Long Lake Blob ‘o Toad

mrtoad_lowresThis is the biggest toad I’ve ever seen in Michigan.  He was about 4 inches long and 3 inches wide. He was sitting on a patio stone by the side door of  the cottage.  I didn’t  know what variety of toad he was.  I imagined he was maybe the my-head-is-so-big-I-can’t-lift-it-off-my-fingers toad.  Or the inward-facing-three-toed toad.  Maybe the Princess-I-dare-you-to-kiss-me toad.  Then I did a bit of research.  I think he is Bufo Americanus, the Eastern American Toad. He eats 3200 insects in a season.  I imagine that can blob up a toad pretty fast.  And he “will frequent night lights.”  Really?  Night lights?  He “frequents” night lights?  I have a night light in my bathroom .  And one in my kitchen.  If he starts “frequenting” those he and I are going to  have a serious chat.  Speaking of which, when Bufo chats, he  sounds like a squeaky cupboard door.

Noro Transitions Scarves

img_2941_lowresThis yarn is so, so, yummy.  A mix of wool, silk and even angora blended in the typical Noro way, as far as color goes. And at least in these two skeins, no nasty knots where the color scheme is broken up (that other “typical” Noro way–at least in my experience especially with Kureyon). Transitions transitions in more than just color.  The yarn cycles through totally different yarns, with wool being the most prominent.  So one section will be pure wool, and somewhat nubby.  The next section may be a wool silk mix.  The next is a wool angora mix.  Most unusual.  What a pleasure for us texture lovers.  I used one skein per one scarf and a simple knit one purl one rib.  These two are two different colorways.   Since you almost have to take out a mortgage to buy a skein (at something like $27 at my local shop) not going for extravagant length seemed to make sense.  It really is beautiful yarn, if you can design a small one skein project for it.

Brand New Dragonfly


We watched this big guy just after he’d emerged from his nymph stage and was drying his wings for several minutes on our lawn.  You can find out more about the nymph stage by watching this video on the life cycle of the dragonfly.  Let’s just say that the end stage is the best–no more breathing by sucking water into your butt, no more incessant moults, no more stuck in the pond eating whatever scummy thing passes by.  At the end stage you can be adopted by the arts and crafts movement, turn up in Navaho jewelry and live it up eating mosquitos by the zillions.  Aren’t those compound eyes something?  And how about that “mask” (the large hinged lower lip that moves faster than any prey).  So, this is my ode to odonata (the Latin species name for dragonflies).  And if you want to spend your time watching dragonflies, you would be oding.

Bailey & Trigger

discussOk, so you’re cute.  But they gave me the kerchief to wear because I’m better than cute.  I have a job around here.   I’ll teach you how it’s done, because cute doesn’t last forever.  I see the size of those paws.  You’ll need  to earn your keep.  Lay low at first.  Let them get close.


No barking.  No barking.  I said no barking.  Not yet.  Listen up and shut up.  Ok.  Now.  Now.   Show ’em who’s boss.


No.  No.  Ignore the chipmunk.  IGNORE THE CHIPMUNK!  Canada Goose paws are about to touch our grass!

failed1“I’m sorry.  I said I’m sorry.  I’ll do better next time.  You’re the boss, Boss.  I saw that little striped thing running for his hole by the bird feeder and I just couldn’t help myself.  Are those little striped things tasty, Boss?  Did you ever catch one? Did you ever eat one?  I ate one of the finches last week.  Finches are not tasty at all.  But the little striped things, they look like they might be tasty.  What are those little striped things called, Boss?”

Chipmunks, Trigger.  Chipmunks.

“Chipmunks.  Oh.  Sorry.  That’s what you meant.  Sorry, Boss.”

Yes, More Washcloths

img_2953_lowresEasy stuff.  Not much to say.  Just posted this batch to show off their colors and variety.  Five of them are all the same easy pattern:  Cast on a multiple of two.  Often 34 stitches, kitchen cotton (such as “Peaches ‘n Cream”), size seven needles.  Gauge doesn’t matter. Knit four garter stitch ridges (8 rows).  Keep four stitches at each edge in garter stitch (knitting every row).  In between do a double stitch seed stitch: knit 2, purl 2 across the center stitches.  Repeat that row.  Then switch to purl 2, knit 2 for two rows.  Keep alternately the double seed stitich rows.  When you are about 4 ridges shy of a square, knit 8 rows (4 garter stitch ridges) and bind off.  A very serviceable washcloth or dishcloth.