Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Mid Summer Harvest

We spent almost two weeks in California visiting our two week old grandson and his family. Although a few folk looked after our animals and were encouraged to pick veggies from our gardens, we were overwhelmed by what we still had to pick. Summer squash outdid themselves this cool, moist summer and there were over 100 pounds waiting. Four of the Italian zucchini were hiding and grew so large that we're letting them fully ripen so we can harvest their seeds.
Summer Squash Row Harvest
Squash and Cuke Harvest from the Bean Tunnel
Italian Zucchini Growing Through the Fence
Early Tomatoes 
Greenhouse Harvest Included Guinea Fowl and Hen Eggs
Purple Pole Beans and Sweet Hungarian Peppers with Cupcake
Of course we can't eat or preserve all this food so we donate most of it to a homeless shelter, 127 pounds this week. When tomato production peaks in a week or two we'll process them into sauce, ketchup, soup stock and bags of sun dried slices. 
Pears Showing Surface Cracking

 Pears and early apples are disappointing. We missed peak ripeness period of our early apple tree and most of the fruit had fallen and was not suitable for cider. We will make a few pies with these but we have applesauce left over from earlier years so we don't need to make more. We will make pear cider in a few weeks when they mature and hope cracking doesn't hurt the taste.
Overripe Apples on the Ground

Monday, August 14, 2017

Ocean & Beach Mobile

This spring our pregnant daughter asked me to carve a wood mobile for her new little one because commercial ones were primarily made of plastic and fabric. At the time I was learning how to carve birds out of wood and welcomed the challenge. My target for completing the figures was our older daughter's May birthday because she is a wonderful realistic life painter and I'm not. So we shipped 15 figures in early May to give her a few months to paint and ship them to California when the baby arrives.
An Eagle and Owl with Wire Legs and Talons
The Set of Wood Figures Sent for Painting
Closeup of Isa, a Cattle Dog, Our Daughter's Long Time Companion
My first choice was to dangle the figures under a large octopus but both my wife and our new grandson's mom thought this too scary. So we settled on using a tree branch that worked out quite well.
The Octopus I Was Going to Hang the Figures From
Penguin and Clown Fish, Painted

The Owl

A Snow Goose

An Orca

A Bald Eagle

A Seal and Isa

Turtle, Seahorse and Starfish

A Beagle: Added for Wordplay with toddlers (mistaking it for a seagull or eagle)
 The above photos show straightened fishhooks used to hold the figures while painting. A few of the birds kept these so they maintained their orientation. The rest of the fishhooks were removed and replaced with swivels that are easy to attach to fishing tackle snaps with an additional swivel so the figures can be oriented in specific directions. The figures are robust and can be readily handled and their positions switched, then pointed in an appropriate direction.
Outdoor View of Completed Mobile

Mobile Over Crib
Added Shark and Two Salmon Showing That Figures Are Mounted on Barrel Swivel with Snap so They Can Be Removed for Play and Reoriented Appropriately