Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Road Less Traveled

We went up to the Alewife Festival today. They have done a lot of work on the fish ladder over the last year and some additional property owners have given permission for the path to run through their back yards. It is now possible to walk beside 70-80% of the ladder.

Julia got some great pictures of the fish. The light was just right. It is always amazing to watch these fish swim up the current.

As we were leaving we had to go through this junction. This is a tee junction: the detour signs point to the only two ways to go. Notice the "One Way" sign in the background. What does it all mean?

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Avian Rescue

We have a wild cherry tree next to the new addition which is currently in full bloom. It attracts all sorts of insects and birds. Today a female ruby-throated hummingbird took a shortcut through the room: in the door and was then trapped by the windows. She buzzed the windows and the ridgepole for a couple of hours. I tried to entice her to the door with some lilac blooms, but she wouldn't come down. Finally she was tired out enough that I was able to catch her on the paladium windowsill. (It wasn't as high as the ridgepole, but I still needed a ladder)

I took her outside and in a couple of minutes she zoomed off, none the worse for the wear.

I did hear her vocalizing, so it isn't true that these birds hum because they can't sing. She had a wee bit chirp and when I captured her a long note.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

More Progress!

First, the flowers

This is an incredible year for flowers. We had a riot of dafodills, now the tulips are coming on. I saw ladyslipper plants today. They shouls be in bloom in a couple of weeks. Last year we only had a couple of dozen blooming around the yard - the year before there were almost fifty!

The violets are everywhere. Our lawn has quite a few but there are some other places nearby where there are just carpets of flowers.

The ferns are jumping up, or maybe they're dancing. My sister tells me that the fiddleheads are ready.

(Note: fiddleheads are the spring shoots of the ostrich fern, which are considered a delicacy here in Maine. They are generally harvested when the blackflies are at their worst, thereby maintaining balance in nature.)

Construction Report

The front of the new addition is done, at least on the outside. Here is Julia finishing up under the windows.

Hand-crafted, that's what we like.

It was rainy for a few days, which slowed things down a bit. On the other hand we had a nice rainbow.

Yesterday the scaffolding moved around to the other side and today the soffits are done. I'll post some pictures of the other side next time.

Music Report

Julia has been working up some unusual arrangements of music for the Thanksgiving holiday. Our compilation Harvest Home was so well received we're doing a second recording. This one is new material.

Tentatively named Going Home, will feature Julia on the harp, front and center. Some of the pieces she's been working on include the theme from Dvorak's symphony number 9, Over the River, and Turkey in the Straw. We're nothing if not ecclectic.

I'll post some downloads on the Castlebay Newsletter when they are available.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

House Report

We have had some nice weather and the blackflies don't seem to like me this year so we've gotten quite a bit done the last week or so. Here are some progress shots.

May 2May 4

The view from inside

Garden Report

The trailing arbutus are very early this year. Julia got this closeup on May Day. Peas and radishes are up in the garden and I think we'll have rhubarb this week.

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