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Fred's photos from Wheaton Labs

 
gardener
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Here's some pictures of mushrooms growing on the underside of a log i found in the forest near the Abbey. Probably a Doug fir log.

The first two photos are the same kind. In the second photo the fungus had grown over and enveloped leaves and conifer needles as it spread over the surface of the log.

The last two photos are a cool purplish fungus.
fungus.jpg
Fungus on Douglas fir log
Fungus on Douglas fir log
fungus.jpg
Fungus on Douglas fir log
Fungus on Douglas fir log
fungus.jpg
Fungus on Douglas fir log
Fungus on Douglas fir log
fungus.jpg
Fungus on Douglas fir log
Fungus on Douglas fir log
 
Fred Tyler
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Location: Wheaton Labs, MT and Tularosa, NM
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We got more snow last night. Not quite 3 inches. It's not unusual to get snow this time of year, but usually it melts off pretty quick. Usually the first snow that sticks around is just after Thanksgiving. This time we keep getting more snow before the last one melts much (or at all). It has been pretty cold. Getting into the single digits tonight. I think this stuff is sticking around.

I'm grateful for the moisture, but the persistent snow cover is making it hard to do some of the stuff i had planned for this month.

The first photo is from the snow on Nov 6th.

The second photo is from the snow on Nov 9th.

The third photo is from the snow last night..Nov 16th

It is piling up! (but not in these photos)
snow-nov-6.jpg
Snow from Nov 16th
Snow from Nov 6th
snow-nov-9.jpg
Snow from Nov 9th
Snow from Nov 9th
snow-nov-16.jpg
Snow from Nov 16th
Snow from Nov 16th
 
Fred Tyler
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It got down to 0° F last night at basecamp. Pretty chilly.

I had a couple of succulents on the kitchen windowsill in the Abbey. It got too cold for them on the warm side of the window quilt! I was just getting excited to repot these into something bigger for some hanging plants. Most of the leaves and stems are pretty soft now. Hopefully they will hang on and can regrow. These started out as single rooted leaves, so if even just a couple leaves survive, they should be ok.

Outside the cold had some interesting effects. In a spot of snow i had trampled down yesterday some ice crystals formed. These were pretty big...maybe two inches from center to tip.

The ones in the first grouping look like ice ferns.

The ones in the second group look kinda like a topo map of some crazy canyons.
frozen-succulents.jpg
Sad frozen succulents
Sad frozen succulents
ice-crystals.jpg
Ice crystals
Ice crystals
ice-crystals.jpg
Ice crystals
Ice crystals
 
Fred Tyler
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I'm getting excited for thanksgiving.

Today i strained some mugolio inspired syrups. Early this summer i collected some unripe green cones from a grand fir and another batch from Doug fir. I packed them in jars with organic brown sugar. The sugar draws out moisture from the still green cones. Then i waited. You have to let them sit at least a couple of months. I cooked them to dissolve the sugar that settled and put them through a sieve. I don't have a plan for how we will eat these on thanksgiving, but they will probably go well drizzled over some dessert. They smell amazing.

I also candied some pecans with maple syrup. I harvested the pecans at my mom's place in New Mexico. I toasted then on the rocket cooktop at the Abbey, then coated and cooked them in maple syrup. These will be a topping for the sweet potato dish i'm making. Yum!

Tomorrow i'm baking the bread we will use for stuffing.
doug-fir-sryup-and-grand-fir-syrup.jpg
Doug fir sryup on left, grand fir on right
Doug fir sryup on left, grand fir on right
straining-doug-fir-syrup.jpg
Straining Doug fir syrup
Straining Doug fir syrup
toasting-pecans.jpg
Toasting pecans
Toasting pecans
maple-candied-pecans.jpg
Maple candied pecans
Maple candied pecans
 
steward
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Thank you Fred!  Now mugolio is on my list of things to make.  Sounds wonderful.
 
Fred Tyler
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Thanks, Greg. I'll report back on how we use the syrups and which one people like best. Next year i'll work to get some cones from the ponderosa and lodgepole pines on the lab, so we can try those.

These bright red mushrooms were pushing up through the frosty duff. They could be the bloody brittlegill (Russula sanguinaria). That is a species known in Europe, and thought to be in North America. It grows in mycorhizal association with conifers.

These were taken before the snow.
probably-bloody-brittlegill-russula-sanguinaria.jpg
Probably bloody brittlegill (Russula sanguinaria)
Probably bloody brittlegill (Russula sanguinaria)
probably-bloody-brittlegill-russula-sanguinaria.jpg
Probably bloody brittlegill (Russula sanguinaria)
Probably bloody brittlegill (Russula sanguinaria)
probably-bloody-brittlegill-russula-sanguinaria.jpg
Probably bloody brittlegill (Russula sanguinaria)
Probably bloody brittlegill (Russula sanguinaria)
 
Fred Tyler
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This past summer we decided to experiment with a cob door for the rocket cooktop at the abbey to use in place of the current cast iron skillet door.

The first photo shows the cob door right after it was made.

Whoops! Today the door got knocked off the cooktop and broke into several pieces, as seen in the second photo.

Now, with a view into its interior, i was able to see how it stood up to the heat. With use the cob was "dusting" every time i opened or closed the stove, so i decided to use linseed oil on the cob (like the rest of the stove), so that it wouldn't make such a mess. Well, most of the rest of the cob is covering bricks that are insulated from the heat. So this bit of cob had a different experience. I used two applications of linseed oil. I didn't use it on the hottest interior part (that would be in direct exposure to the flames), but around the inner edge where it was touching the stove.

In the next couple of photos you can see the depth of the oil penetration. The cob in the middle of these pieces seems like normal reusable cob.

The last few photos are of the parts exposed to the most heat. Here, the cob looks a bit like terracotta. There were a couple of days early this fall when i did a different experiment where i got the stove as hot as possible...hotter than it would be in normal cooking use. During those tests, the straw on the outside of the door was starting to darken with charring. The straw on the inside was completely burned out.  I think if i had just used this door with normal operation, most of the straw would be intact and the door could have survived the drop.
rocket-cooktop-with-cob-door.jpg
Cob door for rocket cooktop
Cob door for rocket cooktop
broken-door.jpg
Broken door
Broken door
cob-interior.jpg
Cob interior
Cob interior
cob-interior.jpg
Cob interior
Cob interior
cob-exposed-to-high-heat.jpg
Cob exposed to high heat
Cob exposed to high heat
cob-exposed-to-high-heat.jpg
Cob exposed to high heat
Cob exposed to high heat
cob-exposed-to-high-heat.jpg
Cob exposed to high heat
Cob exposed to high heat
 
pollinator
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Interesting experiment, this cob stove door!
Why did it fall (or fly) out?
 
pioneer
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I'd also be interested to hear any estimates of the temperatures it took to burn out the straw and/or how low it was kept where the straw persisted...
 
gardener
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Perhaps fastening the handle into a metal mesh in the middle would hold the terracotta together after the straw burns out.
 
That's a very big dog. I think I want to go home now and hug this tiny ad:
the permaculture bootcamp in winter (plus half-assed holidays)
https://permies.com/t/149839/permaculture-projects/permaculture-bootcamp-winter-assed-holidays
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