September/October 2012 Newsletter

MOUNTAIN TALK

News From Them Thar Hills!

Volume 3, Issue 9, September/October 2012

Grimy Wood?

This has been the year for staining! Our crews have been pressure washing and staining to beat the band!

Many times, folks wait until the wood is in such a state that, once pressure washed, it is obvious that an application of stain is warranted. Once the stain work is complete, you have a beautiful, new-looking home to enjoy. In order to keep it that way, all the stained surfaces should be pressure washed every 2-3 years. Considering that the earth is bombarded with cosmic debris 24/7 (to the estimated tune of 360,000 to 720,000 pounds per day!) our homes receive a regular coating over all the exposed surfaces. Add some rain to the mix and the once beautiful shining wood begins to take on a dull appearance. Once microorganisms get involved, they contribute to the degradation of the finish and then begin to work on the wood beneath. This can be  significantly hindered by the aforementioned regular cleaning.

One client, who had their home refinished about 3 years ago, called to ask about the black, sooty substance on the exterior walls of their home. You could wet the end of your finger and it would rub right off. We suggested pressure washing and, voila, good as new!

Regular maintenance will head off more expensive work or repairs. Pressure washing is a lot cheaper than waiting until the finish degrades to the point where staining is needed. Crews are standing by!

Newest addition!!!

Wildlife Patrol!

A client told us about a site he likes to visit. It is part of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. It deals with Georgia Wildlife division law enforcement reports. They range from the mundane to the humorous.  Of course, in many of the reports, alcohol was believed to be involved.

https://www.georgiawildlife.com/enforcement/law-enforcement-reports

Pet (and Human) Alert!

A couple of weeks ago, as I was driving into the parking area at my cow pasture, I spotted a medium size raccoon sitting up and having a look-see. As it was 1:00 in the afternoon, I was “on alert” as this is out of the normal behavioral pattern for an otherwise nocturnal mammal. When I exited the vehicle the little bugger tried to run away but ended up falling over and flailing about. Suspicious behavior!?! Cautiously, I continued to observe and could clearly see that he was having trouble sitting or standing. Rabies??? After a few more minutes of observance, I decided to inform the landowner’s son-in-law, whose house is beside the parking area, that we may have a rabid ‘coon on the premises. After he came out and we watched and talked about it for a while, we decided to dispatch the poor beastie. Normally wild animals that approach you or seem to show no fear, have trouble with basic motor skills or the ever familiar “foaming at the mouth” should be suspected as rabid. Unless you have a way to dispatch them at a distance you should call your local or county animal control. You can even call the police or sheriff, since a rabid animal is an immediate danger to the human population in the vicinity. In this case, I was concerned for my cattle, which are susceptible to rabies.

Festival Time in the Mountains!

Octoberfest in Helen, GA

September 16- October 31

The south’s longest lasting Oktoberfest in Georgia’s own Alpine village. Live entertainment, Great German and Austrian food and drink. Nice ride from Blue Ridge. Begins, September 16th through November 1st. Thursday thru Sundays only. Beginning in October it runs daily.

For more information, call the Helen Chamber of Commerce, 800-858-8027

Cherry Log Fall Festival in Cherry Log, GA
October 6th & 7th and 13th & 14th

Just 5 miles east on 515 from Blue Ridge follow signs

First 2 weekends each October, the community of Cherry Log celebrates the harvest with the Cherry Log Festival. Serving delicious homemade breakfast and lunch, offering arts and crafts, homemade cakes, pies and canned goods, bluegrass, gospel and country music at the Cherry Log Community Clubhouse, 341 Cherry Log Street. Great food and entertainment. Fun for the whole family! Plenty of free parking is available.

For more information call;

706-635-1933

Indian Summer Festival in Suches, GA
October 6th & 7th

Woody Gap School
Car Show ~ Music ~ Pottery ~ Quilts ~ Home made Goodies ~ Leather Crafts ~ Needlework ~ Folk Art Jewelry ~ Furniture ~ ~ Photographs ~ Stained Glass ~ Whirligigs ~ More Free Parking, Admission is $4.00 Children under 6 are free.
Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce
706-745-5789

Fall Festival at John C. Campbell Folk
School in Brasstown, NC
October 6th & 7th

Seven miles east of Murphy, NC, off U.S. Highway 64, just north of Georgia’s state line

One of the largest and most popular events of its type in the region and a short drive from Blue Ridge, Fall Festival is a celebration of our rich Appalachian heritage. Celebrate the rich heritage of the Appalachians at the 35th annual Fall Festival, featuring the craft of 200 craftspeople, continuous live music and dance on two stages, craft demonstrations, food, kid’s activities and much more. 10am – 5pm, Saturday & Sunday Admission: Adults: $5.00 Kids 12-17: $3.00 Under 12: Free

John C. Campbell Folk School   828-837-2775

Marble Festival in Jasper, GA
October 6th & 7th

Annual Marble Festival. Historic Tate Marble Quarry is open for tours only one time every year. This two-day celebration includes a road race, parade, motorcycle ride & expo, fine arts exhibit, arts & crafts booths, entertainment, children’s area, business expo and tours of the marble quarry. Tours ONLY given during the festival! Lee Newton Park. 30th Annual. Saturday, 10:30 AM-6 PM; Sunday, 10 AM – 5 PM.
Pickens County Chamber of Commerce
706-692-5600

