Wednesday, August 23, 2017

An Almost Total Eclipse

My Eclipse Report

In Eugene, Oregon we experienced 99.4% - just short of a total eclipse. We had good weather - clear skies with no forest fire smoke.

The morning started out 'normal' with the usual birds and critters.
The eclipse began just after 9:00am, with the maximum moon coverage reached at 10:18am.  By 11:38am the eclipse had ended.

A couple of months ago I bought glasses from a NASA approved vendor... we were ready to watch.

I did not have a filter for my camera, so did not take any photos, but a friend who watched north of us along the Oregon coast took a wonderful series, we she generously agreed to share.  

It was so amazing to watch the moon slowly slide in front of the sun..

...further and further.

We noticed that it was very quiet as the eclipse progressed.
There was no traffic and the 'natural' noises of birds and critters greatly diminished. The temperature dropped several degrees. 

This is my friend's photo of the totality!
It's such a good photo that the ABC television station in Portland, Oregon used it in their coverage!

By 11:40am the sun was back full again.

We had some usual bird activity just before the maximum coverage.
Five minutes before there were still Turkey Vultures flying...then nothing in the sky. 
A Cedar Waxwing flew in - a bird I normally see in the evening...

...and a flock of Evening Grosbeaks (bids I've not seen since late July) also flew in.

The California Quail and hummingbirds remained active, but then these are two species that are active at dusk, so that was not surprising. It never got totally dark, there was still light in the sky even with less than 1% of the sun visible. 

After the eclipse had ended, I found this Cooper's Hawk sitting on our deer fence.

I wonder if he got confused by the false dusk and perched here to regain his bearings.

The next morning, the winds shifted, and the skies were once again smokey.

One of the helicopters fighting forest fires flew over our house.

On a happier note, I've posted another Michigan Adventure post.  You can read about Day Two of our Road Trip here

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Red Bird Teaser

Design - "Cardinals"
Chart - "Prairie Birds"
Designer - The Prairie Schooler
Fabric - 32 count Ocean Kiss Wichelt linen
Fibers - DMC - 2 strands over 2 threads
Started - 15 August 2017
Completed - 19 August 2017

Finished the PS Cardinals - a nice Michigan momento.

And here's the proof!  I heard and saw several Northern Cardinals in my cousin's backyard.

My Backyard Birds are somewhat less colorful...

I do have a group of Purple Martins...

...and I've decided that they will be the next PS "Prairie Birds" stitch.

The Ravens are hanging about too.

Grawk!  Grawk!

Here's a California Scrub Jay.

The jays are molting and look pretty tatty.

See - the Steller's Jays too are scruffy.

I think this is a young bird.

It certainly was a vocal bird.

My family units of California Quail ebb and flow...
But in most cases there is a Papa Quail standing guard on high... 

...while Mama Quail watches on the ground level.

They are protective parents.

Papa Quail on the front left, Mama Quail on the back left, and all the 14 babies center to right.

Fluffy and cute.

 I think this is my favorite stage as youngsters.

Are you ready for another trip back in time to Michigan?

Monday, August 21, 2017

So Much Going On

So much is going on presently. Excuse me if I ramble.
Next up, Heartstring Samplery's "Tree Swallow".

News, news news.  Today the Solar Eclipse begins at the Oregon coast and makes an arc across the entire state. We are just outside the path of totality, with an expected 97-98% solar coverage.  As estimates are that over 1 million out of state visitors are here for the eclipse, we're not going anywhere!  Can you say Gridlock?  All the campgrounds, rental cars, and hotels are booked.  We have our eclipse glasses and will watch this morning.  My fear is of further 'accidental' forest fires with all the out of state folks who have no idea how dry and dangerous it is here.  We already have fire fighter crews from Alaska and other states helping out with our largest fires.  Here's hope for a safe Oregon State Eclipse Event.

As I mentioned previously, I'm finally blogging about my Great Michigan Adventure.  I pondered how to do it, and decided to back post to the dates in late July and early August that the events occurred. I will post links on my current posts as I do so.

Here are links for Sunday, July 30th.
I encourage you to take a look.     

It's time for my Weekly Woodpecker Report.
I'm pretty sure this is a woodpecker feather.
Probably a Hairy Woodpecker.

The Hairy Woodpeckers have been very active. 

look closely, there's a woodpecker tongue!



I think the male is a young bird - the red on the head appears to be transitioning from the top of his head to the back of his head.

He's good about posing.

Saturday morning there were two female Hairy Woodpeckers. 

That's something I've not seen since the birds fledged.

And a Red-breasted Sapsucker came by for a couple of days.

They are harder to 'shoot' as they do not come to the feeders... 

...and when on the trees, they are moving constantly.

This photo pleased me greatly!
I had no idea the Acorn Woodpecker was in the background until I looked at this photo on my computer.
Two for the Price of One!

I have seen my pair of Acorn Woodpeckers. 

Here's the male...

...and here he is again.

He does like my cylinder nut feeder. 

I've seen as many as three Flickers at the same time.

And while I did NOT see any Downy Woodpeckers, I was happy to have a Pileated Woodpecker stop by. 

This is a male bird - Red head to the front of the bill and a red mustache.

Thanks for stopping by!

Here's hoping we in Oregon have a safe and successful Statewide Eclipse Party!