Friday, February 28, 2014

As Spring Approaches the Birds Sing

Chart - "Monthly Mania - February"
Designer - Heart in Hand
Fabric - 32 count Dirty Belfast
Fibers - GAST & WDW - 2 strands over 2 threads
Started - 14 February 2010
Completed - 14 February 2010

For whatever reason, maybe warmer weather, I've temporarily misplaced my stitching mojo. I pulled this finish out of my stitching archives.  Wow, it looks like I churned it out in one day.  

I'm not the only one enjoying the sunshine and warmer weather!

With early spring weather, these bird feeder thugs Band-tailed Pigeons have returned to thwart me spend the next several months hogging my feeders.  I need to start coming up with a plan of attack as they can empty a large cylinder feeder in under 30 minutes.   

I know some folks consider Jays to be bird feeder thugs, but I don't mind them. They seem to squabble among themselves and the other birds, large and small, don't seem bothered by them.  

I am seeing more and more Robins.
Not only seeing them, but hearing them too.

Lots of the birds are more vocal now. The Flickers have begun to court. They now chant "Wacka-wacka-wacka". Soon, as dawn breaks, they'll be hammering away on the flashings on our roof.  My early spring alarm clock!

As you can see the male California Quail are 'strutting their stuff".  I counted 27 members in the covey as they walked along in a file.

And it won't be all that long now (early July) before we have a tiny spotted fawn or two.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Creating Color While the Sun Shines

With a new gardening year beginning, it seems fitting that the last three charts in "My Garden Journal" Series arrived yesterday. I'm currently stitching "June's Delphinim", so it will be months before I get to these three. 

The last three days have been sunny and mild. 

Perfect weather to be outside.  I decided to do some early pre-spring gardening and pot up a few color spots. I won a flat of nine violas from Log House Plants at the most recent Avid Gardener meeting. 

I also purchased some double primroses and a small pot of muscari.

I also had several pots of bulbs that I moved to the Front Porch where I might enjoy them as most have now 'popped up'.

This is the view along most of the length of the porch.

I placed the color spots on my two rustic picnic benches. 

Primroses and violas and small bulbs.

This is a study in blues with a pop of orange.
Pansies, violas, muscari, and other bulbs.

Here's the reward for my efforts back in late October.
A bowl of tulips and crocus.

Some of the earliest daffodils are in bloom too.

I think I have around 17 large bowls of bulbs and probably a dozen smaller containers.  I should have a very nice on-going display for the next two months.   

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I "Heart" Wednesday Walks

I've made a nice start on "Follow Your Heart".

I know the weather continues to be miserable in much of the country, but we've had a few lovely, sunny days.  
Let's take a walk!

Just look at the blue sky!
It's warm enough to walk without even a light jacket or sweater.

But wait!  We aren't the only ones out taking a stroll today.

Can you see the doe peering at us through the brush?
Click to enlarge if you need to.  She's in the center of the photo. Her eye shows clearly as a large black dot. 

In the Pacific NW, the earliest harbingers of Spring are now visible.

The Indian Plum or Osoberry (Oemleria cerasiformis) will be the first native shrub to bloom in the Spring.   

Also up and raring to go are the native Camas (Camassia quamash) and the Cow's Parsnip (Heracleum maximum).

The wild cherries are all budded up too.

The Big Creek while still full, is not the torrent it was late last week. 

The male catkins on the Hazel brush are ready and waiting for the female flowers to appear. 

We have a couple of pussy willows on the property.
This one is down near the Big Creek.

The native Oregon Grape (Mahonia aquifolium) is pretty this time of year.

I've been watching the 'construction' near the base of this Douglas Fir for about a year now.  I could not figure out who was responsible.  But I've since read that Pileated Woodpeckers often work at the base of trees.  It seems counter-intuitive to have such a large bird working at ground level.  But I suppose it not that different from the Flickers, who also spent large amounts of time on the ground.  

We'll end our walk today awash in green and sunlight.
I'm not sure of the identity of the this plant. A Trillium perhaps? 
I'll keep an eye on it and let you know when I've figured it out.  


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Down Coats and Rainbow-Wear



Design - "Baubles - February"
Designer - SamSarah Design Studio
Fabric - 28 count Newport Natural / Cream linen
Fibers - GAST & WDW - 2 strands over 2 threads
Started - 19 Febraury 2014
Completed - 23 February 2014 

I really like the unusual colors used for the nine hearts.  I decided I liked a  simpler look without the recommended JABCO buttons.

I end up stitching lots of old charts from my stash that are now OOP.  Often it isn't hopeless if you'd like to stitch the same chart.  Check out eBay and Etsy. Try Googling the name of the designer and chart.  For example I found a copy of Fanci That's "Chocolate Stick Valentines" chart available on a site called 
Cross Stitchers.com for just $5.00.

Sunday morning dawned with temperatures at 32F.

Cold enough that everyone was wearing a down coat.

Down coats and frost covered perches.

Even the Acorn Woodpeckers were all puffed up.

As the day was sunny, my male Anna's Hummingbird gleamed.

The iridescent feathers constantly change colors.

Ruby, and bronze, and yellow, and green.
Quite the rainbow!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Color My World


Yep, I've started yet another stitch!
Say hello to "Follow Your Heart"!

Some people go to their LNS for a Shot of Color.
I can also go to Down to Earth and get a Color Jolt.  

Glass bottles

All things purple 

Rooster towels

Rainbow dishes

Bottles - can you tell I loved the glass bottles?

Planters

Bluebird houses

Mason Jar bird feeders
Aren't those clever?

Mason Bee Houses
Painted by a local elementary school.

Renee's Seeds

Their headquarters are just a few miles south of here. 

Funky bird watering cans. 

Double primroses
(I bought four of 'em!)