Joyknits!

Knitting, spinning, pets, food and other thoughts


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Goodbye to April

It’s been a strange, off-again-on-again spring, with some weather extremes. At the end I was wondering who stole our spring, as it turned quite chilly again. Not quite cold enough for frost, but get the cozy old sweatshirt back out sort of weather.

Here are a few outdoor highlights:

Wind spinner - nice birthday present!

Wind spinner – a nice birthday present!

Crabapple tree

Crabapple tree

An old redbud

An old redbud

Serviceberry in bloom :)

Serviceberry in bloom πŸ™‚

April sunset

April sunset

PS. I just added another pattern to my Ravelry store – it’s perfect for a very special occasion!

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Out & about …

We’ve had lots of birds and critters in the yard, including this wren, who was exploring below the deck yesterday,

Wren (again)

Wren (bug hunting)

(the rock “mulch” is the only way I’ve found to keep the chipmunks from digging up my plants)

Wren

Wren

and one of the pair of phoebes that’s nesting down under again (closer than usual – I snuck this shot over the railing)

Phoebe

Phoebe

and more of the local wildlife – I’m glad I’ve got a rabbit-proof fence around the veggies!

How many bunnies?

How many bunnies (trick question)?

and even caterpillars – since they’re Swallowtail caterpillars (actually 5 of them), I just picked up another dill plant πŸ˜‰

Swallowtail caterpillar

Swallowtail caterpillar

Prairie Sunrise has been spectacular, though the rains have made it a bit droopy. I counted 24 flowers and buds on it.

Rose bush

Rose bush

Prairie Sunrise bud.

Prairie Sunrise bud.

Just a little ways over, the hollyhocks are getting ready to bloom – can’t wait to see what color(s) are there.

Hollynocks

Hollyhocks

This was the sky last evening, and it’s supposed to be more of the same, which makes Toby one unhappy dog, even with his ThunderShirt!

Stormy sky

Stormy sky


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After the rain

We had a real downpour while we were in town this afternoon (and I dropped the sleeve I’m knitting, but fortunately the wool didn’t mind). It was still raining a bit when we got home, but after we brought things inside, the sky turned a very unusual color toward the west:

And there was a wonderful view to the east, which lasted for several minutes.

Double rainbow.


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Signs of Fall!

There are starting to be red “mittens” on the ground, a sure sign of fall. After such a dry year, I wondered if we’d have any fall color at all, but at least the sassafras tree is putting on a show. The cooler weather has also revved Toby up — he was running big loops in the yard.

I’ve also been doing some baking — the plums looked so good at the store that I ended up making a plum cobbler; it has a biscuit-type topping sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. The only change I’d make would be to use about double the amount of plums; 2Β½-3 lbs instead of 1Β½ lbs, which was a bit skimpy.

There was a lovely sky the other evening, not exactly fall-like, but definitely out of the ordinary!


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Various bits …

The latest oops! was having my main monitor (of 2) simply quit working – at least I could switch over to the 2nd one while getting a replacement. So when the new one came we installed it, turned it on, and big surprise! Instead of my usual blue desktop, the “native” factory setting was this (actually I think it was a bit brighter):

Viewsonic’s “native” color setting (!)

So I foraged around in the Users Guide (on a CD, of course) and figured out how to tone it down to this:

The desktop/color I’m used to – much less in-your-face.

Due to the heat and nearly total lack of rain, I’ve moved all the planters around to the north side of the house where they get more shade and are easier to water. This guy has moved into a pot that originally had a dill plant in it.

Something unexpected.

I love this salvia (salvia Coccinea), as do the hummers – it’s so much airier than the usual one. Fortunately it reseeds itself vigorously, as I’ve rarely seen the plants or seeds – it always pops up in my potted plants, and will even survive and sometimes bloom inside over the winter.

My favorite salvia.

Couldn’t resist this picture the other day after I’d watered – unfortunately the blossoms didn’t last long, but it had another 5 blooms πŸ™‚

Prairie Sunrise.

There’s been an unexpected visitor on the hummer feeders on the deck the last couple of days – this downy woodpecker has been taking sips from the larger feeder, but he’s shy, so I couldn’t get a really good photo.

Downy woodpecker.

It’s time for Knitting Camp again, so I’ll be taking off next week – can’t wait to see everyone!


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Back to class …

Someone mentioned Kim Klassen’s Skinny-Mini Photoshop Elements class, so I signed up – of course I was in mid-deadline, so now I’m playing catch up, but it’s very interesting. I’ve previously barely scratched the surface and I want to learn to make better use of the program! She’s using Elements 9, but apart from things being in slightly different places, I’m doing OK with my Elements 5.

The Day 4 review project was to take 2 very different photos, add a couple of layers and some text, so here’s my homework πŸ˜‰