Tag Archives: marsh

Late Fall Eye Candy Sunset

I promised you the spectacular sight that met my eyes when I turned around, on my walk through the marsh Sunday night.  As I faced east to the bluffs, there were just pink clouds floating.  But when I looked back over my left shoulder to the west, where the sun was already down (and I had already seen and photographed this sky,

and thought the sunset show was about over):

The sky suddenly lit up.

And by the moment, started to blaze with more and more intensity.

About a quarter mile north of this spot is the La Crosse River. (In between are some singularly unphotogenic power lines and poles.)  I ran.

And was rewarded.

(Click to embiggen if you wish.)

My fingers were going numb from the icy wind (and no gloves), but I felt as though I were in the heart of a fire.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

and then it was gone.

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Biker Monday and Weekend (Knitting) Update

Inspired by all the bikers around this weekend, as well as the perfect June day today, I got on MY bike (the non-motorized kind, however), and set forth on an adventure.

Weather permitting, I often ride my bike to work (or walk, when time permits, which allows bonus knitting), as I live just under two miles from where I work.

Except one half day a week, I work at an office in an adjoining small city. I rode my bike there only once before, which required travel along a highway; much of it has sidewalks, but part of it doesn’t. Also, there is a stretch in the (rather suburban) adjacent city with no sidewalks, around a shopping mall, which got a little crazy.

But they have constructed sidewalks since then. And today was gorgeous. 64 degrees F (18 C) in the morning, very little wind, high temperature supposed to be low 80s (28 C) in the afternoon. If I didn’t ride my bike now, when would I?

So 16 miles round trip, with a few significant hills; I have this sinking feeling I’m going to feel this tomorrow, and even more the day after. But it was beautiful. There was only a short stretch without sidewalks, and I cut behind the businesses there to stay off the highway, to find this:

with Great Egrets flapping back and forth. Wow. On the way back, I took an alternate route through the marsh (yes, the area where I apparently found a deer tick, or rather, it found me; but I promise you, I didn’t go in the bushes this time, and if I do in the future, I’ll ask for a tick check. I’m sure my husband will help!).

The marsh is doing its job of soaking up the excess water like a sponge, and releasing it slowly, so it looks less like a lake now:

though the water is still a bit high in places.

The trail, however,

was dry and smooth other than one low area that was shallowly water-covered.

The ride was such a refreshing mental interlude in the middle of the day (though it took almost an hour). I’m not sure my thighs would endorse the word “refreshing”, but hey, it’s good for them!

After all that, though, I felt totally justified (rightly or wrongly), in relaxing with my knitting tonight. (I cleaned a lot yesterday, not as much knitting time as I would have liked. But I have a couple vacation days coming up, so there will be knitting!) First in the backyard, with some buddies:

but the gnats were obnoxious in the shade, so I relocated to the front porch, in the relative sun.

That’s Wendy‘s Kay’s Diamonds & Purls shawl on my lap, though my knitting of it kept being interrupted by daughterly inquiries, needs and phone calls (the other adult member of the household was working). My wrist having recovered, I also cast on for Tonks Hypnosis sock #2; here’s a better picture of #1.

Blocking seems to have tamed the bulgy bits some, but if I were to knit these all over again, I would do an extra half repeat of the charts, so as to bring the ‘convergence’ parts in front & back of the ankle, rather than at the sides. The ‘divergent’ parts bulge outward due to the topology of knitting, and that creates a bulge right where the ankle flexes, which is not very attractive. Again, blocking helped, I think; I don’t usually block socks necessarily, especially my own, but I would definitely recommend it with these. Or one might modify the pattern to decrease the bulginess, but the pattern would be less cool and hypnotic.

In other knitting news, here’s the results of curling up with my pet orange yarn this weekend while the girls cuddled with their orange pets:

Baby hat for the coworker, for whose baby shower I made the modified Saartje’s booties

in the same yarn (Twisted Fiber Art’s Kabam! Bamboo/merino/nylon blend in the Scorched colorway).

The hat is my “Grow-with-Me” Baby Hat, on my free pattern page.

I was thinking about making the baby an Elizabeth Zimmermann Tomten jacket, but it was turning out rather big and taking too long, so I pulled from the other end of the ball and quick knit up the hat.

We’ll see when the Tomten gets done. (Now that’s good meeting knitting; loads of garter stitch.) Of course, one loses the full effect of the gorgeous striping in the Tomten, which I expected, but it’s interesting to me that I perceive the jacket as brown, but the hat as orange if I had to pick one color to describe each.

I also made progress on Forest Canopy, which is visible progress to me, in that I’m on the second skein of yarn! Woo-hoo! Now back to no visible progress!

And, lastly, the former meeting socks are coming along well, to the point that I have *almost* reknit all the frogged yarn. (Sigh.)

Natural (evening) light.

Flash.

(The truth, as usual, being somewhere in between.)

Wow, I guess I have been accomplishing something! It feels as though I’m knitting and knitting and nothing’s getting done. (The baby hat was satisfying to finish today.) There are so many things I want to cast on — like the next (few pairs of) socks for the Summer of Socks, and I’m designing a lace project or three in my head. And, and, and….

You know, if I WALKED to work at the other office, that would be a LOT of sock knitting!

(We’ll overlook the fact that it would take me two and a half hours to get from one office to the other, possibly longer if knitting, it does slow me down from my usual brisk pace . . . no, just let me live in my fantasy world a little longer. . . .)

Eye Candy Friday in the Wetlands

AKA ‘the marsh’, this is part of the reason that La Crosse has been relatively protected from the floods to the south, the west, the east. We’ve had flash flooding over the past two weeks, yes, and unprecedented miles of highway including the interstate are still closed in southwestern and southern Wisconsin.

But this wetland area, which usually does NOT resemble a lake, is our natural containment system for water dumped from the sky in large amounts as we’ve been having. No real levees here; there’s parkland along much of the Mississippi in La Crosse itself which lets the water level creep up without much fuss (though neither the Mississippi, nor the two other rivers that come into the Mississippi at La Crosse are near flood stage right now). Most of the time, there are trails through the marsh on which I and the girls go for ‘nature walks’ or bike rides. Right now, the trails are newly closed as the water is reportedly waist deep and flowing quickly in places.

Despite the barricades, some are still using the paths, though, as we saw last night when the Gothlet and I walked over to check it out (Lisa, this is the area you asked about, a mile north of our house). I don’t think the water bothers this trail user, though.

Developers have been trying to fill in and pave over the marsh for longer than I’ve lived in La Crosse, given that La Crosse is challenged for space, being squeezed between bluffs and the Mississippi river. I’m so glad that their efforts have been heartily resisted by most La Crosse citizens.

Though we’ll all be enjoying a bumper crop of midwestern mosquitoes in the next month. That will be true of all our waterlogged Northern states, no doubt, marsh or no marsh.

The storms came with sudden warmth. Indeed, my peonies which had been in the bud for two weeks were just waiting for it to warm up; when I came back from Chicago, having been gone only three days, they were all in full bloom, finally

though most of them were sideways from the storms.

Here’s looking forward to a few days without rain — it finally didn’t rain today!*

And remember — World Wide Knit In Public Day tomorrow, June 14, 2008!

Me, I’m driving to Viroqua, Wisconsin, where one of my favorite yarn shops is having all sorts of fun things happening. Have fun knitting wherever you find yourself!

*I can’t fricking believe this! As I got ready to publish this post — out of an almost entirely clear sky with the moon shining — suddenly it started to rain, loudly and heavily. It only rained for less than a minute, literally. Just enough to make a liar out of me. I guess that was a ‘widely scattered shower’….