Let the past sleep, but let it sleep in the sweet embrace of Christ, and let us go on into the invincible future with Him. (Oswalt Chambers)

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Chat Back for May 31

Answering questions from comments and email.

Jenny Raye wrote . . .
It was gorgeous here on Tuesday--perfect for lying on the hammock and reading a book that was overdue at the library. I had been out for an hour or so when I heard a commotion behind me. I turned around and saw a brown thrasher and a very large snake about 10 feet from my head. The thrasher was chasing the snake out of the yard by pecking at his tail and flashing her/his wings. At first I was scared, but then fascinated to watch the snake run from the bird. Granted, the bird probably has a nest nearby, but I felt like she was my personal guardian angel.

Great Story. Always nice to have a snake guard bird around.

Snakes are a major reason I have predator guards on my nest boxes. The black racers and blue racers we have in the field will climb right up an unprotected nest box pole and eat eggs or hatchlings for dinner.

The predator guards are open on the bottom and closed on the top. Anything that climbs the pole gets stopped at the top of the guard. I've had them for four seasons now and they work great. The only predator loss I've experienced was from English Sparrows. They flew in. No pole required for their nastiness.

When I monitored nest boxes on a corporate nest box trail, we slathered the poles with car grease to keep the snakes out. Several times I got so excited about looking in the nest box I rubbed against the grease and yuck! A serious laundry problem.

In response to my vague statement I will never knit another pair, Dorothy asked . . .
So, do you mean you'll never knit another pair of Monkeys, another pair with Regia silk, another pair of black, or just the combination of all three?

"Never" is probably too strong. Time has a way of dimming my miserable knitting experiences and, before I know it, I'm back to thinking I need to do something I told myself I'd never do again.

That said, it's good Dorothy asked so I can clarify and possibly remember what it is I don't want to do again.
  1. I love the Monkey pattern. I've knit it before and will knit it again.

  2. I hope to never knit Regia Silk or any other slippery sock yarn on metal needles again. There was a lot of slipping and sliding going on with the stitches.

  3. I hope to never knit black in a fine gauge again. It was difficult to see the stitches.

Harriet asked . . .
Looks like an orange in the bird picture, right? I'd like to know more about that, please.

At the end of their migration to Michigan, the Orioles are tired and will come up to the house to eat oranges. After a few weeks, they disappear into the tall treetops to build nests and we don't see them again except for an occasional orange flash in the trees.

The oranges are cut in half. Then, I turn them over and stick a knife straight into the center of the bottom so they will slip on a spindle. The orange in the picture is impaled on a hook that holds a bird feeder.

On the other side of the house, the oranges are impaled on the top of a railing.

Renna asked . . .
I wonder if it hurts a bird to pass an egg, the way it does us to 'pass' a human?

This appears to be one of those questions with no answer on the internet.

From observing nest boxes I do know it doesn't take birds very long to pop out an egg, they usually do it in the morning, and I've never seen an indication that it hurts.

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