Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Duck issues and eight pounds of potato salad

Bookmaking continues.  I'm making about one a week, so soon I should be knee-deep in books, unless people start buying.  I'm still enjoying it immensely, and there are a lot of different techniques I want to try.  My latest, listed just today, is "Knave of Hearts."

This little guy was a lot of fun to make, and the small size is intriguing to me.  I bought an antique copy of Chaucer's "Knights Tale," coincidentally enough, thinking I might be able to clean up the cover and use it as it was.  Unfortunately the ink came off as I was cleaning it, so my fallback position was to use it as a substrate.  I colored it with Inktense pencils and my own brown glaze, and then applied a reproduction antique playing card and some metal embellishments.  I left the original pencil writings on the inside covers, but added the original copyright information on the front inside cover and included a few bird stamps on the back inside cover.  The small size of the book enabled me to get two folios out of each sheet of letter-sized paper, which meant less excess paper to recycle.  All in all, a fun project.

We've been having Duck Issues out back by the pond.  We had thought our paired mallards were going to lead babies up to the bird feeder any day, as they have in previous years (undoubtedly
not the same pair each year), and at one point we saw the female with two babies, but we never saw the babies again.  Now there are sometimes five male mallards and the one female, and we assume all or most of them were born here in the last several years, because they get along just fine.  Their ability to coexist is an indicator that there is no breeding going on, and nothing to defend.  It could be that the feral cats around here got the ducklings, or a coyote or a fox.  Really, it's amazing any ducklings ever survive to adulthood.  I also think this female is young and/or demented.  She sometimes stomps around quacking nonstop, and running at the male ducks, only to veer off before a confrontation.  She's peeved about something, that's for sure.

These stripey petunias came from
the garden center.  
I'm not happy with progress in the front garden.  The annuals I started from seed are still not catching up, despite excellent weather, plenty of water, and great compost-enriched soil.  Their perennial counterparts, which have been in the garden for years, are doing great, so it's not an environmental thing.  I'm beginning to wonder if they will ever do their annual job.  I also wish I'd just gone to the damned nursery and loaded up on flowers.  There is an awful lot to be said for instant gratification, especially at my age.  Next year I'll rent a van and buy everything they have!

While I was out front I saw that there was a lot of volunteer dill, so I picked some of it and came in to make potato salad.  Now we have eight pounds of the stuff, and it's so good that it will soon be gone.

In no particular order, here are some photos I took this morning in the front garden.

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