Saturday, January 31, 2015

Hummingbird Saturday

I am pleased to report that the Anna's Hummingbirds have been much more active this week.

I saw three birds at once - the second bird chasing the first, followed by the third bird chasing after the second and first birds!

Generally I see females in the backyard, though the first two photos are of a female in the front of the house. 

At least one female comes to the feeder on the kitchen window first thing each morning.  It's her Starbuck's run - she has to have that quick jolt of nectar each morning to get going. 

Hummingbirds truly are very vulnerable first thing in the morning. Their metabolism is so delicate that they are very run down from not eating and battling cold temperatures during the night.

They awaken very slowly as they have to raise their heartbeat and body temperature.  Then they are in a rush to refuel and recharge.

The male Anna is often at my front feeders.

I think he is beginning to court the attention of the females.

He certainly has on his fanciest feathers!

He can elongate his neck to better show them off.

Our local newspaper has started up its "Anna Cam" once again. There is a hummingbird that nests near one of their windows.  Apparently she is active already. You might find it interesting to look in on her once in a while. Keep in mind the west coast time zone when viewing!

Friday, January 30, 2015

High in the Sky

I've made a nice start on "Ready for Snow". I think I'll be able to sneak in a start on the 2nd Lizzie Kate before the month ends.

Thursday morning a large flock of geese flew overhead.

But that was nothing in comparison to all the skeins I saw Tuesday morning.
'V' after 'V' after 'V' honking along as they all headed north.

I would think that late January is a little early to be returning to northern breeding grounds.

But as the Band-tailed Pigeons have already returned here, maybe there is something to this global warming after all.

I managed to see a Sapsucker at work this week.

And I got a pretty good look at a Hairy Woodpecker as well.

I just wish this guy would visit my feeders.

The Flickers certainly are enjoying the suet.

West of the Rocky Mountains the Flickers are Orange-shafted - see the orange on the wings and tail feathers. 

East of the Rockies the Flickers are Yellow-shafted.

A couple of years ago I saw a Flicker that was a mix of yellow and orange.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Snow Friends Finish

Design - Six Fat Men - "Snow Friends"
Designer - Lizzie Kate
Fabric - WDW & Crescent Colors -28 count Amber linen
Fibers - 2 strands over 2 threads
Started - 11 January 2015
Completed - 25 January 2015

The bunny should have a white snowflake tail - I've misplaced the button.
Otherwise, I am pretty pleased with this stitch!

Robins are truly my Early Birds. They are in the lawn or in trees nearby as night is still thinking about becoming day.

The Black-capped Chickadees are so polite. They take turns at the feeder.  I've seen as many as six birds waiting their turn.

The Oregon Juncos on the other hand, do not wait in line.

They slug it out with one another.

My California Quail covey holds steady at seven members.

I counted 24 Pine Siskins on Wednesday.

I filled the nyger thistle feeder and bought a bag of hulled sunflower seeds as well as cylinder of of seeds, so they should be happy for a while.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Ready For Snow!

I'm figuratively ready for snow. I've kitted up two more Lizzie Kate stitches - "Snow Fun" and "Ready for Snow".

The Acorn Woodpeckers are happy in the sunshine. If you look closely, You can see four birds in this photo.

Here's a look at two guys and a gal in the middle.

Project FeederWatch is going to 'yell' at me again when I report
nine, yes nine Flickers in the west end of the yard.

But it's the truth!  Besides coming to the suet feeders, the Flickers spend lots of time on the ground, working away in the grass.  I've read that they like to eat ants.

Next time there are that many birds, I'll attempt a photograph or two.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Let It Snow - But Not Here

First off - I hope everyone the path of Snow Storm Juno is hunkered-down safe and warm.  We had a large snowstorm in January of 1969 when I was nine years old. I had to walk home from school in the snow wearing a light jacket and tennis shoes as the storm took everyone by surprise and the buses could not get to the school. We received 36" of snow and had no school for week.  I remember it fondly as we finally had enough snow to make great snowmen and construct snow forts and generally just have a wonderful time!

Design - "Let it Snow-Man"
Magazine - Just Cross Stitch Ornament Issue 1999
Designer - The Prairie Schooler
Fabric - 28 count Lakeside Patina linen
Fibers - DMC - 2 strands over 2 threads
Started - 20 January 2015
Completed - 25 January 2015

I decided to make the snow guy's broom look more 'broomish" and changed the color of the brush fibers from brown to WDW's Schneckley.

While many of you are blanketed in snow, I spent part of the weekend weeding the east end of our front flowerbed.

My reward - some early spring blooms.

The first of the Snowdrops have opened.

And the earliest of Hellebores are now in bloom.

I even unearthed a sweet little Primrose.

Near the Big Bird Feeder this clump of Narcissus "Early Sensation" is trumpeting the eventual arrival of Spring. 

I am pondering where to plant this native Evergreen Huckleberry Vaccinium ovatum. It will eventually become a large hedge-like plant, but for now I'm thinking a big pot.

I'll leave you with a couple of photos of a lovely sunset from Saturday evening.

I hope, no matter what the weather, that you are have a lovely day.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Snowman on a 64° Day

Design - "Snow Joe"
Magazine - Just Cross Stitch Ornament Issue 2000
Fabric - 32 count natural linen
Fibers - 2 strands over 2 threads GAST & WDW
Started - 19 January 2015
Completed - 24 January 2015

It seems crazy to have been stitching a snowman during weather than resembled April rather than January.  We broke a record from back in 1935 on Saturday, with a high temperature of 68°!

I am casting blame on the warm weather...

..for the early return of these guys!
On Sunday two Band-tailed Pigeons showed up - a good 2 1/2 weeks earlier than they did last year.

And speaking of records...
I counted a record 32 Pine Siskins in the top of this Big Leaf Maple.

The Towhees...

...and the Golden-crowned Sparrows battle with the chipmunks for the sunflower seeds that I place on the woodpile near the Big Bird Feeder.

Apologies for the blurry photo, but I was so pleased to see a Red-breasted Nuthatch in the backyard.

Blue on blue.
A Scrub Jay and a blue January sky.