Thursday, June 30, 2011

June 2011 Phenological Notes

phenological events

June 2011

1st cuckoo wasps
2nd swallowtail butterflies
15th waxwings on the currents
20th lacewings hatch
25th Oxeye Daisys on the path

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

in print

About a month or so ago, I was asked to write an article for the MAPACA (Mid-Alantic Alpaca Association) Summer 2011 Newsletter about how I prepare Alpaca Fiber for spinning. The article was to be featured under the regular section, "What are the Alpaca Bloggers Saying?"

Yesterday I received my newsletter in the mail! What a fun thing to see my words and photographs in print in the glossy magazine type format!

Here is a snippet:


To read the entire article, you can go directly to the MAPACA website. You may easily do this by clicking the link to the MAPACA Newsletter that is conveniently located on my sidebar. Just click on the MAPACA button (on your right) and it will take you to the page that lists all of the issues. Select the one you want to read ( article is in the Summer 2011 issue- on page 18)... and click to download the PDF file.

The opportunity to write the article gave me the pleasure of working with Diane Beauchner, who is the Editor in Chief (and also author of two great articles in this summer's edition). Apparently, the experience was a good one for Diane as well, and I have been offered my own column! I'm pleased to announce that I will be writing for the MAPACA newsletter and you may look for my "Alpaca Notebook" within the pages that are published quarterly by American Livestock Magazine & Publishing. I hope you find the publication to be as informative and interesting as I have! I am delighted to be associated with and working for such a terrific organization.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

getting all caught up

I've been trying to get caught up on things, but it seems impossible. I just feel caught..... a bit like this poor lacewing, being pulled in different directions...


Day before yesterday one of the cars was making a horrid noise if something was very wrong with the brakes. My husband decided to take it in to the shop and drop it off to be looked at and repaired, I was to follow over in my car and give him a ride home...except my car wouldn't start. GAH! Doublewhammy. See what I mean?

So, I made some time to enjoy the rose bush.


I don't know the name of it. It is older than I am. Here before I was.


A couple of hours with some flax on the distaff, and the roses, the sounds of the river and the birds and bees does wonders for my disposition. I can't fix my own car, but I can spin my own linen.


Now if only the car repair guy wanted to barter, what a wonderful world it would be.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

walk with me wednesday, year after year

They were here today. Finally.

I thought because there were bears hanging around, we wouldn't see them this year. But they came. I wonder how old they are....

There are two of them. It was raining, gently, when I first saw them. They are shy, as they should be. They scurry to hide behind the big rock.

Still, I want to follow them into the forest!

I've been keeping track of fawns for a long time.

2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010.

They come ...year after year, just like the roses..

Sunday, June 05, 2011

lotus flower fabric

So my friend from California calls me up and we are having a conversation. It went something like this...

CN: I was reading a Luxos magazine article about this great fiber that comes from the stems of the Lotus Flower....have you ever heard about it?

NO, says I.

She went on to read me parts of the article..I became intrigued. Especially when I heard that the fiber must be spun and woven within 3 days of avoid deterioration...It is said that the woven fiber feels like a combination of the finest silk and linen...

Apparently, Loro Piana (a high end Italian clothing company) has trademarked Loro Piana Lotus Flower fabric, and a simple jacket made from this Lotus Flower should sell for about $5,600 US dollars...or about 4,000 euros.

After our phone conversation ended, I went online to see what else I could find out about the fabric. After reading and watching about how this regional textile is being harvested and spun and woven, I can't help but want to touch a piece of the fabric. From the descriptions that I read, if you place the fibers under the microscope, they look sponge like, with little holes in them.

As far as I could tell, the fabric isn't available for sale in the U.S. due to trade sanctions and a ban against products that come from Myanmar (and the totalitarian government in power). There are plans to manufacture the fiber in Italy and then export the finished goods to the U.S.

I watched several different Youtube videos of the women that were actually doing the process of harvesting, spinning and weaving of the lotus flower stems.

Then I wondered about the person who would buy a jacket for six thousand dollars. Then I wondered if the women who harvest, spin and weave the fabric for the jackets could ever afford to buy one for themselves. And then I got all caught up in wondering about politics and money and governments and lifestyles etc.

Finally, I decided to go back to thinking about the fiber from the lotus flower stems, and what it must feel like to work with. Have to admit, it made me start to wonder what is inside the stems of my pond lilies.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

hit the deck and run for cover


The weather suddenly turned to summer. I took the Great Wheel outside onto the deck for a good waxing and some spinning. It was delightful.

Until an unwelcome visitor decided to investigate.


Saturday last, three Black Bears were meandering around the hillside. I'm not sure what caused them to congregate, or if they were related. There was one small sized, one medium and one very large. I know. At any rate, it had me running for cover...and looking over my shoulder when spending time on the deck.


The little chooks are getting bigger. They run for cover under their mother, but all twelve of them are having trouble fitting and they sometimes squabble about who gets the best position.


You can only see their feet sticking out from under all those feathers. The mother is patient and waits until they have all found a suitable spot before she settles down to rest and warm them.


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