"This fog is thick as peanut butter."

"You mean pea soup."

"You eat what you like and I'll eat what I like!"

- Yukon Cornelius and Hermey the Elf

Monday, July 31, 2006

Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright

I'm baaack! Did you miss me?

No blog this weekend because I had visitors. Their names are Mom and Dad and they brought more of my "crap" with them that I had to leave behind when I moved. Thanks guys!

But while I was "gone" I finished these!!

Yay for warm tiger socks that actually fit. I'm going to call these my "Beginner's Luck" socks because they're my first "real" socks and they came together so easily that I'm a little nervous. (Yes, I did make another pair of socks, but they were out of yarn so thick that they're essentially slippers and they're acrylic so they don't count. Plus I can't find them.) What if I can never replicate this? What if it was a fluke?

See how I even got the stripes to match up? I'm doomed!

In other news, see this fallen tree with moss all over it?

Look at this!

It's moss that looks like teeny tiny ferns!

And a camel backed cricket (?) doing something with its protuberance. Whatcha doin' there? Need some privacy?

Thursday, July 27, 2006

What's Your Perspective?

I thought I'd mess around with perspective some. I'm still learning to use this camera, so some pics aren't as fantabulous as I'd like, but they're kind of fun. These are some of the different kinds of moss at that place up the road with no name.

And when I say "moss" I don't mean a little bit here and there on the side of a tree. I mean I haven't seen any actual "ground" there yet. You're always either walking on the softest, thickest bed of moss you can imagine, or you're walking on the softest, thickest bed of pine needles you can imagine.

As I said to Mom once while walking in a different, but nearby part of the county: "It's frickin' Lord of the Rings back here!"

Ain't these ferns huge? In reality they're about 3 to 4 feet tall. When you lay down on the ground under them, they look as big as the trees.

Gotta go. I think Legolas is calling me.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Whatcha Got There?

I love it when other bloggers do this.

I'm just so nosey and I love to see "what's in the box." For the same reason, I could watch perfect strangers open presents for hours and be happily entertained. I think that's what got me so hooked on knit blogs. Only a few months ago, I found the Harlot's blog and started reading from the beginning. Once I'd seen her open up a few packages full of yarn and sheep "fluff" I was hooked for life.

Saturday was a rainy, rainy day, perfect for receiving a surprise in the mail. (OK, I ordered it for myself, so it wasn't exactly a surprise. Whatever.) Wanna see what I got?

This is, of course, Vesper Twist Sock Yarn in "Tiger Lily." For those of you who don't knit (gasp!) this yarn is much coveted and extremely hard to come by. It's hand dyed by Julia of Knitterly Things and when she puts up a few for sale, they're snatched up in a heartbeat. I saw this a while back and HAD to have it but it was sold out! Then by stroke of luck I happened to check my email just as a new batch was posted and I won! I mean, I got one! And it was the. last. one.

I didn't write about it sooner because I was busy petting the skein and staring at it, and....I really need to get a life, have I mentioned that before?

OK, so I guess I have some kind of a tiger thing going on. I don't know what it is - all of a sudden I must have everything orange. I'm even about to paint my living room orange....excuse me "Summer Squash." Back in my morose, "everything must be black" high school days, I hated orange with a bloodthirsty passion normally reserved only for the color brown. Funny how things change. Because I'm also madly in love with this brown shirt. For this and other reasons, I think if I ever were to meet my high school self, we would hate each other. We'd probably try to beat each other up, but older me would win because I took two years of Aikido. muah-ah-ah....

Warning: Objects in mirror may be stinkier than they appear.

P.S. I find it very ironic that the spell check on blogger does not recognize the words "blogger" or "blog."
P.P.S. That butterfly is still hanging around the yard and I am not even looking at him. Screw you, butterfly!

Monday, July 24, 2006



To: My boss
From: Your employee

Subject: My recent work performance

Dear Ms. Manager,

I'm so sorry that I got very little work done today, but I just don't know how I can be expected to get anything accomplished with all the commotion going on around me. I would like to log a complaint with the Workplace Harassment Department.

First of all, the House Wren singing at the top of his lungs and courting his lady love right outside my window was just, well, a little too pornographic for my tastes. He does have a lovely striped tail though.

The Hummingbird was nice but very distracting. The little squeaky noises he made while drinking from my hosta flowers made it impossible to finish that report.

