Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leaping Along

Happy Leap Day!
I hope you enjoy this 'extra' day.
Ours began around 5:00am with a Flash of Lightening, a Crack of Thunder, and...Snow!

This is a cruddy picture - does not do the stitch justice.
Tuesday night while watching N.C.I.S. I began stitching A Needle and Fred's "Three Hearts".  I love it.  I love the fabric - 28 count Lavender Sunset Jobelan.  I love the structure of the design.  I love the border pattern.  I think I'll crank out this baby quickly.  

For the second week in a row my 'Wednesday Walk' has been postponed due to weather.  Yesterday morning a storm rolled in - pummelling rain and lashing wind.  The cats I decided it was best spent as an Indoor Day.  Today may be yet another "Inside Day" as it is snowing. 

So I'll share a few recent Bird Photos.

This Junco was getting a drink from our Large Fountain.

This guy was my Monday Surprise!

A male Evening Grosbeak spent 30 minutes or so at the feeders.
I heard him 'churring' out in the forest on and off the remainder of the day. 

Grosbeaks are generally Spring / Summer visitors for us.  I haven't seen one since late November - click here for the post.

More Juncos - cuz' they're so easy to photograph!

A little Song Sparrow awaiting her turn at the feeder.

The Towhee was not about to cede to the Sparrow.

I know, another Junco - but isn't this one so cute and fluffy?
Don't you want to pet it?

Probably no one wants to pet my group of seven Turkey Vultures.  They too hung around for most of the day Monday.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Spring in a Barrow

Crescent Colours 'Wasabi' arrived in the mail Monday. 

So I was able to fill in one of the Samsarah mittens Monday evening.
One down - one to go.

It's Tuesday and it's time for a Garden Party.

First let me present "Spring in a (Wheel) Barrow".
I have nine pots including: Muscari latifolium, Muscari 'Ocean Magic', a mix of Muscari and Narcissus, Tulips 'Border Legend', and Narcissus 'Chinese Sacred Lilies'.  I've had these pots outside - under the eaves.  Now it's time to move them to the Front Porch where I can enjoy them.  

These must be the 'Chinese Sacred Lilies'.

And this is one of the Muscaris.

Some things have over-wintered well, like this primula. 

And some things are ready to grow - like these peas. 

This pale yellow Witch Hazel has come into its own...

As has this pale yellow Hellebore. 

Ah snowdrops - we bought this clump two weeks ago at NW Garden Nursery. 

The earliest of daffodils, 'Tete-a-Tete', are in full bloom now.
The gray bleakness of December has been superceded by the color of February. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Did I Say Smyrna?

The weather this weekend left something to be desired.  I guess that's because it was 'typical' February weather - cold, windy, rainy, snowy and some hail.  I've gotten spoiled with mild gray and/or sunny days.  Anyway, I used the weather as an excuse, and on Sunday I buckled down on stitching the border of "Wonderland".  Speaking of the border, I misspoke earlier.  The border pattern is Rhodes stitch, cross, cross, cross, cross, Rhodes stitch.... (not Smyrna).

Despite the cold nasty weather, Parvati Patel wanted outside.  She then proceeded to let me know just how unhappy she was with the elements - too cold, too windy, too wet. 

While my sister was outside weeding a flowerbed, Victor Vulture came by.  I told her, "Keep moving and he'll lose interest!"

It was a good day for Juncos...

And Sparrows...

..and more Juncos.

But it was an especially good day for Padma Patel - Indoor Cat and Nap Specialist.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Saturday Morning Surprise

It's February, right?  I guess I should not have been surprised to awake Saturday morning to a light snow fall and snow showers.

Fortunately the bird feeders were reasonable full.

And it certainly was pretty.

Is it a light snow shower though when it is wet and heavy enough to collect on the tail feathers of a Mourning Dove... 

...and the backs of the California Quail?

Poor guys...

They didn't suffer long.
It was what I call a "Stealth Snow".  Most of it fell while I was still asleep, then the temperatures warmed up, and it was all gone before noon.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Bunnies and Birds

Some folks have felt slighted the last few days as I've had a 'Bird Blogging Focus'.  So here's a Bunny Update. 

A couple of bunnies greeted me Friday - Sunflower Seed Fans - Bunny #1

...and Bunny #2

Oops - Back to  Birds! 
Also ready to eat at the Sunflower Buffet, a young female California Quail...

...and a Sparrow or Wren of some sort. 

A Tree Top Steller's Jay

A Sky-High Turkey Vulture - See the red head?  

This photo is a bit fuzzy, but again the red head is visible.  I think the way the feathers splay at the end of the wings is most interesting.  I can tell you they are wonderfully graceful fliers!  

Again a blurry picture - but in my book way, way cool!
This is a Varied Thrush.  My very first sighting of one on our property.  He was hanging out in the front yard with a bunch of Robins.  Originally I thought it might be a Flicker or a Meadowlark, but it is definitely a Varied Thrush.  For a better look at this pretty bird click this link.  The coolest thing was that I got to add him to the last day (Monday) of the Great Backyard Bird Count. 

Count     Species
11 California Quail
16 Mourning Doves
02 Anna's Hummingbirds
01 Rufous Hummingbird
01 Downy Woodpecker
01 Hairy Woodpecker
03 Northern Flickers
11 Steller's Jays
02 Western Scrub-Jays
02 Black-capped Chickadees
24 American Robins
01 Varied Thrush
04 European Starlings
02 Spotted Towhees
03 Song Sparrows
08 Dark-eyed Juncos (Oregon)
10 House Finches
10 Pine Siskins

Friday, February 24, 2012

Ummm...Still More...

I hafta' - really!  "Three Hearts" by A Needle and Fred, has been calling me all month long.  I love that it uses violets and mauves, and blue and green - instead of the usual pink and red for the hearts.  It also uses beads which will provide a challenge for me - as if I need a stitching challenge.  Anyway, that's the way it's going to be!

The rain is supposed to return this afternoon, but thus far February has had more than its fair share of blue-sky days.   

A Rhododendron hybridizer brought all these little lovelies to a recent Hardy Plant Group meeting.

Gardeners also showed off their Witch Hazels...

...and Camellias.

At the Avid Gardeners' meeting on Tuesday, this small about to bloom Rhododendron waited to greet us.

The pine in the corner has quite the story to tell.  It is a Pinus contorta ‘Chief Joseph’.  The original plant was found by an elk-hunter one fall in the Wallowa Mountains.  The next spring he tried to find it again and could not, so he tried again the following fall, and found it.  He then realized the tree was yellow in the fall and winter, but green in the spring and summer.  It is hard to propagate so is an expensive tree - but boy - it sure is stunning!   

It's time to begin planting in Western Oregon!  Log House Nurseries brought several different kinds of peas to set out.  They'll take temperatures to 22F and keep right on growing.  My sister bought four pots of peas.  Spring is on the way! 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Hearts and Circles and Triangles

This is it!  And I mean it!
No more starts until something gets finished up around here.
In my defense, this SamSarah design, "Six Mittens in a Row" would be done (2 of the mittens anyway), but I'm missing Wasabi, the main mitten color.

Great Garden composition often repeats plant combinations and shapes.

At NW Garden Nursery I was taken with Circles and Triangles. 

An Agave...

A circular bunching grass.

A circular stone mosaic.

Another Agave.

And I'll end with these charming triangular shapes.
Simple yet so effect.  Like shapes and contrasting colors and textures.