Monday, October 31, 2011


Looking down the length of my new workbench.
Happy dance time:  I have a brand new 8 foot long workbench!  It is build on a metal frame Ted found at Menard's.  The top is an inexpensive 8 foot piece of kitchen counter top I picked up at Home Depot. Total cost of the project was under $150, so it is pretty doable.  In the picture below you can see that I have room underneath it for an old dresser and some of those ubiquitous plastic storage containers. There is only one overhead cabinet so far--a door-less reject from having the kitchen redone.  I plan to add inexpensive cabinets when I find some on sale down the road.

The new bench is a relief because it opens up the workshop.  I have the big table on the other side, though now it is covered by a table loom.  One of my long-term goals is to get a small studio loom.  I would like the 24 inch 8 harness LeClerc Compact.  It folds nicely and I have space for it opened or closed.  I would then sell my 20 inch 8 harness table loom to free the table to make way for other projects--like jewelry making, project planning and sewing. And writing a book, though I can do that from my easy chair.

There's room for stuff underneath.
I took today as a personal day and it is a crisp, clear perfect morning.  Walking around in the backyard there was a certain softness to the day, a bit of mist hanging in the light of the morning sun.  I saw a sharp shinned hawk try to snag a squirrel.  The squirrel would have nothing of it and challenged the hawk aggressively.  When the hawk took a place on a fence and tried to look nonchalant, the squirrel went on the offensive.  He climbed the fence and made himself big by curling up his tail and hunching his back--a squirrel version of what cats do--and challenged and pestered the hawk until he flew away.  This squirrel was not letting down his guard or taking any chances because scampering away up a tree is not going to help him against an air assault.  He had to face the hawk head on.  I admire that spunk and perseverance.  There's always something to learn from nature.  Use what you have to chase off predators and don't give up even if they seem stronger than you.

I checked on the Cornell site and that may have been a Cooper's Hawk--a very similar looking bird to the Sharp Shinned but bigger.  Of course, hawks vary in size with the female being bigger than the male, so it's tough to gage, but the hawk I saw was on the big side but I didn't have my binoculars to check out tail roundness etc. . My only clue is that it was going after a mammal, a trait Cornell attributes to Cooper's Hawks and not Sharp-Shinned.  Also, like Sharp-Shinned Hawks, Cooper's Hawks have moved to the suburbs to enjoy all the easy bird feeder meals.

A white crowned sparrow was jumping around in the cover of the giant non-flowering broccoli plants in our garden.  I suppose he was finding something to eat to refuel as he continues his trip south. I should have asked him what the North Country was like this summer but he was pretty busy bouncing around.  The giant plants at least provide cover for the little guy.  I doubt a hawk could find a way down in there.  We will be winterizing the garden soon and planning for the next season.


  1. That is pretty nice. A workspace dedicated to the craft is such a luxury.

  2. Fantastic crafter's workbench! Great idea about the countertop.

    And don't you just love Cornell's bird site! We've had numerous hawks this year and identifying them is a challenge. Of course, in one way it doesn't matter. Any hawk that get's one's chickens is a "chicken hawk"!

  3. LOL! Yep, a chicken hawk is one of those "non-breeds" but definitely very, very real. I have a very active hawk in my neighborhood--she swooped through again this afternoon but missed, I think. (I've decided the hawk is a "she" because she's big!)

  4. Actually the Goshawk is referred to as a chicken hawk. There is a good reason for that as I have found out the last two falls when natural prey is slim pickings. Two years ago it got 5 of my chickens and last fall 2. They don't kill them outright either but instead get right down to eating.