Thursday, October 31, 2013

Last British Stitch Done

Thank you, thank you, thank you for the many comments and compliments on "The Rabbit Alphabet" post of a couple of days ago.
A couple of folks asked what I floss I used.
I stitched the sampler using three skeins of Crescent Colours - "Betty Bluebell". 

I used my WIP Wednesday to finish up a little stitch I began while in England this summer.

Design - "Bee Busy Bee Happy"
Chart - "Summer Trio"
Designer - Homespun Elegance
Fabric - 28 count Dirty Cashel linen
Fibers - DMC - 2 strands over 2 threads
Started - 13 August 2013 (London, England) 
Completed - 30 October 2013 (Eugene, Oregon)

I changed the font of "Bee Happy - Bee Busy" and added a couple of small bees to the design.

Autumn seems to be a busy time for the woodpeckers.
I think I saw and heard a Pileated yesterday, but he didn't stick around.

I have had LOTS of Flickers at the feeders.
This is a female...

...and here's a male.  
They are pretty tough and will run off the Starlings which is fine with me.

While Flickers appear graceful in flight, they aren't very graceful on the ground. (Here's one with a Steller's Jay).

Look how wide-spread his stance is.
That's a bit odd as Flickers are also ground-feeders.  They regularly work the back and front yards searching for insects.  

See the big tall dead tree?
That's my Acorn Woodpeckers' Granary Tree.
What's a granary tree?  I'll explain in a bit.

The Acorn Woodpeckers are a very compatible couple.
I see them together regularly.

Here's the female...

...and here's the male.

And here's a close up of their Granary Tree.
If you enlarge the photo you can see that they have drilled hole after hole, and stashed dozens of acorns in the tree.  As the acorns dry out they get smaller and become loose.  The birds will move the acorns into smaller tighter holes.  They work and work and work on their tree talking to one another constantly.  They are not particularly melodic birds - they remind me of parrots.  I do admire their commitment to creating a store to help tide them over.  I think the Starlings and Jays pester them trying to get at their stash, but they appear to stand their ground.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The First Frosty Morning

There's still time left - the month isn't over yet.
I thought I'd stitch this little owl.  As you can see I've been working on the border and the tree.

We were due for a hard frost Monday night. 

With that in mind, my sister went down to her dahlia garden to pick a couple of 'last' bouquets.

The small bouquet on the left is composed of "Persian Carpet" zinnias.
The right bouquet has dahlias and Parvati-cat is scoping out the arrangements. 

Tuesday dawned with sub-freezing temperatures and a cold thin moon.

This Turkey Vulture spent quite some time atop a snag.
All About Birds says, "Often, especially in the morning, they can be seen standing erect, wings spread in the sun, presumably to warm up..."

The wild cherry was ablaze with color.

A Douglas Fir cone - frost-coated. 

Jack Frost visited this Big Leaf Maple leaf.

The woodpile is sporting an array of mosses and lichen. 

At the edge of the backyard the frost blanketed the blackberry vines. 

Long-haired Padma braved the morning cold and went off to the front of the house to patrol. 

Little did he know that while he watched (on the far right), he was also being watched (on the far left) by three deer.

Yep, they were pretty interested.

Getting closer and closer...

Oh...I'm leaving because I want to - it has nothing to do with those pesky deer!

I'll end today with one of the signs of autumn - at least in this part of the world - a Woolly Bear Caterpillar.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Symphony in Blue

As it turned out it took about 90 minutes to finish and there were 17 buttons to attach (not 18). 
I'm pretty pleased with it.

Design - "The Rabbit Alphabet"
Designer - JBW Designs
Fabric - 28 count Antique white linen
Fibers - Crescent Colours - "Betty Bluebell" - 2 strands over 2 threads (used 3 skeins)
Started - 31 August 2012
Completed - 24 October 2013

Let's continue on with our Blue Theme.

While Tom-Cat and Parvati aren't blue, but they do enjoy a nap on our blue love seat.

In my bird world, the Steller's Jay wins hands down as the prettiest blue.
Look at all those lovely blue downy belly feathers.

He looks as though he is wearing a navy blue cape over his brighter blue outfit.  I don't think I'd ever noticed the blue/black pattern of the wings before. 

And then there's the striking Mohawk haircut and the bright blue lines above the beak.

A very handsome, if strident bird! 

In my plant world, this Salvia is still blooming its heart out.

And we must not forget the Scrub Jay.  A pretty lighter blue bird with prominent white eyebrows..

He has a band of gray at the shoulders.

I'll end my Symphony in Blue with Salvia 'Black & Blue' - the hands down winner as tabulated by my Hummingbirds.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Next Up

I read all the comments and thought it over; and I decided that I'm an inherently sequential person.  So based on that, yesterday I kitted up "May's Lily" as my next Series Stitch.   

Sunday was a rather gloomy day and it even rained a bit.
You can see it was cold - look at all the puffy feathers. 
As this guy hung out most of the day, I didn't have much action at the bird feeders.

Still no sign on my female Downy Woodpecker.

The male is at the feeders several times a day.

I did see a Junco or two.
This is a female - the males have a much darker (almost black) head.

Isn't she a sweet little thing? 

This gray squirrel was hard at work hawk or no hawk.  I love the tail.  It's draped over the side like a boa or a velvet cloak.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Little Birds

Most of the Gold Finches have left this week. 

They've been replaced by House Finches.

I also have lots of Towhees.  The are ground feeders generally, but they also work the suet and peanut feeders. 

The Gold-crowned Sparrows are ground feeders too.

They are gaining in number this time of year.

I have Song Sparrows all year long.

The Juncos are year around too, though I see them at the feeders in the fall and winter - during spring and summer they find their food elsewhere.