Sunday, November 30, 2014

Birdhouse London

Positive Results

["I call it the 'Harrison Special'"]

I came up with a new birdhouse design this summer (above) after looking at wood on hand and wondering how to use narrow boards to make a 'small but spacious' model for local nesting birds. One person described it recently by saying it looks like 'it has a woodshed at the side'. Good call. It is easy to make and has become one of my most popular models. (I know this because I don't have many left in the workshop!)

Other positive features:

["A free birdhouse on a front bench. Lovely"]

["The perch looks like my Uncle Louie!"]

Not my Uncle Louie, somebody else's. He must have had a droopy nose!

Link to Birdhouse London (completed houses)

Photos GH

Bird Watching

Ups and Downs

I can tell when sparrows and squirrels have been messin' around my bird feeder. Sparrows toss a lot of seeds onto the ground and then doves come by to make a living from seeds in the grass. And squirrels occasionally jump from a nearby tree and bang - head on - into my feeder's security guard.

["Easy or slim pickin's?"]

["Bent but not broken and hangin' on by a toenail"]

Link to Bird Watching

Photos GH

Small Pleasures

Easy Delivery System

["Good Morning, Sunshine"]

Small pleasures come in old travel mugs.

["I don't mind the waiting"]

Link to Zoom w a View

Photos GH

One Grateful Squirrel Part 2

He's Back

I might have made a big mistake. I tossed a stale English muffin out the back door a couple of days ago, which was immediately nabbed by a hearty gray squirrel, and maybe made a friend for life.

The squirrel seems to have staked out my backyard as its current home even though I'm out of muffins. Now what? I want fewer squirrels in my yard not more.


Link to One Grateful Squirrel Pt 1

Photo by GH

Thursday, November 27, 2014

One Grateful Squirrel

English muffin, anyone?

I tossed half an English muffin out the back door and within ten seconds a gray squirrel nabbed it and raced toward a fence rail. It looks like one happy camper now.

Photo GH

Scotland 2014 Photos: Favourites

October 22 - All Aboard for HMS Belfast!

["I am told to don an apron after signing up for volunteer kitchen duty"]  

On October 22, during a very popular tour of HMS Belfast, I was delighted to lend a hand in the very busy, efficient kitchen. The cook's assistant and I got along very well and he was as surprised as me when we discovered the recipe for HMS Belfast Hash (served in large quantities every Wednesday to crew and tourists) is almost identical to my own Harrison Hash.

["Well, good hash is good hash, eh," we say in unison. Jolly good laugh!]

With hot hash at the ready, Robbie Simmonds tried for first in line. He was, in fact, a very close second.

["Back up a bit, Robbie. I'll save some for you."]

All in a day's work aboard HMS Belfast, formerly a WW2 Royal Navy light cruiser.

Photos GH

Scotland 2014 Photos: Faint Footsteps

Last Full Day in London - October 22

I think I saved the best for last.

Five weeks ago yesterday I visited HMS Belfast (a ship that saw action during D-Day Normandy and is now anchored in the Thames), walked across London Bridge and circled the Tower of London. My journal says that after I returned to my apartment I "organized myself for trip to Edinburgh," e.g., I "did laundry, packed (95%)" before walking to "THE SHIP 4 fish and chips, 5 Pounds w Fullers Ale."

The walk alone was worth the money.

 ["A fantastic ship housed indoors beside the River Thames"]

 ["The Shard as seen from The Ship"]

 ["How goes the mail?" I ask the ship's postman. "Dry up," he says sharply"]

 ["Need a hand with lunch?" I ask. "Apron's right behind ye," says the cook's assistant]

 ["Note the brass icon for 'public washroom! 'Twas a life-saver"]

["Blue Group climbs a wall to escape traffic. "Good luck," I say.]

Last four words in that day's journal entry: London Pride and ESB.

Translation - I enjoyed two lovely pints at The Ship and was likely home and fast asleep before 10 PM.

But did I make the train to Edinburgh on time?

