Put on 24 strips in seven hours today, which is pretty good, cooking right along in a groove. Then I hit a curve, came to a stop, and decided it was a good time to quit for the day.
Cedar strips bend very easily in one direction – back and forth – which is what makes them so wobbly. But they don’t bend much at all in the other direction. Add a twist and it really gets fun. The first twelve strips up the hull are pretty much flat runs, bending in the easy direction, so these went up quick.
It’s funny, the hills and Blue Ridge spend all year a hazy blue-grey – sometimes more grey, sometimes more blue. There’s a brief period on clear days in Spring when they’re mottled greens, and in the fall there’s a week or so when they’re rusty. But after fresh snow is when they suddenly stand up and want to be noticed.
After two months of careful preparation, it’s crazy how fast the planking goes up, and how quickly what was only abstract art becomes a physical boat.
An extra set of hands, like those of a daughter home from college, really help. When those hands have to go back to school, you have to improvise. These snug fitting “fingers” hold the gluey strips in place as you work your way back with the staple gun.
In just a week or so, a flock of robins will be here, and will spend a few days stripping the Holly tree of berries. They’ll start at the top and slowly work their way down, leaving no berries behind. Then they’ll leave.
Days grow longer by increments now. Light, gaining strength, lingers on the rim of hills a bit longer each evening, before slipping back down to black. Some nights the twilight spreads all the way around the horizon, like a red hem on winter‘s star-sequined gown.
Took some photos on the way home, shivering, so cold I couldn’t feel my finger on the shutter.