Sunday, January 10, 2021

Shepard Lane Garden for January


Well, it is January, that time of the year gardeners the world over start looking at their seed stores and starting things in little pots in hopes that they will grow into big strong transplants.  

The chickens had their first eggs in about a month.. it has been that cold.

I checked on the front bed with the carrots and parsnips planted last September.  The parsnips (Hamburg rooted parsley) are about a pencil's width but still have green tops.  The carrots are a bit larger than that - nearing on index-finger size, but they are supposed to be short Oxheart version.  Both of the seeds were sourced through Victory Seeds.  Mark has said I should dig out that entire bed soon and put greens in for the year, as it keeps warmth and moisture from the brick wall behind it.  I had forgotten there were a few vines of Jackson Wonder Lima Bean in there, as well - and pulled those out just now.  There were about six dry good seeds there and about six that had started to germinate, and the rest were a loss.  So - the germinating seeds are in a pot indoors here.

The picture below is a pod of Shackamaxon bean that was the same story.  That was about a week ago when I cleared vines out of the main garden, and they are now starting to grow.  One has a taproot four inches long - and they will need to be repotted as soon as the second gets above the soil.  

So now I'm growing heirloom landrace 'rescue' beans... I'm kidding, really.  But we have been keeping the same varieties alive for years with my hobby.  I studied the articles of Joseph Lofthouse with his 'landrace' seeds that changed to adapt to his location in the mountains of Utah.  We have been growing the children's children type seeds of our plants for long enough that these really are 'pea ridge adapted' for Tennessee.  These Shackamaxon were from northern New York and are the survivors of several plantings, some which did better than others - over the years here.  The ones that we planted in July seemed to always do the best and be the most prolific, but not until they were at least two month old vines or more. 

There is such limited space and such limited time as well.  What to grow out this year?  Last year I didn't have time for much, but still got some Shackamaxon and a good crop of Whipporwill peas out of it.  I think using the main bed to grow lots and lots of kale and mustard was very useful for cooking - although I did not save any seeds off of them.  I had planned to look for seeds from the arugula/rocket and it was attacked by some sort of fungus halfway through.  I have more seed for that this year and did enjoy eating it.  Our purslane came back up from self-seed but then the weather never did get great for it, and it died back without making much of itself.  The lemon balm, however, went EVERYWHERE as did the lemon-scented basil.  I collected heads off of the basil and the perennial lettuce and will see if any of that is good seed.


 The 'rescue' beans, sprouted after a week

There is another pot that was started today, will check back on them in another week


Sunday, January 03, 2021

bit o bit of cats who dance

 I saw a lady

walking with her Manx cat

I wasn't sure who was walking who

as they nearly danced

the cat weaving in and out between

her high-top sneakers

she placed each foot down carefully

as if to some melody I could not hear

as she talked on a cell phone

wandering down

the stretch of rural road

as they have done 

it was obvious to me

so many times before

dance, weave, step, purr

they were rhythm intertwined

the cat would have had its tail up

if it had one

the love was obvious

the day was ordinary

and still - when I reach that little stretch

of road with the wide fields, bare trees and grasses

I think of them

dancing - in their little slice of world

that for that moment

I shared

Friday, January 01, 2021

a bit


Happy New Year 2021 

Even when the others do not see

the mathematics in the bend of the grass

feel the soft spray of seeds brushing your cheek

the golden light filtering down

the deepest red in the leaves

still clinging to the branches

the pale blue reflected in the smear of rain on the road


Travel the bright road

ahead of you 

see what has been laid out 

for it is given

and even the hard rocks under 

the soft soles of your shoes

speak beauty today


Be open

see the mathematics in the light

even when the others do not hear

messages are still being spoken

to the ones who listen to sunlight and see wind


Sunday, December 27, 2020

Some bits inprogress of Clifton village


  Bits of village behind Clifton Castle, docks and bridges

See the other developments of the village in front of the castle here


The Wandering Trader has shown up and his llamas are wandering everywhere

setting up foundations for smaller apartments and shops

every little building will have some sort of sign and info about what is used for, chairs, desks, beds or work equipment inside

I didn't get a lot done, but at least these buildings were finished... some views of it in the sunrise and from above during the day

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Village around Castle Clifton - stage one

Merry Christmas Eve!  Been working on the village around the Clifton castle build today in the Bright Mountains creative world.
did these rowhouses yesterday and then a base pad for the Lighthouse 

rowhouses based on a famous building at the docks in Galway, Ireland

the Lighthouse finished
Mark thought it was a defensive tower at first, he mentioned 'Eye of Sauron'.. haha.. well.. see my comments about scale down below here

