The big and little things

As always, summer in the Adirondacks flies by. The days are getting shorter and the nights colder. Work and visiting with friends and family has kept us busy. The new boat and truck are working out. We took a fabulous camping trip with the next two generations and Oma’s red boat was a big hit. And as hoped, I am having fun doing the repairs as I am able.

I have sewn and repaired the boat canvas, installed a couple of cleats, gathered a tool kit, greased (or in this case floated oil) for the trailer’s wheel bearing and, oh yes, dropped some money. Spare tires, jack kit, radio, new horn and a couple of minor repairs. It begins.

This guy was in the road when I drove to work last week.

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So handsome. I kept my distance and he lumbered off in to the field.

Yesterday, I spotted this salamander during my walk.

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On a mission.

We seem to be spending a lot of time in Saranac Lake recently. This week for dinner and a play. This show was on display after a rainstorm.

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Remarkable!

Rainbows and moons

We’ve already had three snowfalls at home. We got stuck in one downstate, with cars and tractor trailer abandoned on the side and the middle of the road. It took us two hours to crawl a half mile. Never again. Then to make matters worse, the hotel we found was overbooked (“we have negative rooms”) and there was a convention of 1000 stranded lawyers who ate all the food and drank all the liquor before we got there. So we had raisin bran for dinner and called it a night. But the next day we saw a double rainbow over Newark airport.

Back home, I was able to ski my favorite trails, which Tim had already broken.

I’ve been doing a major house cleaning; a real purge. I was deciding whether to keep my stargazing binoculars. They are Elmer Fudd sized and have to be mounted on a tripod to be of any use. I set them up and could see Slip Mountain clearly off in the distance and spy on the local birds. That night, I couldn’t sleep and was able to observe our two? moons setting behind Cobble Mountain.

I think I’ll keep them.


After the rain

IMG_0384IMG_0385Comes a rainbow. Something else to look at other than seagulls copulating on the front lawn. It rained for about a day and a half. I got to work weaving a replacement straps for my little boat bag, which is gradually disintegrating.

That jumble of sticks and strap combined with my body makes up the loom.  I control tension by leaning forward or back. It’s been a process learning this super portable way to weave.

I can understand why people who live where the weather is always nice grow bored with it. The clouds and sky were dramatic before and after the front passed through. We had hoped to get out to watch the Race to Alaska go by but it was raining and foggy. Check it out at here. It is a boat (loosely defined) race from Port Townsend, Washington to Ketchikan, Alaska, 750 miles. The main requirement is the boat cannot have a motor. There were canoes, kayaks, lots of trimarans and stand up paddle boards!! That’s right, SUP 750 miles, sometimes in open water.  Oh my. They left the harbor with large oars for power. The first day didn’t have much wind and the rowers did very well.  My favorite boat name is, “What the Fuca”. First prize $10,000, second prize, a set of steak knives! Gotta love it.

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And then the beautiful full moon rose. It was still light out at 10 pm. The whole gang was out to enjoy it. They took a break from their primary activity.

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But they are at it again this morning!

 

A rainbow or two

Who needs TV when we had a night like last night? We sat down to a late dinner (pork tenderloin, peas, applesauce, salad and brownies) when the seagulls got stirred up. All at once they were all in the air flying. That’s a lot of seagulls in flight and they were joined by a few eagles. It didn’t seem like the eagles started it but it was one great fly fest. Two eagles buzzed right in front of the window where we sat.

At the same time rainbows appeared and kept evolving. It was spectacular.

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Today was a bit more mundane.  We took out the boat to patrol the island during one of Washington state’s three halibut fishing days. All boats we saw respected the 200 yard boundary around the island. I worked on docking in wind. And provisioned – I made yogurt, a loaf of bread and dinner.

I finally got my band weaving out and used some of the knots I worked on during my boating course to secure my band to a post.

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A lovely weaving spot except it’s under a barn swallow nest on the porch.  We’ll see if they keep letting me weave there. Plus there’s an otter under there as well. It’s a sanctuary out there!

I’ve been working on an aran sweater for myself. It’s coming along, s l o w l y.   I actually knit the whole back piece before we left but learned it was WRONG and I had to rip it all out. This is RIGHT. And so pretty.

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Here’s a panoramic view of the harbor with our boat, the Auklet, tied up alongside a clean dock. The harbor is protected from the wind but not the birds.

