29 September 2008

Hurrican Ike - the leaning elm tree

There's an elm tree that leans away from our porch. Every year we think it's going to fall but doesn't. If you push on it, it's solid, like pushing on a brick house on a sunny day. During the storm with the ground totally saturated with water it was swaying in the wind to where we thought it was going to go down for sure. Instead, it ended up leaning against the porch with Craig mentioning several times that it was going to be cut down or pulled down using one of the cars.

Craig stayed busy all day Saturday and Sunday helping others and by Monday morning, when he was leaving for the airport, we noticed that ol' elm tree was standing straight up AND it was solid in the ground. Guess all it needed was a serious threat to be pulled down and cut up.

Thought you would enjoy these two video clips of that elm tree during the hurricane.

More pictures have been added to my Hurricane Ike page.

7644 - Unbelieveable, like it's breathing.

7647 - It's leaning against the house.

28 September 2008

Hurricane Ike - during the storm

Craig wanted to record the sound of the hurricane, not to mention all the rain that came with it. Didn't know if I should post just one or all. Decided to let you listen to all.

7635 - Hurricane Ike coming over.

7636 - Here comes a gust.

7637 - Feeling the gusts at ground level.

7638 - Power just went out (6:20 a.m.)

17 September 2008

Hurricane Ike

We survived! Everyone did extremely well compared to Katrina and New Orleans. We still sustained immense damage but loss of life was low. Rather than post my pictures here, it will be easier for me to give you a link and have you go to another page, Hurricane Ike. While I was taking this picture a movement caught my eye and as I turned around a little flying squirrel swoped down behind me and landed near the base of standing pine tree. He scurried up to the top where I lost sight of him. First time I have seen one in the "wild", perhaps he used to be someone's pet as I didn't think they are naturally in The Woodlands.

12 September 2008

Waiting for Ike, we drove the cars to the 3 story garage next to the theater to park two of them there for protection from any falling trees. We thought we were the only ones to have that great idea. Wrong. We got the last two spots before you're on the roof. Coming back home we saw the most incredible sunset, thank you, Ike. Click on pic for larger picture.

I dropped dad, Katie and the little one on the Lake Woodlands bridge and ran home to grab my camera. What you're seeing is the very tail end of a spectacular color show.

I didn't think I had time to get back to the bridge and catch any color so I went to the duck pond and caught these pictures. Note to self: always travel with camera, no matter what.

I was trying for one last shot on the bridge where I left everyone but the wind was strong enough to keep me moving even with the camera braced against the back of the van. Yes, standing in the lane with a car coming right at us. Actually, very little traffic so we were okay. Dad and everyone had already moved off the bridge before I got there as they were being sandblasted from the wind picking up the dirt from the road.

10 September 2008

The Little Kewl Kouzinz Band

It was fun to have Paige and Storie here today. Paige helped them set up their band, try to catch a butterfly and learn to use th hula hoops. Here are some clips for your enjoyment.

08 September 2008

Wilderness First Aid Basics

Craig's been waiting 10 years to take this class. Me? It was a last minute decision, this class was small and there was room for me to attend. Whitney, as a member of Crew 9-1-1, always participated in these classes as one of its victims in the accident scenarios. She would come home and tell me about her participation, Mom! I got to be the sucking chest wound victim! she would say ecstatically. I could not relate, until this weekend.

My first victim was next to the propane tank when it blew. She had 3rd degree burns over 27% of her body, in shock but alert. Didn't think I should move her until the ambulance came. Later found out there was still gas escaping from the tank, should have moved her.

Lightning hit a tree and fell on Kimmi's leg. This is the moment she found out she is an amputee. I worked with the girl who became deaf.

We had all kinds of interesting accidents to deal with including Patrick who pulled over to help some hikers but hit a pole with his car. As a mom it was nice to hear the main instructor say he was sorry that Whitney wasn't here to help, that she's a professional at being a victim and he showed a couple of her video clips.

Labor Day Weekend

Lived here for 20 years and this was our first trip to Brazos Bend State Park. Walking on the trail through the swamps was fun, kept wondering if I'd see an alligator crossing sign, like a deer crossing sign. At first we saw all kinds of birds. Then Ben noticed the Golden Orb spiders. Lots of them. Everywhere. Catching things like dragonflies.

And families! Watch out, run!

I spotted the first alligator. It was a baby, maybe 2 feet long or so.

Then Dad spotted this big fellow, sitting there, with his mouth open, waiting for small children to hide in there like it was a cave, I suppose. By the way, I only had my normal lens on my camera. It was that close!

Notice where the girls are? Notice where the alligator is? Want to know how fast a gator can move?
Then we went geocaching. There was a rubber chicken travel bug. It's on its way to Utah...or maybe Montana.

Ben took this picture, it's a beautiful park.

Everyone had a good time...

...but it was time to call it a day.

01 September 2008

The Cicada Killer Wasp

On the way home from Iowa something smacked against the windshield while we were doing about 60 to 65 mph. Saw it was a wasp, then saw it was still alive! Amazing. It worked itself out from under the windshield wiper to above it then flew off. I managed to get this picture first for evidence. It's a Cicada Killer Wasp, here's a link to a page for more pics which has a link to really interesting material on their behavior and size. Cicada Killer Wasp

Arrow of Light

August 20th, 2008 Tucker received the highest award a scout can earn in Cub Scouts, the Arrow of Light. The ceremony was held outdoors complete with a huge bonfire and Indians who danced and tapped the boys out to receive their awards.