Lighthouse at night

Inside the Lighthouse
it got a ladder and floors after this. but it was a neat view
Now I know that this could be a lot better and smoother at a larger size.. and I do admire a lot of works that are done on 'much larger than Steve scale'... but I am trying to keep this world sized so that a Steve or an Alex could walk through at normal size and relate with doors and furniture etc... and everything is also in Vanilla, although this world 'Bright Mountains' is in creative (the McElvaney world was survival with only a few creative lapses for storyline work) 

After the Lighthouse (which was loosely based on another Irish landmark, the lighthouse at Inisheer Islands - also in Galway (do you see a theme here?) and I decided to use the pattern of the houses near that lighthouse to loosely base my shepherd's house off of.  
After finding out where the original inspiration castle was from, I  decided to look up more about what building styles were used over different time periods in this specific area because a) It's fun  and b) I'll learn something and c) There is so much out there I can use a different theme elsewhere and have fun and learn something about a different place next time.

 finished shepherd house off to the left there
the footprint for the shepherd's house

 in progress

the rabbit hutch, just because

gardens and sheep pen, caught those two sheep that had been running around town and are going to make them work for their grass *ha*

stick a chicken in the oven and sit down for a while

This is another example of scale.. this is a ship 'The Maple Leaf' that I saw something like it in a picture, and since the first castle had a ship, I gave this one too.  It would be better looking at a grander scale, but then it wouldn't fit into the landscape, either.


So this is what Stage One of the landscape looks like.. more to come

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Bright Mountains castle loosely based on Clifden Castle in Ireland

 Welcome to Bright Mountains, Clifton castle...

Bright Mountains saga world : Clifton Castle

Finished as seen from front and above, without village or docks

well, this is very (and I mean very) loosely based on Clifden Castle in Ireland.  

 If you tilt your head from just the right angle you might see some resemblance between the Escher-like drawing I made below and the original manor house seen from behind, as seen on Pinterest when I was cruising around looking at things and well laid out in this Travel page that I did not find until later.

But it was really just inspiration, in the elements of square and round towers, and multiple connected causeways that made me want to sketch it.. then later that day, begin to build it.  My husband and daughter came up to bring me out with them to see the Grand Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, and my husband looked at the drawing and said 'oh, no .. she's drawing castles again'... as in I was soon to be lost to hours of building...


the image below is nearly the same angle as the drawing would be

in progress : at the beginning

in progress - a little further on

the interior seen through the back

looking down into the cistern in the enclosed courtyard

put in some chimneys over the smith and kitchens and so forth.. because well, that is something I've proliferated through my building style and even if it wasn't in the picture if I could work it in, I will.

from above at night

The original Clifden had a terrible history of loss and failure and then disagreement and division.  The Wikipedia article lays out how it was built not too long before the Irish potato famine, and then the tenants of the surround land and the family all fell to ruin.  I guess the point would be for Minecraft to plant more than potatoes in the surrounding landscape.  The modern day ruins still contain lots of sheep, which works with this Minecraft world as there are sheep wandering everywhere.  I had to pull one sheep out of the basement level before I could put in the stairs and doors!  
The castle still needs a village and support gardens before I can live in it in Survival Mode.  I'd also like a really nice dock with boats aimed towards trading with the original castle to the North.  I will be looking at some other images for info on what kind of docks, houses and so forth would have been in similar items and then run with whatever seems like it will fit the landscape.

Also, I see I would have had a much easier time discerning all the elements and angles if I had seen this Travel page first - lots and lots of pictures of the original ruined building from lots of angles.  Next time?   Still, I like it and it is a good addition to Bright Mountains.  This 'Clifton' castle (as it is named in the map) is located fairly south and a little east of the original Bright Mountain castle, which I had pulled entirely out of my head and don't have a name for yet.

Since I didn't really know where anything was in the original castle, and well... mine wasn't quite like it anyway, I tucked three family chambers into different places, then added some servant and guard rooms wherever they seemed they could fit.  As the first castle was a great exercise in making the 3D structure come together, this one was good in trying to fit a plan but then make the plan do something 'realistic' inside.  That was a slightly different challenge. 

  a few interior shots.. will update later with village and etc.. and link

the courtyard cistern

A lady's chambers

an eating and cooking area

a king-sized bedchamber
Creative mode, Bright Mountains saga world