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The Internet Ramblings of Matt & Lori Knowles

June 2007

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Fri, Jun. 1, 2007 - Open Studio

Open Studio

We decided to try out participating in North Coast Open Studios this year. NCOS is mainly meant for artists whose studios aren't normally open to the public, but it is open to all artists. We cleared out the back studio and turned it into more gallery space. The hallway at home looks a bit bare right now, but hopefully we'll sell some artwork over the next two weekends. Come by and take a look at some of the artwork that's not normally on display.

Sat, Jun. 2, 2007 - Pet Parade

Pet Parade

Rosemary Maede once again was the star of the pet parade. Wearing the latest in feed bag fashions, she showed off her pet chickens Ginger and Ariel.

Sun, Jun. 3, 2007 - Ferndale's Talented Bovines

Ferndale's Talented Bovines

One more example of Ferndale's uniqueness. Where else would you go to see a cow roller skating down the sidewalk?

Mon, Jun. 4, 2007 - Planting Rhodies - Phase 1

Planting Rhodies - Phase 1

There are two things that are almost required for living in Ferndale. First, you should have a dog in your pickup truck. Second, you should have a least one rhododendron planted in your front yard. Since it will be awhile before we're ready for the first requirement, we felt it was time to take care of the second. So Lori and I spent our rainy day off and headed up to Singing Tree nursery in McKinnleyville. Peak blooming season for rhodies is over, but the nursery garden was still very beautiful. Amazing what a garden looks like without horsetails being the dominant feature.

Once we got home the planting started, and I decided to tackle the one going in the backyard first. I knew that the soil was pretty poor in that area, so a trip to Nielsens was required for a truckload of soil admendment. Then when we started digging we realized a second trip to Nielsens was required to purchase a pick axe. Yep, that was some pretty bad soil. Artie of course did his usual job of supervising. I'm sure he was convinced we were doing all this work for his benefit.

Tue, Jun. 5, 2007 - One Down

One Down

Today after work Lori and I completed our digging, sifting, and amending, and then finally just as the last light was fading, the orange azelea was planted. Artie signed off on our work and wasted no time christening his new park.

Wed, Jun. 6, 2007 - Two More

Two More

These are the two rhodies that we originally intended to plant. Amazing how hard it is to go to a nursery and only buy the plants you intended to. We planned to buy these two, and came away with double that number. You really have to plan ahead with rhodies since they grow rather slowly, but eventually these two will provide a nice backdrop to Lori's herb garden, and separate it from the fern grove planned on the side yard.

Thu, Jun. 7, 2007 - Ella


Ferndale Dance Academy is getting ready to produce this year's dance event, Ella, a retelling of the classic Cinderella story. Aesthetic Design & Photography donated the publicity photos, and we just put up a new web site for them at

Fri, Jun. 8, 2007 - Love Me Tender (not)

Love Me Tender (not)

Tender 6 started life as a milk truck, picking up raw milk at the dairies and taking it to be processed. After it had served many years and miles in that duty, it was modified to become a fire tender. So that it would fit in our fire hall along with the other tender it was shortened, and therein lied the problem. The mods severly affected the handling, and while driving a truck loaded with 2000 gallons of water is never fun, this one was downright scary. It had the feeling of driving a boat, you sort of guided it the general direction you wished to travel. Very exciting going over Fernbridge with it.

After one of the assistant chiefs drove it recently the descision was made to retire it so that its replacement will become more of a priority. Funds are always an issue, so anyone want to buy us a tender? (Why is it a tender, well you can't call it a tanker, because in fire lingo that is an airplane that drops water.)

Sat, Jun. 9, 2007 - I See Spots

I See Spots

Back in October I posted a photo of the Catholic Church being painted. Well, it's still being painted. They are back to making progress after the delay of winter. On some areas that they did complete last year it seems that nails were rusting through so they're doing an extra thorough job of priming the nail heads. Kind of looks like the church has chicken pox right now.

