Showing posts with label owls. Show all posts
Showing posts with label owls. Show all posts

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Searching for the perfect shrug

While browsing online for baby clothes for my niece Lily several weeks ago, I found a cute flowered dress that I had to buy for her one year birthday coming up at the end of the month. The dress is sleeveless, so I decided to knit a matching shrug in blue that would bring out her eyes.

The dress arrived, the yarn arrived, but I could not for the life of me decide on a pattern for the shrug. Searching through my knitting books and the Ravelry database became a nightly obsession --  I don't even want to think about all of the hours I wasted spent on it. At one point I tried to convince myself to just buy a matching shrug (like this one from Zara) so I could move on with my knitting life, but in the end couldn't bring myself to do it.

This weekend I finally decided on this Victorian Lace Baby Shrug. The yarn is Berroco Pure Pima cotton in the color St. Bart (love!). It is such a relief to have finally stopped searching and started knitting!

I'm almost done reading the biography  Jane Austen: A Life Revealed . I'm so glad that I bought the physical book rather than the ebook. The clear, simple writing and the smooth matte finish of the pages make me feel like I'm reading a far more interesting version of my fifth grade history book. This book might be dull to those who have read other biographies of Jane (or don't have kind memories of their elementary school text books), but it is my first and I am enjoying it so much.

These little owl stitch markers arrived in the mail recently from the Hide and Sheep Etsy store. Are they not the cutest?

Just had to get a family shot.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Athena the Eurasian Eagle Owl

The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

This is Athena, a Eurasian Eagle Owl. I met her over the holidays when Hil, Lily and I visited the San Francisco Zoo. She is from Austria and was smuggled in to this country back in 2005 by a man who dyed 12 Eurasian Owl eggs to look like Easter eggs in order to get them past customs. It didn't work and the man went to Federal prison. Only three of the owlets survived, and Athena is one of them. She is huge and absolutely beautiful.

I can't explain why I am so drawn to owls, but I do know that it started over a decade ago when I used to see Great Horned Owls in the treetops on hikes near my home, which I wrote about here.

My obsession hasn't diminished over the years, and the recent popularity of owls is definitely helping to feed it. I love buying my niece Lily owl-themed toys and clothes, like this cute little shirt I just ordered for her from Cafe Press.

I really am still knitting and will write about that soon.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sophia the Saw-whet Owl

Isn't she beautiful? This is Sophia, a Saw-whet Owl that lives at Effie Yeaw Nature Center near Sacramento, CA. My sister and I met her yesterday while on our annual, all-day birdwatching trip.

Sophia is very compact at only eight inches tall. Saw-whet Owls are not seen very often due to their small size and because they only come out at night. She was hit by a truck five years ago and somehow clung to the grill for sixty miles. Veterinarians nursed Sophia back to health, but she lives permanently at the nature center because she can no longer survive in the wild.

It was absolutely gorgeous in central California yesterday. We took a walk from the nature center down a short path to the American River and had a relaxing afternoon break by the water.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Owl song

Snowy Owl by Geninne at Geninne's Art Blog .

you are
a treasure
made of sparkling
diamonds and hollyhock
you are
the lingering
scent of pine needles
and salty air
you are
sweet like
tumbling water and
smooth grey stones
you are
brave like
stepping off the shore
you are
to be celebrated
like owl song.

a poem from me to you

Saturday, January 29, 2011


My sister and I went on our annual bird watching trip today and guess what we saw?

A Great Horned Owl!

The picture above was taken at 3pm this afternoon at the San Luis Wildlife Refuge. The owl was perched calmly on a post, perfectly happy to let me take several snapshots of him through the car window.

It was the best birding day ever.

I've been looking for Great Horned Owls at the refuge for the last few years because I read that others have seen them there, but I never had any luck. Today it was the last thing on my mind, especially in the middle of the afternoon, and there he was.

( source )

Apparently low expectations and a careless attitude are key to seeing great birds. We had just gotten started when a Greater Roadrunner darted across the road. Oh my goodness! Another bird we'd been hoping to see the last few years.

We stopped in at Mercey Hot Springs to visit the wintering Long-eared Owls, which we see every year. Today there were three or four of them roosting in a tree. Like the Great Horned Owl, they weren't at all camera shy.

Plenty of egrets out and about today, too.

And since this is a knitting blog, I have to include a photo of the lovely wool sheep we saw grazing in the grasslands.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Looky look

... at what arrived in the mail yesterday.

An owl towel!

Cute potholders! With owls!

Jen at Miss Punkie Pie made them for me in exchange for the Apple Tree Scarf. The owl towel was a complete surprise-- I thought I was only getting potholders. Jen was so sweet to remember that I love owls.

Aren't those mushrooms cute? They remind me of the 1970's.
And Strawberry Shortcake.

