My Neck of The Woods

Seena sees everything.
Seena sees everything. | Source

A Photo Essay of What I Might See

My dog and I see plenty of trees in my neck of the woods. That's because my neck of the woods is actually in the woods.

Our neighborhood is in the Sierra Nevada foothills where there are plenty of Ponderosa Pines, Black Oaks, Live Oaks, Cedars and several other varieties of trees.

There are also houses, but because there are no water or sewer lines-- as there are in towns and cities -- the building density is controlled to make sure that residents have plenty of room for water wells and septic systems.

A typical property here has an average of three to four acres, though many homes have ten to fifteen.

Tall Trees everywhere

Source

Bracken Fern

Indian women  used the long, flexible and tough stems for basketry.
Indian women used the long, flexible and tough stems for basketry. | Source

Animal life

There are lots of animals here, both domestic and wild.

Most people have a dog, or several dogs. Some have horses, goats, llamas, chickens, ducks and other farm animals.

Seena is our Miniature Pinscher/mix and weighs in at about 12 lbs. She's a shelter rescue and we think she is about 8 or 9 years old. She is a ball of energy and loves to go for walks.

Aside from neighborhood pets and livestock, there are deer, gray squirrels, coyotes, foxes, raccoons, possums, skunks and many of kinds of birds. I have had glimpses of a cougar and a bobcat within a few miles of our neighborhood. We also hear reports of bears now and then-- but most of them are in the high country. I have only seen one small bear near our house. It was trying to pick the lock on our duck enclosure.

Besides the trees there are a lot of other natural plants. In shady areas you can find Bracken Fern. They look lacy and delicate, but their tough and flexible stems were a favorite material of Native American basket weavers of this area.

Winter

Source

Snowy Road

No sidewalks along these roads. Watch your step, especially when it is slippery.
No sidewalks along these roads. Watch your step, especially when it is slippery. | Source

Seasonal changes

We get a few snowy days each winter. Our elevation is a little over 3000 ft above sea level.

After living in Southern California for most of my life where the weather never changed very much, the snow is a special treat.

The "Winter" shot is from my front window.

We are low enough in elevation that the snow doesn't usually stay around long, so we don't have to do much shoveling.

The roads are cleared quickly.

We have never really been "snowed in" for more than a couple of days, and we are well-prepared for those times.

Seena loves to romp in the snow.

The best part is when the grandkids can come up and play in it.


Free Rangers

Chickens have the run of this farm.
Chickens have the run of this farm. | Source

An organic farm near us grows vegetables, berries and flowers.

Chickens produce lots of eggs, and have a huge garden area to roam in. This business was started just a few years ago.

Many home owners have their own gardens, orchards and poultry. Some provide for their own families and others sell their excess at the local farmers market.

Modern Fence

White fence.. no paint.
White fence.. no paint. | Source

Rustic Fence

Spilt cedar-- old style.
Spilt cedar-- old style. | Source

Fences and Neighbors

Unless people have animals, most do not fence their property.

Garden plots need high strong fences because of the herds of hungry, vegetarian deer which roam here.

This modern white fence looks like painted wood, but Tom Sawyer and his friends will never have to paint it because it is plastic and presumably will outlast everything else on earth.

It will not keep deer out or dogs in.

It is only on the front perimiter of the property, so its function seems to be aesthetic only.

The rustic fence is made from split cedar posts that came from an old tree on the land of the property owner.

It marks the edge of a driveway where the property slopes down steeply on the other side. Cedar does not need to be painted and is rot and insect resistant.

Don't know how long it will last, but it seems better with age.

Winter fuel.
Winter fuel. | Source
Sometimes, e-mail dosen't do it.
Sometimes, e-mail doesn't do it. | Source
Source

The Woodpile

Speaking of splitting wood, many homes have a wood stove and a wood pile for heating.

People use mostly propane or electricity for cooking and heating, but many use their wood stoves in the winter for extra warmth.

The wood stove also comes in handy when the power goes off in a storm. You can even warm up some soup on it.

Roadside Mail

When walking the country roads, you will see lots of mailboxes, usually several are grouped together.

It seems that there are many more mailboxes than homes.

