Thursday, August 17, 2017

A Red Bird Start

I have enough fabric in hand to stitch 6 of the 10 designs. I've decided that the Cardinals will be next.  It was a thrill to see them in Michigan.

I am so thankful that our weather has moderated. 

Cooler temps and better air quality means that Parvati and I are able to spend more time outside. 

There's been an increase in hawk activity early in the morning.
(Cooper's Hawk). The song birds big and small are wary.

Black-capped Chickadee

Chestnut-backed Chickadee

Every birding year and gardening year is a bit different than the preceding years. This summer the Chestnut-backed Chickadees are semi-regular at the feeders. 

The Cedar Waxwings have fledged.  This photo shows one adult bird with three juveniles.  Can you spot the adult bird?

The Black-headed Grosbeaks are still begging, with limited success. 

Young Robins are not particularly handsome birds, are they? 

This poor little wee California Quail chick got separated from his family.  He trotted all the way around the house cheeping piteously. I am hoping that this had a happy ending ... eventually. 

Winning the Cutest Contest - the Bushtits!

I've had a flock of 14-20 birds come by a couple of times this week.

Usually they flit about so quickly, I don't manage to get any good photos.

But this time I did!  This one is pretty good if I do say so myself.
Quiz time - do you remember what sex of Bushtit has light eyes and which has dark eyes?

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Garden and Nature Walk

The weather is much improved - cooler with the blue skies back and the smoke mostly gone.

August always seems a bit overblown to me - overly exuberant - the last hurrah.



The Hazel catkins are out now - getting ready for next year's crop of nuts.

Blackberries ripening.

Thistles in seed...

Clouds of seeds.

Ripe blackberries!

The garden has lots going on too...



My sister planted a row in one of the new flowerbeds...

...I am very much enjoying them.


Douglas' Aster




A Helianthus of some sort...

This too...

The biggest bumble bee ever!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

They're Back!

Design - "Robin Laid an Egg" (kit)
Designer - Bent Creek
Fqbric - unknown provided in kit
Fibers - DMC & WDW - 2 strands over 2 threads
Started - 8 August 2017
Completed - 10 August 2017

This is the 2nd design in this series that I've stitch. I had it kitted up and took it to Michigan, but did not have time to stitch it there.

June and July were hawk-free which was just fine with me. But as of a few days ago, the Cooper's Hawks have returned.  Sunday afternoon I watched it in hot pursuit of a Mourning Dove.  I don't know how it ended, nor do I want to.  Everyone has to eat, but I do not have to enjoy it!

Fortunately, the edge of the backyard has quite a dense barrier of blackberries hazelbrush and other shrubs which provide cover for birds like this Song Sparrow.    

This male Goldfinch looks grumpy in the rain, but I think the birds liked it.  I watched a couple of hummingbirds having impromptu baths using the raindrops caught on leaves.  

Black-capped Chickadee eating peanuts, I also had a Chestnut-backed Chickadee at this feeder.

Here's a male Lesser Goldfinch.

Here's an Orange-crowned Warbler.

Nice to see this bird again.

This group of California Quail just finished with dust-baths in our front flowerbed.  They then rested on the walkway to preen their feathers.
The mother bird is front right.

Here's Dad Quail stomping about and ruffling his feathers...

...back to Mama and the gang.

And now we're headed off!

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Littlest Bit of Rain

Design - "Hummingbird"
Chart - "Prairie Birds"
Designer - The Prairie Schooler
Fabric - 32 count Ocean Kissed Wicheltt linen
Fibers - DMC - 2 strands over 2 threads
Started - 5 August 2017
Completed - 8 August 2017 

This stitch makes a really nice moments for my Michigan vacation as I did see both a male and female Ruby-Throated Hummingbird while there.

Sunday dawned cool and gray with the lightest of showers from 7:00am-10:00am.  I think we got about 1/10".  That does not sound like much, but as it has not rained since the beginning of July, we are most grateful. The air has cleared and this weather is much better for battling the many forest fires in our state and throughout the west.

It's time for a Woodpecker Report.   

I was thrilled to have a young Red-breasted Sapsucker come by for a couple of days in a row.

The bird not only posed nicely on a nearby tree...

...but also on our deer fence.

In fact the deer fence seems to meet with woodpecker approval.

I am now seeing a couple of Hairy Woodpeckers once again...

...including this female...

...and this male.

I love to capture birds and blackberries.
Isn't this lovely?

Here's a female and male Flicker.

The Flickers will be pleased with the rain as it has made their poking for ants on the ground a bit easier.

I had a Pileated Woodpecker fly overhead a couple of times this past week, but no photos.  I've seen the Acorn Woodpeckers on and off, but again no photos.  I'll try to do better this week.