Monday, April 30, 2012

Noah and Some of His Birds

I started work on "Noah's Sampler" this past weekend.  I think it will be a fast and easy stitch.  The 28 count fabric is easy on my eyes.

We had nice weather this past weekend, so I was outside enjoying the Flora and Fauna.

On Friday evening we went to Agate Hall on the University of Oregon campus to watch the Vaux's Swifts bedtime acrobatics.  They fly down a large unused chimney to communally roost for the night - much like bats.  Vaux's Swifts descend into their roost structure in waves, spiraling down in a  dramatic rush as night falls.  The birds are like clouds of smoke, and it is mesmerizing to observe - much like falling snowflakes. 

Vaux's Swifts have been called cigars with wings.  They are similar to Swallows, but spend their daylight hours foraging for insects - never landing.  They roost together to conserve heat. Their body temperature drops and become torpid on cold nights, reviving in the warmth of day.  The local Audubon Society estimates that this colony has about 4,000 birds.
Agate Hall (formerly Condon School) is located about 1/4 of a mile from the Willamette River.  The birds work the neighborhood and river during daylight hours.  They are here for a while in the Spring, then head further north.  They return for a couple of weeks in the Fall - when the colony grows to 10,000 birds.

We were 'treated' to a bit of Nature in the Raw.  A Cooper's Hawk flew in and perched on the chimney.  He agitated the Swifts something fierce; but they continued to attempt to enter the chimney nonetheless.  Bam!  He picked one off.  Dinner for the hawk. 

Saturday morning I heard the sound of geese.
When I looked up I saw this skein.  

Then more...

...and still more!
These were serious, high-flying, migrating to the North geese.

Sunday afternoon we got some sunshine once again.
Even Turkey Vultures understand the importance of Vitamin D! 


carol fun said...

Great pictures! Mother Nature can't be messed with. The sampler is looking good. I'm working with 28. Count right now too and it is easier on the eyes!

Ann at Beadlework. said...

I love seeing the geese in formation - there is something about it that touches the soul.

MoonBeam said...

Very interesting lessons for today. Thanks!


Margaret said...

I love your xs projects, bot this post and the last! Cool pics of the birds too. So interesting about the Vaux's Swifts.

Barb said...

This is a very interesting post. My daughter and son-in-law were in Portland a few years ago and had a similar experience watching the swifts going down a chimney in an old school.

Veronica said...

Oh, those birds must have been quite the sight. I'd love to see them in real life.