Monday, March 09, 2009

I met the Nature Knitter

Update: I'm leaning more towards identifying that hawk below as a Cooper's Hawk based on the tail. It has 3 rounded lobes, and unfortunately the lighting was so bright, I can't tell how thick that last band is, but it seems to be thicker, also leading towards being a Cooper's Hawk. Maybe it's a male which is smaller than a female and about the same size as a female Sharp-shinned hawk. How frustrating :D

Saturday I spent one hour less at work than I would normally be supposed to. I didn't tell anyone I was planning on leaving early, I just said bye and left :) I was headed off to meet the Nature Knitter, RuthieJ, with my mom and as it turned out, my dad as well. I should have told the Pastor earlier in the week - or two weeks ago even - that I wasn't planning on working Saturday, but there was work to finish up anyway. Besides, I had turned the clocks forward and it said 12:00 when I left, which is my usual time on Saturdays. Haha!

We met up in San Francisco at Castagnola's. Great restaurant, great company, great weather, I don't think anyone could ask for more! We had no trouble meeting up. The restaurant was empty when we arrived and we said "table for 6" as we were meeting three others - Ruthie and her two brothers, David & Phil. We were seated at "the best table in the house" called "The General's Table" and the host that seated us was very nice and told us a little bit about it. I can't remember that, but it was in a corner with windows all around and a nice view of the fishing & sailing boats docked at Fisherman's Wharf. The waitress was a charming middle-aged lady from Hawaii. She was high-spirited and attended to our needs very well. She took pictures of our group, first with Ruthie's camera and then my mom's. I figured that was good enough and they'll share them. Who knew I'd be posting first?

Mom & I are the short ones, and Dad is on the right :) That's Phil on the left and Ruthie is between Mom and I and David in the back. She patted our heads right before the picture was taken. It made me laugh which is always good before a pic. It's not like taller folks haven't done that before :) 'Tis okay... I like being short, I like to think we are more creative because we have to adapt to a taller world.

We had a wonderful time and kept that table much longer than usual. They weren't THAT busy, there was a whole other section they didn't open up. I did notice a couple of tables turned over twice in the time we were there though. I love meeting online peeps... it's like we're family and have known eachother our whole lives!

Never met her brothers online before, but the conversation was so easy with them. Ruthie said they were funny and we'd love them and that was so true.

See what a pretty day it was? No fog or rain in San Francisco... didn't expect that in advance! Especially since the previous week and weekend were all rainy.

After lunch, we let them go their way towards Union Square I believe. We walked over to a store we thought sold Converse AllStars, but it turns out it was taken over by a spy shop. Sigh. The big Converse sign is up high, but the store is gone. We were thinking maybe they had some Teal Converse for my dad. I think the option is really to buy online, because at a store it's hit or miss on the colors.

We went walking over to Pier 39 to take some pics of the purty flowers the city planted.

Tulips and Daffodils and Mom

Alcatraz... I took another pic without the fence, but like this one better.

Who knew we'd see a Sharp-shinned Hawk?
I think it has just one leg too. ALL the pics we took, it had only one leg, and it looked skinny which contributes to the one-legged theory. Looks reasonably healthy otherwise though.

Basic Blues
I just loved this scene. The gull was just lucky. I saw it, but didn't think it was coming into the shot.

I almost forgot. I'm such a social dork that I didn't even think of bringing a present, even when I knew Ruthie was going to bring me the cap to match the half-mitts I bought at her ETSY site. Check out her site periodically for some great finds. She knits scarfs, mitts, slippers, and much more and all in great colors. It's also quality work :) Plus you can help her feed her knitting habit and 10% of her sales go to charity as well.
Here's the matching hat behind the half-mitts on my hand. I found nail polish that coincidentally matched the yarn and forgot to show & tell Ruthie in person. Again, I'm a social dork. The nail polish is Maybelline Express Finish "Berry Boucle" which I think is a new color this spring. I'm a nail polish addict. It's the only makeup I wear and I think I have more bottles of polish than shoes, and I have a lot of shoes too. I swear, those are the only girly things about me :D

Below is the button she brought Mom & I, one for each of us, from Jayne of Journey Through Grace. Thank you!
Notice I have it hanging on my Camera backpack. That seems a good place to keep it.

