The juggling act of summer keeps on adding balls--we're selling green
beans, raspberries, and zucchini in addition to pottery. Today
I'm packing for the Art on the Green fair, 3 days and many thousands of
people... The weather looks good for the weekend, though tending
back towards hot. I can remember doing that fair in the rain, and
in 100 degree heat where I'd run over and plunge in the lake with all
my clothes on to keep cool...
The hot weekend fair was down around 20% in sales from last year,
enough to convince me to forego it next year, especially since sales in
Spirit Lake are strong, even better last weekend than the sales I had
at the fair... The shelves are looking empty, so I'm back
cranking out the pots... The raspberry crop is
slowing down, but the green beans are coming on strong, along with
broccoli and zucchini. We've had 3 ripe tomatoes, and the tomato
plants have never looked better, in spite of starting off looking
blighted in June.
August 12 I've been too busy to blog, trying to keep up on pottery, etc. Yesterday
I went to the Blue Waters Bluegrass festival, and I usually post a page
of photos, which will probably happen later in the week. The
music was great, as usual. What was new were some people swinging
around some colored lights after dark in rhythm to the music, which
made streaks of color. The gadgets could also flash in different
colors, creating partial arcs of various colors. I took some
photos that would show part of an arc, not too interesting... But
it got me thinking about the blurry streak part, how our eyes and brain
see it as a continuous streak in the dark... Later last night my
son told me it was the Perseid meteor shower, so I waited a couple
minutes before retiring and saw several meteor streaks. When you
see a meteor, you're lucky to not just see it in your periphery, and
also lucky if you see it progressing and it isn't just a streak.
It makes sense that a meteor leaves a visible streak, since it's
heating up itself and the air it passes through enough to glow.
The light at the bluegrass festival wasn't leaving a trail, but
my brain turned it into a loop of color due I guess to the low
light conditions... I know a camera acts similarly in the dark,
since the photos after dark are frequently blurred by action which
would be sharp and frozen in the midday sun...
Today I played music for a couple hours at the Autumn's Loft gallery
where I sell pots at Priest Lake. There weren't a lot of
listeners, but it was good practice...
August 16 I got the photos up from last Saturday at Blue Waters Bluegrass Festival: http://www.sondahl.com/events/BW2012.html I
wish I'd had time to stay for the whole weekend. During the
dinner break I rode my bike along the undeveloped side of Medical Lake,
which is always nice... We had our busiest day
yet yesterday, and pots are going out a lot faster than I can make
them, although I'm working day and night to produce them... I
think the busy day was from it being a little cooler and windy so
people came off the lake to shop... We tried our sweet corn, but it's not sweet yet... Got our first cucumbers as well...
Yesterday we happened on a butterfly coming out of its crysalis, while
it was waiting for its wings to firm up, and then passed by later as it
took to flight. Always amazing, and rare to see... It's great daily swimming weather still...
In addition to all the usual, Jonathan and I were invited to play for a
pig roast tonight. It was great food, a nice polite crowd, and
two hours of performance practice for the next pig event--pigout in the
park... The raspberries are almost done, although
we've added a few fall raspberries and blackberries that aren't ripe
yet... We've had two sets of visitors in the last
24 hours, including two young women staying overnight enroute we forgot
were coming... Summertime, and the living is busy...
(old photo of Priest Lake)
A couple days ago we took the canoe to the end of Spirit Lake
unsuccessfully looking for moose. Once the canoe is on the car,
it's easy to leave it on, so after church today we canoed a mile or so
across Priest Lake to Kalispell Island. We found a deserted
section of beach, and swam to cool off, then walked along the edge for
a half mile or so (there's a 2.5 trail around the island). Where
the water splashes up from the wake there is a green zone of
mosses and flowers that was quite nice--saw several new flowers and
yellow and purple violets (much later than we have them here). It
was 90 degree heat today, but we hardly noticed it at the lake...
It looked tempting to camp on the island--there's at least 40
designated spaces on the island, and no electricity or motor vehicles
besides the motor boats that most people use to get there...
August 21 The
fever of summer has passed, with a mild shower as the harbinger of
cooler weather, and a taste of Fall... This cool period allows
me to make large pitchers, which I was nearly out of. If it's too
hot, by the time large pitchers are dry enough to put the handle on,
the top part will be too dry and tend to crack loose a little bit
later... Platters are the other pots I've noticed that tend to
crack in drying if it's too hot and dry...
