Tanglewood Hollow

Our West Michigan Homestead

Some harvests from 2010

Some random pics from this past year's harvests. Missing fresh local food.
Some harvests from 2010

Our flock

Our chickens. We love em. They give us the best eggs on earth. They eat tons of bugs from around our garden. They live in 3/4 of a chicken moat.
Our flock

Bonfire Spring 2010

It was a good bonfire. Lots of folks came. Great times! Photos after the break.
Bonfire Spring 2010

Early morning fishing trip

I’ve gotten to the point in life where I don’t need an alarm clock. Getting up early for years has trained me to the point that I usually wake up at 5:00 a.m. or so. I can’t sleep past 7:00. I was a bit surprised when I looked at the alarm through a cracked eyelid […]
28 October 2013

Kalamazoo Honey Bee Removal

The bee season is in full swing in Michigan. I did my first bee removal this year on March 31st. My hives have been collecting since the crazy warm-up we had in March (80 degrees? Really?) and are doing well. If you find yourself with honeybees that you’d rather not have, contact me at the […]
10 April 2012

Growing Ginger

Mmmm, ginger. Yummy stuff, and so easy to grow really. Ginger root is sold in a clump that’s often called a “hand.” You’ll want to choose a hand that’s fresh and firm with as many “fingers” as possible. To get as many plants as you can, cut or break the fingers off the main root. […]
5 February 2011

Empty bowl salad dressing

Made this dressing up when I was out of everything I usually use for salad dressing. I stumbled upon something that my kids (5, 7 and 9) totally devoured.Woot! Ingredients 1-1 1/2 cup tahini 2 tbs lemon juice 2 tbs sweet pickle relish 2 tsp malt vinegar 3 tsp sugar 1/4 tsp chipotle powder 1/2 […]
4 February 2011

I’ve gotten to the point in life where I don’t need an alarm clock. Getting up early for years has trained me to the point that I usually wake up at 5:00 a.m. or so. I can’t sleep past 7:00.

I was a bit surprised when I looked at the alarm through a cracked eyelid and saw that it read 1:48 a.m. in big green numbers. The clock is one of those fancy atomic numbers that sets itself to the exact time. I got it as a present years ago.

But, it has the funny habit of resetting itself sometimes. Usually when it is very inconvenient.

The plan was to take the motorcycle to the Augusta Creek for some trout fishing Saturday morning. Waders, tackle, pole, rod and flies were packed away. I just needed to add water and fish.

I woke again at 2:40-something, and this time I was suspicious. I was rather rested for getting only a few hours of sleep. Checking my phone I realized that I wasn’t up early, but running late.

Well, no coffee. Had time for a shower at least before hitting the road.

I drove through the Kalamazoo River Valley on my way to Richland. It was a warm July morning and the fog had rolled in overnight from the water. It was a beautiful drive and a great way to start the day. Had the road to myself mostly.road

I was meeting my buddy Todd. Neither of us had fished this river before. We didn’t know if it would work for fly rods or if we’d have to use the ole ugly sticks.

When I got there Todd was waiting for me, cup of coffee in hand. Only 11 minutes late, even after sleeping in. He was already in his waders so I pulled mine on and grabbed my trusty four foot Ugly Stick with Shakespeare reel.

On a side note, I’d like to point out that I’m not a purist when it comes to angling. I like to fish. I use tools to catch them. I’m not picky about what the tools are, as long as they can work.

The park we were at doesn’t open until 8:00, so we had it to ourselves. We walked down to the covered bridge and checked out the situation.

The fog was clearing as we pushed through a cloud of mosquitoes to the river. It ran pretty deep at the bridge, about 3 ½ feet. It looked deeper than that so we walked up river a ways before getting in.

Five minutes on water and the mosquitoes could no longer find us because of the breeze caused by the movement of the river. This was grand.

We spent the morning casting spinners and enjoying the sun. Caught a few shiners, but no luck with the trout. It’s a nice river though and definitely wasn’t a waste of time by any means.

