Saturday, October 25, 2008

Nimbus Fish Hatchery and Surrounding Area

Salmon numbers in the American River are very low this year -- so low, that we didn't see any on our visit to the Nimbus Fish Hatchery today. What a downer. According to the The Sacramento Bee:

The American River salmon run estimate for this year is just 6,000. Average numbers in the past year have been 35,000, with as many as 80,000 in some years, according to Mike Healey, an associate fisheries biologist for the Department of Fish and Game.

Burks [manager of the hatchery] said there is a combination of factors behind the decreased salmon population, including ocean currents and changing water conditions.

The California wild grape crop on the American River Parkway near the hatchery is great this year (as it is at the Cosumnes River Preserve). Look at the rainbow of colors ...
It's always a treat to watch the Cedar Waxwings feeding on grapes along this stretch of the river. We got to watch them eating at eye-level just a few feet away from us. My husband pointed out that the Cedar Waxwings in the sky were acting like swallows. Very interesting.

They have put out fishing line recycling bins near the river, which is a good thing.

MallardCalifornia Fuchsia
The acorn crop (no photos) is great this year, too.

The World Series is in a rain delay.

Ta ta for now,

Monday, October 20, 2008

A fiber I will never use

At the risk of alienating my fellow animal lovers, I have to say that, at a gut level, the concept of dog hair knitwear weirds and grosses me out. Just how many washings does it take to get that wet-dog smell out? What if you think that you got all of it out, and then you get caught in the rain, or maybe just sweat a lot, and the smell starts to seep out? Awkward!

I know that it's better to make a sweater from the waste product of your family pet than a sheep that was sheared against its will (not to mention how the sheep might have been treated).

Having said all of that, check out this photo gallery of people wearing clothing made from their dogs' hair.

There's a book, too -- Knitting With Dog Hair: Better A Sweater From A Dog You Know and Love Than From A Sheep You'll Never Meet.

Good night,

Saturday, October 18, 2008

One more thing

The wild grape crop in the Tall Forest is HUGE this year. The grapes are delicious (even the skins are sweet), but very small. To paraphrase our friend, it's as if the grapevine said "how can I surround my seeds with as little flesh as possible and still have my seeds distributed?"

Tall Forest, 10-18-08

Just a few quick sights from today's Tall Forest Bird Count at the Cosumnes River Preserve:

I found this blue vervain with strange cockscomb-like growths on it. I
can't find this on the Web or in my galls book. Hmmm ...

Turkey Vulture warming up
We had numerous flyovers of Sandhill Cranes. They were our constant companions.

An orthopteran. Such delicate wings. Pretty, yes?
Ta ta for now,

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tomorrow is Dictionary Day!

In honor of Dictionary Day (October 16th, which is Webster's birthday), here is a word about words (thanks so much to my husband for sharing this Word.A.Day gem with me):

WORD: epeolatry (ep-i-OL-uh-tree)

noun: The worship of words.

From Greek epos (word) + -latry (worship). The first citation of the word is from Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., in his 1860 book Professor at the Breakfast Table.

"I read my dictionary for a few more minutes, until tiredness eventually brought my epeolatry to an end for the day."
-- Roger Day; Anurada Negotiates Our Wobbly Planet; Lulu; 2006.

My husband and I agree that it sucks that "epeolatry" does not fall trippingly off of the tongue -- it's a pretty awkward word to pronounce. Having said that, this is one "religion" that I could get behind.
Oh, and I totally grok the Roger Day quote.

From what I can gather from the internet, Dictionary Day (and every day) should be devoted to celebrating words and building literacy skills.

Well, I'm off to catch the end of the Phillies-Dodgers game.

Good night,

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I see ... I see ... a woman in a lavender scarf

... and her favorite shirt.

Here is what my nervous little paws have been up to:

I used the shells with double crochet pattern from Teach Yourself Visually Crocheting. I got the instructions for the fringe from Maran Illustrated Knitting & Crocheting. I am pleased.

During my walk at lunch today, I heard what I thought was a Nuttall's Woodpecker approaching me from the rear. I turned around, and saw that the sound was coming from a moving car. Uh oh.

Well, I'm off to rustle up some grub.

Ta ta for now,

Saturday, October 11, 2008

This makes me happy

So dig: I'm in line at Jo-Ann, and what do I see? Glow-in-the-dark Mod Podge!!! I knew this stuff existed, but I've never seen it in a store. I wonder if it's just around for Halloween?