Finally a few good warm summer days here. The grandkids are visiting so there's boating, swimming fishing, tubing and lots of running around. Since we did finally get a couple of dry days in a row I was able to get the wing repair on the totem done.
I also managed to sneak a little time to work on my next automata project. This is the beginning of Fibula, a little lady seeking medical help. She still needs arms, some rungs for her chair, and a paint job. More to come of course!
Re-Training, So to Speak....
After spending so much time reworking the train garden last week I decided to post another video of the round trip ride of the layout. It's not the best way to see the new planting but kids always like the riding view. I've posted "Garden Railroad - South Bay 2017" on my Youtube channel and also posted it on the South Bay Railway page of my website for those you are interested.
Elevating my Repair Skills!
With a few extra hands the scaffold has been erected to repair the loon's wing mentioned a few posts ago.
It hasn't been done yet since it seems to rain every other day, and I'd like things to dry out a little before applying epoxy. So here is sits waiting to go!
It seems while I wasn't watching an invader had moved into my garden space. Hidden among the ferns was a 42" Scotch thistle. A little unusual since it is the first thistle I have ever found in the garden. It has found its final resting place, cremated actually, in the fire barrel. Anyway I've been telling folks it was my special project to celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary this year, and to honour my scottish heritage! It makes for a better story than being a crappy, neglectful, gardener. A selfie of me and my project!
It was overdue. I've been neglecting the train garden this spring as the weather has been so wet and miserable, but finally I set the automata making aside and spent the whole week rescuing and refurbishing the garden where the the railroad resides. Since I seem to be the principle weeder, and since it was cutting into shop time, I decided to include some mulch cover in the revamp. I hope I don't regret it later as little pieces of cedar find their way onto the tracks to derail the trains. I may have to cover everything this fall as the the cedar cones and leaves start to fall. So here's three photos that show the fruit of my labour so far. Still some more work to be done.
I'm Feeling a Bit Loony!
We had a fairly severe storm go through recently taking down trees and branches in the neighbourhood, including a few trees on our property. In all the battering the wingtip of a loon on top of one of our totem poles worked loose, fell to the ground and broke all the flight feather pieces off. It is a bit of a mystery because it seemed to happen a few days later. Oh well there are too many mysteries in life to worry about a little one like this!
Here is the loon with one wingtip gone.
I collected all the pieces and epoxied them back together. When I built the totem I didn't use any screws to secure the wing, trying to stay true to just using wood and glue in the construction. Ten years later i think a few metal brackets on the back of the wing might be in order for strength. Should have laminated and carved the wing bend rather than try a joint I guess. Oh well got a few more years learn anyway.
Here's the wing tip after the epoxy job. You can see the lines where the feathers broke. Next is to build the scaffold and reattach! Painting to come later.
My latest automata is now published on the website and added to my Youtube channel. Be sure to watch both the automata video and Eleanor's walk through the hospital video.
Eleanor's Automata Companion
As I promised, Eleanor is receiving a companion to dwell with her in perpetuity. His name is Edgar. He is a good choice since he is not the kind of guy to run off and leave her behind. Eleanor thinks he is quite dashing although many of us might consider him sluggish or maybe even a slime ball. Take my word for it he really is a nice guy.
Here's a quick, no pun intended, picture of Edgar taken in the garden and another of Edgar cruising below the counterweights of the automata. I'm sure they will be great company for each other.
Automata is a creative blend of my life interests , engineering, art and woodworking.