Busy

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Two words for this spring—cold and wet.

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Late snows, hard frosts, frigid mud, and a miserly portion of sunshine delayed our yard work and gardening, again and again.  When the weather finally began to warm up a bit (only a handful of days have teasingly felt like summer), we were in catch-up mode, trying to get everything done at once.

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Preparing the greenhouse pad.

Although I held off on planting, the ground remains unseasonably cold and wet.  My potatoes and flax have stunted patches and the warm weather crops are struggling to get established.  New growth for deer browse was late and some deer—looking for spring nutrition—girdled several of the apple trees that I planted last fall in the lower orchard.

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They didn’t touch any other saplings—that sweet young apple bark must be especially tasty.  I tried to do some cleft grafting to save them, but it doesn’t appear to have taken. So, we will plant more in the spring and fence them well.

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I was hoping the grafts would take, but it doesn’t look good.

I also had another fail with my bees this winter.  They had swarmed last June and the remaining bees in the hive never seemed to get up to full strength.  I was happy that they made it into January, but then I lost them in a long, deep freeze.  I reluctantly decided to take a year off from beekeeping for several reasons:  I would be out-of-state when the bee packages arrive; we want to move the hive to a new area that won’t be ready until later in the year; and we want to do perimeter work around our fence (near the hive) to keep our tick population down.

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There are other hives in our area, and plenty of bees came to pollinate our wild apples, but I really missed having our own.  I put off cleaning out and storing the hive and in a wild, unlikely hope that maybe a swarm would take up residence.  And, sure enough, that’s what happened.  One morning in mid-June, I noticed some bees at the hive.  I could not tell if they were robbing the little honey left or if they might be scouts for a swarm.

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A few hours later I heard a massive buzzing sound and the air was filled with a bee swarm descending on the hive.

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It was pretty exciting.  They now are happily established.  So much for moving the hive—I’m so happy to have these new arrivals, it’s staying where it is.

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The other insects of note this spring are the brown tail moths that are invading midcoast Maine.  They make ticks seem like pleasant little nuisances.  The moth caterpillars have toxic, barbed hairs that become airborne and can create a nasty itchy rash and a cough if breathed.  They favor oaks and apples, of which we have plenty.  Up until this year, they weren’t a problem for us and we did extensive pruning this year on our old apples—not worried about moths.

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Early spring pruning on the wild apples in the yard.

Unbeknownst to George, though, one of the trees was moth-infested and when he was cleaning up the downed branches, he developed a horrible rash.  To finish up the job, he has had to hose down all the wood and wear a moth hazmat outfit.  Yuck.

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Despite the cold and toxic moth hairs, we have never had so many nesting birds.

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Sparrow nest I stumbled on when clearing orchard weeds. Fortunately, I didn’t scare the mother, she’s still sitting on the nest.

The birdsong has been amazing—it goes on from earliest pre-dawn until the evening.  We have nesting wrens, cardinals, sparrows, phoebes, chickadees, mourning doves, yellowthroats, thrushes, catbirds, vireos, towhees, various unidentified warblers, woodpeckers, robins, goldfinches, waxwings, evening grosbeaks, and a a very vocal melodious Baltimore Oriole for the first time this year.

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We put up two nesting boxes with trepidation, hoping that our pugnacious bluebird wouldn’t return.  He didn’t.

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Bluebird fledgling about a minute before his first flight.

We had a friendly bluebird couple take up residence and a gorgeous pair of swallows.

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George has been going non-stop all spring with pruning, putting up next winter’s wood, improving the drainage down the driveway and around the new garage, building beds for my new dye garden,

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Dye garden and fleece washing tubs.

building screen houses for the brassicas,

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The screen enclosure in the background has been wonderful to protect the brassicas from cabbage moth caterpillars.

working on the sauna, planting trees and shrubs, preparing foundations for a new shed and green house, on top of the usual yard, trail, and house maintenance.

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I’m in love with our new greenhouse.

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While George has been giving the tractor a workout, I’ve had a textile-rich spring.  With help from a friend, I put together an exhibit highlighting weaving, spinning, flax production, and antique textile tools for the local library, which recently acquired a trove of new books on these subjects for its craftsmanship collection.

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I didn’t take photos of the exhibit, but we had antique wheels and a tape loom.

In late April, Jan and I also did an evening presentation on antique spinning wheels at the same library, hoping to gain converts to rehabilitate the old wheels and get them spinning again.

