Thursday, March 5, 2015

Baby Steps

The days go by so quickly, and as evening comes to a close (bed-time), I realize that I've done little if any stitching.  I am enjoying puttering away on "For Keeps" and certainly expect that I will be able to post a finish next week.

We had a pair of Red-tailed Hawks soaring in the sky.

I'm done to just five to seven Pine Siskins as the feeders.

They have a very cheerful song and chatter to one another.  They've provided much entertainment on the birding front this winter.  

As have the Black-capped Chickadees.
They can appear as short little butterballs.

Or longer, sleeker birds.

The Juncos are plump little birds too.

While the Steller's Jays are comical characters.

They do have tail and wing patterns - bright blue with dramatic black stripes. 
Evening wear! 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Mulling Over March's Motif

I've been dithering over a stitching theme for March to no avail.  Then I hit upon a semi-brilliant idea.  I've stitched most of the BOAF Animal Sayings, but a quick riffling through my stash unearthed the fox, goose, and the lamb.  So that's what I'll have on my plate for this month. (I also have the virtue charts, "Patience", Loyalty" and "Love" - but that is on hold for the moment.  The R & R recommended fabric (3 different ones) the the animals are no longer in production, so that will be my challenge - to find acceptable replacements.  More dithering will ensue!

When I get it figured out, I think I'll begin the the fox.

On a winter's day, even a warm one, a spot of sunshine is all that is needed for a comfortable catnap.  Padma is the King of Capturing Sun-tangles. 

Warning - this is an extremely Flicker-heavy post!   

Most of the USA is home ground for the Northern Flicker. 

They don't seem to mind human interaction.

One of our early signs of spring this the loud reverberating drumming of our Flickers on the metal ducts on our roof - "Calling all ladies!"  It is our spring morning wake up call.

I was taught that west of the Rockies we have Orange-shafted Flickers, and east of the Rockies, the Flickers are Yellow-shafted. While sometimes it is hard to see the orange wing and tail feathers... other times such is in flight, the orange feathers are readily apparent.

The Flickers like the suet feeders, but are also content looking for insects on the ground.

I've not had two birds at a feeder - they wait their turn. 

It's nice as they don't seem to mind me clicking away.

I have quite the Flicker Portfolio!

Here's a female - again a good example of the 'missing' orange shaft feathers.

And a male with the littlest bit of orange showing on the tail feathers.

So what's the point of all of this you might well be forgiven for asking by now?

It's that every little once in a while a Yellow-shafted Northern Flicker shows up in my yard!  And that is cause for a big YAHOO! (Cuz I'm a weird semi-obsessed birder). While I never got a good head shot, I think it is a female - I will be on the lookout to see if the bird is a 'regular.'

Several folks asked about my camera - I'll talk about that in a later post this week.  Promise!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Tidied Up and Ready for Spring

I haven't cross stitched the past few days, so my Mom agreed to show her latest project.  She is working on Lizzie Kate's "Hip Hip Horray for the U.S. of A." It's a freebie and as we've only see a black and white photocopy of the chart, it has been fun to watch it come to life as she stitches away.

I feel rather guilty about joining up with Tuesday Garden Party as again I ended up supervising watching as my sister and Mom tidied up our Mudroom Flowerbed rather than contributing much in the way of labor. 

My Mom bought Clematis "Wisley Cream" from Xera when we were up in Portland.  This plant is supposed to put out bell-shaped blooms from November through February.  Won't that thrill the hummingbirds next winter?

We'd done quite a bit of cleaning up in October and November, so it did not require hours of effort to get the flowerbed back in shape. 

Trimming this monster Salvia "La Trinidad Pink" was the biggest chore.  

With our dry winter, this transplanted evergreen needed a good drink of water.

I was surprised to see the Salvia "Black and Blue" regenerating.  It is a rather tender plant, and usually one of the later salvias to reappear.

This will be the 2nd year for this clematis, so I am hoping for more growth and blooms.

My sedums have very much enjoyed this drier and warmer than usual winter.  The group of twelve looks like something I just purchased and potted up, rather than a display that was over-wintered. 

Amazingly the snowdrops are done for the year, and the crocus have mostly finished.  The earliest varieties of of the daffodils have had their fling as well. But luckily we have a couple of dozen different varieties of daffodils planted, out so our show should continue on for several weeks yet. 

And what would gardening be without our many Garden Helpers?

I had three gray squirrels on the Front Porch caching sunflower seeds in my pots of bulbs. Who did you have helping you?

Monday, March 2, 2015

Marching Along - A New Blog Header

Garden Grumbles & Cross Stitch Fumbles March 2015 Blog Header

Horizontal rows...

Row #1: Hands to Work, "Spring Violets"; Blackbird Designs, "Fair Daffodil", Marjolein Bastin, "Snowdrop Placemat";  Cedar Hill, "Sweet Violets"; Heart in Hand, "D is for Daffodil".

Row #2: Cedar Hill, "Bouquet for March"; then skip over two - Cottage Garden Samplings, "March's Daffodil"; Sam Sarah Design Studio, "First Day of Spring" 

Row #3: Sam Sarah, "V is for Violets"; Blackbird Designs, "March of the Daffodils" - "Spring's Arrival"; The Primitive Hare, "Awakening"; The Drawn Thread, "A Year of Flowers" - "March"; Blackbird Designs, "Love is in the Air" - "February's Violet"; Cedar Hills, "February's Bouquet".

Row #4: The Little Stitcher, "Snowdrop"; Chessie and Me, "Botanical Garden Sampler".

Sunday, March 1, 2015

A Hummingbird Sunday

We've had a couple of cold frosty mornings.

The hummers flock to the feeders on cold mornings for an energy boost to kick-start their day.

I should have taken the feeders in at night as they were frozen.

I had to refill them and I had customer waiting for me.

Sorry, I'll do better next time.

"Sure you will",she says.

The colorful head of a male Anna's looks dark and black in the shade.

Then the sunlight hits it!

One a cold morning, two guys decided to hold a territorial truce and have a drink together. 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Valentine Decorations

I did put out a few items to celebrate Valentine's Day.

I got these three tin buckets as a gift.  I wish I'd taken a photo of the lovely yellow and red tulip bouquet. 

I have some fabric hearts.

Glass hearts and tins.

More fabric hearts. 

Here's the display with a couple of Emma Bridgewater heart items on the far right.

What are these three looking at?

Besides me!

They're looking at these three deer.
Yep we had six of them strolling around.