Actual Huckleberries

As I mentioned in my previous post, I call huckleberries any small, wild blueberries.  Well, I decided to find out which ones actually are huckleberries.

In the large patch near me there are at least 3 different types of berries.  Two of them look like normal blueberries but grow on low bushes or high bushes.  Strangely enough these are called High Bush and Low Bush Blueberries. The 3rd one is a very high bush.  The berries are darker.  Almost black.  And shiny.  Blueberries have a dull coating on them.  And these berries don’t have as much of a “crown” on them, as I call it, like blueberries do.

Black Huckleberries

Black Huckleberries

These are Black Huckleberries.  They taste different, but good.  The seeds are harder.  They have what I consider an almost cherry taste.

Black Huckleberries at bottom left, and blueberries at top right

Blueberries (Low Bush)

In my several acre patch of berries, the Black Huckleberries appear to be the most abundant.  Maybe because they grow above the rest.  The blueberries are often hidden under the huckleberries.  Also the blueberries seem to ripen sooner than the huckleberries.  Although some berries from all are ripe at the same time.  At this writing many blueberries are almost done while most of the huckleberries are just ripening.

But that varies a lot with amount of sunlight.



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I’m Your Huckleberry!

These are huckleberries for as far as the eye can see.

The strange thing is that they are a wide assortment of types of blueberries.  Some huckleberries, some high bush, some low.  I use the generic term huckleberry for any wild, smaller blueberries.

Last year there wasn’t one berry.  This year they are loaded.  Now if I could just get some ripe ones before the bears strip them clean.  Bears don’t wait for them to ripen.

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Blood on the Plow

Crows ate most of the corn seeds I planted before they sprouted.   The rest they pulled out after they were growing.   So I have resorted to the black arts before I replant.

(Note: The scary breathing is just the way my normal breathing sounds on video.  Another reason I like being a hermit.)


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I Call It Macaroni

Lily found a dead turkey.

So I collected a few feathers.

I found a use for one.

I call it macaroni.

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Off-grid Electronics? An Arduino Rocket Controller

Today I will begin to show one of my many electronics projects.
A rocket which can read gyroscope, accelerometer and GPS inputs and correct accordingly.
At this time I am using an Arduino processor. I may switch to Raspberry Pi Pico if the Arduino is too slow.

But first. Yes I am familiar with electronics and computer controls. I worked on advanced weapons systems in the military directing gun and missile fire. And I have a degree in electronic and computer engineering.
Hermits aren’t born that way. We grow into it.
So I spend long winter nights, and various times in other seasons, doing some experiments with technology of various types.
So on to one of my current projects.

In this I am using an Arduino Nano, or maybe Uno, single board computer to take inputs from a GPS module, a Gyro/Accelerometer module and maybe several other components.
The Arduino will be programmed to use that information to control micro servo motors attached to the fins of a model rocket. The rocket I am using is a 3/7 scale replica of an AMRAAM AIM-120 missile.
No, I didn’t work on the AIM-120 while in the service. It is just an easy design to build.
My rocket has a 3 inch diameter when the AIM-120 is 7 inches. Mine is 5 feet long.
This is a full-size AIM-120 mounted on an F-16.

This is the current state of my rocket.
The tube on the right is for experiment with the servos.

I printed the servo bracket with a 3D printer.

Here is the bracket being printed.

The servos are SG-90 Micro Servos. They can connect directly to the Arduino..

This is the rocket motor I will use for testing. It is a G74-9W. It will lift the rocket but not very high. I will develop my own motor later.

And here is the current state of the fire control electronics.


Or I may replace the Arduino Nano with an Arduino Uno or Mega2560. The Uno has more hardware serial connections which are faster than software serial ports on the Nano. The Mega2560 would be the best but is larger.

And if that isn’t enough speed I will switch to Raspberry Pi Pico or Pi 4. But that requires a completely different type of programming.
At this point I am using the Arduino IDE for programming. It is a simple form of the C/C++ language. The Arduino IDE is also capable of programming Raspbery Pi Pico. Or I will most likely just use regular C++ with Visual Studio Code. It is looking like I will switch to RP2040 Pico.

