Random (but not really)

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Hiking West Virginia: Cranberry Glades & the Falls of Hills Creek

Well, it was more casual strolling than hiking, but both of these are places you shouldn’t miss. Although it was only the 4th of October, it was 42 degrees at Cranberry Glades Botanical Area, and there were a few snow flurries. So the weather there can be quite different from the weather elsewhere.

Which means I was wishing that I had worn much warmer pants.

Location: Falls of Hills Creek and Cranberry Glades Botanical Area
Trails: Cranberry Glades Botanical Area & the Falls of Hills Creek
Distance: Cranberry Glades Botanical Area: 0.6 mile; Falls of Hills Creek: 1.3 miles
Elevation: Falls of Hills Creek: 367 feet

Cranberry Glades Botanical Area

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The Cranberry Glades Botanical Area is a flat boardwalk, so it is accessible to everyone. Although it is only a 0.6 mile loop, there is incredible biological diversity in that small area.

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Yup. Snow.

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Cranberry Wilderness Area

This area was in an area not in the boardwalk, but similar botanically, and the light was a lot better.

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The Falls of Hills Creek

The upper falls are accessibly by a gently sloping path. They were also kinda boring without much water going through the area.

The rest of the path was a lot of stairs. But utterly worth the hike.

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The Middle Falls

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The Lower Falls

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The stairs are quite steep in places.

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Cranberry Glades Botanical Area GPS map
Falls of Hills Creek GPS map

Written by Michelle at 10:12 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,National Park/Forest,Photos,West Virginia  

Friday, October 3, 2014

The Books of September

September was a slow reading month. Temperatures finally cooled enough that I wanted to go hiking again, and the insanity of football games was more than enough incentive to push us out of town. Plus, I decided to take up canning this fall (if I get my act together, I’ll write about that sometime) so my free time has been limited.

In addition to less reading time than normal, we were busy enough (in a good way) that I was wanting to relax with favorite characters and books I knew I’d enjoy.

The best books of the month included two audio books. Kobna Holdbrook-Smith narrates Ben Aaronovitch’s Peter Grant series, and he completely blew me away. I liked the book, but the narration was pretty much perfect. I can’t recommend these highly enough.
I also read Patricia Briggs’ anthology set in Mercy Thompson’s world. Very few of these stories are about Mercy, but that doesn’t bother me at all. I love well-written short stories, and these are all very good.

Fantasy, Supernatural

Alpha & Omega
Cry Wolf  (2008) Patricia Briggs
Mercy Thompson
Moon Called (2006) Patricia Briggs (8.5/10)
Blood Bound  (2007) Patricia Briggs (8/10)
Iron Kissed (2008) Patricia Briggs
Bone Crossed  (2009) Patricia Briggs
Shifting Shadows: Stories from the World of Mercy Thompson (2014) Patricia Briggs (9/10)

Mystery, Historical

Flavia de Luce
The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches (2014) Alan Bradley (Not Rated)
Speaking from Among the Bones  (2013) Alan Bradley (7/10)

Audio Books

Moon Called: Audible Version (2006/2009) Patricia Briggs and read by Lorelei King (DNF)
Peter Grant
Midnight Riot: Audio Version  (2011/2012) Ben Aaronovitch narrated by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith (10/10)
Moon Over Soho: Audible Version  (2011/2012) Ben Aaronovitch and narrated by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith (10/10)

So, in a slow reading month I read eleven books, which I know is more than most people read, but still relatively low for me. (I read nine books in May, for many of the same reasons I read so little in September.) This also brings my total for the year to 131, which was more than I read some years when I was in grad school. So I’m on track to read more books this year than I have in any other year.

I read mostly eBooks again, but there were three audio books in there, and one lonely paperback. Of course nine of the books I read were re-reads, and eight of those I have in multiple formats. (Of course, this counts the Mercy Thompson Moon Called audio book that I didn’t finish.)

Mostly supernatural fantasy this month, with those books having a strong mystery element, and two straight-up mysteries.

I read four male authors and seven female authors, which brings me to 59 writing-as-female authors for the year and 43 male authors. With the nine books written under initials and two written under a male pseudonym, that gives me approximately 55% female authors to 34% male authors. (I’ve read a lot of anthologies this year.)

So not much new this month, but I really do recommend that you seek out the audio version of the Peter Grant books.