A day spent fishing is a day well spent.

Posted by Jeremy Marr On October - 28 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

The day began in a flurry of activity. Last minute chores needed to be finished. The gathering of the last few articles that needed to be packed away for the trip.

Dry bag? Check. Camera? Check. Fishing gear? Check.

Done.

Then it was running out the door to get the kids to their school, puppy in tow. (Yes, we can bring our dog to our school. Really.)

After walking three miles with the dog in a vain attempt to tire him out, he and I sat in the hallway and endured the constant attention of the homeschool kids. Only one dog in school that day, and he is, as they say, “SOOOO soft!”

finnatriver

We went on another walk. This time a visit to the city park that has a small river wrapping around three-quarters of its boundary. Ahhhh, the river.

I love rivers. There is something so mysterious and powerful about them. They are both permanent and ephemeral. You can stand in rushing water, but its strength can wear away the very stones that it runs over.

There is a magic in flowing water. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Jeremy Marr On September - 17 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

I dragged myself out of bed Monday, bleary eyed from a lack of sleep brought on by early morning starts for deer hunting. It was an unsuccessful weekend, but there are days left for me to hunt this year.

Wandering into the kitchen for my morning glass of OJ, I heard the familiar scratch on the door and went over to let the dog in.

He wasn’t there of course. Bear hasn’t been here for almost a week now.

I closed his eyes for the last time Wednesday night after a neighbor pulled up in our driveway to say that he thought he’d hit my dog. As I walked with him down to the road I held out hope that it wasn’t him. Another of my neighbors has a black dog too, and she’s usually the one in the road.

But it was him.

From what we’ve pieced together, he was chasing his nemesis when it happened. A dog in the neighborhood has been running his invisible fence to roam. He’s already killed a couple of our chickens, and Bear had decided that he hated him.

Every time that dog ran by, Bear would hurry him along by racing along the front of our yard. He was always very protective of our family, and in his mind our family included our chickens.

It’s really hard to get used to living in a home without a dog. We’ve lost our protector in a lot of ways. Not a single person came to our home without first being checked out by him. We always knew when a questionable person was around. He’d let us, and the neighbors know. Many suspicious characters (mostly salesmen) have pulled back out of our driveway because of his greetings.

He was ever vigilant at his self-appointed job of watchdog. He’d sit outside scanning the yard for hours, even letting snow collect on his coat in winter. He’d come in when you called him, but reluctantly. He preferred not to leave his post.

Bear was a shelter dog. Mostly black lab and part mutt, he had some major issues when we adopted him. He was terrified by tall men, especially a big guy wearing a hat. He also wouldn’t have anything to do with stairs. We assumed it was from some trauma in his past.

When we went to meet him he acted like he was going to take my head off. It put me off, but my wife must have seen some potential in him, because she talked me into it. I came to be very glad that she had.

He never completely overcame his fear of tall men, but he toned down his response to giving alert warnings without the growling and teeth baring he started with. After a few months of encouragement he would even go downstairs.

Bear became a fixture in our home, showing complete patience with our small kids as they grew into big kids. He excelled at his obedience training, even though he got a very late start. He was a loyal and loving companion and would come and console you if you were feeling down.

He was our constant companion, our guardian and our friend.

It’s not easy to lose your best friend. Sure, you might say he was just a dog. But a dog is no small thing, especially to those who loved him.

I like to think that while I’ve lost a dog, I’ve also gained a spirit protector. I know he will always be around in some way to take care of us. For that I thank him.

I don’t know if heaven exists or not, but if it does, I promise we’ll play fetch again buddy. And if they don’t let dogs in, I don’t want to go.

 

 

 

Posted by Jeremy Marr On November - 19 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

The bee season is in full swing in Michigan. I did my first bee removal this year on March 31st. My hives have been collecting since the crazy warm-up we had in March (80 degrees? Really?) and are doing well.

