Friday, May 25, 2018

Memorial Weekend

A reminder of the original purpose of Memorial Day. I like this vintage postcard was the proofing leaves something to be desired.  Can you spot the error?

Memorial Weekend is a serious holiday, so I'll leave you with a short photo essay that should bring a smile to your face.

I often have a chipmunk eating out of a small plastic container on my front bird feeder. While he is there, the bird activity continues unabated. 

It's a different story though when Big Gray takes over the feeders.

To put it bluntly, it infuriates my Acorn Woodpeckers!
This male bird is staring down at the feeders and the squirrel planning his strategy.  

Yell loudly and dive-bomb the rodent!

Again and again and again!
Oh it made me laugh.  The bird came at the squirrel from the left and the right well over a dozen times.  The squirrel paid him no mind.  I felt sorry for the bird and went outside.  The squirrel left and the Acorn Woodpecker was once again King of the Bird Feeders! I guess I need to buy a squirrel baffle to stay in the Acorns' good graces.


Thursday, May 24, 2018

Stash Explosion!

I went up to Corvallis last week to help celebrate Friendship Crossing's 30th anniversary.

I did my part to insure that Ann will be in business for years to come!

Spring brings me brighter birds like this male American Goldfinch.

Even this female Lesser Goldfinch qualifies.

The winner may be the male Evening Grosbeak.  
We are awash in Evening Grosbeaks.  My sister counted around 20 at the feeder in her dahlia garden.  

I had a Purple Martin stop by briefly - another bright bird.

The House Sparrow continues to harass the Violet-green Swallows - grrrrr!

That makes a nice segue to this male Brown-headed Cowbird. While cowbirds don't physically take over other bird's nests, they do lay their eggs in others' nests.  Often the 'true' babies do not fledge as the much large cowbird baby requires much more food than say a White-crowned Sparrow baby.
Boy sometimes Nature is all about survival of the fittest - or the biggest bully.  

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Blooms to the Left and to the Right - Everywhere Really!

As May comes to a close, the entire world seems to be in bloom.
Let's take a walk and admire all the color.

We'll start off with a pop of orange - the Western-trumpet Honeysuckle (Lonicera ciliosa).

Nootka Rose (Rosa Nutkana)

A wild pea of some sort.

This perennial Bachelor Button (Centaurea Montana) is a cultivated variety that has 'escaped' the captivity of a flowerbed.

Large False Solomon's Seal (Maianthemum racemosum)

Meadow Checker-mallow (Sidalcea campestris)

Oregon Checker-mallow (Sidalcea oregana)

Red Columbine (Aquilegia formosa)

Large-leafed Avens (Geum macrophyllum

We have two kinds of lupine - this is the earliest bloomer of the two.

A bright patch of Creeping Buttercup (Ranunculus repens).  It loves damp places and is in a seep.

I've never been able to figure out what this forget-me-not type of flower is.

Inside Out Flower (Vancouveria hexandra )

Common Camas (Cammassia quamash)

Red Osier Dogwood (Cornus sericea)

Tolmie's Mariposa Lily (Calochortus tolmiei )
One of my favorite wildflowers - my family has always called this fuzzy flowers Cat's Ears.

Oregon Tea Tree or Redstem Ceanothus (Ceanothus sanguineus

Common Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana)

And not to be forgotten - blackberries in bloom.
I hope you enjoyed this week's walk.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

An American Robin

Design - "American Robin"
Chart - "The Bird Collection - Part II"
Designer - Heartstring Samplery
Fabric - 32 count Picture This Plus Wren linen
Fibers - WDW & GAST - 2 strands over 2 threads
Started- 2 May 2018
Completed - 17 May 2018

Loving my American Robin finish.  I am hearing...

...and seeing lots of Robins these days.

I went on a Nature Walk and it turned out to be pretty birdy as well.

My biggest score was a female Western Tanager.

The gray sky did not make for good photos.

I also saw several Cedar Waxwings.

This was the best photo I managed.

And it was great to also see a Bushtit.

Most of the year, these are social birds and arrive in flocks, but during nesting in the spring they are solitary.

The dark eyes indicate that this is a male.

I was happy to get several decent shots as he flitted and fluttered non-stop. 

Thanks bird!

Monday, May 21, 2018

Courting and Nesting

I'd hoped to have a pair of Western Bluebirds use my nest box this spring.  While that was not to be, I am happily stitching away on an Eastern Bluebird.  This is The Little Stitcher's newest release for her bird calendar series.    

Courting continues apace.

This male House Finch was singing away in downtown Corvallis.

His audience did not appear to be terribly impressed. 

Ms. House Finch eventually fluttered off and the male followed.

Here at home I watched a female American Goldfinch gather nesting material.

I'm not sure what she has in mind as this species does not nest until July.

I think my Chickadee house is unoccupied, so I delight in watching Chickadees eye nesting material.

A closer look.

Grab and mouthful...

...and off we go!

If I see one California Quail, I eventually see two.  The pairs of birds are inseparable.

I was not at all happy to see a male House Sparrow.

He's a bully bird.  
I heard my Violet-green Swallows in an uproar, and discovered this fellow attempting to take over one of their birdhouses.  I got out a hose and sprayed water at him several times throughout the afternoon.  The swallows also did their part, gathering together to mob the sparrow and attempt to drive him off.  At work I've heard several stories from customers who have attempted to hang bird houses for swallows only to have them taken over by House Sparrows.  That's not going to happen here if I can help it!  

I want Tree Swallows... 

...and Violet-green Swallows to use my bird houses...not non-native House Sparrows.