Friday, February 10, 2012

Making things with wood.

I love making things with wood. It is challenging and sometimes frustrating, but I still love it. I enjoy solving problems, and that is often what makes challenging projects fun. But what makes me happiest is when I put the finish on.

This photo shows two identical boards - the two sides of a box. They were made from the same piece of wood, but one has a coat of boiled linseed oil on it, while the other is still raw, sanded smooth, but unfinished. It is a wonder to see how the oil brings out the color of the wood and transforms it into a thing of beauty.

Friday, February 3, 2012


Spring comes sooner down here in the flatlands than it does for most of you mountainous readers. Still, it is a nice thing to see it coming, even if you live a mile high in the rockies. I try to keep an eye out for signs of spring, but I hadn't even started looking this year. Imagine my surprise when I had to run to the corner store for a bag of flour and saw this tree on the way home? This tulip tree is always the first tree in our neighborhood to bloom. It is on the south side of its house, with a street to the south of that, so it gets lots of sun, and reflected sun.

After I passed it I saw signs of another tree budding out, with little boys happily playing on the dead grass underneath its spreading, barren bows.

As I neared home, I saw with wonderment that dandelions were blooming in a neighbor's yard! And even more, when I got home I saw that dandelions are blooming in my own yard, in the midst of those little spreading weeds with the tiny purple flowers, which are quite beautiful if you get down on your hands and knees in the mud, put your nose right to the ground, and peer closely at them.

Yes, spring is just around the corner.

It is a good thing spring is coming. We had drought conditions last fall, so my honeybees didn't get very much nectar to store up for the winter. I had 6 colonies of bees last fall, but 2 of them died out during the winter, so now I only have 4. I had to feed my bees this year to get them through the winter, for the first time in about 6 or 7 years. But now, it looks like the surviving colonies will be OK to go. Yippee!
And the loss of 2 colonies is not such a big deal, because 2 of the survivors are bursting with bees and they will want to swarm pretty soon - maybe the end of the month. So I'll just split them, and I'll be back to 6 hives. Perfect.