Spring Equinox

7:44 a.m. this morning.  Spring arrives.  Snowdrops in my front yard.


And I  took the photo late in the day; they have been more open:

snowdrop open

And actually I saw them first 10 days ago; but today is the first day of Spring!  Hooray!

Posted in gardens | Leave a comment

Road Trip, 1920’s style

I’ve been scanning old family photographs, not sure why,  but it seems like a good idea.  But what a headache!  iPhoto won’t read the scans, then it will, then it won’t, then it will.  Can’t get the Flicker uploader to accept the scanned photos.  Uploaded some with their old online uploader and the pictures have a little copy of the image in the corner. Grrrrr!  I’m about to try here.  I don’t know if this part of my grandparent’s trip in the 20’s is in New Hampshire or Maine.  I think they may have driven past the ‘Old man in the Mountain’, so perhaps NH:

Traffic in the 1920's

There were actually others on the road!

And here it seems they stopped for ice cream:


Grandmother feeding a bear....with a spoon



And the last photograph is of their destination, near Middle Dam in Maine, the Anglers’ Retreat. I think this was a publicity photo they got there, not taken by them:


Anglers' Retreat, Maine


There are others of brooks and lakes, the dam itself, and a lake steamer— but I am tired of trying to make these images behave!

I see I’ve put a vertical border to the left; I’m afraid if I take it out I’ll lose the text and photos.  I can only get photos that I’ve scanned into Flicker, and thus into here, by taking them from iPhoto, putting them into the Preview app, save them, and lo!  then they can go in the uploader. I even downloaded a new Uploader for Flicker, and it sure is nicer then the one I was using, and the images now don’t have the little copy in the corner, but it won’t accept the scans either.  Maybe the fault, Dear Brutus, lies with the scanner. Tried to take the line out, now there are two! (Ah! I have made them go away!)




Posted in family, road trips, trips | 1 Comment

How I spent Friday the thirteenth

I used to win a lot of things from WKZE our local radio station. A trip (Key West), money ($1000.00), and lots of tickets to shows (Meatloaf, Van Dyke Parks, Odetta, Richard Thompson, Emmy Lou Harris, etc., etc.)  Then the station moved over to NY State and I just hadn’t been trying. Thursday they said, “third caller, 1-8whatever,” and I thought I’ll give it one try. And I won!  And I know the duo, I have their music!


 I have wanted to see this newest oldest venue (a music hall since the end of last year, but a great building, shingle style, built 125 years ago.)  So, with so much framing to get done that  I could have worked the night through, I went to Norfolk.

 And had a great time. A wonderful evening time. Beautiful restoration. Great photos in the entry. Two classy bars, one up, one down. Only 300 seats.  Welcoming eager staff.   Sound about right for my old ears, but I might try those ear-protector headphones, like some fellow in front of me had, next time.

 The Nields were so comfortable and sang such lovely harmonies, I was glad I had forgone the work to come.  And a p.s., I was able to shop at a grocery on the way home! (Our local store has closed).

 So what do I do?  Get home and immediately buy a ticket for Richard Shindell, and Leo Kottke, and Judy Collins, and Greg Brown.  And this from someone who has stopped spending money. well, almost.  I can not praise the fellow who has put this together (Dan?) and the great staff and the wonderful restoration and the good vibes enough — really, if you are in the area, Infinity Music Hall in Norfolk Connecticut will not let you down and ought to have every music lover’s support.

And in addition to the tickets I purchased, I’m aiming to win again once the 30 days are up!

Posted in local interest, music | Leave a comment

New Hobby

I picked up my Craig’s list find yesterday.  Actually it was a search Craig’s list with Craig’s list ‘helper’ as it was out of my local region, so it meant a day’s road trip on a great sunny but cold day.  The loom is a Harrisville Design T36 with the extra treadle kit included.

new loom

 I am having trouble posting to the left side; how little I understand about wordpress and blogging; let’s just keep going and see what happens.  The loom is in like new condition though it was made 40 years ago; Harrisville Design has kept making a good thing over the years; I may order the new tie-ups from them when I put on the new treadle kit; and maybe if I can afford it, the friction brake. But if I shorten the spring on the back brake, I may not care. First, though, I am making myself a warping board. I have the dowels and today picked up the lumber for the frame. If I am distracted from picture framing tomorrow I will put the warpping board together.        Okay, the formatting is wonky, but I will post it anyway.

