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Archive for October 13th, 2003

Autumn in Lansing

Monday, October 13th, 2003

It has been an absolutely gorgeous week and a half here in Lansing. The fall colors came practically overnight, and everything is shades of gold and orange. The sky has been blue and the sun was very bright today. It is heaven.

We are supposed to get rain tonight at 2am and it is supposed to rain solid for at least 4 days. I felt such a deadline approaching… the end of the beautiful leaves. The rain will make them all come down on the ground, wet and messy. But today, it was beautiful. And I determined to make the most of that last beautiful autumn-colored day.

I went to Fenner Arboretum briefly today so I could take a few pictures. I also went to Scott Woods Park, a gem hidden behind a hospital on the South side. It is truly woods, a quite large area left ungroomed, and totally unexpected in a fairly busy end of town. (For those in Lansing, it is in the neighborhood directly behind the parking lot of what was once called Lansing General Hospital on Pennsylvania. I didn’t know it existed until Brian told me about a year or two ago.) Fenner is a larger mostly grassy area with some wooded areas and a stream, which is home to a good number of deer among other wildlife.

Both Fenner and Scott Woods are run by the City of Lansing Parks and Recreation department, if I remember right. Both of these locations are actually an easy bike ride from our home. There are some things that are pretty wonderful about Lansing, and the large number of trees and green areas count among the goodies here.

Scott woods was green and brown, for some reason. I had expected yellow and gold like those trees Tony and I saw on the way to Chelsea on Saturday.

Actually, Fenner had a few orange trees in one area and the rest was not all that colorful, either. I did get some beautiful photos of Fenner, in that area. The first one is a water hole in the center of the shortest path I’ve taken there. The second photo is the path. One wonderful thing about this path is that it is paved, and thus it is wheelchair accessible. Yet I am sure if you took the path to an area near the wooded part and sat still long enough, you would see deer. One time I took Sarah (my Goddaughter) to Fenner and we surprised a doe and two fawns. It was magic.

Even downtown Lansing was beautiful today. I went down there to go to the bank (and then the bank was closed for Columbus day so I made the deposit in the ATM). I got a great parking spot, no doubt because of the holiday. The bank is a treasure in Lansing (used to be Bank of Lansing, now Comerica) which I think has architecture up to that in any city like Chicago. I’ll have to take pictures and do that as a feature in this blog one day. But meanwhile, one of my favorite downtown buildings, as far as facade goes, is at the corner of Michigan and Washington, and is pictured here. (It sits kitty-corner from the beautiful bank.) The light fixtures on this building are brushed metal, I wish you could see how beautifully they reflect light and color.

Oh, I did go to Eaton Rapids for the warehouse sale, too. I got some cotton/wool/nylon on cones to use for my long-dreamed-of longjohns. I may have purchased enough for more than one pair, but at $2 a pound I decided to be extra sure I had enough yarn. I also got a cone of boucle for dyeing. I had hoped to find display units for selling at art shows, but didn’t find anything I wanted this year. Last year I found a good one so I won’t complain too much now.

I went next door to Old Mill Yarn (same building, different owner) and got two skeins of somewhat-scratchy wool yarn in about sport weight for super warm sox. This yarn was $2 a skein for something like 250 yds. I got bright green and medium blue. I’m thinking of doing Tiit’s Socks from Folk Knitting in Estonia. I’ve wanted to do those for a long time. For $4 for the pair, they can sit and wait for me to decide. However, I have a feeling that those sox would go fast for me. The two-color stranded pattern would be extremely easy to memorize and I bet I’d get entranced.

After the whirlwind photo tour (which was after the yarn trip, which was after a client meeting) I had to go home and beat the sunset. I had a couple more windows to paint purple, and I realized that the peeling paint on the garage should really not be left that way for the winter. I scraped and primed the garage (I hope I’ll have time to paint over it before winter but if not, it’s still more protected than raw wood under a bubbling bit of paint). Then I painted the front set of 3 windows and the little window I had forgotten about yesterday, on the back of the entry. It looks good.

You know what? I was going to look for autumn colors to photograph in the neighborhood. Then I looked up and down the street, and I realized that our maple tree in front of our house is the most vibrantly colored tree for many blocks. Lucky us! So here is a pic of our tree (the side that is a little more greenish… you saw the orange side of that same tree in yesterday’s photo) and the house with purple windows. If you look carefully you might see the salmon pink trim on the bottom ledge of all those windows.

No knitting yet today. Last night I fussed around with the first legwarmer of what I hope will be a pair, that I knit on the knitting machine. It’s based on a Berrocco pattern but the colors/yarns are very different than what they specified, and my legs are distinctly shorter than the model’s legs so I knit fewer inches. They still are the longest legwarmers I’ve ever had, all the way up the thigh. Very cool.

The striped pattern in six yarns turned out well, but they did not look good when I seamed them the first time (mattress stitch, it should be smooth and beautiful but I think I need to try this with thinner yarn that is not super dark. Maybe I can find some sockyarn in the right size/smoothness and try again. The seam looked great until I stretched the legwarmer. Does anyone know if there is a better seam than mattress stitch for items that take a lot of stretching?

Actually, I’m really tired and I still have one more job to do for a client. See you tomorrow.