Thursday, May 31, 2012

Birds, Birds, Birds

More Chickens in my coop!
I'm 2/3 of the way done with "Chicken Sampler".  As I stitch each new chicken with its unique color combination becomes my favorite.

While taking pictures for my Wednesday Walk post, I observed a few critters out and about...

This Wren was almost hidden in foliage.

One Pond Turtle basked upon a log.

My Mallard quietly floated along.

On my return home I saw...

Mrs. Violet-Green Swallow has set up housekeeping.

Mr. Violet-Green Swallow ruffles his feathers... 

...and then settles down to keep watch.

A Quail Couple on the move!

"Did you bring anything special today, Lady?"


"Just strolling by...not looking at all the plants on the Back Patio...I promise!"

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Green and Greener

I am loving working with Scuppernong stitching "Random Thoughts of Spring" on 40 count linen.  I can say this even though I'm going to have to frog out the large flower as I'm off two threads horizontally.  Keeps me humble.  Count twice, stitch once!

As the month of May ends, my world retains the vibrant green of early Spring.  Let's take a Walk in the in Green World. 

First up, our stalwart of the coniferous forest, the Sword Fern (Polystichum munitum).  The new fronds are especially lovely - with shocking green tips that becomes darker along the spine of the frond.  As the fronds age, they become almost green/black in color.

Our little wilding Apple has successfully set fruit. 

The Western Serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia) is about done blooming.  Most of the shrubs are now setting fruit.

The fruit of the Serviceberry begins life rusty colored and becomes deep purple as it ages.

Pacific Ninebark (Physocarpus capitatus  is a really lovely shrub.  I like how the rich brown branches contrast with the green leaves and white flowers. 

Speaking of green, the Giant Horsetails (Equisetum telmatiea) are mustered at attention straight and tall.
Somebody has been eating on the Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana).  Every leaf on every plant along our Big Creek is studded with tiny holes. 

Speaking of the Big Creek...The banks are now lush and green and the slow moving water has a faint green tinge to it.

The Cherry trees continue the 'Green Theme'.  Even the fruit is green.

And how could we have green without a few shamrocks thrown in?
This is an Oxalis of some sort.

A small detour in my 'Green Theme'
I love how the Red Columbine (Aquilegia formosa  shout out in this sea of green.

This is Red-Stem Ceanothus (Ceanothus sanguineus).  It grows on the edges of forests in dry open sites.  This was growing on a bank along the edge of the road.  The flowers are supposed to be extremely fragrant.

Like the columbine, the whirligigs (seeds) of the Vine Maple (Acer circinatum) make a lovely accent statement.

Now that it has begun to bloom, I'm quite certain that this is Salal (Gaultheria shallon).  The bush can be anywhere from 6 inches to 5 feet tall.  This grouping is all very low-growing.  Native Americans mashed the Salal berries so that they could be dried into small cakes. Early settlers learned to make syrup and pies from the Salal berry. It also purported to make good jam and jelly. 

Every child in rural western Oregon knows about Cleavers (Galium aparine).  This 'sticky' weed contains numerous small prickly spines; the plant attaches itself to just about anything and everyone.  As a child, it easily hitched a ride on my socks as I roamed about.

I'll end our Walk in the Green World with more of the same. 
These are the new leaves of an Ash tree, bright in the indirect sun.

I hope you enjoyed the walk.  Next week - a Look at Wildflowers.  

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Update Time

I have finished the border on "Noah's Sampler".  I also managed to finish the alphabet.  I am now working on the two willow trees, and then it's on to the Ark - at last!

It's Garden Party Time over at An Oregon Cottage:
Let's take a look at the Back Patio.  It's in pretty good shape now.

I puttered around outside on and off during the three day weekend.
I got my 'Red Neck Plant Stand' all staged.  My father spiffed it up for me; he tore out the warped particle board, then cut and nailed new wooden slats to help with water drainage.

The Auriculas, Begonias, and Fuchsias are in a shaded nook.

My Sedum Theater

More Sedums and Sempervivums

Back to the Shaded Nook.  With our mild May temperatures, I still have a few Pansies and Primrose going strong.

My Strawberry pots.  Dirt on the Patio courtesy of the Chipmunk Brigade.

Salvias and Agastaches

The Big Guys
Other than the Sweet Potato Vine, most everything else over-wintered.

Behind Bars!
Lilies and Dianthus in a deer-proof home

I also brought some semblance of order to my Potting Bench.
It looks much better now - I actually have room to pot up something.  Good thing I'm visiting a couple of nurseries on Saturday!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

Remembering all who served.

Below are photos of my maternal Grandfather's cousins.

Waldo Caufield - undated - circa 1942
Memorial Day Bouquet

Joseph Caufield - 1945

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Color at the Market

Late May at the Farmers' Market...


and Peonies...

and Iris...

and Bearded Iris...

and Strawberries...

Onions and Carrots...

and Sweetpeas...

and Summer Squash...

and Beets and Onions and Carrots.

Color everywhere I looked.