Thanks Jen!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

All-day birding trip

So far, I really like 2010. Yesterday I went on an all-day birding trip through rolling hills, ranchland, and canyons. My sister and I go every year, but this was our first time taking the trip on New Year's day. We always stop at Mercey Hot Springs to see the wintering long-eared owls roosting in the tamarisks. It's one of the highlights of the day. I finally took the time to read the user guide for my digital camera the night before the trip so I could get good shots of the owls. This one is my favorite. He seems to be looking right back at me.

It's so good getting away from strip malls and traffic and city noise. There aren't too many other people on the backroads, and as I gaze out the window at the endless scene of undeveloped land my mind begins to calm and the tension in my body melts away.

This was the scene where we sat and ate lunch. Those hills in the background looked unreal, like a painting of a landscape. I think I could have sat there and looked at the hills all day.

In the afternoon we visited the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge , a birder's paradise. Among the many birds we saw on the five mile auto tour through the wetlands were Tundra Swans, Great Blue Herons, Red-tailed Hawks, Northern Harriers, Western Meadowlarks, Black-necked Stilts, a variety of migrating ducks, and one very exciting Loggerhead Shrike (I had never seen one before and was quite thrilled). We also got to watch a beautiful young coyote romp and play in a field.

As the sun went down I could hear the soft hooting of an owl in the distance.

All in all, a heavenly day.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Wrap-up

When I started blogging back in February of this year, Rachel at Not-So-Plain Jane was one of the first people I met. Around that time she wrote an interesting post about an article she'd read that described social networking sites and blogs as narcissistic and self-centered, and invited her readers to leave their thoughts on the matter in the comments. We all decided that blogging is not egotistical, it is a way of connecting and sharing our passions. (The post is here if you'd like to read it.) After eleven months of blogging, I still believe that, but ... this post is completely, unashamedly self-absorbed.

One of things I have learned from blogging is how much I love taking pictures with my digital camera. So to end 2009 I want to share my favorite photos from my blog over the last year. (I guess this is the modern day equivalent of inviting you over for dinner and then boring you with home movies from my vacation. I'll try to make it fast and painless :o)

Weekend in Mendocino .

My little sister, the bride .

The day I had glitteritis .

My superhero cat .

Baby owls . (I didn't actually take this picture, but it's still one of my favorites.)

Nature boat tour . (Love the baby sea lion in the front!)

Last but not least, blue and white art .

The year 2009 has been one of surprises. When the year began I didn't know I'd start a blog, share my knitting patterns, learn so many new crafts, and meet all of you. It's been a pleasure! I'm looking forward to finding out what 2010 will bring.

Happy new year, my friends!


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Embroidery project and a bit of silliness

Yesterday I finished my first embroidery project! It's from the book Doodle Stitching . I've been wanting to learn how to embroider for a few years, but taking that first step toward trying something new can be so hard. My little owl has lots of imperfections, but it feels good to have finally attempted (and finished!) an embroidery project.

On Saturday I gathered up the books I read over the summer and took them to Recycle Bookstore in exchange for new ones. I got a book on creativity, one on lace knitting, and Pretty Little Pincushions . I love pincushions! Now that I'm finally learning to embroider and hand sew, I'm excited about making these.

I love these pincushions in little tea cups from the book.

* * *

The theme for my ATC group this month is back-to-school. This is the silly ATC I sent to my friend Dogwood. It includes a couple of school reports written by my inner seven year-old.

This is a school photo of me at the age of six or seven.

Happy Sunday to you :o)


Saturday, June 27, 2009


These are baby screech owls that are being raised in a wildlife rescue center. Aren't they the cutest? They look like wise little muppets.

I have a *thing* for owls. It started over ten years ago, when I used to hike in the foothills most evenings, and in late summer would see huge owls-- I think they were Great Horned-- perched on the tips of the tallest trees. For me, seeing those birds was like winning the lottery jackpot. I was rich with owls.

Then, a few years ago, I met a birding friend as obsessed with owls as I am. At night we would sneak in to the woods to go owling. She would play a tape recording of a Western Screech Owl, and we'd stand perfectly still in the dark, flashlights ready, waiting for a response. When we heard a hoot, we'd shine our lights in that direction, certain we were about to see an owl. But the only thing we ever saw were wood rats and a bobcat that scared the bejeezus out of me.

The next spring, I began seeing barn owls in flight in my neighborhood at night. It was funny the way it started-- one night, I happened to glance up and see one gliding over a rooftop and out of sight. It happened about a dozen more times over the next few months. I'll never forget it, because that was the year I learned that you don't always have to travel very far from home to find what you're searching for-- sometimes all you have to do is step outside and look up at the sky.

* * *

Here are some owl-themed craft projects you might enjoy.

Robyn at
Daisy Quilts is offering this cute Hoot the Owl tutorial for free until June 30th, and then it will be available in her Etsy shop.

This owl dishcloth, designed by Janelle Schlossman, is available for free at
Knitting on the Net .