Saturday Sky with Birds AND Knitting in the Wild

The Saturday Sky itself was not so exciting: cloudy and warmer (they go together this time of year) and some snow (ditto).

But as I came home from errands yesterday with the Gothlet in the car, she said, “Mom, there was a robin!”

Well, any robin around here in January is highly confused or suicidal or both, so after parking the car, I walked down the alley to where a neighbor has feeders.  Sure enough — it sure LOOKED like robins high in the tree (they had flown up at my approach); at least, they had red breasts and a dark back, and seemed robin-sized and kind of robin-shaped, though they looked rounder (but chilly robins puff out).  So I walked back and got my camera; on my return, the small flock of 5 or 6 birds flew into a higher tree.  I took the best pictures I could from underneath.

saturday-sky-with-mystery-b

(By the way, some of the white spots are snowflakes superimposed, but they did have a whitish area near their tail, and a dark back and tail.)

 They surely CAN’T be robins, but I’ve never seen birds like this here in the winter.  On cropping and enlarging on the computer, I found one pic with a wing detail, see top left of the pic below, and both photos can be embiggened if desired:

saturday-sky-birds-close-up

I did an internet search as best I could, and came up with possibly white-winged crossbills (though some of the photos don’t look like the above, a few did).  This would be plausible, since they’re an occasional visitor here per my digging around, though more father north.  But it seems like the avian visitors above have dark heads, and the wing bar in the second photo seems very defined (unless it’s just a well-placed snowflake — possible, I suppose).  

I dunno!  Any birders out there, or people with access to bird resources?  My Google-fu is failing me; I’m not putting the question correctly, and this is not a common winter bird here, since I do know the usual ones.

Cool, anyway.  

Here’s a red-plumaged Gothlet in the wild, a little later in the day, along with snowy evening Saturday Skies:

saturday-sky-at-the-mall-ja

That is, if the mall is wild.  Preteen-ness is kicking in, as evidenced by the lack of hat, and by the presence of a hairstyle of sorts, so the mall is becoming more of a native habitat.  She’ll be 11 in less than a month.  Yep.  About that time that bizarre behavioral changes rear their heads.  But we were just at the mall for a birthday present for a friend’s party (at least the Gothlet knew what she wanted to get: ‘Twilight’ merchandise at Hot Topic, surgical strike and run, hooray!  I don’t care for the mall so much….).

The “Knitting in the Wild” part of the title?

Nothing warms a knitter’s heart so much as seeing her hand-knits being worn.  

And when they’re worn by an incredibly cute baby belonging to a friend — WELL!  The heart swells!

Look at Cece’s little guy with his new hat!  Go on, go look!  All together now….Awwwwww!

And the Ravbunny has been spotted in Massachusetts as well.  The Hulk won’t be interested at his age, but Cece can play with the bunny for now if she wants!

Speaking of knitting, and warming, and worn….I don’t think I showed you yet the Dadsock.  My poor father is getting used to receiving unfinished knitted presents.  This is maybe closer in some ways, as ONE sock is completely done, but still not useful.

So this is what he got for Christmas:

(And then I promptly snatched it back again, to be able to knit its mate accurately.)  A top down sock with a flap heel, with a waffly rib pattern stitch (a riff on a familiar stitch: 3 rounds k2 p2 rib alternating with 2 rounds knit), made from some of my beloved Twisted yarn, this time in Kabam!, an awesome, soft, seemingly durable bamboo/merino/nylon fingering weight blend; Netherfield colorway with heel and toe coordinate yarn.

Problem:  I don’t remember things so well any more (especially since I started this sock at a meeting last summer), or, more accurately, I THINK I remember things and maybe that’s always not the case.  I thought I’d knit the ribbing on size 0s.  After I’d knit an inch or so, I had to admit that that was probably wrong.  

You know, if I’d checked my pattern notes on Ravelry….I’d written down there what I’d used (2.5 mm needles for the leg, and 2.25 mm – US 1 – for the heel and toe).  Duh.  

And now I can’t find two pair of the needles I need (I usually knit on two circs).  Well, after I hit publish, off I go to search: I think I know where I might have stashed some.  Because there’s still plenty of winter, and my Dad needs some new handknit socks to wear!

9 responses to “Saturday Sky with Birds AND Knitting in the Wild

  1. Dad will wear socks with pink in them? Whatta guy!

  2. Isn’t Ravelry great? As long as I write down what I’m using, the info will be there later when I try to do it again! As long as….

  3. So that’s what Ravelry is for! Helping us to remember! My first thought on that bird was rose breasted grosbeak, but it’s hard for me to see if those birds have red or black heads. Peterson’s says it winters in the west indies, mexico, peru, but is a casual in winter at northern US feeders. There’s also something called a pine grossbeak that is in the Western Birds book… their maps don’t show the middle of the country, but based on how the range comes out of Canada, it looks like it might end up in your neck of the woods. I think the crossbill is smaller enough than a robin (it’s about 2/3 the size) that you’d’ve used a different bird to compare it. Whatever the birds are, they look like they were a lovely treat on a snowy day!

  4. Possibly a Varied Thrush? We get those here and they look similar to Robins.

  5. Even better is when I write stuff down and lose the notes.

    I can’t wait to find out what sort of birds those are. I love me a good mystery bird.

  6. I was thinking Thrush, too. We had a lot of them around here during our snow.

  7. Yup, I think those are robins- the latter photos show a black head. We get them here in Massachusetts during the winter too. They descend on crabapple trees and eat the fruit. Looks like the birds in the trees there are loaded with berries. What I noticed is that thrushes have speckled bellies , not red ones. Robins have yellow beaks not black ones like the cross bills. The birds above have yellow bills I believe and the wing bars I think is a streak of snow . So… in conclusion? They are robins.

  8. Pingback: Saturday Sky through Stained Glass (and mysteries solved) « Hither and Yarn

  9. Pingback: Spring Tease Saturday « Hither and Yarn

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