Thursday, June 30, 2011

Good-bye to June

I thought I'd end the month by sharing another of my Bee Stitches.

Design - "Keeper of the Bees"
Designer - Ewe & Eye & Friends
Fabric - 32 count Belfast Dirty Linen
Fibers - Anchor & Threadgatherer
Started - 24 April 2005
Completed - 7 August 2005
Framed - July 2010

I thought the simplicity / complexity of the border was most clever.  I liked it so much, that when it came time to have the piece framed, I decided it did not need a mat to provide separation - the border did that just fine.  

This piece tested me a bit - Threadgatherer Silks were used to create the four spiderweb rosettes - some turned out better than others. I came to the conclusion that it looked like nature - each flower a bit different than the others.  Lastly, I was most pleased with the frame.  I felt that the running floral pattern echoed the rambling flowers in the stitch.

We'll take a moment to check in with the critters before signing off today.

Yesterday evening was cool and gray - Tom-Cat decided to observe the outdoor world from the comfort of a padded cat tube.

Chip did not let the cool weather deter him from collecting a last few sunflower seeds.
And the hummingbirds were active too...

This is the guy who caused a Big ruckus last night.  He is either a Cooper's Hawk or a Sharp Shinned Hawk.  One has a curved tail the other's tail ends in a straight line.  He flew into a Maple Tree and caused a stir - all the doves flew away and the Steller's Jays began to yell.  I think he was attacking their nest.  They successfully drove him off - he tried a couple of more trees, before eventually flying away. 

Messing about in the Garden Room, I unearthed these two ornamental Quail and decided to set them out.  We've now confirmed two different quail families - both with large broods.  There is one close to our house - their babies are a week or so older than the other family who resides down by our gate...the gate babies are tiny, tiny, tiny bits of fluff!    

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Last Walk of June

We received 0.4" of rain Monday night, so when I went on a walk Tuesday morning, the skies were still gray, the ground damp, and the air humid. 

I began at the house where I found a large patch of Rabbit Foot Clover (Trifolium arvense) at the edge of our driveway. It grows in waste places, fields, usually in sandy soils, at low elevations which is just where I found it.  It is native to Europe.

With all the moisture on the ground, this small snail was out on a perambulation.

I'm still uncertain as to the correct identification of this blue wildflowers.  For now I'm going with a close relative to Blue Buttons (Cynoglossum grande).  These bloom later and longer than Blue Buttons... 

The Red Columbine (Aquilegia formosa) are still blooming, and I'm finding more and more plants with each walk.

Yellow flowers are difficult to photograph.  I believe this to be Slender Hareleaf (Lagophylla ramosissima).  The flowers of this annual open in evening and close the next morning.  

I found a couple of Western-trumpet Honeysuckle (Lonicera ciliosa) in different places on my walk - this one, further down the road, was blooming.

This one, along our driveway, is about to explode with blooms. 
Both were in the deep shade of the woods.

We have some Large-leaved Lupine (Lupinus polyphyllus) on our property near the road.

This plant was The Big Surprise!  Several years ago, I stumbled across our native Tiger Lily on a bank along the road.  But I've not seen any in several years now.  So I was most pleased to find this Columbia Lily or Oregon Lily (Lilium columbianum) high up on a bank along side the road.

When I got done with my walk, Chip was on a rock-pile and greeted me with a "Job Well Done!" 
Seize the Day!  Take a Walk! 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Ruby Begonia Tuesday

Monday evening I put in a little time stitching "Cluck Cluck".  I started the large orange star and another small heart.  I am ready to stitch something else, but am trying to be disciplined:

It's Tuesday, time to join the Garden Party at an Oregon Cottage.
Today I thought I'd show off some of the begonias I purchased from Log House Plants back in early May.

This is an Angelwing Begonia "Torch Red".
Angelwings were popular in the 1950's so this might remind you of your grandmother's begonias.

Not yet blooming, this begonia is called "Tweedle Dee"...which begs the question: Is there a "Tweedle Dumb"?  Anyway it is a dwarf begonia with very fine cut leaves and white flowers. 

Another Angelwing - "Concord" - dark leaves and white blossoms.

This begonia is called "Snowflake"

And this one is "Derry Wighta".

This is begonia fuchsifoliosa - I can't wait for it to begin to bloom.  The pink blossoms are supposed to be fuchsia-like in shape and form.

Another Angelwing - this bloomer is called "Dragonwing Pink".

And this lovely is called "Beaucoup Pink".
The American Begonia Society has a nice website - a virtual greenhouse -with lots of information on growing and caring for begonias.

