Fun in the Forest
By Fred Adams
September 21, 2005

Fred & Diana Adams - much in love!

Diana and I feel abundantly blessed, living in the Sierra Nevada foothills, in a peaceful forested area overlooking the American River canyon below.   And even though I've been a quadriplegic since 1987, life is very rewarding, because I'm able to enjoy a wide variety of activities and adventures.

During the warm months of the year (April through September) naturalist Jim Conrad, originally from Kentucky, is our welcome guest.

Jim Conrad hoeing the garden.



Jim enjoys gardening, and we appreciate his help maintaining our small orchard and garden.



Jim carefully studying a forest plant


Every day Jim spends time studying and researching things in nature, then he creates short, informative, illustrated web pages about his discoveries.  Click here to check out Jim's work.


Fred in TracAbout under mistletoe



He's really great to have around when I have a hankering for a little outdoor activity.  So this week we headed down the hill to photograph some mistletoe on a Black Oak.  He wanted me to pose underneath for size perspective.




Fred in TracAbout pulling on pine logMy dad is an old logger, and in my younger years (like from age 2 to 14) I used to help in the forest.  At first I rode in a wooden box fastened to the tractor, then at age eleven I began dragging logs myself.  I miss driving a tractor.  But now I have the next-best thing - a TracAbout motorized chair that takes me places no other chair can go.  So I just couldn't resist the urge to hook up a choker to this pine, recently killed by pine bark beetles, and give it a tug.  Of course I wasn't able to budge it, but we had fun getting the picture!

Fred in TracAbout pulling firewood in wagon


My dad (now 85) had recently cut and split some oak firewood.  So Jim loaded my garden wagon and I had fun pulling it up the mountain to our house. 



Fred in TracAbout hauling firewood




That good ole' TracAbout climbed up the steep grade quickly and easily.  It was so much fun, we returned for a second load!




Fred in TracAbout backing firewood into shed



Up at the top, I backed the wagon into the shed, where Jim added the wood to our pile for upcoming cold weather.



Jim Conrad showing solar cooker concoction to visitor

By then we were getting hungry, so we enjoyed a delicious lunch.  Jim likes to live simply and be a good steward of earth's resources.  So he prepares his concoctions in a cast-iron skillet, using a solar cooker made from an abandoned satellite dish lined with aluminum flashing.  Here he's showing a visitor his latest mixture of oats, eggs, greens and whatever happens to be available in the garden at the time.

After lunch, our dog Bonnie insists on me throwing her toy high into the air for a game of "catch."

Bonnie catching toy in midairBonnie catching toy










Bonnie's a mighty happy dog while we play this way.   Though I cannot grasp things because of my paralyzed fingers, I can clamp my hands onto her toy and throw it up for her.

Adams home in Mosquito, California (across the canyon from Placerville)


Life is good at our quiet home, far from the noise and confusion of the city.




Fred Adams at computer in California



Now it's time to get back to the computer and catch up on my "things to do" pile!




If you're interested in seeing our homeschool field trip adventure to Deer View, click here.  

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