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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Meanwhile, Back At The Horse Show

Unbelievably, I do not have not much more to share with you than to say we had a really good time at the Indiana Combined Driving Event and Frankie did an amazing job.  I headed to dressage and cones on Saturday without my phone/camera and Tim was volunteering on Sunday so he wasn't able to take any pictures that day :-/.  

Tim did take video of dressage and cones, but he has an Android phone and I have a "real" phone (ducking ;-) and I don't have a good way to get his videos over to my phone.  Luckily Auntie Reg took a video of our dressage test and we were able to just push a button and ding, there is was :-).


Everything we did this year was better than we did last year.  Well, except for the stop watches.  We somehow did even worse with the stop watches this year and will be purchasing new watches for next year!

Frankie drove a really solid dressage test and we were in first place after that.  I hit one cone, the very last one, and we were a couple of seconds too slow so had 6 penalty points in cones.  For marathon Frankie was much stronger and faster this year and drove all of the hazards fearlessly, but we were still too slow and dropped to second place at the finish.  I'm still very proud of him and how well he did this year.  

Onwards!



Wednesday, September 14, 2022

A New Butterfly


I've never before been able to spot a chrysalis out in the "wilds", but I have found two this year!  Both have been on the milkweed in the raised beds, but I'm suspicious there was one in the B Garden as well as I found a newly hatched butterfly out there one morning a week or so ago.

This chrysalis was on a rapidly browning leaf and as I watched the leaves around it drop to the ground I decided to pluck this one and put it somewhere safe until it was ready to hatch.  They have to hatch in the air so they can dry their wings as they expand.  Opening on the ground it would not have survived.

My original plan was to move it back to the raised bed just before it opened, but as I carried it out there I saw a bunch of birds and decided to keep it on the Wool House porch, about 40' from where it was laid.  That worked out okay for the butterfly as no predators grabbed it and good for me because I was able to watch and take a time lapse video.

I did a video of it going into chrysalis, but the iPhone speed is too fast and it was hard to see.  


For the hatching time lapse I found out I could use iMovie to edit the speed and I may go back and edit this video as well.  I think it's fascinating!


Welcome to the world, little girl.  You can tell it's a girl by the thicker black lines and the lack of two black dots on her lower wings.  

I have picked up the other chrysalis and attached it the the drying rack on the porch as well.  The old milkweed is fading fast.  Next year I'm going to "mow" it after it blooms so it sends up new growth before the late summer butterflies arrive.



Friday, September 2, 2022

Telling The Bees


Once upon a time a good beekeeper saw that the bees in one of her hives were getting ready to swarm.  She watched them gathering outside their hive and, with no way to stop them, watched them fly away.  They swirled up into the sky and landed in a nearby tree, 40 feet in the air.  

She was pretty good at gathering swarms, but that was far too high.  "I can't take care of you up there," I heard her tell them.  "You need to come back down."

An hour or so later she called to tell me the bees were going back in.  (?!?)  I got back up the hill just in time to watch the last bees crawl back into their old hive.

The next day they re-swarmed into a different nearby tree, about six feet off the ground.  We easily gathered them into a cardboard box and installed them in a new hive. She stayed to make sure every bee found their way into their new home.

Tomorrow I will go up the hill to tell the bees.

Stella Martin

August 16, 1923 - September 1, 2022



Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Archie's Big Adventure

Archie didn't come to the house for breakfast yesterday morning, but it was raining so I wasn't too worried.  When I got to the barn to help Spud get up I heard him in the loft, but it was too dark to see him.  He meowed to me and I greeted him back and didn't think anything about it.  The cats go up in the loft all the time and I figured it was a cozy place to nap away the rain.

When I got back to the barn a couple of hours later to do the morning chores he was meowing much louder.  I looked around and found him not in the loft, but waaay up in the rafters...and it was obvious that was not where he wanted to be.

"I'm stuck!"

It's a bit hard to see, but he's on the second rafter from the very top of the barn.  I'm guessing that's about 32' up.  We have a ladder that might reach that high, but I don't feel comfortable using it.  I ended up climbing up into the loft and making some straw bale stairs.  


"Halp!"

I need to explain something about Archie.  While everyone on the internet thinks Archie's claim to fame is his epic napping, he's actually more famous in real life for his complete lack of any natural cat athletics.  We have never met a less coordinated cat.  This next step was going to be a doozy.

My straw steps were six bales high and yes, I knew that was dangerous, but that was the safest thing I could think of.  I texted my neighbor to let her know that I was getting ready to do something stupid and if I didn't text her back in five minutes to come looking for me.  

I got my head and shoulders to just a couple feet below him and he bravely stretched down and got a foothold and we both gave a big sigh of relief...and then he wouldn't move and just sat there shaking.  I ended up climbing back down with him on my shoulders and he finally jumped off.


After a bit of breakfast, Archie did what he does best and took a long nap.  It just looks like he's sucking his thumb ;-).


Monday, August 29, 2022

Hey, Lady!


"I'm cold blooded, not cold!  Let's save the sweater for later."


I made a frog!  And finished her sweater just in time for the temps to soar back into the 90s.  She's very cute wearing it, but being a frog, not a sheep who's used to wearing wool, Lilly wasn't too jazzed about wearing it for more than a quick snap.  I bet she'll change her mind this fall!

These sweet little frogs became IG celebrities over the summer.  The designer is Claire Garland and India Rose Crawford is the knitter and the stop motion video artist who made them super stars.  You should definitely check out her frog videos.  You too will fall in love with frogs.  I promise :-).


I started out by dyeing a speckled froggy colored yarn using the Lamb Camp Bottle Lamb yarn.  This was something new for me and I enjoyed playing around with the best way to make color spots on top of the custom base color.


I promptly underestimated how much yarn I'd need and ran short and had to dye more yarn.  I got it pretty close, but this is why they always say to buy enough yarn for your project so you aren't trying to find the exact same dye lot if you run out.

Since I knew they colors weren't exactly the same I decided to rip out the legs I'd already knitted so there wouldn't be a noticeable difference between them.
 

And we all had a good time trying to decide what to call ripping out an actual knitted frog.  Is it still "frogging" (rip it, rip it ;-) or would it be unfrogging, defrogging, refrogging?  :-)



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