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Current herd of great wheels.

Soon after, I went to Vavstuga weaving school in western Massachusetts for a course in Swedish Classics.

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Learning rosepath.

It was wonderful to be back there, immersed in a week of nothing but weaving.

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Monksbelt variation.

When I returned, I got going on taking and collecting photos for a presentation on Connecticut wheelmakers for an Antique Spinning Wheel Symposium at Marshfield School of Weaving in Vermont in early June.

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The presentation also involved countless hours of genealogy research and deciphering probate records and inventories from the 1700s, to try to track down the identity of wheelmaker J. Platt.  I still don’t know who he is.

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But, we had magical weather for the symposium and what a treat to get together with a bunch of antique wheel nerds.  The talking was non-stop, it was such a rare opportunity to all be speaking the same language of scribe lines, double-flyers, hub shapes, spindle supports, chip carving, maidens, mother-of-alls (mothers-of-all?), and, on and on …

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At Lone Rock Farm in Marshfield.

I stayed over the next day for a flax workshop with Norman Kennedy, the 86-year-old grand master of weaving, flax, stories of textiles in Scotland, and song (among other things).

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Norman dressing a distaff.

And I stayed at a wonderful farm B&B, where I got to enjoy morning visits with the cows, pigs, chickens, and kittens.

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Marshfield was beautiful, I loved being with “my people,” and enjoyed an amazing three days, but—as always—it was so sweet to get home—with flowers and dogs to greet me.

IMG_2536IMG_2221Capp is doing wonderfully now.  It’s such a relief to have him back to normal.

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Throughout the spring, I’ve been spinning and weaving,

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and finished up processing last year’s flax.

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Bottom batch was dew retted (twice) last fall and the top batch was retted on snow this winter.

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I bought this wonderful flax break at auction last month for $10. The auctioneer had no idea what it was.

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Snow retted flax being hackled. It’s a lovely color.

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From left to right: early dew retted (under retted), tub retted, double dew retted, snow retted.

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I was engulfed by lilac fragrance while processing the flax. We had a bumper crop of lilacs this year.

Now that summer is officially here, I’m just about caught up on spring chores and hope to have a less busy, more relaxing summer.  We’ll see.

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Spinning on the porch, watching thunderstorms and rainbows.

To the Moon in a Blizzard

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The bad news first.

I lost my bees. It is startling how much we miss them.  They are short-lived, fascinating to watch as individuals, but not something you are likely to get attached to on a bee-by-bee basis (although there is an interesting recent study on bee personalities).  As a hive, however, the bees become a community that takes on a presence of its own.  I cannot help but feel that I let them down.

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I had been worried about the bees since late November when there seemed to be an unusual amount of dead bees in front of the hive and–on a few warm days–the continued presence of drones, male bees that generally are kicked out of the hive before winter.  I could hear the bees when I put my ear to side of the hive and they continued sounding strong until early January, when their sound seemed to lessen. They were eating the supplemental sugar I was feeding. But in mid-January–ominous silence. I continued to press my ear to the hive daily, thinking perhaps I could hear a little buzz, but it was just my imagination.

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On a warm day, I took a quick peek inside the lid and confirmed that the bees were dead. I have several theories as to what happened and may know more when it is warm enough to really open up the hive. Or it may be a mystery. I have heard that that losses have been high in our area this winter. I have already ordered bees for next year.

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On to good news. We have a new pack member. Her name is Grampian To the Moon.

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Alice, for short. She is almost three years old, a yellow lab, who just had a litter and is “retiring” from breeding. She loves her walks, will retrieve until the cows come home, and is an extraordinary snuggler.

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Capp trying to worm his way onto the bed with Alice.

She settled in beautifully with Capp, with–fittingly–a sort of Alice and Ralph Kramden relationship.

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He wants to be the boss, but she knows better.

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Capp at seven months

In predicting how Alice would get along with Capp, Alice’s owner said, “bitches always win.”

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In this case, she was right.  It’s been a joy to watch the two of them together.

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We had two days of sun after Alice arrived.

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Then were hit in quick succession with snow, a blizzard, and more snow.

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Our rarely used front door with the snow piled about a foot high.

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George kept a track shoveled in the back yard so the dogs could go to bathroom, but in the high winds it drifted over pretty quickly.

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The dogs were ecstatic in the snow, racing around the track and leaping through the drifts.  IMG_1609.jpgIMG_1621.jpg

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They were wiped out by the time the sun went down.

