Friday, May 19, 2006

A Nice Catalpa Tree Salad Bowl

Mr. John, one of the people that taught me about the woody plants, and timeless techniques of green woodworking, said when he was growing up in Bolton Hill (Baltimore) the bums would live in the Catalpa trees in Druid Hill park,the trees were so old and huge that they rotted out in the center and you could crawl inside and be able to stand up.
I always liked these trees, they have big leaves and in a week or two should have white flowers and crazy been pods, I read somewhere that they are from the dinosaur era, I guess they thrived then and were probably bigger too, so anyway, I ain't no cave man! But I like the way this stuff shines iridescence and it is super light, it looks like a heavy bowl but its really light and strong.
This is a wedding present for some friends, the date on the bottom is their wedding day and I finished it and we delivered it the other day. You have a year right ? On wedding gifts?

My friend is an Arborist and removed this tree fom a yard in Balto county and I grabed a log section like 18" long, split it in half and hand hewed it to shape.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Escape from Granogue!
sometimes it felt like a slow exodus, walking behind a group of geared m.t.b. racers up a hill, I am not a fast walker and it really wears me down, I think my gearing was to big for this ride and I hate to say that because I always thought that if I had to walk a climb I would still be going as fast as the geared biker. It rained it's ass off on the way up Saturday morning and that was discouraging to me, the French Creek race was a horrid wet mess, I was really looking to redeem my mechanical and cramping misfortunes this time.
It wasn't very bad, the trails were looking really slippery, they were very wet, real muddy in some sections but suprisingly grippy through out, I had a blast! Some of it was fast and you could lean into the corners, maybe get your self a little slide going.
The things that beat me down were the longish grass climb and the road climb at the end of the two seven mile laps, this is where the easier gearing would have saved me, and getting jambed up in the single track, especially on the climbs made it hard to find my rhythm.
I have never ridden there, much less heard of the place, so this is the only and possibly best opportunity to ride it, ya know full on! and it's Delaware it cant be that rocky or steep compared to where I ride in Maryland. It was about what I expected.
I wish I had some internal woods shots. A-Fish accompanied me and she took some good pics of my suffering, the first pic on this post is one and the tower to the left. It was a good spectator race, lots of sights, It's really cool to go there, I don't think you can go uninvited, and ride the trails. I read somewhere that this family has had the property since the early 1800's and it's like 400 acres. Delaware is nice, the Wilmington area we were in was very clean with wide bike lanes and flowery road scapes.I saw a lot of people road riding, and using the bike lane for jogging, it seemed very user friendly.

So I forgot my post ride refuling supplies, no worries Dog Fish Head is what Delaware is really known for and A-Fish was kind enough to drive, so a quick stop on the way out at the wine and beer store, and sixty minute later I was settled in.