Friday, September 30, 2016

Friday Night Steam

Found this wonderful video of freight being pulled by steam engines.
 Sit back, go to full screen and enjoy!
(and don't forget to turn up the volume!)

A compilation of clips of steam powered freight trains operating on preserved lines. We are fortunate that our preserved lines restore and operate the goods vehicles as often no revenue is earned from them, but they do give an excellent impression of how things used to be. Locos and locations in the video as follows;

'Vulcan' - Foxfield Railway
5542 - Winchcombe Tunnel - Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway
63395 - Darnholme - North Yorkshire Moors Railway
61264 - Burrs - East Lancashire Railway
78019 - Woodthorpe - Great Central Railway
7812 'Erlestoke Manor' - Hay Bridge - Severn Valley Railway
3850 - Splash Point - West Somerset Railway
4566 - Bewdley - Severn Valley Railway
44806 - Beck Hole - North Yorkshire Moors Railway
49395 - Burrs - East Lancashire Railway
90733 (as 90711) - Haworth - Keighley & Worth Valley Railway
47406 - Quorn - Great Central Railway
4160 - Leigh Bridge - West Somerset Railway
61994 'The Great Marquess' - Esk Valley - North Yorkshire Moors Railway
825 - Water Ark - North Yorkshire Moors
78019 - Kinchley Lane - Great Central Railway
4566 - Bewdley - Severn Valley Railway
70013 'Oliver Cromwell' - Great Central Railway
8274 - Dixton - Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway
31806 - Oakamoor - Churnet Valley Railway
'Florence No.2' - Foxfield Colliery
90733 (as 90711) - Damens Loop - Keighley and Worth Valley Railway.


Today's funny :o)



Lots and lots of  'em! Such a homely bird,  but oh my, how the soar through the sky!
 I love to watch them!

These were circling Coopville! 

There must have been something dead in the woods.

These were on a house down the road from us:

Hubby kindly stopped so I could hop out of the Jeepster with my trusty camera!

 The geese are starting to gather in larger flocks now.  The ones that travel south will start going in a couple of weeks. 

Fall is here!


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

A real stone house!

I really could live in a house like this.  All that wonderful, wonderful stone!

And that roof and the fireplaces - oh, my!

The house is designd by:

“Dimitri Philippitzis and Associates” is a full service, highly personalized architectural firm, established in Volos - Greece in 1985. Since then, our office has been responsible for a number of design and construction projects.

The office also collaborates with a number of free lance professionals who expertise is called upon, according to each particular project. The construction teams consist of varied skilled workers and artisans who have worked with us on a variety of projects from civic buildings to country residences.

Dimitri Philippitzis was born in Volos, Greece in 1956. He studied Architecture at the National Technical University of Athens (N.T.U.A.) from 1974-1980 and fulfilled his Master’s Degree of Architecture and Urban Design at the University of Toronto in 1982.

From 1985 to 1995 was a founding member of “Synthesis Ltd.”, a company focusing on public buildings and civil construction in which he attained numerous merits and awards whilst many of the team’s projects were realized.

Since 1985 he has been running an architectural office in Volos specializing in private buildings. His work has been exhibited in architectural magazines and exhibitions.
Since the year 2000 he has been teaching “Constructions” and “Elective Design Studio” at the Architect School of Volos University.


Today's funny :o)

Another good 'un from Wild River!  :o)


A foggy morning

Lots of fog yesterday morning - I kind of liked it. All you could hear were the birds 
(and Charlie's big mouth, of course)!

 It gently rolled through and then it was all gone as quickly as it came:

 It was just so pretty when the sun finally started to shine on the clouds:

 Charlie's neck feathers are really coming in nicely. Hopefully most of his scrawny neck will be covered this winter. This molt has been hard on him. He's cranky and nasty and pecks at the girls, even Maude.

 He wants everything for himself and doesn't want to share like he usually does:


 At night, he doesn't want anyone next to him. I took down one of the cardboard barriers so W& B can roost together. When Maude tried to get next to him, he bit her and she moved to the other side of the cardboard.

Maybe he's going through 'roosterpause' or something.
 I dunno..... he's a real pain in the arse....

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

John Smith & Sons

This is just amazing!


