A trip to the Rim

_MG_9965_LR.jpg

Life gets busy, but we should never be so busy that we don’t take time out to frequent our favorite spots and do the things that rock our individual boats … and for us that includes the Mogollon Rim.

_MG_0013_IR.jpg

We actually got snow, sleet, hail, and rain during our short trip, which made for awesome scenery and elk wondering what we were doing there.

_40A9691_IR.jpg

_MG_9973_IR.jpg

It made me wonder what took us so long… oh, there was that project, and that chore, and that meeting, plus that snow storm, the roads were closed… well, okay.

Always find time to smell the roses, or in our case fresh forest air.

_MG_0018_IR.jpg

Advertisements

Tinder Table

It’s hard to believe it has been almost a year since the Tinder Fire that stormed up our hill and almost took our home.  But we are still here, stronger than ever…. and found a great way to memorialize our tenacity, good fortune, and strength.

Several years back we cut a burl off a tree (making sure to keep the tree alive).  It has been drying in our shop for the past 3 – 4 years.  We figured it would make a great table top when it was good and dry.  So we used a chainsaw to slab it, then set up a router on boards across the top to slowly and meticulously router it down to a flat even surface… then sand, sand, sand.

bigtop_IR.jpg

With the top ready, we needed legs.  So we decided to make the legs from the Tinder Fire.  We cut all the wood from our forest, using dead burned trees or fallen logs.

jointg_IR.jpgWe decided to use a combination of oak and cedar for an ‘architectural’ highlight.  The wood was super dry, almost kiln dried.  Using the jointer we cut a flat through the 6″ – 8″ logs to clear the bark and provide a flat datum.  The jointer allowed us to make parellel sides.

joint cedar_IR.jpg

For the cedar we needed to work through the exterior white to get to the ‘red heart’ of the wood.  We used the planer to make numerous passes to reduce the wood to 2-3/4″ squares for the legs.

redheart_IR.jpg

redheart-2_IR.jpg

Once both the oak and cedar logs were reduced to ‘legs’, we had lumber ready to process.

tinderoak_IR.jpg

We used a black resin goop to fill the cracks…. a long tedious task, which took multiple applications until the cracks were filled.

gooplegs_IR.jpg

goopk_IR.jpg

Finally, we were ready to assemble the legs and stretchers for the base.

tableprestain_IR.jpg

With base and top ready to go, final sanding complete…. it’s time to stain.

staintop_IR.jpg

tablelegsstaind_IR.jpg

… and finish, ironically, as it started to snow.

spragy_IR.jpg

topspray IR.jpg

I think the finished product came out great.  The red heart of the cedar shows through, as does the tenacity and strength of the sturdy oak.  They made it through the fire to become something lasting and symbolic, and will forever be a reminder of the Tinder Fire, moving on, and persevering.

finished_IR.jpg

 

 

Desert to Tall Pines

_40A8776_IR.jpg

_40A9061_IR.jpg

This time of year the snow is melting up North…. and the sun is shining in the Valley.  We have become pretty acclimated to the cooler temps… so HOT HOT is just HOT, as it was when we went down this past week and experienced a whopping 87F.  Ok, I know we’re spoiled… but we’re toughened up by our winters.

_40A9134_IR_IR.jpg

We went to see the flowers, but in truth, while we got into a couple small pockets, it was already late in the season, as most were already gone.

_40A8960_IR.jpg

_40A8969_IR.jpg

We enjoyed those we did see, and soaked up the heat.  But enough is enough, so we took the appropriately named, Desert to Tall Pines Rd (SR 288) back to the snow.

_40A9166_IR.jpg

In a matter of hours we were back in our comfort zone, with snow on the ground, amidst the forest and Tall Pines.

_40A9235_IR.jpg

We ventured to Workmens Creek, outside of Young, and enjoyed the cascading water from their snow melt.

_40A9341_IR.jpg

Ahhhh….. how refreshing. : )

 

One thing begets another

You know how you embark on a project and once you’re done,  it has created a new list of projects?  Kinda like when you remodel your kitchen and you do the cabinets… and soon as it’s done, the floor now needs to be done.

