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Unusual Mushroom

I found this unusual wild mushroom growing on the side of my home. It cropped out of the rocks and grew up against the siding. It is just so weird-looking and has stained black powder on the ground and wall of the outside of the house.

Black Ink Mushroom

Maybe it was just leftover from Halloween because this creature is sure strange and scary looking!


Recycle Wooden Pallets into Bookshelves

Here is some useful ideas on how to recycle old wooden pallets into bookshelves, wine holders and photo displays.

Just 3 cuts down the wooden pallet and a few finishing touches and you have some very nice shelves to hold books, toys, wine, photos, and just about anything else that will fit on the shelves.

You can find the original post about this idea at Me and Madeline which has more photos and details.

I just thought this was such a quick and easy way to recycle old wood pallets into repurposed shelves that I wanted to share it here at My Useful Ideas!


Ice Bucket Method for Cooling

Here is a simple but useful idea for cooling if you do not have air conditioning. Place a bag of ice inside a metal bucket as shown. Cover the bucket with a small towel to cover just the top of the bucket. Place a fan behind the bucket and turn it on high. The bucket will begin to get cold and give off cooling air to the room.

This maybe a redneck air conditioning idea but it does help. Change out the ice Continue Reading →


A Thumping Grouse

Are you hearing a repeating thumping noise in or around your home and not sure what is causing it? Are you having a plumbing problem or just what is causing that thumping sound? For those who may not live in the woods or where wildlife like grouse inhabit, let me tell you about this unique thumping sound a ruffed grouse makes.

Male grouse make a drumming sound to attract mates which starts with a rapid, wing-beating display that creates a low frequency sound, starting slow and speeding up (thump…thump…thump…thump-thump-thump-thump). Even in thick woods the drumming sound can be heard for a quarter mile if not further. Grouse also drum to announce and establish their territory to all.

Grouse like to find an old log to make their drumming sound. The beating of their wings resonates through the log making the thumping sounds carry quite a distance. Grouse are known to thump repeatedly every few minutes and can continue for hours.

Here is a photo of a grouse in a mid-thumping action. It was difficult to get a photo of the grouse in action so this is the best picture I was able to capture.
Thumping Grouse

Here is one more photo Continue Reading →


Merriam Turkeys

Merriam turkeys are very plentiful in our area. Wild turkeys are everywhere in the Northwest mountains this time of year. While I have seen many tom turkeys all puffed up, I had never seen one so close as this guy who was just outside my window. I was able to snap a few pictures of this very handsome tom showing off to the nearby hens.

Here are a few of the hens that the big tom is trying to court. Continue Reading →