Thursday, June 30, 2016

Bees and Birds

I am plugging away on my Lizzie Kate stitch. I need to stitch a couple of bees.  Kris will be pleased to learn that these bees do have wings! I think that I'll get it done before the month ends, but probably will not show it off until next month.

I haven't posted many photos of my California Quail lately.
As best I can tell, there are two still-childless couples, one bachelor... 

...and this group of 14 chicks with Mama and Papa Quail.

The babies are pretty darned cute at this stage in their lives.

When they get separated from their parents, they peep, sounding just like baby chicks.

Here poor Papa Quail endeavours to take a dust bath...

...while most of the group looks on.

There's no down-time for the quail parents. 

I wonder how far these little ones walk in a day.

They have already learned to eat on their own, they can fly for short distances, and now know how to take a dust bath.

Good work Papa Quail!
They have to be on the look out for raptors, and bob-cats, and raccoons. And yesterday my Mom thought she saw a weasel stalking the quail babies. The parents got extremely agitated as you might imagine.  

As tiny as they are, they already have a rather complex feather pattern going on.

Note to self" Don't leave the garage doors open or the quail will explore!

Time to move on!

Come on little ones!

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Wednesday Walk on Green Island

On Saturday my sister and I visited the 1055 acre Green Island owned by the McKenzie River Trust just north of Eugene, Oregon.

The island was farmland until about 10 years ago. Now much of it has been restored to native rye grass. There are several different ecosytems on the island including native prairie and oak savannah. 

The island had an amazing assortment of wild flowers, most of which were new to me.

Whatever this is, a coreopsis of some sort perhaps, it certainly is pretty.

Blue-headed Gilia (Gilia capitata).  

Coast Manroot (Marah oreganus) was done blooming and had set fruit.

This is a guess.  Maybe Gold Stars (Crocidium multicaule).

The over-riding vision is to allow the Willamette River to 'act like a living river' and weave and meander and create new channels and gravel beds. All of these things are important for both the health of the river and that of the native fishes. In this spot a channel of the McKenzie River enters the Willamette River.

I'd hoped to ID this orange flower, but have not had any luck.

Common Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Moth Mullein (Verbascum blattaria).

Speaking of fishes, it certainly is a lovely place to fish.

This plant is a mystery to me.  It was growing near water and the berries are lovely.

An almost blue lupin.
I am guessing that it is Streambank Lupin (Lupinus rivularis).

Unfortunately, Poison Hemlock (Conium maculatum) a non-native invasive still has a strong foot-hold on the island as it likes wet places.  

Much better to have Ocean Spray (Holodiscus discolor) in abundance.

There's a nice view of the Coburg Hills off to the east.
With meadows and rivers, the island has great habitat for birds with 158 species seen since 2000. 

I saw a Willow Flycatcher.

A Cedar Waxwing.

A Great Blue Heron.

There were dozens of nesting boxes and the Tree Swallows had claim to most of them.

Here the river eases around a gravel bed it deposited.

California Poppies (Eschsholzia californica).

They liked living on the hot dry gravel bed.

Notice that they are yellow rather than the more typical orange.

Common Toadflax (Linaria vulgaris)

Such a peaceful and serene setting. 

Douglas's Spiraea (Spiraea douglasii)

Western Morning Glory (Calystegia occidentalis)

Not the best photo, this was an interesting wildflower.

Here's one last Unknown Pretty!

It was hard to say good by to Green Island and the Willamette River.

But good to know this part of the river is alive and healthy.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A New WIP Project

As I finished stitching my shamrock WIP piece, I decided to pull out another WIP and start working on it on Wednesday.  This is a Noah's Ark by Blue Whale Designs that I stitched away on last year.  There really is not all the much left to do - mostly back stitching.  I am energized and ready to work on it and get it into the finished pile.

One of my on-going questions has been are the swallows finished raising their families for this year. 

The Tree Swallows have returned to the house they occupied in April and... 

...are hanging around as though they might raise a second brood.

Watching the Violet-green Swallows, I have to come to the same conclusion.

They've been gathering up the dried grasses they use as nest material.

They've been checking out houses once again.

From up high...

...and from inside. 

I believe this house is occupied once again and this couple is nesting.

Much to my delight, I hear or see Cedar Waxwings most days. 

Usually just a couple of birds

Bandit Bird.

They talk almost continually - a high pitched 'scree'. The one of the left is 'talking'.

Every once in a while they check things out on ground level. 

Front and back.

We have a lighted tree in the backyard, and that works as a bird perch.

Happy Holidays from the Cedar Waxwings!