Monday, June 27, 2011


Design - "Bluebird Alphabet"
Designer - Just Nan
Fabric - 32 count White Linen
Fibers - DMC & GAST
Started - 29 May 2011
Completed - 26 June 2011

After all my stopping and starting, complaining and fussing, Sunday I regained my stitching mojo in the public library of all places.  I went to return some books and donate a few magazines.  While there I found a comfortable chair, good light, and brought out "Bluebird Alphabet".  The library was quiet, and more importantly I could not walk away to let in a cat, water some plants, run a load of wash, let out a cat, vacuum, mess aimlessly on the Internet, feed a cat.  You get the idea. I just happily stitched away - nice! 

While downtown, I strolled around and admired the many hanging baskets.

At home I admired this BIG guy!
Not a very good picture...but wanted to share my Sunday morning companion!
This large Buck - all in velvet - strolled by the front porch as I was sitting observing nature with the cats.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Summer's Evening

My stitching mojo has gone away...and I'm not in a hurry to find it again.
These first warm, sunny days of Summer have been lazy ones!
I sit in the dappled shade of the porch, and watch the sunlight play off the leaves of the Hostas...

I admire the Fuchsia foliage and Lobelia blossoms...

I attempt to count all the shades of Green...
And find that I'm enamored of Burgundy too...

And that's how the morning turns into afternoon, the afternoon becomes evening, and evening slowly evolves into night...

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Christmas (Preview) in June

Yesterday turned out to be all about errands.  I was out and about most of the day.  At Barnes and Noble I spied (and purchased) the above magazine - the JCS Christmas Ornament Preview.  While my thoughts at the moment are all about the 4th of July and accompanying festivities, I confess to be charmed by Knotted Tree's Snowman Ornament. 

On the Nature Front, let me begin by telling you about the Undocumented Sightings:
#1 Thursday afternoon a Bobcat ran out in front of our car about 1/2 mile west of our house.  I did not get more than a glimpse as I thought we might hit it and and closed my eyes (I was not driving!).  Anyway that was exciting and unexpected.

#2. Far more pedestrian, the first look at a doe with her extremely young spotted fawn in a small meadow on our property.  Sooner or later I'll be able to get a photo or two.

And now for my Nature in the Raw photos!
The (Extremely Large) California Quail Family
Please excuse the quality of the photos.  I was in the car looking straight at bright sunlight and shade. On Monday or Tuesday we had the first glimpse of this family, these photos were taken Friday.  I'm always amazed at how small the quail babies are and at their appearance too.  They are yellow and brown striped like baby ducks.  

Here you can see 8 or 9 babies being gently herded by a parent, and you can get an idea of just how small they are.

  If you look closely or click on the photo you can see two babies just above the tail of Daddy Quail.  My mother counted as the tribe ran back and forth on the driveway and she believes this beleaguered couple is caring for 15 babies!  15! It will be interesting to watch and see how many of the brood make it to maturity...and to see if any of our other quail couples become parents.

Friday, June 24, 2011

For the Birds

I thought I'd show off some of the plants that are performing really well right now...then I realized the Hummingbirds could serve as our guides.  

This Penstemon "Electric Blue" is going gung-ho!

As is the Agastache "Acapulco".

I bought a new Lewisia and it meets with Hummingbird Approval.

As tiny as the blossoms are on the Lavendar pinnata, the Hummingbirds are able to find nectar. 

The plants on the Back Patio have created a Hummingbird Haven.

I'm sure the little guys are grateful!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Birds of a Feather

Oh so close! 
I ran out of steam last night before completing the "Y".  Still, "Bluebird Alphabet" is almost, almost, almost done! 

Let's continue with our avian theme... 

This is such a busy time of year for birds.  Look at the dozens of holes the Sapsucker has drilled in this Big Leafed Maple.

The Barn Swallow couple have been busier still.  They returned to occupy the nest they constructed last year.  They then took out a small Home Equity Loan.  They built up the sides of the nest, and decorated the interior with wall-to-wall Band-Tailed Pigeon downy feathers. The remodel seemed to go well - I'm sure it is very comfy.

On Monday I noticed that they had a brood to feed - two bright yellow beaks - there maybe more.

Also on Monday my father spied a Quail Couple with several marshmallow-sized babies.  No pictures yet of the babies.

Our Flickers are regular visitors at the birdbaths. 

And the Downy Woodpeckers seem to enjoy frequenting the Suet Feeder now that they've figured out how to use it.

For sheer entertainment though, nothing beats a Hummingbird.

Wednesday morning this Hummingbird was busy in my Fuchsias and jealously guarding his territory from all other Hummers.

Such busy, feisty, noisy, charming little bits of feather!