Written by Michelle at 6:35 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Books & Reading  

Monday, September 29, 2014

Hiking WV: Coopers Rock State Forest: Raven Rock

Hiking WV: Coopers Rock State Forest: Raven Rock

The weather was too nice not to go hiking, so we went to Coopers Rock, which is the park I visited so many times as a child, but weirdly, rarely hiked. We’d wander beneath the overlook and climb rocks, but didn’t much hike any of the trails.

Raven Rock is a nice climb to look out down the mountain, however, there are a couple reasons it’s far less popular than the main overlook. 1) It’s a relatively steep walk up unpleasantly rocky terrain. 2) Power transmission lines. 3) To the north you can see power plant stacks and steam. The latter two are the bigger irritation to me, not that my ankle was well-pleased with the rocky terrain.

Location: Coopers Rock State Forest
Trails: Raven Rock Trail & McCollum Trail
Distance: 2.9 miles
Elevation: 743 feet

This is what the Raven Rock trail looks like pretty much the entire way.

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My ankle is displeased with me, because walking on ground like this is a lot more uncomfortable and difficult than you’d think–you have to watch the ground, and even so, smaller rocks slide out from under your feet.

All of which is why we took the McCollum trail back as soon as it branched off.

And the reason it looks like an old road, is because that’s what it is. This is how they got all the equipment for the power lines up the hill. So perhaps this is Mother Nature’s revenge.

Looking east, over the Cheat Canyon.

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Looking west:

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Looking North. You can see the overlook to the right, and in the background the Longview and Fort Martin power plants.

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The power lines and towers kinda ruin the view to the south. (Looking south west here.)

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Ferns are quite tenacious.

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We were trying to remember where this rock fell from. No place obvious.

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GPS Map of Raven Rock hike

Written by Michelle at 6:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Parks,West Virginia  

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunday Flower Pr0n: The End of the Hydrangea

My hydrangea took a significant amount of damage last winter, so although it survived, I got no flowers. So I decided to snap a couple pictures of the last hurrah of this hydrangea outside the Purple Fiddle in Thomas.

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And just because I adore it so, my favorite building in Thomas.

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Written by Michelle at 8:28 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Flowers,Photos  

Hiking WV: Blackwater Falls State Park

After discovering the WV Dept of Forestry Fall Foliage Map, WV State Parks Fall Foliage Map, we decided that a trip to Blackwater Falls was in order.

I wanted to visit my favorite overlooks and falls, so we went to lots of different places. (This would have been more energy efficient if we’d had bicycles, however, we only had a couple hours, so we were in and out of the car instead.) The last time we hiked most of these trails, it was early spring and had also been raining for two weeks straight, so there was a LOT of water. This time we were able to hike along creeks that were flooded last time.

It was a gorgeous fall day, temperatures in the upper 60s to 70–perfect for hiking–and the skies were clear. It was a perfect day.

Location: Blackwater Falls State Park
Trails: Pendleton Trace Trail, Dobbin House Trail; Pase Point Trail; Lindy Point Trail
Falls: Elekata Falls (off Elekata Trail); Blackwater Falls
Distance: Pendleton Trace to Dobbins House to Pase Point and Back: 2.9 miles; Lindy Point: .8 mile
Total Distance (including going off trail): 4.9 miles
Elevation: Pendleton Trace to Dobbins House to Pase Point: 261 feet; Lindy Point: 66 feet
Total Elevation (including going off trail): 911 feet

Elekata Falls (here it was in the spring)

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Blackwater Falls (here it was in the spring)

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Oh look! A turkey vulture!

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This sighting was followed by a discussion of the difference between a vulture and a buzzard. Answer: in the US–the terms are interchangeable.

Pendleton Lake

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Wait… what’s that?

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A heron!

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Lindy Point. This is an easy hike for a spectacular view.

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Pendleton Point

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Pase Point

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The river below Dobbin House Trail (here’s how things looked in the spring)

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This area was completely inaccessible in the spring.

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On the Dobbin House Trail someone had set up a silent walk. About a quarter of the signs were botany and nature related, the others were exceedingly touchy-feel. (Look around at the colors. How do they make you feel?) But THIS sign made my day.

Uses of Hemlock

Will no one rid me of the troublesome philosopher?

I am easily amused.

