Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Hop Trellis Time

It's been a very early Spring this year for a lot of plants, most of all my hop plant. This started off as 4 rhizomes of different varieties (Cascade, Centennial,Chinook, and Willamette I believe) in 1995 and has now become a monster that produces what I call Aberjona hops (after the nearest river valley of course).

I struggled for several years with what kind of easily maintainable and assembled trellis I could rig for them that would maximize their potential. Then I hit upon this. Some might search for a better word for it than "trellis" ... like "hubcap-suspended-from-a-bit-of-flagpole-nailed-to-a-2x6."

It works fine, though similar trellises have collapsed in years past when the hops are their heaviest in late August. My target harvest date is usually around Labor Day.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Kris Delmhorst at Bull Run

Went to see Kris Delmhorst in the Ballroom (the small upstairs room) at the Bull Run in Shirley on Saturday the 17th. Brendan Hogan opened and played a couple of well-written songs. Kris was at her toneful best. She played mostly songs from Shotgun Singer (over a year old by this point) and sprinkled in some of her earlier stuff, like Juice and June and Broken White Line. A very nice concert but it's a long drive away and we had to wait around forever for our bill. Don't order anything if you're in the Ballroom!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Beer All Over

I was dusting some beer bottles the other day, and telling Sarah about their meaning, when she suggested that I arrange them by that meaning. Here are a few pictures:

South America is in the foreground and is represented by Argentina, Brazil, and Peru. North of there we have Costa Rica and Mexico, with Jamaica and the Dominican off to the right. Farther North is the US and Canada.

Across the ocean there's France. Tucked next to France (left to right) is Belgium, Holland, Italy, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, and Poland with Russia way off the the right. To the North of that crowd is Ireland, England, and Scotland. Iceland is to the left of that, and Kenya is of course South of Europe (the only one from Africa!).

Asia and the Pacific Rim is represented by India and Sri Lanka to the left, Tibet, Thailand, and Laos in the middle, China to the North and Japan to the East, and Australia and New Zealand in the foreground.

Here's a group picture:

Then I put them back on the shelf.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Rowley River in April

Went kayaking on the Rowley River yesterday, which was surprisingly deserted of people and birds. We only saw one other boat in the 5 hours or so we were out ... some kind of effete rowboat. And we saw very few birds besides the ubiquitous gulls and cormorants. What we did see was more chop than I've ever kayaked in, out on Plum Island Sound and in the river itself. A very stiff wind was blowing from the west and the only respite we got from it was ducking into folds of the salt marshes. We tried going north along the Plum Island coastline but the chop there was the worst, being a shallow lee shore, and we crossed back over the sound and then slogged back up the river against the gale and the tide. Lots of fun but lots of work. We were paddling pretty hard for almost all of those 5 hours.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

porcupines in April

Went up to Maine this past weekend and was kayaking on the Bagaduce on Sunday up by Porcupine Cliff. I snuck up on it quietly and saw one porcupine totally zonked out in the sun on a rock down near the water. I could see the back of another one up by their burrow, and it was moving back and forth like that one was digging at something, and I could hear a squealing that seemed to be accompanying this activity. I coasted a bit farther up and could see that there was a juvenile doing the squealing as he poked his mother (who was trying to get some shut-eye herself) repeatedly in the side, trying to get her to turn over and give him some milk. The Dad down below had just finished mowing the lawn or something and the game wasn't on yet ... he couldn't be bothered with nothing.