Monday, April 20, 2015
Sunday, April 19, 2015
Step 2 was to clean out the old dead garden, immediately followed by step 3, putting back the gravel into the bottom of the jar. I also sprinkled in a little compost to sort of anchor the gravel. Then step 4, which was to stuff the new moss into the bottle, not planting it, but just sort of pressing it toward the ground with a chopstick or a dinner knife.
The cork on my bottle has an interesting story connected to it. I've had this very large cork for several years, and it happens to fit perfectly in the mouth of the bottle that is my jar. I found the cork in Italy behind some abandoned buildings that included a cantina (wine cellar). There were some very large jars for storing wine, and a couple of them had old corks stoppering them still. I took one and brought it home, and I carved a relief print on the top of the cork. The abandoned buildings were in a very old village named Salci, and a friend who had been born there told me that the coat of arms of Salci had been a bull standing over some snakes. So that's what I carved on the cork (drawing 4463 is actually a print made by stamping the cork on a stamp pad and then on the parchment). Drawing 4464 is of the cork itself, now serving as a stopper for my moss garden, which dries out very quickly with out it.
Saturday, April 18, 2015
Friday, April 17, 2015
Still in the back yard woods I saw a pretty stand of bluebells and so many Mayapples. On through the broken stile and out onto the hillside the mountain view is gorgeous. A lone Canada goose was strolling around; then it took off and flew into the wheat field. I walked along the road a short bit in order to cross the bridge, and right after that comes the trail. One of the first little places along the river , which this trail follows, is the spot where J and I put in a coracle that we made a few years ago and tested it out. It floated! We played in the little boat all afternoon, the culmination of two summers of making that coracle. We may remake it so that it's easier to paddle this summer.
The trees along this part of the trail are amazingly animated and hung with large liana-like grapevines. It's a very rain-forest-like place. Soon I came to a rocky part of the trail that climbs up high above the river. Up here there were many wild flowers including crane's bill, Mayapple flats, blue asters, spring beauties, and Solomon's seal leafing out. I passed a picnic with a guitar player on some rocks in the river; then on the right I could see the white barn and some sheep sitting in the field facing the west. It was getting ready to rain, very dark and cloudy, and the sheep were acting like cows before a storm.
Then I passed the spot where Michelle and I rebuilt our cairns this past fall, and I am happy to report the cairns are still stacked for the most part, and the plants have filled in so that the cairns will not be so easy to reach this summer. I could see a field of something bright yellow in the distance-- mustard? When I reached the River Bend area I hit 1.5 miles and turned around, making this an easy three mile trip. The rain held off until right after I got home. Oh-- the yellow on this page comes from the stem of the golden celandine in my garden.
Thursday, April 16, 2015
Next came the fun of locating our inadequate adjustable wrenches, both shown on the right. The real killer of the project was removing the worn and impossibly- welded- to- the- end- of- the- threaded- thingy that sticks out of the bottom of the tank. At least an hour of not-very-pleasant behavior on my part as I embraced the toilet bowl in order to stick my head under the tank and squeeze my left hand and the wrench or pliers or whatever they are in a death grip on the slippery plastic lock nut (4438) and turned it clockwise about 250 partial turns. This process was described as "Remove lock nut by turning clockwise."
The rest of the process was easy; so if I don't count the hour of creeping the lock nut slowly around the shank (warped and deformed), or the fifteen minutes of drying out the tank with a sponge, I guess I DID install my new Fluidmaster in 15 minutes!
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
From there the walk goes down the mountain by way of a beautiful grassy hill full of wild flowers, ending at another stile. I crossed the dirt road and went into a field that has just been planted in wheat (last year it was corn), and I walked all along the edge of the field and looked at the mountains at the back of the field. I crossed the river on a little bridge (not shown) and entered another stile that led to the trail along the river. I turned left and shortly came to the gate to the trail, two trees that form an opening. Shortly beyond that is a grove of golden bamboo, from which I was sad to notice Owl Man is missing.
Students were skinny dipping in the river near the grove-- it's the time of year when classes in the afternoon become sparsely attended on warm days. Coming out of the grove I passed a wonderous knobbly tree, and then the chicken yard. The trail took a dive back into the wooded river edge, under a wooden pergola-like frame and over a small bridge over a creek.
Soon I came to some frog ponds, now alive with tadpoles, and two bird blinds. After that is the old archaeology shelter, where we stored our equipment when the dig was open in the 90s. All along here the air smelled like roses and honeysuckle and the river gurgled and birds sang. The main trail continued on along the river, but I left the river and headed up the mountain on the Muhl Trail. I couldn't really show it on the map-- this is NOT to scale in any way-- but this trail goes steeply up and up and up, passing overlooks through trees where you can see the farm fields down in the valley. At the top of the hill the trail has a T intersection, and I took the right fork, which led sharply back down and into Michelle's subdivision, which has beautiful views. It was 1.82 miles to her house, but I added a little on to the return trip to come out an even 4 miles round trip. Took about an hour and ten minutes.
Monday, April 13, 2015
I learned today that Necco no longer makes lime/green because a few years ago when they removed artificial flavors and colors they were unable to achieve a satisfactory lime flavor or color. So if you buy a roll today you'll have only seven flavors, and they aren't exactly the right flavors either.