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Monday, August 19, 2013

Heading toward country living

Today I visited a site in Anderson where my friend Paul Van Duyn alerted me to a white birch tree, a really big one, that had been cut down and it appeared that the wood was up for grabs. I contacted the homeowner, who has arranged to have the tree cut down, but the guy who cut it had a delay on getting the wood picked up. I was contacted by the homeowner's sister, who responded to the note I left. She said I could have what I wanted. I delayed my attempt to retrieve the wood until Monday, but when I arrived Monday morning, it was all gone. Just goes to show that any delay can turn into a missed opportunity. On the bright side, I had been nervous about hauling the large chunks of wood with my 66 year old back. It looks like the Universe intervened, and my back was spared as was the storage capacity of my shop. I hesitate to look a gift horse in the mouth. I did manage to visit another spot where I have cut willows for years to get some for trellises. When I arrived, I could see that the power line crews had cut radically in this area, but I was able to salvage a goodly number of large framing and trellis willows.

I painted several large frames that will get covered with birchbark. I always paint the raw frames flat black to tone down the effect of any gaps in the birchbark, probably not needed, but one step that I feel adds to the quality.

I will be visiting several of my willow patches in the coming weeks to obtain the several different sizes of willows that I will use to make trellises and pack up to take to the Country Living Show. As I have mentioned before, we look quite comical when setting out for the show. I can remember times when I went to Pennsylvania, Virginia or New York with willows sticking out the back of my van. I guess I could be accused of being overly obsessive in my preparations, but I always like to maximize my efforts when doing an expensive show. Three days can lead to running out of stock and disappointment for customers, so I like to stay ahead of the curve.

Wildlife viewing and fishing are taking a back seat this week. Idid see a flight of cormorants over the shop last week, and I saw a number of buzzards soaring high, perhaps two or three thousand feet in the air. I saw a skink on Sunday at Lafayette Trace, but I have not seen any at the shop, where sightings were commonplace last summer. I brought a large quantity of driftwood from the Mississinewa last summer. I always see skinks at Red Bridge ramp, and I think I imported them to Lapel in the driftwood.
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