Sunday, May 31, 2009



The garden is almost "in".
This past weekend, the corn and squash were planted, now all that remains are the beans. We have been spending a lot of time in the garden. The bearded irises...or flags..were waving to me all the while.


The blossoms are large this year, most all of them are larger than my palm.


Their beards are full..


The signals, defined.


Across the street, this years fawn walks up the hill with her mother.

Tomorrow, I will give a spinning demonstration to the Womens Ag group at the Hatton Farm. It should be a fun day! I've been spending part of the afternoon getting ready, brushing up on my skills and dressing the distaff.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

how it starts


This is Allspice.


This is the fleece that was shorn from the back of Allspice.


This is the crimp that grew in the fleece, that was shorn from the back of Allspice.


This is a sample of yarn that was spun, with the crimp that grew, in the fleece that was shorn from the back of Allspice.

It is all about the process for me! Where exactly does it start? What will it become? Working with fiber never gets tiresome for me...

Many thanks to Finca Alta Vista's Allspice for providing the opportunity, er, um....adventure!

Oh, and a few weeks ago, I made some buttons for Anne over at Beavercreek. She finished her project, Coraline..and it looks beautiful! I had fun being a part of that project and making some custom buttons for the sweater. If you would like to see how the finished work looks, you can read about it on her blog here.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

phenological events may 2009

phenological events

May 2009

1st- humming birds
2nd- tree swallows
oriels arrive
3rd- spot tomato starts
7th- harvest asparagus
cat birds at jellybar
12th- wood frogs
cedar waxwings
14th- gypsymoth hatch
18th- harvest rhubarb
20th- crabapples set fruit
21st- helicopter spray Gypsy
25th- transplant tomato
26th- bearded iris bloom
28th- grapes set fruit
29th- plant corn
30th- transplant squash
31st- newborn fawn

Sunday, May 17, 2009

falling for smooth solomans seal

Earlier this week, when I was out walking, I fell.


I was walking along the river near the old canal a mossy area. I was admiring the blue violets, and looking for certain insects that should be hatching out about this time of year.


My footing was secure, but the riverrim was not. I was walking on the bank, when suddenly, the mossy earth beneath my foot gave way, and my leg went down into a hole up to my shin. It seemed to happen in slow motion, and I rolled onto my hip and then my shoulder. I was holding my camera up, so that it wouldn't hit any rocks and get damaged, and in doing so, slammed it into my neck...

I was not hurt..just bruised and a little startled, but nothing broken or sprained. The moss cushioned my impact.

When I opened my eyes, because I always shut my eyes when I fall..I saw this...


Smooth Solomans Seal. How ironic! If I had not fallen, I would not have seen the plant...I wanted to laugh out loud that I had stumbled and fallen into a patch of Smooth Solomans Seal.

In case you do not know Smooth Solomans Seal, (not to be confused with False Solomans Seal)...I will tell you that the plant has a long medicinal history of being used for various muscular traumas or weaknesses. Bumps, bruises, torn ligaments, joint problems, inflammations? Smooth Solomans Seal is your friend. The rhizome is the important part, but I was not about to dig these plants, they were growing on top of bones, and I don't disturb bones.


In "The Book of Herbal Wisdom" by Matthew Wood, there is a interesting paragraph about the roots of Smooth Solomans Seal:

"They usually have a ninety-degree angle in their construction, indicating an affinity to making profound changes or turns in life. They help bring a person to a transformative place or help them go through the change, or help them adapt to a change that has already occurred. The ninety-degree angle represents joints in the organism, and key-joints in the path of life.

I found another reference in an article by Deb Soule here:

"In the winter when the leaf stalk dies back and becomes completely removed from the rhizome, a scar remains which is said to resemble the Seal of King Solomon, who reined as King of Israel from 961 - 931 BC. The seal is a hexagram composed of two overlapping triangles to create a six pointed star, commonly called the Star of David after King David, father of Solomon. The seal became synonymous with Solomon who apparently used the symbol to cast away demons and summon angels."


For such an unassuming little plant, it sure has a lot of lore associated with it. I am happy to have fallen where it is growing. And I will come back in the fall and collect some seed to start a patch in my garden.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

taking pictures

spiral galaxies

What an amazing world we live in. We have cameras that let us look at things our eyes would never be able to see by themselves. We can look inside the human body, and we can look outside to the universe. Cameras and images let us learn so many important things about ourselves and our world. I am grateful today for cameras and their images...for the folks that invent them, and those that know how to use them.

If you have a few extra moments, you might want to stop by the Hubble Site, and take some time to view the final images from the WFPC2 (Wide Field Planetary Camera 2) which is being replaced. It had been installed in 1993. The telescope is getting an upgrade -that includes the new WFPC3. I find it all very amazing.....the gallery link on the Hubble page contains some spectacular images. sigh.

I get lost looking at the spiral galaxies....

mission overview

Meanwhile, in fiber pursuits, I've been doing a lot of this...

alpaca allspice combing

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

dumpster dive or teddy bear's picnic


Glad this isn't my backyard! This isn't even my photograph, but it was sent to me by my friend Judy who lives down river.

The photo was taken nearby and is a "heads up!" warning to me that the bears around here are waking up.

Time to tie bells to my walking stick, and carry my pocket air horn. They are probably hungry when they wake up.

Should you want to stop by Judy's blog and see more photos of this bear, click here.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

making the bed


No hospital corners on the sheets here, just flower and vegetable beds. The seedlings are ready to come out of the "nursery" and get "tucked in" to their beds. We have been getting things ready, doing repairs, tweeking the soil...making sure everything is "just right". Here is a photo of the "broccoli bed".


The seedlings look so small out here in the wide open! I used to protect them from the cutworms with cardboard rings...but the chickens have done a good job of eradicating the area of cutworm, so they should be OK. I'll have to keep watch.


I had a chance to work with some Shetland that Cathy sent to me...this one was labeled "Sax Emsket Multicolor" After washing, I hand carded the locks, and dizzed (is dizzed a word?) them off...into birds nests...


The finished 2-ply is still on the bobbin...waiting to be skeined and measured. This was a real pleasure to work with! There was a little bit of undercoat, but not much. But still, I would call it a dual coat. And soft! Oh my!

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