Friday, February 06, 2004

of skunks and skunk cabbages

Both are harbingers of spring, and so it is not unusual that I would be writing about them on this icy snowy rainy day, when all I want to dream about is spring. Early this morning before the ice started falling, I trudged out into the snow that had fallen last night, to the chicken coop to look in on the girls. On my way past the rabbit hutches, I noticed little footprints in the snow. The little footprints that look like little troll toes. They can only mean one thing...a skunk has been around. I don't mind the skunk too much. After all, they were around here before we were, so I guess it is their home before ours. As long as you keep your garbage locked up, and the compost lid on tight they leave you alone. A few years ago, before I got my garden fence, I was having a feud with one because he was eating my winter sown spinach, but hey, he was hungry too.

So thoughts of the skunk (and a whiff of him) get me to thinking about the skunk cabbages that are growing below the inches of snow and ice on the ground. The sight of skunk cabbage in February can make my heart flutter. I know, a bit strange here, but until you study this fascinating plant, you may not appreciate it fully. Symplocarpus is the only plant I know of that generates it own heat, enough to melt snow around it! That is why I look for it in the Feb. snow- it is as if spring itself is pushing its way to the surface of the earth. I know from marking my calendar in years past, that the skunk cabbage is up already..only I cannot see it yet, it is still buried beneath all the snow, but it won't be here to read more about skunk cabbage

I am trying to find information about the age of a spinning wheel. I believe it is a Saxony wheel. It belongs to a friend of mine. It belonged to his mother, and was purchased somewhere around the Carolinas. The treadle is not working as it was glued down and the glue has lifted off. Also, the mother of all is broken and needs repair. I do not know if I should attempt to fix it, I do not want to de-value it if it has worth. The footman is a piece of string that attaches to a bent nail. I wish it had some sort of markings to go by. I am pretty much a novice about spinning wheels, but like learning about the history of them. I told my friend that I would try to find out about how old it was, and if it can be fixed. In addition to bringing me the spinning wheel to check out, he also gifted me with a little tri-loom and a Lucet that he had made. I have finished the first neckerchief/scarf that I made on it, using the "pinecone" shetland that I spun. I used the cording that I made on the Lucet for a loop to pass the edge of the scarf through, and hold it in place while wearing it. What fun it was to make! And so fast! Only a few hours. Will be sure to make more of these.

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