Cjell the Z-Man is gearing up for this year's Tour Divide by building his own frame. It is a single-speed, lugged-steel bike. And yes he's going to ride it south to north again this year.
"In the night...the scream of the rabbit is terrible. But the scream of the owl which is not of pain and hopelessness and fear of being plucked out the world, but of the sheer rollicking glory of the death-bringer, is more terrible still. When I hear it resounding through the woods, and then the five black pellets of its song dropping like stones into the air, I know I am standing on the edge of the mystery, in which terror is naturally and abundantly part of life, part of even the most becalmed, intelligent, sunny life--as for example, my own. The world where the owl is endlessly hungry and endlessly on the hunt is the world in which I live, too. There is only one world."
Mary Oliver, Blue Pastures
Mary Oliver, Blue Pastures
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Friday, May 24, 2013
Perched in the overhead grape arbor, taken though the living room window from my comfy Stressless leather chair. She was sitting, waiting, watching the male swinging back and forth in front of her, suspended on a mid air pendulum. If he is really good at it, they mate. If not, she picks another. I only describe this because it is waaay beyond my ability to photograph it. He was a pixel blur.
Monday, May 20, 2013
The Growlery originally had three very small windows which were really beyond refurbishing. Then I caught a little luck, and coupled with a little cutting and banging boards around, I got two new windows.
The large window was part of an earlier remodel of the house next door, which was then razed last Fall. I got the window. It's a good window, double-glazed, low-E glass, etc. John Rust and I enlarged the opening (a lot) and we put it in the south wall where it would maximise my sunlight.
I was going to just block off the other two windows, but I would have lost cross-ventilation and the view to the north from my desk chair. The other day I was visiting Tom Furleman looking for a keeper for an antique rimlock. Tom sells a number of lines of replacement windows and I noticed his sample windows were about the same size as my original little windows. We struck a deal. I came away with an extra sample window and he got rid of one.
The view from the Growlery door - Lorna peeking from behind a white lilac which is just starting to open.
Monday, May 13, 2013
Fire! Fire! Call 911! The sky's on fire! We may have to evacuate before we are blinded by the terrible beauity of the flames! Sky blindness, just another potential downside of living on the lake.
This is a Black-crowned Night-Heron down by the lake in the backyard this morning. We have also had Hummingbirds and Baltimore Orioles at the sugarwater feeders the last couple of days. Lorna will probably be posting pictures on her blog. I just enjoyed watching them.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Ian and Julie posted these today on their blog. I felt it was my duty to steal them. The first picture is Steve and me at the Blue Onion. The second picture is Ian, Steve (I think) and myself, apparently just taking pictures of other people taking pictures. They are members of a really good crew. I'm already looking forward to seeing them again next winter.
Ian, Sue and Lorna G. Berg.
It as been a pleasant Spring day. We took a walk in the woods this afternoon to enjoy the sunshine and Spring flowers. There were a few Spring migrants, mostly thrushes and a couple of kinds of warblers - Yellow and Redstarts. The wrens arrived from the south yesterday. So did Sally and the Judge. He showed up at the Growlery door yesterday with a couple of nice beers. It must be Spring - wrens, the Judge, beer. Life is good.
Be well and take care,
Saturday, May 11, 2013
The Growlery started out as a farm outbuilding. About twenty years ago it was moved into town onto the lot of my neighbor Duane. He had to move it again because of a building code set-back violation - technically by the plat, his backyard was the front yard. When he moved it he had to cut two feet off the length of it to get it into the location he chose (actually he cut 24" off of one wall and 26" off the facing wall - which I later discovered the hard way when I finished the interior. His choice of locations was also not good. Duane never owned as much property as he thought he had purchased. We had had a few discussions about this over three years and when he sold the house I was forced to be a hard ass about it. Before he could sell the house, he was forced to move the shed one more time because a survey showed that the end of shed was four feet on our property.
A few years later my present neighbor, Christy put an addition on his house. He didn't have room on his lot for the shed so I took possession of it. I moved it to the north edge of my garden. And so began my lifelong project of remodeling a recycled chicken house into a proper Growlery.
Anyway, the windows are probably a hundred years old, they are really small chicken house windows which are completely rotted out. This week I replaced one with a 34" wide x 42" high freebie Anderson window that was in the house next door when it was razed.
The new window went in my south wall rather than the wall facing the lake, because I had been the electrician and I knew the wiring havoc trying to put a bigger window in that wall would have entailed.
Next week I'll try to find time to frame it out with a nice wide sill. And maybe a birdfeeder outside the window?
These pictures were all taken from my desk chair in The Growlery. The window behind the workbench probably will be history. It is really drafty and I need the wall space for tools.
I'm having second thoughts on blocking out the other one. The view out of the small one on the north wall is just too good to wipe out and the cross ventilation is nice in cigar time. I may actually buy a new window, which goes against all of my principles, but sometimes you just have to bite the financial bullet.
Saturday, May 4, 2013
Curt Odom makes really nice hubs. These are the four inch diameter Holey models with sealed bearings and I like them a lot. I think they would be just killer mated to Ghisallo wooden rims. The following is the mission and vision statements from Curt's website . Whaddya think?
My mission is to create the most beautiful bicycle hubs ever made.
Modern bicycles in many ways get better with every generation. This does not mean that they get better looking, fact is they have not. My vision is to bring back the beauty of iconic bicycle parts from the past and to do this with modern technology and manufacturing processes.
When they knocked down the house next door I came in to possession of a newer Anderson 30w x 36h casement window. This summer the garden view from The Growlery is going to take a quantum leap forward. I'm also going to block off the other two windows as I find I require wall space more than small windows.
I'm also going to build two facing benches (with exceptionally wide, flat arms) on the tiny patio outside the door. These will be dubbed the Gabus Benches, as we designed them on a hot afternoon after killing quite a lot of beer.
With the two houses we now have four perennial gardens that need maintaining and expanding. I'm slow, tend to be lazy and I'm not certain I can live long enough to finish all this stuff, but I'm going to try to stay above ground as long as necessary.