Wednesday, November 08, 2006

barberry and bluebirds

Years ago, a few barberry bushes appeared in the side yard. They were about as big as a bushel basket. I decided to transplant them along the roadside, so that one day, they would become a hedgerow. That day has come.

There is barberry growing all over the place around here, so it is not anything unusual. I think some may even say it is invasive. It was brought to America a long time ago. There was a time when it was unlawful to grow barberry in certain states. However, it is beautiful this time of year, and many different animals enjoy the berries on it. I saw a flock of blue birds all over it yesterday...they were so beautiful, but so full of motion I could not focus long enough to get a decent photograph of them.

I once made a jelly from the barberry. I painstakingly picked the berries, avoiding the thorns...I didn't think the flavor was worth doing that again. As I recall, it tasted better used as a glaze on ham, than it did on toast or a biscuit.

Not much time to work on fiber these past few days...but I did finish the "fetching" mitts from Knitty. I squeaked out a pair from some silk that I had spun up a long time ago. When I tied off the last end, there was 3 inches leftover. Barely enough to save as a sample for the old project notebook!... but I liked the pattern quite a bit. It is worked with multiples of 5 and falls into a nice quick rhythm that I didn't have to pay much mind to. Sometimes, I like a project that I don't have to think about when I am doing it. That way, I can talk to someone while I knit and not loose my place. (I'm one of those, "can't walk and chew gum at the same time" sort of people...)


Cathy said...

Barberries! Amazing. My fiber notebook has been neglected recently. I realized I rarely make the same thing - so why keep all those samples?

Judy said...

Seeing your phone reminded me of when we switched to touch tone and I couldn't remember peoples numbers unless I dialed them rotary style in the air! Old dog/new tricks type of thing!

meresy_g said...

I love that phone. And I don't like barberries. I had a guinea pig as a kid and when I took him outside in the summer and put him in a little fenced in area to get some fresh air, he always managed to escape. And where did he go? Under the barberry hedge. And I'd have to crawl all around chasing after him getting totally scratched up in the process.

judy said...

a flock of bluebirds, how impossibly beautiful. To see one is a pleasure.

Spinner Gal said...

We had barberries growing in our yard too! Lovely bird!

Great mitts! They look nice and cozy.

Leslie Shelor said...

I've been wanting some barberry for the birds; don't think I'd risk the thorns for the berries for myself. I haven't seen bluebirds in awhile; seems they've gone somewhere else for the winter.

Beautiful silk mitts! I haven't seen a rotary phone in a long time!

Judith said...

Bluebirds! The blue of a bluebird is exceptional, isn't it? I am impressed you pick barberries to make jelly. Love your phone--we also have a rotary dial phone and had one in our old house too--my kids' friends would have to ask how to use it when they wanted to call home....great "fetching" mitts--they are so handy to wear in when it gets cold.

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