J.Smith & Sons of St. John's Square,Clerkenwell were one of the leading Clerkenwell clockmakers, making all varieties of clocks from the smallest timepieces to the largest turret clocks. They were particularly well known for their turret clocks, which were sent all over the world, and for their skeleton clocks, many of which were supplied partly finished for completion by other 'makers'. It is easy to confuse this company with S. Smith & Sons (Smiths Industries) and J. Smith & Sons of Derby, also famous makers of turret clocks.

The company started in 1780 and by 1830 they were in a factory in St John's Square, Clerkenwell, were they remained until the late 1980's.

By 1851, John Smith and Sons were one of the top half a dozen largest clock makers in England and at the 1851 Great Exhibition, they exhibited a year going calendar clock and another chiming clock, chiming on 8 bells and striking on a gong.

In 'The Illustrated London News' on 20th September 1851 (reproduced in the Antiquarian Horology June 1974 pp 750-754) is an article covering a visit to the clock factory of J Smith & Sons in Clerkenwell. The article includes several wood engravings showing views of the work carried out in the factory (some of these engravings are also shown in the 'Victorian Clocks' book..

The company was based at St. John's Square Clerkenwell and was housed in the old factory of 'the once famous clock manufactory of Colonel Magniac' as the above article states. The factory was unusual in that it held all the disciplines needed to make the clock, so that there would not be any delays incurred in waiting for outside suppliers of parts or cases. All the wood needed was stored in their own yards, and the mahogany was seasoned there for three years before use. The brass was cast in the foundry at the East End of their yard and any brass part needed for their clocks was cast and finished on site.

The dial making shop made the dials from tin, iron or brass, and the faces were coated with white-flake which was a form of white lead. This was then polished to a smooth surface and then baked so that it hardened. The numbers etc. were then painted on with lamp black and then the whole dial is varnished. Church dials were given 4 coats of black paint and then the numbers were added using extra thickness gold in the gilt. The divisions of the dial were added using a 'division machine'.

Even the clock glasses were ground and domed to fit on-site in their own glassworks. The casemaking shop was housed above the brass finishing shop. An interesting observation in the article is that the benches in the casemaking shop used a 'German Screw' as is held the work tighter than the usual screw attached to an English bench.

Across from the case-maker's shop was a separate building where the barrel makers, the pinion makers and the fusee makers worked. It should be obvious from this that no one man made a clock, each person made their own part of the clock and then it was finally assembled in the assembly shops. There were two assembly shops, the lower floor for the large 'dirty' movements and the top floor for the more delicate movements.

Also on site was a showroom where prospective customers can be shown the range of clocks available. These included, 8-day skeleton clocks, some having a single strike and some chiming on 8 bells, floor standing regulators, musical clocks and bracket clocks among others. J Smith & Sons not only supplied the English market at the time, but also China, Turkey and other parts of the world.

In the second Great International Exhibition, J Smith & Sons, Clerkenwell, exhibited a small turret clock designed for a summer house. The clock had 4 3'6" diameter dials, 8 day duration with maintaining power and striking on the hour. They also exhibited a second tower clock with rack striking.

In 1865 their catalogue of the items they supplied showed an amazing collection of clocks available from illuminated exterior clocks to skeleton clocks, such as those based on Litchfield Cathedral and York Minster. The company were also now supplying raw parts to other makers and repairers and skeleton clock kits that could be assembled at home. 50% of all skeleton clocks supplied in the UK in the late 1800's were from J Smith & Son and J Moore & Son of Clerkenwell. There are even skeleton clocks by J Smith & Son in the Royal Collection belonging to the British Monarchy.

In recent years the company ceased clock making activities to concentrate on the stockholding and supply of non-ferrous metals. As part of the Delta Metals Group, they still remain one of the leading suppliers of clock making brass.

Source of text:

For Gorges :o)

Gorges of Gorges' Grouse  posted a lovely old postcard on his blog.

Monday, September 26, 2016

104 Years Ago Today

Click image to enlarge.

...this was sent to Mr. Henry Thomas at Davisville, West Virginia (a relative of my paternal grandmother), by S.G.T. (another relative) at Wardensville, WV.

 I found the same building on Google Earth. Enjoy! It's still lovely and look at that gingerbread!


Today's funny :o)

A big H/T to Donna!


'Twas a wee bit....

.... chilly yesterday morning right here in  ol' Coopville:

 The moon was still visible when I let the gang out for breakfast:

A  beautiful, crisp fall morning!

 Hubby started up a fire:

Hubby,  Maude and Charlie soaking up the sunshine:

I was busy, too. I got to clean the coop, the pen and the run. Wilma poops like a horse....

