHEL OSBORN The Mountain  Press

GATLINBURG — Employees at Ole Smoky Candy  Kitchen were in for a surprise Wednesday morning, as they found themselves  greeted by a bear upon entering the shop.

“It was scary inside here,”  said supervisor Harold Wright as he motioned around the shop. “I was afraid it  might do something (or harm someone). I was glad to get the bear out of here. I  hope it doesn’t come back.”

When Gwatha Kear and Dorothy Robbins arrived  at the kitchen in the early morning hours, they entered as they always do — through the back door. The pair weaved their way through the candy-making  equipment, before turning on an overhead hood light.

The door of Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen in Gatlinburg, with one sign indicating No Pets and another saying We are Bearly Open, shows the damage created by a bear looking for a sweet treat. “We turned the light  on and saw candy on the floor,” Kear said. “We could tell something had been  here, but we didn’t know what. Never in a million years did I think a bear would  break through that door.”

Candy, wrappers and packaging were strewn  throughout the back storeroom. Rock candy was broken in tiny pieces all over the  floor and nuts were scattered everywhere. Pecan logs — $15.95 a pound — had been  chewed on and hunks were missing out of $3 caramel apples. A whole container of  white-chocolate-covered pretzels was demolished, including the plastic packaging  they were housed in.

The storeroom’s cement floor was still wet and  covered in paw prints, from the bear’s walk through the morning  showers.

Upon further inspection, after rounding one of the candy-making  counters, the women noticed a hole in glass of the front door. The bear had also  relieved itself in front of the shop’s glass display cases.

“We knew a  bear was in here,” Robbins said. “We could smell it. It left its calling  card.

“We turned the hood on and I think we scared it. I’m glad it did.  If I had saw it, I would have died in my tracks. (The bear) hadn’t been in here  long. If we had waited until later to come in, it would have been a (bigger)  mess.”

Immediately the women rushed outside to sit inside their vehicles  and call Wright.

As Kear was dialing Wright’s cell phone, he pulled into  the back parking lot.

“I said, ‘There’s a bear in the shop!'” Kear  said.

The trio once again entered the shop, to alert police officers of  the situation. Though everyone assumed the bear had been scared away, that  wasn’t the case.

As Wright rounded through the storeroom’s doorway, while  Kear was on the phone, he came face to face with the bear.

“I was six  feet from it,” he said. “I told them it was a big bear and to get  outside.”

Kear threw the phone down and dashed out the back  door.

“(Wright) said I practically knocked him down,” she  said.

Shop co-owner Patti Edwards adds, “(Wright) said he’d never seen  (her) run so fast.”

After officers arrived, they propped open several  back doors and made loud noises — ushering the bear outside. The bear wandered  through the parking lot and off into the woods, where it hopefully won’t be seen  again.

Edwards will dispose of all the gnawed on candy, as well as  goodies stored near the bear’s feasting ground. Overall, the bear destroyed $400  or $500 of sugary sweets.

Taffy apple with peanuts

Image via Wikipedia

“It’s a bear with good taste,” she  said.

The shop’s front door had to be replaced as well.

Though  bears typically are skittish around people, waning food supplies and increasing  human interference have caused bears’ fears to lessen.

“This is the time  of year bears are typically feeding vigorously to put on weight for  hibernation,” said National Park spokesman Bob Miller. “They really feed heavily  in the fall. There’s a lot of bear activity, both within and outside the  park.”

For bears hunting for food, the coming months will be a struggle.  Poor berry and acorn crops have forced the bears to travel in search of food,  finding spotty patches here and there.

“No food makes them pretty  mobile,” Miller said.

To minimize interactions with bears, people living  near park boundaries should take extra precautions this year.

Don’t  refill bird feeders; avoid taking garbage out until the morning of garbage day;  and store dog food inside are some ideas Miller suggests.

“Try to  minimize the attraction of food sources to bears and you’ll have fewer  problems,” he said. “The trick is to minimize the attraction of your property  for bears.

