Saturday Va took the Adventurer Club to Ken’s farm. I worked on a few patches with my group (Trees and Beavers). Va worked with her group on something else, but I don’t know what. The plan was to go down to a beaver pond after that, and since the weather was threatening, we decided to make the run sooner rather than later.
Ken took us down to his brother’s farm where there was an active beaver pond. I would say they have been quite active by the looks of this tree.
It was at least 18″ in diameter. I like how the heartwood never gave up, bending rather than breaking.
In short order we found ourselves at the edge of the pond. They had built the largest beaver lodge I had ever seen. It was at least three times larger than the biggest one I had seen before that day.
This monster was about eight feet tall and a good twenty feet wide at the waterline. It had to have been even bigger beneath the surface.
The kids gathered at the edge of the pond, and I wanted to get a shot of that with the pond, then them at the edge, but with their faces showing. I saw a little spit of land jutting out into the pond, and thought I’d go out on that to get the angle I was after. Bad Move. I stepped onto what looked like solid ground, and my foot began to sink into the mud. Before I could shift my weight to the other leg, I was in up to my knee. It took five minutes to extract my foot. When I did, my boot was still firmly attached to my foot, and I count that as a good thing. My sock was even dry, which is a testament to this boot (a Scarpa if you must know).
The sky opened up before we were done, so we high-tailed it back to the cars and headed for home.
Meanwhile, the Pathfinders were out distributing bags to the south end of Concord as we do every year. It’s phase one of our annual food drive. I did not join them, as I was helping Va with her group. She’s short on staff, and I have an embarrassment of riches in that department. So my staff handled the Pathfinder project quite ably as I helped Va with the Adventurers.
Phase two came the next day. We used to give people a week to gather food, but found that giving them a day works just as well. For as many people who don’t give because they need to go shopping, we used to have as many who would forget because an entire week went by. It all comes out in the wash.
While we were out collecting the filled bags, I spied this awesome plow truck.
I shot that photo through the unwashed passenger window from the driver’s seat, so there’s plenty of room for the photo to have improved. But I was more interested in the subject of the photo than in the artistry.
The Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) is in full swing now.
I’ve been working on those wooden canoes I bought for the club a little while back. I have one outwale removed from the 19-footer now and most of the inwale too. The gunwales (inwale+outwale) were attached to the hull with no glue, and I needed three different types of screw drivers to get them off (flat, Phillips, and a square S-2).
I bought a 20′ long ash board today at Goose Bay Lumber in Chichester. I went there during lunch, and hadn’t been planning on that trip ahead of time. Thus, I didn’t have a way to get it home. I left it at the lumber yard and asked Va to bring my roof rack when she came to Concord to pick up Beth from school. She obliged, so after work, I went and got the rack and then the board. I also bought some shorter lengths of ash and a 4′ length of maple, I will fashion a new thwart from that.
I need to rip the 20′ ash plank into four 5/8″ pieces now. I haven’t decided if I want to try that on my table saw or if I want to try to talk Ken into doing it for (or with) me. Once I have it ripped into four chunks I will cut scuppers into two of them to serve as inwales. Before attaching them though I will need to resand the hull and probably add some fiberglass here and there. It sounds like a lot of effort, but I don’t think it really is.
I’ll keep you posted.