Here are the other eight boats in the cardboard boat regatta last weekend. We’ll start with these two.

Brunswick Beacons (white) and Woodstock Whitetails (yellow)

Brunswick Beacons (white) and Woodstock Whitetails (yellow)


The yellow boat here is the one that took first place in the speed contest. They did a great job. I missed their run, as I was hauling Redux up the bank when their race occurred, but I heard they put three people in this tandem kayak. They did a fantastic job and had some good paddlers. I was very impressed!

The white one was very nicely done too. When the race was over, they actually mounted an outboard motor on it and took it out for a spin. They raced against the yellow one, but the yellow one beat it too. The front of this boat had a water cannon mounted on a rotating turret. After they lost their powered race against Woodstock, they began chasing the safety canoes, and squirting them with the water cannon. I think everyone enjoyed that spectacle.

Let’s see what else we had.

Keene's entry

Keene’s entry


The most amazing thing about this one was that it completed the course without capsizing. I thought this one was the scariest boat. I have a shot of them paddling it back to the dock, and the look on the face of the girl in the bow says “I am terrified!” I would have been too.

This was not the only V-bottomed boat though. Portsmouth also had one.

Portsmouth Living Waters' banana boat

Portsmouth Living Waters’ banana boat


They may have won a ribbon for creativity – I was late to the awards ceremony, so I’m not sure. They sure should have won a ribbon anyhow. Bananas are not known for their racing ability.

I don’t know which clubs entered these next few boats, but they were all very seaworthy, and I think the kids in those clubs deserved a pat on the back.

A nice dory

A nice dory

A dugout

A dugout

Another dory

Another dory

A catamaran

A catamaran


This was a well-executed catamaran. The major problem i saw with it was that it would have been pretty difficult to paddle on the starboard side because of the outriggers. The grass skirts more than make up for that though.

So that’s what we were up against. I hope you have all enjoyed our cardboard boat adventures, but I know you could not have as much as I did. Thanks for stopping by!

After the weekend’s adventures, I was one tired guy today. A single night’s sleep was not sufficient to revive me, and I found myself dragging after lunch. I gave up, went home a bit early, and took a nap. Now I feel a ton better, so I will attempt to share with you the adventures that caused all this fatigue! But I will limit it to just the cardboard boat race. There were a lot of other things that happened over the weekend, and by “The Full Account” I mean, “The Full Account of Our Cardboard Boat Adventures.”

I have already posted video of the maiden voyage of our canoe. Our boat was one of the two selected for the first run (by what criteria, I have no idea). I gave the camera to David, and he shot the video. I have not listened to it (because I don’t really care for listening to screaming crowds), but I understand that he might have made a few comments comparing the Redux to the “HMS Sinkeytowne” which we entered in 2009. While I agree that the Sinkeytowne was a better boat than the Redux, the Redux was Good Enough.

Anyhow… I diverge. Because he was shooting video, I have no stills. You’ll just have to look at this morning’s post and watch the video (if you are able – sorry to those of you who can’t, C!).

Natasha had the most merit points so far since January, so she got to go first. And since she chose the canoe over the kayak, the next two girls who also chose the canoe got to go with her. None of them had ever paddled stern before (which is the position that controls 90% of the steering, or 100% of the steering if I’m back there with inexperienced paddlers in the front).

Go!

I dug in as hard as I could, and the canoe was handling pretty nicely. We rounded the buoy, but that could have been done better. I turned downstream, when I should have turned upstream. That way, the current would have caught the front of the boat and turned us faster.

In 2009, we went out to the buoy and made a 90 degree turn, then went to the next buoy and made another, returning to the opposite side of the dock from which we started out. This year they modified it, and we were to make a 180 degree turn and return to the same starting point. That way is more fair, because then there’s no paddling upstream for one team, and downstream for the other.

Even though the turn was made with suboptimal execution, it was still not bad, and we managed a 58 second run. That was the fastest time at that point (duh) but it was also only the first run. I was pretty pleased with it.

