Wednesday, September 30, 2009

phenological events September 2009

phenological events

September 2009

3rd- harvesting
green peppers
12th-harvesting winter
squash and pumpkins
14th-maples turning color
20th-harvesting beets
and kale
22nd-Black Bear sighting
24th-Hummers and Catbirds

Monday, September 28, 2009



Catching a few moments of sun, watching the colors flow by, thick and thin...


the sunlight strengthens and fades as it plays through the leaves and dapples my world.

The glow illuminates, and provides a kaleidoscopic view... the patterns excite my eyes. Endless combinations of color appear, as one runs into another.


So simple a pleasure, spindling in the sun.

Friday, September 25, 2009

pick and pack a peck of perfect peppers


At the end of the growing season, it is time to reflect upon what crop was outstanding. This summer was the "year of the pepper" at the riverrim. They have grown to perfection. It is time to pick. AGAIN.


It does not take long to fill my basket (which btw used to hold blue claw crab or clams when we lived near the bay, but works just as well for peppers now that we live near the river). The fruit makes a satisfying "snap" when plucked from the bush. The glossy skin of the pepper shines as if polished. I fill the basket and feel thankful for the bounty. I think back to the month of February, when I planted the seeds. It was cold, snowy outside as the seeds germinated next to the warmth of woodstove. It took a full seven months to grow the peppers from seed to fruit.


The dictionary defines a peck as: A unit of dry volume or capacity in the U.S. Customary System equal to 8 quarts or approximately 537.6 cubic inches. A unit of dry volume or capacity in the British Imperial System equal to 8 quarts or approximately 554.8 cubic inches.

What do you think, did I pick a peck? We raised sweet peppers this year. Of the genus Capsicum and family solanaceae..which includes the deadly nightshade, potatoes, and tobacco, ....this should not be confused with the plant piper nigrum --the one that produces the black peppercorn seeds.


Back in the house and ready to pack....starting at the top with "Audrey's" Lemon Yellow..clockwise to Green Bell, Sweet Hungarian Fryers, Green Pimento, and Rellanos for stuffing...


Slice, dice, pack and freeze...I notice YO's inside the pepper! and my knitting calls to me!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

bears behaving badly or bad bears bad bears whatcha gona do?


My walking stick sits by the front door..I have tied the bells to it so I make noise when I they can hear me coming. I think twice before going out for walks lately...and there are times when I decide not to go outside at all...I've been thinking about the bears. They have been behaving badly.

There is one bear in particular. who has been hanging around at the dumpster near the end of the road. He has ventured up the road and onto our property, sniffing around. I want to avoid him. I'm not looking conflict.

Last weekend, as I turned the corner, I saw him on the hillside. He was pawing through the trash that he pulled out of the dumpster and up into the wooded area. The photos that I took of him were blurry...I think I was so full of fear and exhilaration that I must have been shaking...


Or maybe it was the bear who was so full of motion that I couldn't quite catch a good photo of him/her...these are the only two photos I dared take of him, I don't trust him, I cannot even look into his eyes.


It isn't really the bears fault. He is just doing what comes natural to bears at this time of year. He needs to pack on the pounds, and he looks for an easy way to do it. He is not thinking about what is right or wrong behaviour. He acts on instinct. So it is up to me to take precautions to avoid confrontations. I soak rags in ammonia and place them in the trash can. I take my walking stick with the bells on it when I go outside...I sing or talk loudly to announce my bird feeders are all taken down...the bbq grill is clean and locked down...and my rabbit has nail boards around her hutch...just in case. And one more thing...this little pocket air horn...


don't leave home without it!

There were announcements in the local news this week, concerning the I know we are not the only ones that have seen them around. I hope the people at the corner with dumpster have realized that they are creating a nuisance bear by not locking the dumpster and not cleaning up the trash that the bear has already pulled apart. No one likes a bad bear.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

blogiversary url and irl


My 7th blogiversary was this past weekend...(has it really been 7 years!) I was spending it at the Endless Mountains Fiberfestival.

