Friday, January 28, 2011

Longhorns in the Mountains


When I head to town to get supplies, I drive by a huge ranch that has always intrigued me - they have Texas Longhorn Cattle - not something you would expect to see in the mountains of North Carolina. On a cold blustery day last weekend after the snow had melted, I stopped to take some photos by the side of the road.



The ranch is Taylor Ranch, a 5th generation privately owned ranch consisting of 500 acres including a 7 acre lake.  They raise Quarter Horses and Longhorn Cattle and as I have found out, rent out their facilities for special events.  I guess when the weather warms up I need to visit them to see more of their compound.


Now about the cattle here - the Texas Longhorns are obviously known for their horns which on a steer can reach 7 feet from tip to tip!  Both cows and bulls (female and male) have horns but the bulls are usually shorter and thicker.  Steers (castrated males) can have the longest horns.  As ferocious as they look, they have gentle dispositions and are intelligent.  Good thing since I was very close to the one near the fence while taking pictures.



The breed seems to have originated by mixing feral Mexican cattle with eastern Texas breeds to create a tough, rangy cow with long horns and legs.  They almost went extinct until 1927 when the US Forest Service collected a small herd to breed  and preserve in an Oklahoma wildlife refuge.  Longhorns are known for their longevity, resistance to disease and ability to thrive in marginal pastures and harsh weather.  They are raised for their lean beef.  So I guess seeing them in North Carolina is not so unexpected after all!



Hope you enjoyed seeing this unusual place on our area and will come back when I do a more in depth post on the whole facility.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Flash Mob at the Asheville Mall

A young couple (the ones with the baby strapped to Dad) who teach dance in Asheville staged a Flash Mob at the local mall on Saturday Jan. 22. The dancers mingled with the crowds and on cue, the music started and they began dancing to "dj got us falling in love" by usher while the crowd watched. Once the song was over they all just disappeared into the crowd again. Their video has been getting lots of hits on Youtube.




This video got me to thinking about how I put on weight every winter from eating too much over the holidays and then not getting outside to hike cuz it is too cold and snowy. A fellow blogger, Sarah from A Brit Gal in the USA is setting up a group of bloggers who want to lose weight, work together to achieve our goal and support each other. If you are interested (I am) contact her (see bottom of post) or tell me in your comments - this is what Sarah says:

I have had an idea and I'm hoping there maybe a few of you out there who would like to join me.


I need to lose weight, with all the thyroid ups and downs (plus a few too many fattening British foods on my visit), once again I have gained and I need to start the reversal before it gets any worse. I do better with support and motivation from others, but do not have the time or inclination to join a club locally, online is just easier for me.


So I am proposing the following:
Forming an online weight loss support group centered around a new PRIVATE blog, only accessible to the participants.
You would only report the total number of pounds you want to lose, not your actual weight.
You must need to lose a minimum of 15 pounds to join.
We would all 'weigh-in' on the last day of each month and then report our weight loss on the blog.
The 'biggest loser' each month would receive a motivational, edible or helpful reward from every member by mail, anything up to a $5 maximum value.
Each member would be a blog 'author' and will be able to publish their own posts to help, inform, motivate or raise questions with the other members.
Each member must put up a minimum of one blog post every two weeks. This can be anything from a progress report, a question, a recipe, exercise ideas, food/exercise log, a challenge etc.
If they choose to, a member will be connected with another member/s as their own personal 'buddies' for additional support.
Everyone is responsible for their own food plan, there will be no correct diet to follow.
Upon reaching goal the member will post a before and after picture.
Once goal weight has been maintained for 8 weeks, the group will come up with a suitable reward or celebration.
This is just a basic outline based on my own ideas. But if we get this off the ground then it can be developed further with more ideas from the members.


It doesn't matter how much you have to lose as long as it's over 15 pounds. If you have alot and you want to split the amount so you have realistic targets, that's also fine.


Male or female, any age, any country, any preferred way of dieting, you can even be a member of weight watchers or similar. All I ask is that you are commited to helping and rewarding others, and also prepared to help keep the blog running by posting regularly.


I would like to officially start the group on Monday, January 31st.


If you are interested please email me at sukie175@hotmail.com putting 'WEIGHT LOSS' in the subject line and I will contact you direct with further information.

This could be fun and by spring/summer we could be looking and feeling so much healthier! I do hope you will join us!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Frozen Hickory Nut Falls


I took these last week when the snow was still on the ground but it was late afternoon and the gorge was in shadow.  The pictures came out with a blue hue that I did not like as well as making them black and white.


The Broad River tumbles through Hickory Nut Gap and the gorge, dropping a thousand feet or more into the towns of Bat Cave and Chimney Rock emptying into Lake Lure.






The rim of the gorge rises high above and from below I got a fantastic view of Hicky Nut Falls frozen on the walls of the cliffs.  Sorry about the blur - my tiny camera doesn't do well with zoom photos.  The good news is that I got a Cannon Rebel and will soon be able to take much better photos!





Hope you enjoyed my foray into Black and White!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Ponies in Snow



After days of snow flurries and temperatures in the teens, we are starting to thaw out here. Our neighbor's ponies were allowed out of the barn for the first time in days. We got above freezing today and the sun was out. They were all huddled in the sliver of sun on the side of the pasture closest to our house and I could get a few pictures.  Don't they look all fuzzy and cute in their winter coats?




Please join other animal lovers in Camera Critters and for lovely scenes around the world visit  Scenic Sunday.

Bloggers Beware - Just wanted to let everyone know that Google/Blogger deleted one of my other blogs as spam and I am trying to get it back.  Check out my temp blog for info on how to back up your blogs and how to get yours back if you lose it.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snowed In....Again!

Looking east down our road.

We have been housebound all day today and the snow will continue to come down through Tuesday morning.  Looks like it will take the county a few days to clear us out - hopefully by Wednesday this week!






The view to the west on our street.

We are not the only ones with snow shots this week I am sure. For more photos around the world visit My World Tuesday, Outdoor Wednesday and Watery Wednesday.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Icy French Broad River



With bone chilling temperatures a few weeks back the  French Broad River which runs through the city of Asheville,  began to ice over.  Since the French Broad River is a free flowing river, it has to be real cold for it to freeze.  The fast flowing current keeps it open.  We visited Carrier Park along the river after the sun had finally come out and the ice was breaking up. It was still pretty impressive!






Be sure to visit Watery Wednesday and Outdoor Wednesday for more outdoor scenes!

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