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Tricked! Things Are Not Always As They Appear

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There’s been some discussion about the appropriateness of honesty and critique of sewn garments shown on the internet. My position is that photos and even eyeballing from a distance IRL (in real life) cannot show the salient points needed in the analysis of anyone’s garment making efforts. Here’s a story to illuminate my point:

Sunday evening Husband and I took the Dog for a walk at the local woodland lake park. It was around 6pm and the woods were damp from a light drizzle and beginning to get dark.

Then, something came into view that shattered that dusky softness.

(Please indulge me: I didn’t have my camera with me so I returned the next morning to get documentation to share this story. The light was that of the impending dark so you will have to imagine that night is falling.)

The woods were lush as we walked along the trail

Woodland Trail

when we were startled to see a Mourning Dove in an odd position and motionless on a low tree branch

Bird on a Branch

By its position I thought the Dove seemed in serious distress and I didn’t want to cause it further angst by getting too close

Dove 10-13 ft away

My eyes couldn’t make out why there was a red spot on its neck so I got this close and stood completely still. A healthy dove doesn’t have red spots on its neck. I could only think that it was wounded by gunshot or had a parasite or had suffered a viral attack of some kind. Bird virus? Oh NO!

As close as I dared

Husband and the Dog went to get the car and see if they could find a Park Attendant to help and I stood, silent and keeping my distance, waiting to see if the bird changed positions. Nothing happened for 20 minutes or so but finally my team members returned without finding anyone in authority that might have a way to handle a diseased or injured animal.

We got a bit closer from the opposite side

Close Enough

and finally our eyes were able to pick out the hanger eyelet on the top

Yup Decoy

Yup, it was a decoy! I had been carefully guarding a DECOY. What I had thought was possibly part of an injury was simply some leaf litter that had fallen onto the red spot


We’re not hunters; we hardly expected a plastic bird clipped to a tree branch


We laughed and laughed, so relieved that we were not watching a Mourning Dove die in the woods.

You can imagine that I was very glad Husband had not found a park employee to drag back to see my humiliation!

So, jumping in to make an analysis of the proper fit or hang or suitability of a garment is something I would really, really hesitate to do. It’s been definitely proved to me that my eyes can’t be trusted to discern an ultimate reality. I certainly wouldn’t want something I said, rightly or wrongly, to adversely affect the future work of any anyone.

I’d love to hear what you all have to say!


About Mary Beth

I am fascinated by changing patterns and colored threads. I sew garments and am teaching myself to machine knit. Since selling the building that housed my workrooms, The Stitchery, I'm searching for a place to set up the knitting machines again. There must be room here somewhere!

10 responses »

  1. If it was me (an avid birdwatcher) I would photograph it and immediately post it on the South African National Parks bird forum who in turn would request their members to ID it. No doubt some bright spark would enlarge the photo and all those hoping for a rarity would be sadly disappointed. Thanks for a wonderful story!

  2. What a great post! And a wonderful observation…thanks for sharing that prospective!

  3. Love it!!!
    As a general rule, I won’t critique a garment online (or in person, for that matter) unless I am asked by the critique-ee, and even then I am loath to do so.

  4. myrosesindecember

    This is a wonderful post. I am sure we have all been tricked at some time or another by what we think we see.

  5. This sounds like exactly the type of thing I would do – down to sending Prince Charming to find a park ranger…then looking up the nearest wild animal rescue center, too!

    Makes you wonder – how many times to we see what we want, rather than what is actually there? What do the eyes witness, in those eye-witness reports?

  6. Good post MaryBeth, I ditto the comment from Sz

  7. Wonderful story, Mary Beth….I am am smiling.
    However….(you knew a however was coming, didn’t you?)…I still know a badly sewn collar, or a wonky set-it sleeve when I see one….on a close-up blog pic or in person. I hope i continue to have the wisdom to only mention such things to my friends, and not the person who is perfectly happy with their garment. Because no one is perfect….not even me (shocking, but true). (((Smile)))

    • LOL, Pam, I wondered what you were going to say, so I’m glad you’ve said it here. Thanks!

      I’m sure that many posters would love a private critique from you. I’m not so sure an uninvited and public critique from just anyone who so chooses would always be as lovingly received. xoxo

  8. Too funny! I love it. Interesting how our perception is shaped by our expectations and frame of reference, no?


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