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Chasing rainbows

Sometimes the most beautiful images occur on the dreariest days.  Rainbows don’t appear on sunny days.  Yesterday was gray with freezing rain predicted.  I went for a run and minutes after I got home, it started pouring with a little sun peaking through.  I got the camera out because I thought for sure a rainbow would form and wasn’t disappointed.

First a dull, double rainbow emerged.

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Then one dissolved and the other became more vivid.

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Finally, it widened across the sky.

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If it had been a sunny day, I wouldn’t have this to talk about.  I followed the rainbow all the way to work and when I got there, found the pot of gold.  Apparently, I have been accruing vacation time and don’t take enough time off!!  Lighthouses and sailing, here I come. And more rainbows to chase.

 

 

Holy mackerel, look what I found

  
I looked up from the newspaper this morning and saw this beautiful rainbow.  A double rainbow tried to emerge but this one one arced from peak to peak. I went up the hill to the cabin to look for the pot of gold but only found two mice. 

We are lucky to be home during the peak leaf colors for a change.  Last week we hiked a new trail up to a fire tower which provided 360 degree views of striking colors. Somehow I forgot my camera.

  
  

 I finished a bunch of hunting hats just in time.

  
The orange one is hand knit. The three deer hats were made on a Passap knitting machine.  Learning to use the knitting machine has sapped days of my time, to the point where I had to vow to exercise before I got caught up in it.  And sometimes it works like a charm.  Unfortunately, a few are too small and they’re not really appropriate for a child’s head so if you know of small headed adults, let me know.

The orange seemed appropriate for hunting season because the cable pattern is antlers.  The pattern is free on Ravelry called Antler Hat, worked up with worsted yarn, makes a quick knit.

Lots of projects under way. A homespun quilt, 8-shaft woven scarf, cobweb lace shawl, child’s sweater. I bounce around the house like a pinball.  Stay tuned. 

Come along

My favorite tool name is the come-along. It’s a device used to pull things together. Sort of like a hand held winch, often used in fence building. I needed to do a small fence repair and searched the workshop for one, to no avail. Instead, I saw this two piece thingy with chain hanging on the wall called a Strain-Rite.

Sounded like I was in the ballpark, but couldn’t, for the life of me, figure out how to use it. So I googled it and there it was with videos demonstrating its application. It’s made in New Zealand and was just what I needed. So I put it to work to straighten out a fence.
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Here I am working on another fence project during our eight day gale.
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The wind howled for days and it rained sheets. The weather service said we had hurricane force winds for a couple of days. Luckily, the only major mishap was a tree, which fell down in the compound, very near our water supply. Tim made short work of it. It was a Casuarina, used as a wind block near the house. It looked like it was bleeding where the bark pulled away.

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A wallaby convention on the lighthouse road.
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We cleared the drains a few weeks ago and got to see how well the runoff worked. It did, but we had to pick a lot of branches off the road.

The garden took a hit. I lost most of the arugula, and tomatoes. Oddly enough, some green bean plants I was getting ready to pull seemed to enjoy the storm and sprouted new flowers. I’ll clean up and replant today.

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There’s always a silver lining.

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Another day, another rainbow and…NORTHERN LIGHTS!

Rainbow over Jay Mountain

It’s still rainbow season in these parts.   I saw one yesterday, while I walked to work, but didn’t get a good picture.  Early this morning, it was gray, cold and windy so Tim went out to climb a mountain.  While I sipped coffee at home, I saw this out the window.  I ran outside to stand under the electric wires we are burying later this month, so they wouldn’t hog the photo.

This is the photo I didn’t catch last night.  I was in bed when Tim came in from the hot tub to tell me he saw something wierd outside, which he thought might be the Northern Lights.  This has been a dream of mine and I have been prepared to travel to Iceland, Finland, Alaska to see them.  Instead I saw them from my bedroom window.  I decided not to try to get a photo because it would have interfered with my enjoyment of this first encounter.

I have followed the Alaska geophysical site for years and was recently told about the Spaceweather.com site, which is based upon the NOAA space weather prediction data. They have a subscription service you can use to be alerted of “solar activity”.   Northern light sitings can be predicted when there are significant solar flares and other magnetic disturbances.  All I know is I have never seen the Auroral map predictions as bright or as far south as yesterday.  There were sitings and photos in more than half of all U.S. states.

We saw a curtain of red, to the northwest, which moved across the sky.  I was a little skeptical since most pictures I have seen show blues and greens but when I checked it out this morning, I learned the red is quite unusual and appears with very strong storms.  Check your clocks.