Sunday, May 5, 2013

Birds of a Feather

Spring weather has been cool with rain and even snow into late April and early May. The temperatures are too cool for planting tomatoes but good for knitting.  I finished this baby sweater and am knitting a hat to match.

I also cast on Piper's Journey, a crescent shawl with a simple border attached to a body of garter stitch.  I am knitting it in sport weight "Chickadee" yarn by Quince and Company. The yarn is 100% wool and has a lovely hand. 
Quince and Company, located in Maine, spins and dyes American wool and linen "sourced from overseas earth friendly suppliers" in a restored mill. Although they use minimal recyclable packaging, ink, and paper in products, their design aesthetic is sophisticated and beautiful. Cleverly, they named yarn lines after birds: chickadee, finch, tern, sparrow, lark, and owl.  For all of these reasons, I think their yarn company is worth supporting.

In other Spring aviary news, a robin is working on a nest in the clump birch outside my window. She is building on the southeast side of the tree where a strong limb meets one of the tree trunks.The tree will shelter her nest from the north and west wind while the house will protect it from the south.  This morning a pair of young cardinals call to each other and a chickadee searches for insects in the bark. A bluejay flew in to inspect the nest and a starling contributed one twig. Maybe this nest is a community building project. I'll be interested to see if the robin can maintain her claim on the nest.

                                                                                                                                                                 Meanwhile, a group of starlings continues to tut- tut on the ground underneath the tree. They keep their beady eyes on the small space in front of them, pecking at the ground for no good reason and then occasionally gobbling up earthworms before glancing around to see if their neighbor needs food.  Following each other in shiny black suits, they remind me of groups of U.S. Senators sticking together as they totter around opening and closing their throats in self-importance. In the evening the starlings roost together in the birch, cackling noisily and soiling the ground below them. Perhaps the robin's nest, just under another limb, is protected from the starlings' mess. I wish the American robin the best of luck as she attempts to build a home and rear a family during this precarious Spring.