Saturday, December 5, 2009

Festival of Trees Followup and a Santa Hat / Purse

Our tree was a modest success!   A lady from Athens (Athens, WI) put in a bid for $350.  Also overheard were several nice comments along the lines of "How did they make that?"  and "Finally, a tree that could actually go in a normal person's house!"  
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 Below are two views of the Holiday purse my sister Anne made for grand-daughter and grand-niece.


If you Gooogle "Santa Purse" you can find other versions and directions for making your own.
But basically all you do is buy a pre-made Santa hat,  cut it in half horizontally, sew the bottom closed, add a lining inside if desired and sew the cut-off hat top (with pom-pom) just inside the open edge of the purse to make a flap closure.  Handles or straps may be added as desired:  my sister bought 2-inch wide fur trim, folded and sewed it in half lengthwise and sewed the ends into the purse for a long strap.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Our craft group -- the 6 of us call ourselves the Sugar Maple Crafters -- spent all sessions this year creating homemade decorations for a 6 foot Christmas tree at the Wausau Festival of Trees.  (90-some trees and decorations are all donated, raffled off, and proceeds go to Wausau Aspirus Hospice House.  The project raises around $150,000 annually.)  This was our group's first attempt.  We are anxiously waiting to see how well our tree does.  Below are views of a few other entries at the 2009 Festival of Trees.

Above:  this tree's theme was The Wizard of Oz.  Beneath it is a "dollhouse", but notice that this dollhouse has landed on top of the Wicked Witch and smashed her flat! . . . .

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sunday (Sunny Day) in November

Well, the photos are in reverse order compared to the order of events. From bottom up:

Rib Falls United Methodist Church, all shiny white in its new (vinyl) siding.
We are getting to the end of a two year project to strengthen foundations, add a multi-purpose room, install new doors. The window trim and the bell tower need painting yet . . . . Talked of a leap of faith at the beginning of the project, but what it took was lots of baby steps.

The pheasants (roosters here, but there are hens too) live on a game farm in Taylor County, WI. Multiple pens along a half mile of County Highway M, so that means hundreds (thousands?) of birds. I don't know much about the farm; guessing the birds are raised there and released elsewhere for hunting. Notice the small blue helmets on each rooster: maybe they are intended to protect their eyes? Do pheasants not "play nicely together" when space is somewhat crowded? The farm is near Perkinstown in the Chequamegon Natl Forest, west of Medford and east of Gilman.

The sunsets are from two successive Sundays in November. This is a bonus for living on a hilltop.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Featuring Red, Red Maples

This maple at corner of Hwys O and U can be relied upon to turn red every year.
Another vividly red (red-orange) maple on the county line on Hwy FF and Church Road.
This maple "bush" grew in a ditch on a little lane north of Hwy 8 -- probably in Price County.
The collage/kaleidoscopes at the top were created from this shot.

The two above are "Gassner's Hill", a half mile west and south of home.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Autumn's Beginning in Marathon County

The Virginia Creeper vine had intensely red leaves on Sept. 10. There are 3 views above, and below are 3 of the kaleidoscopes that resulted:

These "silo sunsets" have the effect of the sun shining through the silo, but it's all a function of a reflection from my window back to the silo, back to the camera . . . Only could happen on the autumnal equinox (Sept. 20 - 21), when sun is straight west of us.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Rest of the Varmint Pics

[Had to relearn how to add more than one photo per posting.]

Above are the other two photos of two half-grown raccoons on top of our bird feeder.
The bungee strap keeps all such varmints from opening the top of the feeder.

Varmints on the Bird Feeder

We've been dog sitting for a niece this week . . .
Sunday night @ 10:30 the dog, Sadie, was barking, then growling a little bit.
OK, I'm curious what has her excited, so I get her hooked up on the leash, get a good strong grip and open the screen door.
And still she just about yanks me off my feet to get at the varmints. . . .
. . . 3 half grown raccoons. One headed across the driveway and up the big maple.
The other 2 were already on top of the bird feeder, 7 feet up, about 6 feet from the door.
I let Delmor hold Sadie (to keep them treed) while I got the camera -- results attached.
Delmor took a broom to the 2 on the bird feeder: knocked one off into the rose bush and the other jumped to the brick wall of our house and started going up the bricks. Enough fun for us. We took Sadie inside and left the varmints to figure out how to get off the house.
So now what do we do to discourage return visits? Make raccoon stew?
[Yah, we know about rabies in raccoons -- won't let the dog get near them.]

Monday, June 8, 2009

Fun with photos and the computer: flip and flop a picture three ways, then arrange the four versions on a single page; print a montage or kaleidoscope view. Then scan the print back into the computer to treat it as a single image . . . . I suppose some cameras have features that will do that auto-magically.

The experiment works best with photos that have a decided diagonal line of interest.

Friday, April 10, 2009

A grand experiment, this is, for an old "big iron" computer programmer. The primary reason for being here is to create a (better) way to share photos with friends and relatives. Seems like Cousin Tom's photos look so much better on his Blogger site that I'll try this route too. It's free, aint it!?

These photos are a "Stump Study" taken at the Big Eau Pleine Resevoir in north central Wisconsin on April 4, 2009.

Old pine stumps are a feature in many Wisconsin reservoirs. First the land was logged off, then the Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR) and WI Public Service (the power company) built dams and created the reservoirs in the 1930's, 1940's. The stumps have been underwater many years (a boater's bane), but recent drought and water draw-downs have exposed them. Also, water currents removed sand/silt from the lower roots, exposing them more completely.

2008-2009 Winter fish kill was very severe (80% + die-off) in Eau Pleine Reservoir due to: (1) low water level -- DNR does annual drawdown to only 22% of capacity, (2) fertilizer and manure runoff encourages vegetation growth on the bottom, which dies and rots which in turn "eats up" oxygen and (3) old aerators can't keep oxygen levels up in winter. Elected not to show photos of dead fish!