Sunday, December 31, 2017

New Year's Eve

The first half of December was cold, cold, cold.
The second half of December has been dreich (dreary) but warmer - above freezing most of the time.  

Gray skies and above freezing temps have made life a bit easier for the Anna's Hummingbirds.

I have several females...

..and they continue to be regulars at my feeders.

They prefer not to share.

And they stand guard when they are not drinking.

Then off they zoom to thwart an intruder.

I do have at least one male bird as well, but no photos of him.

The hummers' New Year's Eve advise: If you drink, don't drive - fly instead! 

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Oh Deer, So Many Deer

My last sighting of David and / or Douglas was back on the 13th.  I think that they are sleeping away our cold weather.

On the other had, the deer have returned in force.



Four and Five!
All looking fat and healthy.

Here's a group shot. Two in front, three in the far back.  The blue object is a milk crate with our backyard trail camera sitting atop.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Merry Winter to You!

Design - "Merry Winter"
Designer - Homespun Elegance
Fabric - 28 count Amber linen
Fibers - Belle Soie Silks - 2 strands over 2 threads
Started - 15 December 2010
Completed - 19 December 2010

Let's check in with our Winter Woodpeckers.

The male Hairy Woodpecker shows up most days.

He tends to 'talk' while he eats - a loud clear "peep!".

And my small troop of Acorn Woodpeckers are munching peanuts to beat the band.


Blurry photo sorry - female on left and male on right.

I got excited because I thought this was a male and female.
but upon closer examination, it is two males.

At the same time there was a female up in a tree, so I thought I had two females, but no, that was not the case. 

I tend to see the males more frequently than the female bird.

I like their strong colors and big sharp black bill.

And here's a male Flicker.

Some mornings I see as many as four Flickers at the same time.

The male and this female Flicker were both waiting for Acorn Woodpeckers to leave so that they might have a turn at the feeders.

The Flickers like to hop through this small maple tree...

..and then hop onto the suet feeder.
Here's an Acorn Woodpecker and a Flicker.
Woodpeckers Rule!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Stitching an Iceberg

Stitching an iceberg!  That's what is feels like anyway as I work away on this Santa.  There is just so much white to stitch.  Make sure you have a full skein of WDW "Whitewash" before beginning this design.

My California Quail enjoyed a rare sunny winter's day.

The group comprised more than 40 birds.

Most mornings they preen for a while before coming to the feeders to eat the seeds I have thrown on the ground for them (if the deer don't get to the seeds first).

Right now there is no aggression between male birds. 

Come mid-March they'll begin to pair up and become more territorial.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Wednesday Wrap Up

Normally I share a weekly walk on Wednesday, but this Wednesday was 
Cousin Time!

All five of my family's maternal Girl Cousins were together for the first time since July.  That was reason to celebrate, and talk and talk and talk for most of the day.  We are bookended by the two of the next generation of Girl Cousins. The young woman on the left is wearing her mother's skirt from The Limited.  How many of you shopped there back in the day?   

Carol asked how many decorated trees we had.  
We ended up with 2 large trees and 21 small trees for a total of 23.
Next year we need one more so we have an even two dozen.

On Christmas Day my nephews know the drill - here's their annual photo in front of the tree. 

We did not open our gifts until the evening of the 26th.  Parvati helped the best she could until it become exhausting.  

Sarah had several questions about the bobcat which I will attempt to answer.  Bobcats are about twice the size of a domestic cat, with the males generally larger than females. Bobcats are active for periods of four to eight hours and then inactive for one to eight hours. They favor rabbits, but will eat any small mammal, fish, reptile, or bird.  At 16-30 pounds and 36 inches long, they are much smaller than a cougar, and are not a threat to humans.  A cougar is know by many different names including mountain lion. Cougars are between 6-8 feet in length (including their tail) and weight between 140-200 lbs.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Reindeer and Christmas Cats

I haven't had much spare time, but I have managed to do a bit of stitching on my reindeer.  I think I can finish him up before year's end.

I titled this post "Reindeer and Christmas Cats". You've seen the reindeer, now on to the cats...

Parvati loves hiding / sleeping under our Christmas tree.
She certainly has all the qualities necessary to be a Christmas Cat. 

But sometimes, all you have to do is show up on Christmas Day (1:45pm) and then you become a Christmas Cat!

I was outside with Parvati watching the birds when this bobcat strolled out of the brush and sat down - confident as can be. I slowly rose out of my chair, opened the kitchen door, and hoarsely whispered, "There's a bobcat out here!  Get my camera!"  

My sister got my camera and I managed a few clicks for the two minutes the cats surveyed the backyard. 

Yes, the cat is staring right at me!

The photos do not show how well the bobcats blends into the dried grasses.

You had to know the cat was there to see him...

...and then he moved off behind the garages.

And the rest of the afternoon and evening belonged, once again, to Parvati.  The Christmas meal and gift giving proved to be exhausting!