Tuesday, March 14, 2006

One Saturday -- two new experiences.

What were you doing Saturday, March 11 at 7:30 am? You say you were snuggling drowsily in your nice warm bed? Well.. I would have been doing that, too, if I weren't married to a guy with a lot of enthusiasm for the great outdoors.

Saturday at 6:50 we left home, headed for the summit of the Santa Cruz mountains. We chose Monte Bello Open Space Preserve for good vistas and a chance at a few California birds looking out of place in the snow. It was around 40 degrees, so everything was already melting by the time we arrived at 7:30. It was very quiet up on the ridge with snow dampening all the normal sounds.

Bill took some great photos of the park and the birds we managed to see. Probably the two best sightings of the day were a Bewick's Wren who flitted around by my feet for a good long while. Unfortunately, Bill's camera battery chose that moment to freeze up. Important safety tip: always bring a second battery when photographing in cold weather. Put it near your skin to keep warm, so you can swap batteries frequently.

But the last bird of the day was definitely the best... Wrentit! Wrentit's call is often compared to a pingpong ball. It dies away just like a pingpong ball bouncing, with a speeding up at the end. This is a bird you hear often in dry habitats, but almost never see. We spent about 30 mintues looking at a pair of Wrentits foraging in the snow covered coyote brush. A magical moment, not to be dampened by the camera battery crapping out for the third time.

By 10:30, the snow was melting and most of the grass was visible. The parking lot was full, and we had a date to meet jeni for new experience #2: machine knitting! We dashed home, collected a sandwich for me, and off I went again to Berkely for machine knitting lessons.

Berkely on a brightly sunny rainy day was just beautiful. I so understand wanting to live there. We learned a lot in Nancy Robert's studio/classroom -- what a great space she has there! The topic was "Machine Knitting to Dye For" -- how to knit machine knitted blanks in the proper size to dye garment-sized pieces in a smooth flow of dye from one end of the garment to the other. Week one: how to use the machine. In two weeks, we return to dye our knitted swatches. Then we will unravel our swatches and turn them into source yarn for socks, hats, bags, whatever project we chose.

The whole day was magical -- I was in two places I never get to experience, I ate fabulous baked goods from La Farine on Solano Ave, popped in to Stash for a quick visit, and was home by 8 pm. And ready for my nap after a full day's adventure!


Blogger Abigail said...

You were at Stash and you didn't hit Zachary's for pizza? If you love cheese (and I know you do) you'd love Zachary's! :)

March 14, 2006 1:58 PM  
Anonymous Grant said...

You know, you're making us homebodies feel bad! Could you two spend a night in eating pizza and watching Seinfeld or something?!

March 14, 2006 4:05 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Wow, what an amazing day. Ian and I went up to the Summit to play in the snow on Saturday as well, but we didn't get up there until closer tp 1pm. Definitely not as much snow but still enough to play in. So cool!

I'm jealous of your Machine Knitting to Dye for class. It sounds like so much fun.

~ Christina

March 14, 2006 6:05 PM  
Anonymous Jo said...

It's stunning to have all this snow. I wanted to take the kids up, but after 3 trips to Tahoe this winter they think snow is normal...

March 14, 2006 10:34 PM  
Anonymous Juls said...

Ahh, you've got me missing my college town. I never get up there anymore but have been meaning to go for a basketball game or two, a run to Cody's books and over course...Zachary's pizza! Never even occurred to me I could yarn to that visit!

March 16, 2006 6:56 AM  
Blogger Bogie said...

Love that Wrentit. Interesting that the Wrentit's call sounds like a pingpong ball, because he also resembles one in those fabulous photos. Wrentit = pingpong ball = blowfish. Thanks for sharing, it sounds like it was a great day.

March 17, 2006 12:16 PM  

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