Tuesday, August 26, 2008

dog days of summer

Ok, I’m finally tired of summer. The weather is just teasing us now, giving us a day of 97 degree temps, followed by a day of 108. Though last night we had a little monsoon action from tropical storm somebody or another, which produced a 20 degree drop in the evening. The alpacas actually pried themselves away from the swamp coolers and fans to go graze on the tiny smattering of grass that we have left. They even felt good enough to get a short pronk going.

On the craft front, I finished my guanaco and silk scarf and started warping the loom for another scarf. This one is a departure from most of my others in that I’m using a lot of color instead to texture. It’s all baby alpaca, hand dyed in blues and purples. And I have already learned a very, very important lesson: double check the amounts of yarn needed before you put it in the dye. That’s right folks! I calculated what I would need for the warp and forgot to add in the weft. Can you tell I use math for a living? Oh well, I’ll just dye up some more and have yet another, slightly different color, yarn to add to the mix. It’ll all work out, you’ll see.

I also finished up some novelty yarn I had been working on. It’s kind of funky and REALLY bright. Not sure what I’ll do with it yet, oh well, I have time to figure it out.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Sonoran desert toads

Ok, for years now I’ve been telling the gang back east about the toads we have out here during monsoon. I always say they’re the size of dinner plates, and I always get the same response: “sure they are, Claud, been sipping that wine again have you?”
Well now I have proof! One of the big ones has taken up to bathing in poor old Lonesome’s water bowl every night. Last night I brought him up into the light and got a picture. I even got the ruler in there so you can all see that I am not, in fact, exaggerating. The things are HUGE!
They are also fairly toxic.
I’m told they contain two types of toxin in their skin. One is fairly nasty and can kill a full size dog; the other is some sort of hallucinogen. Apparently it’s quite the trip to lick the toad, but don’t eat it.
I’ve no worries about any of the humans or alpacas messing with the toads, but our pit bull-healer-billy goat mix is addicted. Every morning it’s the same thing: “Molly, leave the toad alone. Molly, I said leave it. MOLLY! Get away from the stupid toad!”
Of course by now, the idiot dog is seeing sounds and hearing colors and apparently enjoying it because her tail never stops wagging. Then she jumps on the dachshund, which is on a more straight and narrow path in life. If you can’t eat it, what’s the point, is Daisy’s motto. Anyway, Molly gets bit for efforts on getting Daisy to play. It works for them.