On Saturday morning, I was feeding the Steller Jays peanuts like I usually do, when I noticed a new bird sitting on my fence!

(click on photo to enlarge it) Naturally, I was excited, and ran to get the camera, and it’s a good thing I did too, because it didn’t stick around for very long! I sent the photos off to my mother who has a bird book, and an hour later, she was on the phone with me, telling me the exciting news that I had spotted a rare bird for our area, a Scrub Jay. Until recently, they only came as far north as Southern Washington State, but that lately, they’ve been moving up into the Puget Sound. I contacted my local bird store, and the owner confirmed that when he’s in Seattle, he sees Scrub Jays all the time, but that they are very rarely spotted here. I was so excited to have seen one, and up close too! He probably won’t be a contestor for my peanuts anytime soon, but apparently they love acorns… so now I’m tempted to plant an oak tree to attract them.

In other exciting bird news, this morning Neil and I witnessed a very hilarious spectacle. I put out some peanuts for my Jays (it feels like all my bird stories start with this…) and a couple flew up bravely while the door was still open and snatched up their peanut and flew off. But then I heard a funny screeching noise, like a hawk, but one that was either very small, or very far away. It turns out the former was true, and a juvenille red-tailed hawk flew up and landed on the fence. By this point I realized that all other bird song was deathly silent, which for 7:15am is very abnormal, and I decided to watch for a moment what he was doing. This hawk was either not very smart, or very desperate, because he was trying to go after the Jays, and he wasn’t any bigger than they! The Jays made their squawking noise at him, and chased him away into the nearby tree many times, then would come, get a peanut, and then chase the hawk away again. This hawk did not seem to get that he wasn’t big enough to eat them yet, because he kept flying out of the tree after a Jay, who would turn around and swoop down at the predatory bird, and chase it away again. I thought it was hilarious to see this either stupid or desperate hawk trying to get a meal that was just as big as he was, too funny!

And now, for the knitting news!

After several months of being in progress, I am happy to report that I have finished my mother’s Christmas gift! And in less than hour, Neil will be coming home with the borrowed blocking boards and wires so that I can turn the pretty creation into a beautiful creation. I really wish that I could share it with all of you, but like my dear mother (knitsnpurls on Ravelry, check out her project page if you want to see beautiful things that make you drool) you will just have to wait until Christmas to see it. I promise that I will take plenty of pictures when she does receive it though, so that I can plaster my masterpiece all over the blog properly. And the mystery hand-dyer who saved the day will also be revealed! Stay tuned! Only 81 days to the reveal!

And I think you will all be relieved to hear that I immediately cast on for my final Christmas present, a second pair of socks for Morgan, and I’m already on the gusset on the first (got to love knitting for small feet!) sock! I’m working the Reikasai Socks by Claudia Eisenkolb and the pattern is both easy, and well written, so if you have any little girls in your life, these socks would make an excellent gift. I’m using the last ball of Maizy that resides in my stash, and whatever I don’t use on these socks, I’m thinking will go in the garbage. I really don’t like this yarn, and there won’t be enough left to keep for another project. If any of you want to save this yarn from it’s ultimate demise however, please contact me, I’ll be happy to send it off when I’m done with it.

And Neil is happy to see that his second Gravel Grid sock is on the gusset as well. However, his sock is my carry-around-with-me-to-knit on project, so I won’t be attempting to finish it tonight, since I have one more chirorpractor appointment in the morning, and I need something to knit on while I wait at McDonald’s and then on the bus ride home. There’s a good chance of me finishing it when I get home though, the yarn for my German Stockings is waiting at the post office for me as we speak, so I’ll be picking it up before I hop back on the bus after getting my back cracked, and the knitting gods help me, I doubt I’ll be able to wait until I get home to open it!

Well, that’s all for now! Check back for FO photos in a couple days, I think there will be plenty to share!