6th - wood thrush
20th- fox sparrow
26th- eastern phoebe
27th- pepper seed germinates
28th- planted tomato seed
31st- garden bonfire
While cleaning up in the garden yesterday, I found this nest.
I have always wanted to find a nest from the Baltimore Oriole, so my heart sort of skipped a beat when I noticed it.
I think it is a thing of beauty. Observe the workmanship...
I wonder which strand the bird started with,
the weaving is tight and secure, even though the snow and rains have weathered it.
Amazing to think this was woven with a beak.
This is a project that I have been enjoying... I started it months ago. As I begin the cast off, I find myself savouring it, really taking my time, drawing it out. I'm not sure why I don't want to finish it.
When I attended Rhinebeck last fall, I had the pleasure of meeting Cindy, of Cindyknits. She was wearing this very delicate and lovely shawl that she made with linen that she had dyed. I admired it, and she quickly offered to share the pattern with me. A few weeks later she not only sent the pattern, but the linen with which to work it! Fiber people are just the best!
This Lacy Winged Shawl pattern was a bit challenging for me, the way it starts off, in the center top edge, really puzzled me. I had to email Cindy for help. She translated for me, until I was able to get it going.
Look close and you will find a few errors here and there...but I love the eyelets, and the graceful curves of the stitches.
And I love how the cast off edge makes these beautiful points... The linen sets them off perfectly. I will make another, someday. I plan to spin the linen myself....from flax that I grow...Big plans, big dreams...
where would we be without our goals? It is important to set them....even if we don't reach them...the process of trying is far more important. Carry on.
Lately, there has been a Pileated woodpecker that has been eluding me. I cannot seem to get a good photograph of it, perhaps it is shy.
I hear her in the morning. Tap- tap tap..slowly...working on the tree nearby my window. Sometimes she will pause, and cuk, cuk, cuk. I'm pretty sure that she is a she because of her markings. If she is creating a new nest hole, it could take her up to six weeks to complete. The ground below the tree is littered with the product of her efforts. She is working the tree in several locations.
I look around to see if I notice a male nearby, but I don't. If her mate is around, he would be helping with the excavation. The nest cavity is long and rectangular.
Watching her, I am influenced. I decide to make a cap from the inner coat of the Shetland Fleece I have been working with. I made several batts with the drum carder and dyed the wool in the electric turkey roaster.... Jacquard Acid Dye - Crimson. And then, using a wet felting method, I fashioned the cap. There was still a lot of VM that needed to be removed. I used a felting needle and tweezers to pick it out. Tedious work.
Next, I used the locks of a Finnsheep that I have been teasing to ready them for spinning. As I sorted through the pile, I selected the ones with the most length to them. I used a thrum method, and knit a band,
which I finally attached to the cap using a basting stitch.
If you would like to read more about these wonderful birds, or hear the call that they make, I have added these links.
The first link has some wonderful close up photographs --including the long tongue that they use to extract insects from under the bark.
post script: Thanks to the sharp observations of Manise, the bird in the above photos appears to be a male...note : "it has the red mustache stripe- therefore is a male!"
Because luck is most needed when we are faced with adversity, four leaf clovers are more likely to be found in less accessible areas with poor soil. As hardship often brings out the best in people, the clover plant responds with four leaf clovers.
pyunta Guinness leh duh hull!
ceol 's craic!
I have been instructed to notify you that the author of this blog will not be posting the regularly scheduled walk with me wednesday post, due to technical difficulties. Her computer is outdated, annoying and uncooperative. In order to keep this dinosaur functioning, computer maintenance is paramount, and must be attended to asap. Therefore the walk is cancelled. And now I must return to one of MY very important duties around here...napping! so, if you will excuse me.....
after the turbulence,things are settling down, the waters recede.
but the traces of the commotion and disturbance of the waters remain behind...I find the consequences along the shoreline.
Can there be beauty in such images?
When the air temperature is low, and the water levels drop, there are ice formations that are created by the water dripping off the surrounding vegetation.
if it were not so cold and windy, I would sit in this spot and stare at the water playing with these ice sculptures for a time...and contemplate....'cause every now and again, a soul needs a good contemplation.
I followed the turkey tracks, they point the way...
I followed the feeder streams...
down to river...the muddy river...
full and brown, fast and high....places where I had just tracked the bobcat through the snow on Sunday, were now underwater.
The snow pack is leaving, taking the runoff of top soil with it. The rains and melt are not careful about what they leave behind, they are hurried, urgent, rushing.
It occurs to me as I post these photographs, how quiet it is. A stark contrast to the voice of river, the stream...the shusshing of the water that gushes by is missing. The river's voice has been loud, and constant these past few days. Instead of lulling me to sleep, it wakes me. It tells me that its time to wake up...time to turn again.
The Wood thrush returned and so did the marsh marigolds. The wood thrush was one day late of breaking a record for an early return. The last time he arrived this early was 1994. I'm so happy to hear him, it will still be weeks before he comes out of the wood and shows himself.
This yellow colored sample was the first fleece I picked up to spin. I noticed the tag on the sample was labeled Aurora.
I was curious about the yellow color and wondered about it while I was spinning. Was it yellow because it was yolk, or canary stain? I couldn't remember the difference... I decided to google it.
Imagine my surprise when the first result to appear was from Leigh about her experience with Aurora!!! Sometimes the internet is such a fun place!
My sample of Aurora was sitting on the table, and caught the sunlight ...
This video shows some wonderful spinning techniques. And I especially love the bird inside the house. If you go directly to the Youtube site, and enlarge the video to full screen, you can see a great close up of the fingers spinning down off the distaff on the wheel.
phenological eventsFebruary 2017
2nd six more weeks
6th pruning fruit trees
9th 8 inches snow