The truth is, that many homes are hidden from the road by trees, rocks, bushes and brush.

Sometimes you can tell who is new in the neighborhood by the condition of the mailbox.

Those on the end of the row are most vulnerable to being "whacked" by vehicles-- or perhaps a bored adolescent.

(See hub on "how you can tell if you are a Foothill Newcomer".)

House Fire

Volunteer firefighters got the job done.
Volunteer firefighters got the job done. | Source

Being safe an connected.

I often have my cell phone and camera with me when I walk.

One might need to call for help-- for yourself or for someone else.

When I saw this smoke from a nearby house fire, another neighbor had already called.

Firefighters were there in minutes, but the fire, smoke and water did quite a bit of damage inside the house.

Neighbors tend to mind their own business, but are always ready to help when needed.

Unreal Deer

I often wonder why some people put fake "deer statues" in their front yards-- especially here in the foothills where we have plenty of real ones.
I often wonder why some people put fake "deer statues" in their front yards-- especially here in the foothills where we have plenty of real ones. | Source

Real Deer in the Orchards

This is not a very good photo of deer in an orchard.
This is not a very good photo of deer in an orchard. | Source

The 'Vette That Got Away

This red Corvette passed me so fast one day, I almost missed the shot. Traffic is light here... and no traffic lights.
This red Corvette passed me so fast one day, I almost missed the shot. Traffic is light here... and no traffic lights. | Source

Real deer are plentiful, but they usually turn tail and run when I try to take photos

While trying to re-focus on a couple fawns, I took a step backward, into a hole and twisted my ankle badly.

I went down like a tree beside the road.

Seena was lucky I missed her.

A person from the house across the street saw me go down and rushed out to ask if I was OK.

Three other vehicles stopped to ask the same-- including the people who were evacuating from their burned out home.

This was extraordinary-- since these roads almost NEVER have that much traffic at one time.

Another neighbor , whom I had met only a week earlier when searching for a dog-sitter, gave me and Seena a ride home.

I have a fat purple ankle and a lot of nice neighbors.

Grape Stomping Foot

OW!
OW! | Source

After a week of "RICE" (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) my foot is not as purple and swollen as it was a few days ago.

It still looks as if I have been spending too much time grape-stomping, but I have no wine or grape juice to show for it.

I will probably be hitting the road again in a few days, (though not literally, I hope) perhaps with some protective gear.

Seena looks a little disconcerted as she sits on the bookshelf under the window in the background, but it was not her fault.

It was the deer, or maybe the hole in the ground.

52 comments

Glenn Frank profile image

Glenn Frank 7 years ago from Southern California

Ouch! We need to get you some high ankle support hiking boots. Seena looks sad as she sits at the window saying, "Darn, does not look like we are going for a walk any time soon!"


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country Author

I know. I do this about every 8 or 10 years... Dad has been walking her.


Frances Frank 7 years ago

Yikes. Glad to know you are otherwise OK. Get well & stay off that foot until its really mended enough for you to be out & about. In the meantime...Have Dad Frank cook. ;)


Liittle Grandma profile image

Liittle Grandma 7 years ago

This was great. Loved the pictures. Wish I had a place like that ot walk my cat. My dog is no longer with us. But she would have loved it too. Oh Ya loved the read too

Little Grandma


Uninvited Writer profile image

Uninvited Writer 7 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

Aww...Seena is gorgeous! I love the area you live in. Excellent hub.


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Thanks for reading-- This is kind of my everyday experience-- well, several days.

@Frances-- I am fine. I've done this before and even wrote a hub about it which was funnier in retrospect. Cooking is no problem, walking up and down hills smarts a little, but it is getting a lot better today.

Thank you L. Grandma. I know OK is a bit flatter. A couple of my great-nephews who grew up in the wide open spaces of Oklahoma were a little spooked by the trees and woods when they moved to Oregon.

They were thinking of the malevolent trees in a Disney fairy tale, -- they got over it. Every area of our country has a special beauty.

@ U. Writer-- She is a cutie, a pain and a delight. We formerly had a purebred male Min-Pin who took everything seriously. We loved him, but Seena is more playful, more cuddlesome and a bit easier to handle. Her bark is excessive,(we are working on it) but she doesn't bite.