You read about my stained glass door here … https://kritterspaw.com/2018/12/10/stained-glass-door/ 

The door came out great, and is now a centerpiece in the house.  I was already planning on building a stained glass floor lamp, but something simple.  With the door completed, and the elks peering in on us…  our lamp design took another turn.  Why not use animals from our forest to grace our lamp.

So I began the task of drawing up patterns for 4 panels….

eagle patt_IR.jpg

There would be an eagle, a squirrel, hummingbirds, and a pygmy owl.

With the patterns drawn, the pattern pieces had to be made.. and glass had to be cut.

IMG_20190304_093320993_IR.jpg

IMG_20190304_093326610_IR.jpg

IMG_20190122_144001504_IR.jpg

I did one panel at a time… pattern, glass cut, grind, foil / lead, solder, pack, repeat four times.

IMG_20190113_144053401~2_IR.jpg

IMG_20190308_093935986_IR.jpg

IMG_20190202_090103967_IR.jpg

Once the glass was cut and ground, each piece had to be foiled or leaded.

IMG_20190123_142040217_IR.jpg

After it was leaded, all the joints had to be soldered, and then it was packed with a window caulking and glazed with a gypsum powder.

IMG_20190315_102554174_IR.jpg

All to make a final glass panels to ready for the wood working portion of the project.

IMG_20190201_092558214_IR.jpg

IMG_20190224_105057031_IR.jpg

IMG_20190315_104528951_HDR_IR.jpg

On to the next phase.

To be continued…..

 

Joshua Tree National Park

_40A7414_IR.jpg

Just East of Palm Springs along I-10 in California is Joshua Tree National Park.  Established as a park in 1994 it is home to it’s namesake, the Joshua Tree.

_40A7451_IR.jpg

The Joshua Tree looks like a Yucca Tree, but it actually part of the Agave family.

_40A7415_IR.jpg

_40A7446_IR.jpg

The park itself is a big loop that takes one through hiking trails, multiple camping sites, and picnic areas.

_40A7547_IR.jpg

It makes for a scenic drive through boulders, wildflowers, and lots of Joshua trees… making it a fabulous drive through this desert oasis.

_40A7561_IR.jpg

 

SNOW!!!

watcher_IR.jpg

We set a record for snow this week!  Single day snow of 35″.  That brings our estimated total this year (since Jan 1) to 90″!  We are LOVING it.  Particularly, after our recent fire, we can sure use the precipitation.  Wooohoo.

sno pines_IR.jpg

It snowed an inch an hour for from 8am Thurs to 8am Fri.. and then some.  It was a sight to see… and very happy we were here to see it.

IMG_20190221_155348351_HDR~2_IR.jpg

elksnow_IR.jpg

Snowy faces all around!

snowyface_IR.jpg

Check out more pix here….. https://kritterspix.com/2019/02/23/snow-elk/

 

 

Eagle Fest

Blue Drift_IR.jpg

It’s that time of the year when the eagles are nesting, breeding generally in January / February.  Pinetop / Lakeside in Northern AZ hosts an Eagle Fest hosted by the Arizona Game and Fish for an educational experience to learn about the eagles, their habitat, behaviors, and a field trip to see the eagles ‘in action’.

FlightPlay_IR.jpg

Female bald eagles lay between 1 – 3 eggs, with only a 35 day incubation period.  The fledgling(s) only stays in the nest for 45 days before being kicked out to fend for itself.

eagleflight_IR.jpg

The juvenile bald eagles, or eaglets are born a light gray and turn brown in color.  It isn’t until they are 4 – 5 years old that the iconic white head and tail feathers appear.  Bald eagles can live to be 35 years old or more.

Juvi_IR.jpg

Our field trip was at Rainbow Lake, in Lakeside, AZ.  It was fascinating to watch all the waterfowl ‘walking on the water’ as the ice melted on the lake.

walkgonwater_IR.jpg

We watched mergansers catch fish and chase each other around to try to steal the fish from one another.

Merganser Chase_IR.jpg

That is… until the bald eagle got hungry and dive bombed the mergansers to make their catch their own.

Eagle Fly_IR.jpg

Just goes to show… the bigger bird gets the worm, er… fish.

Duckdance_IR.jpg