Monday, August 29, 2016

A Whale of a Day

Design - "August" - Joyful Journal
Designer - Heart in Hand
Fabric - 30 count WDW Confederate Gray
Fibers - GAST & WDW & CC - 2 strands over 2 threads
Started - 21 August 2016
Completed - 23 August 2016

Loving the whale!  I saw this on Friendship Crossing's Facebook page and instantly wanted it!  A special thanks to Ann at Friendship Crossing for getting the chart and the threads to me so quickly.

I 'old' camera died a couple of weeks ago. The lens would no longer extend or retract.  I've been using a lesser camera while deciding what to do next.

This photo was taken with my 'lesser' camera.
Certainly not a bad photo.

But by new camera has a rather amazing zoom.
Look at the clarity of the feathers on this male Anna's Hummingbird.  

Here's a close up of a male Anna's.

Close up of an American Goldfinch.

Male California Quail.

Steller's Jay.

Song Sparrow.

I think it does a nice job. And I bought a three year extended warrenty!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Sunday's Hummers

In the past week or so, the number of hummers I have has declined.
I think many of the Rufous Hummingbirds have begun their southern migration. 

Thankfully, I still have Anna's Hummingbirds... this lovely lady... 

...and this handsome gentleman.

I'm very pleased to have a mature male back at the feeders.

See how his entire head and throat are pinky/red?

Now compare with this juvenile male Anna's.  He is just beginning to get some color.

There is at least one young Rufous still in the area.

I believe this might be a juvenile male.

I think there is just a touch of color forming on the throat.

And this is a female Rufous - so two birds still.

Ya' got an itch?  Then scratch it!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Saturday Critters

I have some interesting and usual critters to share this week.

We have a group of paper-wasps who have constructed a nest from dead wood and plant stems. The open combs are used to raise their young. The combs with caps have eggs in them. Unlike yellow-jackets, these wasps are not aggressive, so we are taking a 'live and let live' attitude.

We had a very small lizard in the garage.  I think he was not more than 2" long.

And here's a Western Skink. It's been hanging out in the heat of the back patio for a month now.  But it moves so quickly, I've not been able to get a photo until now. 

Young skinks have bright blue tails. They are active in warm season, preying on spiders and sow bugs.  They lurk in leaf litter and dense vegetation (and among my flower pot on the back patio). 

Now on to bunnies...

I saw six of them in the backyard the other morning.

Hop to it!

Nose to nose.

looking left and looking right.

Feasting on cauliflower plants on the compost pile.

Feasting on blackberries.

Lately I have just seen a single fawn.

This one stays pretty close to Mama Deer.

Do you think this could become an Olympic event?

Warning - the next photo is rather graphic and not for the faint of heart.

Remember I posted photos of a group Turkey Vultures?  
Here's what they were working on.  A fawn was hit by a car, and our neighbor let the Turkey Vultures do their important work.  The carcass has picked clean except for the legs and hooves.  You can see the rib cage quite clearly.  When I went over to take a look there was no smell. Not a happy event, but not a waste of a life either.  Nature Is.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Hot Days Call for Watermelons

Design - "August"
Chart - "A Prairie Year"
Designer - The Prairie Schooler
Fabric - 32 count Lambswool linen
Fibers -DMC - 2 strands over 2 threads - watermelon seeds 1 strand smyrna crosses
Started - 15 August 2016
Completed - 19 August 2016

It's supposed to be 97° today - I think that calls for a watermelon for dessert.

With the hot weather , I'm not having much bird activity.

I haven't seen a Downy Woodpecker since August 12th.

I am hearing Hairy Woodpeckers, but they are not frequenting the feeders.

This female did stop by for a quick bite.

The Acorn Woodpeckers are AWOL too.  I have been watching them in the evening when they sit on a branch and then sally out to pick off a flying insect.  They are eating insects right now, not suet or peanuts.  Last year by this time, they had brought their newly fledged youngster to the feeders.  I am hoping that I will soon see a young bird or two and increase my Acorn Woodpecker population from two to three or four or even five birds.

The Flickers are coming by for a drink, but not eating at the feeders.

With all that negative stuff, it was great to have a Pileated Woodpecker fly in.

The bird did not come as close as I might have liked, but I still got some good looks.

Here you can compare the size of the bird with the jays watching below.

Looking right.

Looking left.

At 16"-19" long - this is a BIG bird! 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Blue and Yellow

Design - "August"
Chart - "Year Book - July and August"
Designer - Lizzie Kate
Fabric - 28 count Light Mocha Cashel linen
Fibers - WDW & DMC - 2 strands over 2 threads
Started - 19 August 2016
Completed - 20 August 2016

I'm really taken with the gull on the pier post and the starfish charm. And being me, the blues used 'sing' to me.

The Cedar Waxwings have also been 'singing' to me - their high-pitched whistle.  most days now I see a small flock of 8-12 birds.  They momentarily perch in the distant trees, but are not coming in close as of yet.    

It was thrilling to have this female Western Tanager 'come in close' for three mornings running.

Last year I had a female and young male that I saw regularly in the late summer.

I will gladly 'make do' with this female, but also hold out hopes of other Western Tanagers coming by.