Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Multi-Creature Feature

It truly feels like summer here in South Carolina, and we've got little creatures coming out of the woodwork...literally. 

The 3-foot long fish (we've been told that they're carp) have resurfaced in our pond.  They love to come to the surface in the late afternoon to take advantage of the sun's warmth.

I noticed a carpenter bee starting to bore a hole in our wooden flag post outside (coming out of the woodwork - get it?).  Only female carpenter bees are capable of stinging and rarely do, so I shooed it away.  In just a few minutes, it had already gnawed quite a hole.

I put a piece of Scotch tape over the spot to discourage a return visit, but the bee just settled in an inch below it and started a new hole.

I watched its progress.  In no time at all, it had gotten another good start...

...and more...

Look at it go!

I'm afraid it was pretty disappointed to discover the lack of space in that little pole, because the hole was abandoned after a day or two.

I did see a really interesting moth while out by the flag.  Its jaunty shape reminds me of a fighter jet!

I found this ant nest under a rock while clearing vines.  See the little white eggs?

I put the rock back so as not to disturb their little habitat.

This Eastern squirrel watched me weed this week.  I was surprised how close he came...Eastern squirrels are so much more timid than the fox squirrels I'm used to!

We've had a thriving nest of raccoons in a side yard tree since we moved in.  I'll occasionally catch one climbing down during the day and slipping into the woods.

This not-so-little guy was curled up in a flower bed right by our front door.

It's an Eastern garter snake and totally harmless.  They can grow up to four feet long!  These are definitely not the little garter snakes I'm used to, but I don't mind them.  They're great to have around.

I found a cardinal nest in the side arbor.

I had to clear out a foot of leaves from the side yard, most of it by hand, since the hostas had already come up, and the parents of the little ones were absolutely frantic.  Here's mom:

I really hated to upset them, but the work had to get done, so I just moved as quickly as possible.  Speaking of the side yard, it's finally leaf-free and weeded, although no flowers have been planted yet...

One of the best things is the fence, which means I can safely take the cats outside for a little outdoor time.  Bosewichte was an alley cat before his adoption, so he knows how to navigate the terrain...

...or beg for more time.

Tabitha isn't used to the outdoors, so she spends a lot of time crouching...

...and looking over her shoulder.

There hasn't been any time for baking or any leisure activities, really.  Besides the time my business demands, I've been doing all the outdoor work I mentioned before, plus indoor things:  sanding and scraping and painting (a concerted effort with Todd).  I decided to carve out a little time every day to unwind with knitting, and began making a sweater for myself.  Inevitably I got swept up in my work and laid the knitting aside.  When I picked it up again after two or three weeks away, I transposed the working colors and knitted a full two inches incorrectly before I noticed it.  See the blue at the top?

I frogged the mistake and promptly knitted it again, incorrectly.  Frustrated, I frogged it down to the ribbing and started again.  I'm very pleased with how it's turning out now!  It's also an incentive to work on it a little bit every day, so that I don't lose my momentum and start making mistakes.  This sweater pattern contains my first steek, where I'll actually cut through the knitted fabric to insert a fold-down neck.  It should be interesting!

Hope you're having a productive week, too!

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