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To design the 3D printed parts I use FreeCAD on Linux.
And for the rocket design I used OpenRocket for Linux.

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More updates to come. I plan on showing the program I am writing if it doesn’t get too boring.

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Last year it seemed almost every rain storm that came this way would disappear just before it arrived or it would pass to the north or the south.   The crops suffered greatly.

So this year I am setting up a way to easily water the field.

I am using a solar powered submersible pump and will be connecting it to soaker hoses that I can put along the field rows.

I may pump water from the spring to a storage tank and then gravity feed it.  Or collect rainwater in the tank and pump it to the fields.   I will see what works the best.

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Spring Update – A Little Farming

Just an update on what I am doing.
The weather is pretty nice for short periods then back to the cold.  So I have make hay while the sun shines, so to speak.
I have cleared two spots on my clearing for gardens.  The clearing is only maybe an acre total, surrounded by tall trees.  So not much sunlight gets to it.  My gardens need to be on the north side of the clearing.  The land is very rocky so it took a lot of cleaning to get it tillable.  But once the rocks were cleaned out the dirt is very good.  Basically a healthy forest floor.
This is my main garden I have been using for years

This area I just started preparing this year.   I had to remove a ton of rocks.  Some are actually boulders.

This is the new garden with the my cabin and clothesline behind.

I first prepared each place with my old Ford 9N tractor with a plow and a subsoiler.   This tractor is one of three 9N tractors I have.

After using the tractor I used this rototiller to help dig up all the rocks so I could pick them up.  The tiller is an $800 tiller that I got for $200 at Rural King.  The engine was blown up so they decided to just sell it at is.  I found it was just the piston connecting rod.  I bought a new rod for $25 and the tiller works great.

I also got some trees and berries to plant.  These are apple, pear and peach.  I will plant a few here where there is enough sun and the rest over at my daughters.
Ignore my laundry hanging on the line behind the trees.

Finally, there is a couple acre field down the road at my daughters that I am planting.   It may look very flat but this is actually the hilltop.  About 2000 ft elevation and about 1200 feet above the Allegheny river a few miles away. This photo shows the field with the second Ford 9N tractor parked in front with the discs attached. The third tractor is mainly for parts for the other two.

My daughter has chickens, rabbits, ducks and geese.  So quite of bit of this field will be planted with fodder crops like turnips, beets, squash and radishes to feed the animals.   But still plenty of room to plant lots of human food.  I plant a variety of things but prefer things that store well into winter like potatoes, cabbage, winter squash etc or things that are easily canned for storage.  Of course some fresh vegetables are available throughout the summer and early fall.

I’ll update later when I start to plant.  Probably in about a month.

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Looking for Land

I don’t often seek to communicate directly with visitors to this website.
But I am looking for land and need some help.

I truly love my little piece of heaven here at Pithole. But 3 acres is just too small. My neighboring property owners are good people but they are not looking to sell any of their land.
So I have decided to look elsewhere for more land. I have some savings and can spend about $40000 give or take maybe $20000 or so depending on the property.
I would like at least 10 acres, preferably much more. Mostly wooded but with at least a few acres tillable.  And it must be isolated.  Meaning nearest neighbor over 2 miles away and nearest town over 10 miles away.  The land needs to be suitable for living on permanently but rusticly.  Water needs to be available but sewage and electricity are optional.  I will be off grid as I am now.
At this point I am looking at places like West Virginia. Because it is beautiful and much like my current location and land can be had for $1000/acre or less.
Here in Pennsylvania land is way over-priced but I would happily remain here if I could find some good property at a good price.
I would consider other places such as Kentucky or Tennessee but not any further south. Also the northern Rockies would be great. Like Montana, Idaho or Wyoming.  But land out there is way too over-priced.
And finally New Hampshire or Maine.
So if any of you who have accidentally found this website and know of, or have, such land available please contact me. Either directly at   Or in the comments below.

I will ALWAYS keep my land open to anyone respecting my land.  Others can use my land to survive while passing through.  And I will never turn away a starving man or his family in temporary need.
-Edward Clark.

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A Trapper’s Christmas Eve

The Hermit performs Robert W. Service’s A Trapper’s Christmas Eve on Christmas Eve in the bitter cold.

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Merry Christmas

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