Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sunny Sunday

We are to have a very warm Sunday - 76f!

The cats enjoy basking in the sunshine.

I'm not sure how the bunnies feel about the warm weather. 

If it makes the cats lazy and lethargic, they are probably all for it!

I'd expect the chipmunks feel the same way.

One of them is getting pretty tame!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Hummingbird Saturday

I still have yet to see a female Rufous Hummingbird.

For that matter, I'm not certain if I have more than the one male Rufous.

The Rufous hummers are extremely feisty and it is rare to see more than one at a time.

As for the Anna's Hummingbirds...

I do have a couple of males and a couple of females.

The females are supposed to be busy nesting, and that must be so as they are rare visitors at the feeders these days.

I'm hoping for an Anna Explosion soon with all the young newly-fledged birds coming to the feeders.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Another April Blog Header

Garden Grumbles and Cross Stitch Fumbles
Blog Header for the second half of April

Row #1: The Primitive Hare, "Ostara"; The Prairie Schooler, "Woodland Sampling" - "Rabbit"; The Cricket Collection, "Letters Part 3" - "Ribbony Rabbit".

Row #2: The Prairie Schooler, "A Prairie Year" - "April Rabbit"; Mosey 'n Me, "Hares Another Rabbit"; The Prairie Schooler, "April" - "April Rabbit";  JBW Designs, "The Bunny Collection" - "Striped Flowered Bunny".

I decided since Easter was so early in the month, to switch out the blog header midway through April.

Most sunny days there are at least 10 Violet-green Swallows flying around and checking out the available bird houses.

I'd noticed that a couple of the bird houses were not getting any takers. When I looked at them more closely, the entrance holes were smaller.  So we took the houses down and drilled the holes to be 11/2 inches and immediately we had avian interest! 

I am seeing more House Finches.

The males are every shade of orange and red imaginable. 

Most days I see and hear a Sapsucker.  I've lowered the domes over the feeder in the backyard in an effort to keep out the Band-tailed Pigeons.  It means that I have lower quality photos of the mid-sized birds, but it is worth it to keep out the pigeons.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Woolly Lamb and Yellow Bird

Design - "Gentle as a Lamb"
Designer - Birds of a Feather
Fabric - 30 count R & R Mt. Vernon Mist
Fibers - GAST - 2 strands over 2 threads
Started - 25 March 2015
Completed - 10 April 2015

As the suggested fabric for this stitch was no longer available, I had to go way out of my comfort zone and come up with an acceptable replacement.  I think that I did a pretty good job coordinating the fabric with the threads. The woolly coat was challenging.  I asked for suggestions from readers and following their advise stitching the brown swirls and then filled in the oatmeal.  I have two more animals to stitch in this series, an owl and a goose.

April this the time that my Summer Residences first show up.

On Tuesday I was pleased to see this guy - an American Goldfinch.

Some people have Goldfinches year around at their feeders, but mine all live in October.

Here's a good photo to show the differences between a Goldfinch on the left, and a Pine Siskin on the right.

As it turned out two gentlemen came to call Tuesday morning.

I am hoping that more will follow shortly.

Also on Tuesday I had a visit from a very irregular visitor - a Chipping Sparrow.

The bird was not interested in the feeders, but instead worked away gleaning seeds in an unweeded area of a flowerbed.  Keep up the good work bird!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Wednesday Finish Wednesday Walk

Wahoo!  I've finished!

Design - "November's Chrysanthemum"
Designer - Cottage Garden Samplings
Fabric - 32 count White Chocolate linen
Fibers - GAST, WDW & DMC - 2 strands over 2 threads
Started - 23 November 2014
Completed - 10 April 2015

I can hardly believe that I've now stitched 11 of the 12 designs in this series.  I am mulling over whether to start December's pattern now, or hold off until it is more seasonal.  Stay tuned!

I haven't been walking regularly and it is a shame as this is the time of year when things change so very quickly.  No more excuses - let's go outside!

The first of the Common Camas (Camassia quamash) are in bloom.

Buttercups - a sure sign of a moist area. 

Shooting Stars (Dedecatheon pulchellum) are one of my favorite Spring beauties.

AS I mentioned earlier we have two kinds of wild Trilliums.
The flowers of the Western Trillium (Trillium Ovatum) nod above the leaves supported by a slender stem.

As the flowers fade, they often turn shades of pink and burgundy. 

The flowers of the Small Flowered Trillium (Trillium parviflorum) rest immediately atop the leaves - no stem. Along my walk I can see the two varieties growing side-by-side. 

I was so pleased last year to find a patch of Chocolate Lilies (Fritillaria camschatcensis ). Most of them are gone this year as the property owner sprayed Roundup along their fence line. Grrrr!

I don't know the name of this delicate flower.  I will research and see what I can find.

The Oregon Grape (Mahonia aquifolium) is in full bloom now.

We have two kinds of False Solomon's Seal. This is Large False Solomon's Seal (Maianthemum racemosum). Not quite in bloom.

Here's the smaller variety - Star Flowered False Solomon's Seal (Maianthemum stellatum). Blooming! 

Our native Tiger Lily (Lilium columbianum) will bloom several weeks from now. 

The same can be said for the Large Leafed Lupins (Lupinus polyphyllus).

The feathery Western Meadowrue (Thalictrum occidentale) has sent up flower stalks.

Deep in the shade near a seasonal creek, the Wood Violets (Viola glabella) are in bloom.

We have more and more Fawn Liles (Erythronium oregonum) in our meadows each year which is great as the deer like to munch on them. Our family has always called them Lamb's Tongues - a reference to the mottled leaves.

Last year I found a couple of Red-flowering Currants (Ribes sanguineun) along the edge of our driveway.  They are getting swallowed by by blackberries, but if we clear out too much space, they too will become deer fodder.

Each day more and more Blue Oregon Iris are in bloom (Iris tenax). Personally I'd have named them Purple Oregon Iris!  

Next week I'll take a look at the trees and shrubs.  I hope you come along.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Easter Stitch and Garden Update

I started stitching Lizzie Kate's "A Little Gray Hare".  It is going along very quickly.  I am happy to stitch an Easter ornament though the finishing looks to be pretty challenging.

A rainy Tuesday is the perfect time to write about my weekend gardening exploits. I'm sharing my finds with the Tuesday Garden Party and the Maple Hill Blog hop.

While we've had some April Showers, we've also had a number of nice mild days - perfect gardening weather.

As often is the case I found lots of inspiration during a visit to Down to Earth.
Aren't these art poles just the coolest things?

This one had bird details - who could resist that? 

This stone bench was decorated with faux fossils. Very cool. 

And isn't this a pretty birdbath with the dragonflies as decorations?

Earlier in the year this vertical garden was planted with primrose.  Now it has been switched out to a variety of sedums for the spring and summer.

Once again we were blessed with a lovely sunny Sunday.  I spent the afternoon plowing through a list of garden chores.  I removed most of the pots of bulbs from the Front Porch as they had finished blooming.  

I still had two shelves of tender succulents in my greenhouse, and decided that it was time to let them live outdoors.  I am very pleased with how well they over-wintered.  Some have evening begun to bloom, like the plant on the far left.

Several of the plants in the front row are ready to bloom.  As this grouping is at the edge of the Back Patio, I applied a liberal dose of deer repellent in the hope of discouraging 'taste testing'.  

Lastly I potted up these five fuchsias. Last spring my sister gave me a gift  certificate at a fuchsia specialist nursery.  I need to take a census of my fuchsia survivors and place an order asap.