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Fortunately, we did not lose power and have been warm and cozy.

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The roads are plowed, the foxes are out, and the days are getting longer.

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Several mailboxes on our road were snowplow casualties. Fortunately, ours survived.

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We had a sudden reminder last week that life is fragile and short. So, we are doing our best to slow down and savor it.

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One Full Circle

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It has been a year since we moved to Maine. Four seasons on our hillside–a busy, satisfying time, learning about our new home and making it ours.  Our largest project was clearing a patch of land below our lawn, opening it up to a ring of gnarly wild apple trees that had been concealed by brush and saplings.

It looked like this when we moved in:

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You can just see the blossoming tops of the apple trees, obscured by brush and small trees.

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Now garden beds.

A year later:IMG_0297

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Two of the beautiful old apples in the ring revealed by the clearing.

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Looking across the newly-planted gardens from the hive area.

The cleared space is a work in progress. We still have brush to burn and stumps to pull. But we have put in eight raised beds, an asparagus patch,

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Our first asparagus shoot.

strawberries, two separate rows of tomatoes, a compost bin and a potato patch. Still to come this year are a corn patch, and hills of squash and melons.

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I love strawberries.

The area between the beds has been planted with grass and clover, which is just coming up.

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This jack-in-the-pulpit sprung up near the end of the herb garden.

We have three stone rings planted with annuals. They weren’t planned exactly, but rather grew up around stones too large to remove. Eventually we will build them up into real stone-walled planters and will put in a stone-flagged seating area and firepit.  There’s no shortage of stones.  But, that’s for later.

Perhaps my favorite area is the bee yard.

Here it was last year:IMG_0414

And now:

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The hive and herb garden in the afternoon sun.

We plan to add another hive next year. There is more than enough forage to sustain several hives, if I can just ferry the bees through mites and other bee hazards and keep them alive over the winter. IMG_0396Right now the apple blossoms are in full bloom and the bees seem to be ignoring everything else. IMG_0383IMG_0385IMG_0419IMG_0388.jpgIMG_0392A quick hive check last week showed that the hive is progressing well, despite cold and wet weather at the start. IMG_0111The bees have drawn comb in most of the top box and the queen appears to be laying plenty of brood.

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This shows how the bees draw out the comb–from flat foundation on the lower right gradually building to drawn comb on the upper left.

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Still drawing comb in this frame.

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The comb that you can see in this frame is fully drawn and we could see eggs, larvae and some capped brood–all the phases of the brood cycle.  You can see a squished bee at the edge of the box that I must have mashed when we were last in the hive, checking to see that the queen had been released.  And I was so careful!

Even though we don’t have farm animals (unless the bees count) it’s starting to feel like the little farm we long envisioned. Our neighboring cows provide the farm fragrance, along with the lilacs. IMG_0044.jpgIMG_0535.jpg

And like gardeners and farmers everywhere, we keep an eye on the weather.  We need rain.

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It looks lush, but it’s very dry.

 

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In the dry weather, I’ve been having to clean and fill the birdbath at least once a day. The big  bluejays are messy bathers.  This cardinal looks like he’s telling me that it’s time for a refill.

Despite our lack of rain, our vegetables are coming along.  Radishes and lettuce should be ready for harvest this week.  The chives are flourishing.IMG_0472
Our little orchard is doing beautifully. Except for one hazelnut (which may or may not be dead), all of the fruit trees and berries that we planting are thriving. And I am ridiculously proud that all of the apple grafts that I muddled together at the workshop this spring were successful! IMG_0578At first I thought that only two grafts took, which would have meant that I was a dismal grafting failure. But, slowly, one tree at a time, buds swelled on the grafted scions and then little leaves popped out. If I can keep deer and other critters from munching on them, we will have nine more old heritage varieties to add to our orchard. IMG_0504
Our bluebirds are vigilantly protecting their nest.   They successfully fended off the swallows and chased away a house wren that set up phony nests in two of other bird houses.

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It took the wren a while to figure out how to get this stick inside.

I like the wrens (tail wagging and singing), IMG_0146but apparently they sometimes rob other nests and the bluebirds and goldfinches were quite aggressive in going after them. IMG_0359

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Although I suspect the tea cup flowers are roses, I’ve always thought of them as apple blossoms.  The finch in the apple is as close as I’ll likely get to reproducing this tea cup scene.

