Curious loon inspects new pontoon boat

We have taken the plunge into powerboats. Can you call a 13.8 foot pontoon boat with a 15 horsepower outboard a powerboat? Anyway, it should suit.  This is a Qwest fishing compact pontoon, which is a bit of a spiffed-up Gillgetter.  It’s manufactured by the St. Louis, Michigan company, Apex. It has a live well, a fishfinder/GPS, a sound system we intend not to use, comfy couches and two fishing seats up front. We are hoping that this will mean that occasionally we shall catch a fish. Maybe even “one fish, two fish, walleye fish, blue(gill) fish” this season.

And even if the fish turn out to be totally safe from us, it will at least provide an interesting platform for viewing fish, turtles and other aquatic life. Kayaks are still likely to be the boat of choice for early morning visits to Ghost Bay for morning coffee. But we are looking forward to enjoying this addition to the “fleet.” We like the idea of being the smallest pontoon on the lake. The only somewhat embarrassing thing is that we have to ride around the lake on a boat with a misspelled name. Apex, please, the name should have been Quest, Quest with a “u,” not a “w.”

The first day our boat arrived at the lake, this curious loon inspected it repeatedly and at close range. It was so unusual to see a loon this close to our dock that I wondered whether it was possible loons know the lake so well that they know when new shiny things appear. Not likely. But loons do seem to be very aware creatures. So unlike the dull-brained Canada Goose armada that only knows to patrol around the lake looking for nicely mowed expanses of lawn (like ours).

 

Baby’s cardigan hoodie

This is “Lillie’s Little Sweater,” another Cottage Creations pattern by Carol Anderson, with Joan DeBolt this time. I almost took a pass on knitting this because it seemed too simple to be worth the effort. Not so. It’s simple, but keeps your attention and comes out super cute.

It is worked top down, starting with the folded-back edge of the hood. I chose the garter stitch hood (stockinette directions are supplied as well) with garter stitch borders on the sleeves and at the bottom of the sweater. The raised stitch increases for the raglan sleeves add a subtle decorative touch. This is a super quick knit, worked up here in worsted weight Plymouth Encore. The six months size seems a tad large but that’s fine. It used up all but about 10 yards of two skeins.

 

Garter stitch baby jacket

From her blog, we learn that “Fifalde” is Welsh, but lives in Kent. This is her very sweet and not goofy-named free pattern “Baby Jacket in Garter Stitch.” Mine is knitted in Cascade 220 superwash.

At first I worried whether I would be able to follow Fifalde’s somewhat “pithy” directions. But I just trusted and they did not fail. She provides a wonderful color chart that lets you know where you are in the sweater each step of the way and that really helps keep a knitter on track.

I made a few very minor modifications, building on some pointed out by a few of the Ravelers that have already knit this up.  Nothing major.  Mark off the back of the neck stitches on the shawl neck with stitch markers so you will know where to place the shaping decreases. If you are doing a contrast color collar and border and cuffs, pick up the stitches in the main color and knit one row to keep the border neat. Buttonhole rows on the 16th row of the border worked for me. If you are working on this, I’ve opened up this project on my Ravelry page and you can read more about it. When you complete the knitting there are only two seams to sew (the arms).

And speaking of buttons, I’ve once again raided my mom’s button jar. Four different vintage buttons but all in color family of the main section of the jacket. Here’s a closer look:

Great pattern!  Thanks much, Fifalde!

One big snapping turtle

I spotted him first. In about 3 feet of water, on the west of the lake, north of Belly Button Island. He was moving pretty slow. I was in my kayak and also moving pretty slow. I stopped paddling. The big snapper paddled faster. Steve was nearby. He dunked his waterproof camera into the water and snapped photos while this big guy passed near him. There were empty frames and then this one.

Exciting encounter. No exaggeration this turtle was the size of a Thanksgiving turkey platter. Since Steve still has all his fingers, I declare that this photo was definitely worth the risk.

White tails in Ghost Bay

This pair of does was busy munching greenery the entire time we spent paddling in Ghost Bay on a recent evening. For part of the time, they were joined by a third doe. Usually we watch them twitch their big ears, look in our general direction, and then they bound off and all we see are their white tails running away. But not this evening. It must have been some especially tasty shoot that so preoccupied them.