Mom sent me this recipe
Carrot Raisin Salad
Ingredients: Raisins, carrots, mayonnaise, and orange juice.
If you like – you can finely grate some fresh ginger in there, too, but I find most people just like it plain.
I couldn’t remember how it was made on Saturday morning, so I did this variant:
Carrot Raisin Cranberry Salad, Mark II
Ingredients:2 lb bag of baby carrots, raisins, dried cranberries, dressing (1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup white vinegar, 2 teaspoons rice wine, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 2 cloves garlic, 2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger, 1 teaspoon tarragon).
Had a fairly productive morning. Got up around 6am, did t’ai chi, showered, dressed, and went for a walk. Cleared brush and fallen branches from the Red Trail, went up to assess the soundness of the lean-to and the bender from the winter. The bender is in need of work but the lean-to is in good shape. The phoebe has returned, and so we’ll have to stay away from the lean-to for a while this spring, probably until early May or so.
The stream needs a little tending as well. There’s some logs, twigs and branches in the pool, and several of the stone steps have come loose from their footings, so we’ll have to do some repair work there — complicated by the phoebe nest; while she’s there nesting, we don’t want people going up to the lean-to. Thus, having the steps across the stream in disrepair is not such a bad thing.
The rest of the trail looks OK. There’s still a lot of snow in the woods, and Cow Hill is a continuous sheet of ice polished smooth by numerous plastic toboggans and sleds. The brook is very full of water, though, and there were both dog and horse prints in the muddy places. The bridge that I think marks the boundary between the two schools is still there, as are the two stones which I’d love to lift out of the mire and plant vertically. Some of the path there is so muddy and mucky, though, that we might have to lay another pavement in there, which means gathering stones from the stream-bed and the brook.
There’s also a fallen oak in the woods; I’d love to get it out of there and have it sawn into boards for making a slat bed for and I to use at festivals, but I don’t see how we can get it out of the woods without wrecking some of the surrounding landscape. I should talk to Andrew about getting a truck in there, but there’s no easy way to do it, and the Red Trail doesn’t accomodate pick-ups. We’d have to haul it out by hand. Ugh.
Some erosion at the far end of the trail, down by the hockey rink. Technically this isn’t on our school property, but clearly some portions of the trail are worn out and need some maintenance. The walls of the two weird pools still seem to be solid, but part of one trail is caving into the second of the pools. Our own private cenotes or sacred wells, in a sense, and it doesn’t make any sense to use them for anything.
The woods are pretty barren-looking, still. There’s no undergrowth yet, and very little bird life. Back in september I counted eighteen or nineteen different bird-songs; today I only heard nine different songs. I only saw five of the birds, too. One was definitely the mourning dove cry; another is a type of woodpecker, which I saw but couldn’t identify on sight. Another was a small, brown-gray bird, and the other was I think a grosbeak, though it was too far away to be sure. Once I got back out of the woods, there were more: crows, of course, in abundance, and a turkey vulture. The house sparrows under the eaves of the infirmary were noisy. Also spotted a cardinal, a bluejay, and a pair of robins. All in all, not a bad beginning to the spring Outdoor Adventures season.
I’m hoping this spring I have a much smaller team than fencing. Managing seventeen kids in a small room is hard; I’d like to have no more than ten this season, so that I have a chance to learn something about this wilderness I’m supposed to be coaching them to learn to navigate and appreciate. I’m only just starting to have an appreciation for it myself, and learn something of it. It’s going to take a while to get a bunch of middle schoolers to calm down and enjoy it themselves.
YURT ENVY UPDATE
Heard from a fellow in Vermont; I sent him an e-mail about the construction of the yurt that he and his wife built to be their home in upstate Vermont. Amazing to see the construction process as revealed on their website. I asked him specifically about the construction of the roof-ring, which it seems is the most complicated piece of the carpentry equation. The sewing of roof and walls looks to be considerably more difficult; I don’t have any connections to exploit in that part of the operation to making my own (they assembled theirs at a factory in Lowell, MA, it looks like). On the other hand, their roof-ring is the most elaborate one I’ve yet seen and liked. If I do build my own, this is the likely model I’ll follow. Transportation of a yurt remains an issue. It looks like, with my vehicle, I’d have an easier time with one of those pre-fab extra-garage tents, if and I want more space and higher ceilings at SpiritFire and elsewhere.