Archive for the ‘Hikes’ Category

Plant on Mountain

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

Plant on Mountain

Vegan Replacement Boots

Saturday, January 17th, 2015

It is often difficult to find vegan friendly footwear. I have been wearing the same vegan Garmont boots since 2002. Recently the soles began to crumble and fall apart. I would have purchased a new pair of vegan Garmont boots, but a replacement does not exist.

I was unable to find someone to replace the soles of my Garmont boots, so I gave Shoe Goo a go. After the adhesive cured I noticed that the areas around the adhesive began to crumble. I suspect Shoe Goo would be great for making certain types of repairs, but it is not really intended for making new soles.

I went on a search for replacement boots. It is easy to find hiking boots, but not vegan hiking boots. Finally, I found a pair of Merrell boots that are vegan friendly.

All of the reviews that I read stated the Merrell boots were true to size. I ordered a pair from Title Nine. Unfortunately, the pair that I ordered was a tad snug.

The boots were on sale and when I checked the website for the larger size, many of the sizes were no longer available. I phoned Title Nine customer service. The person I spoke with was quite helpful. I placed a new order for a half size larger, and then I packaged up the original pair for shipping back. The new pair arrived in a few days.

Merrell Boots

When I slipped them on they fit great. I wore them around the house for a couple of days. Yesterday I wore them on my first hike.

Yeah, they really have bold and bright colors…

While on the hike I noticed this cool bark. At first glance it appeared to have been deliberately attached to the tree.

Cool Bark

Lichen Amble

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

My husband and I enjoy hiking. Today he decided that we don’t actually hike we amble because I tend to make frequent stops to look at and document lichens, rocks, plants, and critters.


Today I was particularly interested to see how the lichens were doing since there has been a few inches of rain. Lichens add such lovely color and texture to the rock surfaces. In a few months there will be more growth and variety of texture and color.



When I travel I visit old cemeteries to view sculptural grave markers. I am fond of carved markers that visually reflect the life of the individual being remembered. And if those markers also have beautiful lichen colonies, even better.

Lichens Baby

Lichens on Flowers 1 Lichens on Flowers 2

Ceramicists have imitated lichen surfaces in their work. For several years I used low fire lead glazes resulting in great textural surfaces. Now that I am older and after working in medical practices for a number of years, I try not to use things that I know are potentially dangerous. Substituting leaded frits worked for a time until I read lead is lead whether fritted or not. Still potentially dangerous.

This is a detail of a lead glaze that I used several years back. It is on a piece that is situated on a balcony in full sun nearly all day. What I hadn’t anticipated was the fading of the glaze.

Glaze Detail

There are numerous ways that to make textural glazes without using lead. Glazes can be underfired or overfired, formulas altered, aggregates added… A great book to read is Lana Wilson’s Ceramics: Shape and Surface Handouts for Potters. She is generous with glaze formulas and handbuilding tips. The book can be purchased directly from her website.

The California Lichen Society (CALS)

SLO Species List

Lichens of North America

British Lichen Society

Lichens of Ireland Project