Monday, January 31, 2011
Distance: 3.0 miles Rating: 5/5
Conditions: Cloudy. Very mild. Temps upper 60's to low 70's. Wind-Calm. Trails in excellent shape. An sporadic drop of rain served as a reminder that rain was coming.
Hiked without my digital camera or backpack. Had just an hour and a half before darkness but was so glad I took advantage of the available time. Observed many passarines (as usual), the occasional woodpecker, gray squirrel, and chipmunk, quite a few crows and one hawk. The forest was a still and mostly quiet place this afternoon. There was a different feel, a very good feeling, in the forest today. Maybe it was the clarity and peace. Perhaps it was the promise of rain. It was most likely all of that and so much more! It felt so good to be hiking in YOUR Creation, LORD. Thank YOU for YOUR love and care, YOUR very presence in my life.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Just Passing Through: "
Rick Ridgeway’s Freedom to Roam has focused attention on the needs of migrating animals to have corridors connecting their migration paths. It’s a worthy cause to protect the viability of species like the pronghorn, but there’s a more prosaic issue facing animals in motion: avoiding getting hit by cars and trucks. Collisions with critters have increased by 50 percent in the last decade and a half, cost $8 billion a year, and kill approximately 100 people annually, according to the National Safety Council, and traditional wildlife tunnels and overpasses aren’t exactly attractive to animals. If you spent your life eating fresh buds in the woods and playing tag with other woodland creatures, would you want to enter a dingy, dark, concrete tunnel?
Didn’t think so. But a contest to redesign an animal crossing in West Vail, Colorado, as a test piece has just ended, and the winner is an architectural firm that created lanes of natural habitat across I-70. The overpass/tunnel system suggested by Michael Van Valkenburgh & Associates would blend in with the environment and cost less than traditional structures.
“This landscape is not for humans [Ed note: though it would make a sick mountain bike bridge].” writes MVV. “Rather than allowing the primarily visual, aesthetic drivers of landscape design to determine form, the hypar-nature bridging system is driven by the demands of ecological engineering. Instead of attempting to recreate the surrounding nature, the design condenses and amplifies multiple landscape bands (Forest, Meadow, Shrub, Scree) into habitat corridors that provide connections for a larger cross-section of species.”
The winning entry isn’t scheduled to be built, but if it costs less and is more effective than what’s currently in place, it should inspire better corridors in the future.
You can check out the video about the contest below and take a look at the winning presentation in PDF here.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Hike: Mountain Creek, Saturday, 1/22/2011 08:40-10:50
Distance: 4.0 miles Rating: 5/5
Conditions: Mostly sunny. Cold - temps in low 30's with light to moderate wind. Trails in good shape. (see more info below)
Observed many passarines, small woodpeckers, and a few squirrels busy about the forest floor and canopy. Smelled a skunk but thankfully did not see him. Scared up a larger animal on the back side of the Nature Trail. Did not see it, but from the sound I assume it was a deer. No one else on trails today. Glad I had my balaclava and gloves!
Beautiful day for a hike. Thought a lot about my friends at Crestview. Wondering what they are doing and how they are doing. Thinking and praying about their as well as my future. I miss them greatly.
Found a new bridge over the creek on the NE side of park. Perpaps they are planning on extendid trails across the creek on this side?! Also found that the Pine Upland Trail has been marked with blue horseshoes -- an Equestrian Trail now!... I am glad to see this park get a little development (not too much mind you). It is a great little place of GOD's Creation.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Friday, January 21, 2011
Ate at Pappasitos last night. Diane has been trying to get me to eat there for some time now. There are 13 locations in Houston - so it was not difficult to find one fairly close to our motel. I was very surprised by the number of patrons on a Thu night. The cantina/restaurant is large but it was full with a waiting list. Cars were parked on both sides of the secondary street because the parking lot was completely full! The food was extremely good (although it was pricey). Not what one might normally expect when considering Mexican food. These Tex-Mex dishes have never been on the menu in Prattville. Even the chips and salsa taste different from that to which I am accustomed. Experience was enjoyable even though the noise level was a little high for my taste (so many people talking at the same time!). Thanks for the suggestion Diane.
We have moved our flight up to 11:50am, so we should arrive at Montgomery Regional Airport about 3:30 this afternoon (Fri). This has been a business trip with no time for any excursions or hikes. There are places in the Houston area I would like to explore and hike, but that will have to await another time. Look forward to getting home. Thank you to those who have been praying for my trip and safe return!
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Day Two in Houston, TX. Began the Factory Acceptance Testing of the Secondary Fiber Control System at the Honeywell Customer Solutions Center. Full day of work but got a lot accomplished. Should finish up tomorrow. Found a few issues for Honeywell to address -- hopefully they will be corrected for Day 3's testing.
