A slow tearing sound, morphing into loud booming, followed by a crash. We are losing the cottonwoods in the copse growing in a wet depression outside of our bedroom window. The cottonwood had been leaning and the trunk now stands straighter since the weight of the crown snapped it off in the middle of the night last night. Several trees lean at small angles toward our unit, and if one falls and doesn't snap off the way this one did, it will come through our bedroom window. Nephew Tony promises that we can live in his basement if that should occur. I am much relieved.
Some of our knitting clutch traveled to Lake Ida near Alexandria this weekend to be hosted by Peggy and her family at their wonderful family lake place. I was in heaven with lots of loons, probable bald eagle, lots of pelicans and gulls and two species of terns. A friend of Peggy's who spent a good deal of time on the ocean in kayaks bedded them down at this cabin several years ago. The kayaks were pulled out for our visit, and I took one on a long paddle to a rock spit where I saw Common and Caspian Terns, mixed in with many gulls (I don't know my gull species at all) and a pair of American White Pelicans. In the car on the way home, Lisa spotted a group of birds high, high up and back lit, I told her they were probably kettling hawks, but could also be migrating penguins. Yes, penguins. Now I have this great image in my head of penguins playing on updrafts, their stubby wings beating, looking like a symphony of conductors, conjuring noontime.
The weekend was special in many ways. Friend Annie brought her delightful son Max, and we had some fun kayaking and breaking across the wakes of speedboats going by. Annie didn't object to the lesson, which I told her about after the fact, which greatly relieved me. Ellen was a perfect roommate. We got to stay in an octagonal gazebo, lined with screened windows. The windows were open at night, so we woke to bird song each day - bluebirds and flycatchers the first morning, and flickers and kingfishers the next. I finished a vest I have been working on, and knit a square for an afghan Peggy is assembling by requesting knitters who visit to each make a square. The pattern I used was from Barbara Walkers Treasury of Knitting Patterns - little butterfly. I chose it in honor of the quilt on the wall of Lisa's bedroom, in which each square held a butterfly crafted from a handkerchief belonging to Peggy's grandmother. It resembled this one. Some day, I hope I can make one like this from Grandma Skufca's handkerchiefs.
We took in an art fair in the park, a trip to Carlos Creek Winery, and of course the LYS, Gallery of Dreams. My companions boosted the local economy, but I am still knitting from stash and so I bought only a skein to use in the Master Knitting program. It was a busy weekend, and I came home frayed, but happy for all the fun things we did.