George built a beautiful cedar table to go with our outside bench IMG_0601.jpgand he’s about to build a ramp for Zoe, who turned twelve this spring. She has some neuropathy and arthritis that is making it hard for her to climb stairs. She’s slowing down, sweet girl, but loves it here. It’s a good place to grow old.IMG_0639

Sow. Snow. Sew.

IMG_7223We took one lazy day after our roadtrip and then headed outside. It felt like spring and we were itching to get to work.

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Poplar catkins

We have been here almost a year now and have spent that time assessing the sun, wind, and drainage to plan the layout for our gardens.

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Alders

We decided to move the raised vegetable beds that we installed when we moved in last May. That area–at the side of the house–will be our little orchard, with fruit trees and berries.IMG_7146 Our first project was to start a drainage ditch down one side. We will get the area ready to plant by the end of April. IMG_7202.jpg
The raised beds are moving to the area we cleared below the house. Once we remove some stumps, and finish burning brush, we will lay down the frames and finish moving the soil. We are putting in additional raised beds and will have regular beds for potatoes, corn, asparagus, strawberries, herbs, squash, and melons. Perhaps we’re too ambitious, but it’s so much fun.IMG_7178
Along with outside work, I started seedlings indoors. Lots and lots of seedlings. We are fortunate to have triple-paned southern-facing windows that act like passive solar powerhouses, generating enough heat on sunny winter days to warm the house. Because the windows act so much like a greenhouse, I decided to go without heat mat for germination and without supplemental grow lights. A risk, I know.

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These water jugs as seed beds act like mini-greenhouses.

So far, I’ve been pleased. The kale germinated within 48 hours and all the seeds were up within a week.

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Do you think we’re growing enough lettuce varieties?

Most of my seeds are from Fedco, a wonderful Maine co-op. They have by far the best germination rate of any I’ve ever used.  I have had no damping off (sometimes older seeds are more prone to it) except for in two little peat pots of a seed from a company other than Fedco. Interesting. My recently planted pepper plants will be the real germination test, though. They require good warmth to germinate, so we’ll see how they do without a heat mat.

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Water-jug marigolds.

As the plants have been emerging, inside and out, the birdsongs have become increasingly competitive–me, me, pick me!  After I saw a male bluebird in full throat at the top of a maple down the street, George quickly put up bluebird and wren houses. I started pruning the lilacs and apples and then … snow.
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IMG_7298.jpgLots of snow. About eight inches. It brought the wild turkeys, searching for windfall apples at the edge of the yard.

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Turkey tracks are huge. My boot is in the lower left for comparison.

Then it got cold. The snow has lingered on. IMG_7326

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The snow makes Zoes feisty.  She’s trying to kill her ball.

IMG_7302I’m not sure yet how much damage we will see to emerging buds and sprouts.

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Poppies emerging before the snow.

Today we are housebound by a coat of ice and mizzle of freezing rain. IMG_7407.jpgOn the bright side, the snow and ice have given me time to finish sewing projects. In January, I was making great progress on a quilt for a granddaughter when my sewing machine started to act oddly. The motor belt seemed to be slipping–something it had never done before. The band was old, brittle, and cracked. I decided that it was time for a tune up anyway, so dropped off the machine at a local fabric store to be picked up by the local sewing machine repairman. His normal two-week turn around time stretched three because, on delivery day, the fabric store was closed due to heavy snow. Three weeks without my machine during prime sewing season. IMG_6556
Finally, the machine came home with a new belt, all greased and lubed, and, for the first few nights, smoothly humming away. The next afternoon, however, I sat down to sew and the new motor band started slipping a bit. I let it sit for a few hours, tried it again that night, and it was fine. But the next day, it started slipping badly. Really badly. Odd that it slipped during the day, but not at night. Then a light went off–actually a lot of light. The machine was sitting right in front in one of our greenhouse-like southern windows, awash in sunlight. That sunlight was HOT and the heat was expanding the band so much as to cause it to slip. Duh. Problem solved.

The quilt is finished and ready to be shipped out west. My quilting style is best described as low-stress or wabi sabi. No seam is too crooked, no corner too awry. I put it together, hope it will come out approximately square , and enjoy the process. A real quilter would roll her eyes and tut disapprovingly. But it works for me.

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An exuberant, one-of-a-kind quilt for an exuberant, one-of-a-kind granddaughter.  This quilt was made of about 60 different fabrics that my daughter collected when they lived in Okinawa and traveled through Asia and Australia.  