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 7 years ago from Tucson, Az

I am sorry to hear about your ankle!! but this is a great hub!! whre we are now in south Alabama the fake deer are used for archery practice!! you laugh?! I am serious!! and I hope all your neighbors and yourself took that fire as a hint and got the local chimney sweep out there!! be careful now!!


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country Author

I think it was an electical fire-- not many people are using their stoves since it has been in the 100's for a week.


Teresa McGurk profile image

Teresa McGurk 7 years ago from The Other Bangor

What a great place to live, and what nice neighbors you have. Hope your ankle is recovering nicely -- it still looks pretty ouch-y! The dog is gorgeous, and your account of the local flora and fauna was very engaging (I love stuff like this -- I must do something similar here in the lowcountry). My dogs took me out for a walk at 5:47 this morning.


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country Author

That's strange-- I looked at the clock when I read this and it was 5:47 (Pacific time). My husband just took Seena for her walk/ He's taken over that job for the time being.

I had been collecting the photos for awhile.

When I fell I must have given my camera a good whack, as well. The little telescoping thing with the lens was knocked caterwampus and it was making distressing clicking noises because it couldn't close automatically like it should.

I took the batteries out, then later pushed the thing into position. It seems to be working fine. Maybe I should write about this tough little camera. I dropped it once before and that didn't seem to hurt it, either.

I'd love to see a hub on your neighborhood. (Watch your step).


Queen of the Lint profile image

Queen of the Lint 7 years ago from The Laundry Room

Love your area! Where I live is nice but not very scenic. And I went for a walk with my mother one day and she moved over for a car and slipped on the wet leaves and broke her arm. Everyone blamed me for not catching her or something! Well, maybe it was just me who blamed me, but still.


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country Author

It's scary what can happen in a moment... and there's nothing you can do. My husband stepped on a twig or something, (never did quite figure it out) Sat down hard behind his heel while the other foot when forward.

He ripped the upper tendons and stuff off his kneecap. It had to be fixed surgically, kept straight while it healed, then physical therapy for weeks and weeks. It took abut 8 months to get that working right.


alekhouse profile image

alekhouse 7 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

Thanks for the scenic walk in your neck of the woods... really enjoyed it. And Seena is so cute, what a nice companion.

You wont believe this, but the picture you posted of your foot looks exactly like one I have of my foot; same size, only mine was almost totally black. I fell down the back stairs a year ago, broke my 5th metatarsal bone and sprained just about every ligament in my foot.

Your picture is like dejavu!


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Sorry to bring back painful memory. Mine was a bit more colorful, too. I didn't get an x-ray, It is still painful-so I may have cracked something. It is getting better, but still a little painful.

Thanks for visiting.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

I really enjoyed walking with you and Seena on your journeys. Your words made me think about how much I am missing as I walk my dog, simply because it is such a daily routine that most things along the way go unnoticed. But there is indeed a story in everything, isn't there? Thank you for sharing these little gems of observation through words and pictures.


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Thanks, Sally. I guess some people think there is nothing but trees. Actually I had about four times that many photos that I thought about using. (horses, sunrise, wild berries, rock formations....)


DonnaCSmith profile image

DonnaCSmith 7 years ago from Central North Carolina

Oh dear! I hate you had to end your story so painfully. Beautiful scenery and dog!


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country Author

It's been almost two weeks-- I was getting a bit down about the continuing pain and swelling-- but I think I turned the corner today. It does seem measurably better.

I just have to be careful not to stress it too much, and it will be only a painful memory in a few more days.

Nothing like a broken arm-- but it is a bit humbling to hobble for the shortest distances.

My hubby has been good about walking Seena.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

Loved the photos and descriptions of where you walk and live. Beautiful country! Seena is a cutie and happy to hear that you are healing.

Our temperatures are in the 100's also. Can't wait for a little cooler weather this Fall.

Be careful when you resume walking and taking photos. Please DO keep taking photos!


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 7 years ago

You write so well, that I feel like I might just be living right next door sharing the wonder and beauty of nature. Hope the ankle heals quickly.


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Thanks breakfastpop-- two weeks ago today. It still hurs, but is MUCH better.