Posted in road trips, weaving | Leave a comment

New Year’s Eve


Mostly photos of my evening so far: today it snowed, then got cold:

New Year's Eve


Here the Indoor outdoor temperatures at 10:00 pm:

New Year's Eve

And soon after:

New Year's Eve



Then about 15 minutes later:

New Year's Eve

(And edited to add it is 4.8 degrees F. at midnight! )

CPTV is showing  “Live from Lincoln Center” with the NY Philharmonic:

New Year's Eve

Here’s part of the brass section:

New Year's Eve

I’ve finished warping the borrowed table loom.

New Year's Eve

Here’s a closer look; it shows the header, of homespun. I was going to use the same homespun for the scarf, but the warp is fingering weight and the reed is a 12 dent reed, and it makes the heavier homespun feel like shotgun pellets, hard and bumpy.

New Year's Eve

 So, all the best for 2009!

Posted in backyard, fiber, weaving, yarn | 1 Comment

Winter Solstice


Today we have arrived at the turning point, at 7:04 am this morning. The sun has reached its low point and will now wend its way back to its highest point in the sky next June.  Of course it is we here on earth who are doing the maneurvering, but appearance is everything, especially up in the heavens, to me.

We have had a great winter storm cycle, like much of the US.  A foot or more on the ground; we are covered in the silence and slow-down that comes with snowy weather.  Here is my home:


The sky was wonderfully colored tonight; paying tribute to this significant day.  When I look down my street on the Solstice, the sun is actually a bit farther south than the transect that the road cuts. Not so for some early folk on an Orkney Island who cut a 47 foot slit that is only illuminated at its end on the winter solstice, featuring carvings made thousands of years ago; there is something similar in Ireland. How did those people manage to be so perceptive? ( I am lost without my internet to answer my every whim.)

Winter Solstice sunset

And another:

Winter Solstice sunset

I love the graphic nature of my yard in winter; it goes monochromatic and takes on a peaceful demeanor.  Here are the seed pods of my very tropical Hibiscus that gets larger each year, and which holds on through snow and ice to add drama to my front walk.


Almost all my photos have telephone poles and wires, but hey, they bring me my broadband!

Posted in backyard | Leave a comment

Visit to the Clark


I visited The Clark Museum, in Williamstown MA on Sunday, to see the “Like Breath on Glass” exhibit.   It was so good I went back today, as it ends soon and my opportunities to get there are limited.  The exhibit includes Whistler, Inness, Twachtman, Dewing, Steichen, and others.  Definitely a show to pique a painter’s interest; it’s about ‘painting softly’, where texture and soft edges reign and detail and sharpness are left in the dust, along the road-side. I couldn’t take pictures in the exhibit as most of the paintings were borrowed.

The Clark

But the Clark has a new collection of John Constable’s work; a bequest of Sir Edwin and Lady Manton. It was new in 2007, and I had not seen these works.  My oh my; I paint like Constable; just not as well!

My photos were overall out-of-focus as the lighting level was so low my digital camera had a problem focusing:

But I was smitten on Sunday and had to return. Yes, the Inness paintings are wonderful, but the immediacy of Constable’s vision and follow-thru just sing with me. I am taken with the bold brushwork and the capturing of the moment, all plein-air (on the spot, from beginning to end) and so “real”.

Study of Salisbury Cathedral

Little bits of paint in this sketch of the Salisbury Cathedral are so right on the mark.

The Clark has a new building, Stone Hill Center, opened this past June, designed by Tadao Ando.  Squarish; the two exhibition rooms with the Museum’s Homers and Sargents on display seemed too small for ever hosting a major event.

Stone Hill Center

I did like the terrace and the shadows; the concrete-ness of the building looks old but I am sure it is meant to seem new.