Sorghum Festival in Blairsville, GA
October 13th & 14th and 20th & 21st

Meeks Park (located on Hwy 76 just before Blairsville City Limits on your right)
Georgia’s official Sorghum Festival, one of the longest running festivals (43rd annual) in north Georgia. A parade kicks off the 2 weekend event. Bluegrass music, cloggers plus many other forms of entertainment add to this event which features a variety of artists and craftsmen who sell handmade goods. Sorghum is the 3rd most popular cereal grain in the US, and a staple of early Georgia farmers going back to the early 1800’s. A very festive time and a great event for the entire family.
For more information including times call the Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce
706-745-5789

Georgia Apple Festival in Ellijay, GA
October 13th & 14th and 20th & 21st

The Ellijay Lions Club, the Gilmer County Chamber of Commerce, the cities of Ellijay and East Ellijay, and Gilmer County invite everyone to come and enjoy the 41st year of the Georgia Apple Festival. There are over 300 vendors with handmade, hand-crafted items, as well as many on-site demonstrations of how selected types of crafts are made. This year promises many new crafts as well as favorites from past festivals. There is a parade and antique car show each year. The antique car show is held at the Civic Center on October 13th. The parade is on October 20th and begins at 10 A.M.
Gilmer County Chamber of Commerce
706-635-7400

Georgia Mountain Fall Festival in
Hiawassee, GA
October 12th – 21st


Arts, crafts & exhibits. Clogging, singing, authentic mountain demonstrations, pioneer village, kiddie rides and a new show, Kay Rosaires Big Cat Encounter. Regional food and lots of fun for the whole family. Also included in this is the Ole Time Fiddlers Convention.
Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds
706-896-4191

Gold Rush Days in Dahlonega, GA
October 20th & 21st

Take Hwy 515 (76) south to Hwy 52, head east and follow signs to Dahlonega
The historic gold mining town of Dahlonega goes all out each fall in celebration of its rich mountain and gold mining heritage. Gold Rush Days is the largest arts and crafts festival in the NE Georgia mountains, with over 300 arts and crafts booths. Also look for demonstrations and competitions with traditional mountain pastimes like hog calling, a liars’ contest, crosscut sawing, clogging and buck dancing, and bluegrass music.
Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Chamber of Commerce
706-864-3711

Punkin Chunkin Festival in Hayesville, NC
October 27th & 28th

Craft & food vendors
Games, activities, live music
Chili cook-off
Beer & Wine Garden
Punkin Chunkin Competitions
For more information, contact Clay County Chamber of Commerce 877-389-3704

The Saga Of Bella—Part II

Most of you will remember the story of our cow, Bella, who abandoned her first calf. Those of you who haven’t heard can read about it here –  CHS Newsletter April 2011.

Well, now you can read the rest of the story.

Last November I decided to try a Fall calving season for 2012. So we divided our mama cows into two groups and put a bull in with each group. Fast forward to August 23rd. I had been keeping my eye on ol’ Bella as she was bagging up and getting that “funny walk” they get as their hips begin to spread in preparation for calving. I stopped by the pasture on Thursday, the 23rd, on my way to the house and, lo and behold, there was a calf on the ground. He was a thick little male and his right eye was very light in color. It has since darkened and his sight seems good. This calf, unlike Norman, looked like it was licked clean. I tracked down Bella, who was in another part of the pasture happily munching on grass with the rest of the herd. I tried to get her back to her calf but she didn’t seem interested. So I headed to the house to get my new calf supplies and back to the pasture with Patti in tow. We get the calf, now named Jack, weigh and tag him and then he lets out a little bawl, as calves are wont to do. From the back of the pasture come a screaming moo and here comes Bella! She’s at a full trot, engorged bag a-swingin’, heading straight for us. She arrives and calls out for Jack, who struggles to his feet and follows mama away from us. We thought that was a good sign and, after observing from a distance, left them alone. The next day Patti and I separately observed the pair several times and could never see the calf nursing. Bella also seemed to be spending a fair amount of time away from Jack. So on Saturday we caught Jack and Bella up in a ring of panels and tried to get Jack to suckle, which didn’t work out very well. Just when I was starting to get aggravated, I picked up Jack to move him and he let out a little yellow blob of poop. Patti exclaimed, “That’s milk poop!” It was indeed! It seems little Jack had been eating and now we were the ones interfering with mom and baby. We release them and off they go, trying to get away from us so they could resume their normal cow activities.

We are overjoyed! The prospect of hand raising another calf with our hectic schedule and selling Bella was disheartening indeed. Bella is the first of the momma cows we have been breeding for, and the best. To lose her would have been a setback. To wit: Once we get a good female calf on the ground it takes just over three years to get a calf out of her. That’s quite an investment of time and effort! Then that calf, destined for someone’s freezer, take two years to harvest. The only thing fast about cows is how fast they can run from you.

Fortunately, a happy continuation of the ongoing saga of raising a great herd of cows. In the end, we are really just grass farmers. The cattle do a fine job of raising themselves… mostly. If we provide them with all the high quality forage they can eat, in return they will provide us with a nice crop of calves every year. We will then provide our customers with some nice, nutritious freezer beef. Everybody’s happy!

Bella @ 1.5 years old

Bella w/Jack

Last week!

Sante Fe w/ Jack and Bella. Sante Fe thinks she is Jack’s wet nurse! Follows everywhere!

Blackie w/ Tank, born last week.

He’s huge!!!

Sire of both calves.

Valentino, the lover!(and the Beefcake)

…a note from Cindy

Fall is in the air and the leaves are beginning to show signs of color.The question we hear a lot this time of year is “When will the leaves be at their peak color?”We sure wish we knew the answer!So to help ya’ll out I am attaching some links from our good friend Karyn at Cozy Cove Realty to help you find the answer.

North Georgia & South Carolina UpCountry

Smokey Mountain National Park

Western North Carolina

It is my favorite time of year and I hope you will be here to enjoy it!

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