Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I got lucky last winter

Over Memorial day weekend Ella, Maya and I went out to the big woods by our house with my Samuel Thayer foraging books to see what kind of plants we could identify and eat.  I need more foraging practice because we would have died of starvation or poisoning if dependent on my foraging skills to eat.  We also surveyed the woods I got my maple sap out of early this spring.  The survey goal was to identify maple trees to tap next year and to figure out how I did last winter trying to identify sugar maples without leaves.

Out in the woods I have to refer to the girls as deer.  If it gets them out learning in the woods I will call them anything they want.  

After searching every big tree in the woods over a couple hours Ella got surprisingly good at telling ash, elm, oak and Maple trees apart.  Ash and elm were still confusing until we talked to Heath and he pointed out an alternating leave on the elm versus the opposite pattern on the ash.   The tree on the left above is a big sugar maple and is the same tree in the pic just below.  It is in this group of four other big trees about 75 feet south and a little west of big sweetie on the south side of the wet part of that section of woods.  I know descriptions of where trees are is not great blogging but part of what I use this blog for is remembering things and by next spring I will not remember these trees if I don't write it down.    

The Maple below is called the arm wrestler and is on the west side in about 50 feet between the two little meadows by the big bone pile (Edit not sure of this location see next post).

Next is big sweetie.  She is found by going in on the North side in the middle with the neighborhood to your back.  When you see the widow tree holding her dead husband go left about 50 feet to big sweetie. 

 I am amazed that I happened to tap this tree because after all of our survey  efforts last weekend we only found these three sugar maples in the large portion of the forest we searched.  Lots of little ones but of the big trees this was it.  The trees I was sure were sugar maples with my winter identification efforts were all ash trees.  No wonder I didn't get any sap from them.  I taped big sweetie in a fit of desparation after weeks of no sap from my other trees.  What are the chances I would find one of the three?
  The girls spontaneously ran up to her and gave her a big hug.  I guess that makes them tree huggers.

 For some reason Ella and Maya  kept laughing when we discovered this tree .

Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Maya kind of Weekend

The rain kept us mostly inside this weekend.   Bluff Creek got a bit bigger.  Wetlands are a good thing.

Ella was with  friends much of the weekend so Maya made most of my pics.  Here she is drying some dill.  
She got a stuffed dog from her grandparents.  Named it Loona and sets it facing her room door to keep her safe at night from things like a fox.  

With a dog who loves to scratch at sheet rock and 5 years in our house we had a bunch of dog damage, small dents, holes and a few screw heads to take care of with joint compound.  Maya was surprisingly good at this somewhat tricky task and filled a bunch of holes by herself not to mention all of the sanding after it dried.  I am a big fan of my Maya.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

I found a new home for the Wei Wu Wei bike

 I have not had need or been riding this bike for a few years and have been wanting to give this bike to a person who will use it, love it and need it.  This is much more appealing than keeping it (which means storing it) or selling it for a small amount of money.
 I have a 5'7" female coworker who is both car free and in need of a ride for her urban pursuits.

 Lao Tzu has the answer.  I wasn't sure if I could scrunch the bike down to her size but it fits her great and with the fenders, light and upright position I think it will be a great tool to get her around town.

 Conti Top touring 2000 tires make it roll super fast.
 This was my first real bike back in 1989 or was it 1990.  It started as a Specialized Stumpjumper.  Only original part on it is the frame itself.  Even the fork got changed out in the early 90's after a failed attempt to ride down the Highland park ski jump landing hill.  Most of the places I ride off road in the twin cities area were first discovered and explored on this bike.
I will miss it and at the same time am very happy to find a good home where it will likely be ridden often.  

Monday, May 13, 2013

Moonlander's summer clothes

Ruins near Louisville swamp tonight. New Moonlander highlights include a 36 tooth 29r cassette, EA 70 90mm 17deg rise stem, Easton Haven carbon bar, esi grips and xt pedals.
  Other switches from winter include 65mm Marge lite rims rather than 100mm clown shoe rims, husker du rather than bud and lou tires, bags taken off for now.

Friday, May 10, 2013


First blog post from my phone in a while.   Hope it helps increase how often I do it.   Playing around with some tarptent ideas. Started with the 7 foot per side pentagon like the mld trailstar.