Sunday, April 30, 2006

Busy, busy, weekend - and all the hatchlings have arrived

Meghan had a double bass recital yesterday afternoon. She played a pretty difficult menuet that had been transcribed from a violin I part of a quartet. She's made so much progress this year it's amazing. Steve posted the picture I took of her on his blog (just to move the slug picture down from the top of the page.

This morning we went for our second walk of the weekend at the Park of Roses. We happened to meet Stuart, our fiddler from Aisling, and we went on our walk together. We saw a lot of cool sights - lots and lots of shelf fungi on rotting trees, a couple of pairs of wood ducks, baby Canada Goose goslings in formation between their moms and dads, and another section of the park we hadn't yet explored.

I've also been working on my oak leaf carving and should finish off leaf surface number 4 this evening. I didn't make as much progress on it as I should, but we did quite a bit of gardening today. I pruned our shrubs out near the front steps and we planted some new perennials in the front and side gardens.

The robins have also been busy. The other two chicks hatched today, so now we have four nestlings to entertain us. Both parents have been busy all day fetching worms and bugs. It's so much fun to watch the hungry mouths on display. Here are the three pics of the day - first, the three hatchlings, then the whole set, and then the hungry mouths popping up in the hopes of being fed. I'm amazed at the size of the meals these chicks swallow. Some of those worms are pretty big!

Links to the other robin nest posts: Our backdoor tenant and Baby birds are here

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Baby birds are here, and other nature pics

Our backdoor robin's nest now has two hatchlings. We didn't know when the nest was built or how long ago the eggs had been laid, so we were thinking we would have to wait about a week to see some babies. Surprise! The first two hatched today. They're fun to watch. Every minute or so they both raise their heads with their mouths wide open. Doesn't matter if Mom's around to feed them or not, they just keep repeating this behavior.

We took Emma to the Whetstone Park of Roses this morning. The rose garden is starting to come to life. The first blooms are in the Heritage garden. This cultivar was introduced in 1899. I can't remember its name.

We've been taking a side loop on our walk where there's this incredible white oak tree. It's starting to leaf out and flower now. It's all twisted an knarled at the base, which gives Emma a chance to climb up a bit of the trunk.

Most of the flowers I photographed a couple of weeks ago are gone now. The trees are coming into bloom, though. Here's the Ohio Buckeye in full bloom.

This dogwood was growing in someone's yard. I couldn't resist a quick photo shoot. I like these pink ones. I wish I had one in my yard, too.

Here's a shelf fungus growing on a rotted log. I found a visitor when I did the close-up, but I posted the picture of that on Steve's blog. He says I'm too serious to post goofy pictures here. You'll have to go see his blog to see the visitor. Hope it doesn't gross you out.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Our backdoor tenant

We have a visitor just outside our back door! This nest is just on the other side of a lattice screen that is on the west side of our back porch. Richard noticed the nest several days ago, and told me there was a bird in the nest.

Mrs Robin didn't care for us being so nosy at first, but she's settled down for the most part and tries to ignore all the activity we have going in and out of the kitchen. However, she can only take it for so long and then she flies away, but only to the shrubs on the opposite of the driveway. She's back in a jiffy when she thinks we're not watching.

She has four eggs in the nest. It will be fun to watch the hatchlings when they arrive.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

South Africa Woodturning II

In keeping with my South African woodturning theme this week, I'm posting some pictures from 2002 and 2003. The image on the left is the view from my guest house in Knysna at the end of my 2002 South Africa field season. Knysna and the surrounding areas are home to a talented group of woodturners who have a co-op gallery in the heart of Knysna. I had arranged to meet with them on my way back to Cape Town.

We met at a local restaurant and hit it off pretty well. Going around the table from L to R: me, Dave Stephenson, Dennis Marshall, Mike Kaplan, and Grant Marshall. The next several photos are works by Mike Kaplan and Grant Marshall.

This bowl is in my private collection. It's made from milkwood. I love the shape and heft of this rugged bowl. The scorching really accents the piece. It's one of the larger pieces in my woodturning collection - about 8 inches in diameter.

