Posted by: David | April 13, 2011

Peace of April

Finally, spring is really here. Sorry about the lame title. Lucky to have come up with anything at all to post. Been a little blog-blocked lately. Time to crap the whip. 🙂

Went for the first bike ride of 2011 on Saturday the 9th. Took the blue Fuji Touring bike over to the kids’ house to spend a little time with daughter and granddaughter. Daddy was at work. Left the house as soon as the temperature went up over 48°F, which was about 11 am. It takes about an hour and a half to get there at my breakneck speed of 13 mph, average. Coming down a big hill heading east on Route 103, I spotted something that looked like about the size and shape of one of them newfangled computin’ tablets. It usually takes me about 30-45 seconds to make the decision to turn back and check out the roadkill. In this case I had to wait for some cars to zoom by and then head back UP the hill.

Yes, it WAS a computin’ tablet. A genuine road killed Apple iPad, 32G model.

It had been run over at least once and was quite dirty and full of sand. I expect that it blew off the roof of some idiot’s car last winter and was subsequently flattened and/or snowplowed over to the roadside. I strapped it onto my pannier rack to take it home and examine it further. At the least it’s pretty good roadkill for the first bike ride of the season. And I’ve been wanting an iPad for some time now. Might as well see the photo of the iPad’s insides now … There’s a surprising amount of empty space inside.

Post-dissection. Removed batteries to recycle at town dump. Keeping the rest as a souvenir.

I was a little tired after that ride of 35 miles round trip. But it was nice to see the baby and stuff. She was awake for about half the time and made some great faces at us. She’s only 3 weeks old, but her eyes are still looking sorta bluish gray. We sort of expect brown eyes, due to the dominant genes and whatnot, but whatever color they turn out to be will be just great. It’s still so amazing to look upon this tiny little girl.

The Route 114 cairn remains. Went for another ride Sunday.

Decided to add two little stones to the top.

Sunday was a little cooler, especially some of the back roads where there was still a fair amount of snow in the woods. It feels weird when it’s warm out and you ride through these little pockets of refrigerated air puffing onto the road from the forest.

By next weekend this “ice on the rocks” will be gone. Some of it had already fallen by the time I passed on my way home.

The maple syrup season ended. The college operation netted over 50 gallons of lovely light brown syrup. They measure the sugar content of the sap as they collect it, and collect sample bottles after each batch that’s boiled down to syrup. In the photo below are the series from last year and this year, left to right.

You can see last year’s batches ended up darker than this year’s.

The final step. Filling the bottles full to the top of hot syrup. It shrinks so the bottles must be filled to the top.

On the home front, there is garden news. The garlic cloves planted last October have started to poke through the straw mulch. This is a very welcome sight. I’ve used the broadfork that was pictured in the last post. It seems like it’s going to be pretty effective. In the past all the beds were turned by hand with a regular turning fork. The soil literally got turned over every spring. The broadfork, with great speed, just stirs the deeper layers and aerates a little. It doesn’t flip the soil structure over and the soil doesn’t get fluffed up as much. The theory and sales pitch is that this makes for healthier soil and less weeds. I may try applying some organic fertilizer and running the broadfork over the beds the other way since it was such a fast process. We’ll see.

Garlic sprouting through about 6 inches of oat straw mulch.

The walking iris
had a triple bloom a couple weeks ago.

In case you’re wondering, this plant stands next to a red art-deco chair whose seat makes a striking background.

That’s about all for the moment.


  1. Proofread, you gormless bloke! Crapping the whip would be gross and probably painful. (You may delete this comment after you correct your typo)

    OY! I am chock-bloody full of gorm my friend! That was a purposeful malaprop, which I created on purpose for the purpose of comedy. I love malaprops and when I don’t hear them from my environment, I make them up. My mind is a veritable timber box fulla these flamin things. Your comment will stay so as to annotate this disgusting example. Thanks for taking the trouble to picture it. 🙂

  2. My eyes are bluish-grey and won’t likely change. I could be wrong of course.

    Please don’t show me any more gross iPad innards! Ewww!

    The “rock pile” looks v cool. Like a monument to rocks or somefig.

    Ice on the rocks looks like a frozen waterfall. Nice!

    I love maple syrup! I send you my address.

    Good looking garlic starts!

    Could I also have your red chair? I’ll pay shipping costs!

    (My comment looks like a post. That’s what you get for writing such a long and eclectic post! Oh, snap!)