We got out of the canoe, and I put my next four girls in. Jane has been in our club for six years, and I know she has done some canoeing. I’ve taken her out more than once myself. I just didn’t remember that she had never paddled stern before.

The second voyage of the Redux

The second voyage of the Redux


That was my mistake. They paddled out to the buoy straight as an arrow. But then they could not get the boat to turn. Usually kids have the opposite problem in that they can only make it turn and they can’t get it to go straight at all. They passed the buoy which was maybe 80 feet off shore. Then they went another 80 feet before they finally managed a turn. If the race had been all the way across the lake, they might have done pretty OK. But it wasn’t.

At that point in their journey, they switched from not being able to turn to not being able to go straight. Pretty soon the current caught them and they were just headed downstream. When they got too far off course, the safety canoes showed up, threw them a line, and began to tow them in.

When they got within 50 feet of the dock, the girl holding the line let go. That was a mistake. They were no more able to steer that canoe 50 feet from the dock than they had been 100 yards from it. It started going all screwy on them, and in short order, they rammed it into some rocks on the shore. I headed to the bank to swap out with one of them, but before I could get there, they had backed up and were far from my help. So I scrambled back up the embankment. When I got to the top, they came in and rammed those same rocks again. So back down I went. Again when I got there, they had reversed and were back out in the lake a pretty good distance, but I stayed put this time. Again, they came in and rammed the rocks on the bank, and I grabbed the canoe.

I told the girl in the bow to get out, and for the rest to stay put. I got in. They asked, “What do you want us to do Mr Thomas?” and I told them to stay put and keep their paddles in the boat. In short order I had them back at the dock. The crowd was cheering wildly, but I think they were pretty embarrassed. At that point, our team had both the fastest time and the slowest time. We hung on to the slowest time. That was not a statistic that changed as the other nine boats ran the race.

There was a club from the Bay of Fundy up in New Brunswick, Canada who came down for the Camporee too. They had built a boat, but did not wrap it in plastic for the trip down. It poured rain, and their boat was no longer intact when it arrived. I offered to let them take a cruise in ours, and they gratefully accepted. So back at the dock, I stayed in, and the two Canadian girls boarded. While I was waiting for them to board, I noticed a little stream of water gushing in through the hull. I was kneeling in the ex-bow (but since I was facing the other way, that was now the stern). The bow had taken a beating on the rocks, and we had probably 20 gallons of water aboard by the time the timekeeper told us to go.

With all that water aboard, the Redux was a lot less responsive to the paddle. I still hadn’t figured out that I should turn upstream around the buoy, and the boat really, really didn’t want to make the latter 90 degrees of the 180 degree turn. But I insisted. We got back, and by then, the Redux had shipped about 30 gallons of water. At that rate, it was not in danger of sinking for at least another 10 minutes. The water wasn’t coming in any faster than a kitchen faucet could fill it, and just think of how long it would take to fill a 300 gallon bucket from the kitchen sink. Yeah – a long time.

I got out of the boat, as that was its third and final voyage. Then came the task of getting it up out of the lake. Thirty gallons of water weighs about 240 pounds, and the cardboard was quite limp at that point. It took four of us to lift it up onto the dock. We flipped it over to drain, and then hauled it up the hill next to the fire pit.

The Redux awaiting its funeral pyre.

The Redux awaiting its funeral pyre.


During the trip up the hill one of the ends split open. Ahhh, you had a great run Redux. But this was your expected fate.

By this time I was pretty spent, having run two races full out, one rescue mission, and then hauled the sodden mass of cardboard, duct tape, and glue up the hill. I had a brief rest while they ran some other boats. And then it was time for “KAYAK spelled backwards” to race.

