Monday, November 30, 2009

No knitting yet

Which isn't to say that I haven't been knitting; I have. But one of the projects that I started after finally finishing Elektra is unbloggable, and the other is Rick's socks, which are seriously not all that interesting. I've turned the heel on the second one, though, and will be knitting that at my conference this week. With luck, I'll also make solid headway on the unbloggable project on the plane, and this knit blog will start including knitting again.

Meanwhile, though, look over here! Nature photos!
On Friday, Rick and I headed up into the foothills for a night away, leaving the girls with their Memere and Grandpa (not to mention my aunt and cousin); everyone seemed happy with the arrangement, and Rick and I were tremendously excited to get a little bit of time to ourselves, which is a rare treat. We decided to stay in Nevada City, which meant that we could go for a hike on the Yuba River in the afternoon. We got lucky, and missed the rain in the foothills, as well as the huge hailstorm that pounded Sacramento after we left.
When we arrived, the cold front still hadn't quite blown through, so we parked and ate our lunch in the car before heading out. Rick noticed this little owl parked in a tree next to us. Do you see in that second photo that she's got eyes in the back of her head? (Obviously a mother bird.) She sat there the whole time we were eating and watched us go.

We headed upriver, along a trail that climbed and climbed, until we were well above the river itself. I don't know if you can see it down there, through the trees?
(Do you know how hard it is to capture "vertical" on a camera? I tried, truly I did. We're probably 150 feet above the water there.)

We also went down to the river at one point, slipping and sliding, when I saw something that looked like a bit of Engineering. I was right.
Rick was pleased.

It was a dam that someone had cleverly built at a narrow place in the river, taking advantage of the natural outcropping of rocks by piling up logs, pouring concrete around them, and running huge bolts through the whole thing to hold it together, probably in a pyramidal form, to judge by the bolt placement. We're pretty sure that it was put there for hydraulic mining, maybe at some point during the Gold Rush, maybe later.
You can see where the concrete fit around the logs; some of the wood is still there, low-down.

The view upriver was pretty spectacular, too.
And the rocks have worn away into lovely smooth shapes. Have I mentioned that I like rocks?
We scrambled back up the hill and kept hiking for a while, until we came to this lovely wonderland of trees.
It was like a fairy forest, and the colors!

But we couldn't keep hiking forever (tempting though it was), so we turned around and headed back. And at the very end, we came across more Engineering (it was a good day for Rick).
We'd driven across it to park without quite realizing what it was.
So Rick was happy.

And me? I got to wear wool. And it just doesn't get much better than that.

I'm going to get to wear more wool this week, since I'm heading to Philadelphia at yeurgh o'clock on Wednesday morning to go to a conference. I won't be posting until I'm back, so send presentation-success thoughts my way, if you can spare them. (Also, this is your last chance to tell me if I absolutely should not wear Elektra in public; my fate is in your hands.) Have a great week!


Miss 376 said...

You can definitely wear it in public. Hope it all goes well


Yes, wear it!

Also, photos were wonderful. Crazy here, so that is all I can say at the moment.

Mary Lou said...

Oh yeah, wear it with pride. Good luck on the presentation.

PammieJR said...

Those are great photos! Thanks for sharing!

So you are headed off to the AAA's?

Anonymous said...

Good luck on the conference! And it is perfectly normal to like rocks. And I am jealous of your sweaters -- wear them in public.

Take care.

Willow said...

Wear it on the plane, in the airport, at the conference, in the restaurants!

Wanderingcatstudio said...

Beautiful.. that is one adorable little owl

twinsetellen said...

I'm thinking that hike took about 22% longer than average due to the number of photos taken. They are definitely worth it. The owl is very sweet, and the shot of you is really great - the gold in the sweater is reflected in the foliage further back in the picture.

You and Elektra will rock!

Geri said...

What a lovely day!

Of course you should wear it, wasn't that the point?

Have fun at the presentation and wave as you fly by

dawn in nl said...

Oh definitely wear it. You could change it up (perhaps dress it up?) with a brooch or shawlpin.

Good luck with your presentation and thanks for the beautiful photos.

All the best

KnitNana said...

Go, wear it in public! Have a good time (geez how did I NOT realize you'd be on THIS coast for this presentation? How far is Philly from me? Answer: not that far)

And I love the road trip, the owl, and Rick's happiness over Engineering! lolol
(I have seen that happiness before on another man's face...)

Rachael said...

Gorgeous photos!

Safe travels & good luck on your presentation, looking forward to seeing you Friday!

Rachel said...

Great photos and good luck with the presentation, I am sure it will go well!

AlisonH said...

I love how you engineered that last picture so your sweater exactly matches the yellow blooming in the background. And owl always admire that sweater on you!

Alwen said...

What a cute little owl! We don't have pygmy owls here, just screech owls.

I have to travel to see real rocks. The glaciers ground them to mostly pebble size around here.

But your bridge! We have almost that exact bridge about half an hour from here. Our son used to call it "That bang-ity-bang bridge," because that's the noise our car made driving across it. (It's a one-lane bridge with a traffic light at either end.)

Gwen said...

Good presentation thoughts! Wear your sweater with pride. And thanks for taking us on your walk.

EGunn said...

Pretty pictures! And it's great that you got to spend some alone time with Rick. It's nice to have family, but it's also nice to be just two once in a while. =)

I didn't realize that Rick was an engineer (Branden, too...). What kind?

Lynne said...

Go well and safely!

RobinH said...

Lovely photos and I can only applaud the grave consideration given to engineering. (Engineering is a fairly invisible profession- yet it pretty much makes our entire modern civilization possible. Try going without using any manufactured items for ten minutes or so- unless you're a nudist, it'll be tough.)