Please Note:

If you “mouse-over” the photos, they will show better brightness/contrast… it’s a WordPress thing, I guess…

And… if you will scroll down and read up some series of posts might make more sense… jus’ sayin’

Changing Light

As the Fall progresses up here, our sunrise and sunsets have moved out from behind the shoulders of the mountain to the South facing, South Carolina side. Both ends of the day have granted us some fantastic light shows.

The cooler nights have also made the “twinkle” out over SC into a wonderland. Unfortunately for all of this the iPhone can seldom capture what it was really like… particularly in the low-light shot conditions of dawn, dust, and dark.

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Everyday is another miracle up here. [Well… in truth, it is everywhere, but living up on a mountainside makes it a bit more immediate and harder to miss]

Several weeks ago I did a drivel-and-droolings piece over on the sister-blog, Skyuka Notes  about vision and “seeing”, and the effects of light… check it out thru the link.


Addenda: When I punched “Post” after writing the above, I looked up, the dawn had created another, as yet unobserved, artifact for my wonderment.

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The photos are not very good, and are certainly not very explanatory….

The sky this morning was mildly overcast, without any real character to the sunrise, but there were a few tears in the thin cloud cover. The sun happened to align with one of those, and all of a sudden, there was a streak of bright sunlight cutting across the entire view out over South Carolina. It ran from way off the the east in a band only a mile or two wide and only a two or three miles out in front of the mountain, all the way across the landscape, and up the face of Hogback Mountain over to the south-west. On either side, the lands were still dull and overcast.

By the time I could run downstairs and outside to grab a shot it had started to shorten back from west to east as the sun rose past the slot. It was already down off of Hogback, and I only just just caught it in time… within less than a minute it was gone altogether. It was quite an extraordinary  sight.

Yates Place Hammocking

I got off to my second NC hammock hang. We were over in the Uwarrie mountains in south-central NC at a group site arranged by the infamous “Phantom Grappler”.

It was a wonderful few days. We had a “Purdy Boil” contest to see whose alcohol stove could boil a pint of water quickest, there was plenty of food, lots of nice hammock setups to admire and a super group of folks to hang out with.


Setting up for the “Purdy Boil Contest”… handily won by Peeety, despite Phantom’s best efforts with his three-pot rig at the far end.


There was a nice surprise when Shug Emery [in the orange tee] was able to join us, coming all the way down from Mini-soda.

We also had folks from as far off and Indiana and Alabama. However, most of us were from the Carolinas and Virginia. I got to meet a nice crew of people who had previously just been names and avatars on It was fun to put faces and personalties to them.



Here we have the notorious Hickory Brothers flanking “Bama from ‘bama. 


Here’s Shug’s video which will fill in a lot of gaps… it includes the briefest of cameos by yours-truly around 7 minutes in.

There was plenty of just plain hanging about time, and we had a fire circle burning day and night.


As Shug’s video proved, we did have a visit by the mysterious and secretive, not-to-say “creepy”, ol’ Maple King….!!

It was great fun to hang with the Hickory Bros. While I already knew Hickory [Kent], it was really fun to spend time with Shug. We have exchanged lots of PMs over time, but I had no idea we would find out we had so much in common in our interests and lives outside of camping/hammocking…. and he makes GREAT shortbread!

Thanks to the whole crowd for all the fun and good food!

It’s Just How Things Stack Up Sometimes

This is of course fully intended to make you see an enormous hawg, but the same effect when engendered by natural randomness is why our ancestors “saw” gods and spirits in so many things in the wild.

It’s probably where the legends of the “Green Man of the Woods” come from.

I’ve “seen” his face in the foliage many times… have you?


The effect is called pareidolia.  and the Green Man by itself is fascinating reading. Check out the links for some info…

The New Camping Corner

I have been neglecting this blog in the excitement of moving. Most of my postings have been over on my new “Skyuka Notes” Blog, one dedicated to our new home in Carolina, and more dedicated to folks who actually know me and Da Reverend Elf.


But, at least I have my “camping corner” set up.

The old Pawley’s Island hammock stays out full time, as does the SoloStove Bonfire. I had my Dutchware Chameleon up for an overnight a couple of days ago, and used a down Puffle from Sierra Madre Research as a UQ. The weather has been so nice for the Labor Day weekend, and the nights so clear and moonless, that I just left them both up for star-gazing.

The spot works out very nicely. It starts off in the early morning in full shade. By noon it’s in full sun, but by 1pm the shade is moving back across making it perfect for outdoor naps. The drop-off down the mountain starts about three feet of the left edge of the photo, so the view [looking off to the south] is wonderful. There is so much downed wood back on the hillside that I have an endless supply to keep the fire in the pit going. The SoloStove is so efficient that it can be at full flame in less than five minutes… we can do dawgs or marshmallows on a whim.

It’s a great place to hang out.

Life Up On the Mountain

A bird in a secluded grove 
sings like a flute.
Willows sway gracefully 
with their golden threads.
The mountain valley grows 
quieter as the clouds return.
A breeze brings along the 
fragrance of the apricot flowers.
Sitting here a whole day in peace,
Till my mind is cleared of all cares,
I would tell you more, 
but words fail.
If you come to this grove, 
you will see yourself.

– Fa-yen