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Archive for February, 2013

“One does not simply walk into Mordor.” said Boromir, but actually one can. Well not into Mordor, but along the path that was used to get there in the movie.

Beginning with a snack

Beginning with a snack

This was going to be a long hike. Sammy wanted to start out right with a snack at the beginning.

Rocks

Snow on the rocks

It was cold, windy, and snowing when Sammy and his traveling companions hiked into Mordor.

More rocks

More rocks

The truth being told, Sammy mostly rode in a pocket to get to the other side. Sammy is very small the the wind was quite strong.

Almost there

Almost there

Only a bit over 3 kilometer left. That’s a bit under 2 miles.

Bushes

Bushes

Even though it was cold and windy, Sammy thought that everything he saw was wonderful. Cool rocks, steaming vents, beautiful lakes, and cool plants.

Last photo for the road

Last photo for the road

Sammy was very happy to be able to go on this incredible hike(and that his traveling companions were willing to carry him most of the way). It is not for the faint of heart. There are large elevational changes and it is an active volcanic area. I am assured that it is totally worth it if you have the stamina to do so.

All photos courtesy of Stacy Sandstedt. If you enjoy Sammy and would like to see more of my work, you can do so here www.woodlandwhimsy.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On the same day that he visited Hobbiton, Sammy also got to stop quickly by Karangahake Gorge at the Crown Battery. This is a gold mining area.

 

Pretty flowers

Pretty flowers

“These flowers are very pretty, but I can’t see anything else.” exclaimed Sammy

Over looking the gorge

Over looking the gorge

“That is better, thank you. Could you help me get a little bit closer though?” Sammy asked

A closer look

A closer look

“That is perfect! I can see everything down there now.” Sammy said happily.

Home for the evening

Home for the evening

After his adventure filled day at Hobbiton and the Karangahake Gorge, Sammy was ready to rest for the evening.

A bed of his own

A bed of his own

Sammy had a regular sized bed all to himself. It was so luxurious. Sammy really needed to get a good night’s sleep. In the morning, he would be walking into Mordor.

I hope you are enjoying Sammy’s New Zealand adventures. All photographs are courtesy of Stacy Sandstedt. If you like Sammy and would like to see more of my work, you can see a lot of it on my facebook page. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Woodland-Whimsy/152926771418841

 

 

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Good Morning, It is a lovely(although quite cold) morning here at Woodland Whimsy. Do you have any awesome plans for the weekend?

Leathery

Leathery

I love this type of mushroom. I’m not sure what it is. I really need to invest in a fungus book. It is quite leathery and drys in a cool way.

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This day is the day that Sammy was the most excited about! He was on his way to Hobbiton.

Arriving

Arriving

Here’s Sammy on the fence arriving in Hobbiton. The lichen on this fence is man made. Can you believe it? Sammy was amazed at the quality of the work.

Bag End

Bag End

Sammy was so excited to see Bag End, he could barely stay balanced on the fence for his photo. He couldn’t be happier to get to see the place where Bilbo and Frodo live.

Sam and Rosie's Hobbit Hole

Sam and Rosie’s Hobbit Hole

Sammy was just as excited to be able to see Sam and Rosie’s home. The garden was beautiful, just as one would expect.

Hobbit Hole

Hobbit Hole

Sammy wasn’t sure who this Hobbit Hole belonged to, but it is pretty. It looks like someone was working in the garden and just stepped away for a bit.

Time for a close up

Time for a close up

“Can you please take a close up of me?” asked Sammy.

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View

One last view of Hobbiton from Bag End. Sammy was one happy slerk!

Souvenir

Souvenir

Sammy with the best souvenir ever. This is a leaf that had fallen from the oak tree that grows over Bag End. That tree is artificial as well. The artists made it smaller for the filming of The Hobbit as the tree was much younger then.

Traveling companions and tour guide

Traveling companions and tour guide

Here is a photo of Sammy with the tour guide and his traveling companions Stacy and Robert. Sammy was really thankful to be able to have such a great tour.

There will be more of Sammy’s adventures soon. All photos (except the last one that was taken by an innocent bystander) courtesy of Stacy Sandstedt.

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Sammy Slerk has gone on a more exotic adventure than any other slerk, or any other house monster for that matter. Sammy flew on a plane for a very long time and landed in New Zealand to begin is grand adventure.

Arriving

Arriving

Here is Sammy arriving in Auckland at the International Airport.

The rental car

The rental car

“Look how cool this car is!” exclaimed Sammy.

 

Driving?

Driving?

Sammy jumped in the car and said, “I want to drive.” Sadly Sammy does not have a drivers license, so he had to be a passenger.

 

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Ocean

The very first thing Sammy did was check out the ocean. Then he hopped back in the car with his friends and it was off to ThamesĀ  on the Firth of Thames for the first night.

Waiting for dinner

Waiting for dinner

Sammy was tired and hungry, but he waited patiently for dinner.

Fish and Chips

Fish and Chips

Dinner was fish (fresh red snapper caught that morning) and chips. I am told that it was fantastic. Sammy ate his fill and was ready to go to bed. He was very tired, even though he slept most of the time on the plane.

I hope that you enjoyed this installment of Sammy’s Adventures. Please join us next time when Sammy visits Hobbiton.

All photos were taken by Stacy Sandstedt.

 

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Happy Friday! Here’s hoping that your weekend is everything you could want it to be.

Teeny Tiny Shelf Fungus

Teeny Tiny Shelf Fungus

This is a photo of a very small shelf fungus. I think this must be what they look like when they are just starting out. Isn’t it cute?

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I’ve been working on something a bit different for the last few days. I have always wanted to learn to make brooms. There really is nothing like a nice handmade broom. I decided to start small and work out any issues I may have. I have made two so far.

