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05 October 2016

Harbingers of Fall, and a Few Stray Snowflakes

Well, as usual, it's been a busy week here on the farm.  The busiest one of us, by far, has been Steve, the outdoor cat.  Or perhaps I should say, Steve the mighty hunter

One night, late last week, the humans and the dogs of this fine establishment were awakened by a thump thump on the front door.  My first thought was that something had happened to one of the children.  (Admit it, moms, y'all do the same thing!).  My second thought was that someone was in trouble.  In truth, someone was in trouble, and was beyond saving.

Steve had caught a mole.  And, not satisfied with leaving it for us to find in the morning, he decided to sling it against the door until we came to see how generously he was providing for our family.

The man of the place took the mole and put it in the garbage can, and we all went back to bed.  It's natural for a cat to hunt, and natural for them to share their quarry with their humans; but we object to the thought of eating mole, no matter how it's prepared.

The lesson that Steve took from this incident, however, was that the mole was unsatisfactory.  Now, I don't claim to know how a cat's mind works.  Perhaps he thought that we thought the mole was too small to eat.  But on Saturday morning, the man let the dogs out without looking to see what might be on the porch.  Dogs, you know, are somewhat like toddlers -- if they're quiet for too long, then there's trouble somewhere.  So when they didn't clamor to come in within their usual time, dear hubs decided to go outside and see where they were ......

.... and where they were was on the porch, happily eating a rabbit.

Yes, Steve had brought us a rabbit, freshly killed.  The spaniel wasn't interested, but the beagles were more than happy to fight over their unexpected breakfast.  Lola dropped the rabbit on command, but Lucy clamped her jaws shut and held onto her portion with a grip just slightly less than a bear trap.  It took some muscle to get those jaws apart, but the man succeeded and the rabbit joined the mole in the garbage can.

Besides the cat trying to get us meat for winter, there are other harbingers of fall in the neighborhood.  The millet that grew under the birdseed has ripened ...

... and the trees at the end of the lane are beginning to change color, albeit it slowly.

We usually have morning fogs in August; but a recent spell of rain gave us morning fogs and hazy sunshine on Sunday morning, when we set forth to visit Grandlittle #7.

On our way, we drove by Lake Shelby.  The color of the trees along the shore is more pronounced there, with the autumn colors reflected in the rippled surface of the water.

While we were there, I watched a group of sparrows chasing a hawk.  The hawk circled nearer and nearer to where I was standing, which took him farther and farther from the territory that the smaller birds were determined to protect.  I will not confess to how many photos of him I took; but I will share with you my favorite of the bunch:


I also spied a lacewing, nestled in the grass.  His wings were ragged and his antenna were missing.  Lacewings only live one season; when the trees change and cold weather comes, they die.  I think this one found himself a lovely and tranquil spot to "change worlds," as the old folk say.

His coloring blends so well with the grass, he's a bit difficult to see; so I made a copy of this photo and decolorized the background, so you can see him better.

The Canadian Goose (yes, that's the appropriate plural -- yes, I know it sounds weird, it does to me, too!) were out in full force, taking a rest before commencing their southward journey.

Although the colors of fall are just now beginning to show, I've been playing with snowflakes and yarn.  Have you ever been inspired to make something by a single element?  Several years ago, I ordered some handmade buttons from an Etsy seller.  They're imprinted with the image of a snowflake.

I also have a nice collection of old, out-of-print Norwegian pattern books, which are a great resource for Scandinavian colorwork charts and sweater patterns.  I'm still head-over-heels in love with Diane Soucy's Baby Dress pattern for Knitting Pure & Simple, and -- having been pleased with how the pattern accomodated the addition of stripes -- I thought, "How about adding in some Scandinavian colorwork?"  And so I did ....

I used the snowflake button shown above, and Swish DK yarn (100% superwash merino) by Knit Picks in colors Wonderland Heather, Serrano, and White.  The snowflake border pattern is a mash-up of two different colorwork charts from my old Sandnesgarn books. (You can sometimes find these books on eBay or Etsy.)

I'm very pleased with how this project turned out, and it supports a pet theory of mine: when you start with a good basic pattern, it's easy to put your own spin on it to create something unique.  I'm thinking about making a few more of these Christmasy little gowns with the Scandinavian colorwork charts.  I'm also looking over my stash of Swish, and wondering how well Diane's V-Neck Sweater and One Button Cardigan patterns would marry with my Norwegian charts.

This Saturday is the Wool Festival in Falmouth, Kentucky!  I'll be there Saturday -- taking photos, petting sheep, drooling over the handpainted yarns, and trying (and probably failing!) to resist the call of the food vendors.  A local church is going to be selling chicken and dumplings -- chicken and dumplings, people!! -- and someone else has apple dumplings, and there's someone setting up to sell craft-brewed root beer, and I'll have to drag the man away from the bratwurst vendor ...... you can find a list of all the food here. (Also, check out this article from the Northern Kentucky Tribune.)  If you're in or near central Kentucky, hop down (or up, or over) to Falmouth this weekend.  When we visit next week, I hope to have oodles of photos to share with you.  See you then!

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