Making Tracks

It's my last day at home today. Tomorrow I'll take off for Vancouver, Washington, and the Designing from Nature class with Ann Shaw. The class runs four days, and so I'll be back home again on Sunday afternoon. I will be taking my laptop and blogging while I'm gone. While I hope you enjoy the posts about new techniques, I do it so that I can refer back to it after the class is over. The posts from last year's class start right here, and continue on for about five days. If you're interested in reading them, just keep hitting "newer post" at the bottom to go to the next day's class. In an effort to refresh my memory, I read over them again this morning. The picture I'm doing this year is completely different, and so I expect it to be mostly the same, but slightly different.

Yesterday was a no-sewing day. There were eggs to pick up, letters to mail, medicine to pick up, and groceries to buy. When I got home, I packed up all the sewing stuff I'll need for my class. Since I haven't take a class since last year's go-round in the same class, a lot of the stuff I'll need was still in my sewing box where I left it. That made it easy. Also, I didn't have to go shopping for some of the specialty items I would need, such as vellum, a mechanical pencil, and a black pearl eraser.

As it turns out the black pearl was kind of important. I'd never heard of these before last year, and I had a really good eraser in my previous fave, the Magic Rub. As it turns out the black pearl is the only one that doesn't smear graphite all over the vellum, and so I went and purchased one right after last year's class. Actually...three, as I recall. Don't you hate it when you can't just buy one of the product you're looking for? I complained mightily to the guy at Staples at the time. I'm guessing it was one of the worst days of his life. Either that, or he went into the back room and said, "What is it with the bitchy old ladies in this store?"

So anyway...all of that to say that I made sure to get in some hand stitching time this morning. Millicent has gone begging...in more ways than one. Today I stitched most of her below-the-belt parts.

The purple polka dots on her dress are going to take some time. At first, I thought I might be able to do them with a large lazy daisy stitch, but I'm afraid they are too large for that. Now I'm working them in back stitch. I've hooped her up again, and I'll take her along when I go to Vancouver.

Aside from running errands yesterday, I got out to feed the birds. You might remember this picture I posted yesterday, showing the tracks of some critter walking along our sidewalk during the night.

When I got outside, I was kind of amazed at the animal activity in the night. I suspect that it's partly because a couple of the poles that hold our birdfeeders have fallen over from the saturation of the ground they're in, and the critters were making hay with the bird seed. I was motivated to get out because the suet feeder was empty, despite having been filled just a day or so ago. When I saw all the animal tracks, I became suspicious that more than just birds had been feeding on it.

I'm pretty sure these are raccoon tracks. They have five toes and claws, so definitely not a rabbit.

The fact that they're side by side like this is pretty telling. Also, notice how one is smaller than the other? The smaller print is the front foot, while the larger is the rear foot. Here's an example I found on the internet:

These in the image below led away from the bird feeder and toward the fifth wheel, which is where some squirrels take up residence. I have seen some red-tailed squirrels out on sunny days, and so they might also be responsible for these tracks. 

They don't actually look a whole lot different from the raccoon tracks. Here's an image I found online of squirrel tracks.

Then there were these that came from the north side of the field, completely circled around the pole of the bird feeder and then headed off in a different direction.

The ones below looked like a dog or a coyote. A friend from high school said that a dogs tracks would leave a more circuitous pattern, whereas these go in a straight line. They could have been left by a coyote or a fox because the wild animals walk more efficiently to save energy.

Hard to say. We've never seen a fox in our field, but we have seen some crossing the road near our house. 

These next ones, though...these are from the Resident Bag Lady. My friend Marei suggested she might be lost, and that's a pretty sure bet. The Resident Bag Lady often gets lost just walking around her own driveway.

So there you have it. Today I got an early start on laundry. I need to pack up my clothes and personal care items, but that won't take too long. Also, I need to water the tomato seedlings and feed the sourdough starters I have in the refrigerator. Both will be fine until I get back on Sunday. There should be some time left in the day for sewing, and I'll try to get the remaining square-in-a-square blocks finished for the "Welcome Home" mystery quilt. Also, the next block for the Solstice Challenge is out now, and so I'll try to get that one finished. If I have time, I'll get a start on "EI-EI-OH" for And on that Farm. I've been saying I'll start on it for about six weeks now. Maybe today will be the day.

7 comments from clever and witty friends:

Debbie said...

Didn't know about black pearl either....I will hunt one up when we get out to staples next. Thanks for the animal track lesson....interesting shapes. Have fun with the class and I will look forward to your adventures.

claudia said...

Even though I ran the office and art departments at the hardware store back in California, I never saw a black pearl eraser. Ya learn something new everyday!
Also learned some about animals tracks too!
Have a wonderful time at your class. Safe travels to you. I am looking forward to seeing what your posts are from the class.

Lynette said...

I've never seen the Black Pearls before. Thanks for sharing. Hope you have a really great time at the class. And raccoons - I sure do love them, and it's a treat when we get a visit. :)

gpc said...

Millicent has her cat and her wine; she'll be fine until you can get to her. Interesting about the Black Pearl eraser. I'll have to check them out. I hope you have the best time ever!

Brown Family said...

Animal tracks are very interesting. We use to see them in the mud around the stock tanks, cause no snow in Texas. I may have to look into a black pearl eraser, too. The Dallas Quilt Show is this weekend and We will be there all three days. Tomorrow, we are helping the Bernina store set up their Mid-arm sit down quilter. We have delivered several of these so we know the routine. Then on Sunday, we get to help them pack it back up and haul it back to the shop. My Husband has been repairing machines at their shop, so they commandeer him for a lot of things. Hopefully I will be able to do some hand stitching and precision sewing Monday!

Kate said...

Sounds like you've got a good mix of varmits to choose from as your seed raiding culprits. Drive safely today. Hope you really enjoy the class this year.

quiltzyx said...

Lots of tracks in the snow! Could be an interesting quilt there.... When I lived in Fontana, one night all the dogs in the neighborhood were barking up a storm. We were in a newly built tract, not all the houses had their landscaping finished. We found mountain lion tracks down the sidewalk! Only the one time, thank goodness.