Crescent Beach State Park – Cape Elizabeth, ME

It is so dry.   This should be prime aster season, and while the flat top asters (Doellingeria umbellata) are loving the weather, there should be near equal amounts of American asters (Symphyotrichum sp.) alongside them in the meadow and the woods, and they’re barely there.   You’d have no idea it rained yesterday from the state of things.

I’ll admit I’m enjoying how much less buggy the woods are at the moment, but I think I’d rather deal with bugs.


Knitting Notes


Next in my series of small projects: Gordes Socks from Silk Road Socks by Hunter Hammersen.    The yarn is Swans Island Ikat Collection Watercolor yarn in the Indigo Beetroot colorway.    I think I’m going to make this Christmas knitting for my mother.    It’s practically September, so it can be too soon for that, right?

Knitting Notes

Pattern: Everglade by Woolly Wormhead
Yarn: Pasture Prime Farm Worsted Wool
Needles: Size 6 Circs and DPNs

This is a nice hat pattern.   For the 22″ size, you only do one full pattern repeat, with partials on either side, and it comes out looking way more complicated than that.

I liked this yarn – had a nice lanolin feel to it, but was still nice and soft.


Masques – Patricia Briggs

7ea4e06a2c71d1f59315a465851433041414141_v5Aralorn is the illegitimate daughter of a lord and a shapeshifter. Not wanting to be caught up in the court, she ends up being a mercenary. Wolf is her companion that she’s met along the way – a man that usually spends his time in the shape of a wolf, who has secrets that he’s gradually starting to reveal.

This was Briggs’ first book – I’ve got the revised 2010 edition. You can tell it’s an earlier book. The style is a bit rougher than her later books that I’ve read, and it’s not the freshest fantasy story. Still, I can see what I like about her characterizations in later books in the characters here, and it’s certainly a solid adventure. I just wouldn’t take it as the definitive example of Briggs’ work. Go to one of the Mercy Thompson books for that.

Storm Cursed – Patricia Briggs

79c25ba84db717f59716e467167433041414141_v5There’s to be a meeting between the US government and the fae Gray Lords – both sides recognizing that coming to terms with each other is in each others’ best interests. Adam’s pack has been tapped to provide security, and Mercy gets roped into more or less emceeing the event. Naturally, there are supernatural forces that don’t want this meeting to happen, namely a group of very powerful witches.

This story goes pretty dark (at least as the tone of this particular series goes). There’s a betrayal by a surprising source. There are also some interesting tidbits about witches and witchborn creatures thrown in that have some potential for future books.

This book does come across as a bit of a waybook in the larger series, but it’s pretty good as that kind of waybook goes.

Magic Shifts – Ilona Andrews

Kate and Curran have split from the pack, but know that’s going to be easier said than done. They’re supposed to be staying away, but their friend Eduardo is missing, and his fiancée George comes to them for help.

Kate very quickly realizes that there’s some very old magic in play, which is apparently dangerous enough that her father is trying to keep her from pursuing it. (Side note: the family dinner with Roland, Kate, Curran and Julie at Applebee’s is a thing of beauty.)

I really love how the authors have been throwing various mythologies into this series – it’s Arabian mythology this time, and used very well.

Knitting Notes

This is Everglade by Woolly Wormhead.   My sister and niece might be visiting us for Thanksgiving, so I figured some warm head gear would be in order.    I’m using the Pasture Prime Farm Worsted yarn I picked up in Martha’s Vineyard.    It’s a nice, natural yarn – noticeable lanolin still.    

The pattern is for DK yarn, so I’m knitting it on the tight side, which I’ve had pretty good luck before on other projects – hopefully this one turns out ok.

Un Lun Dun – China Mieville

6c44c4a0c31befe59344c375877433041414141_v5Zanna and Deeba are best friends, and one day, they find themselves in an alternate version of London (UnLondon), where Zanna is supposed to save the Unlunduners from a terrible fate. Except Zanna is unable to help, and Deeba ends up being the one to save the day.

This is definitely aimed at younger readers – the word play is pretty obvious, but also fun. And it’s nice to see a chosen protagonist story where said protagonist is not the one to save the day, and the funny sidekick does it instead.

Two Lights State Park – Cape Elizabeth, ME

On the last night of vacation (Monday), we had dinner at Two Lights (Amato’s Italians, so that C could get that ticked off his vacation list).    We were also thinking that L could get some tide pools in, but because it was vacation and we’d been in a bubble, we missed that the remnants of tropical storm Kyle were offshore.    So instead, we got treated to some crazy surf.    (The zoom makes C and L look way closer to the waves than they really were – they’re actually up on a rock ledge above the lower level.)

We were about three hours away from high tide, but the waves just kept advancing in.    By the time we left, the spray was full of loose sea weed and rocks.    I can’t remember seeing anything like it.