Tuesday, July 24, 2012

modern quilting

I finished my first modern style quilt made with samples I picked up from Moda's booth at Fall market. I wanted to keep it very simple- keep the samples the main color focus and try for something my son might like. I think it worked.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Cave Tour

 Welcome to Mystic Caverns- located between Blue Eye and Berryville and not very far from my house. I wanted to do something fun on my day off so I decided this would be it.

 This cave has a ton of soda straw formations.
 It has two "bottomless" lakes
 It has a few larger formations, but this one is a small one, still you loose a sense of scale in the photos.
This is  shot into the portion of the cave they use for wild caving. I've always thought I'd like to try wild caving, but two things hold me back. One is the lack of good lighting and the second is the dubiousness of taking a camera along (due to mud). What I really want is TIME in a cave with my camera and the lights on. Maybe someone will think of a "cave lover's tour" where they have a longer time limit of the tour and a patient guide. Anyway, I had a small group and, since I hate it when they show formations and give them names , I just took as many pictures as possible when the others looked at the pig.
I liked our our tour guide giving us more than usual information about the chemical make up of the different colors of the formations.
My general critique of the cave is this:
The parking lot does need some work. People riding a bike really complained that if they were biker friendly (as the sign said) they would have a level place to park. The gift shop was nice. The guides were quirky in different ways. Might need to brush up on their customer service- not blurting out whatever they think, although nothing was directed to me.
 If a cave has been known about at the turn of the last century, there's going to be damage. I saw a lot of damage here. Soda straws are very delicate and there were a lot of broken ones, but even larger ones had been cut. The farther back you go, however, the better the condition of the cave. The best seems to be the "new" section that you can look into, but only the wild cave tour gets to really explore.
The lighting is very bright. I took all of my photos using their existing light and, as such, they have some algae growth. They might consider changing up the colors of the lights too. Lighting is everything in a cave. At one point, they have you crawl up into an area to take your picture (your camera) and, the lighting comes from below, so you look scary. It wasn't worth the wiggle.
I wish there was a way to get down to the lakes instead of photos from above. A way to feel the water temps. and get a perspective from low to high in the cave.
 I LOVE caves! I think every single one of them has something unique about them and I love to celebrate that. I love to marvel at nature's creations. I can't wrap my mind around the time it takes to makes these formations, but I appreciate that it's thousands of years. In a rushed world, it's nice to see how slow can be beautiful too.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Heat Wave and storms

 Maura is excited to work at Half Dollar Hollar today even though the temperature would be over 100.
The heat is making the tomatoes ripen quickly.

  We've had hot, hot, hot days here and it's been pretty miserable just getting around. The skies have been clear and we've had to water the garden just to try to maintain the plants. The Tomatoes are ripening all at once, so we are sharing them with everyone. They say they are delicious. I'll have to take another basketful into work soon.
   And then- the rain came. It was just wonderful watching it come down, feeling the change of the temperatures and the smell of wet, green again. But the winds came too and I watched big trees dance 45 degrees in both directions , swaying back and forth and a few went down. At home, we lost another tree along the property line. It snapped 5 ft up the trunk and fell UP hill. I can only think we would have had some damage if we still had our big dead trees. I'm thankful for the timing that made it possible for us to get rid of that potential threat.
  The rain came again last night and it fell just as I was getting finished with work. I forgot an umbrella and decided to just not be woried about getting wet (like you did as a kid) and , boy Howdy! was I soaked in a few seconds. It felt wonderful.
 We might get rain again tonight. The garden is soaking it up and I'm sure the trees are loving it too.