Sunday, November 30, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
When I pulled the carrots, there was already about 2 inches of frost in the ground. I pulled a carrot and a hunk of dirt the size of a dinner plate came out. I had to break off the frozen soil to free the carrots.
I pulled almost all of them. I left a few...you never know when someone might have a Scarlett O'Hara moment.
This one looked like it was from Transylvania.
The turnips were easier. There were turnip tops to grab onto. These turnips will last me into January or maybe February.
I like good root vegetables to eat over the winter, so I always plant a few in mid-July...and if I time it right, I will not loose them to the frost. As I said, it's tricky business...you take your chances. This year worked out fine.
These will be stored in the basement, much like the potatoes...in the cool and in the dark.
On a fiber note, I have been combing and dizzing...making a big pile of Alpaca bird nests. Makes me want to jump in and roll around. Kitty has the same idea, so I have to put it up and out of the way. NO SMOOSHING!!!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
...they can grow up to 4ft from tail to beak and weigh in at 30lbs...
....all the men are named "tom" and they all have beards...
....they can fly at speeds up to and sometimes surpassing 55mph...
...their average life span in the wild is 1-2 years....
....they are often trapped and translocated by the DNR Wildlife Division and the use of rocket nets...
....their feathers are used in prayer sticks...
.....collectively they are known as A rafter. ....
But a single one on a plate is known as delicious.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
I woke up before first light today. I could see the ice blue snow on the ground, but it wasn't until the sun started coming up that the beauty revealed itself.
It is a wet snow and will most likely melt inside of a few hours.
The camera finds a moment to freeze time. The snow sparkles like gems, but the camera cannot capture what my eyes see.
I am reminded of something else I've been wanting to show you.
My sister has been encouraging (enabling) me to get busy with opening my button store on etsy. She has been creating some of her own to sell in the store too. They are beautiful.
There is so much going on here...all of this on top of a button!
and who knew button making could be so much fun? I'm doing my best to get the store up and running ...details...details...
Monday, November 17, 2008
These are "Negative Space Mitts" from Knitting New Mittens & Gloves by Robin Mclanson. I used some hand-dyed handspun thick and thin superwash that I had in my stash. The book write up states that it is "ideal for beginning knitters"...hummm...this pattern features a provisional cast on and an I-cord BO with Applied BO over 5 needles. I would say those stitches are not exactly for beginners. Needless to say, my mother has hit some tough spots, but we have been working them out over the phone. This has proven to be an exercise in my communication skills.
My mother is frustrated. She is at the point of the I-cord BO...so close ... The negative space mitts are quickly becoming the negative vibe project. I told her to set them aside. Knitting should be enjoyable, not frustrating. She will pick them up again when she is ready, and I will cheer her on--and they will be finished someday.
Meanwhile, I have finished mine. They are a bit, unusual in their appearance. I have been using them as work mitts and walking mitts. I'm not thrilled with them, they are just OK.
I wore them into the garden when I picked the broccoli. The broccoli is still coming in nicely. I am leaving some to seed up for sprouting over the winter, the sprouts are a nice addition to salads. There are lots of flowers that I add to the salads now.
I took the mitts off when I pulled the carrots. The carrots are some of the best I've ever grown. They are so sweet and tender. We have been enjoying carrots almost every other day.
One reminder to self--fall broccoli needs to be checked for cabbage moth worms...see photo..
..during the summer, I set up homes for the wasps. They move in and patrol my broccoli patch...flying off with the worms. The wasps have long since disappeared to where ever wasps go in the winter....leaving the cabbage moth worms to multiply and munch my broccoli. A good salt water rinse removes them prior to steaming.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
There have been several whitetail bucks (with nice sized antlers) passing by the riverrim. The photographs in this post only show a young male, there have been others. Yesterday, during the setting of the sun, I witnessed two of them butting their heads together. Their antlers made a loud clicking and clacking sound that disrupted the silence of the twilight. It was not a violent encounter, they were not really engaging full force, nonetheless, it was a stirring sight to see. The sounds of antler on antler echoed off the ledges.
I watched their confrontation continue as the moon started to rise over the mountain. It reminded me that I had once read about something called the "rutting moon". It was an article by Charles Alsheimer. He refers to the second full moon after the autumnal equinox as the rutting moon. I wonder if there is truth to this theory about the moon... I tried to take a photograph of the fight for dominance, but I didn't have enough available light. Too bad. The battle ended when a third buck came running out of the woods into the clearing. The three of them looked at each other, and then went their separate ways. Interesting.
This morning, just after sunrise, I was sipping my coffee and noticed out my window, a large 8 point buck in pursuit of a doe. Both of them were running very fast and had their mouths open, panting. The doe jumped over a fallen tree, the buck followed, but got his antlers tangled in a wire that was strung as an anchor to a telephone pole. It whipped him around and his body twisted to try and correct itself before he landed on his haunches. The entire telephone pole shook and swayed from the inpact. The doe stopped running. She turned to look and see what was happening to the buck. He stood up on all fours, shook his head, and went after the doe again. She then jumped across the fallen tree again and went back in the direction that they had come from...he was right behind her.
I made a mental note to myself....be careful driving...the whitetail are in rut...they have only one thing on their mind for the next couple of days.
Except for this year's fawns...they, on the other hand, seem quite content to go about life as usual.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I'm not a spindler, but I have reason to become one. You know, the kind of spindler that makes it look effortless. So when the opportunity presented itself, I requested the help of someone whose spindling talents I admire...someone who could enlighten me as to finding the path to happy spindling. Fortunately for me, she was able to shed a little light on the subject.
Until that day, I had never met a spindle I could like. Now, I practice with a fascination, appreciation and yes- love and respect for the process. What a surprise.
Until that day, spindling had always seemed tiresome and awkward, a necessary skill that was learned before being able move on to the wheel. I could do it when called upon for demonstration purposes...but beyond that I had no interest. I was impatient with it. Now I practice everyday.
Along with the spindle, came a few techniques - pointers- and a parlor trick. Fun! Things to build upon. Thank you!
Yesterday, I had an ah-ha moment with my long draw on the spindle. And I am reminded why I love learning new fiber skills.
No matter how many years I work with fiber, or how many different types of fiber, or how many different tools I learn to work with, there is still so much to explore about how it behaves in my hands.
And btw, the corkbark is putting on a brilliant display in the garden.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
As I look around my kitchen, I see various collections of seeds...seeds to be banked. They are not organized and they are in all stages of curing.
Some sit on wax paper, others in bowls still contained within the fruit that bore them. Some linger on the windowsill, and others are on the fence in the garden, drying in the sun.
If you are not a gardener, you may think this is an odd arrangement- dried bits hanging around on the counter tops and windows etc, but to me the seeds are as much a part of my future, as they have been of my past. I like looking at them, and thinking about them.
November has arrived and another season of growth is complete...I harvest another generation of plants whose fruit has been chosen for flavor, or bearing or size.
...Some of these have been with me for a decade...carefully selected and set aside for the years to come. Seeds that contain hidden promises, waiting for their season...encapsulated... little miracles of life.
Today I put some of them in my seed bank. Since I have been doing this for many years, I have produced certain seeds that are very well suited to my garden and soil and climate. No company could ever produce seeds like these. To me, they are priceless. Miracles to put in the bank.