Dobbins House Trail + Pase Point Trail GPS map (with bonus Pendleton overlook and going off trail)

Lindy Point Trail GPS map

Written by Michelle at 10:37 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Parks,West Virginia  

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Hiking WV: Watoga State Park

Go ahead. Say it: WA-TOGA! WA-TOGA! WA-TOGA!

You’re welcome.

Location: Watoga State Park
Trails: Honeybee Trail, Buckhorn Trail, Dragon Draft Trail
Distance: 2.4 miles
Elevation: 920 feet

At Watoga there’s a lake:

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As you can see, the leaves are just starting to change:

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There’s also an arboretum:

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This is a tree (still alive) that has been attacked by some kind of insect, which was then rooted out by woodpeckers.

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We hiked the outside of the trail, then cut into the center, where the arboretum trail crosses back and forth across the creek:

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It’s fascinating, the amount of stone and rock in the creek bed, that has been uncovered over time, and shifted around every time there’s a hard rain.

There’s also access to the Greenbrier river:

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It was a lovely park, and as it’s the end of the season, it was quite empty and quiet (which I always enjoy).

GPS map of hike

Written by Michelle at 11:54 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Parks,West Virginia  

Sunday, September 7, 2014

15 Question SFF Book Meme!

From SF Signal: A 15 Question Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Book Meme – SF/F/H Reading/Buying Habits

What was the last sf/f/h book you finished reading?
Midnight Riot (audio version) by Ben Aaronovitch

What was the last sf/f/h book you did not finish reading and why?
This is harder, as I read multiple books at once, and frequently start books that I never get back to, simply because there are too many other books to read one that doesn’t hold my interest.

What was the last sf/f/h book you read that you liked but most people didn’t?
I honestly I have no idea. I frequently re-read David Eddings Belgariad, but I don’t think that’s what the question is asking.

What was the last sf/f/h book you read that you disliked but most people did?
I abandoned the Sookie Stackouse series. I loved the initial books, but HATED it when it turned into a giant “everyone loves Sookie” fest. Bletch.

How long do your 1-sitting reading sessions usually last?
As long as I have time. I can spend an entire day reading–if I have an entire day.

What are you currently reading?
The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches by Alan Bradley
Bonk by Mary Roach
Downfall by Rob Thurman
Thieves’ Quarry by DB Jackson

Do you like it so far?
Of course.
I’m having a hard time getting into this one.
OMG yes.
I’ve put this down several times, because I fear it is going to be the last Cal book.
Wasn’t what I was in the mood for when I picked it up, but keep coming back to it.

How long ago did you buy the book you are currently reading (or the last book you read)?
Some of them in the past two weeks, some of them… months ago? I own the Sherlock Holmes in HB, so I re-bought the eBook.

What was the last physical sf/f/h book you bought?
Fables: Camelot by Bill Willingham et al (that one is ALSO waiting for me to pick it up)

What is the sf/f/h sub-genre you like the most and why?
I’m a huge fan of urban fantasy–like Charles de Lint–and supernatural mysteries–like Simon R Green. I love mysteries, and I adore mysteries with supernatural or fantastic elements. I also like them because they tend to be single books that I can read in a gulp, but am not left with a damned cliff-hanger.

What is the sf/f/h sub-genre you dislike the most and why?
I don’t read SF, because I just plain don’t enjoy it. I dislike dystopias for a similar reason–they make me feel miserable. I’ll feel terrible for hours after finishing a dystopia. Since my brain can do that all on its own, I avoid things that make me feel bad. I also don’t read horror because I don’t like to be scared. (Fantasy with elements of horror is generally find, as long as it’s not scary.)

What is your favorite electronic reading device?
I love my kindle paperwhite so very very very very much. It has a purple cover, and feels so much like reading a book, only it doesn’t hurt my hands to hold.

What was the last sf/f/h eBook you bought?
Three pre-orders arrived at the same time:
Seanan McGuire – Winterlong
Patricia Briggs – Shifting Shadows
Fables: Camelot by Bill Willinghame et al

Do you read books exclusively in 1 format (physical/electronic)?
No. But I am partial to fiction in eBook format, and to comics/graphic novels in Trade Paperback format.

Do you read eBooks exclusively on a single device (eBook reader/ smartphone / tablet)?
Nope. I read on whatever is at hand. If I have a few minutes to wait, I read on my phone. If it’s a cookbook, I read it on the Fire. My bedtime reading is often on my Kindle keyboard (it contains mostly non-fiction, which I prefer to read before bed). Most everything else I read on the paper white.

