Monday, July 15, 2013

Beautiful New Moon

A beautiful new moon hanging over the lake to the west of our cabin.  A cloudy night, so we felt lucky to see the moon at all.  But, if you look closely, you will also see a planet (Venus, I believe) to the right of the moon.  A very pretty sight.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Wooden Boat - $1,825

Here are several more pictures of the wooden boat for sale on Craigslist.  Thank you for looking.


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Spring Perennials - Beautiful This Year!

UPDATE - June 20:
The deep red peonies always bloom later than the others.  But these, too, are especially vibrant this year.
A cool, wet spring means the perennials are especially beautiful this year.  And the blooms have lasted a long, long time.

Here are some pictures:
  • Our rhododendrons have really begun to naturalize in the woods.  
  • The peonies that Chet's father transplanted from his childhood home in Missouri are doing very well--we know "Pop" would be pleased.  
  • And Sue's very bright orange poppies are stunning.

Saturday, June 1, 2013


For inquiring minds:
Do you say two Trillium,
Or two Trilliae?

Haiku from the cabin, June 2013

Saturday, May 25, 2013

My Grandfather's Shotgun

Some of my earliest memories are of going on hunting trips in the woods near Liberty, MO with my grandfather (Robert Earl "Dad" Bowles).  He loved to hunt, especially squirrels, and always used this vintage shotgun--it is a Marlin lever-action .410 gauge.

The gun is interesting.  First, lever action shotguns are rare.  And Marlin made only 5,500 of this model in the years between 1929 and 1932 (the serial number of mine is 3118).  They were given away as an incentive to buy Marlin stock after the Depression--four shares of stock at $25 each and you also got the shotgun.  I have no idea what happened to the shares of stock, but the company had a series of financial problems and I doubt that it was a good investment for Grandad.  He loved this shotgun, though! 

When Grandad died in 1968 all of his guns, including the shotgun, went to my uncle Dick.  And when he died, the shotgun went to one of his sons, my cousin Barry.  But Barry is not a hunter and was happy to send it on to me.

I found out that shipping guns from one state to another is fairly complicated--they must go from one dealer to another, and eventually, it got to me.  Opening the case, I realized it had been at least 50 years since I had seen this gun.  It was in very good condition considering its age and the fact that Grandad had used it so much.  It looked great and brought back so many memories.  I think Grandad would be pleased.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Fiddleheads, finally!!!

Major spring events in New England include listening for Peepers (tree frogs), seeing buds on the maple trees, and the emergence of Fiddle-head fern shoots in the woods.

It's been a long, cold spring here (everywhere, it seems); we are at least two or three weeks behind normal.  So, it's certainly good to see those fern shoots.  It's about time!

Survey Stakes

One of the projects on my list has been to walk our property lines and find the survey stakes.  I had marked them when we first built the house in 1988 and had found them again once or twice in the early 1990s.  However, it's been a long time and with all the downed trees from the huge ice storm a couple of years ago it took a while.  But done, and done.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year's Day - 2013

A New Year's tradition from Chet's family: Black-eyed peas, greens, and cornbread for health, wealth, and happiness in the new year. Everything was especially good this year. Here's hoping for a good 2013!
Chet's mother would be very pleased. We re-seasoned the cast iron pan she used for cornbread sticks. They cooked evenly and all came out of the pan perfectly (she *always* had problems with this pan!).

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Witches' Broom

I see these things fairly regularly in our woods--they are called Witches' Broom.  Often on oak or birch trees (we have lots of both), they occur when a mite or rust causes multiple branches to grow from a single spot.  Found this one as I was chipping up trees and decided it should be preserved for a while.

Lotta Chips from the Chipper, Chet!

Branches and debris are always coming down in the woods--it's a rather constant clean-up task.  However, we are still dealing with the aftermath of the ice storm a couple of years ago.  I dealt with the downed trees close to the house.  But there is a section of our woods that was decimated during the storm with a dozen or so big trees that came down.  An eyesore that probably didn't bother anybody else but me. 

Recently, during the  the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, a large white birch fell into that same mess of trees.  It was quite visible with its bright, white bark which made it an eyesore that everyone could see.  I had to deal with it.

I don't have any "before" pictures, but here is one that shows the various piles of chips produced as I moved from one spot to the other.  Another picture shows the much-improved view (in my eyes, anyway) looking from the house toward the road.

The chipper worked flawlessly--it handles branches up to 4.5 inches.  Anything bigger went into the pile of logs to be split and burned next year.

Finally, Sue (bless her heart) moved the chips to the pathway in front of the house.  Dual purposing at its best!