I had a great time. I had so much fun meeting and visiting with friends....old friends..some friends were online friends, that I have never met in real life know...IRL.

A url (Uniform Resource Locator, or previously Universal Resource Locator) is what I type in the address bar when I visit my online what I call my Un Real Life....or URL.

So it is always exciting to me when I have the chance meet someone that I have only known in unreal life, in real life. Suddenly, someone who has only been words and photos on a screen- becomes a face, a handshake, or a hug. The transformation of two dimensional to three dimensional fascinates me. The sound of a voice, a facial expression, a mannerism...all of these things (and more) add to the complexity and personality of a person, a friend. I am amazed - captivated and charmed.

After all these years of blogging, you would think it would become meet someone from URL IRL. It is not. It is still amazing.


Whether you are an irl or url reader... on my blogiversary, I want to say "thank you"!

I share my coffee with you in the mornings...or maybe some wine in the evenings...I share my random thoughts, my photographs, my projects. I think of you, I thank you. You comment, encourage, entertain and enrich my life.

Whether you are here for the fiber, the garden, the wildlife, the walks, the observations, the river, or just a random google search...thanks for stopping by the riverrim. Happy Blogiversary to you ~ the reader~ nice to spend another year with you!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

the indicator


Goldenrod...there are over 100 perennial species of this plant in North America..this one grows in my garden. I'm not sure which one it is...


Goldenrod, of the genus often gets the blame for hay fever. The real culprit for hay fever is Rag Weed..a different plant entirely. Rag weed is wind pollinated. Goldenrod depends on the insects for pollination. If you want to meet some interesting and beautiful insects, Goldenrod is good place to look....some of the late season pollinators are sure to be there.


Goldenrod contains bioflavonoids.. If you cook it, some parts may be eaten. It may be dried for tea or decoration. It makes a beautiful yellow dye for wool. Recently, I spoke with a dyer who said the trick to a vibrant yellow is to pick the flowers just as they are beginning to open.

Sadly, they are considered by many to be weeds.


For me, Goldenrod is an indicator plant. An indicator of the is a sign to me that frost on the pumpkin is just around the corner...

Don't forget..the Pennsylvania Endless Mountains Fiber festival is this weekend...Stop by the Antique Spinning Wheels booth and say hello! I'll be there, offering my handmade buttons for sale --and doing some flax and Great Wheel demonstrations--and having fun!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

walk with me wednesday millipedes on the march


...the fall migration commences...did you know they live seven years on average? ....diplopoda


They are so large, I can see them walking across the road. I drive around them. They are beneficial to the environment. They are detritivores...and a good help in the compost pile.

The word 'milli' is latin meaning thousand and 'pede' meaning foot. I don't think this one has a thousand feet...I suppose I could count them... if I were still a child I would, but there are grown up things that need doing today....


thirty-six, thirty-seven, thirty-eight, thirty-nine...

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

quantity vs quality


The Fiber Festival at Fort Delaware was so busy, that I didn't have time to take any photographs. My good friend Judy was kind enough to email these photos that she took of me while I was demonstrating double-flyer flax spinning. Thanks, Judy!

Looking at the photos gave me pause.


The idea behind the double-flyer wheel-was obviously all about production...and it is by far, the most challenging wheel that I have ever met.

Getting a steady rhythm, and producing two equally consistent threads at one time, with one hand on each thread, is a demanding task.

I have yet to be satisfied with any of the linen I have produced on this wheel. Many hours of practice remain before I would be able to achieve a fine thread...if ever! So it makes me wonder. Just how many spinners were able to make fine thread on this type of wheel? And yes, perhaps they were able to produce twice as much linen, but did the quality of product they produced, deteriorate in the process? Quantity is not always better than quality.

Quantity..according to merriam webster: is the aspect in which a thing is measurable in terms of greater, less, or equal or of increasing or decreasing magnitude...


Quality is defined as a degree of excellence ...merchandise of quality.

I think about other areas in my life where quality is sometimes forfeited due to quantity. I remind myself, it is good to strive for quantity, but not at the expense of diminished quality. Funny, the things that spinning can teach me.

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