Archive | 7:10 am

Anna’s Hummingbirds – Faithful Winter Friends

15 Dec

Anna's Hummingbird

Male Anna’s showing us his best side.

Anna's Hummingbird, female

Female Anna’s

I have been having a crisis at my feeders.  No one is coming to eat and visit.  Not sure what the problem is.  I’m working on it.  In the meantime, I do have one faithful friend who visits regularly.  The Anna’s Hummingbirds are keeping me from dispair.  I am blessed with hummingbirds year ’round.  But, being blessed with their sweet whirring presence year ’round makes me feel so responsible for them.  On cold, wet, rainy days (like today), I worry so much about them.  Will they get enough nourishment to survive?

Then I laugh.  The reason they are here is because they can survive.  They’ve been doing it for a long, long, long time.  Does that stop me from putting out hummingbird juice all winter?  Nope.  I’m happy to make their lives a little easier if I can.

They give back to me too.  Little sparkling jewels that dance at my kitchen window.  Oh yes, I am being rewarded in return.

Anna’s Hummingbird, Calypte anna, are a small hummingbird that winters in the US.  They will be joined in January by Allen’s Hummingbirds and Rufous Hummingbirds as well but Anna’s are my year ’round visitors.  Male Anna’s Hummingbirds have bright pink throats and heads.  They are very striking and very protective of their feeders.  The females are shy and very subtle in coloring.  It is nearly impossible to tell apart the females and juveniles of the three Hummers that visit my feeders in the winter.

For more amazing bird photos, check out Bird Photography Weekly #16 hosted by our friends at Birdfreak.com.

Knitting Success

15 Dec

Despite much difficulty, I conquered a new knitting pattern.  I am not a very good nor experienced knitter.  I have mostly done knitting and purling and that’s about it.  My mother did teach me to knit a tube with a closed end which is mighty tricky and fun to do.  But, I’ve never in my life found a pattern, taken yarn and needles, and followed the pattern.

Until Saturday, that is.  Saturday, I sat down to knit a scarf for a friend for Christmas.  (Not you, Jody!  🙂 ) I knew that I wanted to knit with one ball of yarn, something big and lacy, on big ol’ needles.  So, I started searching for patterns.  I am a member of a website called Ravelry.  It is for knitters and crocheters.  It’s awesome. I found a fantastic pattern on there called the Peasy Scarf.  It was perfect.  So, I tried it out.

Knitting to a pattern . . . as my poem of the other day suggested . . . is difficult until you get the pattern in your mind.  This pattern was easy.  Slip 1, Yarn Over, Knit 2 together, Knit 1, Yarn Over repeat until you are at the end of the row.  But, until I had that pattern locked in my brain, I could not do it smoothly and by smoothly, I mean that I could not remember to yarn over when I was supposed to so I would end up with too few stitches and then have to backtrack (ie. rip out or un-knit).  The trouble was that until I was comfortable doing the stitches, I couldn’t backtrack successfully and had to rip it all out.  Frustration loomed.

And, then, all of a sudden, I had it down.  I didn’t have to work to keep the pattern in my head, repeating it over and over to myself as I went along so I didn’t mess it up.  Suddenly, I was just doing it.  I knew what each stitch should look like and I kept myself on track.  When I did make a mistake, I could easily backtrack until I found the error and fix it.  It was like magic.  Plus, once I reached that point, the pattern really was totally “peasy.”  Loved it.

Scarf knit for friend

Hope my friend does too.  I ordered this to go with it.  I think it’s a rockin’ cool gift.

The guy who makes these shawl pins has some truly amazing other shawl/scarf pins.  Check his Etsy shop out.  Supporting small artisans during this troubled economy is one way to feel good about spending money!