Tuesday, August 21, 2012


 “Mishe-Nahma, King of Fishes,
In his wrath he darted upward,
Flashing leaped into the sunshine,
Opened his great jaws and swallowed
Both canoe and Hiawatha.”-Longfellow, The Song of Hiawatha
Test-fitting the saplings in the hole
 DAY 9, Tuesday: Mid 70’s. Mostly sunny. Crisp and dry again.
Dearest readers,
Today was a bust. I was “all thumbs” as my mother would say–swallowed up by the whale of this new woodworking phase of the hole project.
I mangled the leafy tops of my aspen saplings while setting them up in the shaft of the well, and had to trim them off.  I was unsuccessful in making even one rung on the sapling ladder-to-be. I shattered the rung wood even after carefully drilling holes with the thinnest drill bit and using narrow screws. Grrrrr. Right now I want to bite the drill. I left the Carving Studio early so I could chill. (Breathe deep, Cecelia. Tomorrow is another day). 
Chiseling channels for the rungs to rest upon
 Earlier, I was actually proud of myself for figuring out how to use wood carving tools to carefully create a low flat area on each sapling for the rungs to lie against, and for successfully wielding a small, sharp hand saw in making cuts. The rung wood later shattered. I think the problem was too short screws that were meant for sheetrock, and too old branches for the rungs. I was lazy when I found the long, dry branch on the ground. (It was a perfect size). I really need to take the time to cut the right branch from a living tree. End of today's story.

I bought a selection of wood screws tonight at a hardware store, plus two types of natural twine. Louis, one of the stone cutters, suggested I lash the rungs to the poles with jute or sisal like the boy scouts do. He’s going to show me how to knot it nice and tight. Somehow that does not appeal to me, but I’ll watch his demo tomorrow, and weigh the aesthetics and difficulty of the rope vs screw approach to ladder making.
Historic downtown, West Rutland Vermont
 I shot one photo of the tiny historic downtown section of West Rutland on my way out of town today. (It’s five miles from my place in Rutland.) Some of the stores are empty. West Rutland’s heyday was probably the mid-1800s to the mid-1900s when the Vermont Marble Company quarries were in full swing. I saw a grain elevator in town, shops and a few restaurants, but no other obvious signs of industry, and very few people on the streets.
That’s it, dear readers for Day 9. Good riddance!
No hole drawings today either. Growl.

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