This piece is also by Mike Kaplan. It's made from Assagaii (I have no idea if I spelled that correctly). This was done as part of a challenge for their national woodturning congress. Participants were to make something from a cube of wood no larger than 6" on a side.

This lovely piece is by Grant Marshall, and is also in my private collection. It's made from imbuya and is turned on three axes. Grant added a metal ring and sail. It's one of my absolute favorites. I wish Grant would make some more of these so I could have them in my collection, too.

Grant has also made a series of tall oak vases. This one is similar to one in my collection, but belongs to another collector of wood art. I had it as part of an exhibit I organized on South African woodturning. (More about that below).

The exhibit I organized was presented at the 2003 AAW symposium in Pasadena California. I had invited about a dozen South African Woodturners to participate, including Butch Smuts, who came over for the event and to meet some of the gallery owners. I introduced him to Ray Leier from del Mano gallery, and that relationship has worked out well on both sides.

Dennis Laidler from Cape Town participated in the exhibit, and this piece was a gift to me from him for the work I put into organizing everything.

Izak Cronje, also from Cape Town, had several pieces in the exhibit, including this beautiful bowl made from pink ivory. This one is in my collection. I keep it away from strong light and it is still very pink. Pink ivory will fade to brown with time and exposure to light.

This is another piece done by Dennis Laidler. It was snapped up by a collector right away. It's made from Kaaia (??? Dennis - correct my identification here, please) and red ivory. (Dennis commented on the correct name of the wood, which is Kiaat - thanks, Dennis).

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Thinking of South Africa this week

My woodturning colleagues and friends in South Africa will have their national symposium this weekend, so I've been thinking about them this week. There's not much happening in my neck of the woods, except I'm giving a public lecture tonight at our museum of biological diversity - "All About Wood: Aesthetics to Zen." So, since it's quiet on the woodturning front in Ohio this week, I thought I would dig through my old photos and find some South Africa woodturning action shots. I'll start with these two, which were from a 2003 visit to Mike Kaplan's house near Knysna.

Mike is showing me how he usually works on the lathe.

Here are a couple of bowls in the finishing room. I have several of Mike's bowls in my collection. They have a ruggedness that reflects the African cultural heritage.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Cover of The Crafts Report for May, 2006

Mike Ricci, the art director for The Crafts Report magazine sent me a digital photo of the cover, so I'm posting it here for you to see. You can check out the info about the magazine from:
The Crafts Report, May 2006 issue

I'm pretty tickled to have the cover of this magazine. The photo is by Jerry Anthony. His website is: Jerry Anthony Photography. He does great work, and I've been very pleased with the images he's done for me. Most of these will go on my website soon - I finally can continue the revision now that my data has been recovered. I have alternate views of "The Glory of Autumn No. 3" on another post in my blog: I'm a cover girl!

My data has come home!

I received my package from ACS Data Recovery Service yesterday afternoon. All my academic powerpoint lectures were intact! Hurray - I have 10 weeks of work back again, and won't have to recreate all those lectures. It looks like just about everything came back intact, including my website files, except for a lecture I'm working on for next week: "All About Wood: Aesthetics to Zen." I wasn't as worried about this one because I can easily recreate what I had in it already - only 6 hours effort lost instead of 10 weeks time. I can live with that.

The price wasn't cheap, but it wasn't at the high end of all the estimates I received, either. It cost $700 to get my data back - cloning the images of the original hardrive and reconstructing the file directories. It took a few efforts to get a good clone, but I was pretty impressed with the information flow coming from the company. They were pretty straightforward about what was going on, what my options were, etc.

If you weren't following my blog a few weeks ago, here are the relevant links to my saga on my hard drive crash: A very frustrating weekend
, and More woes about my hard drive.

The company I used has a website: ACS Data Recovery.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Back to Carving (New Project Part IX)

Finally! My surgery wound is healed enough that I could take the dressing off as of Monday. I can wear my shop glasses again, and today I had time to get back to the carving bench. Hurray!!!!!

Here's the top side of my oak leaf carving. This is from African sumac, and you can chase back through my archives to find "New Project Parts I - VIII; I've added the links at the end of this post). There are 10 leaves on this project, and I've finished all of the top, and am now working on the back side.

