Friday, April 30, 2010

4.30 Out of my comfort zone...

Meet Fudge Brownie. From Nistock Farms, one of our local shepherds, this is Cotswold roving, not the BFL or Merino/silk or DHF fine wool top that has made up the bulk of my spinning for the past couple of years. I'm working on going for woolen yarn, not worsted, and retaining the soft loftiness of the fiber prep. The result is not entirely satisfactory, but that's the fault of the spinner, not the fiber.


I keep getting little slubs where the leading end of the fiber isn't being caught into the twist and it sits there all coiled up and smirking at me, although as the bobbin has gone on I think the frequency of occurrence is diminishing.

I think that we'll have to label this yarn "rustic".

Thursday, April 29, 2010

4.29 Finished yarn


I actually finished spinning and plying the darkest skein here the day before we left on vacation, but it was wet and dripping - not good photo fodder. You might recall that this started out like this:


I think I like the way it turned out. I was thinking I would turn this into a shawl, but now I'm not sure. I'm now pondering the thought of a vest. It doesn't really matter at this precise moment, as it's at least three and possible four back in the knitting queue. Plenty of time to think and decide.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

4.28 The Okefenokee

A number of people have inquired - why the Okefenokee? Well, because. It seemed like a good idea at the time, and aside from the distance and time to get there and back, it was a good idea.

We did enjoy alligator hunting, and the Okefenokee is unlike any of the other swamps I've been to (actually, each of the swamps I've been to has been different from all the others). There are three entrances to the swamp - we stayed in a cabin in the Stephen C. Foster State Park on the west side. We drove around to the north entrance one day, and K&S went with the g'parents to the east side on the last day of our stay. I've no pictures of the east side which is all 'prairie'*, but will try to get some from K.

The west and north sides have a lot of cypress (bald and pond cypress), loblolly bay and tupelo trees
and we saw a number of different kinds of birds - a pileated woodpecker, several snowy egrets, a great egret, several raptors of various sizes but no identification, swamp turkeys (not related to the wild turkey), and turkey vultures.

Some of the best results of the alligator hunting are:


If I remember correctly, this was a pond turtle

These two were having a stare down
but the ranger's opinion was that the turtle was a bit too large, or the alligator a bit too small for anything to really come of it. The alligators replace their teeth rather as sharks do, but the size of this turtle's shell would probably mean several broken teeth that might be uncomfortable for a while.

The north entrance has another state park, which we did not visit, and a nature/amusement park which we did. Basic entrance fee included a wander around the animal exhibits, a herpetology lecture complete with snake handling and a chance to pet a baby alligator, and a train ride with views of past times in the swamp. Their alligator pen contained a large pond complete with bridge, which one of the six in the pen apparently considered prime napping material.

It was rather interesting - the two largest alligators in the pen had staked out a small mound, which obviously got the most sun with the least moving around necessary. This was the third largest alligator here on the bridge. The fourth, fifth and sixth (sizewise) were relegated to spots that obviously had enough sun to spread out in, but equally obviously would require the alligator to shift position every hour or so to remain completely in the sun. While we were watching, one of them, whose tail was now in the shade, skootched forward by rotating its limbs without ever opening its eyes. One foreleg got hung up on a bit of fern and it just stopped with that foreleg braced on the fern and hanging in mid air. I should be able to nap that soundly!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

4.25 Swamped!

Back from the Okefenokee - mountains of laundry to do, groceries to buy, pics to upload.

The best day of alligator counting was 23. Big alligators, little alligators, baby alligators...

Friday, April 16, 2010

4.16 Eggs!

One of my favorite blog sites is the Rochester Falconcam. It's a funny thing - I like looking at webcams of various raptors, but the only one I follow is the local one. There's just something about knowing that I could go downtown and watch the falcons in person (although I never really do - the closest I get is scanning the airspace around Kodak Tower when we go down there for other reasons).

I also like to keep track of Quest - one of the two-year's-ago brood. She spent a lot of time on the coast of Massachusetts and then moved inland to the shores of Lake Ontario.

There'll be eyases in mid-May!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

4.6 Magazines

Ok - the assignment today is magazines. Do I have 10? Not sure... but I guess we'll see.

1. Spin-Off. I subscribe to this one.
2. Interweave Knits. And this.
3. Popular Science. J subscribes to this one, but I read it.
4. Scientific American. And this.
5. Consumer Reports. I particularly like the last page with the idiotic advertisements outed.
6. Reader's Digest. My MIL subscribes, and I always read them when we visit. Or at the Dr's.
7. For Women Only. An occasional pick up at the grocery store, I never can get over how they manage to juxtapose "Diet this way now" with "A Great Recipe for Chocolate Cake" on the cover. K and I snicker over it and talk about the hidden expectations. They do have occasional interesting recipes.
8. And... and... I'm drawing a blank here. I'm not really a magazine reader. Sorry, just 7 on Tuesday.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

4.3 Crocuses

This is the crocuses at their best - sadly yesterday's 85F caused many of them to wilt, poor things.