Friday, 23 February 2018

Yoke Prep, Flora and Fauna, and a New Camera

Once I got all the yoke stitches on the needle, I had to knit 4.25" of plain knitting before starting the colourwork.

That was a whole night of knitting with 436 sts per round...  I completed one round and a bit of the first chart of the yoke chart. The second round is a duplicate of the first with a different contrast colour - lime green in this case.
I'll knit all of the first chart ('stars') before starting some of the decreases. The stitch markers on the front indicate the rounds where I decreased for the waist then increased for the bust.
I think I'm going to run out of the lime yarn as it is used for the first i-cord edging up the fronts and around the neck. I'm sure I can get it shipped to me here in sunny south Texas.

I have been enjoying watching the Olympics but it really isn't a big deal in most of the US and NBC just picks and chooses what it will cover. The women's figure skating last night was wonderful. I like it when there isn't a lot of 'splat and splatter'.

This morning Skip and I attended Market Days at the Convention Center here on the island. Winter Texans from near and far come to shop at many booths geared to our interests and needs. After that we strolled around the water feature at the Convention Center. I didn't have my binoculars with me but did bring my camera.

I saw this larva on a mostly denuded milkweed stem. It looks a lot like a monarch larva but it is in fact a queen butterfly larva. They, as well as the soldier butterfly like milkweed. I'm very concerned that there isn't enough milkweed there. All the milkweed I saw today were on stripped stems. Hopefully there are other sources of milkweed that I don't know about as it is where monarchs, queens, and soldiers lay their eggs and where the larvae feed.
Yellow-rumped warblers are the migrating birds we're seeing the most right now.

We then decided to go to the Sheepshead lots to see if there were any butterflies. The lots are two natural wooded lots across the street from each other where many native plants have been planted, water features have been added, and invasive species have been ripped out. It is a welcome resting place for migrating birds. This time of year and time of day, it is a great place to see butterflies.

A lot of milkweed has been planted here. We saw a couple of monarchs flitting around and several queen butterflies, often nectaring on the tropical milkweed planted there. It is a very different plant than what we have in Canada.
Queen butterfly on tropical milkweed
The red admiral butterly is quite a bit smaller and seems to prefer the ageratum plant.
This is it with its wings closed.
These cacti don't seem to have spines, however they appear to be getting ready to bloom and bear fruit.
The milkweed flower is quite beautiful.
The queens really put on a show today.
Earlier this week, I smacked my camera on a rock when I was trying to sit down at a rocky beach on the Laguna. The lens cover won't close properly any more. It didn't really affect the camera's performance, but I decided to replace the 2 or 3 year old camera with almost the identical model which has more megapixels. The new one (Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS70) is a convenient point and shoot, with a Leica lens, 30x optical zoom, and 4K recording capability. It also has GPS and Wifi. I don't really use the Wifi because I figure it will just suck battery power. Of course, the battery is different from my current camera but the charger is simply a mini USB. The previous camera had lots of dust inside. I'm going to buy a new case for this one as the interior dust thing has been a chronic problem with the other 4 Lumix cameras I've used. I could have bought a bigger, bulkier camera but when using binoculars, a point and shoot makes a lot more sense for me.

Here's an example with no zoom. Birds on lower wire mid-photo.
 And zooming in on these rock doves (pigeons) from the same spot.
In good light, it takes great pics. I look forward to taking it birding.

Tomorrow is BirdFest at the Golf Club in Laguna Vista (on the mainland). There will be a couple of informative speakers and some raffles.
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