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Archive for June 18th, 2009

Smoke Tree in Riverfront Park

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

On Tuesday, Cynthia and I went for a walk down the River Trail (AKA Riverwalk). As we passed by the east side of the Grand River in Riverfront park, we came upon this amazing sight:


It looked like the tree had super-fluffy hair or something. It was positively soft, colorful and gorgeous.

I am sure I’ve never seen anything like this before. Cynthia recognized it as a “smoke tree.” It’s a pretty unusual one, however. There is one of these in front of Elderly Instruments, but it’s more green and does not have extreme puffs like this… the flowers are more sedate on that one.

Just to the left of this photo is another smoke tree. Its leaves are much more green than red/purple, and though it is flowering, it almost looks like a different plant altogether. The leaf shape is the only thing really identifying them as related. I never would have noticed the similarities without Cynthia’s assistance.

The Weather Report

Thursday it was warm and muggy after a day of rain and a bit of a chill. We had expected rain again and we did not get any, which pleased me. In the car I was a little too warm, in Rae’s yarn shop (where she has air conditioning) I was a bit too chilly. I’m all for problems with temperature that do not involve snow and ice!!!

I will never tire of summery weather. I hope you all had a great day, too.

Cool Socks from Tajikistan

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

Tajikistan is one of the countries which was once part of the USSR. According to one website, it belongs in the category of “Central States” with these other countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

I know almost nothing about Tajikistan, but back at Christmastime one of our nephews brought his girlfriend to a family party. She was wearing these:





She did not know much about them. A friend’s family member (I think Mom) “back home” made these. The friend gave her strict orders to WEAR the socks, not to save them as museum pieces.

I did make a fool of myself at the party. She humored me and let me take these photos. Mind you, this was the middle of a Christmas party with at least 30 people crammed into a large family room and the hall next to it. The light was not optimal and we were distracted by other things. I am very happy with the photos I did get.

Parts of the sock definitely look crocheted. I see single crochet on the foot/toe, if I peg it right, and probably “Bosnian Crochet” at the top edge (this is a slip stitch crochet in the back loop only). The leg portion is very confusing to me, and I can’t tell how it was made. At a distance it looked garter stitch, but it was not stretchy enough for that. I assume it’s a sort of crochet I am not familiar with.

I love many kinds of socks, the more colorful the better. I’m particularly fascinated by how they are made in other parts of the world, even better if they are somewhat tied to historical methods of creating them. These fit in that category.

I have a number of embroidered items from Uzbekistan. I have learned a bit about this area through books and websites, and a bit of reading. The only thing I know about Tajikistan is these socks. I think I need to learn more!

Cool, huh?