Beth was the first to go. I posted a photo of that last night, so you could go see it here if you wanted to. I was nervous that she might not have a good run, and that maybe she would steer it as well as the foursome in the Redux did, wrecking on the rocks, and with it, our chances of winning the fastest time. But she amazed me with her performance. She took two port-side strokes before she cleared the dock on the starboard side, and by then, the boat was crooked. She compensated with two starboard strokes, and then she was crooked the other way. But she got it straightened out pretty quickly and then made a beeline for the buoy. That’s when the kayak showed its real strength.

The plastic kayak upon which “KAYAK spelled backwards” was formed is a white water kayak (a “Prijon Rockit” if you must know), and it was designed for quick turns in whitewater. Doing a 180 around a buoy was childsplay, even for a child. She rounded the buoy in an instant and headed back to the shore. I think she finished in something like 90 seconds.

Then it was Joy’s turn.

Joy powering "KSB" back to the dock

Joy powering “KSB” back to the dock


She also turned in a stellar performance, as did Connor and Trevor.
Connor captains the KSB

Connor captains the KSB


Trevor in the KSB

Trevor in the KSB


And finally it was Cody’s turn.
Cody rounds the buoy in and instant.

Cody rounds the buoy in and instant.


Cody was the strongest paddler to pilot KAYAK. He finished the race in 45 seconds, and that was good enough to get us a second place ribbon. The 58 second run in Redux earned the third place ribbon. And yes, that means we did not have the fastest time. The Woodstock Whitetails pulled that off with a four-man kayak in a very impressive 38-second run. Wow. My hat is off to them. They had a couple of other runs that were also faster than Cody’s 45 seconds, but the judges only considered the fastest time by each boat, as the prizes were awarded to the boats rather than to individual runs.

While Cody was making his run, a mother from another club asked if her daughter could take a turn. They did not build a boat, but the girl wanted to give it a try. So I said, “Sure, as long as it’s still seaworthy when all the kids in my club had taken a turn.” It was still exceedingly seaworthy, but it had shipped maybe five gallons of water by the time Cody got out (he was our last kid to run in the kayak). The girl stepped in, but tried to kneel in the seat instead of sitting in it. I told her, “No, your legs go in front, and you sit here on the seat.” Then she decided to not go. I must admit, that five gallons of water did take the waterline up to the level of the seat. Since she declined, I hopped in instead. Yeah. It was wet all right.

By that time I had figured out the turn upstream tactic, and that’s exactly what I did. I powered the kayak out, made the zero-radius turn in record time, and then powered it back. But my time was 47 seconds. Cody. Beat. Me.

Ah well. I am a geezer compared to him. Also, I had already been out three times and was pretty well flogged by then. When I got out and we lifted the boat out of the water, we flipped it over to drain the five gallons of bilge and saw that a sheet of un-corrugated cardboard had partly come off. We had an underwater sail. Surely, that came off between Cody’s run and mine, right? Also, there had to have been more water in the kayak by the time I got in compared to Cody, right? It couldn’t be that I’m nearly 50, and can’t compete with a strapping teenage lad. That could never be it!
;-)

We hauled KAYAK spelled backwards up the hill and placed it next to Redux. Then we got out a knife and cut out her name ot keep next to Sinkeytowns’s name in our trophy case.

Connor removes KSB's name from the bow

Connor removes KSB’s name from the bow

Some of you might be sorry to see that our boats lasted only one day. But that was what I fully expected. I knew these weren’t as waterproof as the Sinkeytowne, and the Sinkeytowne was disposed of in exactly the same way. This is How It Was Meant To Be.

I didn’t think to cut out the Redux’s name until it was already in the fire.

The Redux in flames, and KSB getting ready

The Redux in flames, and KSB getting ready


You can see how KSB could no longer hold its shape. Some of that was due to the removal of the front deck, but it was mostly because… it was a sodden cardboard boat. So sodden, that these two were unable to heave it into the fire. Peter from Limington stepped in and gave a hand.
With a heave and a hoe, KSB joins Redux in a fiery ending

With a heave and a hoe, KSB joins Redux in a fiery ending


The End

The End

So Redux had three voyages, and Kayak spelled backwards had six. Not a bad performance!

