Sunday, April 23, 2017

Spring around the farm

It is a good thing that I love spring. We have had it at least four times this year, so far. One of these days it will stick. No, really, I am sure of it. Look at the signs! The nuthatches are trying to fatten up for nesting season.
The ice went off the ponds last week and there is life coming back to them. This guy was out for a swim.
There are still some reminders of what was just recently waiting for us outside. Here is snow in the woods and snow in a protected (from the sun) corner of a pasture.

Sadly, I found what we had called "the mother of all birches" fell over this winter. She had been clinging to life and giving shelter and life to so many for so long. She was about 12 feet in circumference, but not too tall, and she stubbornly clung to life. We watched that struggle for well over twenty years, but now it is time for her to nourish the next generation. Her broken stump is about 10 feet (three meters) tall.

 Recently we have had nearly summer-like temperatures, but a cold front swings in two days later and we wake up to this:
It's a sobering slap in the face. At least it melts within a few days. The buds on the trees are starting to swell up and the rest of the vegetation is showing some green and other signs of life after six months of dormancy.

Very soon I go off to language camp again where I can work on my Norwegian language skills and hang out with the other kids who range in age from about 18 to 85. If the ice is out on that lake I am hoping the loons will serenade me to sleep with their haunting song. There are miles of trails there so I can walk off all the delicious food we get to eat.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Smashing Pottery

It has been a quiet couple of weeks here in Lake Wobegon Grand Marais. The snow and ice are melting and the birds are trickling in from their wintering grounds. Everything is brown and gray except the evergreen trees and sometimes the sky, but mostly brown and gray and squishy.

I saw an ad on our local Facebook sell and swap page. It was put there by my pottery instructor from last fall and read

ISO Potters who want to get rid of some ugly pots. 4 p.m. Sat, at Betsy Bowen's pottery slam!!!
FREE - Grand Marais, MN

We're going to smash them outside Betsy's at the Poetry and Pottery Slam. Free! Fun!
ISO Potters who want to get rid of some ugly pots. 4 p.m. Sat, at Betsy Bowen's pottery slam!!!
I thought this might be fun so I went and found a few items that I couldn't give away and an unfinished item from the Art Colony.
I got there just before 4 and there were a few people gathering outside the residential gallery. Apparently, the poetry reading and hors d'oeuvres had already happened mostly, but I was just there to get rid of some junk. My instructor and another local potter had bought a fair amount of items and there were some odds and ends from that studio. About a dozen people were there for the fun.

There is a very large rock, about 5'x5' x10 exposed above ground and it looked like a fine target to hit. Before I go any farther, let me just say that I have never had a strong throwing arm. It's good for a lot of other things, but throwing was never a strong point. Well, I don't want to brag, but I looked like a Major League Baseball pitcher compared to everyone else. From about 15 feet away that isn't very difficult. Fortunately, one of the other potter's brought a small hammer to finish off pieces that were just wounded or had survived intact.

A good time was had by all and I hope the remains of the shards found there way to a new mosaic project. A five gallon bucket full was all that was left.

I stole this picture from Joan, my instructor.