Wednesday, January 28, 2015

White Tailed Deer 1-27

I was taking a day off at the Lake House when this deer came brousing by. He waited in the same position for several minutes as I went to get my camera to take his picture. You can see that he is well fed.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Mute Swans 1-17

Two Mute Swans have joined the Ducks and 
Canadian Geese on Lake Aspen. The Mute Swans
have orange beaks.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Friends in the Park

On my afternoon walk my young white tail friend and I were the only ones in the cold.  

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

"The Log Cabin" in Innsbrook Missouri

Our family has had a place in Innsbrook, about 50 miles west of St Louis Missouri, for over 38 years. We have participated in the changes through the years as the community evolved from a group of A-frames around some lakes with a central farmhouse and stables, to Innsbrook Estates with permanent homes, to Innsbrook Resort and Conference Center with tennis courts and a golf course, and finally to the incorporated Village of Innsbrook. There are now over one hundred lakes and over 2,000 acres of forest and meadows. South of Lake Alpine, the largest lake, was an abandoned log cabin in a state of great neglect and disrepair. Part of the building had fallen in and its windows and doorways had been knocked out. The hillside pre-Civil war homestead site also included a stone barn, a smokehouse, a chicken coop, and a 'leaning' red barn,  all in various stages of advanced collapse. 

Local and community residents committed to a restoration of this 'insignificant' homestead and the Innsbrook Historical Society was born. Since the spring of 2010 volunteers have been working to restore the "Log Cabin" as it is now called. The 2 acre plot was purchased from the Innsbrook Corporation for a dollar and passionate restoration of the cabin has occurred each Wednesday and Thursday mornings since. There have been more than 70 people working on the site over the years. The cabin, believed to date from the 1840's, is built in the dogtrot style with two rooms on the first floor bisected by a central hallway. There is a steep stairway accessible from the front porch leading to two upstairs rooms. 

The entire cabin was lifted up to replace some rotted logs. It was stripped to the bare log walls and the remaining chinking was removed. Removing the previous chinking allowed for electrification. This required digging a ditch to the cabin to bring in electric lines from a quarter mile away. For the first time ever the cabin had electricity. The front porch had foundered and required a new stone foundation. Volunteer amateur stone masons learned new skills and the final result is exceptional. In this 2012 photo my wife Jan and I are standing on the new porch before the roof was replaced.

Inside the cabin the floors have been produced from nearby walnut trees that were taken to a local saw mill. There have been multiple chinking parties with resulting walls that are weather tight. 

The front gallery of the cabin is the obvious center of outside social activities at the cabin. The Society  has been presenting Sunday afternoon concerts in series called "A Little Porch  Music'.  The hilly area in front of the cabin has been leveled to allow for comfortable seating. Here is an image of a recent concert. Note that the leaves have not appeared on the trees.

This concert featured Kim and Reggie Harris presenting "Songs of Hope and Freedom".

The 'Log Cabin" was dedicated last fall and the restoration continues. There is a natural lure to a 150 year old pre-Civil war homestead cabin. The Society envisions a permanent "pocket park" for relaxation, social activities, learning, and remembrance. With the Log Cabin as the core element future plans include a refurbished smoke house and a pavillion covering the remnants of the original stone barn. Watching dreams come to reality is an exceptional privilege.

The Innsbrook Log Cabin is open to the public and is located within the Innsbrook Resort, a gated community. To visit the cabin contact Innsbrook Historical Society President
John Welter at To follow restoration efforts visit

Cleopatra Cutler

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Thursday, January 1, 2015

Stone Avenue Station

The Stone Avenue Station was built in 1901 and has been refurbished recently. It is about a block and a half from our home. The Burlington Railroad goes between downtown Chicago and Denver Colorado and was a busy railway when I was growing up.
During my senior year at LT Bob Torrison and I would get sandwiches and chocolate milk  from a store on Hillgrove and eat them across the street at the station. That's a freight train passing by in the background.

Jan at West Tyson Park 12-27-2014

It was a beautiful warm day.

The trail has limestone rock formations.

The Sessions in Steamboat Springs Thanksgiving 2014

Don and Abe 11-28

While in Steamboat Springs for Thanksgiving I met another guy from illinois.

Front Porch Visitor

The sun was shining through the Blenco stained glass window showing a stretching visitor.

It was this feral kitty.

Don's 2014 Blog

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