Articles (Blog)
Posted on April 6, 2018 8:00 AM by Gerry Trout
I walked to the mailbox on Tuesday;  what a gorgeous spring day to be outside!!!!  I carried my backpack with me, and fortunately I had a couple trash bags in there.  I collected two bags full of trash just going down the road and up the hiking trail.
Bending over to pick up trash is easy enough, but carrying it all the way home is a drag.  One of them had ANTS!!!
I doubt it's being thrown out OUR car windows, but it is unsightly on our roadways.  Please be sure to secure your trashbags on the way to the dump, so as not to add to the problem.   
;\\   I bet this isn't how Pepsi and Coke want to advertise their products.  ;\\
Posted on October 15, 2017 8:24 AM by Mark Conde
Lee mentioned in a discussion this weekend that some of the dead deer in the area have shown the “blue” tongue disease. This is worth paying attention to because this particular disease can wipe out our deer population. 
Its called EHD or Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease EHD. There are two variant of it and as you can read further in the article below midges are the carriers of the virus. Anyone working in the yard these past weeks have been covered with these midges. Now no panic for us humans.  It does not infect us and you can eat harvested deer who have contracted this disease.
Here is an explanation from Cornel University from recent reports from Ny down to NC as they have confirmed the outbreak this year.
”EHD is a viral disease of white-tailed deer that is transmitted by the biting midge in the family Culicoides. EHD outbreaks are most common in the late summer and early fall when the midges are abundant. In deer, the symptoms of EHD include fever; small hemorrhages or bruises in the mouth and nose; and swelling of the head, neck, tongue, and lips. A deer infected with EHD may appear lame or dehydrated. An infected deer may die within 1-3 days after being bitten by the midge or the disease may progress more slowly over weeks or months. Frequently, infected deer will seek out water sources and carcasses are often found near water. Often, a large number of dead or sick deer are found in a limited area. There is no treatment and no means of prevention for EHD. The dead deer do not serve as a source of infection for other animals because the virus is not long lived in dead animals.
EHD does not infect humans, and generally causes mild or inapparent infections in domestic cattle and small ruminants. Another similar virus called Blue Tongue can also infect deer, which is very difficult to tell apart from EHD without laboratory testing. Cornell’s Animal Health Diagnostic Lab has PCR testing available for EHD confirmation. 
For additional information on Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease, see the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study pamphlet on Hemorrhagic Disease outbreaks”
Here is a doc that talks more specifically about the disease in our area: EHD in the Southeast
I guess this dry weather has been rough on all trees and animals this year.
Posted on July 21, 2017 8:15 AM by Mark Conde
The web site is designed to provide as much useful information that we can provide flowing through the web master and from the board. The other, and even more significant, value of the web site is to connect all of you! That means opening up “channels” to share great things between us, providing a neighborhood private way to talk about our business together, and find each other for fun or to just discover how wonderful our neighbors really are.
Here is a list of the many areas you can add to the web site and contribute. Never be afraid to put things in there. Nothing will break and you have control to remove or edit your additions if you wish. I tend to have to do that at times because my typing is so bad that many things end up misspelled :).
Find your friends….
The Resident Directory is the place to find each other, but it is so much more..
In the Resident Directory you have complete control over your personal profile. We encourage you to add things about yourself so others can find you based on what you like to do, interests, where you live and others parameters. Again, this is only seen by neighbors in Five Forks. No one on the outside can access this information. One of the really cool features is your ability to create your own set of photo albums! 
To find each other there is a search function built in at the top of the directory. Consider you might want to go find all of those folks who like to get together to jam. Many of those folks may have selected being part of the “Music” group. You can search for all of them! Maybe you want to know who has interests in wood working. You can search the “Interests” field to find “wood” for example. Also note that at the top right of the residents directory page you can print out a copy of the entire directory so you can read it later offline! Since you folks keep this updated its as new as it possibly can be. There will be another posing later to go further on how to use this “Search” feature.
The Calendar….
The calendar wil have all the board meetings, annual meetings, and picnics in it and anything else the board wants to make sure you know about. You can add events to this as well. If we forget to remind everyone when the Folks School” annual event is coming up put an entry in.
Homes for sale….
