September 30, 2008
P.S. If anyone had clear views from Tabletop on Monday, I don't want to know about them.
September 28, 2008
a neighbor approached my father saturday morning to get another opinion of "what" made the tracks through his yard earlier that morning. what we saw were huge split hoof tracks, some of which also had the impression of the dew claws. the space between the tracks was also leading these experienced in animal track hunters to believe that it had to be a moose. The only suspicion to the contrary is if the tracks had come from a cow. Quickly though it was determined that there arent any cows being raised in our immediate vicinity. the neighbor was able to follow the tracks through his backyard to where the tracks went back into the woods. we determined which way this animal went, grabbed the camera and headed for the canoe trail and pole line behind my house. on the trail we quickly spotted one place where this big guy crossed an open area and continued back into the woods. once on the wooded canoe trail I didnt see anymore signs of him. my father had split from us and we didnt see him for about 2 hours. apparently he was a better tracker and followed the tracks all over the riverbank. he concluded that the animal got close to the river, decided againt crossing there and continued wandering. it most likely was a moose and as of saturday afternoon was still on our side of the hudson. very cool. i wish we could have gotten a peek at him. apparently, we are in the middle of the moose's "rut" season where they are known to wander in all sorts of areas such as communities and roads in search of a mate. the moose population in the adirondacks has grown to a self sustaining rate. apparently one of them wanted to explore the southern most part of the park.
September 24, 2008
In the meantime, I heard this song today and particularly liked the lyrics . "open up your plans and damn your free.....no complications, our time is short"
September 21, 2008
The kids enjoyed their first summer of being apiarists and the rest of us have enjoyed dabbling in an activity that was one of my grandfather's favorites.
There goes Grampa Mark, making a clean get away with the stolen honey. Two boxes are left. One houses the actual living quarters of the bees and the other is honey that must be left for the bees to eat during the winter. The frames of the honeycomb we stole from the bees needs to sit inside overnight so it will warm up. This will make the extraction easier. The first part of the process is complete.
The empty honeycomb cells.
The spout is opened after all of the frames are emptied in the vat. Out the golden honey begins to pour. Everyone is surprised at how light the honey is. The color of the honey depends on the flowers and plants that the nectar has been gathered from. My father recalls darker honey that was harvested at a time when the fields were planted with buckwheat.We were able to harvest 176 ounces of honey. Not bad for the first partial season out of retirement. The bees missed collecting nectar from the first blossoms of spring, so next year we anticipate having twice the amount of honey. The bees will be busy pollinating our garden too and hopefully through exercising responsible beekeeping habits our bees will be happy and healthy in the Washburn Meadows Apiary.....Here's to the resurrection of a family tradition!
I can be Reagan's soccer mom, but you won't catch me driving another mini van....
September 17, 2008
September 16, 2008
September 13, 2008
My husband's 20 years of service to his volunteer fire department makes the anniversary of 9/11 more poignant and the following poem which I stumbled across back in college pretty much sums up the reality of being a fireman. In the town his fire department serves, the selflessness described is definitely alive and well.
Volunteer Fire Departments are, when the alarm goes off, almost the only examples of enthusiastic unselfishness to be seen in this land. They rush off to the rescue of any human being, and count not the cost. The most contemptible man in town, should his house catch fire, will see his enemies put that fire out. There we have people treasuring people as people. It's extremely rare. So from this we must learn.
God Bless You Mr. Rosewater
-Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
September 10, 2008
September 8, 2008
September 5, 2008
The garden is winding down and while there were plenty of hands available on this past Monday holiday, we harvested whatever corn was ready and froze about 30 Ziploc packages. we didn't get enough green beans to warrant a big dilly bean operation, so freezing the corn will have to be considered our garden project of the summer.
There are several steps to freezing corn so anyone who wanted to jump in definitely had a role. First, you have to pick the corn and then you have to husk the corn. We do this outside so that the husks can just be dumped right back into the garden. My smallest niece doesn't care that the corn is not cooked, she begins eating an ear just after it is picked. I guess she likes her corn "fresh". Next, we carry about 130 ears of corn into the house, where my grandmother has begun boiling a large pot of
water. She cautions us not to put too many ears in at once and sets the timer for 7 minutes. This blanches the corn. From the boiling water, the corn must be cooled rapidly to stop the sugar from reacting before it is frozen.
So, into the ice water it goes. When it is cooled, which only takes minutes, it is cut off of the cob. My father had made a "special" rack to hold the cob while you cut the kernels off of the cob.
My mother did not like this idea, questioning the sanitary condition of using wood from the basement. My father told her that she was only PART of quality control and that he was going to use it. She held the cob with her hand and he used the tool he had made and neither way was faster than the other and neither of them cut off a digit in the process so I guess it is a matter of preference. I told them that even the wood from the basement was probably cleaner than the factory at Birdseye. By the way, my father did scrub the wood clean prior to beginning this assembly line operation. There are more family workers waiting to put the corn kernels now off of the cobs into the bags. The air is pushed out of the bag and then it is sealed. Ready for the freezer.
Unlike the story of the little red hen, we have all helped with the process and we will all sit down together on thanksgiving day and enjoy the corn from our garden. Wait, true to the story of the little red hen, I think my father was the only one who actually hoed the corn. Extra thanks goes to him.
September 1, 2008
* in memory of grampa hoddie*