Saturday, 25 April 2020

More From The Lapidary Shop

Like the rest of the world, we are self isolating way out here on Digby Neck with the hope that at some point in the future, "normal" will return and we will actually see some tourists.

I am fortunate to have a hobby (lapidary) to occupy the time and a large amount of rock to cut and polish.

As some of you may know, my wife Vickie, (She who MUST be obeyed) has The Agate Eye and it is because of that that I have such beautiful material to work with. Here is one she demanded be cut this morning and although it was a little big I decided to give it a try on my Hi-Tech 10 inch saw (you try saying no to her!). The results were spectacular! The surface is like glass and includes areas of plume, moss and fortification agate.

If you click on the pic you will see even more detail.

But because there have been no visitors, I have had time to cut a lot more and here are a few of the nicest.

The last one (greenish) is called eclogite and it is formed deep in the earth where one tectonic plate is dipping below another. As such, the pressure is so high that sometimes diamonds can be found associated with this rock.

If you click on the individual pictures you will be able to see even more detail.

I happen to live smack dab in the middle of an amazing geological setting and I hope that you can experience it for yourself sometime. In the meantime, stay safe and healthy!

Thursday, 16 April 2020

Back in the (Lapidary) Saddle Again!

Well, I held out as long as I could.

My original plan was to wait on cutting until I had completely cleaned up the shop but Vickie had found some really interesting stuff recently and I had an itchy trigger finger so I put some oil in the small saw and voila!

Here's a great piece of agate with several different types.

We have some lovely examples of fortification (grey area at the top) and plume and there are some gorgeous little islets in the center.

This next piece is a great example of a stone that didn't look all that good on the outside but on the inside...

Gorgeous areas of fortification and plume- what some would call our local moss agate. The patterning and colours are very organic and I have cut one slice and plan on getting a few more. These will make some beautiful small pendants.

So now I guess I have to get the big saw going so we can get at some of her larger pieces. Stay tuned for more interesting materials in subsequent posts.

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Life on Digby Neck

Every summer (well maybe not THIS summer) we get tourists stopping by and saying how much they would love to live here. Well, we sure love living on Digby Neck but it isn't without its challenges. Take yesterday for example. It started raining softly mid afternoon and the winds slowly picked up. After supper, Vickie checked Windy, her weather app, and casually informed me that the winds we had expected to peak at about 90 KPH were now projected to get to 110! So by about 10 PM the winds were roaring off the bay across the street and it was like someone was hitting the front of the house with a firehose. Amazingly, the power was still on.

We went to bed (our bedroom is at the front of the house) but the noise made sleeping impossible. And besides, by now the whole house was shaking and moaning (it is, remember, over 170 years old!). So we decided to move to the back bedroom. The sound was a little less but the shaking was even worse. It as like a freight train was running in the room with us. So we went downstairs to the main floor expecting it to be better but there is a vent in the kitchen that was clanging so we climbed back upstairs and ended up in the TV room. By now it's about 1 am and the wind gusts are over 120 but amazingly, I fall asleep. And when I wake up around 4, an eerie quiet has descended on the house (what I imagine the old cone of silence might have been like). We go back to sleep and wake up to a sky that looks like this

Amazingly,the house is still standing and we didn't even lose any more shingles and it is supposed to be sunny and +14 by the afternoon. Welcome to Digby Neck!

But not to worry, spring is definitely in the air. The Great Blue Herons are back in the marsh.

And if we can ever put this virus in our rear view windows, maybe we'll get to see you this summer.

Stay healthy.

Monday, 6 April 2020

The Spring of Covid 19

Well, we sure didn't see THAT coming!

Like most of the rest of the world, we have been self isolating. It was a little easier for us because I had my second hip replaced on Feb. 24th and because I had a nasty post op staph infection after #1, I had been told to stay away from people for a while and since I was using a walker, visits to town weren't an issue.

Then we started hearing reports of the effects of the corona virus and it became obvious that this spring would not be "Business as Usual".

On the hip front, things have been going great. Thanks to my loving wife (A.K.A. Nurse Ratchet") I did my rehab faithfully and I hope to be fully cleared to get back to normal activities when I meet with the surgeon by telephone later this week.

That means that I will be able to get back to doing lapidary in my shop!

As per normal here in Nova Scotia, early spring lingers because of the icebergs and cold water temperatures but the weather is slowly improving and Vickie (she with the agate eye) has been able to do a bit of rockhounding. here is her latest find.

This is a great specimen of Bay of Fundy flame agate and I can't wait to cut and polish a face.

But that's not the only thing she has been up to. When you are married to a mixed media artist, you come to realize that, somewhere in your house, there is one of everything! Vickie uses pieces of her art, combined with 50+ years of accumulated "stuff" to create art books and here's her latest.

The little blond in the last pic is the artist herself as a (very) young girl growing up in Norwayand when I look at it I am very jealous of that little boy.

So what happens now?

At some point, life will gradually return to "normal" but what that normal is remains to be seen. The Fundy tides will still come in and go out like clockwork but I suspect many other things will change forever.

Our shop may or may not even open this summer. I doubt we will see many tourists, that's for sure! At the time of this writing, we are still shipping our famous Seawall Fibres hand dyed yarn all over the world and I am selling some jewelry through the Seawall Fibres web site. I will probably put more pieces on the site in the near future.

Digby, and Digby Neck will dearly miss the tourists. For many, the reason will be economic and while that will be a factor here as well, what I will miss most of all is meeting all the wonderfully interesting people from all over the world who pass through our doors- many who have become friends.

If you had hoped or planned to visit us this summer, don't cross us off your list. When you come to Digby Neck- the most interesting part of the most beautiful province in the most beautiful country in the world- you won't be disappointed! And I guarantee that you will leave with memories that will last a lifetime (and possibly a piece from our shop!).

Stay safe. Stay healthy. Let's beat this thing and put it in the rear view mirrors of our lives.
And let's count our blessings.