Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Suffice It To Say ... It's Freezing Outside!

 While it's freezing outside the westies are cuddled in fresh
warm bed linens from the dryer.  
 I know what Derby is thinking ... here she is with that camera again.
 Taking a nap together.
Who could blame them on this extremely cold arctic winter day.
 For those friends who don't know about oystering on the
Chesapeake Bay ... and the oyster boy taking oysters from
our creek in Bozman ... here is a quick lesson on the art
of using hand tongs for oystering.
 Hand Tong

The most arduous method of harvesting oysters is often thought to 
be that employing the use of hand tongs. Hand tongs are made of two 
wooden shafts that can range in length from 16’ to 30’ with rakes 
attached to each shaft and are joined together by a pin, mimicking scissors.
The oysterman stands on the side of the boat, lowering his tongs into the water, 
feeling around until he hits a mound of oysters. He’ll then make several
 ‘licks’, opening and closing his tongs, catching the oysters in his rakes. 
Lifting the long shafts out of the water, the oysters are then dumped on
 the boat for culling. The depth of the water being worked will dictate 
the length of the shaft tongs being used. For instance, if you are working 
in 18’ of water, you will need a 24’ pair of tongs. 
The typical set of tongs you will find in the Chesapeake Bay are 20’. 
Most oysters grow in 18’ of water or less and are caught in 10-12’. 
The deeper the water gets, the less oxygen the animals get, 
making it harder for them to survive.
 Using hand tongs to harvest oysters is not only physically demanding
but also inefficient. Most hand tongers will only catch 30% of 
the oysters on a given oyster bar. Tongers are allowed to harvest
15 bushels of oysters per day, with up to two license holders 
on a boat. Hand tongers have oyster bars set aside for their
 exclusive use however; hand tongers are permitted to work on bottom
 designated for any gear type/method of harvesting such as patent tongs,
 power dredge and dive bottom. Very few areas are left exclusively
 for hand tongers with most of it having been turned into oyster sanctuaries.
 The first sign of ice on the creek.  No oyster boy out there today!
 Feeding on seeds ... a small group of birds.

 The evening sky on Monday reminded me of a thach weave pattern.
 What I'm working on.
This is another 'scrappy' type of quilt I'm making for a 5
year old little girl.  Since the grand mom didn't give me a
clear-cut answer to my question on what this child likes
I decided to use us some of my scrap pieces.  I think this quilt
is bright, fun, and happy.  It has some really cute fabrics as
well as some fabric that has sparkle to it.  For a little girl who
is 5 I think this will keep her interest in looking at all the
different fabric prints.  Hopefully, I'll get this put together in the
next day or two.  It is for Valentine's Day & needless to
say I'll be making one American Girl outfit to go with it.
Julep wants you to be safe ... if you don't need to go
out in this weather ... then don't unless you live
someplace nice and warm like Hawaii!


  1. OMD that looks like a really tough way to harvest oysters. We have never seen that before. Thanks for sharing. Stay warm inside if you can. Have a terrific Tuesday.
    Best wishes Molly

  2. It was mighty cold her today. It was -13 when I headed out to work this morning.
    Very interesting about the oysters. I didn't know any of that

  3. I, too, thought it very interesting about the harvesting of oysters. Here in the middle of the US we never realize how those things get to the table. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Oh, and I love your pictures of your 'munchkins'!!!