While the machine was away, I worked on the spinning wheel. When I treadled the wheel without spinning any yarn, all moved sweetly along. But when I started spinning yarn, the drive band tended to fall off the wheel. Eventually I realized that the mother-of-all (wonderful name) was wobbling back and forth when I put tension on the yarn, causing the band to jump off the wheel tracks. I shimmed it up and all went smoothly. My lovely old wheel is now spinning.

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The white shim steadies the mother-of-all crossbar. The mother-of-all holds the end supports, called the maidens, the u-shaped flyer and the bobbin of spun yarn.

Spring goes on.

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Our neighbor uses old-style buckets for gathering maple sap. The cold spell keeps the sap flowing. The piece of scraggly wood in the hole in this tree looks like an old man’s face.

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Ongoing Thanks, But Not So Much For The Mouse

IMG_3634Thanksgiving this year felt redundant.  We did not need a special day to pause and reflect on our good fortune.  We have done it every day for the past six months.  Maybe it is because we have time to reflect, now that we are retired.  But, somehow, we can’t seem to fully grasp that we stumbled on this place, so perfectly suited to us, and with such exquisite beauty.

IMG_3587Our house is on a hill, with a view to the east and south.  A small river and a series of rolling hills separate us from the ocean.  The sun and moon rise over those hills.  They don’t sneak up over the horizon quietly and unnoticed.  Because there is little man-made light nearby and the coast produces constantly changing skies, sun and moon rises tend to be dramatic and colorful.

Red sky at morning, sailors take warning.

Red sky at morning, sailors take warning.

Moonrise Thanksgiving Eve. The moon's color was much redder. Like that next photo.

Moonrise Thanksgiving Eve. The moon’s color was much redder, as in the next photo.

I have never lived in a place where I have been able to really see the sunrise.  And moonrises were not even on my radar.  Now they are part of our daily rhythms.

This was the actual color of the moon when it first rose and was low on the horizon, seen through the oak branches.

This was the actual color of the moon when it first rose and was low on the horizon, seen through the oak branches.

Here, the sunrise usually gets me out of bed the morning.  Our bedroom faces west and north so we can only tell the sun is rising by the quality and color of the light outside the windows.  A certain rosiness catapults me out of bed so that I won’t miss the morning show.  George is usually already up, with coffee freshly brewed and waiting.

IMG_3058Every single time I watch that sun emerge over the hills, a little farther south each morning as we head into winter–or watch the moon, which comes up at all different times, often taking us by surprise—I am so grateful that we found this particular place at this time in our lives.  In fact, I sound like a broken record, “I love it here … I can’t believe this place … yada, yada, yada …”  I’m sure the sense wonder will wear off over time, but it hasn’t yet.

In the meantime, Thanksgiving week brought our first snow.

We had some skimmings of ice, but no snow.

We had some skimmings of ice, but no snow.

It was a little unexpected.  We spent the day before, which was soggy and windless, burning brush from the area we are clearing for a little orchard.

Burning brush.

Zoe supervised.

Zoe supervised.

During the night, the wind started screaming, the temperature dropped, and the evening’s rain turned to snow.  It did not accumulate much, but when the sun came out mid-morning, everything was transformed.IMG_3698

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The snow highlighted the giant limbs on this white pine.

The snow highlighted the giant limbs on this white pine.

IMG_3808Zoe was wildly happy.  Water is her element, and frozen water—in the form of snow—is best of all.  When we were on our RV trip across country, we would try to find patches of snow at high elevations so that she could run and roll in it.  She was thrilled to find an endless supply here in her own backyard.IMG_3794

George has cut some trails through our woods.  But it was treacherous going when the snow covered the fallen wild apples.  They acted like greased ball bearings.

IMG_3746IMG_3732IMG_3719Even through the snow, we continue to harvest vegetables.  We still have leeks, carrots, and spinach in the raised beds, and they just become sweeter, the colder it gets.

Snowy leeks.

Snowy leeks.

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Our little cold frame, which I planted with greens back in August, is starting to produce nicely.

For some reason, Zoe is intrigued by the cold frame and visits it every morning on her rounds.

For some reason, Zoe is intrigued by the cold frame and visits it every morning on her rounds.

The frame's middle panel has a hinged opener that opens automatically for ventilation based on the temperature.

The frame’s middle panel opens automatically for ventilation based on the temperature.  It’s nice not to have to do it ourselves.

