Tuesday, April 30, 2013

More Cowboy Challenges

With Spring, comes horse shows & competitions
 and this year I decided to try doing some more cowboy challenges.
A cowboy challenge exposes your horse to unusual obstacles 
and tests how well he listens (and obeys) you in spite of the scary situation.

All week we've practiced while Maggie has watched.

This is one of our practice obstacles where you have to throw a hula hoop over the cow's head.

 The challenge day dawned rainy and cool, but we decided to head to the challenge anyway.
The competition arena was full of mud and soupy sand which made things interesting,
and a slight drizzle came down as Rocky & I competed.

We had to move a ball with a broom into a hula hoop,
a kind of broom polo.

The course included a horse (car) wash.

We stepped over tires and into trash pits.

 And dipping toy ducks out of one bucket and moving them to another bucket.

We finished, even though we had a few operator errors.
But I was proud of my horse and
 the generous judge placed us 2nd in the senior division.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Monday, April 22, 2013

Flood Survivor

The muskrat survived the flood. 
I wonder what he does when the creek rises and runs so swiftly?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Spring Floods

We got 4 inches of rain a couple of nights ago and the creek was out of its banks.

You can just make out where the curve of the bank is.

The next day the stream was back down with some new bank exposed.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Stop! Who goes there!?!

This guy was guarding the trail and seemed to not want me to pass!
Geesh, share the road, buddy!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Kentucky Spring

Spring has arrived in Kentucky and the woods were full of wildflowers.

Fern fiddleheads

 Red Prairie Trillium

Wood Poppy

Sweet White Trillium

 Maybe a Larkspur?

Early Saxifrage


A tenacious fern growing on a rock.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Mammoth Cave

Did you know Mammoth Cave is the largest cave in the world?
It has 400 miles of underground passages.
The 2nd longest cave is in Mexico and has 308 miles underground,
so Mammoth Cave really is a mammoth.

This is the historic entrance to the cave.
You can hike to it if you are interested.  
There is a gate preventing you from entering without a guide and getting lost.

We opted for the "New Entrance Tour" and accessed the cave from this metal door.

Mammoth is a large dry cave formed by an underground river rather than by seepage,
 so it doesn't have lots of formations like Cub Run Cave had.

This is one of the few formations, known as the Frozen Niagra.

 There is also a new visitor's center with lots of info about caves.

 And there are many hiking trails.
These steps are on one of the more popular trails, descending down into Cedar Sink.

On the Cedar Sink Trail, you can see where an underground stream 
comes to the surface and then returns below ground.

You never know what you'll see out in the woods.

The Turnhole Bend Trail offers views of the Green River.

 There are also several ferries crossing the local rivers.
I'm not sure why they have ferries instead of bridges, 
but they are kinda fun.

 And of course, there is a camping.

We shared our campsite with this big bug!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Cave Country

Kentucky is known for karst topography, 
where the earth consists of soluble limestone that is 
easily dissolved by the slightly acidic underground water.
This forms sinkholes and caves and Kentucky has lots of both.
On our way to Mammoth Cave, the world's longest cave,
we checked out Cub Run Cave.

Cub Run Cave was discovered in 1950, toured for a year
 and then sealed in a legal dispute for 55 years.
Consequently, it did not suffer from commercial vandalism
 where patrons were allowed to carve their names
 or break off a piece of the cave for a souvenir.
 The unassuming entrance.

 Inside is a wonderland of cave formations.

The ceiling is covered with stalagtites.

And there are huge stalagmites.
 rippling pools

 cave bacon,

and intricate flowstone.
We also saw many of the cave creatures, such as cave crickets


and even the elusive blind crayfish.

Cub Run is a fantastic cave.
Don't miss it when in the Mammoth Cave area!

My Old Kentucky Home

Bardstown also is the site of My Old Kentucky Home State Park.

This is the location of Federal Hill, 
a plantation where Stephen Foster, a cousin of the plantation owner,
is supposed to have written the state song of Kentucky, 
"My Old Kentucky Home".  
We toured the home with a costumed interpreter, but no photos were allowed.

 The grounds were very picturesque and included a family cemetery,

And a statue of Stephen Foster
who also wrote Florida's state song, Suwanee River.

There is a gift shop, golf course & campground here
as well as summertime performances of Stephen Foster - The Musical 
in the amphitheater.