Tuesday, January 22, 2013
melts, markings and marsupials
The winter waters are flowing during the day, but at night they freeze again. There is a pattern to the pace. It repeats itself.
slowly and steadily the melting snow travels down to the river each day. At night it trickles underneath the film of ice that covers it, contouring around the rocks ...while the smoke from our chimney curls upwards into the night sky. Are we half way to spring yet?
As per a special request, I had my woodturning friends (Debbie with help from Fred) make a couple of reproductions from my Bulgarian Spindle. I decided I wanted to use the spindle with the Bulgarian Distaff (more on that later), but didn't want to risk damaging it. I burned the same markings or pattern that appears on the staff, into the wood of the spindle. The design on the staff, I am fairly certain, was chip carved...and since I lack those skills, I turned to pyrographing the pattern.
The finished spindle works well! A superb ergonomic design! It is so comfortable to use! A pure delight! The tip on the shaft makes all the difference to my fingers. Such a delicate thing...I hardly feel it in my hands. Thanks, Fred! And I am working with the Wallachian wool sample that my kind friend Vlad'ka sent to me ...all the way from the Czech Republic! Thank you, Vlad'ka! I am learning!
Last night, a marsupial came to call. A knock at the window. And when I turned on the lights...there were eyes looking back at me! The eyes of Didelphis virginiana..or the common Virginia Opossum...
The Algonquin Indians named them apasums..(white animals). Since it is mid winter, I wondered if there were any little opossums in the pouch. It is late January, their breeding season, and young are born a couple of weeks after that. I once found a tiny opossum in the snow, it was no bigger than my finger.
Opossums don't live very long, but as I think back on things, we usually see one or two of them in the winter. There was the time I was collecting the eggs from the hens nest boxes, and put my hand on a opossum that was curled up fast asleep...and the other time that one climbed way up high onto the post and then fell off backwards into the snow drift!
His/ or her pink fingers and ears tell the tale of cold weather. I suspect the critter was in search of some suet it smelled, my husband had recently filled the cages at the bird feeders. I took a few photos and then shooed the opossum off into the night.