How about you?

Written by Michelle at 8:57 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Books & Reading  

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Books of August

Lots of historicals this month, both romances (!) and mysteries. Just in the mood for something different I suppose.

Fifteen books in August, bringing me to a total of 120 for the year so far.

The best books of the month:
The Countess Conspiracy by Courtney Milan was FABULOUS. Seriously, I can’t say enough good things about this story. You should go read it now.
Kitty’s Greatest Hits by Carrie Vaughn I always seem to forget how good Carrie Vaughn is with short stories, until I read one, and then I want to read more.

Fantasy, Supernatural

Kitty’s Greatest Hits (2011) Carrie Vaughn (9/10)
Jane Yellowrock
Cat Tales: Four Stories from the World of Jane Yellowrock (2011) Faith Hunter (7/10)
Have Stakes Will Travel: Stories From the World of Jane Yellowrock (2012) Faith Hunter (8.5/10)
Jane Yellowrock World Companion (2013) Faith Hunter (7/10)
Black Arts (2014) Faith Hunter (8.5/10)

Mystery, Historical

Flavia deLuce
I Am Half-Sick of Shadows (2011) Alan Bradley (7/10)
Lady Emily
A Poisoned Season (2007) Tasha Alexander (7/10)
A Fatal Waltz (2008) Tasha Alexander (7/10)
Lady Julia Grey
Silent on the Moor (2009) Deanna Raybourn (6.5/10)
Malcom & Suzanne Rannoch
The Paris Affair (2013) Teresa Grant (7/10)

Romance, Historical

Lord and Lady Spy (2011) Shana Galen (3/10)
The Brothers Sinister
The Duchess War (2012) Courtney Milan (7/10)
The Heiress Effect (2013) Courtney Milan (8/10)
The Countess Conspiracy (2013) Courtney Milan (9/10)

Audio Books

Skinwalker (Audio Version) (2009/2010) Faith Hunter narrated by Khristine Hvam (8/10)

So, now my favorite part! The stats!

8 re-reads this month, three of which I have in multiple formats. So the publishing industry isn’t losing much, even though I try to pay no more than $3 for a book I already own in paper.

Paperback: 1
Trade Paperback: 1
eBook: 13
Audio: 1

Lots of romance this month, and lots of mysteries. Almost all of which were historicals. Sometimes, you just need to put your mind in a different time period.

Fantasy: 6
Mystery: 9
Romance: 8
Anthology: 1

And all those romance novels mean that I read a LOT of female authors this month.

Male: 1
Female: 14

For the year, the percentage of mail authors I’ve read is down to 35%. Of course, the first two books of September were both by male authors, so I’m still getting some variety in my diet.

But really, I can’t recommend The Countess Conspiracy enough. It’s all geeky and marvelous.

Written by Michelle at 6:55 am      Comments (2)  Permalink
Categories: Books & Reading  

Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor Day

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory

Triangle-Fire

triangle3

Chimney Sweeps

childsweep2

Textile Mills

ChildrenSpinning

girl-working-at-cotton-mill-P

Landscape

Coal Mines

youngminers

They say in Harlan County
There are no neutrals there

Breaker boys working in Ewen Breaker Mine in South Pittston, Pennsylvania, 10 January 1911, from a 1908-1912 series on...

You’ll either be a union man
Or a thug for J.H. Blair

child-miners

Farmington-Mine-Disaster-smoke

monongah-mine

sago

Upper Big Branch

Today

child labor today 1

child labor today 2

child labor today 3

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child labor today 4

And that is why, despite all the disappointments, I remain a Democrat.

Written by Michelle at 6:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: History,Holidays  

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Hiking WV: Holly River State Park

Due to events beyond our control, we arrived at the park much later than expected. That, combined with the heat, meant we only took a partial hike along the Left Fork of the Holly River.

It was utterly gorgeous, and I very much want to go back and hike the Potato Ridge trail complete, as well as other trails in the park.

The park office provides maps with distances as well as an elevation graph.

Location: Holly River State Park
Trail: Potato Ridge Trail (partial)
River: Left Fork Holly River
Distance: 3.6 miles (we only hiked 1.7 miles)
Ascent:

This trail is NOT going to be accessible after a rain or when the river is running high. Not unless you want to get your feet wet.

