Archive for the 'photography' Category


A picnic visitor

inchworm1.jpgTwo and two are fourFour and four are eightEight and eight are sixteenSixteen and sixteen are thirty-twoinchworm2.jpgInchworm, inchwormMeasuring the marigoldsYou and your arithmeticYou’ll probably go farinchworm3.jpgInchworm, inchwormMeasuring the marigoldsSeems to me you’d stop and seeHow beautiful they areinchworm4.jpg


Great Smoky Mountains National Park

During our get-together in Pigeon Forge, my friends and I focused mostly on hanging out together. We did some shopping, did a lot of eating, threw a surprise baby shower for one person (at which I gave her the recently completed baby cardigan), watched some movies, and talked a lot.park1.jpgIt was all great fun, but I couldn’t be so close to mountains and forests without going for a hike. So I spent a morning with one of the friends (the other three weren’t interested in getting up at 6 a.m. to catch the good light and beat the crowds) hiking in nearby Great Smoky Mountains National Park.oark2.jpgBy arriving early, we managed to see some of the rising mist that gave the mountains their name.park3.jpgWe spent a few hours on the AT and met several volunteers who were working on the trails that day. One of them, Pete, looked to be in his sixties, and when he stopped to chat I realized that, in addition to the loaded pack on his back, he was wearing a full tool belt and carrying in his hands a pickaxe, a sledgehammer, and an axe–and he was cruising along at a good clip and barely out of breath. Wow.park4.jpgOn the trail, I always see lots of interesting things that I try to photograph…park5.jpg…but the pictures never seem to do them justice. I think you need to smell the air and hear the sounds around you, too, to get a good sense of the place.park6.jpgIn the visitor’s center, I kinneared this girl who was taking her Junior Ranger oath. I was struck by her seriousness about the whole thing. I wonder if, once she gets home, she’ll forget the interest in nature that motivated her to complete this program, or if she’ll grow up to be a tree hugger.park7.jpg


Wandering Winterthur

We spent the Friday before Easter at one of our favorite places, Winterthur. In early spring, it is even more amazing than usual.

Signs of spring are everywhere! I know I’ve posted lots of flower photos lately, but I just can’t help it: the arrival of spring is just so awesome!

We walked (or ran) the labyrinth…

…built a fairy house…

…looked at magnolia buds (and this is right about the time Sylvia decided to remove her shoes for the rest of the day)…

…marveled at the flowering trees and shrubs (that magnolia in the distance is at least 60 feet tall, by the way)…

…delighted in daffodils…

…and peeked at some fiddleheads.


Spring has sprung

Actually, I think we may have skipped spring and headed straight for summer: today’s high was 92 degrees. In the first week of April.

It’s been so warm and sunny the past two weeks that the trees and flowers are all freaking out. Instead of a springtime blossom show that rolls out over six weeks or so, everything is in flower right now. I’m happy to see spring flowers again, but a little bummed that we’re getting everything all at once. The dogwoods are just about ready to pop–about three weeks ahead of schedule.

Here’s the first crocus that appeared in my yard, on 10 March (not even one full month ago):

Ten days later, it had been joined by about 200 more:

Five days later, the first daffodil had opened up:

That was a week and a half ago. Today the hyacinths and daffodils are in full bloom, the forsythias are nearly spent, and the tulips are just about ready to step into the limelight. Usually the dogwoods and azaleas flower in early May. This year, we might start seeing their blooms next week.


Number 96 or so…

…of the 200+ crocuses currently blooming in my yard.

(Photo 365 | 2010: 20 March)



While my friend Beth was secretly knitting a pincushion for me, my friend Katie was secretly knitting this tea cozy for me. Or not so secretly, as the case may be: she actually worked on it while she was sitting in my house, but lied her head off and told me it was for herself. She even lied when she blogged about it, too!

So imagine my surprise when Katie came over a few days ago and handed me this:


Of course I had to test it immediately (on a pot of Darjeeling). It fits perfectly–and actually did keep the tea warm a lot longer!

I am so lucky!

(Project 363 | 2010: 22 February)



Guess what happened again yesterday?


(I love how rhododendron leaves curl up when it’s really cold outside.) Fortunately, only about an inch fell this time.

We’ve been busy with crafty stuff around here, partly because of being snowbound. We do go out to play in the snow, but after a while it’s time to come inside to get warm and enjoy some hot chocolate and do some inside stuff for a while. The other day, Sylvia and I build a nest: I hot-glued together some pieces of craft felt into a bowl-ish shape, and she filled it with lengths of yarn. Then she asked me to make a bird for her, so I made up this one:


I’m in the home stretch of the Wonderful Wallaby I’m knitting for myself–working on the neck placket now (woot!). I’ve decided not to knit the hood. The result won’t be an exact match to the hooded Wallabies I’ve knit for Sylvia and Jan, but I know I will never wear the hood, so there’s no point in wasting yarn and time on it. I expect to finish up this sweater in the next few days. In the meantime, I’ve been wearing a sweater that I finished during the summer…and just now realize that I never wrote about here.

It’s a simple bottom-up in-the-round raglan knit in Wool of the Woods. It’s very toasty and has a buttoned opening on the front-left raglan seam. (Because the neckline is so wide, I don’t ever need to unbutton the sweater to get it on or off.) My favorite part? The buttons:


I bought these buttons when Sylvia was maybe a year old. They are pewter, and I bought two of each of the five designs, thinking they would be so adorable on a sweater for her. Unfortunately, they are rather heavy–too heavy for a fine knit. They work well on this raglan seam, though; because it’s on an angle, I think that helps prevent the buttons from sagging.


The newest member of our family

For all that we have about three feet of snow on the ground (it was more, but it’s settled over the past few days), it’s not particularly sticky stuff. I really wanted to make a snowman today, so I had to wing it.

First I made a huge mound for the body. Then I got lucky and found a very compacted chunk for the head. Jan and Sylvia helped with the decorations: an old scarf, gloves from the 2002 NYC Marathon (no, I wasn’t in it, but I was there to watch my brother-in-law race, and Nike reps handed these gloves out to spectators), a wool hat that was made in Afghanistan but bought in Oregon twelve years ago, gumball buttons, and an acorn smile. They raided the recycling bin in the garage for the eyes and nose.


I like to imagine that he’s standing in our front yard yelling, “I’m number one! I’m number one!” to all passersby.

(Project 365 | 2010: 14 February)



Yesterday morning around 8:30 a.m., I had just finished breakfast and was thinking about suiting up to go outside to shovel the six inches of snow that had fallen since I’d last shoveled, and Sylvia said, “I think someone is here.” I looked outside the window and sure enough, my friend Beth was here. She also happens to live in my neighborhood and enjoys a good walk, so she was here on foot.

And not empty-handed. Look what she brought:


I’d posted the pattern last month, and Beth then took it upon herself to knit one for me. And see that little button on the top? She handpainted a little bee on it! (My family has a thing for bees. And hedgehogs. And cheetahs.)

I love it. I can’t wait to get a new sewing project going so I can use it!

(Project 365 | 2010: 12 February)


Wabi sabi sidewalk


I have long known that I cannot draw a straight line with a ruler. In recent years I’ve learned that whenever I mow my lawn, it looks like I went on a bender with my lawnmower. Today I discovered that I cannot shovel in a straight line, either.

(Project 365 | 2010: 11 February)

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