Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Late Invitation...

My brother called on this late morning and wondered if I'd like to drive to his maple syrup spot and take some pictures. He said he was in the middle of cooking, straining and jarring it. Darn! I just posted a small bit about maple syrup on the 19th and had no idea if he was into it or finished. Well, wouldn't you know that I had a sinkful of dishes soaking in ammonia laced water and had cupboards and dresser gewgaws soaking, plus had the bathroom and closet torn apart. I am not wired to leave in the middle of something so stayed home and finished cleaning. I cannot bring myself to just drop everything and go out to take pictures and now regret it, but maybe he'll still be at it in a couple of days and an early trip over the hills and through the woods to brother's sugar shack I'll go.        Feb. 19 

The mourning doves were out this morning and they were kissing but when they saw me they turned away from each other like teenagers caught in the act.  Spring is around the corner!
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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Playtime

I sure do love fooling around with digital images. I don't own or use a Smart Phone so I work at my laptop. My large screen computer system is too outdated to use now for this work. Darn! It has the best sound system too!  I use only the free applications "out there" but have mastered several. Sometimes I finish a creation in one application and then take it to another and try out more features. It is challenging, relaxing and enjoyable for me. There are hundreds, no - thousands of options and sometimes my results are not good; once in a while they are exceptional and I feel it. This kind of artwork is not for everyone but in my small workspace it is easy to cleanup after a day of my kind of art. As you can see, I LOVE color! CRAZY color! My subject today is the granddaughter of my lifelong friend who isn't here now. My friend and I used to get together in her basement and drink wine and do REAL paintings with oils on canvas. Those were the days!

I created these yesterday. (no wine)


Even the original (below) has been altered a little bit by me first.
 
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"A rich person is not one who has the most but is one who needs the least."

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Saturday Scope

The Mister dug out the small catch basin today. The snow plow scraped too deeply and pushed gravel and mud all along the edge, even up on the grass. This drain is important. Digger guy is too old to do this very often. He doesn't clean out the large one now though. We just call the road department to have them come whenever it is clogged with branches, rocks, leaves, debris and they arrive promptly. If they didn't, the road would wash out as it has done several times in the past. Big washouts!
He also noticed that the daffodils in front of the cabin by the carport were popping up. That is not a good thing. The ones in front of the porch that did that last year never came back. They all died. Thank goodness the daffodils up in the old rock garden are covered with debris and will do the timely appearance. They won't be frozen back and disappear!
In the kitchen, treats await - peanut butter chocolate chip variety.
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Friday, February 24, 2017

The Answer...

This is all about the huge Norway Spruce tree that gives a lot of shade during summer. I don't know if it was planted or was original when the meadow was dammed up to make the lake. I have been worried about it all winter and have also noticed others in the surrounding area have trees that have dropped many and the grounds there are also covered with new-growth tips. They even catch my eye by a single one falling as I look out the cabin window. This morning I wandered out and across the muddy road to get pictures and to look closer. 
The entire beachfront is covered with them as never before seen! After research I now have the answer and it is believable, and not believable at the same time. The problem is wearing a squirrel suit; to be more specific, a red squirrel suit! I say not believable because I have only seen one of these critters go up or come down from the tree once in a while and never more than one. BUT there must be more!

I learned that during the winter or early spring, they chew the ends of the branches off and the tips drop to the ground. Not all their chewing is first rate, so some are just dangling until a strong wind or snow causes them to fall. Once the ends are on the ground, the hungry squirrel eats the buds. These are pointed and covered with brown bud scales.

Squirrely hangs on an adjacent branch and gnaws off the twig end, needles and buds included. It falls, and if there are several squirrels, the ground may be blanketed with spruce ends. Well they are sure sneaky because there has to be more than the one I have seen and rarely seen to boot!

This is a relatively common problem when there are spruces and red squirrels in the same place.

The GOOD NEWS!! This will NOT kill the tree. It will cause side branches to grow, and may make the tree appear a little fuller in the coming years. I'll now chalk it up to pruning by a rodent!

I read that here is not much we can do about it as long as the red squirrels are there. We are too populated for the pest control method that first comes to mind. 
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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Maple Syruple

Well it does rhyme!
I'm not sure if my brother or nephew are into their annual project as I write but sure hope so. If you have never been involved in the process of making your home maple syrup, and then pouring it over homemade waffles, pancakes or other good stuff, you definitely are missing out! 

These are older photos and I didn't take them. They are from two different years. I really need to take a trip with my camera in hand to see for myself. 
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Saturday, February 18, 2017