Flat tires and spiders

Yesterday was hilarious. Travis and I decided to bike to MacPhail Woods, an eco forest project that grows native plants and trees, has a demo organic garden, a walk in the woods with barred owls, etc. It was really nice out – cool and sunny, and perfect for a longish bike ride – it is a bit less than 3 hours, round-trip, at a leisurely pace, and is partly on a less-developed rail trail.

Last time we tried to go on this ride, we got about 3/4 of the way, and then my front tire violently exploded on the trail. When we passed this point yesterday, we laughed and joked that we hoped it wouldn’t happen again. To make the story short, that is of course what happened. After spending some time walking around the place, basking in the sun, and collecting some acorns and seeds (mostly Travis), we went to get going and realized that Travis’ back tire was totally flat. The route there is not at all conducive to hitchhiking, so he was in for a 1.5 + hour wait while I biked back and then drove to pick him up. It was a weird coincidence, and not the worst thing in the world. The ride back of course felt longer than usual, since I was a bit tired, and knew he was waiting for me. I got in the car, and drove a few kilometres before I felt a weird clumping on one side of the car. I couldn’t believe that the car, with fairly new tires, actually had a flat. But it did. And I had no way of contacting Travis since neither of us had phones on us. I had also never had to change a car tire, and only seen it happen once in high school when it was demonstrated for my class of 35 people in industrial technology. Fortunately, changing a car tire is even easier than changing a bike tire, and when I inspected the mini spare tire (which I knew was there), there were also the tools to change it, and a crusty old jack that I am sure had never been removed from its hiding place in the trunk. Once I realized I was fine and could do this, some guy in a pickup drove out of his way to see if I was alright, and I was happy to say I was. And now I am one step closer to being able to actually fix something on a car, ha.

Above are a few of the pictures I’ve taken of the cool spider webs all over the place on our land. When it’s dewey in the mornings, it looks like we decorated for hallowe’en or something. I really appreciate seeing all the spiders (including a giant orange one, with a body the size of the tip of my small finger), and still some frogs and toads around, a grouse the other day, and the small brown birds that jump around outside the cabin.

I harvested the first Nippon Island squash the other day. I thought they were big in the field, but somehow the squash looked much bigger in the house. I had high hopes for this squash, as it is not supposed to be sweet at all. I like squash, but get tired of the sweetness of it pretty quickly, and don’t like to eat it that often. Nippon Island totally exceeded my expectations. It’s not sweet at all, and is comparable to plantain. It also grew really well, and the squash I harvested (average size) was the main component of 3 suppers and a breakfast for the two of us, and there were leftovers at every meal. Not bad. I want to grow more next year.

 

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