Sunday, December 25, 2011

Planes, geese and roofing.

Here are a couple of images from the last month or so. We've had biplanes, mass geese migrations over the house and lots of ladder work. Merry Christmas everyone!

Framed out before putting up the plywood and face plates

First section on

All done

First front over master bedroom

2nd bedroom done

A morning panorama 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Heading towards winter

We've been getting frost on a regular basis and the deciduous trees are down to their skeletons. I really like how much the landscape opens up and reveals hidden spots in our area.

The seasonal shift has brought our friendly neighbourhood beaver back to the pond and he/she seems relatively unbothered by my regular traipsing round the pond trying to get some photos. I caught him in a lazy moment as he was tanning on the pond's edge - I think he put off going back in the cold water as long as possible.

We also saw a new deer investigating the pond - the first buck with antlers I've managed to get a photo of.

The changing light has made the area even more photogenic in a way. I've made use of a panorama compiling program called 'hugin' - I highly recommend it - it's free! Below are some panoramic shots and some others that came out well. Click on an image to view it full size.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

DIY furniture take 3: A George Nelson bench

Recently, I've been using the tried and tested excuse of DIYers everywhere ("I've got the time and we could save a lot doing it ourselves..."), I've tackled building another piece of furniture for our wonderful but oh-so-sparsely-furnished house. This was a bit of a jump from my last projects which consisted of:

1. a cat-scratch pole

Silka was a very obliging cat-scratch pole model.

 2. a very rustic (read rough/clunky) dining table,

... I chose the ambitious goal of building a 4' George Nelson bench, an iconic design which is on sale for US$300-$800 new, depending on which source you buy from.

Altogether I spent about $70 on materials and some $60 on new tools, sandpaper and polyurethane to finish it.

It was a serious learning process and I had a couple of false starts, made some adjustments and took my time. It's far from perfect but I'm very pleased with the results.

 If you are interested, check out my mid century modern furniture business Trystcraft . I find, restore, refinish (no chalk paint!) and repair mid century modern furniture and ship it worldwide.

The legs just after the stain/seal had dried.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Deer in the garden

We had a nice deer moment this afternoon when the doe and her two fawns came and nibbled on the acorns from the oak at the pond's edge. She was wary as usual but she loosened up after a bit, and I managed to get some nice shots:

The doe on high alert

The two fawns bounced across the lawn after drinking from the pond.

One of the fawns tells mum 'It's okay, don't worry Mum - these acorns are yummy'.... Yeah, I may need to get out a bit more.

Family meal

The two fawns arguing as per usual.

The doe's final pose.

The cats were happy to watch the deer - although I'm not sure Smokey (the grey) was watching, he just likes to join in with everything.

Animal Antics

The change in seasons seems to have the animals in the area acting up, though none more so than our own cats, the more adventurous of which, Silka, escaped and spent 30 hours outside. Considering she's a house cat from Hong Kong, I'd guess it was an enlightening experience, although judging from where we found her, I'm not sure she had as good a time as she thought she might. My father in law Nik, Vanessa and I tracked her down to a 50 foot pine tree in the woods nearby, chainsawed it down- 

...she was at the very top-then chased her through the woods for another 30 minutes or so until she was completely exhausted. I managed to get close enough to throw a blanket over her and take her back to our warm house.

The 50 foot pine - Silka's home for the night.

She settled back in very quickly- after gobbling up food, she slept for most of the next day.

Smokey didn't seem that bothered by it all.

We've also had a couple of goose squadrons buzz our house in the morning

And last night we had a opossum come right up to the patio doors and try to get in. The cats were suprised to say the least. 
Smokey freaked out - his tail gets all bushy when he's stressed.
 The opossum returned later that night when we were in bed, it seemed determined to get one way or another.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Deer shots

Saw the doe and her two fawns that roam the area this evening, grazing at the back of our pond. She spotted me and didn't like it that I'd got some photos of her when she was looking, so she took her two young 'uns back into the woods.

One of the fawns

Spotted by the doe.

...back into the woods the three go.

Monday, October 3, 2011

More wildlife

Well,  the deer must have read my last blog post because they showed up this evening, hopefully because I built a little make-shift deer feeder and sprinkled some corn around it.

Typically, the deer spotted me just as took the first photo. The deer feeder is the bucket on the stand to the right.

The two had a bit of a conference.

Then decided to head off into the woods.

There were also a lot of large birds of prey out today.

I though this was quite an interesting shot.

The cats are enjoying the house, spending most of their time dealing with the dilemma of lying in the sun or sprawling on the wooden floor in the shade when they get too hot.


Yesterday was also the first time we experienced cold weather while in the house. It went down to 39F/4C outside but stayed around 68F/20C inside. The house really benefits from passive solar gain, with the living room especially warming up nicely with the sunrise and throughout the day. We still haven't had the heating system on which has saved us a bit of money electricity-wise.

Cold morning: Any excuse to wear my bathrobe.