    My but we’re sensitive aren’t we? I hope that the next iPad I find on the roadside is in operational condition. I’ve been wanting one for some time now …

    You really like that red chair?

    No maple syrup available in the midwest?

    I’ll bore you yet with garlic photos, mark my word. Yawn.

    The rock pile (cairn) is a regular on this here blog.

    Thanks for the generous and heartfelt comment S. Le!

    • Show me the remainder of the red chair and I’ll tell you if I really want it. I love Art Deco and mid-century home furnishings. They are my fave.

      Yes, the mid-west has Maple syrup but I was angling for some FREE syrup! Gosh! The deal’s gone Pete Tong.

      You’re welcome. (not sure what for but, yeah.)

      You can nah have the chair. I’ve told you once. We have a green one too. It’s in our bedroom covered with clean laundry. I had to ask my wife what happened to the green chair because of its laundrous obscurance. I expect midwestern maple syrup is just as good. Pete Tong is unknown to me. If you don’t mind enlightening me …

      • Cockney rhyming slang: Pete Tong = wrong, as in the deal’s gone wrong.

        Thanks for playing.

        Avec plaisir!

  3. I’m crying over the dead iPad, as its owner must have been. I’m also drooling over the maple syrup — I can almost taste it.

    You have to wonder about some of the stuff you find on the road. To some people a $500 gadget is a mere toy, disposable. Or maybe an angry sibling pitched it out the window. Endless scenarios …

  4. Sad once less IPAD in the world, poor little ipad probably got bullied by a few bad IPODs..and all over an Apple ….spring almost here…great pics…zman sends

    Thanks for visiting and comment zmanowner, glad you like the pix. Your speculation on iPad being bullied by iPods is pretty interesting! Guess worse things have happened over apples, huh?

  5. Mmm Spring. I miss spring! We’re wintering pretty seriously right now. Things will start warn=ming up and coming to life again near October. I can’t wait!

    (Although, nothing is better than snuggling in a duvet on a sunday with my laptop at home. Winter is a good excuse for that.)

    Wow leaf, I just can’t wrap my brain around spring coming in October. But on the other hand, it’s sorta comforting. As we head into winter, you head into summer. Sorta spreads the sunshine around a little I guess. Today I fought a spring flood. We had over 2 inches of rain last night and with the snowmelt on the hill across the street from us, the runoff plugged up the culvert and washed across to our driveway. I felt very powerful when I was able to cleverly divert the flow at a good point and got the water to go where it was meant to. I was going to take a photo but it would not have been very impressive. A video would have been better. But before I could work up the enthusiasm the state road crew guys came by with a piece of equipment and excavated my little diversion. Sorry to blather on, but I think you would have appreciated this for some reason.

  6. I love those wandering irises

    We call them ‘walking’ irises. But I wish you could smell one of them. We’ve had almost a dozen blooms in the past month or two on this one plant. Heralding the arrival of the granddaughter I think. She’s one month old today.

  7. What is a gormless bloke? Shew or it sounds almost Shakesperean. Maybe it is Irish. Or Gaelish?

    But I am happy that the garlic has come through. And since your blog isn’t circlular, though the year is, you could actually have some links to the “garlic looking out” days of other years.

    Evidently gormless derives from middle English. At least according the Merriam Webster online … It’s a lovely and under-utilized insult.

    You’re right, I should have a garlic category, since I prattle on about it ad nauseum.

  8. Ha! At least you don’t dissect the roadkill that used to be living…:)

    As always, I love these photos. The last two are just gorgeous, and for some reason I’m totally drawn to the one with the ice on the rocks.

    I can’t wait to see what else you find on your journeys!

    Well, if you must know, many years ago I found a road-killed beaver. It had been hit in the head and its pelt was very nice looking and undamaged. So I threw it into the back of the dumpy old truck I was driving. It smelled awful. But I skinned it and tanned its hide. It’s rather stiff and round and has been in our attic forever. I should make a hat or a codpiece out of it.

    Thanks for your enthusiasm bschooled. I hope to do more bike-ride-photojournalism this year. I’ll bet you see that ice on rocks plenty up there in the frozen north too.

  9. What is a viral video?
    There is one at yahoo about the Japanese tsunami at
    It comes with sound. It was taken from school which was higher up.

    Viral refers to the fast spreading nature. Once a critical number of viewers has seen and sent links to friends, the number of viewers rises exponentially. This is the way viruses and bacteria multiply in favorable conditions. Have I over-explained it enough?

    The videos from Japan are terrifying. There are so many of them.

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