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Nature School :: The Fly-Away Kite

My dad gave Laurel her own kite on Sunday, one that was in his collection that had never been flown (similar to this one).  We have plenty of wind around here, but it stops and starts in fits.  It gusts and howls, but it's not steady.  All the trees and variations in terrain baffle it.  We'd tried to fly it a couple times with very little luck, so I thought we'd use the good weather on Wednesday to our advantage.  Back up to the crest zone on Whitetop!  And look!  Snow!


The winds were gusty and about 20 mph.  I later learned that most folks don't fly in that kind of wing.  Oh, well!  Let the maiden voyage be a good one!  Laurel's kite pulls a lot more than Roan's, which was a real challenge that day.  Mostly, we were flying down in a little bowl-shaped cut in the mountainside.  This turned out to be a very good thing!  I let out all the string on both kites--500 feet--just to see how they would do.  I was marveling at them when I saw Laurel's flutter down.  She wasn't holding the winder any more and the kite was no longer in the air.

I spent a good amount of time winding up Roan's string and getting his kite down, while Willow and Roan went to look for the kite.  500 feet is a LOT to wind up!  Laurel and I moved the car up the road to where Willow had found the kite, quite close to the trees.  I started winding and Willow got it in the air again, which presented quite the challenge.  It pulled and fought nearly the whole time I was winding it.  It was hard to do and avoid cutting myself on the tight string.  I was also trying to keep it away from the trees you can see above.  There was one lone tree that looked like it would very much like to eat the kite!   Looking back, I think flying down in the bowl and all the thornless blackberry brambles save the kite from being going into the wild blue.

Flying Kites

Twenty minutes later, I had it all wound up and out of the air. It fell for the last bit of winding and that was so nice, so much better than having to fight to wind up 8 inches at a time! By this time, the children had drunk up all the tea and covered themselves and their parkas in hazelnut spread, so it was time to go home and wash up. On our way down, we witnessed a couple getting engaged on that blustery day. I wish them many happy years together. Being married is probably a little (or a lot) like flying a kite. ;-)


( 2 trees — Plant a Forest )
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 31st, 2017 11:53 pm (UTC)
I think the key is avoiding really strong wind. We were asking for trouble. ;-) There are lots of small, light wind kites that are easy to fly. My dad has some that can carry you off, but we're not up for that.
( 2 trees — Plant a Forest )

A Blessed Wilderness

It was just like being in heaven, being in there. In those days there was no road. The park was all a blessed wilderness. I have often thought what a wonderful people we would have been if we had wanted to keep it that way.

~Adolph Murie, biologist, on Denali


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