Thursday, December 29, 2005
Monday, December 19, 2005
None of the operations is terribly dangerous or difficult, but neither is any of them easy. Overheating of the tubing makes for bizarre shapes and flattened plastic instead of the gentle curves of rounded tubing, and extreme overheating will burn the gray to a peeling brown. The challenge of getting the heat just right keeps the kids focussed. The drilling isn't hard because the templates are so good, but several participants had to interrupt their weaving to go back outside to find a missing hole or two (so to speak). The real challenge is the weaving of the ropes. An error in the over-and-under pattern can only be repaired by removing the work since the error, then redoing it all. I joke that I made 15 snowshoes yesterday but only finished two. But the 11-year-olds will be proud to be out on the trail this winter on snowshoes of their own construction. Here's a (nearly) finished snowshoe to the left. A rubber binding triangle will be attached to hold the sole of the shoe over the yellow braid while the white braid helps provide the "float" over the snow. The bar in the Scout's hand is where the ball of the foot goes; it is PVC over a steel rod to transfer the weight of the snowshoer to the frame.
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
Saturday, December 17, 2005
Friday, December 16, 2005
Thursday, December 15, 2005
In fact, let's make today a two-fer. To celebrate the frost I'll provide two photos. I think this next one is very Zen-like. Natural materials in a simple, regular design with a touch of irregularity. No big rocks, no human intervention, but a soothing image that reminds me of the dry gardens of Japan.
This is a simple photo from our back deck that covers a space roughly a foot square (roughly 30 cm by 30 cm). The stone is a natural river stone from Mexico, displaced from its usual place of repose in the garden by forces unknown.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
updated: I dug up this photo because it echos the weather we've been having recently: rather cold. In the early mornings and evenings, we have localized fog. That damp, chilly, clinging fog that is featured on the moors of Sherlock Holmes.