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The Potato Ridge trail abuts private property, so local residents will ride their 4-wheelers off park territory to visit the river. When we got to Shupe’s Chute, there was a father with his young son (probably about 4) sitting on the rocks watching the water. When we arrive, the son excitedly told us that the water was VERY fast, and picked up leaves to throw into the water.

It was, in fact, very fast.

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Shupe’s Chute was pretty fascinating. I’ve tried to stitch together three pictures so you can see it in its entirety, but I don’t think it worked really well.

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Then when we mentioned we were going to hike down to the lower falls, he begged his dad to go down to the lower falls too. When we passed them later (them heading back, us heading down) the boy excitedly told us that if we crossed the river, we could even go UNDER the falls.

He was delightful.

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Written by Michelle at 10:53 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Parks,West Virginia  

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Hiking WV: Audra State Park

Cooler weather and an influx of horrific traffic to Morgantown got us on the road again, this time to Audra State Park.

The Girst Mill (it’s earlier use) is long gone, except for a grinding stone, but the Alum Cave trail along the river has multiple paths to wander down to the water, where you can swim and sunbathe in relative isolation if you’re willing to hike a bit.

I really like Audra. It’s not a particularly strenuous hike (we went out and back the same way, because I prefer to walk closer to the water) but it’s very pretty, and has lots of options for going down to the water.

Location: Audra State Park
Trail: Alum Cave Trail
River: Middle Fork River
Distance: 2.9 miles
Ascent: 497 feet

I love the board walk. It’s more solid than it looks.

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We had a long discussion about this root formation:

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Rotting logs can be absolutely fascinating:

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And lots of paths to get down to the water:

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GPS map of hike

Written by Michelle at 9:01 pm      Comments (2)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Metal Chickens,Photos,State Parks,West Virginia  

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Non-Hiking Trip to Blackwater Falls

But it was better than all the other trips this year!

Ice cream was made…

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…and eaten!

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There was walking…

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…and jumping.

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Rocks were picked up and checked under.

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Big sticks were found and carried.

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Stairs were climbed…

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…as were rocks.

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It was a marvelous day.

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Written by Michelle at 9:19 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Family,Photos,State Parks,West Virginia  

Friday, August 1, 2014

The Books of July

I didn’t read much towards the start of the month, but towards the end of the month I had a case of the blues, and then I got sick, so I suddenly read a lot.

Which was perfectly fine with me.

I read some really good books, and I read absolutely one abysmal book. We’re talking a book that had me ranting for days after I finished it.

The best books of the month were re-reads: A Fistful Of Sky by Nina Kiriki HoffmanRising Stars by J. Michael Straczynski, and the Jane Yellowrock series, by Faith Hunter . Plus one new read, the anthology Magic City: Recent Spells edited by Paula Guran which was very good.

Fantasy: Supernatural

A Fistful Of Sky (2002) Nina Kiriki Hoffman  (10/10)
Dirty Magic (2014) Jaye Wells (7/10)
Urban Shaman (2005) C.E. Murphy  (6.5/10)
Jane Yellowrock:
Skinwalker  (2009) Faith Hunter  (8/10)
Blood Cross  (2010) Faith Hunter  (8/10)
Mercy Blade  (2011) Faith Hunter  (7/10)
Raven Cursed  (2012) Faith Hunter (8/10)
Death’s Rival  (2012) Faith Hunter  (8/10)
Blood Trade  (2013) Faith Hunter  (8/10)

Fantasy: Anthology

Magic City: Recent Spells (2014) Paula Guran  (8.5/10)
Strange Brew  (2009) edited by P.N. Elrod (7/10)

Fantasy: Historical / Steampunk

Farthing  (2006) Jo Walton  (7/10)
Hounds of Autumn  (2013) Heather Blackwood  (2/10)

Comic / Graphic Novel

Rising Stars: Born in Fire, Power, Fire and Ash  (2001-2005) J. Michael Straczynski, Keu Cha, Ken Lashley et al  (10/10)
Hellboy:
Hellboy: The Midnight Circus  (2013) Mike Mignola, Duncan Fegredo, Dave Stewart (7/10)
Hellboy in Hell Volume 1: The Descent  (2014) Mike Mignola, Dave Stewart (7/10)
Local  (2008) Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly  (NR)

And now for my favorite part: THE NUMBERS!