Here’s a video of the maiden voyage of “Redux,” our cardboard canoe.

This run was 58 seconds, which was good enough for third place in the event.
More to come!

As expected, I am totally exhausted from the Camporee this weekend. David took some video of the first voyage of the “Redux” (our cardboard canoe), but my Internet connection here at the house is completely inadequate for uploading it (it would take over an hour and shut down pretty much everything else until it was done). So I will upload it from either the office or the church tomorrow.

Meanwhile, here is a photo of Beth paddling the kayak back to the dock.

Beth on the return leg

Beth on the return leg


She did remarkably well!

I told the kids before the race that I thought our two boats would take two of the top three spots, and we did! That said, one of our runs also had the worst time. I’ll give details tomorrow.

OK, bad attempt at a cliffhanger.

On Sunday I titled my post “Almost Finished” because we had almost finished our cardboard boats. Well, they are almoster finished now.

Tonight we painted them. There are still a lot of gaps between the drywall tape, and we’ll need to paint their names on the hulls. I fitted the seat in the kayak tonight too, but took it out while we painted. Once we get those three things taken care of, then they will be finished.

We settled on names for both boats too. For the canoe, the candidates were “Bloosh” (because we took all the blueish paint we had and mixed them together), “Redux” (because this is very much like the HMS Sinkeytown that we entered in 2009), and “Maelstrom” because David liked that name (it means a huge storm or a whirlpool). “Redux” won.

For the kayak, the candidates were “KAYAK” (spelled backwards – the intent was to paint it in mirror-backwards) and… I can’t remember the contender. We settled on “KAYAK” spelled backwards.

The paint was given to us by a coworker. He had a lot of paint. I think we used about two gallons, but he gave us close to eight. We had what I like to call “all the colors.” Off-white, beige, light brown, eggshell, taupe, tan, light brown, ecru, and ivory. As I also mentioned, there were about three quarts of different blues.

We had to hustle to get them painted though. We’ve been having some evangelistic meetings at our church for the past couple of weeks, and Va has been running a children’s program in the fellowship hall (where we painted the boats). The meetings start at 7:00, and I was determined that we would have our mess cleaned up by 6:00 so there would be no panicking. So we painted like banshees from 4:15 until 5:45, and then started the clean up.

Meanwhile, Jonathan was still at NHTI until 6:00, so I had to take a kid home, pick up Jonathan, grab some dinner, and then high-tail it back to the church so I could set up my computer for Va so she could play a DVD, and so I could help run the registration table. There was no time for the only optional thing in that list (eating) so I skipped that until afterwards.

I was rather hungry!

We had some bad news on the cardboard canoe front. The boat had collapsed under its own weight. In my opinion, the real canoe was taken out of the cardboard one a little too soon. When the drywall tape was added to one side, the combination of the weight of the tape and glue, and the wetness of the glue conspired to doom the boat.

They kayak was still in great shape though. Unfortunately, I don’t think there would be time to let the kids make 12 runs in the kayak. Also, the chances of everyone doing well in the race are greatly improved by mixing strong paddlers with weaker ones. So we really needed the canoe.

On Thursday evening, I stopped by the church and picked up a trunk load of large sheets of cardboard. I moved my car out of the garage and spent three or four hours making an emergency backup canoe. Since there was no one for me to argue with, it went along pretty well. I spent three more hours on it Saturday night (I was in the garage until midnight), and this morning I added a little more cardboard to it, heaved it onto the top of my car and brought it to our Pathfinder meeting.

It was unanimous that we use the replacement version. It would have taken way more work to salvage the original one.

The goal for the day was to get both boats ready to paint. Our meetings usually run from 1:00-4:00pm, but I knew we’d need more than that to get the boats into paintable condition. So I invited the kids to stay after and work on the boats until they were ready. One of the staff members bought pizza, and almost everyone stayed until after 7:00pm.