Zollstock profile image

Zollstock 7 years ago from Germany originally, now loving the Pacific NW

Thanks for taking me on that walk with you! I'd been craving a new hub from one of my favorite authors, and I guess the ankle is a good enough excuse ;-). I walk everywhere but have to remind myself every so often that I should slow down and enjoy. Your hub brought that point home for me - thanks! And take good care ....


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Thanks, Zollstock. I will try to be more careful again, but I forget about every ten years or so.


Sandyspider profile image

Sandyspider 7 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

This looks beautiful and your dog too!


DoodleLyn profile image

DoodleLyn 7 years ago from Upstate New York, USA

Lovely hub. What an enjoyable experience seeing your "neck of the woods" from your perspective. Makes me want to be there, walking along and enjoying the day! Blessings.


Aqua profile image

Aqua 7 years ago from California

Rochelle - guess what? I also live in the Sierra Nevada foothills AND I have a min pin who brings me much joy! I live in Paradise which is up by Chico. I get the feeling you live further south by Yosemite. I think we both enjoy lots of similar topography and weather. Anyway, just thought it was quite a coincidence and wanted to say hello!


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Yes-- you are right about my location, and if you read some of my other hubs, you may zero in further.

I do love our life here, don't really miss Southern California too much, except for not having my own lemon tree. I used to give bags of lemons away-- now I can pay 79c for a small, not-so-good one.

OK it's a small thing, in total.


jiberish profile image

jiberish 7 years ago from florida

You must have a very happy dog being able to walk or run without a leash. So many dogs who live in apartments don't have that freedom. Good Hub. Hope your ankle is doing fine.


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country Author

The ankle is good now-- though after this long-- I think it might have been worse than I initially thought.

Seena walks very happily on a leash-- it's adjustable so she can explore a bit, though I can still rein her in.

Thanks for visiting.


mega1 profile image

mega1 7 years ago

"min pins" were advertised in the classifieds for sale and I had no idea what kind of dog that is until I read this! You live in a lovely area - I live in Sonoma Co. and it is nice here - no snow which I miss sometimes. I don't own the property or I would have lots of animals and a huge garden with an orchard too - I have to be satisfied for now with a little flower garden and some plants in wine barrels. But there are great places to walk here, and as you have seen from my hubs - lots of wild life, deer, bobcats, turkeys, I once saw a mountain lion, but no one believes me. The country life is really special and we are blessed, for sure. Like your writing, I bet you read lots of books too! Do you review what you read? that's how I find new things and subjects to read about, because I can't get enough to read! Looking forward to more about wintertime there.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

Beautiful country, Ro. I enjoyed the stroll!


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Thanks Mega1 -- I have visited Sonoma County, and it is also a very pretty place. Seeing the wildlife around here is always special. The numbers of deer we have around here are a little excessive-- but then they probably think the same about the people. We have had one good snowstorm this year already, but we usually see the most in Jan and Feb.


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Thanks for strolling by, habee.


WildwindE profile image

WildwindE 6 years ago from Western Slope of the Sierra Nevada, CA

Do you live out Lushmeadows way -- and then onto the loop toward Bootjack. Some of that road looks familiar, however, most of it does. It also looks like you could be close to Jerseydale as well.


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Your first guess was right. Good eye. Now when I walk, I will know you are following me.


magnoliazz profile image

magnoliazz 6 years ago from Wisconsin

This place looks a lot like central Wisconsin, except we have more farms. I didn't know the Native Americans used bracken stems to weave baskets! We have tons of the stuff in our woods! I think I am going to pick some and see what I can do with the stuff! thank you!


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country Author

A local Miwuk lady showed me the Bracken Fern stems she used. I can see they would work well because they are very pliable, yet tough. Also, because they can grow quite tall, you can get nice long pieces to work with.


theherbivorehippi profile image

theherbivorehippi 6 years ago from Holly, MI

Love the pictures! The Winter picture is BEAUTIFUL!


