Monday, November 16, 2009

We are missing the farm. I miss the smells, the beauty, the animals, and my family. I miss my evening hikes to the top of the Koppick Knob. The boys and I have been busy with work and school and have not been able to get our country life fix. The goats featured above are my cousin's. My relatives failed to inform me that the goats like to play fight with humans just like they play with each other. No one told me that their idea of playing was locking horns or butting the nearest object. They also stand up on their hind legs and make snorting noises as they come at you. One day my children, father, and I were going to fish at my uncle's pond. I sensed that everyone was watching me as I bent over to retrieve my bait. Little did I know the white goat was pawing the ground and aiming for my posterior. Without warning from my caring family, the white goat butted me right into the pond. Everyone got a great laugh at my expense. Being the good sport that I sometimes am, I had to laugh also.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Our family enjoys hiking. Lucky for us this is our least expensive hobby. Most state parks are inexpensive and provide many fun things to do. Our children have a unique love for nature that started when they could barely walk. I would prepared a monthly calendar packed full of educational fun. At the time they didn't realize that it was educational. One of our favorite pass times would be hiking in the Cedars of Lebanon park. This park has tennis courts, volleyball couts, swimming facilities, picnic areas, horseback riding, and many other fun activities. There are many rare flowers in the park. There are also miles of hiking trails where you can identify insects, trees, animals, flowers and amphibians. The boys loved the amphibians best. While I don't prepare the calendars now that they are teenagers, they still enjoy the park. An afternoon of hiking and playing Frisbee golf is a great way to stay in touch with teenagers. Of course there is not a book available to prepare you for the teenage years. I'm learning by trial and error with a few successes.

Friday, July 10, 2009

We enjoy the insect and plant life on Koppick Knob and are trying to capture everything on film. Dragonflies are prevalent near the ponds. They are helpful in keeping the mosquitoes in check. The sunlight usually reflects on their wings in many colors as you watch them hover over the water. There are approximately 150 species of dragon flies in Tennessee. We better get busy if we plan to take a picture of everything.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Look close and you will see an Asian Ladybug. We so appreciate the Ladybugs because they munch on other pests. One year however, my parent's house seem to be hosting multitudes of Ladybugs. They were everywhere. Since my father, does not believe in useless destruction of animal or inset life, we had to place the ladybugs in a container and set them free outside. My mother seem to feel that this was not effective. If she had a way to identify each Ladybug individually, I believe that she would have just to prove to my father that each bug he set free was finding its way back inside.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

During my last visit, I told my Dad he could market his property as having a lake view. It's amazing how close the lake looks through the camera. It's actually miles away, but it is still a wonderful view. From the top of Koppick Knob, you will see Cherokee lake as it meanders through Jefferson and Hamblen Counties. The owners prior to my father actually kept four hammocks at the top of the Knob. They enjoyed reading in the cool breezy evenings. I have defintely enjoyed living on a farm with a rich history, beautiful views, and a wealth of plant and animal life. God's hands have touched the land and blessed it.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Honey Bees

This is one of the most important residents on Koppick Knob. A few years ago, we noticed fewer bees and thus fewer flowering plants. My father decided to become a beekeeper to see if we could increase our bee population. We all enjoy learning about how to care for bees and we definite love to hear about Dad's efforts. Often it is how to coax a swarm into one of his bee houses without getting stung. Last winter, we tried to save some of the bees who were out in the cold. That's when I learned that the male bees will not live as long as the queen bee. Recently, we treated the bees for a little mite that will actually kill the bees. We've all experience being stung more frequently, but the pain is worth it because we enjoy the honey during the winter months.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Under the Old Mulberry Tree