Then a pair of Robins got into a big knock-down drag out fight with a pair of Brown Thrashers. Come on! Violence in the workplace? Unacceptable.

Around 11:30, just as I was about to answer some emails, a Phoebe hovered right in front of the window and caught a bug. I mean really.

There are ENTIRELY too many Catbirds and Black-capped Chickadees here. Don't they need a permit to congregate like that?

And THEN, just after lunch was the Rose-breasted Grosbeak. I don't know if it was a female or a first year male, but the flashes of orange under it's wings made me completely forget what formula I was going to use in my spreadsheet.

The last straw, and I mean the last straw, was when a Ruffed Grouse came strutting right in front of the window and across the lawn, making all kinds of ridiculous noises and putting her little crest up. I've had it. I'm going outside and I'm not coming back until somebody DOES SOMETHING to take care of this!


Your Hard(ly) At Work Employee

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Knittin' Knews

I have another half of a "finished object"! Here's my first mitten. It ain't the most gorgeous mitten in the world, but I think with a nice cotton mitten liner, it'll be nice and toasty warm this winter.

The funny thing is, it has some flaws, which I now have to try to duplicate on mitten #2. ha, ha!

No Mom, I wasn't going to steal your mitten, honest!

Sock progress...

...heel is turned....

....gusset is gusseted.

ARRGGHHH! The pain!! Oww! Looks painful don't it?

And I spent a few hours in the Toyota waiting room, going around and around and around. Please note. Handsome Toyota car mechanics are not interested in knitting, no matter how coyly the needles are dropped on the floor.

....and yes, I do have a Toyota that was in the shop for legitimate reasons. I don't just hang out in random service stations trying to pick up....wait a minute...Not a bad idea....Nah...maybe not.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Flora and....more flora

I've got a lot of flower pictures in the camera today, so let's have a look.

But first, something very urgent. I know this blog is so far mainly about birds, knitting, pets, and "weird stuff I find in the woods" but I need to talk about something else for a sec.

What is UP with "Limited Edition" cereal???

Am I supposed to save the box? Was I not supposed to open it at all? Was each tasty loop handcrafted by a Bolivian artisan, a piece of fine art in and of itself? Well, it's too late now. I've already eaten the whole damn thing.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled flora:

See the monarch butterfly? See it? Me neither. The little bastard flew away every single time I tried to take his picture. The first time I found him, I ran all the way to the back of the house for the camera, found him still there when I returned and he waited until I was just pressing down the shutter to fly off. This little ballet continued several times throughout the day. I'm a slow learner.

So fine, I don't give a care! Who needs you butterfly? (I do. Come back.)

This picture is deceptive. The flowers are actually teeny-tiny, and they're on a stalk that's almost as tall as me. Weird stuff. See all the dog hair in the background? Somebody got brushed!

OK, so I did get him, but he's in a crappy position and he's on the wrong flower. Butterflies do NOT take direction well at all. Primadona!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Forget warblerneck, this evening I got warblerback. For those of you who don't know what "warblerneck" is, it ain't something kinky, you buncha sickos. It's the pain in the neck birders get while staring straight up to the top of a very tall tree, looking for a very tiny bird (warbler) who doesn't want to be seen. Yes, it's worth it. Unbelievably worth it.

So today, Zeke and I went up the road to Mom and Dad's place. Guys, you've gotta come up with a name for your place! But that's another blog entry altogether.

First, there was the pair of ravens who circled very close to me while I was standing in a big open meadow. Even when I started giggling and calling them cutie pies*, they didn't seem afraid at all. One landed nearby in a tree to croak at me, and then moved on to a farther tree, where (duh) it occurred to me that I was holding a camera.

*I'm a very serious and solemn birder.

Then the poor guys got mobbed by song birds and flew off.

While I was wandering off after the ravens, I saw something small and pretty in a nearby tree and decided to try my snazzo "camera-in-the-binoculars" technique. While already difficult, this is made harder by my "binocular bra." It's a little harness that lets you wear the binocs around the shoulders instead of around the neck. Shut up! I already know I'm a dork, but this is more comfortable.

What?! You want a picture? Fine.

Oh wow. That looks worse than I thought.

Action shot!

Man, I really need to get a life. This is getting serious.

So the "camera in the binocs" technique requires that I streeeeetch the harness out really far, and then leeeeaaaan really far back and crane my neck, trying desperately to find the birdy in the little display on the camera. (All the while being viciously eaten alive by hoards of stinging, biting, evil flies.) It's almost impossible, but this was a very patient and helpful warbler. I mean, she really hung around for a long time, watching my frantic contortions, cursing and slapping at flies. Amazing.