I read 17 books this month, bringing the total so far this year to 105 books. I’m averaging 15 books a month, which is my highest average yet. But I’m sure that’ll drop down when cooler weather hits and I get outside more.

Because I had so many re-reads (8), I actually read more paper books than ebooks. The trade paperbacks were all comics, and I fully admit that I really prefer reading comics on paper. (The things that are supposed to increase your ereading pleasure with comics actually take me out of the story. But I’ll keep trying.)

Paperback: 6
Trade Paperback: 3
eBook: 8

I read mostly fantasy this month (with even the comics mostly in the fantasy genre).

Fantasy: 15
Mystery: 7
Romance: 2
YA: 1
Comic: 4
Anthology: 2

And I read very heavily of female authors this month.

Male: 2
Female: 11
Anthology: 4

Which brings the straight-up male:female ratio 1:1.

Male: 38%
Female: 38%
Joint + Anthology: 14%
Initials: 9%
Male Pseudonym: 2%

However, when you consider that the overwhelming majority of authors I read who are writing under initials are women, and a number of women writing under male pseudonyms, almost half the books I’ve read this year were written by women. Not too bad.

Written by Michelle at 7:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Books & Reading  

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Ark!

We went to Frostburg to have dinner for my Dad’s birthday, and I talked my parents into stopping by The Ark!

Look! Here we are!

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Ta DA!

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We’re in luck! Clear skies!

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It’s large, but it’s not THAT large. Guess that’s why the dinosaurs couldn’t fit.

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I’m guessing this is the ramp for the animals to go down into the hold. Not much headroom for the elephants and giraffes.

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All the cement is crumbling.

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The footers (again, crumbling) were poured for a much larger structure than the existing steel super structure.

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There you go! A closer look at the Ark, a structure that has provided hours of amusement over the years.

There are several more pictures if you click through to Flickr.

Written by Michelle at 8:54 am      Comments (5)  Permalink
Categories: Geek,Non-Sequiturs,Photos  

Monday, July 14, 2014

Hiking WV: Cedar Creek State Park

Location: Cedar Creek State Park
Trail: Stone Trough Trail
Distance: 3.0 miles
Elevation: 814 feet

The trail was slightly problematic at two parts. At the sealed oil well pipe, when coming up from the stone trough, it took us a long time to pick the trail back up. (You head right, and then head back up the hill.) And towards the end of the trail (for us) the trail suddenly went down a very steep hill. The rest of the trail was relatively easy, but this part was not.

This is not the sealed gas/oil head. This was a random, rusting piece of machinery.

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“Yes, you’re really going that way.”

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That was moderately steep.

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Yeah, a bit steep here.

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“We’re not kidding. You go pretty much straight up here.”

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GPS map of the trail.

Written by Michelle at 6:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Parks,West Virginia  

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sunday Flower Pr0n: Cedar Creek

Yeah, so, I’m stretching things this week. But they were flowers once!

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There were a LOT of recently downed trees, as well as a lot of recently downed snags.

Written by Michelle at 8:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Flowers,Photos  

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Wednesday Word Association: BOOM Edition

Today’s word is: thunder

Written by Michelle at 7:14 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Fun & Games  

Monday, July 7, 2014

Fun with Jules

Like many females on the planet, I am uncomfortable with how I look in a swimsuit. I sometimes cringe when I see a picture of myself dressed, so bathing suits are like an explosion of self-loathing.

However, I’ve refused to let that stop me from swimming, because the only person who cares about what I’m wearing is Jules, who needs me to be able to swim and horse around with her.

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We also went to Valley Falls.

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It was a very good day.

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Written by Michelle at 8:03 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Family,Julliene,Photos  

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sunday Flower Pr0n: DAY LILIES!

I do, in fact, have many cultivars of day lilies. And they’re all blooming right now.

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I have a couple other things blooming as well.

Balloon Flower (Platycodon grandiflorus)

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I HAVE A RASPBERRY!

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Gerbera daisies. I didn’t get an orange flower this year, which is too bad, because they’re my favorite.

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Written by Michelle at 10:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Flowers,House & Garden,Photos  

Sunday Flower Pr0n: Coopers Rock

Here are some of the flowers we saw blooming at Coopers Rock.

Rhododendron are blooming in some areas of the forest:

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OMG! It’s a YIP YIP!

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Written by Michelle at 6:00 am      Comments (2)  Permalink
Categories: Flowers,Photos,State Parks  
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