Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Nest Complete...Empty Nest

Design - "Nest"
Designer - Ewe & Eye & Friends
Fabric - 30 count Pearled Barley linen
Fibers - Anchor - One strand over two threads
Started - 7 August 2011
Finished - 14 August 2011

Eyelets, Rhodes, and straight stitches all contribute to the "texture" of the nest. I think it is a fitting tribute to all the many avian mothers and fathers I have watched this Spring and Summer.   

I thought long and hard about whether to post this or not, then decided that as this blog exists firstly as a record of the year for me, then yes, I needed to post.  Last week I wrote at some length of my Baby Barn Swallow rescue Wednesday evening.  The parents fed the three-some for the remainder of the evening until about 9:00pm when they too came to the nest to sleep.  All seemed fine.  But on Thursday morning when I went outside I noticed there was not a single "peep" from the nest, and the parents seemed very agitated.  By the end of the day, it was clear that all three babies had died.  I was heart-broken, and puzzled too.  No one disturbed the nest, or attacked the babies.  It is almost as though they caught a virus, and were dead within a few hours.  Very sad.  The parents come by the nest in the morning, and for a while acted as though they might build yet another nest...but now I think they've decided they are done for the year.  I will miss them as they were chatterboxes and graceful fliers too.  I am considering having the nest taken down for sanitation's (and safety's) sake, so that they will have to start fresh next Spring.
It's Tuesday - time for a Garden Party with An Oregon Cottage.
This week I'm showing off several of my Agastaches.  I successfully over-wintered several plants, and purchased 6-8 more, so I have a pretty good collection.  They are wonderful late summer performers, and my Hummingbirds are mad about them! 

Agastache - Blue Fortune
 This plant likes full sun and well drained soil - it certainly gets that in a potted situation!  It is both heat and drought tolerant, and due to its aromatic properties is considered to be an excellent attractant to hummingbirds and butterflies.
Agastache - Tutti Frutti
This plant prefers well-drained soil with full sun.  It is an erect, bushy perennial with scented gray-green leaves. The raspberry-red flowers grow on loose, foot-long spikes from midsummer to late fall. The flower spikes have a long bloom period and are attractive to hummingbirds

Agastache rupestris
The Licorce Mint Hyssop is a perennial many enjoy in the garden for its spicy fragrance, uniquely colored flowers, and its finely textured foliage. It is also a superb hummingbird plant attracting them for several months with its nectar-rich flowers. It can be an indispensable perennial for water-thrifty gardens. Agastache rupestris loves a hot, sunny position in well-drained soil.
Agastache - Firebird
 'Firebird' has proven to be a prolific bloomer.  Its covered with deep orange red flowers, and blooms from mid-summer until frost. I think it is a great choice for containers, and is also appropriate for raised beds and rock gardens. It is a favorite of butterflies and hummingbirds. A reliable returner when given good drainage.

Agastache - Sonoran Sunset
Sonoran Sunset has compact blue-green foliage with upright branching stems, and large lavender rose flowers.  It bloom earlier and longer than the standard species. Sonoran Sunset is fragrant and very drought tolerant.

Agastache - Mandarin Dream
I bought this plant from Xera Plants this Spring.  Paul Bodine, says "A citrus-scented treasure of the flowering hyssops native to the southwestern U.S. Gray-green leaves emit a citrus-mint scent when brushed, and also provide handsome scaffolding for stems clad in glowing apricot, tubular flowers that appear on 18-inch stems. Eventually forming a clump just as wide once the flowering begins in late June. There is no stopping it until the first frost ends the party. Beloved by hummingbirds, they are adapted to average soil with light to intermittent water during the warmest months. Stems remain upright and require no staking in full hot sun to very light shade. Flowering hyssops come in an ever-widening range of colors and each offers the same months of long, carefree display. Zone 7."


Kathy said...

Your Nest finish is adorable. How do you plan on finishing it?

I am so sorry to hear about the baby birds and the empty nest. :( If you think there is a possibility of illness I would take the old nest down. Probably a good precaution.

Love all your flower photos. Those are some glorious colors too.

butterfly said...

Love the nest and your lovely flowers.

Ann at Beadlework. said...

Lovely flowers today, I particularly like the ones called Blue Fortune. It's so sad about the birds, they are so vulnerable when so young.

Teresa said...

Sorry about your little birds. Your nest piece can be a reminder of their short little lives.
Teresa's Heartfelt Stitches

Linda said...

Your stitchery is adorable...so sorry to hear of the birds...it is so sad whenn we are watching and waiting for them to grow up.

Nancy said...

Cute stitching! Sorry about the baby birds, they are so fragile...we had a nest of 4 swallows die one year when we had a sudden cold snap one night with lots of wind...guess they just got too cold. Your flowers are beautiful!

carol fun said...

So sad about the birdies - Mother Nature can be hard. Love the little Nest piece- pretty colors and textures. And thanks for the info on the flowers - I want to add more plants that attract hummingbirds and butterflies next year.

RuthB said...

Congrats on your finish, but I am so sorry to hear about your feathered friends. :(

Jacqueline~Cabin and Cottage said...

Hi Beth! Your nest project turned out lovely! But sad to hear of your baby birds. I love barn swallows, and see them lined up on the wires early in the morning. I think a large number of them are juveniles. You have some vibrant colored flowers! The hummers surely love coming to your place. I never was able to see that I made the link to the garden party. Thanks for finding me!

Gabi said...

How sad that the baby birds all died :(
Your finish is adorable. So are the lovely flowers.

La Vie Quotidienne said...

Your nest is so pretty, I haven't done any cross stitching for a while and it would be fun to get back to.

Your Agastaches are glorious. I love them and have tried with little success to grow them but they just do not like it here...maybe it is too hot. Lucky you!(-:

Melanie said...

Awww. The poor things. :(