My Father recently considered selling his farm on Koppick Knob. After many tears, pleas, and hissy-fits (as we say in the south), he decided to keep the farm for a little longer. Realizing that someday I would loose my visitation rights, I decided to take pictures to document as many wildflowers, trees, and wildlife that I could before the farm was sold. It is sadly a reminder of what I could have had, if I had been more frugal with my money. My father and children have enjoyed the picture taking as much as I do, so it has become a family project. My father requested that we take a picture of the Old Mulberry Tree during all four seasons. One of my sons asked him why he wanted a picture of that tree since it was dying. My father said the tree was a symbol of perseverance, endurance, and life. The tree has been on the farm as long as we remember. It has endure the storms, persevered the droughts, and continued to produce a bountiful fruit throughout the years. Five generations have spent afternoons eating the mulberries and dreaming under the tree. The memories and stories will remain long after the tree is gone. One of my favorite memories is the night my grandfather's dog climbed the tree. There is a ground hog's hole that goes under the tree. In fact, it looks like a den in the tree and disappears into the ground. My grandfather's dog woke everyone up one night with continuous howling and barking. Dad decides he better go on a search and rescue mission. Much to our surprise, the dog had climbed the tree and both groundhog and dog would not budge. My father climbed the tree to rescue the dog and saved the groundhog at the save time. If only we had a video camera or a cell phone back then.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Cruise Jamacia Vacation

We enjoy cruising. My husband and I went on our first cruise when our children were small. On our return, our oldest child who was four at the time requested that we would never go on another cruise without him. We honored his request. One of our favorite spots to visit is Dunn's River Falls. There are different excursions that take you to the falls. We recommend taking a catamaran to the bottom of the falls. The music and refreshments on the catamaran provide a very festive ride. A guide will lead a human chain from the bottom of the falls to the top. There will be plenty of stops along the way, so you have lots of time to enjoy the fresh water pools. There is also a wooden walk way alongside the falls for those who do not wish to attempt the climb. The scenery is breathtaking and the cool water is refreshing. Without a doubt, the entire family should enjoy the falls and no one should be left behind.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Life on Koppick Knob

There are still some old buildings that still remain on Koppick Knob. This building, which was probably built in the late 1800's, has been relocated from it's original location. It was like the homes that one sees in the old westerns. A one room building with a loft over a portion of the room. The loft is gone, but the building remains waiting to be torn down or blown down by a passing wind. Most of the buildings have lost their functionality, but my father recently added a deck to one of the older buildings and continues to use the building. It is his place to go when he needs some peace and quite. The ironic thing is that the deck looks like it went with the building. I doubt the first owners could imagine that the buildings would remain for so many years. My cousins and I were a little mischievous and tried many things that we later would get in trouble for. Yes, I will now admit for those that know me, my children do take after me. Our older siblings/cousins actually built tunnels throughout the hay in one of the old barns. We had a great slide from the top tier to the bottom until our grandfather found out. It wasn't near as fun to undo as it was to build.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Koppick Knob-Beautiful Summit

Koppick Knob, a Bays Mountain summit, is 1,647 feet above sea level. From the top of the knob you can see the Clinch Mountains, Cherokee Lake, Grainger County, Jefferson County, Carson Newman College, Morristown, Hamblen County and many other landmarks. A favorite past time of the residents that live around the summit is obviously hiking. The view is awesome plus there are many wild flowers, trees, and birds to identify on your hike.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Jamaica-Love the Peacocks

Our family loves to travel and Jamaica was a win win for our entire family. Some of us took a Mountain bike tour to see the coffee plantations. Both the ride up and down was somewhat strenuous, but the views were breathtaking. One participant didn't seem to know where the brakes were and took a small tumble. Others chose a hike up Dunn Rivers Falls. This proved to be a little slippery, but was an awesome experience. A human chain was formed to assist everyone going up the falls. There were also walkways to the sides for those who did not wish to get wet. I chose a tour of Shaw Park Botanical Gardens. The flowers were in the words of a teenager-Fresh and in the words of a middle age adult-Gorgeous. The trip was not without adventure, as the peacock got his feathers ruffled and make sure that all the guests knew he was in charge. The colors on the peacock are so vivid due to the bright summer day.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Life on Koppick Knob

It's only after you lose something that you understand what it meant to you. Life on Koppick Knob was simple. Yesterday, simple was not exciting. Today, simple is everything. Koppick Knob was a place that we could come together and be ourselves. We were blessed.