Although there are forest fires making national news a couple hundred
miles south of here, and a couple hundred miles west of here, it's been
less smoky here than a lot of Augusts, particularly when farmers burn
the wheat and grass fields (that may still be coming)...
We've made the flip-flop from keeping the heat out in the day and
windows open at night, to the opposite, due to the cold spell settling
in. Hopefully we can dodge a frost tonight... It's time to
get serious with the corn and freeze a bunch before it gets too old...
Earlier this week one of the new kilns didn't heat properly in the
bottom, so I got some replacement switches under warranty and was able
to fix the problem fairly easily. Whenever this happens in the
summer I start getting backed up, but I should get caught up over the
weekend with firings again...
scene is where the fraternal twins who happened to dress and look
identical while thinking the other was dead are unveiled at the end)
I went to Spokane today to practice music, and pick up some feldspar at
a pottery supply, and to see 12th Night at Pavilion Park, presented by
the Montana Shakespeare in the Parks group. I remember seeing a
similar group in Brookings SD at the Sylvan outdoor theater as a child,
and I'm glad the tradition continues... The sound reinforcement,
always problematic at these events, was a series of shotgun mikes
pointed at the stage (you can see one at far right in the photo), which
makes for a reedy sound to the public... The last musical I went
to at the small theater in Coeur D'Alene used the small wireless mikes
that work much better. They also issued the wireless broadcast
sound rigs for the hearing impaired, which worked intermittently enough
that the people near me were a bit disruptive in their conversations
about it... Liberty Lake, where the park
is, is one of the wealthiest suburbs in the area, and a lot of the
residents drive their golf carts to these events... Beforehand a
lady was making a point of talking about their 27 foot sailboat...
The anticipated crowd for Pigout in the Park is considerably more
is a great blue heron from our canoe trip yesterday from Pioneer Park
to some friends' cabin north of Newport(about 6 miles). The Pend
Oreille River moved ponderously, which was a bit nerve wracking
for some of the fellow canoers with small (potentially bored) kids...
We managed to make it in a little over two hours... The
river is about a half mile wide (about the size of the Mississippi in
Minnesota, now that I think of it). A narrower river gives more
shade and more closeups of wildlife... We saw lots of ospreys, a few
deer, and a couple eagles, as well as several herons... We had a
fine supper with our friends, and a bit of a gospel singalong after.
Since the weather has made it back to lovely, and since some other
friends wanted to visit today, I managed to fire two kilns and glaze a
kiln load, then we went with the friends to the end of Spirit Lake,
where we let the kids play in the sand where Brickel Creek enters.
Being a Monday in late August, it was pretty quiet and enjoyable
there... Here's another heron photo from the archives...
August 29th It
was an average day, rain predicted but not happening, high in the low
70's (still went for a swim, getting colder). But then a lizard
crawled into the porch through the cat door... I just saw its
tail as it went behind a planter, but soon discerned that it was indeed
a small lizard.
only lizard I know for sure around here is the blue tailed skink, which
this lacks the blue tail... Anyway, our cats were around, and I'd
just read that cats when monitored with video cameras are found to
catch a lot of lizards, so I shut the cats in and caught it, then put
it in a bowl to photograph... After that I put it out on a cabbage
plant and took more photos, but it disappeared pretty quickly...
Then this evening our big tom Moby came in with an adolescent robin in
his mouth, which he let loose into the living room. It
seemed like it couldn't fly, but we quickly put the cat out (this time)
and managed to herd it out the front door, where it took flight
over to a cottonwood tree...
Books read and other media of note: (free Kindle books unless otherwise noted)
12th Night by Bill Shakespeare. Definitely where P.G. Wodehouse got his plots... Something New by P.G. Wodehouse This
turned out to be something old--the first Blandings Castle novel from
1915. It started pretty slowly, but by the end had evolved all
the major elements that Wodehouse used time and again to delight the
masses--the likes of me... Those elements include misrepresenting
identities, an item that needs purloining for the best of purposes, and
comedy-crossed lovers... There's even reference to a Wooster, but
it's Algernon, no doubt a cousin of Bertie's... Over Tumbled Graves by Jess Walter A taut serial killer mystery set in modern Spokane.
by P G Wodehouse. A bequest from a near stranger results in a
screwball romantic comedy from Wodehouse's early days. It was
easy to visualize as a black and white 30's movie, which it should have