Friday, July 07, 2017

Sphecodina abbottii

That is a hard one to pronounce! Sphec=Sfeck ??? CODE?? Anyway, it is easier to call it the Abbott's Spinx Moth. Caterpillar. I noticed it on my Grape Vines. They are said to consume 8-10 grape leaves a day. The false eyeball is not on the head, but the tail. Could have fooled me!(not really)

It is also interesting to note, that this caterpiller eats Virginia Creeper and Poison Ivy! They may grow up to 4 inches in length, and they can morph their colors, sometimes becoming green and brown striped.

Over on the other side of the property, my husband was working on a lumber pile and found this shed:

It was in very good condition, however, the head and tail were not intact.

There is a way to identify the type of snake (poisoness and non poisoness) by examining the snake skin sheds. This page had a good explanation of how to do that.

The peaches were finally picked, and the yield was a little over dozen. Not too bad for the first time picking this tree.

The variety is a white peach, clingstone. They were very tasty and didn't last long. There are 2 more trees in the garden that look very promising this year, but they won't be ready to harvest until perhaps, the end of the month.

There has been spinning happening at the Great Wheel...putting aside some cops. ..the finished yardage will determine what I will use it for.

Friday, June 30, 2017

time to

So many things have to do with good timing. When to pick the peaches, is one of them. They look ripe- but they are still a bit too firm. On the other hand, they may ripen on the counter after picking. The birds and squirrels and chipmunks are watching them for readiness, also. They test for ripeness, just as I do. And so, it becomes a matter of timing. Who will get to them first?

The Black Hollyhocks are showing off. These were a gift from a fiber friend, years ago! Their petals make a lovely dye bath, and with an alum/cream of tarter mordant, will yield soft greys on skeins of white wool. This year, I have elected to enjoy the show, and save the seeds, as well as the dye bath, for another time.

Meanwhile, the timing is right for harvesting garlic scapes and dill weed. Mixed with some Philadelphia Brand, they make a tasty dip for spreading on a cracker. This batch was served up and enjoyed by the spinners/knitters/weavers over at the Hatton's last week.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Setophaga petechia

The yellow warbler is nesting in the Rose of Sharon bush. I believe there are nestlings. I hear soft whispers and peeping, and see lots of comings and goings to supply those hungry mouths with moths and other insects.

I am delighted to have the yellow warbler take up residency. I have not seen this for several years, and welcome its return. Years ago, it would always nest in the Hemlock, and every year, the cowbird would visit it. But the yellow warbler was wise. The yellow warbler is one of the few passerine proven to be able to recognize the presence of cowbird eggs in its nest.[18] Upon recognizing a cowbird egg in its nest, the warbler will often smother it with a new layer of nesting material. It will usually not try to save any of its own eggs that have already been laid, but produce a replacement clutch.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

old ways

from Zem spieva - Karel Plicka (1933)

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

overtime over time

There are some lovely plum blossoms that are blooming on my windowsill.

They are from the prunings that my husband took of our trees, a few weeks ago. These flowers, sadly, will not see any bees, and will never become fruit. They will only be admired. Pruning in winter is advised as fruit trees that are not tended will become less productive. Even with heavy winter pruning, there is always the chance that the trees will still experience June drop, so hand thinning may be necessary as well.
Time will tell.

I've been working on finishing linen that I spun over the summer.

I measure off the skeins and record the yardage.

Then the skeins go into the pot and onto the woodstove to simmer. I rinse lather and repeat, until the water runs clear.

Then the skeins are taken out to the clothes line, where they hang in the frost...

and the snow...and the moonlight.

It seems fitting to spin in the summer when the humidity is high, and finish the skeins in the winter. The frost really works well to soften the linen.

I made some raspberry jam on the woodstove. I had frozen some of the berry harvest last July, and dug deep into the freezer to find enough to make a batch in February. I also made a jam spreader out of a piece of curly maple. This will be a gift for my Aunt E. Lately, I've been feeling like there are not enough hours in the day to accomplish all of the projects I would like to!
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