Monday, September 26, 2016

Ever see a Saddleback caterpillar?


Most people know that bees, wasps, hornets and some ants can sting to defend themselves or their nests. Only a few people realize, usually from first hand experience, that handling some caterpillars can produce some painful results. Recognizing the few stinging caterpillar species, including the saddleback, may prevent irritating encounters.
  1. Saddleback Caterpillar

Saddleback Caterpillar Description

The saddleback caterpillar measures about an inch long, and has poisonous spines on four large projections (tubercles) and many smaller ones projecting from the sides of its body. The “saddle” consists of an oval purplish-brown spot in the middle of a green patch on the back. Here are more photos of the saddleback as well as other stinging caterpillars.
The saddleback caterpillar is a general feeder and is generally found on many hosts including corn foliage, apple, pear, cherry, rose, Pawpaw, basswood, chestnut, oak, plum and other trees in late summer.

Diagnosing and Treating Stings

Diagnosis is usually simple since a rash generally breaks out where the hairs or spines have made skin contact. Contacting the hollow poisonous hairs or spines (connected to underlying poison glands) causes a burning sensation and inflammation that can be as painful as a bee sting. The irritation can last for a day or two and may be accompanied by nausea during the first few hours. Usually the site of contact reddens and swells much like a bee sting.
Immediate application and repeated stripping with adhesive or transparent tape over the sting site may be helpful in removing broken hairs or spines. Washing the affected skin area thoroughly with soap and water may help remove irritating venom. Prompt application of an ice pack and a baking soda poultice should help reduce pain and swelling. Household analgesics, such as aspirin, appear to be ineffective for reducing pain and headache. However, oral administration of antihistamines may help relieve itching and burning. Topical corticosteriods may reduce the intensity of inflammatory reaction. Desoximetasone gel applied twice daily to affected areas may also help. Prompt referral to and treatment by a physician should be made when severe reactions are evident. Very young, aged or unhealthy persons are more likely to suffer severe reaction symptoms.

Sting Prevention

Occasionally, these stinging hair caterpillars may drop out of trees onto people, crawl into clothing on the ground, occur on outdoor furniture or sting when brushed against on plant foliage. Be careful when attempting to brush them off. Never swat or crush by hand. Remove them carefully and slowly with a stick or other object.
Individuals, especially children, should be cautioned about handling or playing with any colorful, hairy-like, fuzzy caterpillars since it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between harmless and venomous insect larvae. Never handpick these hairy, fuzzy or spiny caterpillars except with heavy leather gloves if necessary. Wear long sleeve shirts, trousers and gloves when harvesting sweet corn or working in the landscape in late-summer and early-autumn to reduce possible stings.

Chemical Control

Usually, these stinging hair caterpillars do not occur in sufficient numbers to warrant the use of pesticide sprays. Should potential hazards exist around residences or schools, infested shrubs and trees may be sprayed to reduce or eliminate these caterpillars. Sprays of carbaryl (Sevin), or Bacillus thuringiensis (Biotrol WP, Sok-bt, or Thuricide) as well as various pyrethroids (bifenthrin, cyfluthrin, cypermethrin, deltamethrin, lambda-cyhalothin, permethrin and tralomethrin) in formulations labeled for bushes, shrubs and trees, can be helpful, if practical. Be sure to read the label, follow directions and safety precautions.

Today's funny :o)


Let's go for a ride!

Made a few local trips last week.... hop in and join us!

 The road to the right goes to the high school. On the left, the road to town:

Uh - oh ... Traffic:

Ducks by a pond: 

 A horse academy - less than a five minute walk from Coopville:

 More ducks:

 Just some cows (on the left):

All this land is for sale:

 Corn ready to be cut:

A quiet back road: 

 The DPW yard - stockpiling sand for the winter:

Just a barn: 

 Where we spend all our money (needed chicken feed and shavings - again!)

On the way to get hay for the gang:

 Just some old barns - they are almost on the road!

 The shed where we pick up the hay. There is a lock box inside where I deposit my six dollars:

 Hubby looking for the biggest bale:

 An outhouse - it's for sale!

 This hay wagon is full:

 A Victorian house in town:

 The leaves are starting to change:

 The township dog park:

 Some trailers:

These were filled with corn:

The crows and the geese will glean any leftover corn kernels: 

And back to Coopville and the damn deer!