Shades of Blue Valentine

I coveted a friend’s hat yesterday–especially when she said she’d crocheted it the night before. And so I was thankful when she sent me the pattern last night. My plan had been to whip up a hat for myself, but after leading two fun hikes, I did all I could to keep my eyes open while watching British comedies.

b-blue hat 1

This morning, however, I pulled out a skein of blue wool I’d been saving for something special and wound it into a ball. Then I started to follow the pattern. Ah, but my ability to complete something exactly as planned went missing from my make-up long ago and be it recipe or pattern, in no time I make it all my own, never to be repeated again. Sometimes, especially when it comes to a recipe, that’s a good thing.

b-hat 2

The finished product looks more like a toilet paper cover my mother might have made, but I rather like it. And so I wore it as I piled on the layers to head outside.


According to the thermometer, it was a balmy +5˚. The wind chill was another factor indeed. It certainly felt invigorating.

b-feather branch

One of my first delightful finds was a small feather caught on a tree branch. I didn’t see any others, so I’m not sure what happened, but that downy fuzz looks so soft and warm. Hardly worth shedding.

b-hat branch

My hat was not worth shedding either, but several times the branches snatched it. I do believe the tree spirits approve.

b-turkey 2

Everywhere I ventured, it seemed the turkeys had been before–their oversized prints pointing the way.

b-turkey sashay

At times, the pattern they created gave the effect that they’d sashayed along–as if they owned the place.

b-turkey frozen

And other times I found their signatures frozen in place–for the time being.

b-junco 2

Other patterns also caught my attention–like the prints of dark-eyed juncos. These little snowbirds hop along on the ground as they feed, so their tracks are often visible in our mixed-coniferous forest.

b-junco 3

At the beginning of tracking season when we didn’t have much snow on the ground, my friend Jinny Mae and I were momentarily confused by these. Now they are imprinted on our brains.

b-junco 4

Two-by-two, they remind me of teardrops. Between hops, toe drags are visible.


Looking rather similar and thus causing confusion are the prints of white-footed or deer mice. I can’t tell you which of the bounders left these behind, but the tail mark down the middle indicates it was one of these two.

b-snow & ice

Among the zillion things that I love about winter is the color blue caused by light absorption. Light waves travel into the icy grains and are scattered among them before being reflected back to us. While we see white snow when sunlight bounces off surface layers, the color blue is apparent when more red light is absorbed by the grains. It clarifies the feel of this brisk day. The sound of the snow creaking and crunching beneath my feet also indicated the temperature–COLD.

b-witch hazel bud

But . . . warmer days are coming–eventually. Until they arrive, the scalpel-shaped bud of witch hazel survives despite its lack of waxy scales for protection.

b-witch hazel 2

Like hobblebush, however, it has a hairy coating that must provide some warmth. I have to wonder if the little hairs absorb the sun’s rays.

b-deer heart 2

Shades of blue even outlined this print–though there’s also an appropriate wisp of rose surrounding the shape.

Most people see red on St. Valentine’s Day. I favor blue. Happy deer-heart day!



8 thoughts on “Shades of Blue Valentine

  1. Ben’s been watching your temps today……mighty cold! A perfect day to wear your new blue hat…❄️💕🐾

    Faith sent from my Ipad


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  2. Nice hat! We had 28 turkeys staying yesterday and today all day to be fed. They are big birds and need a lot to eat especially in this bitter cold weather. The problem so is, that the blue jays have a harder time getting to the feeders and also the little juncos of which are many there too and hungry. The chickadees fly to the hanging feeders and so are hairy’s and downy’s and nuthatches. The blue jays do too, but there also were around 30 all very hungry. Not an easy time of year for all these birds. Ursula >

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  3. Yes, though it does seem like the birds have had lots more available to them this year than in the past few due to the lack of snow, don’t you think, Ursula. Our turkey clan is growing as well. And the goldfinches are hogging the feeders, but the titmice, chickadees, woodpeckers and the rest of the gang have been flying in constantly. I suspect with the weather change coming up this week, there will be continued activity at the feeders. Some days we don’t see too many, but when a storm is in the offing, they are there and then again during the storm.


  4. I see more hats in your future!
    It’s hard to leave the warmth of the living room when there are so many birds showing off out the window. Right now there are 22 goldfinch and 2 juncos crowded around one of the feeders on the floor of the deck. Titmice zip in and out. Two hairys and 1 downy are competing for the suet with an occasional nuthatch getting what he can. What fun!

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  5. -13˚ here, probably colder at your house, JinMe. And at the moment, no one at the feeder station. Not even the gray squirrels. And with that, a chickadee arrived.


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