September 2018

This September has certainly been interesting.   A few incidents of note along our road.  Every fall, red efts, the second stage of the eastern newt (Notophthalmus viridescens), are on the move to find places to spend the winter.  This one was only about 1.2″ (3.5 cm) long, probably from this spring.Also along my walks, I chanced upon a yew (Taxus yew) shrub, complete with those cute red fruit, which are poisonous.Around the shop and yard, I was also pretty busy.  Last spring I dug down to bedrock and poured two footers for the garden shed.  This September, with the help of my son, we finally got the shed re-positioned.  The front right side had to be lowered 3″ (7.6 cm), while the back had to be jacked up almost 5″ (12.7 cm).  The stones upon which the back rested were not on bedrock, and had sunk into the ground.  Time to fix.  It took the better part of a day.The following weekend, we took off for the Hancock Shaker Village, for a Natalie Merchant concert. Sorry, no photos allowed, but I got some good ones of the round stone barn: 

Built in 1826, it features amazing stonework.It’s the interior framing that is even more stunning, and complex.  It is two and a half stories high: a manure pit mostly below ground level, the first floor for cattle, and the second floor the wagon floor.  The entire  central portion is the hay mow.  Wagons would come up the ramp to the second floor and the hay would be pitched into the center, 55′ (16.8 m) in diameter, and almost 40′ (12.2 m) high,with a ventilation shaft in the middle.September is usually our vacation month.  We took the last week to go to Trenton, ME, just this side of Acadia National Park. There is so much to do and see.  Of course I went to the tool barn at Hull’s Cove.  It’s always s must see.  This late in the season, there wasn’t anything that I found, or needed.  My daughter picked up a load of goodies, however.The weather was varied, from sunny and mild to stormy and wild.  The fog was in and the waves were crashing on the pink granite when we visited the Schoodic portion of the park.We spent a good bit of time exploring the rest of the park.  Just had to have pop-overs at the Jordan Pond  House, saw several of our favorite places, including this isolated little patch.  It was where I visited the first time I came to Acadia in 1969.In downtown Bar Harbor we spent a bit of time going through the Abbe Museum, where they had an exhibit of Abanaki war clubs, as well as this marvelous birch bark canoe.We also explored nearby Ellsworth, a really nice town, once you get off the commercial strip into the older downtown. Met friends at the KoT Gallery, went to dinner and of course we had to sample the local brews at Fogtown.Nothing lasts forever, and now I’m back in the shop.  Before vacation I did get a third coat of oil onto the single door cabinet.  It turned out nicely, with some interesting figure in the door panels.Next up is a five-drawer chest.  I’ve got the two sides and the top laid out from one 22″ (55.9 cm) cherry board.  It awaits my return early Monday morning.

The new book, Shaker Inspiration: Five Decades of Fine Craftsmanship, by the Lost Art Press, is almost off to the printer, and should be for sale by late November or early December.  Watch for it.

C.H. Becksvoort © 2018

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