I'm just about done with the second leaf on the back side (that's the one on the left that looks like it's about done). I need to run a ceramic stone over the surface and then do the final sanding.

Previous posts in this series, beginning on January 3, 2006: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, Part VII, and Part VIII.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Sunday is for chainsawing

Remember those Ginkgo log sections I got from the Jennings Hall Renovation project last December? (Check: Ginkgo Wood! if you're clueless as to what I'm talking about.) Devon Palmer called me this afternoon and said he was about 15 minutes away from my house, "do you still want to cut up those Ginkgo logs?" Well, of course I said "yes!" The logs were too heavy for me to handle, so Devon offered to help me cut them down to manageable chunks. Thanks, Devon!

Here are the logs smashing down my perennials along the fence. Steve reminded me that I have a garden down there somewhere. When we rolled the logs off, some of the plants were trying to come up, but mostly what I had was a lot of earthworms having a grand ol' time.

Here's Devon making a lot of sawdust. He worked pretty hard to get these sections down to manageable size for me. I really, really appreciated the help.

After Devon left, I spent a couple of hours cutting the sections down into blanks. I'm not the one who usually uses the chainsaw. Steve gave me a Stihl saw a few years ago for my birthday, but he's the one who's usually using it. He's popped a few lumbar discs since then, so I won't let him do this sort of thing anymore. I managed pretty well, and it gave me a lot of confidence to do my own sawing.

Richard kept me company while I was sawing, and I put him to work coating the ends of each piece. He's using Anchorseal to coat the endgrain on each section. I ended up with a lot of turning blanks. A little more than half will be good for endgrain pieces or hollow forms. The rest will do well for my carved bowls and platters.

Here's another view of the cache from today. After all the ends were coated, the blanks were labeled and stacked either in the garage or in my basement shop. Steve and Richard did all the hauling and stacking while I started dinner.

These blanks are now in the basement, and I'll start with them. I intend to try some carved forms ala "Dylan's Song" with these, except the leaves blowing in the wind will be Ginkgo leaves instead of maple ones.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

The Daffodil Garden at the Park of Roses

The Daffodil Society has a test garden next to the rose garden. We've been taking Emma to the park for a walk once or twice a week for the past few weeks. Right now most of the cultivars are in bloom. I'm finding myself more and more enamored with daffodils and now I want to find some more interesting cultivars to plant in my garden for next year.

This one is called, "Misty Meadow." I like the pale lemon yellow color with the white corona on this one.

This is called, "Home Fires," which seems aptly named with the warm glow coming off the corona.

I like the peach colored coronas on this one. It's called, "Tangent."

Steve likes the doubles. I'm not crazy about them, but they're ok. This one is called, "Tahiti."

This peach colored one is called, "Chelsea Girl."

I really like the flower on this trumpet form. I couldn't read the tag very well, but I think it's called, "Bravoure."

I also like the ones that have petite flowers with orange coronas. This one is called, "Prairie Fire."

Wildflower sightings at the Park of Roses

We've been watching the spring ephemerals emerge and go away over the past several weeks during our walks with Emma. Here are some of the plants in bloom today.

The buttercups are spectacular today. I think these are a species of Ranunculus, but I need to look it up to be sure.

Here's a close-up of the flowers.

This is called "Dogtooth Lily," but known to us botanists as Erythrinum albidum.

I love seeing "Dutchman's Breeches" in the wild. This is a species of Dicentra. I'm not sure of the species, but I have some cultivars of Dicentra in my garden. They're known as "Bleeding Heart" for the garden varieties.

"Spring Beauty" is about done with it's flowering season. I've been seeing these for a few weeks now. The genus name is "Claytonia."

Raindrops on a "Virginia Bluebells" leaf.

Here's the whole plant. The genus name is Mertensia, and I have a lot of these in my garden. They're one of my favorite spring wildflowers with their beautiful blue flowers.

Violets (aka Viola) were all over the park today. There were two different color morphs - these purple ones and some pale blue, almost white, ones.

Egg hunt at the Park of Roses

We didn't know we were going to be running into an Easter egg hunt this morning at the park. Most of the sports fields area was ribboned off into sections for different age groups. We caught the start of the 7 - 9 year olds hunt.

And they're off!

Entropy rules again.