Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Gentleman Naturalist.

My gentleman naturalist persona got a boost this week.

I've been designing a vest that will hold my compass, x-acto knife, fountain pen, and so on. But a vest is fitted and structured, and without a sewing machine or a pattern it is beyond me. But Casey passed along this awesome classy vest. Actually it is so classy and fits so poorly that I might have him try it on to see if a small alteration would make it wearable for him. If not, I will cut it all up and fill it with pockets and wear it everywhere and be the fanciest naturalist. 
I gathered these in Vermont. The green one is serpentine, I think the white one is quartz, and I don't know what the black one is so I have to hang up my naturalist hat. We thought it might be mica because it sparkles. I was thinking I could have a rock collection sorted by region, and then when I go places I could bring back a rock for my rock album. 
 At the San Francisco airport there is an exhibit about microscopes through the ages. I liked them since they were brass and lenses, but I was extremely excited to see the way these specimens were displayed. Each wooden strip is like a glass microscope slide except it's for opaque things. The sign said the specimens include dolphin scale, seeds, thistles, mosses, corals, and minerals. Wooden slides like that will be super easy to make the next time I have drill press access. I could gather specimens when I go letterboxing or traveling, and keep track of them in a little leather log book.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Marlboro Graduation

I went to Marlboro, VT, with my boyfriend's family for his graduation. We flew to the East Coast then drove to Vermont. Vermont is the nicest! 
 I went there for the first time in Fall and thought it was such a perfect fall place, with jack o lanterns and forests full of color changing trees. So I was surprised to see that it pulled off springtime beautifully. (In my part of the world we have rainy, dry and fresh, hot with intermittent hot spells, then dry and dusty. We have orange leaves in fall and snowflakes in winter because children cut them out of paper. So I am familiar with seasons in theory only.)
 Right away after the sweet graduation everyone had to move out of campus housing. This little guy turned up when Cottage 2 cleared out their freezer.
 There are sugar shacks all over. A sugar shack makes maple syrup out of maple sap. This one is in someone's yard and it works on the honor system.
We weren't close to this Norman Rockwell Exhibition/Sugar Shack (and our days were very packed) so we didn't go, but I imagine it is sweet as anything. 

I took this little narwhal along. He's really at home anywhere.

I don't have a particular reason to go to Vermont again, since Casey has moved back to California (yay!!) but it is very green and comfortable and lovely.