Dropped the ball (Trees Part II)

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I have no excuses for failing to blog. I have plenty of stuff to write about as well as some photos to share, I just never got around to posting. I’ll admit right now that I’m hoping to take part in this year’s Tour de France KAL, so in that case I’d better start getting back into the habit of blogging. So with that, I’m just going to pretend the past two months of nothing don’t exist and carry on where I left off.

Calavaras Big Trees Trip, Part II

Let’s see, we were hiking through the snow and craning our necks to see the redwoods. It may not sound very exciting, but standing among these giants and knowing how many hundreds of years they’ve been living and growing (and supporting the lives of countless insects, birds, and other creatures) is just amazing.

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And there are the trees that are no longer standing. How’s this for a sense of scale?

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100_1307 Another fallen tree that caught our attention was hollow, with steps leading down into the interior. We weren’t able to explore it on this particular day because it had become a pool of ice-cold water. Here’s a view of the inside (taken with my Kodak).

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100_1312 And a view of the outside; it doesn’t seem to have changed too much since the picture on the sign.

Not all the trees look quite so majestic; there is some sad commentary on human nature here as well. In 1854 promoters decided the best way to show off these beautiful trees was to completely strip the bark from one of them and reassemble the pieces for public display. The crowds may have been duly impressed, but John Muir described it as a “ghastly, disfigured ruin.”

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On a little brighter note, haven’t we all wished at one time that we could drive a car right through the trunk of a living tree?

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100_1326 Well, these guys did, anyway!

As we neared the end of the trail, we saw a grove of trees surrounded by a wooden viewing platform.

100_1332 At this point, as much as we’d enjoyed our hike, the only thing we really wanted to view was the parking lot and our nice warm car. Especially when we noticed that the Warming Hut was all locked up and deserted. Darn!

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Okay, now how about a little knitting content?

In February I wrote about the Magenta Buttony sweater (Ravelry link) — it’s now finished, complete with some cool buttons I found at Hancock’s Fabrics.

Remember ponchos?  They were very popular about four years ago, just before I got back into knitting (after a brief hiatus of about 30 years).  Back in 2006 I thought I might knit a poncho for myself, but even though I made a few starts at it, I never got very far . . . which is probably just as well since I was knitting with some stuff called Chunky USA.

Well, I’ve finally managed to jump on the poncho bandwagon.  Back in February/March when the weather was still pretty chilly (relatively speaking, of course) I decided that a poncho knit with Malabrigo Merino Worsted was just what I needed for lounging around the house.  I based my poncho on the Yarn Harlot’s A Very Harlot Poncho, but I left off the fringe and used a M1 increase instead of yarnovers.

And there’s more!  I’ve also completed two hats, a rectangular wrap, and a felted tote bag — pretty amazing, considering what a slow knitter I am.   Of course, I’ve still got a big pile of UFOs (unfinished objects) sitting around wondering when I’m going to stop casting on new stuff and finish the projects I started six months ago . . .

I’ll post more photos and info about my other recent projects next time.  But in the meantime, if you know anything about Ravelry, you’re aware that, although it’s primarily a fiber-oriented site, there are also groups for just about anything you might be interested in.  I belong to several, but there’s one called Malabrigo Junkies that I haven’t yet signed up for.  I probably should, though — considering that I recently bought this from a fellow Raveler:

The colorway is called Bobby Blue, and there is a total of 840 yards.  And let’s just say that it’s not my first Malabrigo purchase . . .

Well, that’s it for today.  I do plan to post again soon, as I still have plenty to write about.  The last couple months have been pretty busy; besides the yarn buying andn the knitting there’s also been several trips back and forth to our vet after one of our three dogs was diagnosed with diabetes.  Oh, and I got to spent a little bit of time in the Delta with The Big Guy’s family.

I’ll end with a glimpse or two of one of my rather shy neighbors.  We bumped into each other in my front yard the other day, and he happened to be in the right mood to pose for a few photos.  He isn’t very talkative, but he clearly had been up to some adventures, from which he was still recuperating.  After a few clicks of my Nikon, he went on his way.

And that’s the end of this week’s tail . . .

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