During the meeting I had the kids glue non-corrugated cardboard over the seams of the corrugated cardboard. The idea there is to keep the water out of the seams. If it gets in, the boat will become a sponge and its time afloat will be severely limited. They did a mostly good job. After we paint it (and the paint dries), we will add some duct tape to the places they missed.

We also cut the floor out of the failed canoe and glued it into the floor of the replacement. There’s a photo in the slide show with a bunch of the kids (and Warran) standing in the canoe to press the new floor down. Once they got out, we loaded the boat down with paint cans. Otherwise, they’d have had to spend the night in that canoe.

Another thing you’ll see in the slide show are the kids cutting out “C” shaped forms. These will be glued together in a stack and placed in the kayak to form a seat. That will do two things. It will keep their butts out of the drink, and it will provide something substantial they can put all their weight on when they get in the boat. If they put their weight on the thin(ish) cardboard walls, they might collapse. But with these bulkheads, there is absolutely no danger of that happening.

We will paint them on Tuesday evening. Then on Friday we will haul them to Maine for the competition. When we paint them, we will name them. Whoever shows up for that part of the project will get the privilege of voting on a name. The one I like best so far is “KAYAK” backwards. Ha ha – since it’s a palindrome. To make it clear that it’s backwards, we will write the K’s backwards. Well, we’ll also write the A’s and the Y backwards, but it will be harder to tell we’ve done that. ;-)

I am well pleased with both of our boats. I’m thinking that we will have the two fastest boats. In 2009 our cardboard canoe tied for the fastest time, and our canoe entry this year looks at least as good as that one did if not better. I’m convinced that given a competent paddler (and we have several), the kayak will beat the canoe. The kayak it was molded on runs circles around the canoe, so if that translates (and I think it will) we should have a winner. I’ll be sure to let you know after the race (win or lose).

This has been an exhausting weekend. I’m surprised I’m still awake!

It has been a pretty good weekend for me. Yesterday the Pathfinders went out to the Laconia church to present our “Plagues of Egypt” newscast. We left the Concord church at 10:30 (meant to leave at 10:15, but sometimes that’s the way it plays) and arrived at 11:00 (or a few minutes after). When we got there we discovered that the computer that had all the “”live action report” video on it was still in Va’s car back in Concord. Things got frantic! We made some phone calls and found that one of the Pathfinder parents had just left the Concord church. We asked them to turn around and get the computer. I also called Va to let her know to give them the computer.

So it was on the way. We had some other things to present including a children’s story, and we talked about our trip to Holbrook. We sang some songs, I told a story, and then the computer arrived. We set it up as quickly as we could, and then began the video presentation. All in all, it went pretty well in spite of the major gaff.

When that service was over, the Laconia church laid out a spread to feed the Pathfinders. I couldn’t hang around for that (though I would have liked to) because Va needed me back in Concord for the Adventurers meeting. When I got back to Concord, the potluck dinner was still going strong, so I made up a plate and had some lunch. Then we had the Adventurers meeting.

Once that was over we went home and I had the choice between a nap and a hike. I took the hike – just me and Penny on this one. Almost as soon as we set out, I found some coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara) in bloom.

Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara)

Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara)


This is a plant that was introduced to the Americas by the Europeans. They used it as a cough medicine. Note how the Latin name “Tussilago” is similar to the modern-day medicine “Robitussin.” That’s not an accident. What is an accident (I guess) is that coltsfoot is no more efficacious against a cough than a placebo. The same goes for cough drops that you can still buy at the drug store in spite of this recent finding. I was not surprised at all by this, as cough drops never did anything for me.

Penny and I continued on our hike. We went to Sandogardy Pond, but I didn’t find any more new plants in bloom (lots of trailing arbutus, but I’ve already posted photos from those twice this month). One thing I will note however – trailing arbutus blooms are edible. And I ate some yesterday while I was out.

