Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Moving on...

Some situations to assess...

The missing bird feeder

Do you remember how the bird feeder had disappeared over night, last week? I believe I discovered the culprit last night while finishing up cello practice. I thought I heard noises outside--thump, thump heartbeat--so I went into the kitchen and turned on the entryway lights then walked into the music room to look out. It was dark in the room and it took a few minutes for my eyes to adjust, but bit-by-bit a moving shadow became clearer and clearer until the big hulk of a black bear was well discernable. It was over by the stump where I've been leaving bird seed since the feeder disappeared. Alrighty then! I was glad to be inside while it was out there. Though from what I could tell it seemed to be in a good mood.

I went online to do some research and uncovered interesting facts about black bears, the only species of bear to live in NH. The state's Fish & Game Department has some pages dedicated to this rather beautiful animal. It's a relief to read that there hasn't been a death by bear in the state since the year 1784. Good. The odds are slim. It explains that black bears are timid and do not like to be around humans. Good. It describes a behavior that might be interpreted as aggressive but isn't, what they call a "bluff charge". It means the bear is nervous so puts on a show of strength. The given advice is to not run, to keep looking at the bear, to make noise and slowly back away. I'm fine with the backing away bit! They can run faster, swim faster, and climb faster than humans so running is not a good idea and it might excite the bear. The recommended strategy if you are actually attacked--a rare occurrence--is to put up a fight with the bear. Fight back aggressively they say. OK, hope I never have to actually engage this recommendation.

The upshot to this story is that I will sweep up the day's remains at the tree stump every evening before dark falls. It would be bad for the bear(s) to learn that food is available near the house.

One final little tidbit... my name "Bernard" means "bold as a bear". Ha! I've known it for years and I like that I can squeeze that little bit of trivia into a post.

The dandelion dye results

I'm very happy with the color. Best of all the absorption of dye wasn't splotchy like I worried about, but came out nice and even. Now I'm emboldened (bear that I am!). Can't wait to do more natural dyeing. One quite essential bit of missing info is the pH of my tap water. I haven't a clue! Must get some pH strips this weekend and test it. My well water is definitely "harder" than NYC water, no question. It is flavorful and satisfying. Mineral content? Good question. Must find out as it will have an effect on dye results.


Lilacs

Swoon! This picture says it all. I snapped it this foggy morning. The air was refreshing and dewey, the temperature warm, the birds in song, and the lilacs in bloom. Bliss.


A beautiful misty morning, back of the house.


Spinning
My first bobbin full in NH, very exciting. I think my dandelion dyed fiber is similar in color to this top I've been spinning, don't you think so?


Another turkey sighting
Gobbly, gobble, gobble!


Antiquing
Last Saturday I made a trip west on Rte. 25 up to Wentworth and Warren. It's ever so lovely a drive and there are several wonderful antique stores and craft stores on the way. I found this old end-feed shuttle in one of them, now sitting happily on my sewing table (another thrift shop find!):

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