To wrap it up, awesome spring weekend, and I had planned on posting the birds Mom & I saw yesterday, but that will have to wait as this post is long enough.

One more thing though, lol, the bird list for SF:
Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1
Western Gull, dozens
Snowy Egret, 1
Black-crowned Night Heron, 1
Brewer's Blackbird, about a dozen
Red-tailed Hawk, 4 on the drive up to SF over I-280

I think I'm forgetting some, but the hawk was a shock in SF. I suppose it shouldn't have been, but it was funny. Mom said, let's go somewhere we can find those red-tails, and a minute later, this sharpie pops up. It could have been a coopers, but I did a little scale comparison with the fencing, and am pretty sure it's a sharpie. None of our shots had the tail spread out to tell definitively. I'm a newbie at this, so I could be wrong. Don't hesitate to correct me.


Lynne said...

What a fun day!!! It's so nice to see a picture of you and your Mom. I had no idea that the two of you were guite so "vertically challenged!" I don't think I've seen a photo of you except for the Little Heidi at the piano.

I'm glad you all had such a nice time together.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Heidi,
I'm getting my SF post ready for tomorrow, so you beat me for sure. It's so cool you got to see that Sharpie!
Thanks again for such a fun afternoon. I'm glad I got to meet you and your mom and dad. I couldn't have asked for a better day in San Francisco! :-D
After we left you, we walked the Pier and finally headed up to Chinatown. We didn't leave town till after 8 PM, so it was too dark to see any birds on the drive back.

Mary C said...

Great post, Red. I'm planning on posting our flowers and birdies later this week, hopefully tonight after work.

Lynne - "vertically challenged" -- I LOVE it! And yes, we definitely are - both of us are barely 5 feet tall.

Natural Moments said...

Stacey and I like taking walks through San Francisco too. We will park at Chrissy Field over by Fort Mason and the Presidio and will walk all day through fisherman's wharf, pier 39, Coit tower, downtown, union square, columbus and then back to the car. There is so much to see, and surprising, alot of wildlife to take in. Love seeing the parrots when we are in their home area too.

Sounds and looks like a wonderful trip you had. The fence does symbolically work with Alcatraz.

Red said...

I try to stay behind the camera Lynne :) But it was one of those I had to be in front of the camera. One of these days, I hope to meet you too! I just know we'll get along great!

Looking forward to your post Ruthie! Long day in SF for you, but it's not like you have the opportunity any time you feel like it. Again, I'm so glad you wanted to meet up when visiting out here.

Thanks Mom, it will be interesting to see your different perspective on the flowers and SF.

Red said...

Hi Bernie! On the right day, San Francisco is just beautiful. Most days I've been up there are beautiful, but a few have been miserable. That's definitely a nice long walk you and Stacey like to take :) I like the Presidio area quite a bit and there is a lot of wildlife to see further away from the people, especially those that like to fly in the wind.

Lynne said...

Get yourself in front of that camera Heidi!! We need to see more of you. )Your hair is not as dark as I expected) It's just so nice to see a face to go with the mental immage I have of you. Maybe I'll get out there one day and get some of your western birds. OR- maybe you'll come HERE and get our eastern and winter boreal birds! Either way, you're right- I think we'd get along great.

Linnea W said...

I enjoyed looking at your pics of SF. Yes, we have been having fantastic weather, haven't we? You take wonderful nature shots. Love all those birds you've found. Good job finding them! By the way, thanks for visiting my RT post. Hi from San Ramon...

Red said...

HaHa Lynne! I'll keep trying to avoid the pics of me :) My hair is usually darker when shorter and in the winter and in lower lights. The hair had the benefit of full sunlight to lighten it up for the pic. Obviously, I'm not a flaming red-head, but strawberry-blonde.

Thanks for stopping by Linnea! Hello from Cupertino - well, at this moment anyway :) Thank you also for your compliments. I had added your blog to my google reader last week after SkyWatch Friday... I love your pics too!

Leedra said...

Sounds like you all had a wonderful day. Lovely daffodil photo.

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Red said...

Thank you Leedra, we did!


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