At loose ends
Monday March 16th 2009, 6:04 pm
Filed under: Knit,My Garden

imgp7219I need to work in the ends on most of these scarves (or, as my mother calls them, yarn necklaces); it won’t take me long.  It’s been, finish knitting one, dive into the next, finish knitting the second, dive into the next, over and over–I was trying to get a lot done before I just couldn’t stand it, I had to finally go start that black cashmere shawl.

The black shawl has now commenced.

Which didn’t stop me from casting on Amanda‘s Huarache yarn today while waiting for the dentist. You can never have enough lace scarves on hand when you’re planning on going back and thanking your nurses; I’ve got a long way to go.

Meantime, a few years ago, I woke up one morning after a night of heavy storms to see a bright blue sky out the clerestory window.  Empty expanse.  It took me a moment to puzzle out what was missing: a tree had blown over, and the green branches I was used to waking up to were simply gone.  (The red berries are on the heavenly bamboo it had been growing next to.)

imgp7204We had someone cut its carcass up and haul it away for us, but for whatever reason, they left the overturned stump that was still within the long raised flower bed.  Huh.

Having grown up in a house in the woods, I knew that old wood is good for all kinds of wildlife. My folks had had a towering dead tulip poplar that the then-endangered pileated woodpeckers loved.  Bugs would eat the dead wood, and high off the ground, those huge woodpeckers would go after the bugs, spectacularly so: you could see chunks of wood going flying and the whole neighborhood could hear one hammering at work.  Go check out the tree trunk as well as the birds in that link.

imgp72081You’re not going to get that same effect from a stump on the ground, but you go with what you’ve got.

With our recent rains, these mushrooms on the stump have grown around and through the leaves of the heavenly bamboo, swirling their colors and dancing round and round for sheer joy at being alive.

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We recently decided to take out some white pines before the big one fell on our house and took out my daughter’s bedroom, and possibly my daughter. When I asked the neighbors if they had any objections, they said, “You mean you want to take out the tree the squirrils are using to get into our attic? Sure!” The trees are gone. We still have lots of trees, but maybe a little more sunlight will reach the ground and the grass will be happier. Meanwhile, we’ve got this bare spot that is just waiting to tell us what it wants to grow.

Comment by LauraN 03.16.09 @ 7:21 pm

As I’ve mentioned, horticulture is not my forte (with an accent over the ‘e’). Nonetheless, Alison, I find your discussion of wood quite fascinating. Perhaps you could come see what I now fondly call my little jungle. I had not been out back of our place in several years because of my handicap, but for some odd reason I made my way back there this afternoon. A bit tricky with my walker, and I didn’t want to fall. Weeds and other growth up to my knees. The persimmon tree is in bud, the lemon tree loaded with lemons, the orange tree with oranges, and the apple tree completely bare. Got to have someone knowledgeable take a look.

Humor time:

A minister was completing a temperance sermon. With great emphasis he said, “If I had all the beer in the world, I’d take it and pour it into the river.” With even greater emphasis he said, “And if I had all the wine in the world, I’d take it and pour it into the river.” And then finally, shaking his fist in the air, he said, “And if I had all the whiskey in the world, I’d take it and pour it into the river.” Sermon complete, he sat down.

The choir director stood very cautiously and announced with a smile, nearly laughing, “For our closing song, let us sing Hymn #365, ‘Shall We Gather at the River’”.

Comment by Don Meyer 03.16.09 @ 8:51 pm

Pretty scarves Alison. The upper left and lower are my favs colorwise.

Comment by Tiny Tyrant 03.16.09 @ 9:33 pm

Prince Charles took the idea of a stumpery to a whole new level in his woodland garden at Highgrove. Your seasons are so different that ours. Berries and a fungal foray both in March!

Comment by LynnM 03.17.09 @ 1:13 am

I love the pattern to the upper left scarf. The recipient will treasure it.

Are those mushrooms edible? They form a beautiful pattern.

Comment by Joansie 03.17.09 @ 4:55 am

Love this post! Those woodpeckers and “chunks of wood go flying” sound like a wonderful thing to see.

Such beautiful scarves..they will be so appreciated.

Comment by Toni Smoky-Mountains 03.17.09 @ 5:28 am

I don’t mind weaving in ends, but seaming? Bleach.

Comment by Channon 03.17.09 @ 5:57 am

Alison, you know I love you and your blog and everything you write and make and take pictures of.
These days, I read it, and then I scroll down to see if Don commented yet.
I think that guy needs to have his own blog, too!!

Comment by karin 03.17.09 @ 7:14 am

Ooh! I love that mushroom photo — what gorgeous shapes and colors.

Comment by Jocelyn 03.17.09 @ 7:19 am

We still have tree stumps around our yard from when the hurricanes hit the Keys in 2005. The birds, bugs, weeds and vines all love them. (I would like it a little better manicured but so much of the “wildness” has been taken away from the area due to so much construction that we thought we’d leave that bit for nature for the time being. Love your pics and glad you’re doing better.

Comment by Carol Garnier 03.17.09 @ 8:09 am

I have a thing for trees, they are so amazingly beautiful and useful in all forms (especially knitting needles and musical instruments).

Comment by Michelle 03.17.09 @ 8:20 am

Loved the picture of the mushrooms. I need to get a picture of the fungi growing on a tree near here.

I agree with Karin’s comment: love your posts and get quite a chuckle from Don’s comments.

Comment by Laura 03.17.09 @ 2:16 pm

We have a pileated woodpecker in the wooded area behind our house and he usually keeps within knockin distance but on occasion has been spotted feasting on the bugs of a stump about 15 feet from our house. He is an impressive sight – so large and beautiful. We also have a variety of hairy woodpeckers and redbellies and one particular (I think it’s one but can’t really tell) Red Belly that pecks on our soffet near my bedroom window – usually @ 0700 after the time change. Many a morning, I’ve been grateful that it’s the Red Belly and not the Pileated that breaks fast on my house.
Oh – and I wanted to add that although I enjoy your blog and I see the humor in Don’s comments, it wasn’t until I saw the mushroom picture that I really thought of your blog to be the place I could find a fungi!

Comment by Tammy 03.20.09 @ 10:23 am

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