Friday, January 23, 2015
Winter is cold, the days are short, the streets and sidewalks are slippery, and the cables for the brakes and shifters on the bikes and trikes are frozen. What can we do to stay busy? We make ice lanterns.
We use the Arctic Ice Lantern molds to make most of our ice luminaries but have also tried the two-bucket method and the balloon technique (both of which have a couple of variants that are described in the photo descriptions). The Arctic Ice Lantern is easy to use and lends itself to large-scale production and to eye-catching decoration.
Sometimes, we freeze the first inch in the mold with foliage and flowers, or we color the first inch of water in the mold, freeze that, and add more clear water. These techniques are time-consuming and a bit difficult.
By using plastic stencils and applying water over them with a foam paint roller, we can make subtle designs that take some extra effort and require colder temperatures than the other decorating methods. These may be better for centerpieces than for street-side displays, but the best of them are spectacular.
Besides making ice lanterns, the Arctic Ice Lantern molds provide protection against late frosts for tender seedlings in the garden; the indentation that makes the opening in the lantern serves as a well for warm water to keep the plants from freezing.
For more than 200 photos of ice lantern luminaries, showing different ways to make them, a variety of decoration tips, how-to's for simple ornamentation, and a celebration of the beautiful way they fall into lacy ruins, see our Flickr album.
Saturday, January 17, 2015
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Tuesday, June 03, 2014
These monarch butterfly pupae are so splendid. We have three of them now, and another likely to form today. One failed part way through the pupation process yesterday, but there are still 13 more caterpillars eating and growing and looking good.
Sunday, May 25, 2014
After retiring on April 1st, I resumed biking every day but added some time consuming other activities - - gardening and raising monarch butterflies. The caterpillars came from Monarch Watch and are growing at a tremendous rate on tropical milkweed (Asclepias currasavica or blood flower). Luckily, some local milkweed has also sprouted, because it turns out that the older caterpillars are avoiding the leaves on the tropical milkweed and eating only the flowers - - something about regulating the amount of the milkweed toxin that they need to accumulate, I guess. They are happy to switch to Minnesota native milkweed though, so I think we should be able to get all of them to maturity without running out of food.
Saturday, January 19, 2013
Monday, September 17, 2012
Sunday, April 22, 2012
For Earth Day, we rode to the co-op and brought back four full baskets of groceries. The bike baskets are from BASIL. We love the way they can be hung on the side of a grocery cart and then just lifted onto the bike racks.
Thursday, January 05, 2012
Wednesday, January 04, 2012
|From Daily Rides of 2012|