This is a nice feature to add promotion to the properties we are selling that is tied to all the great things external folks can see on our web site. If you are selling a lot or a house put an entry in here. This can be seen by outsiders.
Only neighbors can see these classifieds. You want to sell that great chain saw you just dont use anymore? I bet you can find a neighbor who can put it to good use. Let everyone know what you have for sale or might even want to donate something to a good cause. For now we have this internal only. The board was not sure we wanted this to be a way to encourage external folks to come into the neighborhood but do give feedback on how you want to use this service.
Vendors and Services area...
Only neighbors can see this and contribute to this. We all need to find that great handyman at times and its often hard to know which one to trust. This will allow you to let al the rest of us know of a compnay or someone you have gotten services from and really liked them. It works in two parts. The section you enter the name and information about the peson and the company which you do once. Then ther is an area where anyone who have used them can comment on their experience and even give them a rating! This is an internal only list so we can be honest but respectful on our reviews :)
The Message Board…
Now this is a fun place to hang out. This is an neighbors only area so we can “talk” to each other. There are categories in place for various topics but you can open up a discussion in any one of them and then others can comment. You can share attachments like a document you found to share as well. Of course we have some basic rules of respect that we dont flame or offer feedback that is not constructive in nature :)  Thisis also a great place to “alert” everyone with a message. If you saw a questionable animal out acting odd in the daylight for example, I would want to know about it. You can “subscribe” to the message board so it will automatically email you if a new posting is made too.    This has changed.  It didn't work as well as we thought.  Hoping to have it working again in the future.
I am always wondering if I should go to that new movie thats out down in Blairsville or at the Hen. This is where we can tell each other what we liked so I dont waste my money on that 3000th remake of a Christmas story :)
Ok who does not want to brag about their culinary skill and share Grandmothers secret ingredients???
You can be an author for the Blog. Just request access from the webmaster (Sam). But you can comment and add information to articles in the Blog. This is an area for us to tell stories and teach each other. Do become a contributor.    Sam has moved, and the new webmaster is Lee Rogers.
Voting online and Surveys..
From time to time we will be able to take surveys on topics concerning the neighborhood. The broad plans on using this to do online voting for thise who can take advantage of this. Some times we may be surveying everyone to see what the prevailing though is on a proposed business action.
And really anywhere you can strike up a conversation with the web master if you want to contribute to a section.
Jump in and play with all of this.. 
Posted on July 16, 2017 9:52 PM by Mark Conde
Have you head the foxes calling to each other? T
his will help you know what they are saying. 
Posted on July 16, 2017 9:50 PM by Mark Conde
Ever wonder what peaks you are looking at?
Use the app Peakfinder Pro Earth!
or go to the website and use the Peakfinder web page.

Here is what my view sees.
Posted on July 16, 2017 9:44 PM by Mark Conde
OK, so the scientist in me needed to see where we are with this water issue. I fully support conservation at this time and I do want us to realize we are going to hit historical lows if this drought goes to Feb as predicted. Here is useful data and some rough math to see where we are. Guessing that we are being served by the Regolith aquifer (which is measured in Marble and in Morganton and we are in the middle) I used the charts from the USGS site to see that the ground water level is around 1696 ft/above sea level in Marble right now. (Marble well is at 1710ft and their water level is currently at 13.97 ft below that to thats how I guessed the level at 1696)
In FF the well servicing me is at 2264 ft and the highest point in FF is approx at 2530 ft so a little math foolin would suggest we run out of water access for wells drilled at 600 ft at 1664ft and those at 800 around 1464ft for the well I am using. The top level wells would be at 1916ft/600ft and 1730/800ft and 1530/1000ft. 
The numbers dont have to be accurate since we are really looking at how fast things change to see when we will have the most severe issues. The charts indicate we are dropping around 1.5-2ft per month right now. So what does that mean? If we continue the drought till feb we could see 8ft or more (it can accelerate) drop from the aquifer. So if its at 1696 now then the danger level would be around 1688ft. Does that mean we are OK? Probably right on the edge because there are so many other factors involved.
Now, all of this was an academic exercise for me because I am assuming our wells are all 800-1000 ft down but I wanted to know how close we were and since we are now nearing the lowest value since 2007 its worth paying attention to.
So go have some math fun yourself at the USGS web sites.