Lost Arts studio

A lot of the fiber arts I enjoy are things like tatting, netmaking, chair caning, and even weaving, where people will come up to me when I demonstrate and solemnly tell me, "That's a lost art."

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Location: SW Outer Nowhere, Michigan, United States

On the Internet, nobody knows you're a chicken. (With apologies to Peter Steiner.)

11 February 2009

February Days

This week I started making a new hooded cloak for our son. I made his first one when he was about four years old.

When he wore it outside, it dragged on the snow behind his heels. That little cloak now falls below his elbows and above his knees: time for a new one!

I've had the fabric for another for years. I used to work for an office furniture manufacturer where employees could buy upholstery and cubicle-wall fabrics for $1 a yard in the company store. 60" wool for $1 a yard!

It's done except for sewing on buttons and making a button tab to hold it shut. And it's long enough that if he outgrows this one, I can claim it for myself!

Here is another bit of excitement we've had this week. Monday I went into the living room and saw a bird in the rose tangle. At first I thought "Blue jay", but then it jumped inside the bush and I said, "You're not a blue jay - what are you?" and saw this!

I ran for my camera, and the bird flew out onto a dead sumac bush and preened itself, at first with its back to me.

Then it spotted me and turned around. After doing a couple of owl-like head dips, it went back to preening itself, while I alternated between trying to get good pictures and taking a good look at it with the binoculars.

Then I started flipping through my field guides, trying to decide whether I was seeing a Cooper's hawk, Accipiter cooperii, or a sharp-shinned hawk, Accipiter striatus.

Because of the very square tail, I'm leaning towards sharp-shinned. But even looking at Cornell's "Tricky Bird IDs: Sharp-shinned Hawk and Cooper's Hawk" page and Accipiter Photo Gallery, I'm still not 100% sure.

Needless to say, there were no other birds on the feeder!

Yesterday's excitement was a sunny, warm (60 F/16 C) day. We spent a lot of time outside, because today's forecast is for rain and fog (which you can see we are getting), with rain, light snow, and high winds tonight.

Weather records for today from the Grand Rapids National Weather Service include a record high of 69 F (about 20 C) in 1999 and a record low of -21 F (-29 C) in 1899.

Although we still have snow, even with all the rain and above-freezing weather, check this out: the daffodils still believe in spring.

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Blogger Geek Knitter said...

I'd lean towards the sharp-shinned hawk as well. Aren't birds of prey just the coolest?

3:16 PM  
Blogger Knit - R - Done said...

I tagged you for an award on my blog!

11:37 PM  
Blogger Roxie said...

And I believe the daffodills! Spring WILL come.

Lucky lad! That cloak is awesome!

9:10 AM  
Blogger Mjay said...

Hi, I was just passing by.
I think you have an awesome blog.
Loved the bird story and the daffodils, I believe with them :-).


10:21 AM  
Blogger Knitting Linguist said...

I agree with the sharp-shin diagnosis. Gorgeous pictures! I'm such a fan of raptors :) And I love that cloak! It's lovely, and I can see why you'd want to claim it for your very own.

10:58 AM  
Blogger Marguerite said...

In the chatty Coat Pocket Bird Book it says, "It is nearly impossible to distinguish a large female Sharpshin from a male Cooper's hawk."

So, after five minutes of straining my eyes looking at tail feathers, I'm going to go fix lunch, a little jealous at your sighting but delighted at your great pictures.

No water in the basement this thaw and we didn't lose power, either. Hope you're doing as well with it.

11:21 AM  
Blogger HobbygÃ¥sa said...

What a beautiful bird! Lol, you have experienced my knowledge about birds so I will not say anything about what bird it is... Do you really see signs of spring - lucky you - we will have winter for at least 2,5 more months.

1:33 PM  
Blogger Cynthia said...

I can't distinguish the birds but would add that Cooper's are not very shy and will often nest near busy buildings. I used to walk under a nesting female's favorite perch while going from my car to my office; once the male came and fed her while I was nearby!

Lovely cloak, too.

3:16 PM  
Blogger Rose Red said...

Yay for daffodils. And also cloaks - I've always wanted a cloak. In red. (But of course!).

3:21 AM  
Blogger Deborah said...

A hawk -- either kind -- wow!

12:14 AM  

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