Meanwhile, there have been some good questions in the comments:
Leah asked two things . . .
1) The snow picture is one that makes you glad you are inside knitting. Would that be what is called a Blizzard?
I think of a blizzard as a heavy snowfall resulting in over a foot of snow with winds and drifting. To more accurately answer your question, I looked up the definition of blizzard in Wikipedia -
"In the United States, the National Weather Service defines a blizzard as sustained 35 mph (56 km/h) winds which leads to blowing snow and causes visibilities of ¼ mile or less, lasting for at least 3 hours. Temperature is not taken into consideration when issuing a blizzard warning, but the nature of these storms are such that cold air is often present when the other criteria are met."So by that definition I guess we almost had a blizzard. The winds gusted up to 35 mph, but they weren't sustained. Because it was so cold the snow was light and fine and easily blown all over to cause drifting and whiteouts. Without the sub-zero temps I think it would have been a more normal snowstorm.
2) Do the birds puff up to get air in their feathers to keep warm or why do they do that?
That's correct. Just the right amount of fluffing to keep the bird comfortably warm is maintained by the muscles in a bird's body.
Even a small bird like this Swamp Sparrow may have well over a thousand feathers. In super cold weather like we've been having in SW Michigan the fluffing muscles get a good workout.
Debi asked . . .
With all the gorgeous hand painted, indie dyed yarn available, why mostly Opal?
It all started about eight years ago (guess) when I won a skein of Opal yarn and learned the joys of knitting and wearing wool socks. I joined OpalChatters, now defunct, a fun group of knitters in love with Opal yarn. That resulted in more Opal purchases and the Opal never disappointed.
Many of the socks I knit now are for gifts to people who don't want to treat their socks with special care. I trust Opal to machine wash and dry and wear like iron. (It just happens today I'm wearing the very first pair I ever knit.)
Lately I have been trying some different sock yarns, but for most gift giving I still depend on colorful, indestructible, warm, comfortable Opal.
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