Sunday, September 21, 2014

Hummingbird Sunday

The last of the Rufous Hummingbirds have left.
So now we are all about Anna's.

I think I have four or five Anna's Hummingbirds.

Enough anyway that they feel compelled to perch near the feeders and 'guard' against incursions by other birds. 

Thus the show of bright throat feeders.

They prove she's one tough little bird! 

The Anna's also use the tops of young Douglas fir trees too as lookout posts. 

It's sort of amazing they actually have any time or energy to sit at a feeder.

They are still able to supplement the feeders with flowers like this Morning Glory. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

What I've Seen As Of Late

What have I seen as of late (besides birds)?

I've not seen any grey squirrels, but this rather weird brownish/grey squirrel has been on the wood pile,muscling out the little chipmunks.   

Fewer bunnies than our peak in mid-August.  Often the backyard is rabbit-free much to the cats' disappointment. 

This snake happily basked on the radiated heat of the concrete.

Parvati Patel is perfectly camouflaged.

Nonetheless, she did not go unobserved! 

So she crouched and hissed...

...then had to beat a retreat...

...past a group of four deer.

One of whom was especially fascinated by her.

So Poor Parvati ducked in behind the tractor blade.

The Interested Parties watched, hoping she'd pop back out. 

And her twin, Padma Patel watched from the safety of the Front Porch.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday Framed Finish

Next up in my series of framed finishes is Birds of a Feather's "Busy as a Bee".

I chose a frame that picked up the burgundy in the words and the bee's head.  I went all out and I had three stitches in this series framed.  At some point I'll show all three side by side.

Earlier this week (Tuesday morning to be precise) I had a zillion Ceder Waxwings. okay maybe not a zillion, but lots of birds anyway.

This Big Leaf Maple was standing room only.

I counted over 70 birds in this photo.

Look how tightly packed in they are.

The air was filled with their buzzing as they talked among themselves.
  
I learned something interesting about Ceder Waxwings. They can see in the ultraviolet light spectrum.  This allows them to tell at a glance whether or not fruit such as that on a crab apple is ripe or not.  The birds thus never eat unripened or green fruit.  Isn't that the cleverest thing? 

At the same time I had quite a bit of woodpecker action going on.  Besides my 'normal' Acorn Woopecker activity...   

...I was pleased to see a couple of small Downy Woodpeckers.
This is a female I think which is ultra exciting as it is the first one I've seen this year. 

And there was a male Downy as well.

Back to the female once again.

The dead tops of our Big Leaf Maples are unsightly, but boy are they ever bird magnets! 

To top it off I also had a couple of larger Hairy Woodpeckers.

I see a bit of red at the back of the head, so it's a male.

I've heard Hairy Woodpeckers and seen them flying overhead, but this is the first time in months that one has stopped by. 

Thank goodness we have lots of Big Leaf Maple and other snags so the Sapsucker had a perch of his own.

I talked about the sap 'wells' the Sapsuckers drill on love trees.  Here's some recent work on one of our Sweetgums.

And then my birding frenzy ended when these two hawks flew in.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Biting Off More Than I Can Chew!

I have some more cat stitches all kitted up and ready to go.
Yep six of them.  Crazy and more than I can crank out this month for sure.  The problem was that they all sang a siren song.

The Hufflepuffs were too tired to weigh in, so I'll pick the next stitch myself.

I continue to be blessed with awesome birding.

I thought all of my Flycatchers had left for South America.

But the Western Wood-Pewee is still here!

\
He's only five inches tall and he's going to fly to northwestern South America soon.

Doesn't this look like a shy and demure young female Flicker?

And back to Yellow Birds we go! 

With their bright tale tips, the Ceder Waxwings count as yellow birds.

As often happens, when I see Waxwings, I see a Western Tanager as well.

Most male House Finches are red, but this one (on the left) has a yellow throat.

Here are a couple of Lesser Goldfinches - currently they are the brightest colored finches.

Here is something rare!
It's a group shot of my California Quail Covey.
I think I got almost all of the 25 birds.

What do you think Acorn Woodpeckers chat about at the water cooler?
Or maybe this is the dinner table with Junior on the left, Dad in the center and Mom on the right.

Pondering things like that makes me sleepy!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Autumn Stitch Autumn Walk

Design - "Happy Black Black Cat"
Designer - The Trilogy
Fabric - 32 count
Fibers - GAST - 2 strands over 2 threads
Started - 14 September 2014
Completed - 16 September 2014

This cat stitch has all the hallmarks of an autumn stitch. 
Above is the black cat without whiskers.

Here he is with whiskers.
Vote on your preference please.

Tom's vote is for an Orange Tiger cat!

The temperature has cooled to the upper 70's, and the winds have shifted so the skies are blue and we are forest-fire smoke free.  Sounds like perfect weather to take a walk.

Many of the trees are stressed from our hot dry summer. I think we aren't going to have much in the way of autumn color this year.  

The Vine Maple normally puts on a pretty show.  This year the only plants I could find with color are those growing along the bank of the Big Creek.  

While the leaves of the wild cherries are bright green, they all hang limply from the branches.

Oaks like hot dry summers so they appear in good shape.

But look as I might, this is on the only acorn I could find. 

We have two large wild Dogwoods.  One is in the bright sun on an exposed hillside and it does not look very good.  This one is growing under the shade of a Douglas fir tree and I think we might get some fall color from it.

Our wild apple tree managed to set some fruit high up out of the reach of the deer. 

A lovely spray of rose hips!

The leaves of the Thimbleberry are turning a pretty bronze color.

There are a few blackberries that remain on the vine.  I expect the birds will eat them soon.  The deer are eating all that they can reach. 

An abundance of thistle seeds - where are the Goldfinches I ask you!

There is still a pool or two of water in the Big Creek.  I am sure the animals and birds are most appreciative.

Many of the Ash have lost there leaves, but this one continues to glow green in the sun.

I cannot begin to compete with Michelle at Tales of a Stitching Mouse in the mushroom department.  Still I think this is a handsome group. 

That was a nice walk.  Now it's time to find a spot of sunshine and take a nap.