The 'bird' was not an owl at all. Having done a bit of investigating, have decided it must be a tawny frogmouth. A much harsher face than the soft features of most owls, this bird reminds me of a very stern 'old fashioned' school master perhaps weilding his cane in an attempt to coax his students into behaving. Anyway I haven't worked out a pattern for its appearance yet - it seems to come for a whole day, just sitting on the same branch, seeming not to move, then doesn't appear for a day or so, then back it comes - unusual. It definitely seems to have 'booked' the particular branch in the particular tree for now anyway. Time will tell as the weather gets hotter whether that will continue. Maybe it will seek out the more cool conifers which grow not far away.
Have been doing quite a bit of reading in the past week - I normally read a book a week but two I got from the library were very light reading and I got through them quickly - Anna Jacobs writes light historic romantic stories, often set in England however both these I read were modern in time quite enjoyable. Not long ago I read Ken Follett's "The Pillars of the Earth" which was definitely set in historic England and once into it, couldn't put it down. I have just finished his 'The Hammer of Eden' which also held my attention. I have one more to read before I return them to the library and its Follett's "World Without End". I'll begin that one tonight.
The red dust storm which hit Sydney in the early hours of yesterday morning was a very unusual sight. I woke at 5.45am just after the sun began to rise and an eery orange/red light coming through the window forced me out of bed to get my camera. A strange phenomenon which apparently hasn't occurred here for about 70 years or more. It happens when weather conditions are right - high winds coming from the north west, heat and apparently time of year. The centre of Australia is almost all red earth and the wind had picked up tonnes and tonnes of it and swept it across the country and out to sea. I guess New Zealand may get a sprinkling of it in a day or so. Traffic bedlam reigned, road tunnels closed because of the ventilation problem, harbour ferries stopped, hospitals emergency departments filled with people suffering from asthma and chest complaints triggered by the heavily polluted air. Kids were kept home from school (including my E5 grandson) and those who did go were kept inside the classrooms for most of the day. Not pleasant. We are promised the possibility of another similar dust storm on Saturday!
A couple of weeks ago I fancied doing a little bit of smocking so pleated up some light apple green cotton fabric which I'd had in the cupboard for a couple of years. Got the little baby dress finished this week and have made a frilled lacy coat hanger to go with it. Have no one in mind at this stage to give it to, but I'll just put it by to use when the right occasion comes along.
Have had two baby girls born into our extended family in the past couple of weeks. A 'trendy' name for girls at present must be Ruby. One of the babies has been named Ruby Mae, the other Ruby Rose. Cute!
Here's the pattern for the knitted childs coat hanger if any of you are inclined to try it out.
CHILDS LACY KNITTED COAT HANGER COVER
1 roll Knitting Nylon (in Australia it is Knitlon or sometimes Arbee brand)
1 pr size 4mm (or English 8) knitting needles
2 - 3 mtrs (or yards) nylon lace which has insertion holes through the centre
Wooden coat hanger
Small piece hobby plastic tubing to cover metal hook.
1. Cast on 58 stitches and knit (garter stitch, knit every row) 2 rows
2.Next row knit one stitch and with the lace at the back of the work insert the needle into the stitch and into the hole in the middle of the lace. Continue to the end of the row. Cut off lace at the end of the row.
3. Knit 3 rows garter stitch.
Repeat steps 2 and 3, 3 times (you will now have 4 rows of lace)
Knit 2 rows of garter stitch then cast off.
Thread the metal hood with the plastic tubing. Find the centre of the cover mark with a pin. Sew the short ends of the cover together. Slip the screw in end of the hook through the centre of the cover and screw into the wooden hanger. Holding the edges together, sew the cover on to the hanger along the long ends. If you wish you can tie a satin ribbon bow around the base of the metal hook. I used a double length of the knitting nylon to form a little bow for a nice finish.
These covers can be made to fit an adult size wooden hanger by casting on 68 stitches and following the same instructions. 1 cover uses about 40 mtrs knitting nylon and 3 mtrs nylon lace.
Have fun trying one out and have a blessed week!