Thursday, August 31, 2006

Quiet Places

This is a new, beautiful place I found recently. An old cabin out in the woods. The main room had cans of food and actual mattresses on 2 metal spring beds---and the squirrels hadn't destroyed them! Laminated notes had been tacked to a wall telling the history of the cabin. Also, there was a letter to visitors saying that if you wanted to stay in the cabin, you could; if you were respectful and left everything as you found it. It then said that if you burned anything, defaced anything, left trash around, etc., you were NOT welcome and someone would find your lifeless body floating down the river. Pretty matter of fact. I liked it.
I, of course, would just love to stay there and the only thing I would take away with me would be beautiful photos. Posted by Picasa

This Just In

I went into town to do some errands and, of course, had to stop by the Transfer Station to see what was what. It's been kind of a dismal season at the TS---mostly things that are too dirty, too broken, etc. Today I saw part of a door sticking up out of one of the dumpsters----upon closer inspection: a full light, glass door with heavy, solid wood frame! I wrestled it out of the dumpster by myself and got it into the bed of my pickup. Next year, this will be the front door on my patchwork greenhouse.
Then I looked to see what else might be in the dumpster....
and saw this quilt!
The main panel says, "Made by the Members of St. Elizabeth's Guild, Emmanuel Episcopal Church, San Angelo Texas, U.S.A."
I am a quiltmaker, so I can appreciate this intriguing work of art. It has names carefully embroidered all over it----several hundred, I am guessing without counting. The rector has also added his name in a very bad effort at embroidery! This is SO COOL! I'm going to wash it very carefully and then repair the small spots of damage I found in the border fabric.
So exciting.
You just never know what you'll find.

Now---off for a good long bike ride.

Later: dinner at a relative's house who just caught his moose for the year. (He needs help butchering it, but I don't know if I can do that....) Posted by Picasa

Plant Sighting

Found this on a hike a few weeks ago. I've read about it and seen pictures, but never had an actual encounter. Boshniakia rossica, also known as Broomrape, poque, ghost plant, cancer root, and Northern ground cone. Why is this so interesting that it deserves a blog entry? This kick ass thing is a parasite---it doesn't photosynthesize at all---no chlorophyll---and feeds off of the decaying roots of Alder (the species I've pictured here.)

According to Schofield's "Discovering Wild Plants," various members of this species have been used in China as an aphrodisiacs. Folklore tells that the phallic plants sprang up from the semen dropped by dragons and wild stallions. (I didn't see either on my hike along the north fork of the Chena River, but just never know.) Posted by Picasa


My birch bark hats are DONE! I've sent off images for preliminary judging in the Earth, Fire and Fibre exhibit at the Anchorage Museum. Now...I just have to wait.

I think they've turned out well. They are pretty comfy to wear, also, and surprisingly light weight. I'll not risk either of these to actually test their weather proofing.....I may make an every-day design that I wouldn't be worried about damaging.
Ooohhh...I do have several more design ideas in mind.
Yes, these are tedious to make. Yes, they make my hand arthritis scream in protest. Yes, they take FOREVER. And no, I don't know if the will get in the show, I don't know if they'll sell, I don't know if anyone will like them......
But hey,
It's the nature of art.
Hoping and not knowing, but keep making. Posted by Picasa

Life is good...

We have visitors this month; Cousin Bill from DC with friend Ray from London.
Amazingly, the northern lights have been out every night since their arrival! This photo is of our day canoe trip on the Delta Clearwater....the first non-raining day in three weeks. We saw 10 moose during the float---big mamas and young bulls. I'm glad Ray the Brit got the full Alaskan experience in one day. At night, we've parked ourselves in chairs on the weedy lawn, sipped rum and cokes and howled at the aurora. Like I said, Life is Good.

Cousin Bill fishing.

Very old trapper's cabin on the Clearwater. I love places like this. They seem like home to me.

Another positive report! My Paphiopedilum has graced me with not one, but two blooms! A friend gave this orchid to me. My first lady slipper. I am so thrilled! Stuff like this is hard to tell to my regular friends....they just don't understand my urge to do backflips over a plant that blooms once every two years. But look at her! She is gorgeous. Posted by Picasa