Rib Sampler Scarf

Some of my most satisfying knits are simple patterns, with stretches of relaxing rhythmic knitting.  No intricacies that stuff your head full with counting, cabling, yarn overs, knit one stitch belows.  Just simple knit and purl stitches arranged effortlessly.  Your fingers know how to do this kind of knitting without any help from your head.  This is Lion Brand’s free pattern: Rib Sampler Scarf. I’ve knitted a bunch of these and plan to knit more. Garter stitch.  Knit 1, purl 1 rib.  Knit 2, purl 2 rib. Mistake stitch rib.  And farrow rib. So easy. So perfect, sometimes.

A Bunch ‘o Buffleheads

Buffleheads.  The lake was chock full of Buffleheads this weekend.   When they land on the water, they stick their feet out in front of their bodies and skid to a stop.  They dabble around the shallows–but not usually right in front of the cottage.  They are shy skittery critters.  Five minutes before I snapped this photo from inside the house, a pile of them flew off, apparently spooked by the quick movement of a robin.  Yes, a robin.  A bird about 20 percent their size, hopping around on the grass near the shore.  They are monkey see monkey do sort of ducks.  One dives, they all dive.  One bobs up, so do the others.   And when one flies away, there go the rest:

First Loon 2010

Hillman’s Long Lake is home to Common Loons. This will  be our fourth summer on the lake.  Each year we’ve watched a nesting pair on Belly Button Island.  Last year the nest was unsuccessful. Hopefully, come early July, we will once again enjoy the sight of a pair of loon babies riding on their parent’s back.

Out in the kayaks for the first time, on an unseasonably warm first weekend in April, this guy was yodeling up a storm, even though we were careful to keep a respectful distance.  He was answered by another loon on the lake.  A mate? We hope.  A Canada Goose pair is hanging around the island–as if working on a nest.  They are aggressive and hopefully the loon pair will stand their ground.   At one point, the loon went into vulture posture: rising up out of the water and making himself look like something to steer clear of.  Something had him agitated, but I don’t think it was us, floating quietly in our kayaks.

Ice Out


I was born and raised in Michigan, so it’s not like I know the day-to-day details of weather anywhere else.  But to my taste, it doesn’t get any better than experiencing the changing of the seasons in my home state.  These sunset photos were taken on April 2, 2010, about 30 minutes apart, just a week and a half after ice out, on a day when the temperatures soared to 82 degrees.

A Pileated Woodpecker visited our suet feeder.  The loons are already back on the lake.  The Canada Geese are paired up and cranky.  The lake is alive with loon wails, geese honks, and Merganser quacks. The visiting Buffleheads are doing their goofy water skimming dances.  This weekend we saw a good sized pike, probably getting his appetite worked up for a gosling or two, swimming over the big weed pile at the west end of Ghost Bay.  Small mouth bass are moving through the shallows and circling Belly Button Island.  We sat in our kayaks, taking it all in.  Delicious!