More to follow.

Link to Scotland 2014 Photos: Favourites

Photos GH

The Workshop - Tackle Box of Wine

Cabernet for Certain

I applied Cabernet stain to the already dark western cedar but not straight from the can. Thinned w thinner. It stinks up the house until I put a lid on it. By the time Nick gets his tackle box the only smell in the air will be aromatic cedar.

Up next - a lid for one inside section, hand carvings, hardware.

Link to The Workshop

Photos GH

Zoom w a View

Favourite Photo

What sa Hali Fax? Good question.

This wee character plays a big role in a recent poem.

Link to I Wood be a Tree

Phooto GH

It Strikes Me Funny

Camera Check

My wife accidentally snapped this photo while checking if the flash was on. I think she's got a good eye, along with many other lovely features : )

Link to It Strikes Me Funny

Photo PH

I Wood be a Tree

If I Could

'A wee poem' inspired by events concerning a Poet-Tree box recently
attached to, then removed from (by City decree), a tree in Old South 

If I could I wood be a tree, perhaps a giant red wood
And live 1,000 years, with my head in the clouds.

If not a red wood then something rarer still
Like a coniferiduous or deciduonifer,
With both leaves and needles side by each,
Be green year round and laden with chestnuts.

I would welcome adventurous climbers,
Boys and girls on a swing,
Friends seeking shelter
And birds on the wing.

I would sing with the wind, always in tune,
Reach to the sun and howl with the moon.

I would act as a signpost, point east and west
Lend a hand to a gardener and squirrels in a nest.
I would act as a home for birds in a box,
Take a nail for a poem, hold a line for wet socks.

Really, if I could I wood be a tree,
Perhaps a giant red wood
Or something rarer still.


Link to more Poetry and Prose

Photos by GH

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Workshop - Nick's Tackle Box

Stain or Red Wine?

["Western cedar, w wood conditioner, but no stain"]

The western cedar was free to me - except for delivery - so I will pass along some savings. The stain, however, was not. Client Nick should expect a pretty high bill.

["Stain or red wine?"]

                                         ["Cabernet or Chardonnay?"]

["Lid, unstained for now"]

A good bottle of Cabernet doesn't come cheap.

Link to The Workshop

Photos GH

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Workshop - Cedar Box

Nick's Tackle Box

Poor Nick has been waiting for this box for about - feels like - ten years. The box is made from rustic western cedar and trimmed with the rugged, well-worn outer layer from one particular board. Look close and you'll spot a few historic fungi I refused to remove with sandpaper or chemical. They tell part of the story as Nick waits, waits, waits some more.

["Compartments and lid now sport a nice coat of wood conditioner"]

In the future the compartments will hold - so I have been told - Nick's journal and treasured fishing gear. So, more work to be done that will fit with that theme.

More to follow, e.g., stain, varnish, hand-carved dodads, a fishing lure. But you'll have to wait awhile!

Link to The Workshop

Photos GH

Ground Control to Major Tom Photo Array

November 11, Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum

I took one hundred other photos at the highly-regarded museum and Number 332, a large cargo plane, is one of my favourites.

Other favourites to follow.

Photos GH

Ground Control to Major Tom

Famous Last Words

["All photos taken November 11 at the Warplane Museum, Hamilton"]

Major Tom: Ground Control, give us the good word.

      Ground Control: Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, lift off.

Major Tom: Planet earth is blue. I'm feeling very still.

Link to more Ground Control to Major Tom

Photos GH

The Workshop - Mailbox Progress

Two Coats

["Last week's progress was Steady Eddie"]

If a third coat is needed then today is the day. Nice and windy. I'll paint in a lower room and leave the back door open.

Of the three mailboxes I am currently assembling, two have received a 'two shades of green' paint job. The third may get stain and varnish or primary colours, but at the moment, the finish is still up in the air. (I may just have to toss a coin).

["This week's progress - hmmmm"]

That being said, my progress report is in the mail.

Link to The Workshop

Photos GH