I got your Cicada right here

I don’t like Cicadas (though I will argue the name should be pronounced with a hard ‘K’ sound for the same reason that Celtic is pronounced that way.  “Seltic” is just wrong.  So is “Sicada.”

Anyway.

The reason I don’t like them is not because they’re “bugs” but because they’re the heralds of hot weather.  I don’t get to spend as much time in water like I could as a child and so hot weather is not something I really look forward to.

As bugs, I think they’re great.  All googly eyes with spikey legs and they make that great sound which you’d so hate to hear in the middle of the night when you know there’s an axe murderer in the woods.

I have an axe!

I was recently lamenting to Susan that I’ve never seen a Kikada Cicada come up out of the ground and molt.  I’ve only ever seen their husks hanging onto a tree trunk or leaf or seen the mature cicada BUZZING away in a tree or from between my fingers.

She’s actually been saved from one by our dog Sophie.  I’ll let her tell that story.

Mine is much more mundane.

I was on a walk this morning with Chip the Wonder Dog, when I saw a critter wobbling across the sidewalk.

It turned out to be a recently unearthed Cicada headed toward the nearest tree.

Being the kind of guy I am I gently picked him up and placed him (Her. It. Whatever) at the base of the tree.

It was quite dark so I continued on my walk.  I wonder if he’s molted…

Waiting for Birdot

I wonder who put this up next to the railroad tracks and how long it’s been there.

Oh, My. a Lucky What?

Found while going through loads of old family photos.

It’s a postcard from 1912.  Why’s he lucky?  He looks like he’s going to be eaten by possums. Continue reading “Oh, My. a Lucky What?”

Margarita Cactus Tree Skirt

design by Susan L. HarrisonMargarita in a skirt

Ahh, Friday night.  It’s my favorite time of the week, when hubby and I unwind with our favorite beverage.  As designated bartender, I squeeze the limes and mix top shelf tequila with Paula’s Texas Orange to create those smooth margaritas that kick off the weekend.  The ubiquitous cactus-stemmed glasses work best – not too sloshy, not too big, just right.  In this achingly hot summer of 2011, ‘ritas and rocks cause cactus condensation that fills our thirsty stone coasters.  What’s a margarita lover to do?  Crochet an extra coaster layer, of course.  How to make something that will resist the naughty glass’ efforts to tip over when the second round is poured?  How about a tree skirt for the cactus?  In the fiesta spirit, it doubles as a mini sombrero.  ¡Que te diviertas!

Notes & Abbreviations

Ch 1 at the beginning of a row counts as one single crochet stitch.

CC:  contrasting color (yellow in photo)
Ch:  chain
MC:  main color (red in photo)
Sc:  single crochet
Sl st:  slip stitch
Tbl:  through back loops

Supplies

Approx. 10 yards worsted weight cotton yarn in 2 colors, about 6 yds MC to 4 yds CC.
Size G crochet hook, tapestry needle

Gauge

Rather than a normal gauge, I’m adding tips so you can check the fit on your favorite margarita glass as you work and adjust hook size if needed.

Instructions

•    Leaving a 6” yarn tail, ch 13 in MC.Margarita skirt in progress
•    Sc in 2nd ch from hook and in next 11 sts, switching to CC in loop pulled through final sc.  (12 sc)  Turn.

Tip: Hold your work around the stem of a margarita glass.  It should fit gently around with the initial chain about ½” – ¾” above the glass base, not overlapping but not stretched.

•    Ch 1. Sc in next 11 sts across.  (12 sts)  Turn.
•    Ch 1. Sc tbl in next 11 sts across, changing back to MC in final sc.  (12 sts)  Turn.
•    Ch 1. 1 sc in same st, 2 sc in next 11 sts across.  (24 sts)  Turn.
•    Ch 1. 1 sc in same st.  *1 sc in next 2 sts, 2 sc in next st.  Repeat from * until 4 sts remain unworked.  1 sc in each of the next 3 sts, 2 sc in final st (turning chain).  Change to CC in final sc.  (31 sts)  Turn.

Tip: Hold your work around the stem again.  The row worked tbl should form a turning point around the bottom of the stem so the two rows below flare out onto the glass base.  All rows should meet around the glass without stretching or overlapping.

•    Ch 1. 1 sc in the same st and in the next 30 sts.  (32 sts)  Cut CC yarn and pull through final loop.
•    Move to the other end of the piece, which has the working MC yarn tail emerging through the front side.  Move the MC yarn to the back around the edge of the piece, and pull up a loop through the turning chain of CC.
•    Ch 1. 1 sl st in the next 31 sts.  Work loosely to avoid tightening the edge.  (32 sts)
•    Cut yarn to leave a 6” tail.  Ch 1, and draw yarn tail through final loop.

Finishing

Weave in CC yarn ends.
Thread each MC tail onto a tapestry needle, weave to the edge of the row worked through back loops, and tie a knot in the end of each to prevent unraveling.  Wrap the sombrero / tree skirt around your glass stem, tie the MC yarn tails together, fill the glass with your favorite margarita, and shout “¡Vamos a rumbear!”

Would you like a nice, printer-friendly PDF of this pattern that fits on one page?  Here ya go.

© Copyright Susan L. Harrison.For private, non-commercial use only.Created August 2011.

Interesting things – Wandering Bee Colony

On the way to the Denton Arts and Jazz Festival I noticed a cloud of bees above the car as we pulled out of the alley.

We stopped for a bit and watched the bees fly about for a moment. It wasn’t clear if they were forming a hive anywhere near but we figured they must be.

On returning home we saw the colony in a neighbors tree.

The neighbors weren’t home but I expect the bees will move on tomorrow. If not we’ll be calling a beekeeper to find them a new place to live.


Technorati : bees, swarm
Del.icio.us : ,

Interesting things I saw today 5/15/10

We finally got off our butts and out of the house to take the boy for a walk and ran across…

A pretty thistle.



A series of trees that had been knocked over by a storm on the previous day.



A family of ducks swimming around the pond.



And several turtles.




Technorati : duck, interesting, thistle, tree, turtle
Del.icio.us : , , , ,

Interesting things I saw today 5/14/10

A ray of light before the clouds closed up again.



and the Cardinal that has taken up residence in our tree.




Technorati : clouds, interesting
Del.icio.us : ,

Interesting things I saw today 4/26/10

This day was full of interesting things. I stayed home from work so Susan and I would have plenty of time to play before heading off to see David Sedaris in the evening.

We ran across a tree that’s going to make a bridge soon.



and a sign for someone wanting to be – or remain – on the school board. Is she the apple or is she the worm?



Continue reading “Interesting things I saw today 4/26/10”

Interesting things I saw today 4/17/10

It was a nice full day on Saturday.

It started out slowly, as most do, with Chip lounging and munching on a bone.



Eventually we went over to the Watters Creek shopping center to wander around with the boy and see about getting a coffee and place to people-watch.

There was a pretty duck. Loads of people, a few dogs and so on.



Continue reading “Interesting things I saw today 4/17/10”

Interesting things I saw today 4/4/10

Easter dinner of chinese food which started out with a yummy eggroll and steamed dumplings.

Continue reading “Interesting things I saw today 4/4/10”