Monthly Archives: October 2013


I had planned a different post for today. Really. But on my way back from church yesterday morning I passed this house – and well, some places insist on being photographed.

2013HalloweenSpiderwebDon’t get too close!


Wordlessly Wanting Warmth Wednesday


Weekly Travel Stone Horizon

This week, Ailsa is asking us for travel photos showing “Stone”. Ooh good, I have lots of pictures like that! On the other hand, the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge wants “Horizon” pictures – and I have plenty of those, too.

What to do, what to do…

How about pictures showing off both themes?

ChacoRuins8Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. In the distance, you can see a cliff; roughly rectangular blocks of stone have fallen at its base. Close up, a cluster of the enigmatic Chaco ruins, carefully built of roughly rectangular blocks of stone.

ChacoRuins2When Chaco was inhabited, about a thousand years ago, travelers approaching the area must have struggled to tell the buildings from the cliffs behind them.

Festival of Leaves, October 27, 2013

My first “real” Festival of Leaves post went up a week ago yesterday. For the fifth week of the Festival, let’s see how my part of the world has changed in a week…

LeavesRedTop20131027This tree is beginning to change color – the top is red-orange, but the lower leaves are still green.

LeavesMaple20131027The maple tree from last week’s post is mostly orange, and starting to shed leaves noticeably.

LeavesPinOak20131027This pin oak has largely given up for the winter. It’s nearly bare, and the remaining leaves are all a dull tan.

LeavesWillowOak20131027But last week’s willow oak, growing about forty feet from the pin oak, is still nearly as green as the first time you saw it.


Here comes the sun

Sun740am20131025…at 7:40 this morning, flaming and glowing, too bright to look at directly.

The days keep getting shorter.

Wordless Wednesday, October 23, 2013



Will this work, part 3 – As the sock turns

Last time I talked about socks, I had discovered that my tiny little ring of knitting actually was big enough to stretch over my heel. So far so good. But next, I had to blindly trust the pattern directions to lead me through a series of meaningless socky technical terms.

The heel flap, for instance. Have you ever heard anybody talk about heel flaps? I haven’t. What in the world does it mean?

SockHeelFlapIt turns out that a heel flap is a rectangular strip of knitting flopping down from the back of the leg (which you’ve already finished knitting by this time). You put half the leg stitches on a holder shaped like a giant safety pin, and knit back and forth on the remaining stitches until it’s long enough to cover your Achilles tendon. Yay! One heel flap done.

After that, you need to “turn” the heel ninety degrees so the sock can continue out to the end of your toes. But how?

ShortrowsIt’s all in the short rows. You knit a little more than halfway across the heel flap – remember the heel flap? – then turn around and purl a little past the halfway point in the other direction. You keep knitting (or purling) partway across the heel flap, going a little farther each time and knitting a pair of stitches together as you come to the end of each row, until you make it to the very end of the heel flap again.

SockHeelTurnAnd this is what you wind up with. It really does make a right angle turn for the back of your heel to nestle into. Amazing.

Now I need to deal with the “gusset”. After that, the project looks like pretty smooth sailing out to near the end of your foot. Then it’s time to do some more decreases to close up the toe end, and finally sew the last few stitches shut – and, at that point, theory says that you should have a brand new sock to wear 😉

We’ll see.

Festival of Leaves, October 19, 2013

(My second Festival of Leaves post for the fourth week of the Festival – tracking what the world looks like as winter stalks closer and closer.) How far into fall are we, here a few miles east of Philadelphia?

LeavesMaple20131019Some trees are starting to get serious about turning color…

LeavesWillowOak20131019…while others are holding on to their summer green.


Friday Fictioneers: Mystery

Friday! Time for another hundred-word bout of Fictioneering. Check out the other stories linked at Our Fearless Leader Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s web site – and let me know what you think of mine, okay?


It wasn’t picturesque, but it was weird. And none of the tour guides would explain. There had to be some reason for all the shopping carts just offshore, all around the island, and he was going to find out. One night after dark, he strode down to the gardens next to the beach and settled himself behind a bush.

The moon rose, glowing across the waves. They came with it, calling back and forth to each other in a liquid language he didn’t recognize, pushing the carts toward the supermarket with flips of their muscular tails.

Mermaids with the munchies.


GettysburgWildflowers20130928Taken in the Wheatfield at Gettysburg the last Saturday of September.

Posted today because I’ve been running on overload and haven’t written anything. Tomorrow, I’ll come up with a real post. Really.