Sun, Jun. 10, 2007 - Over on the good side

Over on the good side

Just to be fair though, the side that is almost done looks very nice. I really like the multi-colored paint job better than the previous yellow coat it had.

Mon, Jun. 11, 2007 - Planting Weeds

Planting Weeds

Ever since I started my garden in San Jose, I've wanted hollyhocks. Problem is they look just like common weeds when they're little and I usually loose track of them and end up pulling them. So this time I started them indoors and planted them in an area that I can keep track of them. So hopefully next spring the front of the house will be graced with some pretty hollyhocks.

Tue, Jun. 12, 2007 - Give me your lupines

Give me your lupines

Another plant I had tried several times in San Jose with no luck was lupines. So as I did with the hollyhocks I decided to try them from seed and raise a bunch at the same time. They just got transplanted to the front yard, so along with the hollyhocks, I expect our front garden to have a bit of a tribute to Monty Python.

Wed, Jun. 13, 2007 - Lori's Lavender

Lori's Lavender

Lori had about as much luck growing lavender in this garden as I had growing hollyhocks and lupines in San Jose. Too wet the first few tries, which seems odd, because it's English lavender, and England isn't known for its dry climate. Last year she dug big deep holes and we filled it with rocks, sand and amended soil so it would drain better. Much to her delight, her four lavender bushes made it through the winter, and for the first time actually look like lavender.

Thu, Jun. 14, 2007 - Expensive Mouse Trap

Expensive Mouse Trap

Our refrigerator had been running warm lately but it was sporadic so we put off calling the repairman. I was trying to figure out a pattern why sometimes it would be warm and sometimes it would run fine so I could try to schedule the appointment appropriately. I never did figure out a pattern but when it got to the point that food wasn't staying cold, we had to do something. The repairman came out and immediately found the problem, shown in exhibit "A". The victim seems to have suffered major trauma to the head, most likely from trying to run through the compressor fan while it was still running. We also found an extra tail, probably from the mouse we recovered from the same location earlier. My guess is that fan dodging is some new rodent sport, and these two unlucky players found out how dangerous it can be to get your thrills that way. Their ill fated adventure ended up costing us $255 in repairs.

Sat, Jun. 16, 2007 - Bucket of Bulbs

Bucket of Bulbs

Well, actually it's not a bucket, it's an old kitty litter box, but that just didn't have the alliteration that I was looking for. When we dug up that rocky soild in the backyard to plant the rhododendron, we also dug up the only thing growing there besides horsetails, a bunch of daffodil bulbs. We were really surprised how many there were and how crowded they were. Now we have to replant them, but with better soil and better distribution we should have quite a show next year.

Sun, Jun. 17, 2007 - South Fork Mountain Sunset

South Fork Mountain Sunset

I went for a ride on the KLR650 up to Route 1 in the South Fork Mountains to go see my favorite wildflower show. Unfortunately I was probably a week too late and missed most of it. I had been up there Memorial Day weekend and they were just getting the first signs of buds so I figured this would be the right time. I guess they don't last very long. I was about to head home when I noticed some nice cloud formations in the west so I decided to look for a spot for sunset photos. From this location you can see Mount Shasta 80 miles away to the east, and the Pacific Ocean 30 miles to the west. Plus it is one of the few spots out in the boonies that I've found that has cell phone service, so I was able to call Lori and let her know I was going to be late. Finally got home about 11pm. That's the problem of sunsets in June up here, they happen pretty late. Actual sunset time according to my GPS was 8:48pm, but I was taking pictures until 9:30pm.

Mon, Jun. 18, 2007 - Back to Painting (or painting the back)

Back to Painting (or painting the back)

I mentioned the lengthy paint job on the church earlier this month, well I've had an ongoing paint project myself. There isn't really a painting season in Ferndale, you grab days here and there when it is sunny enough, dry enough, and the wind is calm enough. This week has been relatively reasonable with two out of the three conditions being met. Still a bit windy, but if it weren't, it probably woudn't be sunny this time of year. So I've been back to painting the barn, working on the backside. A few more nice days like today and it should be finished finally.