Broom One

Broom One

This is the first broom that I made. It is about eight inches long. It has a corkscrew willow handle that has been hand waxed with bee’s wax. The bristles are attached with a nylon false sinew. I am super happy with the way it turned out.

Broom Two

Broom Two

Broom Two is a bit under seven inches long. The handle is corkscrew willow with an acrylic wash applied before waxing with bee’s wax. I learned a good lesson-take off the rings before rolling the handle between your hands to warm the wax. The bristles are attached with a decorative green wire. While this broom is really cute, I will not be using the wire again. It is much more difficult to work with and does not seem to hold the bristles as tightly as the false sinew.

Making the little brooms has been a lot of fun. I will probably make some more. I also think I am getting close to ready to make full sized decorative brooms.

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I went and spent the weekend with friends. We had a lovely day at the beach. Sadly, all of my creatures were too lazy to get out of bed as early as I headed out. My camera didn’t manage to make the trip either. I guess I will just have to go again. I hope you enjoy the second half of Gavin’s hike.

Gavin on a Cairn

Gavin on a Cairn

There were several piles of rocks along the path as we headed up. They were great spots for Gavin to do a bit a climbing and soak up a bit of sun on the chilly morning.

Adding a Rock

Adding a Rock

Gavin found a cairn that was just getting started. I placed a rock next to it and Gavin stood on it and put his rock there as well.

Gavin's Snowman

Gavin’s Snowman

A bit further up the trail, there was some snow. Gavin ran over and started making a snowman. The snow was like little ice crystals, but he worked until he got it to stick together properly. “Can I bring it home?” Gavin asked. I had to tell him no. I didn’t think that it would last to the bottom of the mountain let alone all the way home.

Reading the Sign

Reading the Sign

In search of more hiking trails, we crossed the street to the lake side of the highway. Gavin clambered up the sign to read it. The Boys and Girls Club planted new pine trees in the park.

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Post Along the Beach Trail

We decided to take the beach trail and walk by the lake. This post was beside the trail. It didn’t seem to have a purpose. Maybe it lost its sign. Nothing would do but for Gavin to get his photo taken on it.

 

Gavin on the Beach

Gavin Finds Owl Castings

The next post we came across did have a sign on it. It also seems that it is a favorite roost for an owl. There were owl castings all over the ground. Gavin wanted to open one up, but I decided not to do that.

Gavin Walks on Water

Gavin Walks on Water

The beach was a lovely sandy one. Sometimes the beaches by lakes are not. The lake its self was frozen around the edges. Gavin called, “Hey! Look at me! I’m walking on water.”

Frozen Lake

Frozen Lake

Gavin helped me pick up some snail shells and driftwood along the beach that will be appearing in future projects. We finished our walk on the beach and headed back across the road to the Deadman’s Creek trail head.

Stump Throne

Stump Throne

When were heading up the trail we looked back and saw a really neat chair made out of a tree stump hidden in some trees just off the trail. It was near where we parked so instead of hiking back down, we decided to check it out when we were finished.

Close Up of Gavin Sitting on the Throne

Close Up of Gavin Sitting on the Throne

The chair was quite throne like. Gavin felt very important sitting on it.

Group Photo

Group Photo

It was time for us to head home. We hiked between 3.5 and 4 miles. We hiked over dry dirt, mud, snow, ice, and sand. The trail had signs marking plants and other things of interest. We plan to go back in the spring and see everything in bloom.

 

 

 

 

 

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Happy Friday! I am off for the weekend to visit friends and walk on the beach. I hope you are all planning something wonderful for your weekend.

Too Big to Hide

Too Big to Hide

Look at the lovely color on these huge mushrooms. They were trying to hide in the leaves, but they were way to big for their hiding spot.

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The warmer days mean a bit less snow hanging about. We decided to go hiking in Washoe Valley at Deadman’s Creek Trail. Now all of the little guys want to go with us when we go out. It is always difficult to pick who will be able to come with us. Gavin looked so excited that he was the one who got to come.

Tree Near Trailhead

Tree Near Trail Head

This fallen tree was between where we parked and the trail head. Gavin loved climbing around in it.

Trailhead

Trail Head

“One mile!” said Gavin. One mile indeed. We were planning a much longer hike. Never fear, we hikedĀ  more than one mile.

Cross Back

Cross Back

Gavin couldn’t wait to get his picture taken on the crosses. They were just past the trail head. There were two this one was behind the most visible one. It appears older, but not really old.

Cross front

Cross front

The cross in front was much more decorative the one right behind it. Gavin liked the copper end pieces.

Pretty Bridge

Pretty Bridge

Gavin wanted a quick picture on the bridge before we went over the bridge and really started hiking.

Gavin in a Lightening Struck Tree

Gavin in a Lightening Struck Tree

“Hey, I want to climb in that cool tree!” Gavin started bouncing around. I put him down and he scrambled up into this tree which had been struck by lightening. It’s a good thing that some of the branches had fallen to the ground when the tree split. The trunk was in the middle of a little stream that was melting and beginning to flow.

Lightening Struck Tree

Lightening Struck Tree

This is what the tree looks like.

Checking Out the Stream

Checking Out the Stream

Gavin had to examine the little stream. The day was warm enough for the water to be beginning to flow.

Raccoon Track

Raccoon Track

Gavin found a raccoon track in the mud near the stream. “This is really cool,” said Gavin.

Please check back for part two of Gavin hikes Deadman’s Loop. We had too much fun for it to be contained in one blog post. We hiked on dry ground, mud, snow, and a sandy beach.

Gavin is available for purchase here https://www.etsy.com/listing/97967654/gavin-gronk-ooak-needle-felted-house

 

 

 

 

 

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