Some things were a bust.  One of the leaf lettuce varieties bolted, the broccoli raab did not do well, the mache’s growth is glacially slow, and the arugula was decimated by cabbage moth caterpillars (I had to spray it with BT).

The mache is growing, but very, very slowly.

The mache is growing, but very, very slowly.

Arugula stripped to the ribs. Voracious little buggers.

Arugula stripped to the ribs. Voracious little buggers.

But the mustard, tatsoi, kale, red winter lettuce, and claytonia are thriving and we are harvesting beautiful salad greens.IMG_3856

IMG_3814Not everything is rainbows and chickadees, however.

This recent rainbow ended in our back woods.

The inner arc of this recent double rainbow ended in our back woods.

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Just a gratuitous chickadee shot.

When George took the truck in this morning for an oil change, the mechanics found a mouse living under the hood.  In retrospect, George thought he heard some unusual noises as he drove all over the state yesterday.  I can only imagine what that mouse thought when his new home went zooming down the interstate.  Apparently, the experience was not too traumatic, because the mouse stayed tucked up there overnight only to have the further excitement today of freaking out the mechanics.  Of course, it got away.  We will not have to deal with it anymore because it’s now hiding somewhere in the Toyota dealership.

I wanted to make a wreath without using any wire or frame. This is the funky result--a mullet wreath, business on one side, party on the other. Maybe I should hang it on the truck's grille to scare away the mice.

I wanted to make a wreath without using any wire or frame. This is the funky result–a mullet wreath, business on one side, party on the other. Maybe I should hang it on the truck’s grille to scare away the mice.

A tale of two Cassiars — Part Two

A powerline, bears, and a lake

We left our idyllic wilderness valley early Saturday morning to continue our trek down the Cassiar

Goodbye to the most beautiful RV park in the world

After a few miles and a gas stop in Isbuk, we found ourselves in the middle of a major construction project–the Northwest Transmission Line (NTL), an enormous power line extension running from the Stewart/Hyder cutoff to the Isbuk area. Apparently the Stikine region near the Cassiar is slated for several mining and hydro projects, including a large open-pit gold and copper mine and the NTL will supply power needed for development. It is also touted as a supposedly “green” project because the 600 or so residents of Isbuk will no longer need to power the town with diesel generators, thus cutting carbon emissions. Given the carbon emissions needed to build the line itself, I’m thinking that reasoning doesn’t pass the red-faced test.

South of Isbuk

South of Isbuk–the towers are going up, but no lines yet

Assembling the towers

Assembling the towers

I’m not against power lines, but this one runs through one of the most beautiful wild regions imaginable, and they could not have designed it to be more obtrusive and in-your-face if they had tried. It runs right along the road–criss-crossing it several times–a huge swath of clear cut with enormous steel towers. Let’s just say you can’t help but notice it.

Powerline running for miles and miles beside the road

Farther south, the lines have been strung

In contrast, the portion of the line built earlier, which runs to Stewart, is barely noticeable, and only crosses the road in one area.  In any case, the northern part of the Cassiar reminded us of the old Alaska Highway–winding, narrow, remote, and wild. The second part reminded us of Alaska pipeline construction days–lots of trucks, construction camps, activity, and litter. It was a real contrast.

Despite the power line, the area is still gorgeous, with park-like stretches dotted with dandelions and cow-parsley on the road edge. And did I mention bears? They were grazing on the newly-emerging plants all along the road and it became almost routine to see them. “Oh look, there’s another bear–or is it a stump–no it’s a bear.” We saw eight that day, including a good-sized brown bear in the middle of the road.

You can just see the road in the lower left, way downhill

You can just see the road in the lower left, way downhill

IMG_1592We stopped for the night at an absolutely beautiful Provincial Park, Lake Meziadin, where we found a spot right on the water. Although it was supposed to be raining, the weather was sunny and in the 70’s, so we decided to stay for two days. It was a long weekend in Canada, Victoria Day, and lots of families were camping. Kids riding bikes, people fishing, the smell of campfires and breakfast bacon–it was another amazing camping spot for us where we worked hard at relaxing.

Fishing in the morning stillness--the lake got windy in the afternoon

Fishing in the morning stillness–the lake got windy in the afternoon

Our campsite

Our campsite

Zoe thought that she had died and gone to doggy paradise. Walks, great new smells, her first opportunity to swim on this trip, and the park host gave her biscuits.

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