Thursday, June 21, 2018

The "J" and All the Rest

Design - "Black and White Summer Sampler" (kit)
Designer - Heart in Hand
Fabric - 28 count linen
Fibers - WDW & GAST - 2 strands over 2 threads
Started - 11 June 2018
Completed - 19 June 2018

It took me 19 days to get a finish this month.  I like the monochromatic look of this little sampler. Did any of you notice in my earlier post when I boasted of stitching 26 letters, that I'd only stitched 25 and left off the "j"?  Oops - I caught that near the end of my stitching. 

Now on to the birds...
I think I only have three active Violet-green Swallow nests this year.  The first of the three has babies - I can hear them.

The Tree Swallows are also feeding babies from dawn to dusk.

The female American Goldfinches have spent the past couple of weeks gathering nesting material, only to drop it on the ground when they get to the feeders to eat.  It's still to early for them - they nest in mid-July.

The Lesser Goldfinches have nested and fledged.
The babies continue to beg as that's what newly mature birds do.

I'm not seeing many quail - at the most 3-5.  There are some single males and they have not given up hope - they continue to trumpet their many fine characteristics! 

I have a couple of Purple Finches and a couple of House Finches.  This is a male House Finch.

This is a newly fledged House Finch - she was making quite a ruckus!

And here's the first young American Robin I've seen this year.  

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Wonderful Wednesday Walk

Unusually, we've had some rain showers in June so everything is still lush and green.  Outside we go!

Perennial Bachelor Buttons.

Columbia Lily.

On a sunny day the Quarry Pond is alive with dragonflies.

They certainly are prehistoric looking.

There were butterflies too.

I think this is poison hemlock.

Lewis' Mimulus



The county has set out an insect trap - I don't know who they want to capture, bt gypsy moths are an on-going problem.

Blue Dick

Green fruit - when it ripens I'm sure there will be birds to consume it.

Nootka Rose

Oregon Sunshine

Wonderful smelling native Mock Orange.  Stop for a moment - can you smell the soft sweet scent?

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Woodpeckers There

Design - "Summer Alphabet Sampler"
Designer - Chessie and Me
Fabric - 35 count WDW Parchment linen
Fibers - WDW - 2 strands over 2 threads
Started - 17 September 2009
Completed - 25 September 2009

Here's a blast from the past.  I love this stitch and have it framed and on display in summer months.

I am very pleased with the finished sampler.  The colors are great and the over-all mood of the piece is lovely. 
I did change a couple of things: 
The color of the heart to a pink used in the flowers.
Also the base of the skep from satin stitch to cross stitch using two threads for added weight.

And now, finally, I'm ready to show off some of the wonderful woodpeckers and other "Life Birds" that I saw a couple of weeks ago in the forests around Sisters, Oregon. We had a group of twelve led by Steve Shunk who runs Paradise Birding

It wasn't all birds!  We saw a Mule deer - a buck - and several of these Golden-mantled Ground Squirrels. 

The first site we visited was a condominium complex!  

There were several holes in these two aspen with active nests tended by multiple species including Tree Swallows, Western Bluebirds, Pygmy Nuthatchs, House Wrens, and Woodpeckers. I watched the activity and saw the House Wren, Bluebirds, and Swallows hard at work. The Nuthatches and Woodpeckers were so quick in and out that I did not feel I saw them clearly.

We saw and heard several different Flycatchers including this one.

At the aptly named Calliope Crossing, we saw this male Calliope Hummingbird.
In early May 2015, I had one stop by my feeder for a couple of days while on migration.  Take a look - the photos do a better job showing off this lovely bird. 

Here's one of the Life Birds I collected - a Red-naped Sapsucker.

This pair of Sapsuckers was interesting as one...

...was a leucistic bird. It had a red head, but the rest of the bird had very little pigment, and was cream colored.  Nonetheless it had found a mate and had an active nest.

This is another lifer for me - a Hammond's Flycatcher. 

This is the most unusual of the woodpeckers I think.

It's a female White-headed Woodpecker.

It's a rather odd looking bird I think, but a regular feeder bird in this area. It too was a Lifer.

Through the late 1880's the Williamson Sapsucker females and males were thought to be separate species as they look so different. This is the female and a Lifer.

And this is the male! They look nothing alike.

Sometimes Nature is very tidy!  The male is cleaning out the nest - the poop of the young birds is contained in a fecal sac for easy removal.

Here's the female once again.

We also saw Hairy Woodpeckers and several small Downy Woodpeckers like this one.

High atop a pine I was thrilled to see this Lifer - a Red-Crossbill.  If you enlarge the photo you can clearly see how the top bill overlaps the bottom - the better to open seeds.

Most Oregon woodpeckers prefer to reside in living forests, but two species, the Three-Toed, and the Black-backed Woodpecker reside in burned forest eating the beetles that inhabit the dead trees.

This is an active Black-backed Woodpecker.

And here's the male bird!

A quietly handsome bird with a dash of yellow atop its head.

We had a wonderful day exploring the birds and forests around Sisters, Oregon.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Woodpeckers Here...

22 of the 26 letters stitched.  Now on to some of the many small motifs.

I want to blog about my woodpecker birding trip in Sisters, Oregon, but first I thought I'd give a shout out to my backyard woodpeckers.

I am enjoying having Downy Woodpeckers once again.

They are feeding babies I think.

I watched this female come to the suet feeder several times and fly away - always in the same direction - with suet.

Here's the Downy male.

Lots of activity on the Hairy Woodpecker front.
An adult female... 

...and an adult male.
Note the red on the back of his head. 

The Hairy Woodpeckers have fledged!
This is a young bird.

Here's a young male...

...note the red on top of his head.

Here a young male begs, hoping the female will feed him.

The Flickers are also out and about.

I haven't seen any easily to ID young birds.

My Acorn Woodpeckers are horribly under-represented with only one photo.

The thrill this past week was a young male Pileated Woodpecker.

He flew in at 6:00am so the light is poor.
Are you impressed that I'm up and outside by 6:00am? It was worth it.

I only wish I'd been able to get photos with more detail.

This was the best I could do.

Part of the entertainment was listening to the bird call out.

He showed up briefly the next day.