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Thank you, theherbivoreippi. I lived in Southern California for most of my life, so I do love to see the snow. We are at an elevation that is considered 'the snowline' here, so we usually get a few episodes of snow each winter, but it always melts away in a few days.. up to a higher elevation.


grannygoodearth profile image

grannygoodearth 6 years ago from Midwest

Great pictures! Reminds me of around my place. We are pretty rural too. Our dogs don't get many "formal" walks as one is an Australian Cattle Dog and she is too busy chasing horses and herding up the barn cats! (The cats hate it but put up with her OCD need to herd something!) The other dog, my constant companion, gets his exercise chasing me all over the farm. He's a hound dog and like any good hound he has two speeds: fast and asleep. Thanks for the great view of your world!


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Thanks for visiting, Granny. A lot of people from all over the US seem to think my neighborhood looks familiar. A lot are surprised that it is in California. We have country here too.


oliversmum profile image

oliversmum 6 years ago from australia

Wow. what a beautiful area you live in,thoroughly enjoyed reading about it ,also the pictures are fabulous. thank you


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for commenting.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas

Thank you for the tour...you live in some very beautiful and inspiring surroundings. Hope the ankles better. Thanks for taking us along with you! WB


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country Author

It is much better. Thanks, Wayne.


NY Tails 6 years ago

Seena is such a beautiful name. And for a beautiful dog, too. It's very versatile. I'm thinking of getting a Husky and it would work for such a different species, too.


maggs224 profile image

maggs224 5 years ago from Sunny Spain

What a delightful hub, I enjoyed sharing in your walk through the wonderful word picture that you drew and the lovely photographs that you used to illustrate your hub. I loved particularly the winter scene it looked magical.

Seena looks a beautiful dog, and she looks so alert and pretty in the photograph.

I imagine she is a wonderful companion for you on your walks.

By now I imagine your painful injury is nothing but a fading memory but the fruits of that walk have been a real blessing to read, thanks for sharing :)


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Thanks, Maggs224.

I love where I live. Like a lot of people, we have had a colder-snowier winter this year. It's snowing now. It is beautiful, and usually worth a bit of bother.

Seena is a nice dog-- a bit of a pest, but she makes my husband smile-- and that is good for his health, so worth the trouble.

I think I really hurt my ankle worse than I thought-- took a long time to feel better and sometimes still gives me a twinge... but it's life.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 4 years ago from The Ozarks

What a beautiful neighborhood! I live out in the country, too, and I have had my dog Teyman for eleven years. She was a stray who was six weeks old when she showed up on the property. During the first few years, she was allowed to roam free and sometimes came home with a dead rabbit to munch on or better yet, part of a calf! Later I had a small back yard fenced in, so she was kept within tighter boundaries. Now that she is older, and there's a puppy that she dislikes in the backyard, my daughter and I do walk Teyman, since she can't be left alone with the new dog.

I love your photos and the way you tell your story. Do you still go walking now?


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 4 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Yes, I still walk her a couple of times a day. Sometimes I don't feel like it, but I know it's good for both of us. She understands the leash perfectly-- and she is so curious, I think she would get into way too much trouble if I let her roam. Yours must be a natural hunter.

I haven't hurt myself in quite awhile. (Fingers crossed.)

Thanks for the comment, Aya, to revive an old hub.


ptosis profile image

ptosis 7 months ago from Arizona

I take my little Chuggers EVERYWHERE.. I have a 10 foot leash because if he sees a deer or javalina - he would take off in a heartbeat. The only place I left him off the leash was a very steep canyon where I knew he could not escape .... too easily. And in the video https://youtu.be/1A46yNPokZ8 - yes I DID have sirloin steak bits as bait and lure to make sure he came back to me. At the time of video I only had him for a few months from a previous owner when he was about 4-5 years old.


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 7 months ago from California Gold Country Author

Mine recently escaped the leash and apparently got kicked by a deer. That was five weeks go. A bruised rib-- the vet says, and she's OK otherwise, just acting like an old dog and not wanting to jump up, or run and play as usual. It might take a few more weeks.

In the meantime she is becoming terribly spoiled.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Life is Slower Here

    Source

    More by this Author


    Rochelle Frank profile image

    Rochelle Frank1,657 Followers
    114 Articles

    Living the simple life in a rural area for the past 20 years, Rochelle has experienced, wild critters, power outages and some life lessons.



    Click to Rate This Article
    working