Saturday, October 8, 2016


We've had the most beautiful stretch of weather.  Sunny and warm during the day and cold enough at night that we close the windows up and start a fire in the boiler so it's not damp and chill in the morning.  I've relished every day that I didn't need a sweatshirt as a second layer.

The other day was cloudless from morning till night. The sheep are still working on the south pasture but now the hillside to the east is showing some color so we know change is coming.

In the very late afternoon the sunlight hits the hill at such a slant that everything is cast with an orange overtone.

Yesterday a front was coming through and the evening sky was lovely as we brought in the rams.  The gold and orange was quite dramatic.

The small volunteer maple near their water tub is also colorful.  It's a hard maple and one would expect it to show bright color in fall but I think some of it is due to stress - there are sections of bark missing where the boys have rubbed their heads on the trunk and the ground is packed pretty hard there since it's a favorite place to hang out in the heat of summer.

Green, orange, red, pink...... autumn in rural New York.

The boys are eating well and come in packed full and ready to sit and ruminate all night.

Andy had an interesting project - repairing an old cradle a neighbor wanted to use.  It came through one of Martin Donnelly's antique tool auctions.  The owner knew it was old and liked the look of it and wasn't concerned about trying to retain authenticity with exact restoration but did want the repairs to blend in.  The end panel at the foot of the cradle was missing the top four inches - it had cracked and come apart long ago.  All the joints were loose and needed stiffening up, one rocker was cracked and needed to be mended and it was very dirty.  They wanted it cleaned up but to still look old and be usable for a coming baby.

It's long and deep but I suppose there was a mattress or tick of some kind in the bottom.

This small decorative cut out on the head end is a nice detail.  In making the repair to the foot end Andy had to straighten up the old break and in planing it down discovered the wood to be tulip poplar.  It's fairly heavy and I'm puzzled by the lack of any kind of hand holds in the frame.  Sure, you probably didn't tote it around with the baby in it but it's still a bit awkward to carry empty.

The corners are all joined with hand cut dovetails and they are all a little bit different in dimension which made the repair a challenge.  In fact, on the head end there are ten dovetails on the right and nine on the left.  Surely not mass produced!

The rockers are different, either by design or perhaps the less elegant one is an old replacement done by someone less skilled than the original maker.

We're guessing the slots in the bottom were there to prevent moisture build up under a mattress.  Andy added a few small screws to stabilize the rockers to the bottom.  The few nails he found are square cut ones, so this is quite old.

There are even symmetrical holes bored through two places at the head end which was likely used to secure a bonnet or cover of some type to keep sun and bugs off the baby.

It turned out quite well.  I wonder what number baby the coming one will be to lay in it.

And since we haven't seen Holly in a while....... dog and flower pictures!

"I'm the best baby.  I was housebroken in just a few days!  And I'm still awful cute!"

 "I do roll in fun stuff sometimes..........but I'm a dog."

 "Nobody's perfect and I don't mind a nice warm baff if I get........."

"Wait!  What's that cat doing?  I'm not sure that's allowed - better go check it out!"

Holly's like me - she likes it hot and sunny so we've had a good run of days!


  1. Thanks for posting the lovely fall color photos. I do miss the gorgeous display! We get beautiful sunsets, but the live oaks stubbornly stay green, as do the palmettos. Our maples and sweet gums will turn yellow, perhaps peachy orange if we get a cold snap (that would be 50F for us, at night), but the chlorophyll won't start to go around here until November.

  2. Beautiful days you are having... And the trees! Thanks for the pictures. That cradle is just precious - the stories it holds.
    Hugs to your Holly! And I am hoping for a long fall - Enjoy!