Sunday, May 29, 2011

Jorene's Perennial Gardens-May 30, 2011

We've been working hard replanting the dry creek bed shade garden with hostas, ferns, hydrangeas, bleeding heart,coral bells, columbine, Solomon's seal, and other shade friendly perennials.

Another view of the shade garden and dry creek bed.

Japanese iris, hostas, blackeyed Susan, coreopsis, and purple clemantis on the trellis.

Purple and white bearded iris.

The little present Thursday night's thunderstorm left us.

A view of the fallen pine tree limb from the other side of the gate.

Native daisies and phlox in the foreground with bearded iris and bluestar blooming in the background.

Pink and white peonies with purple salvia and Japanese iris in the background.

Purple salvia, sedum, and Japanese iris in the foreground. Purple and white bearded iris with pink and white peonies in the background.

Campanula blue bell, armenia dusseldorf pride, and lamb's ear in the foreground with catmint and blue star in the background.

A broader view of the front sun perennial bed.

My favorite clematis.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Ponderosa Lodge Farm interns/WWOOFers Take On Tree Tops Canopy Tour at Adventures on the Gorge (May 2011)

It poured down rain throughout the day, but we all piled into the cars and took a brief drive over to Adventures on the Gorge. There, our guides, Lauren and Read, suited us up in our gear and helmets, and we flew through the air for more than 3 hours. The Tree Tops Canopy Tour at Adventures on the Gorge has 10 zip lines, 5 cable bridges, and 1 rappel station, with each view more breathtaking than the last. We started out with a brief hike to the learning station where our guides taught us the basics of zipping, braking, and self rescuing. Then, we were off to our first zip which proved to be more eventful than I originally anticipated. Coming into the landing, I failed to brake as forcefully as necessary and crash landed on top of our guide. Thankfully, she did not kick me off the tour, and I managed to avoid crashing landing on the subsequent zip lines. Our guides also informed us of the flora and fauna located throughout the New River Gorge. For example, there is an insect that has slowly eaten and killed many of the beautiful, old hemlock trees in the area, but the folks at Adventures on the Gorge along with the West Virginia Natural Resource Division are attempting to stop the insects by providing them with an appetite suppressant pill. The third zip was a long, blind zip. In other words, we could not see the ending platform when we started the zip because it was hidden by the trees in between the 2 platforms. There were several more of these throughout the day. The rappel station at the end was perhaps the scariest and most fun. We all rapelled off a platform located 35 feet in the air into nothingness. Then, Read unlatched us from the rope and we all hiked back to the bus for the short drive back to base camp. It was an exhausting, freezing, wet afternoon, but it was well worth it. Several of our interns conquered their fear of heights, and we all left with a lifetime of great memories and a strong desire to return to the Tree Tops.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Hiking Grandview State Park

This weekend, we took our interns to Granview State Park for some hiking and a picnic. It was drizzly all morning but we still got some hiking in and enjoyed the views.

The park is located outside of Beckley, WV and is only 30 minutes from our Lodge. At the Main Overlook, 1400 feet above the river, you see an active railway and the town of Quinnimont, where the first coal was shipped out of the gorge in 1873.

This is the view from the main overlook.

Liam, being a goofball.

Jorene, Emily and Rhianna are trying to catch up with Liam on the Tunnel Trail.

You can't catch me Daddy!

Finally, a good picture of Liam.