Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Two things

First, here is Fastnet.

Slow steady progress, but I'm not in any hurry - and such a lovely fabric, quite gorgeously squishy.

The little markers are for row counting, before someone asks - I place a marker at the top of the ribbing, and then every ten rows thereafter, with a different colour every fiftieth row.  I leave the 'fifty rows' markers in place, and the 'ten rows' markers are moved on as needed. So you can very easily see that I am approaching seventy rows of knitting.  This avoids repeated counting of rows, which has always seemed to me to be a waste of time - and also avoids that situation where one keeps getting different answers.  Or at least, where I keep getting different answers.  Maybe it's just me....

And yes, that is an artist's palette that you can see in the corner there - it's dry, please don't worry! - and yes, as usual with my photographs, that is our dining table, which also serves as a general work table for us both for much of the time.  It is in the conservatory, which is a particularly nice place to work at this time of year.   My husband likes to paint.  More on that anon.

And here is the second thing, which is something you don't see every day.  Six newly hatched cygnets.

These are from a clutch of seven eggs.  We know that they are newly hatched because we went past the nest the day before and could see immediately that five of the eggs were still unhatched.  At that time both swans were staying very close to the nest and defending it fiercely, hissing at the boat in a way that they don't normally do at all.  So we did have an idea that something was happening.

And the next day, here they all were, straight out on the water and looking so pretty in the sunshine.  The parents were staying very close, as you can see, but were looking much more contented than the day before.

This pair and their babies tend to do better than the pair that are local to us, probably because their nesting site is better protected from the depredations of foxes, as it is in the middle of a reed bed rather than on the bank.   And that reminds me, I don't know how our local swans are doing - I must make enquiries.  I certainly have not seen any cygnets close to home.

We are wondering about the seventh egg, and whether there is a seventh cygnet still to come.  It is not impossible, just rather unlikely.  But six cygnets - that is really quite wonderful.  Let's hope that they all survive.

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