As we were walking along Little Cohas Brook, a pickup truck pulled in. That’s pretty unusual. It is a class VI road, so I guess 4WD vehicles can get around there – they just don’t very often. A guy and his son (about 8 years old I would guess) got out. At least they didn’t try to drive over Penny’s bridge (I thought he would for a few seconds). Then he told me that he had beaver traps set in the creek. I didn’t know people still did that. I watched him wade into the creek (with waders) and check his trap. Meanwhile his son had crossed the bridge and checked one on the other side. “Hey Dad!” he called. “There’s something in this one! I think it’s a catfish!”

Penny and I left them in peace and continued our hike. We walked up to the railroad tracks and then along them until we got to a log that crosses the brook. I headed across thinking Penny would swim. She did, but that was not her first choice:

Penny tries to cross the log

Penny tries to cross the log


I was amazed that she tried this. She couldn’t get around that branch, but she tried for several minutes before giving up. I stayed on the far side of the creek and headed to Little Cohas Cache. Penny found a place and swam across.

Meanwhile I heard the pickup truck start the engine and drive away. Penny and I did some bushwhacking and got back to the trails. Then we went home.

I slept until nearly 9:00am on Sunday. Va made pancakes, and after breakfast Beth went outside. She came in and asked if she could plant the garden. I thought that sounded like a great idea, so out I went. I dug some fertilizer out of the garage and sprinkled that on the little 4×4 plot. Then Beth mixed it in. Then I went and got the wheelbarrow so we could get some compost. It needed some attention first:

Rotted wheel

Rotted wheel


The tire would not make a good seal around the rims as they were so rusted. Also, the bearings are shot. I had bought a replacement tire a couple of weeks ago, so I got that out, and two rusted-bolts later, it was on.
All better

All better


We went to the compost pile (basically, the leaf dump in the woods) and loaded it up. Then wheeled it over to th garden and unloaded it. We mixed it in, and I divided the plot into 9 squares. Beth planted carrots, swiss chard, peas, and some cosmos.
Planting the spring garden

Planting the spring garden


Then it started snowing.

My plan is to build five more of these 4×4 beds with enough space between them for the mower to fit. I wasn’t able to do this before today due to the broken wheelbarrow (unless I wanted to carry a bunch of stones all over the property).

We went in and had some noodles for lunch. Then Beth and I headed over to the church to work on the cardboard boats. The first order of business was to free my kayak from its cocoon. I sliced from the cockpit to the nose, but the cardboard was too stiff to get the kayak out through that opening. So I cut out the front quarter panel.

Warran preparing to help free the kayak

Warran preparing to help free the kayak


That opening was likewise insufficient, so I removed the other quarter panel as well. With that out of the way, we were able to spring the kayak out.
Free at last!

Free at last!


Then we glued some tabs to the hull and reattached the deck.
Reattaching the "hood"

Reattaching the "hood"


It’s on there pretty good now. We will add a couple more layers of cardboard, then cover it with drywall tape and paint it. I am convinced this will be the fastest boat in the competition.

After three hours of that, Va and the boys showed up. We cleaned up and then went out to eat. (I was dressed more for canoe construction than for fine dining, but… them’s the breaks).

When we got home I decided to start laying the walls for my second raised garden bed. I had some stones that I had gathered a couple of years ago, and dug some holes to accept the more irregular shapes (leaving the smooth edges for the top and outside). When I dug into the ground, I was reminded of why I can only have a raised bed here. Gravel. In fact, I dug more gravel out of that hole than dirt. It’s kinda hard to see in the photo, so you’ll just have to trust me on that.

It was nearly dark, so I used the flash

It was nearly dark, so I used the flash


This is where the builder stored a huge pile of gravel when the house was built. When they finished, they left a lot of it here and just buried it beneath an inch of topsoil. That makes for some pretty tough gardening! I ended up laying one wall and quarrying three more wheelbarrows of stone. I will continue to lay the walls and then fill the bed with topsoil (which I suppose I will have to buy). A yard ought to do it.

