Saturday, November 30, 2013

I'm Watching You!

We had a rather moody atmospheric sky Tuesday evening.

Earlier in the afternoon...
Padma watched the deer...

...and the deer watched Padma.

Solomon also watched the deer...

...and the deer watched Solomon.

We had a group of three wandering about the backyard.

They were grateful for the warmth of the afternoon sun.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Flicker Friday

It's a long holiday weekend here in the States, so I'm starting the weekend today (no cross stitching updates). Instead we will go straight to Birdland.

I think I must have 6 or eight different Flickers.

There's always one or two working on the suet or peanuts.

West of the Rocky Mountains we have Orange Shafted Flickers - the east has Yellow shafted Flickers.

The orange feathers are very prominent in this photo of a female.

Besides their work at the feeders, Flickers are frequent ground feeders.

They look rather ungainly on the ground with their broad stance.

The guys appear as cross-dressers with their bright red cheeks.

My other ground feeders include Towhees...

...and Song Sparrows.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Wishes


I know, it's probably unamerican, but I truly do not like pie!
Last night I baked chocolate chip cookies, white chocolate macadamia nut cookies, and mint chocolate brownies for Thanksgiving dessert.  Yummm!

Design - "Turkey on an Egg" (kit)
Designer - Bent Creek
Fabric - 28 count Flax linen
Fibers - 2 strands over 2 threads
Started - 8 November 2012
Completed - 11 November 2012

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Eve Stitch & Walk

I don't think my Prairie Schooler turkey will be ready for Thanksgiving.  But, maybe he thinks that it's just fine to miss a Thanksgiving deadline given what often happens to turkeys on that day!

We've had cold weather, but we've also had sunny blue sky weather as of late.  We're all going to eat too much tomorrow, so let's bundle up and take a walk.

The Hazel brush has set its catkins already in anticipation of spring.  I need to read up and see if anyone likes to eat the catkins.  

Besides our stalwart Sword Ferns, we have lots of Licorice Ferns (Polypodium glycyrrhiza)in the forest.  I like them as they often appear in unexpected places - like Big Leaf Maple trees. I read that the Native Americans along the west coast used the Licorce Fern as a natural sweetener. The ferns have a compound which is supposed to be 3000 times sweeter than sucrose.  The Native Americans also used the fern as a remedy for sore throats.

Look how glorious the Rose hips are even in late November.  If I wasn't worried about the cats attempting to consume them, I'd pick a bunch for a lovely late Fall bouquet.

Late November is the perfect time for an Oak Celebration! 

With the leaves having fallen, it is possible to appreciate the structure and architecture of a mature tree.

Oaks are often blanketed in what I (non-scientifically) call sheet moss. When the moss gets heavy and wet, it often falls from the tree in large 'sheets'.  Florists in this area like to use this moss in their arrangements.  

Here's a nice collage of Oregon Lung lichen (Lobaria oregana),Oak leaves, sheet moss.

This large Oak gall is the fortress home for parasitic wasp. 

And look, more signs of the Spring yet to be!  The Oaks are already budded out.

I hope you enjoyed today's walk. Now it's time to get into the kitchen and bake some cookies and brownies for those folks (me!) who don't care for pie with their Thanksgiving meal.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Whooo Knew?

Whooo knew I'd manage to stitch yet another owl before month's end?

Design - "Owl"
Chart - "Autumn Leaves & Sunflower Seeds"
Designer - Blue Ribbon Designs
Fabric - 28 count mystery cream linen
Fibers - DMC - 2 strands over 2 threads
Started - 23 November 2013
Completed - 25 November 2013

Our cold spell was supposed to be over, nonetheless it was only 25F Monday morning. During this period of cold weather many of the birds look like fluffy cotton balls.

A buxom female California Quail

A buxom Song Sparrow atop a stalk of Mullein

A portly Chickadee at the feeder in the Dahlia Garden 

A marshmallow  A chunky Chickadee in the thicket near the house

A relatively lean Golden-crowned Sparrow

A plump female Oregon Junco

A pudgy male Orange Shafted Flicker

A rotund Towhee

Even though it has been cold, the days have been sunny and I think we've all enjoyed having a blue blue blue sky.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Five Flowers Two Deer and One Chipmunk

Here's a photo of my progress on "June's Honeysuckle".
Sunday flew by with lots of different things to do, and not much stitching.  I did manage to work on the border and get five flowers stitched.

Sunday was another frosty morning.
The temperature was 26F at 7:30am.

I did notice that even the deer were frost-coated. 

Poor things sleeping out in the cold.  I guess the frost is proof that they do have a really heavy well-insulated coat at the moment as their body heat did not melt the frost on their spine.

Brrrr.  I'm glad I was safe and warm inside.

I walked down to my sister's Dahlia garden to see who might be eating at the bird feeder she maintains there.  
First up - Chester Chipmunk.

I haven't seen any up at the house since the temperatures dropped.  I thought they'd gone into hibernation - if so, then this guy did not read the memo!
He says he's a rare wild Forest Chipmunk.

Today was to be our last cold day (and night) for a while.  That's just fine with me.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Frost Fair

Sunday morning the sun rose to reveal another Frost Fair and temperatures of 22F.

The fountains had icicles and everything was rimed with frost.

I finally saw my Acorn Woodpeckers and they too were puffed up against the cold.

The cold did not deter the Scrub Jays.

They fueled up on peanuts...

...and chattered and squabbled as Jays are wont to do.

The Juncos were some of the first birds at the feeders.

They were followed by the Song Sparrows.
I had a couple of handsome men who were involved in a Song Contest.

I'm not sure which one was declared the winner as both were melodic and cheerful.

Perhaps this Golden-crowned Sparrow acted as the judge.