Lost Arts studio

A lot of the fiber arts I enjoy are things like tatting, netmaking, chair caning, and even weaving, where people will come up to me when I demonstrate and solemnly tell me, "That's a lost art."

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Location: SW Outer Nowhere, Michigan, United States

On the Internet, nobody knows you're a chicken. (With apologies to Peter Steiner.)



04 August 2006

Beautiful Coolness

Yesterday we had overcast skies and showers on and off for most of the day. Around 4pm, the sky cleared and the sun came out. Within minutes I heard the attic fan, which is on a thermostat, turn on. But it was much cooler, hooray!

My son had wanted to go back to the beach again Wednesday, but the thunderstorms arrived right when we had planned to leave. Even a seven-year-old could see a reason to change his plans with lightning flashing and thunder grumbling and rolling across the sky.

So when he wanted to go yesterday evening, I said, "We'll look at the waves, and if they are too high, you're not going in the water." He's a kid, so he said that was okay. I brought his canoeing lifejacket anyway.

At first he was completely taken aback by the coolness. The water was still around 76, but 75 degree air with a stiff lake breeze feels a lot different from 93 degree air! There was talk of shirts and going home, but after a minute he decided he could play in the pools the storm had created, and eventually he worked his way back into the surf. There was no "wading out a little deeper" today. The waves were only around a foot or two, but there were lots of them. After an hour or so, he was ready to be towelled off and ride home.

It was still light, and it was cool, so I suggested we go out and pick blackberries for a pie for our family reunion Saturday. This met with his approval, and we put on shoes (blackberries and snow both merit shoes in my book) and made our way to the blackberry patch. With his help, it didn't take long until we had enough berries for our pie.

I planned to treat them as if I were going to can them, but stop short of the actual canning. That is, rinse and scald them, make a quart jar's worth of syrup, pack the hot berries into the jar, and let them stew in their own juice for half a day before I made the pie.

But fate had other plans! The first thing we noticed when we went into the house was how hot and stuffy it felt compared to the coolness outside. So I opened a window and put a fan in it. I planned to go to the far end of the house and open a window there, and pull the cool air through the house. As I was turning around to walk away from the fan, the lights flickered. Uh-oh. I went into the bedroom and opened my window. The lights came back on. I went into the hallway, and the lights went out and stayed out.

Now I was the one taken aback. Throughout the whole heat wave, we had been very lucky. The power had stayed on the whole time, through the height of the high temperatures and a couple of waves of severe thundershowers. Now it had cooled off, and the weather was clear and still, and the power was out?

Oh, well, the berries would just have to wait. We read by the windows until it got too dark to see, and then we brushed our teeth by candlelight and went to bed.

I am really missing the camera. In the past few days, we've seen deer, wild turkeys, and last night a great blue heron that was joined in mid-air by a white heron.

According to Peterson's guide to Eastern birds, the white morph of the great blue heron, Ardea herodias, is mainly found in Florida, and is told from the great egret (another large white wading bird) by its yellow legs. All I know is that I saw a great blue heron flying, and a big white bird of the same size, and with the S-curved neck flew up and flew with it. And that I didn't have a camera to take any pictures of them!

PS to the person who found me via Google:

I don't know why bramble scratches swell up, either, but if you put either hydrogen peroxide (the 3% antiseptic kind, not the strength used to bleach hair) or witch hazel solution on them, they seem to heal faster.

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