Saturday, April 19, 2014

Easter Finery

I think everyone is decked out in their finest Easter outfit. 

Wouldn't you agree?

Lots of bright colors

I know what you are thinking, but we shouldn't judge.
Distinguished maybe?

No argument about this handsome fellow.

And his lovely companion.

Do you think that's a stylish fascinator she has atop her head?

And he harkens back to a time when men wore hats and suits.

She looks as though she might have a downy feather vest.

I hope you have a wonderful Easter weekend.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Raining Frogs and Bathing Birds

I was going to stun and amaze you with my border progress on "Hare Crossing".  But that was before I discovered (around 9pm) that I was off one thread. I came down the right hand side to find I did not line up.  In looking for the error, I discovered that I was off one thread on the last seven stitches on the right hand side.  So that means I need to frog out the entire bottom of the border.

 It rained steadily on Thursday - I guess it rained frogs. Sigh...

Even with the rain, it was a good day to take a bath.

This Scrub Jay totally got into it.

I think he spent a good five minutes splashing about.

The water flew everywhere.

He was one soaking wet bird by the time he decided he'd had enough.

Later in the day a couple of Golden-crowned Sparrows decided to take a dip.  

They appeared to take turns.
First the bird on the right...

Then the one on the left.
They were much more restrained in their ablutions.

They were much more restrained in their ablutions as compared to the Jay.

My Goldfinch folk is now up to five birds! 
While there are Goldfinches year around in the southern Willamette Valley, my folk of birds hang out here from April through October.  We are at 500 feet elevation, and my theory is that in late October the birds prefer to hang out on the valley floor where the temperatures are a bit more mild.  That's my theory anyway as the local Audubon Society is always able to count Goldfinches during their Christmas Bird Count.   

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Hares and Canaries

Design - "Hare's Another Rabbit!" (freebie)
Designer - Mosey 'n Me
Fabric - 32 count Flax linen
Fibers - DMC & WDW - 2 strands over 2 threads
Started  - 6 April 2014
Completed  16 April 2014

I chose the fabric and the colors for this.  I wanted the border to be 'Easterish' in nature and frame a bunny that looked like the ones I see in my backyard.  I think it turned out well.

I have been waiting and waiting and waiting for the "Canary Guys" (as my father calls them) to return.

On Monday  they returned.

Two male American Goldfinches.

If this is like past years, my flock will continue to grow and grow over the next several weeks. 

For now it is good to see even a few of them again.

I read that with some kinds of migrating birds, the males return first to scope out territory.  Then later the females arrive.  

So far I've seen three males and one female.

The males still look a little scruffy as they are just now finishing their molt into their spring plumage.

As you can see they've found the nyger thistle feeder!
Once the Goldfinches arrive, the Evening Grosbeaks cannot be too far behind.  I usually 'hear' the Grosbeaks calling in the forest for a couple of days before they appear at the feeders.  I heard them on Tuesday and Wednesday, so I am hoping to see them before the week's end.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Celebrating Spring

I decided to celebrate Spring by stitching Shepherd Bush's "Little Eggs Pincushion". The kit has some interesting beads - it should be fun.

We can celebrate and appreciate Spring in all its glory by going outside. Let's stroll around and enjoy the many shades of green and the new wildflowers.

So much can change in a week this time of year. 

As I promised on our last walk, we are now awash in a sea of bluey / purple native Iris (Iris tenax).

More of the shade loving wildflowers are now at their peak including Wester Meadowrue (Thalictrum occidentale).

In the deep shade along side a rivulet, the native Pacific Bleeding Heart (Dicentra formosa) is also in bloom.

I took a look at my original Secret Patch of Lady Slippers (Calypso bulbosa). They grow along the edge of a driveway, and I was dismayed to that most of their growing area was covered with 3"-4" of gravel - so no flowers.  I expect this happened during our bad Winter weather when the property owners needed extra traction to navigate their driveway. It's just too bad that the extra gravel was dumped along their prime growing spot.    

Prairie Star, Lambs Tongues, Shooting Stars, Lady Slippers, Honeysuckle, Dogwood, Bleeding Hearts, Strawberries, Larkspur, Forget-Me-Nots, Miner's Lettuce, and Buttercups.
Isn't it interesting just now many of our wildflowers have evocative names?

This is Hooker's Fairybells (Disporum hookeri) another aptly named wildflower.  It is named after U.K. botanist Joseph Dalton Hooker (1817-1911) for 20 years Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew .

Everywhere there is damp shade, there is Large False Solomon's Seal (Maianthemum racemosum). The Star-flowered False Solomon's Seal is also in bloom.

Here's a shrub / tree blooming its heart out.
What is it? I need to look some more - maybe the answer is in last April's posts! 

Western Serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia) is another of our early blooming shrubs. As it grows up to 20' tall I tend to think of it as a mini-tree. 

Oh the Dogwoods!  
How did they get into full bloom with me even noticing?

Like most of the plants on our walk today, it is a native - Pacific Dogwood (Cornus nuttallii)
Here's another white flower blooming.
Miner's Lettuce (Claytonia perfoliata).
The leaves can be eaten cooked or raw - and no, I've never tried them!

A pop of purple this time of year is provided by Menzie's Larkspur (Delphinium menziesii).  We have several of these small plants (8" tall) growing in our sunny meadows as it likes spring wet grasslands.

April in Oregon is a Green Month!
Dewdrops on grass - a Brown Bunny Feast! 

Vine Maple, Salal, Manzanita, Cascara, Oak, Horsetails, Indian Plum, Oregon Grape, Spirea, Columbine, Sword Ferns, and Lupine. 
Look at all the shades of green!

In this part of western Oregon, it is fitting to end our walk by admiring the vibrant green leaves and bright red flowers of the Vine Maple (Acer circinatum).