Last Sunday we packed ourselves up and headed to the mouth of the Ottawa River to look into a few marinas and boat clubs.
Palm and needle whipping.
Have begun rigging Pangur Ban. Sail delivery is likely to be in July. I'm in no hurry there, as it just puts off the inevitable day of reckoning with my checkbook.
There is a large Asian Boxwood at one corner of our garage, near the bird feeders. Every time I walked close to it, a Robin has burst from it and headed to a nearby tree. About the tenth time (I never claimed to be all that bright) it occurred to me that there just might be a nest in there somewhere. Sure enough, there is one, right at chest high.
10 year old scan
Over the last couple of years I've scanned the thousands of negatives I have. Now I'm using those scans to go back over some of the oldest bits of this web site and increase the resolution of the images. Some of these have been on the web for better than a decade. When they were new, a 100K image file took forever to load. I'm probably half done with the upgrade. You can see results in the examples to the left.
On the boat front, the sails are on order and should arrive in June, and I've been spending way too much time and money on all the little bits of gear a boat needs to be water-ready.
A short walk from our house, in the middle of a large block, is a line of tall Norway Spruce. These have been, at least for the last few years, a roost for a flock of vultures numbering as high as fifty.
The house in front of the trees recently sold, after standing empty for a year or two. I think it changed hands during the brief period when the vultures were in their southern range. I wonder what the new owners think of their flock. I'd spend a lot of my time just watching their behavior. What, however, does a flock of carrion-eaters smell like?
Nancy and I were out walking in the woods one grey day this past week, and came across these tracks. The upper photo is a series of bounds which leads to the slide mark in the second photo-which leads right into the river. Mink will do this, but from the size my money is on an otter.
This is the American side of Niagara Falls the year they turned it off to look into halting its erosion. The reason it's dumb to go over the falls in a barrel should be immediately obvious. It ain't the water that'll kill you-its the the house-sized boulders.
Downtown Cleveland in winter
Took a few days to attend the annual Marine Community Day in Cleveland, Ohio. I now know more about dredging issues, canal and lock construction, and identification for port workers than I ever thought I'd need to.
Working on a dog burial, Macoupin site, Illinois
In 1977 I took a spring workshop at the Center for American Archaeology. I've uploaded a few of the pictures.
The basement machine shop is almost done. Another couple coats of paint on the workbench and trim and I'll be moving tools into place. I'm not looking forward to dragging the quarter-ton lathe down the stairs. It'll be a bit of work breaking it down into manageable chunks.
Long ago I attended the Boy Scouts' National Jamboree.
In the Boatyard, Helsinki, Finland, 1977
Thousands of scans later, I'm beginning to sort through them and post some of the more interesting. I found out just how long I've been taking pictures of boats.
Paintings on something like papyrus.
Basement workroom under construction
I've managed to catch a bug that's been working its way through most everyone I know. A week of the creeping crud and a head full of sheep snot.
This room was meant to be a darkroom, but installing a sink proved to be a challenge. This low in the house would have needed a high capacity pumped system. In the time it took to figure out how to engineer such a system, technology passed it by. I've gone digital. So, the darkroom has been re-purposed as a general workroom.
Its darkroom ancestry shows in the position of the white light switch-6 feet off the floor, the switched ceiling outlets meant for safelights, and the positive pressure air system with outside exhaust.
The coal bin turned to storage
Large (1 meter) Imperial Destroyer
My son and I have a long holiday tradition. We put together a large LEGO model. Over the years these models became more complicated. This year we set a new record with the 3100-piece Imperial Star Destroyer.
January 2-A Winter's Walk
I took this shot yesterday. In addition to the dozens of Mallards and Canada Geese, there was also a Swan (green), 9 Sandhill Cranes (yellow), a Red-tail Hawk (blue), and a great bloody Bald Eagle (red) You'll have to trust me on the raptors, my lens wasn't as good as the binoculars. ID is positive on the eagle.
Along the canal bank.
Tecumseh is where it is because of topography. Several small watercourses come together here in an area with enough drop to run water-driven industry.
All images and text Copyright Dale Austin, 1962-2008