“(The bear at Ole Smoky’s) had been getting food regularly or  it wouldn’t have been that bold. They’ll associate food rewards with people and  then go into places where humans have been. (Candy) is a great bear  snack.”

 Similar Stories:

Autumn- Right Before Our Eyes II

More Autumn Delights

Out and about Mt. Jackson, Virginia. On the way back from the store after the rains had stopped and the skies cleared. It’s windy now so the leaves are dropping in droves.

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October Gardening and Stuff

Autumn Chores
Our vintage Almanacs advise us to finish planting tulips and other hardy bulbs, to have all potatoes dug, and to make sure that apples are picked before the end of the month. Trees should be pruned before a winter wind takes any dead branches. See more gardening jobs for October. Dipping autumn leaves in a thin film of melted beeswax will preserve both leaf and color. Weather lore warns that every fog in October will bring a snow come winter.

The soft wind and the yellow leaves
Are having their last dance
together. –Harriet Eleanor Hamilton-King (1840–1920)

From The Old Farmer’s Almanac at

Autumn- Right Before Our Eyes

"Shenandoah Valley," oil on canvas, ...

Image via Wikipedia

Falling Sighs

In the past few days the change in color of the tree leaves and vegetation is amazing. There are trees that were mostly green a few days ago now completely bathed in oranges, reds, yellows and golds.
I took these photos around our homestead on the top of a small mountain
(elevation- 1667 ft.) outside of Mount Jackson, Virginia which is in an area known as the Shenandoah Valley nestled in between the Allegheny and Blue Ridge Mountains. These ranges help to make up Appalachia.
Here are some of the images from this afternoon. It is supposed to rain tonite and tomorrow so many leaves will find their way to the ground. Of course many more will hang on until November. By the first snowfall sadly they will all be gone and the trees will stand naked against the cold northwest winds that herald winter.
Also our dog Floppy is included. He loves to ham it up for the camera.

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Map of the Shenandoah Valley

Image via Wikipedia

Their Ba-a-a-a-ck…

Damn stink bugs! We need to start filling the bird feeders to get the birds around here to feast on the stink bugs. That is if they eat them at all. If they taste like they smell probably not. We usually only keep our bird feeders filled from November to April so as not to attract the bears and raccoons. We got tired of the bears dismantling the feeders and scattering the debris out back and on the deck.

Stink Bug

Stink Bug

I think the stink bugs, like the lady bugs, leave the orchards and farmers fields in the valley and head up here during harvest time. They seem to like sunny open areas on mountain and hill tops. They are seeking the warmth of the sun and homes to find a warm place to escape the winter.

You can saturate them in insecticide and that just walk off and go about their business like nothing happened. They are easy to dispose of though. You can walk right up to them resting on a window, screen or wall and grab them with a tissue or napkin and they make no effort to fly off and get away. When you crush them in your tissue or napkin with your thumb and forefinger they crunch and expel some sort of milky liquid that carries the stink. Yuck!

We haven’t had our lady bug invasion thus far this year. They number in the 1000s as opposed to the stink bugs 100s. The lady bugs are much smaller so find many more ways to get in the house. When they are at their peak you can’t even go outside because there are clouds of them especially on abnormally warm and sunny autumn days. The way to dispose of them is with a vacuum cleaner. Suck them off the walls, ceilings and window ledges. So far the lady bugs have spared us. Haven’t seen one. Something tells me though that they will be here and with a vengeance.

I’ve sealed around door and window frames as best I can to block any possible entrance. It’s working pretty well so far against the stink bugs. I’ve killed an errant few from day-to-day but the amount has been minimal. I shall remain vigilant until the weather turns colder and they disappear for another year,

There’s nothing quite like good ol’ country livin’!

For more reading on this stinky matter:
Stink bugs taking area homes by swarm
A researcher says there are more of the pests this year than last year.