March Garden Report - Lemonade Time

25. March 2020 23:39

It has been a wet March, so not a lot of outside time.  Which is perfectly fine since we got no rain in February and the rainy season will be ending very soon. 

Last fall I decided it was past time to divide the patches of daffodils that I had planted between the trees in our orchard.  It turned out that there was a lot more baby bulbs that I expected.  In several places the bulbs were being pushed out of the ground because there were so many in the group. The new spot for them had to be a spot where they would not get in the way of mowing so I decided to plant them along the fence that is on one side of our property. 

When the task was done I wondered if I would have any blooms this year in the orchard as I had removed so many.  As we got below normal rain this winter, I was concerned that the transplanted daffodils would not survive.  So I was happy to see that there were still plenty left in the orchard.  And now that I finally made it over to the fence area, was very pleased to see how many flowers had bloomed.  Hopefully, they will be happy there and multiply over the coming years.  (Note: gophers don't eat these bulbs and it looks like the deer are not interested in the rest.)


Meanwhile, along the driveway, the citrus is working overtime.  The Meyer lemon is covered in flowers.  And there is a large crop ready (or almost) for harvest from last years blooms.  The deer do seem to think citrus is delicious, so most of the fruit is in the back or well inside the branches where they were safe from the deer's pruning. 

A small number appeared ready to pick.  This group provided a couple ice cube trays of juice for use when I need a little lemon juice for a recipe.  And there was enough left for at least one large pitcher of lemonade.  When the rest is ready I will have lemonade for several months. Before I juice them, I will take peel from the prettier ones to dehydrate to use when I need lemon peel.  

 And down the row a bit from the Meyer lemon tree is a Valencia orange.  Looks like I should have lots of fresh squeezed OJ soon.

Yes, More Hexagons

7. March 2020 23:18

Before I went off February 1st for ten wonderful days in Tucson, I was trying some variations to better understand how different facet placements would impact the resulting gem.  While there are software programs that will attempt to do that for flat facets, concave facets and fantasy variations are not included.  So I set up several stones and cut them with the same flat facet pattern but differences with the fantasy machine cuts. (Besides, faceting is more fun that sitting at the keyboard.)

The first one is a 12.61 carat lemon citrine which has all of the pavilion row of facets done with the regular mandrels for concave work.  It is 14.6 mm. across, so I managed to work in more facets than I have been using in some of the smaller hexagons.


Using that same flat facet arrangement, I did two somewhat smaller amethysts.  For one, a 6.60 carat, 12.8 mm. stone when done, I used a rounded fantasy wheel and made some small curved cuts.  These added some "lights" which seem to be inside the stone.


On the other amethyst, which finished at 5.65 carats, 11.2 mm., I added a lot more of these compound concave "facets".  It looks like the stone is full of glitter.


For a totally different variation, after returning from Tucson, I tried something along the lines of the demonstration done at the USFG seminar on Fantasy cutting.  For this one, which is 5.40 carats and 11.0 mm. across,  I used a slitter and cut grooves from the culet most of the length of the corner facets.  These were left unpolished and they are reflected by the other facets to give the appearance of having many more grooves than were actually created.



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