Cottage Opening

We opened the cottage for the year on a warm (88 degrees!) weekend, June 10th and 11th.  It was too breezy and rough on the lake to put in the water lines or docks, but we cleaned the cottage and readied it for the season.  The loons were calling at night, but we only saw one swimming during the day (they are probably nesting). The black flies were swarming, but the wind held them at bay!

Many spring plants were flowering and the Canadian Tiger Swallowtails were emerging all over the area. We photographed them feeding on Moosewood (Mountain Maple, Acer spicatum), but I’m sure they were feeding on other flowers as well.  Both white and light pink lady slipper orchids were in bloom as was Clintona.

Bead Lily or Clintonia

Closeup of lady slipper flowers

Tiger Swallowtail, Canadian

My Friend Flo

My neighbor on the lake is a wonderful craftswoman.  She has been spinning, knitting, felting and doing other wool crafts for as long as I have known her.  Years ago we jointly ordered our Schacht spinning wheels and have been spinning and talking crafts in the summer ever since. I’ve journeyed to ‘North Country’ spinning get togethers with her as well as spun with her on her porch overlooking the lake.

This summer when I stopped by, she introduced me to her newest tool: a lucet.  Flo has a huge stock of wool roving, more than she could possibly ever spin (does that sound familiar, fellow spinners?); at a fair she discovered the lucet (an ancient tool that has been used for 100’s of years for braiding) and bought one with a large hole for bulky materials.  She has been braiding wool fleece, felting it, and then sewing it into beautiful rugs.  She says it goes very  quickly; she finally has found a way to use up some of that huge stock of roving!

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Large Lucet that could be used for braiding wool roving

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Various sizes of lucets available on Este

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of Flo’s specialities is beautiful felted hats.  She knits the hats with bulky handspun wool, felts them in the washer, shapes them into lovely hats and adds very special designs and trims. She has taught me how to do this, but my hats can’t compare to the ones she makes!  Flo works at a craft co-op in Colebrook, NH where her hats are top sellers.

Flo in Colebrook

Flo at work at the Colebrook Co-op Craft Shop

Here is a photo of typical felted hats and below are links to directions for 1)making the hats and 2) using a lucet.

hats

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How to Lucet

Flo also introduced our family to the joys of wild apples in the north country.  Every year we can, we pick up drops from roadside apple trees, which are remnants of old orchard trees and the tart taste of these heirloom varieties makes for wonderful pies and apple crisps.  I also cut up the apples for pie, mix them with cinnamon, sugar and a bit of flour, and freeze a good sized pie’s worth in a bag in the freezer.  Wonderful to enjoy the taste of Averill in the middle of the winter!

What a wonderful artist, friend, neighbor and craftswoman Flo is.  My admiration is showing!!!

Northern Vermont on Memorial Day

What an unusual warm, sunny dry late May weekend in Northern Vermont.  Wildflowers are blooming that usually bloom mid June and the lake water temperature is in the mid 60’s; those are swimming temperatures!  Loons are swimming on the lake, but are quiet at night.  Barred owls are calling to each other at night.  Early in the weekend south winds brought very warm air; later in the weekend a shift to west winds brought clear skies, drier air, but still warm temperatures.  Black flies are starting to bite, butterflies are everywhere, fishing boats are out on the lake, and the hummingbirds are visiting the feeders.  Can it be any more beautiful than this in the northeast kingdom?