Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Photo of the Day

I took this photo at the Denver Zoo a few years ago. Talking about paw prints in yesterday's post reminded me of it. When I approached the gorilla enclosure, a female was asleep near the glass. I found the sight of her hand lovely in repose, yet somehow tragic as well.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Interesting Footprints; Or: Hey, Lynn, You Out There?

We saw some awesome critter footprints on our hike. At first I assumed the prints in this photo were that of a raccoon. But then I wondered if they could have been made by one of the busy beavers:

I am amazed by the footprint (paw print?) of this fellow--looks so much like a human hand:

Who could have made these prints? I think we need an expert to tell us. Dr. Lynn, world-famous veterinarian, do you know? I know I'm putting you on the spot here, but then, you are amazing...

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day Hike

Biker Chick and the Hell Hounds and I got up early yesterday morning and decided to go on a Mother's Day hike.

I took the camera along, even though I have photographed this same walk countless times. Taking photos in the Autumn is a no-brainer, but really, there are things of beauty and things that are fascinating each and every day.

The first thing I noticed was how busy the beavers have been:

I mean, they have been REALLY busy. I was stunned to see the size of this tree that they felled:

Still in a state of disbelief, I got in for a closer view:

Click on the photo below so that you can see the size of the teeth marks:

Beavers are the second largest rodents in the world. Did you know that rodents comprise 40% of mammal species? I did not. Ro-dents (dent=teeth) are noted for having two continuously growing incisors that are kept short by gnawing.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Joyful, Joyful

Everyone has those days where nothing goes right. I hate to say "What a bad day!" because it is as though I am giving a few bad events the power to influence my happiness.

But I do love to say "I am having one of those days where everything is joyful." I awakened early this morning before the alarm went off and scampered down the stairs to see how Jean Claude was doing. He really was dry last evening, but I didn't want to take a chance and unpin him too early. Our eyes met in the light of the predawn, and I told him how gorgeous he was. He smiled sheepishly at me, which was to be expected.

He is by far the most wonderful thing I have ever knit, and I am feeling proud of myself.

For those of you who want to know, I estimate it took somewhere around 40 hours. Each complete row of the center panel took about fifty minutes, and there are thirty some-odd rows. Each repeat (the points you see) on the border took eleven minutes, and I think there are 92 of those. Adding the border onto the center panel was WEIRD, as you have to knit almost perpendicularly to the center panel. It took me days to figure out how to get the hang of doing that; once I figured that out, it was easy and I still don't know why the concept gave me fits.

Then I took the hell hounds for a walk around the Lake. While we were there, I saw a woman who was picking up trash around the perimeter of the Lake. We spoke briefly. I asked her if she were a volunteer, and she told me she was not. She just does this on her own. I thanked her for making the Lake a more pleasant place. It fills my heart with joy when I witness people doing good things. Just one more event in my joyful day.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Meet Jean Claude

Meet my new lover, Jean Claude. I have spent so many hours with him that I can say with certainty that I know every fiber of his being.

When I finished attaching the last of the border today, I loved him, but I knew there could be more between us. He was rather scrunched up and stilted, unable to express himself. I find this tragic, as I know he has the soul of a poet:

So I convinced him to seek therapy, specifically, the blocking therapy, which would unleash his inner beauty. Off to the sink he went to soak a while with some Eucalin soap, which requires no rinsing as it leaves no residue:
Because this therapy can be so traumatic, I simply pulled the plug and let the water drain. No sense in letting Jean Claude be damaged by wringing him, or letting him stretch, especially when we've come this far together.

He stank like a wet sheep, which was no surprise, as his heritage is 100% Superfine Merino.
I carefully wrapped him in thirsty towels to rid him of the excess water:
Then I stretched him gently, wired and pinned him in place so that all the lacy holes will show, and all the border will be pointy and beautiful:
He started getting quite dry by the time I was done pinning, so I squirted him a bit with a water bottle so that he'll be sure to keep his shape. Here's a close-up of the new Jean Claude; he'll be dry in 24 hours, so make sure to come back and see him tomorrow.