Yesterday Beth and I took a a short hike to visit our geocaches.  Hers had been reported as somewhat vandalized, and I wanted to drop a travel bug in mine.  The vandalism to hers was not severe.  Someone had found it and scattered the stuff in it around.  The cacher who reported this could not find the a log book.  So we went there with a new log book, and hid the cache somewhere else.  We need to add more toys to it though.

Then we quickly made a visit to my cache.  I dropped the travel bug in it, and also emptied all the trade items and arranged them in a pose.

I don’t know which if these guys is Little Cohas.  We bushwhacked to the cache (that is the only way to get there), but from a different direction this time.  On the way, we saw a log crossing Little Cohas Brook, and from the other side of the creek, it was only 50 feet or so to the railroad tracks.  So we crossed the log.

Beth went first.  Penny went last, but she decided to swim across.  It was much easier going that way, because there is a trail that dumps out onto the railroad tracks. 

We went home and I got cleaned up a bit.  Va and I had tickets to see the Granite State Symphony Orchestra (compliments of my employer).  They performed three songs, one of which I am well familiar with, Rimsky-Korsakov’s Russian Easter Overture.  I especially enjoyed that one.  Va liked that las piece they performed, Tchaikovski’s Fourth Symphony.  I may have liked that one better had I been familiar with it, and I guess that says something about me.

The next morning we had a Pathfinder meeting, and we resumed work on the cardboard boats.  Here’s where we left them:

I need to bring in a second set of sawhorses to put the kayak on.  It’s hard to work on it on the table (can’t get the rope beneath it very handily).  I am very well pleased with the progress of the kayak.  If we pull this off (and it looks like we will), I am convinced it will be the fastest boat in the competition in May.

The past three days have featured some glorious weather. I was out in it (for at least a little while) on all three days, but didn’t manage to post anything here until now. So let’s back up and see what’s been happening here.

On Sunday we had a Pathfinder meeting and began constructing our cardboard boat, or rather, boats. We’re going to try building two of them this year, both of them being molded on my canoe and kayak.

Cardboard boat-building begins

Cardboard boat-building begins


Last time we did this (back in 2009), the whole thing was built inside. We didn’t have summer weather in March in 2009. Step one was to wrap my canoe in plastic so we don’t end up gluing a bunch of cardboard to it. I didn’t bother with the kayak, because it’s already plastic, and I don’t think the glue will stick so much to it.
The first layer

The first layer


Then we started wrapping them in cardboard, and tying that down with rope (on the canoe), or duct tape (on the kayak). We’re trying two techniques simultaneously so we can compare results afterwards. That was about as far as we got Sunday. Next week we will continue by gluing cardboard onto the cardboard, until we have four or five layers on there. But I am getting ahead of myself. We’ll talk more about the process as we make progress.

When we got home, Beth and I took a walk through the Northfield Town Forest, the purpose again being to bring the GPS and map out some of the trails. The purpose was also to go for a lovely walk. We succeeded on both points.

We hiked the trail that includes this bridge over Little Cohas Brook (as I call it).

Penny crosses the bridge!

Penny crosses the bridge!


As you can see from this photo, Penny went right over the bridge. This is a first for her. In the past she has been terrified of this bridge, far preferring to swim the brook even when it is choked in ice. I have tried pulling on her leash to get her to cross and I’ve even carried her over more than once (when I thought the chill of the brook would likely kill her before we got home again). But today, she just trotted across. This photo is actually showing her crossing the bridge on the return trip. She was acting like it was no big deal, but that is not at all how she has acted in the past. It’s nice to see she has overcome her terror.

The town forest abuts Sandogardy Pond, and some of the trails lead to the beach. So of course, we found ourselves there in our quest to map the trails. It’s still iced over.

