Autumn Eve was a beautiful Toy Fox Terrier with perfect ears. She came to our family after Patty saw the neighbor lady’s new dog, “Cuddles.” The two dogs were sisters, though Autumn was the largest of the two.
She was my dog, more or less, and would sit in my lap or lay beside me on the chair. We would sleep or doze together when we could.
Her sister, “Cuddles, ” lived with Helen Brock who lives across the street from us. It was her dog that we saw and liked and after getting the name of her breeder Patty went to them on a stormy night in the Autumn and picked out our puppy and we named her “Autumn Eve” because of the time of the year and “Eve” because it was in the evening.
She loved to curl up in my chair and look out the front window. She could see people passing the house and those who pulled in the driveway. She barked when anybody came to the house but quit barking after she had a chance to smell them and get acquainted again. We still miss Autumn Eve Lincoln.
I am guessing but I think Maude is about as sweet as they ever get. You’d have to look high and low to find another Maude like this one. Maude, like most females, is tough as nails on her male friends. She does not like just anything that comes along, but she likes soft warm things and has been known to put the best meals away for another day.
I see her several times every day. At night I will turn the porch light on to see if I can see her waiting. If I don’t see her then I ask, “You alright, Maude?” I have been known to look for her using a flashlight with two new batteries. When she knows I am looking for her she will reveal herself. I always see her blue eyes first, and then I see the rest of her hiding by the power line.
I spent a considerable amount of time this summer trying to get her to pose for my new camera. I was so close that I am confident she was able to see me and probably wondered what I was trying to do with that big round thing poking at her. She never really moved. So I took her picture. Not once, but several times.
My camera is a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT. It takes huge pictures — mine are 48 inches wide. You can do a lot with a photo that wide. You can actually crop out all of it but the part you really want to show.
And that’s Maude. She is the one with the startling blue eyes. She has 8 legs and all of them have hair. She never shaves but seems to be proud of the hair that she has. Maude is a spider. She is pretty in black and brown and she does have blue eyes. I think she has fangs too but I can’t quite make them out on on the photographs. As far as I know the only things she eats is anything that happens to blunder into her web.
She is clever about her web as it is built close to the porch light and when it is turned on, there are a lot of bugs attracted to the light and some of them end up in her web — supper time. I think she knew where to build the web and I believe she is smart enough to know that light attracts bugs. Otherwise she would have made her web dozens of other places.
That’s Maude with the blue eyes. You’d probably never see her if you stood under her web.
© Abraham Lincoln
Rubies and Sapphires
If you like rubies and sapphires and amethysts then I can tell you how to get some that are dirt cheap. If you type Franklin, North Carolina into Yahoo Search you will find that Franklin is known as the Gem Capitol of the World.
About twenty-five years ago we drove from Brookville to Franklin to look for gem stones. Nestled in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, this quaint southwestern North Carolina town offers a change of pace and a never-ending supply of activities for the entire family. We liked the idea of looking for gems and found gem sites scattered around the edge of town. These places are like ordinary farms except they cater to tourists who want to look for gems.
When you drive up to one of these places, you will see shelter-like structures with a wooden trough running down the center. It doesn’t take long to find out how the system works and I will try to explain how it was when we were there.
The hills roundabout are owned by the men who runs the sluice. He is in business to sell dirt that contains gem stones. He uses a backhoe to dig out fresh piles of dirt. This dirt is used to fill buckets. Each bucket will contain some gem stones. When you are ready he will sell you as many buckets as you want. If this is your first time, he will show you what to look for and how to work the sluice to wash the dirt away and leave the gems. Back then each bucket of dirt cost $2.00.
We bought one bucket for each person in my family and began to pour the dirt from the bucket into a wooden frame with a screen (a sluice) on the bottom. The idea is to pour about as much dirt as you can lift easily in the wooden frame and then dip it down into the running water in the sluice and allow the water to wash away the soil. It takes a little time to do this and a little longer to catch on.
Once you learn how then it becomes easy and everyone in our family found rubies, sapphires and amethysts. We also saw at least one emerald in the tailings others had dumped there. Among the rocks was the unmistakable six-sided emerald. I never was sure what this was that somebody had simply dumped out and should have picked it up. The owner/operator saw it about the same time that I did and he picked it up and showed me and said, “Don’t throw these away.”
Duh. Nope. I won’t. If I find one. It was about as long as a shotgun shell and super green, but a bit muddy. A ruby shines red in the water. There are a lot of them. We took two or three large ones and had them polished. They are ready to mount in jewelry—each is about 2 carats—we also had two sapphires polished and those are about 2 carats. We have larger sapphires but not polished.
The mine owners will buy your finds or, he can make a handsome ruby ring while you’re looking for more. We took ours into town and a jewelry store polished them and mailed them to us. They arrived as promised.
5º this morning. Lots of fine snow on the ground, leftover from the last snowfall we had. The chill makes getting some bird seed out for the bird and squirrels a real must do. I made sure the crows got some unsalted peanuts because they need a lot of food to keep those big bird bodies fit as a fiddle.
Today, May 26th, 2009, I was taking pictures of young starlings in the shade on the bird bath. They were waiting, more or less, for one of their parents to bring them something to eat. While waiting, through the viewfinder I happened to see a honey bee flying around the two birds. I think the bee wanted to get a drink. Yes, bees do drink water.