Friday, March 30, 2012

phenological events March 2012 -2016

1st in like a lion snowfall
8th wood thrush arrives
10st Northern Phoebe arrives
11th Snowdrops in full bloom
14th Male Cow Birds arrive
16th Fox and Skunks wake up
18th daffodils open
19th birch catkins & pussy willow
25th chive and chipping sparrows

phenological events

March 2016

5th wood thrush

12th ducks on river

16th eastern phoebe

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

shetland curves of pursuit


It is spring today! My tête-à-tête daffodils greet me at the gate! I neglected to dig them and move them into my window box where I can admire them easily at eye I must kneel down to get a good look. I haven't noticed any bees coming to them yet.

But I have been busy with other things. In pursuit, you could say.

Wingspan is a pattern by maylin for Tri'Coterie Designs. I've been working it up in my Shetland Samples. Most of the yarn was spun during last summer's Tour De Fleece..some of the yarn is Wheel spun and some is Spindle spun...the combination makes a nice showcase for the breed colors and textures that are available by using different fiber preparations and spinning techniques.


It is a very clever pattern, reminiscent of a 4 point curve of pursuit. I didn't know what a curve of pursuit I looked it up.

A curve of pursuit is a curve constructed by analogy to having a point or points which represents pursuers and pursuees, and the curve of pursuit is the curve traced by the pursuers.

The triangles are created by short wrapping required...


What could be easier? Just row after row of garter stitch with an occasional row that requires you to move your marker, or cast on a few more stitches. I change the color when I feel like it...moving from one shade to another..from a woolen to a times I carry two threads at once over my size 4 needles...

Photobucket is easy to loose yourself in a pattern like this one..the spirals take on a life of their own. ...around and around we go!

Monday, March 12, 2012

scratching around

The weather has been spring like and it is time to start the garden clean up. I've been raking the winter kill into burn piles. It is much too dry to light the fires now, but when the rains come, I will be ready.

The earth is soft and workable. I cannot remember a day this early in March when the soil has been in such good condition. This was the year of the "non-winter", and the frost seems to be out of the ground already! I resist the temptation to plant peas.

A few chickens wandered in through the open gate. Grace would call these "helping chickens". They want to help rake. So we all scratch the ground together. In this image, you can see my old white roo. He is a gentleman rooster. His name is Rudy. Yes, Rudy-roo. And he is never rude.


He treats his hens kindly, and offers them whatever goodies he finds...he is what I call, a keeper. He does not look like much, but he more than makes up for that with his temperament and the fact that he does not shoot blanks.


There is also a young cockerel in our flock of is our Chanticleer....


He is rather puffed up with himself, and can be found either waltzing about the yard, or charging the hens and chasing them around until they submit to his ways.

You must admit...he is a handsome devil. Just look at his hackels! One could tie some lovely flies with those. ahem.


They glimmer in the sunshine, like gold leaf.


He knows he is beautiful. He is bold. Aggressive. And I'm not sure he is going to be so easy to live with once he matures fully. I've told him he should calm down if he wants to stay. Otherwise, his gorgeous feathers could wind up in the river, as fish bait. I hope he heeds my warning!


And speaking of warnings...this is an interesting bit of phenology research information regarding Galanthus nivalis and climate change.

The plants at Kew Gardens and Wakehurst Place provide valuable information about our climate and so provide an early warning of the effects of climate change. For example, staff at Kew study the changes in plant life-cycles over time (called phenology). Each year, scientists monitor and record the flowering dates of a hundred native and exotic plants at Kew Gardens.

Recent signs of change include a shift in the average flowering date of the common snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis). In the 1950s the flowers commonly opened around the end of February, but over the decades flowers have gradually appeared earlier, such that since the 1990s the flowers have opened in January.


It makes me wonder how to know when your Galanthus is blooming under the snow? This is the first year I can remember when I watched my snowdrop begin to form bud and flower. They do seem right on schedule around here.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

wool batt on the distaff

There are a few things in this world that can help me relax.

Spinning is one of them. Spinning from a distaff is another.

Being that I needed some relaxation today, I decided to spin this Alpaca batt that I had prepared on the drum carder. I simply rolled it up, (much in the same way as I would if I were going to store it for a time) and attached it to the distaff.

I was spinning on the Canadian Production wheel, and I was using the distaff from my flax wheel. (What a nice combination! I have to remember to do this more often.) I made a little movie to remind myself how much fun it was. Enjoy!

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