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.)

10 October 2007

My So-Called Internet Connection

Bah! Lots of pretty pictures to upload yesterday and a dial-up connection that wouldn't co-operate! (No knitting today -- if that's all you're here for, nothing to see, sorry.)

Above, a couple of the New England asters I rescued last year. Almost all of them survived transplanting and winter, and came up in the spring. Then I learned that rabbits find them so tasty that they will come into a fenced yard with dogs to eat them. (That is, the rabbits come in to eat the asters. And try not to get eaten by the dogs.)

After the rabbit-munching, the asters were still alive, and then we got this summer's drought. Many of them look like they are dead and gone. I'll wait until spring to write them off, and meanwhile this year I'll be spreading the seeds from the ones that survived both hungry rabbits and drought and bloomed anyhow.

Poison ivy (Rhus radicans or Toxicodendron radicans) is pretty, too.

From a safe distance.

And only if I don't touch it.

The farmer next door whose land it's on sprayed it with Round-Up (glyphosate herbicide).

Poison ivy laughs at your pitiful poison, Earth human. Enough urushiol for all!

(The name "urushiol" comes from the Japanese urushi tree, Rhus Verniciflua, used to make urushi lacquer. When the Japanese restored the gold leaf on the golden Temple in Kyoto, they painted it with urushiol lacquer to preserve and maintain the gold. I won't be touching that, either.)

I took a walk on my birthday and took a lot of pictures. Although these guys probably look like geese at this size, they were actually swans, probably introduced mute swans.

The other possibility, much more exciting to me as a birdwatcher, is that they were trumpeter swans. In 2000, southwest Michigan had a trumpeter swan population of about 100 birds, so it's not impossible.

I reduced the image quality so my upload time won't be counted in hours, but here are zoom-and-crop shots of their heads:

Their bills look pretty black, don't they?

Wow, I'll take seeing probable trumpeter swans and getting a photo of them as a birthday present!

This year I had a "cake" birthday: a tweed cake from my mom (lovely dogwood plate), a boughten chocolate cake, and a raspberry cream cake from Aldi's.

At Vineyard Raids, they generously included me in the Baron's and autocrat's birthday celebration, but I can't show you the butter-cream frosted cake I took home from that, because I've greedily eaten it all up!

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Blogger amy said...

When we removed poison ivy from the yard in our old house, we removed it, dug it up by the roots and runners. Well, not me, husband. I had him wear enough protective clothing that he got but one teeny blister on his forearm.

With all the woods we have bordering the yard, you'd think we'd have tons of poison ivy, but knock on wood, we don't. Hurrah!

6:11 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

GASP! Seriously? Trumpeter Swans!? How awesome is that! Man, and I was all excited that I got to see a Great Blue Heron up close and personal on our birthday. That's very exciting! If you could see me right now, I'd be doing my happy chair dance, oh yes! Happy, happy! :-)

We have the poison ivy also, it's pretty ubiquitous in this area.

12:22 PM  

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