Migration Patterns ~ Robins Return to Holly Road

The end of every January, flocks of robins stop at this holly tree on their way back north. They start at the top and work their way down, eating every berry until the tree is bare. Then they move on.

 

Brush Creek Yachts ~ Concentric Circles and Paradoxes

Doug, his son Ben, and Marvin Spencer, with the new Marsh Cat “Magpie”

 

(This is a post started last August; am just getting back to it.)

It will take nearly four hours of driving to get there, to get where the boat is, a boat built by hand in the loft of an old barn. We head out at sunrise while there’s still dew on the grass.

We don’t go east toward the coast, though, where most boats and builders of them live. Instead, we turn and go the other direction – to the southwest into the mountains. Instead of the land of crabs and oysters and skipjacks, we’re going deep into coal and bluegrass and moonshine country.

After 200 miles of driving we’ll still be in Virginia, though just barely. From south of Fries it’s just 10 miles as the crow flies to the Carolina line, and 20 to Mount Rogers, the highest peak in Virginia. This is where Marvin Spencer, proprietor and master craftsman of Brush Creek Yachts, lives and builds boats.

 

Buffalo Mountain

 

 

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Logging as an Art Form

Came across this video a few days before Christmas. Just found it again.

Cutting timber on steep mountainsides in Switzerland. So steep that no conventional equipment can be used. It’s all done by hand, with chain saws and hand jacks.

The trees have to be partially felled, carefully shaped, prepped and aligned, so when finally broken loose with the jack they shoot straight down the mountainside to the water below.

Once there, the logs are caught and corralled, then chained together in a big boat-shaped raft and towed down the lake.

 

INS HOLZ (IN THE WOODS) from mythenfilm on Vimeo.

 

 

Winter Harbor ~ Nocturnes

 

direct youtube link

 

It’s almost time to go. In the morning the Melonseed will get stuffed with gear, leaving a little room to skootch back and forth, tacking upwind all the way back. The tide will be out. Lots of short tacking. Another front is coming through, bringing rain. I’ll try to slip out ahead of it.

Most will wait another day to squeeze out the last few hours they can before heading back. A few plan to leave soon after I do. Beating my way out into the headwind, I see Wesley in his skiff on his way to the island to pick them up. He nods approval as he goes by.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Winter Harbor ~ Marsh Sailing video

 

direct youtube link

A compilation of sailing clips taken over several days. A cold north wind made for some blustery conditions at first, then calmed down as the front moved through.

Really lovely stuff, marsh sailing.

If you watch to the end, there’s an explanation of how I smashed the stem nose back in October at the Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival in Saint Michaels. I still haven’t quite got over a wave of nervousness when trying to sail and take photos at the same time.

Surprised it took this long to have a mishap, but definitely shifts the balance from taking photos back to more attention to sailing.

 

 

 

Winter Harbor ~ The Island, East

view from the porch

 

The house faces east. Sunrise comes up over the water, shines into half the bedroom windows; sunset shines in the others. In between, a daylong performance of color and light.

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