Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Wild Kingdom of Southwest VA

Does anyone remember watching Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom when they were kids? I guess it was the precursor to the Discovery Channel. Between Marlon Perkins and Jacques Cousteau, I was riveted to the tv to get my nature fix when I was a youngster. However, its not so fun to live it if you're a city girl at heart. Over the past couple of weeks, many different birds have converged on our home, making nests in our dryer vents and pooing all over the deck and the cars. I love nature but it has been hard listening to the constant squawk of baby birds til all hours of the night and their skittering in the vents if we wake them up by accident. One nest has flown away and the others are slow to leave. For the second morning in a row, a woodpecker decided to knock on the windows next to my front door and greet me when I opened it as if I was expected to give him something. Do I look like Dr. Doolittle?

The scariest brush with nature was Sunday when a coyote ran through our front yard and disappeared into our neighbor's across the street - all of this in broad daylight. Thanks to the many skunks, deer, foxes and turkey buzzards, I was already skittish about going outside but now I have to worry about coyotes? Mavis was always nervous about going outside at night and perhaps she knew something that we didn't. People, I live in the burbs, albeit adjacent to a golf course which I understand is the culprit. Every year we live here, a new woodland creature appears. I wonder who's next.

Last week, I was in Charm City - Baltimore, Maryland - for a conference. It was nice to be away for a few days without cooking and cleaning duty. I got to see Cal Ripken, Jr., Bishop Desmond Tutu, eat fabulous food, network with 1800 of my colleagues and visit quite a lovely city. I did some knitting during workshops but sadly only finished this one afghan square for Rae's blanket our fiber group is making. The yarn is the Kaffe Fassett Regia sock.

Rae's blanket square

As usual, I had visions of finishing many squares and am not quite sure why I'm always so delusional about how much knitting I can get done in a short period of time.

My favorite part of visiting Baltimore? Getting to visit with Ei and H for the second time in one month. We did ate, drank some great wine, did some spinning, and had lots of laughs. Its so wonderful to pass on a craft. They are far better spinners than I ever was when I first started. I'm so impressed with what they're able to crank out. I worked on spinning up the rest of the 5 oz of the Ruppert's fleece I washed a couple of weeks ago and started plying it last night. I'm thinking of spinning up a bunch of it to make the Drops version of the Hanne Falkenburg Mermaid Jacket. I love the turquoise and blue version but the ivory is so very pretty too. Perhaps I should keep spinning and swatch before I settle on what colors to dye the yarn. I'm not entirely sure that the yarn will have enough drape to showcase the pattern. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Memorial day is fast approaching. I'm looking forward to lots of knitting on the beach, grilling and spending quality time with family and friends. Hurray for warmer weather!


Robin said...

WOW...you are living the Wild Life!!

I hope you told Cal I said hello! (yeah...like he'd know me!) I LOVE those blue eyes!!

KnitNana said...

When I lived at The Pines, we had deer crossing UNDER the balconies, redtail hawks in the trees above the balconies...and coyotes on rt 419. (It's a wonder they survived the traffic!)
We are pushing them out of their habitat, so I guess it's only natural. I actually feel sorry for THEM!
Glad you had time away and fun with good friends...I LOVE that colorway of sock yarn in your Rae square!
Hmm...you enabler you. Like I NEED more sock yarn?

Nikki said...

I saw a fox out my back window (um yeah, I live less than 5 minutes from Tanglewood - IF you catch the lights red) in late winter. Spooky!!