Traffic in Houston never stops. I had forgotten that about the city. The noise is constant, only abating somewhat in the early morning hours.
Tried the Saltgrass Steak House at Stuart's suggestion for dinner. It was a good choice. Steaks were great.
"YOU will show me the path of life." -- Psalms 16:11
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Checked in at our Hampton Inn - Cypress Station. Will have to find a dinner spot that everyone (all six of us) can agree on. Don't think it will be too hard though. ;-o
We start the Factory Acceptance Testing of the Honeywell Control System tomorrow morning. Would like to think I will have some extra time to find a nice hiking spot, but I don't expect we will finish before Friday morning. Plus I'm the one (of the mill employees) with the rental car -- no one else can get around without me!
Les Stroud (aka SURVIVORMAN) to launch new signature knife The Temagami made by Norwegian knife company Helle at Outdoor Adventure Show Saturday, February 26th, 2011 from 1-3PM EST.
Musician, filmmaker and outdoor survivalist Les Stroud will be at the Outdoor Adventure Show (Toronto International Centre, Hall 5) on Saturday, February 26th, 2011 for the world wide premiere of his new signature knife, The Temagami – a knife you can actually use in the wilderness. At 1:15PM EST, Les will host a Q&A at the Great Ontario Outdoor Adventure Theatre.
Designed in collaboration with Helle, an 80 year old knife producing factory in Holmedal, Norway, each knife is painstakingly hand crafted for the ultimate in quality and outdoor durability.
Only 500 limited edition carbon steel laminate knives will be available for sale at the Outdoor Adventure Show in Toronto. Buy yours at booth #501 Canada Outdoor Equipment or purchase online at www.lesstroud.ca after the show. Helle will release a second version with a laminated stainless steel blade in late February. Thereafter, both versions will be available for purchase world-wide.
The Temagami has a Curly birch handle that’s oiled with linseed and designed to fit snugly in your hand to prevent slipping. The leather sheath is fit to be used for both right and left side carry. Custom grooves on the back of the blade are fit to strike a better spark when using a fire steel.
Hotly anticipated, the knife will be on display at the new product section and in the Blueridge booth (822) at the Shotshow in Las Vegas from the 18th to the 21st of January. It will also be on display in the Sport Hansa booth (BR527) at the Outdoor Retailer Exhibition in Salt Lake City from the 20th to the 23rd of January.
Official Website: www.lesstroud.ca
Monday, January 17, 2011
8 I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart.”
11 Lord, don’t hold back your tender mercies from me. Let your unfailing love and faithfulness always protect me.
16 But may all who search for you be filled with joy and gladness in you. May those who love your salvation repeatedly shout, “The Lord is great!”
-- Psalms 40 (NLT)
The LOVE of GOD. We hear many things about it. It is quite another thing to EXPERIENCE it! GOD sent HIS SON to die for me BECAUSE HE loves me. HE has invested HIMSELF in my life. What an awesome and sobering thought that is. What an encouraging thought it should be! How much it should free me to love others with that same love.
Sunday, January 16, 2011
17 “When the poor and needy search for water and there is none, and their tongues are parched from thirst, then I, the Lord, will answer them. I, the God of Israel, will never abandon them.18 I will open up rivers for them on the high plateaus. I will give them fountains of water in the valleys. I will fill the desert with pools of water. Rivers fed by springs will flow across the parched ground.19 I will plant trees in the barren desert— cedar, acacia, myrtle, olive, cypress, fir, and pine.20 I am doing this so all who see this miracle will understand what it means— that it is the Lord who has done this, the Holy One of Israel who created it. Isaiah 41:14-20 (NLT)
Some wonderful thoughts! GOD is MORE THAN SUFFICIENT for all our needs and HE has ALREADY demonstrated HIS love and care for us! How could we not expect that HE will continue to love and help us? What more proof do we need than HIS giving us life, HIS dying for us, HIS constant creative care all around, and HIS SPIRIT sustaining, directing, and empowering us everyday?
Hope you have a great, worshipful Sunday.
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Distance: 7 miles Rating: 5/5
Conditions: Cold. Partly cloudy to mostly cloudy. Wind: calm. Mid 30's to upper 40's. Trails in good condition. A few slick (muddy) spots near the trailhead. Several mountain bikers on the trails today but no other hikers.
First hike of 2011. Beautiful day. Shared the trail with several mountain bikers but no other hikers. Observed a couple of woodpeckers hunting their lunch (believe they were yellowhammers). Typical Dixie winter forest -- can see deep into the forest since all deciduous tree leaves are down. Thought a lot about "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore THEE". Words of the song kept repeating in my mind. Good time of peace and worship. My hikes are as much about the spiritual as the physical. Thank YOU, LORD, for this day and for what YOU have done and will do in my life! Who knows what treasures await in this new year?!
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