I'm thinking.....female yellow rumped warbler? I thought I saw a flash of a yellow hiney a little later on....

I can't believe this worked! Ouch! My back!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

It's a Cafe, Hon!

The new heel is back on the sock. I didn't bother with a picture, since it looks just like the old heel. But trust me, it's much improved!

I'm running out of material since I didn't take the camera out today. So...want to see some pics inside the house? I'll add pictures as I get rooms at least vaguely in order and mostly unpacked. Do you know those people whose houses are perfectly put together and "finished"? How do they do that???

Oops, I should have closed the pantry door. Oh well, you guys know I'm a slob already. This is pretty tidy for me.

Notice the way-cool picture hanging on the wall? The folks at work gave me that as a going away present and I just LOVE it. It's a picture of my favorite restaurant, Cafe Hon. Yes, there really is a giant pink flamingo hanging on the building.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Fun With Yarn

It's been a while since I've posted any knitting pics, and tonight's the night!

I'm getting pretty far along on sock #2. I finished the heel and was ready to start turning it, except....Well I got cocky and didn't read the instructions for one little row in the pattern repeats.

So there aren't enough little stitchy-poohs on one side to pick up and continue and I'm a-rippin' it back. Or as the more seasoned knitters say, I'm takin' a trip to the frog pond. Rip-it, rip-it. Or as I would say, *@(&$#$#&%@.

Eh, it didn't take that long to do the heel, and it's kind of fun.

This weekend, I got into some yarn I bought at MD Sheep and Wool.

This is "Licorice Twist", merino wool from The Spinners Hill Shop, coincidentally located in central New York. Ooooh. I bet that means they're coming to Rhinebeck (NY Sheep and Wool Festival) in the fall. I've been obsessing over it for months, taking it out and drooling over it, and I finally couldn't stand it anymore. I wound it up...

and started a pair of mittens.

(It's hard to take a picture of your right hand, try it!) I even added a little cable on the back. I'm pretty proud, if I do say so myself. Pattern is the "Classic Mitten" from Folk Mittens by Marcia Lewandowski.

Earlier this evening...well what do we have here?

Uh oh, looks like someone's having a little bath. The blue thing is his tie out. Yes, I have to tie him up, or he keeps walking away from me. No fighting or running, just slowly walking away......looking very, very sad.

And now he's all fluffy and clean. (oops, that's my ugly wall behind. I'm trying out paint colors.)

OK, enough with the pet pictures, but I really couldn't resist these.

And for birdy news - look what I found in the woods.

Any ideas? I did the scientific, "wave it really fast in the air and see if it makes any noise" test, and it was pretty darn silent. Does that mean it's an owl? Anyone? It's a big feather - over 12 inches. I LEFT IT IN THE WOODS in case any angry Fish and Wildlife people are watching.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Safety First!

On Friday, Zeke wore his "hunter orange" collar. You can't be too careful when the Vice President's in town. Dick.

We waited until Saturday to risk another walk in the woods. This time at Mom and Dad's new place. We walked on the road and saw many fascinating things:

(By the way, I just discovered you can click on the pictures to enlarge them. Maybe you already figured that out and I'm just slow.)

See how the sun shines through the berries? These are everywhere - I wonder what they are.

Let's play a game. It's called, "find the frog":

I snuck up on this guy for a picture, then realized there were frogs everywhere in the water! All of them no more than 2 inches long.

And look who I found on the road!! I included my unmanicured finger for scale. He's soooo tiny!

I've never in my life seen a toad this small. I love miniatures and baby toads are one of my favorite things in the world.

OK, and this is even more exciting. Look what I found in the woods behind my house. Can you see it?

I'll zoom in. This is a snazzy technique - I stuck the camera lens inside my binoculars.

OK, so it's not very clear - it's hard to hold them both still. Sooo? I'm afraid to ask. Is it? Could it be? Is it a Wood Thrush? Oh God, I would just die of joy.

I won't go back there again. I don't want to disturb her. She held Perfectly. Still. the entire time. I was worried about scaring her off the nest, or attracting predators to her, so I pretended to be a "tourist" and looked all around, took random pictures of stuff, and then snuck a few shots. I must be very entertaining. I hope none of my neighbors can see me back there.