Sandogardy Pond, still iced over

Sandogardy Pond, still iced over


Penny’s nonchalant crossing of the bridge has nothing to do her fear of hypothermia. As soon as we got to a place along the beach with open water, she plopped herself right down in it and drank. Dogs are insane. I didn’t manage to get a picture of that though.

When I got home, I uploaded the GPX file recorded by my GPS and traced out the trails. Now the trails through the town forest are completely mapped (on OpenStreetMaps anyhow).

When we got back to the house, I went into my front woods looking for the pile of slime mold I posted last time. It was nowhere to be seen, so by that, I assume it really was a slime mold. They look like fungi, but unlike fungi, they move.

That takes us to Monday. I had Va bring Beth to my office after school so we could collect some seeds. She needs 15 different species. We had collected several on our walk Sunday, but she still needed some more. When she arrived, we did my normal lunchtime walk. The advantage of having phenology as a hobby is that I have memorized the id’s of several plants along that path – and I can now recognize them even from the dead stalks that are still standing.

Collecting Seeds

Collecting Seeds


Here she is collecting some hawthorn berries. The seeds are inside. We also grabbed a horse chestnut, some common yarrow, rose, cherry, black locust, round-headed bush clover, maple, and an oak-leaved hydrangea. There were three others too, but I can’t remember what they were at this point.

We both stopped and photographed some crocuses before heading back to the office.

Crocus

Crocus

That brings us up to today, the first day of Spring (or was that yesterday?) I took a nice walk around my woods when I got home. Rather than sticking to my path, I zig-zagged all over the place to see what I could find that would be different. I found what I think is a patch of pyrola.

Pyrola?

Pyrola?


This stuff grows in my woods, but I have not been able to put a species name on it yet. Pyrola’s are pretty difficult to distinguish (at least for me). They are an evergreen though, and I’ve found that the evergreens in my woods are really starting to green up. Here’s another example:
Trailing arbutus (Epigaea repens)

Trailing arbutus (Epigaea repens)


Trailing arbutus is among the first plants to flower in my woods, but that’s still several weeks away.

I also found two piles of deer sign:

Deer sign

Deer sign


I’ve not seen the perpetrator of this deed, but it’s nice to know they are around. There are a lot fewer deer here in NH as compared to VA. When we lived in VA, I’d see at least a half dozen deer per day. Here I see them about once per year. That makes them special for me again, which is a nice change.

I had to go to the bank today, so while I was out I did a lap around my usual lunchtime walk. The silver maple in front of the Holiday Inn was in full bloom:

Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum)

Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum)


It’s not a very spectacular flower, but I like it anyhow.

Yesterday I noticed that a crocus near my office had bloomed. I was on my way to the grocery store to get a pie for Pi Day when I noticed it, but I didn’t have my camera. I swung by today with the camera, but the flower had closed. Oh well.

When I set out for the pie, I thought I might try the bakery downstairs from my office. I asked the lady there if they had pie, and she said no – but lots of cake. Then she asked, “Does it have to be a pie?” Since I was getting it for Pi Day (March 14, or 3-14, as in pi ~= 3.14), I said, “Yes, it has to be a pie.” Then she surprised me by asking, “Is this for that Pi Day thing?” Wow. I guess Pi Day is famouser and famouser now.

Just in time for me to embrace tau (which is two times pi, and a much better number). There is a manifesto, but I will spare you. Suffice it to say that I think a lot of people would be less confused if we used tau (the ratio of a circle’s circumference over its radius) instead of pi (circumference over diameter).

Tonight was Chess Night again, so I took David to the community center for that. He won all his games tonight. Va took him to the library for chess on Monday, and he played a two-hour game against a guy, ending in a draw. He has still not been defeated.

While he played chess, I did a little shopping. I bought three gallons of wood glue, some cheapo paint brushes, a large sheet of plastic, some paint buckets, and some masking tape. This is, of course, all for the Pathfinders’ cardboard boat. I hauled a bunch of cardboard from the office to the church on the way home. Construction begins on Sunday.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 60 other followers