Stone Hill Center

On the way home I drove holding the camera out the windows and snapping away (someday they will pass a law against this!) and plan to turn some of the more successful shots into Constable’s:

Photo from moving car

Of course many of the out-of-the-window shots are fuzzy, but, hey! That’s my style!  A fuzzy realist!

photo from moving car

Posted in trips | Leave a comment

Wee Things in the Back Yard

I spent some time in my yard today; first mowing on my more or less once every three-weeks schedule; then I began to get house plants cleaned up and repotted to bring in as cold weather looms. As I got ready to open my water reservoir (a sturdy Rubbermaid trash can) I found this bitty wood frog. Warming himself in a sunlit spot:

Baby tree frog

I often hear the trill of the adults (males I suppose) this time of year; but they are difficult to find. I have before seen tiny spring peepers and little-bitty toads, but this might be the first tiny tree (wood) frog!


The Kalanchoe is re-potted and ready to come in:


It was a present from Sam and Kath on Mother’s Day, and is thriving. If I can just manage not to overwater it..


 Next is a Plumbago, a lovely blue-blue-blue leadwort, not very showy but such a great bit of color for this late in the season. I have no other blossom in my yard that is this blue, and I am so glad it has survived. It stays in the ground near the pond; I admire it for its tenacity:




Posted in backyard, gardens | 1 Comment

Where I’d like to be

I checked out the radar after some heavy storms passed through this afternoon, and all looked clear ahead, so I went to the Housatonic Valley Art League picnic and annual meeting in Sheffield, MA. Had a good time, gabbed too much and enjoyed the company. On the way home the clouds were lifting and the ridge where the Appalachian trail goes, having come from CT heading into Great Barrington, MA, was visible, barely. And this bit of ridge is the one piece I have not hiked. I’ve been south of it; I’ve been north of it. Maybe this year I’ll get there!

glimpse of Mt. Everett

Posted in hiking | 1 Comment

Massachusetts Sheep and Wool Festival


Today, a Sunday, (no surprise, a blog day), I drove up northward to attend the Mass Sheep and Wool Festival, and had a short but great time. I drove the back roads there, as the crow flies, and it was almost 30 miles longer than the less direct but bigger roads home! Egad!


But there were sheep, lambs, goats, and sheep dog trials. This was one happy little group:



I had hoped to see some dyers from Ravelry and did see Amy, aka Boogie, from Spunky Eclectic: and here she is at her booth:

Spunky Eclectic

We spoke for all of 30 seconds; probably she didn’t expect a fiber-club Junky fan to be quite so old and socially inept! But I did buy two superwash merino hanks of fiber, and hope to actually spin sock-worthy yarn.


Two rovings

They are Soylent and Purple Haze; can you guess which is which?

Vendors (I didn’t get the name) from Northampton MA had a booth of wonderfully dyed fiber– here are the rovings dyed with natural dyes, a wonderful display of color in the sunshine:


I watched the end of this competition; it had to do with sheep, people, and what the people were wearing. The gentleman, black sheep, and child (grandchild?) won the category for adults and children, Too cute!


Again, a vendor’s name I didn’t get:

wonderful vests

She dyes the yarns for these vests; I am a vest lover, and wish I’d gone back to get her name or to see if she sold the patterns.

I wasn’t going to but I did– buy more roving. This 8 oz. was from Gurdy Run Woolen Mill in Halifax PA; it’s a wool, ?, and silk roving.

roving with silk

I thought this gray fiber, and the next, from Biltmore Wool Barn from Brewster, MA. a mystery roving with sprinkles of color, would both work with yarns I am spinning for a vest. In fact, they may get plied together.


Mystery roving

I had most definitely decided not to buy any unprocessed fleece; but a recent Ravelry thread about the spinning of Cotswold encouraged me to buy some Cotswold lamb fleece, from Heidi (the lamb) via her shepherdess, Lisa, of River Valley Farm, not far from me, in Lenox MA. I may wash some of it tonight:

Cotswold Fleece

I had a fine time; what spinner/knitter doesn’t enjoy a fiber fest! On the way home I shot photos out the window; some of them may turn into paintings, and if they do, I’ll blog about it here!

Posted in fiber, fleece, spinning, yarn | Leave a comment