The other day we were taking our dogs for a walk and it was too windy to go into the woods, so we were taking a short walk over the dam of the pond. We stopped and were looking around at how beautiful everything was. The dogs were sniffing the air and enjoying the fall smells. Libby was running wildly as she always does when our geese are getting ready to fly to the pond. All of a sudden they made the flying honk--HONK, honk, HONK, honk and they were on their way. And they were headed right at us! Usually they land in the pond, but this time they were headed to the dam. 30 birds weighing up to 20 pounds each were heading right for us! Watch out, I said, here they come! Having had my geese fly into my twice I didn't wait to see what would happen. I dropped as low as I could, put my arms over my head, and tucked my chin into my chest. Mack didn't respond and all of a sudden out of the corner of my eye I saw him drop like a stone while a white gander ricocheted off and over the dam of the pond. Scared to death I ran over to Mack. He was O.K., but seeing stars with the wind knocked out of him. The gander staggered around for a few minutes and then they were both up and about. However, Mack has a black ear. I thought I had a picture of them flying, but can't find it. Mack probably won't be too keen on taking one for me.
This morning there was another pile of white feathers out by the duck pen. Another duck was beheaded and partially sucked through the pen. This makes three in two weeks---and they are in a predator proof pen, or so we thought. It has an impenetrable floor with chain link fence around it. There is a little duck house inside. We have more chain link fence and a roof on the top. Down next to the bottom we have hardware cloth or vinyl siding. Last night the duck was attacked through the gap between the side of the pen and the door. The inch crack was obviously wide enough for something to get its paw through. It looks as though there are two attackers. One does something to get the ducks to run around and the other catches its prey when a duck comes too close to the side. Mack is home right now putting more wire and siding on the pen. We plan to have the wire and siding overlap the space between the door and the pen. It does make it a little hard to open and shut the door, but we will have to deal with it. We like our birds and we don't like to see them wiped out in such a horrible way. Any idea what could be doing this? We thought coyotes or bobcats. We have four turkeys in a similar pen and are now really worried about them.
Well October is gone and I am still on track completing my unfinished objects. Here are the two for October. The top picture is a winter project, the bottom a summer one. I guess I won't be wearing it until next year.
This lovely picture of a block on a bolt of fabric reminds me of home. We have the big red barn across the street (and some distance away), and the Amish buggies coming down the road. Fortunately, our road is two lanes (barely) and paved. We do have the cows and buggies since there is a small Amish community. There are lots of horses--work horses, carriage horses, riding horses and mules. Our neighbors across the street rescue horses and mules so there is always a strange mix over there. The foliage is lovely and should be for another day or so! This block, one of six, represents an idyllic country/farm life. We are extremely lucky to live in a neighborhood that runs from an Amish community to a very modern apple orchard and about everything in between.
On Monday this was my view from our sun room. When I first saw this creature hanging from the screen my immediate reaction was--oh, no a rat! But as you can see it has a hairy tail. It turned out to be a chipmunk. I was going to don my heavy leather gloves and remove it to the garden, but chickened out because I know chipmunks bite. Surely, it will go away! Sure enough a couple of hours later, it was gone. I breathed a sigh of relief. Later that evening there was a commotion out in the sunroom and the cats were all on alert. You won't believe it, but the chipmunk was in the house and in the mouth of one of the cats. Mack rescued the poor thing (it was still very much alive) and released it in the garden. Probably a mistake, but at least he didn't have to carry it far, and it was biting through the glove. How on earth did it get in? Why would a chipmunk try to get in the house when it is 80 degrees outside? Maybe it knows something about the winter to come? Who knows, but I hope it is doing O.K..
Well, the spider webs are all gone from the Blue Spruce a whole 30 days before Halloween. We have had an influx of spiders the size of quarters into the house. We have evicted some and the cats have taken care of a few, but I don't want to talk about Halloween or spiders--maybe closer to October 30.
Today, is the day in between National Coffee Day (September 30) and International Coffee Day (October 1) so we will talk about coffee. Personally, I never touch the stuff, but lots of people love it and my interest was peaked by the story of Kalid, a 9th century goatherd in Ethiopia. Allegedly, he noticed how excited his goats became when they munched on the leaves of the coffee plant which is endemic to Ethiopia and Sudan and we have the first mention of coffee. (I love goats so immediately I was interested.) Sheikh Omar was the first to use coffee. For some reason or other he was starving in the area and tried to eat the beans off some coffee trees. They were too bitter and tough so he boiled them and, voila, coffee was invented. He lived as a result of his coffee experiment and started using coffee as medicine to heal others. The stories reached Mocha in Yemen and eventually his work made Sheikh Omar into a Saint. Coffee spread throughout the Arab world through Egypt and Yemen. The use of coffee as a drink spread round the world and was introduced into Brazil by 1727. It has become the primary export for several African and Central American countries. By 1920, half of all coffee produced was consumed in the United States.
The Dromedary yarn (30% camel, a luxury fiber) pictured below is a tenuous link between coffee and yarn. Camels were used in the early transport of coffee, they still are used in the Arab world, and sometimes it seems as if their irritable tempers might be improved with a sip of coffee. Have a great International Coffee Day and enjoy your coffee!
I always thought that the spider web decorations people used at Halloween were a little over the top and wondered who decided spider webs were a special feature of Halloween. This year I learned that it was spiders themselves. The morning was foggy and there was lots of dew. This is a picture of our blue spruce tree. Once the sun burnt off the fog, the spider webs were no longer visible. Today the tree shows no signs of spiders, but I am worried about the effects on the tree. I have never seen anything like it. It sure looked like Halloween!
This week we get to take a peek at Sandy's completed quilt. Yes, pieced and quilted by Sandy. Didn't she do a lovely job? The back is as pretty as the front!
Finished objects (FOs) for August! The picture below is of Kim with her baby afghan. She has been quite diligent and began and completed her project this August and finished in August! What a lucky baby!
The picture below is the pair of socks I finished in August--still keeping up with my New Year's Resolution. We won't talk about how long these have been started and lying in the cupboard, abandoned and forgotten. Does finishing in August count if I started these in August two or three years ago--so long ago that I don't remember?