If you find yourself with honeybees that you’d rather not have, contact me at the link above or call 269-3400-BEE. I will be happy to remove them for you. Don’t wait until summer!

I cover a large area in southwest Michigan. Counties include: Van Buren, Cass, Berrien, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph, Barry, Allegan and Calhoun Counties.

Swarm removal is same day and free.

If the bees have taken up residence in a structure there is a charge ($50-120). Refer to my Bee Removal Services page for more info.

Posted by Jeremy Marr On April - 10 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

A little taste of bluegrass from a Wheatland of yesteryear. Found this in my old files today. Recorded it while wandering around the campgrounds (in a tent, not on a stage).

Taste of Bluegrass

Posted by Jeremy Marr On November - 23 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Would any of the creative folks I know want a Kickstarter invite? I have one left. Kickstarter is a powerful fundraising tool for artistic/creative projects.

Here’s my caveat: You have to give away at least one of your invites (you’ll get some) to someone in a random way. I will pick a random commenter to this post (on tanglewoodhollow.net).

Check out the guidelines for fund raising. And the FAQ.

This tool can make creative projects take off in a big way. One project raised almost a million dollars. I’ve seen some sweet ideas funded. Everything from albums, to books, to restaurant and brewery start-ups. It’s a beautiful thing.

Posted by Jeremy Marr On September - 20 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

I’ve always thought it rather strange that the link between art and science has been drifting further and further apart. To me they are one and should continue to be so. People who do both accomplish the most amazing things. Read the following post to find out more.

Most people are at a loss to be able to identify any useful connections between arts and sciences. This ignorance is appalling. Arts provide innovations through analogies, models, skills, structures, techniques, methods, and knowledge. Arts don’t just prettify science or make technology more aesthetic; they often make both possible.

That cell phone or PDA you’re carrying? It uses a form of encryption called frequency hopping to ensure your messages can’t easily be intercepted. Frequency hopping was invented by the composer George Antheil in collaboration with the actress Hedy Lamarr. Yeah, really.

via The Art of Scientific and Technological Innovations : Art of Science Learning.

Posted by Jeremy Marr On April - 12 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

I made a few experimental beehives last year. They are frameless hives, so the bees can make their comb in a natural way. The hives are basically just empty boxes with a couple of thin wooden supports to help support the comb.

One of the hives failed in a cold snap this February. Last weekend we harvested the honey. We ended up with 2 ½ gallons of honey from one failed colony.

Watch the video to see what the inside of a natural beehive looks like.

Harvesting Honey from Jeremy Marr on Vimeo.

Posted by Jeremy Marr On March - 27 - 2011 1 COMMENT

That’s a pretty big word methinks. It’s an attractive word though. It means the study of honey, pollen and the sources of both. Say it with me.. Melissapalynology.

I am on my way to becoming a melissapalynologist. I’ve purchased a microscope and a bit of equipment for cataloging the pollen that is collected by my bees. I hope to be able to identify what flowers they are visiting by examining the morphology of the pollen they bring in. I’ve found several databases so far. If you can recommend any please send me a note.

I hope to eventually create my own database for southwest Michigan. Something that could be useful regardless of your scientific background or lack thereof.

Fun times to come!

Now I’m wondering if I can make a centrifuge into a car’s hub cap…

Posted by Jeremy Marr On March - 4 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

I guess it really shouldn’t surprise anyone..

Monarch butterflies use medicinal plants to treat offspring | Michigan Today

Monarch butterflies appear to use medicinal plants to treat their offspring for disease, research by biologists at the University of Michigan and Emory University shows.”We have shown that some species of milkweed—the larva’s food plants—can redu

ce parasite infection in the monarchs,” said Jaap de Roode, the Emory evolutionary biologist who led the study. “And we have also found that infected female butterflies prefer to lay their eggs on plants that will make their offspring less sick, suggesting that monarchs have evolved the ability to medicate their offspring.”

via Monarch butterflies use medicinal plants to treat offspring | Michigan Today.

Posted by Jeremy Marr On March - 4 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS