Monday, January 16, 2017

Snow Snow Go Away!

Design - "Snowman Scissor Companion"
Designer - Ewe & Eye & Friends
Fabric - 32 count Dirty Belfast linen
Fibers - Anchor - one strand over two threads
Started - 15 January 2011
Completed - 16 January 2011

Sorry - I continue to share past stitches because that's all I have at the moment. 

On the birding side though, I had a bird show up at the feeders that I've not seen for several months.

I've been hearing a Red-breasted Nuthatch in the forest, so I was thrilled to have one come to the front feeders to eat a peanut or two. 

While I have a nice group of House Finches, I am distressed at the number of birds who are suffering from Mycoplasmal conjunctivitis). Notice the red, swollenrunny, or crusty eyes. In extreme cases the eyes become swollen shut and the bird becomes blind.

When the birds gather at the feeders, they naturally spread the disease to one another.  I try to clean the feeders regularly, but other than that, there is nothing I can do.

On a brighter note, Song Sparrows and most other small birds are immune to the disease.

And while the snow is off the trees and brush...

...there's still snow and ice on the ground.

Today the weather is to warm up to well above freezing.

The quail and I have both been chanting, "Snow snow go away!"

Many of you know Maggee from her Stitching Devotee blog.  She has also become a birder and shows off a truly lovely bird in her latest Birding Devotee post - take a look!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Hummer Census

While this collage does not reflect it, I am pretty certain that I have four birds. Two males and two females.  
I have so admired their fortitude during our prolonged subfreezing weather.
I think everyone made it through safely.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Saturday - Trail Camera

December was a bit of a bust for the trail cameras.  The batteries in one (the backyard) died the first day out...

The second one down by Dorothy's Creek had limited action.

Early in the month the deer strolled by.

The path was open and clear.

But after our first ice storm the path was blocked with a small downed tree. 

The deer appeared to have a 'look-see'.

I think they found a way around it to the right.

At night we did have a couple of raccoons.

And one sighting about 9:00am of a bob-cat.

I wish it had been headed toward the camera...oh well. There's always January 2017's photos to look forward to. 

Friday, January 13, 2017

We've Still Got Snow

Chart - "Flakes"
Design - "Little Flake"
Designer - Val's Stitchin' Stuff
Fabric - R & R 18th Century Brown
Fibers - Caron Wildflowers
Started - 29 December 2010
Completed - 31 December 2010 

Looks like I whipped this one out in just a couple of days...back when I had my stitching mojo...I'm trying! Truly I'm trying!

I seem to fall into a post-holiday funk in January and I think the weather has been distracting.

Here are a few more photos from our last snow / ice storm.

I was pleased to see a couple of Robins - this kind of weather makes it tough for them to find food. 

The Chestnut-backed Chickadees seem to thrive in the cold weather.

I had several of them in the backyard.

This one found a spot of cover from the storm.

They seem to like nuts... 

...look at my peanut feeder - wiped out! 

I'll fill it up again.

While the ice is gone, we still have snow on the ground.

At least the quail aren't slipping and sliding any longer.  They were unable to gain traction on the ice and looked like a scene from "America's Funniest Videos" as they slid and tumbled and skated to the feeders. Poor birds.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Snowmen and Woodpeckers

Design - "Snowmen"
Designer - Val's Stitchin' Stuff
Magazine - "Just Cross Stitch" - October 2006
Fabric - 32 count Moss Green Belfast
Fibers - Thread Gatherer & WDW - one strand over two threads 
Started - 1 December 2010
Completed - 4 December 2010

I was pleased and relieved to see my woodpeckers during the recent winter weather.   

Here's the female Hairy Woodpecker.

She's sideways on the red feeder on the left, while the male is on the right on the green stand.

Here he is...

...and here she is.

I went through bird food like crazy - the peanuts and suet were in high demand.

Here's another one of peanut eaters. 

The male and female Acorn Woodpeckers both came by!

It's rare to see them together.

In fact I'd not seen her for several days, and was starting to get worried.

The guy is much better at coming by daily.

I did have a couple of Flickers too. 

Only managed to get photos of the female.

The Red-breasted Sapsucker is the bird that surprised me.  

Every morning, no matter how cold, no matter the weather, I could hear this bird thunking away on his sap wells on l large second growth Douglas fir tree.

Here are the wells. 

Two neat columns of holes.

Notice that even if temperatures down in the 'teens, the wells continued to emit sap and not freeze. See the beads of sap?  Scientists are interested in how these wells continue to run in very cold weather.  

The Anna's Hummingbirds are supposed to drink from these in the winter, an interesting synergy in the avian world.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Wednesday Walk

It's been hard to find a day when the weather cooperated for a walk. 

Last Friday there was a break between storms.  And while it was very cold, the sky was blue.

I walked down to my sister's dahlia garden to refill the bird feeder there before the weekend's storms.

The garden is hibernating and dreaming of spring.

The smallest of the seasonal creeks burbled along.

My father spent several days picking up after our end of December ice storm.

Now his mini woodpiles are covered with snow.

The red branches of the Osier Dogwood makes a statement this time of year.

I found this interesting set of tracks near the Big Creek.
Small front feet... 

...and large back feet.  I think it was a bob-cat.

The pattern and distance between the tracks looks right to me.

The bright blue of a winter's sky.

The brush along the Big Creek. 

This is near where the Pacific Wren was hard at work.

I also found several sets of deer tracks.

The snow lingered in the shade.

The damage from earlier storms was readily apparent.

As we've not gotten above freezing for several days, the water along the edges of the creeks started to freeze.


I'll bet the water is beyond invigorating! 

Douglas fir cones and snow.

Another cat track I think.

My favorite though are the California Quail tracks.

They look like they've been skiing.
And I feel like I've been skiing - it's time to go back inside and get warmed up.