Tue, Jun. 19, 2007 - Restoring the Green House

Restoring the Green House

Yes, it's only a year old so it shouldn't need restoration, but this winter's big wind storm took its toll so my other big weekend project was to anchor it down to the concrete so the wind wouldn't blow the whole structure away, and then reinstall the panels. We hurriedly removed them during the gail force winds back in December after we noticed some of them flying around our yard. It looks like three panels flew away entirely, so I'm going to have to see if replacements are available, or make do with some other kind of plastic window material. Since the main flaw is the clips that hold the panels in place, I'm also looking at ways to beef up the retaining system. I'm thinking gobs and gobs of caulking.

Sat, Jun. 23, 2007 - I should have warned him

I should have warned him

Went for a ride today with some other KLR650 riders and a few other bikes. We met up at the store in Hydesville and I was surprised to find out that two of the bikes were a full dress Harley and a trike. I had been up on Route 1 the previous weekend and found it full of gravel, perfect for a KLR but not exactly a great road for these two bikes. They took my advice and peeled off from the group when we left Hwy 36. But just as we were pulling out from the store, two other riders showed up, one on a Harley, and one on an Intruder. Had I had the chance I would have given them the same warning I gave the other two. The Harley rider was probably wishing I had had the chance too, as he lost it in a gravel strewn corner and I had to do a quick dodge around him after he fell right in my path. He was unhurt, but the Harley ended up with some scratched chrome and a dented gas tank.

Sun, Jun. 24, 2007 - Warning


There is speculation that pets can provide warning about earthquakes. Not true. If that were the case, Lori, would have been able to go change into some clothes that would have provided more protection. As it was she was wearing shorts with two cats on her lap when a 5.1 temblor hit today. Not a good combination.

Mon, Jun. 25, 2007 - Plain White

Plain White

Working on my room at home, trying to get it ready in time for moving the office back home. Here's the ceiling medallion that will be going in that room. I took this picture so I can experiment with the colors with virtual Photoshop paint.

Tue, Jun. 26, 2007 - Ella


The annual Ferndale Dance Academy recital this year is Ella, the classic story of Cinderella, set in the Roaring '20s. Today I shot the first of two dress rehearsals. The show starts Thursday, and Laura has sold out 3 shows at the Ferndale Rep. Every year this show gets bigger and better. I think next year she's going to need onstage pyrotechnics to meet growing expectations.

Wed, Jun. 27, 2007 - Ella Cast

Ella Cast

In addition to shooting a second dress rehearsal, today we also shot the group shot of the cast. Laura always does an amazing job of getting all the girls lined up for this. Usually with this large of group I take several shots in a row, and then use Photoshop to replace the inevetible people that were turning their heads or blinking during the shot. But amazingly, this was the last shot I took and everyone was perfect in it. Unbelievable, and it'll probably never happen again.

Fri, Jun. 29, 2007 - Moon to Sun Fernbridge shot

Moon to Sun Fernbridge shot

A shot that I've wanted to get for a long time was a panoramic of the sun setting in the west at Fernbridge and the moon rising in the east over the Eel River. I've tried it a couple of other times but only certain sunsets work to get the timing and placement of both the sun and moon to work. Then the water level has to be low enough to wade out to the middle of the river. Finally, you need a good sunset before it can all happen. So I was very happy when all the heavenly bodies and weather aligned on this night.

Sat, Jun. 30, 2007 - Laura's Red Dress

Laura's Red Dress

Laura East came out at the end of each performance this weekend wearing this red flapper dress to take her well deserved bows. Great show Laura! Lots of hard work went into the show by the cast and crew, and the town really appreciates the effort.