Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spring Color

Four Baltimore Orioles this morning but could only catch one at a time for a picture.  We had spotted one last week so quickly put orange halves in the suet feeders!  I couldn't get the best shot of spring color with the Oriole, Goldfinches and Cardinal all in the same shot but the view from our window on a dreary day was striking!!

Squirrel Nutkin....aka Stumpy

If you haven't read Squirrel Nutkin by Beatrix Potter lately, you can refresh yourself here.  After discovering the Owl nesting recently, I'm wondering if this little fellow under our feeders this morning was behaving as impertinently as Squirrel Nutkin.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Swallows and Warblers and Owl!! Oh My!!

Chilly, damp morning in the rowboat on the swamp....water was higher due to heavy rain this weekend and we decided to just drift.  Swallows have arrived!  I wish we could figure out a way to put up some nest boxes for them as each year there are fewer and fewer standing trees in the swamp.  A lot of activity among the brambly dead fall near the water's edge drew our attention and we were not disappointed; about a dozen Yellow Rumped Warblers!  I thought I had been hearing Warbler song the last few days but hadn't spotted any!  We checked on "Mother Goose" and she is still sitting on the beaver lodge.
  We continued to drift and paddle, making our way toward the heron rookery.  Spotted one sitting in the first nest and watched two adults flying into the woods and back to the lowest nest.
 Saw something odd in one nest and snapped a few photos, figuring we'd see better when we could enlarge it.  My guess was tail feathers or perhaps just parts of the tree branch sticking up through the nest.  Hubby said the heron's must be the culprits taking the neighborhood cats!  As we circled around the nest, it did seem as if the prongs were following us.  Getting closer, we confirmed it was an Owl.  We think a Great Horned Owl.  While it was neat to see, I'm not all that thrilled to find an Owl in a heron nest.

I don't think the herons were all that thrilled either.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Saturday In The Swamp....Really

A SPECTACULAR Saturday IN....yes, IN the swamp!!!  An old aluminum row boat purchased years ago (ten or so), dragged down the hill and left near the edge of the swamp.  Hubby surprised me Saturday afternoon as he grabbed the oars down from the garage and said, let's give it a try.  No leaks, not many bugs, nothing living inside it....dragged it over a few trees, struggled to get over a submerged log near the edge, and off we went, using the rowboat like a canoe! ~ facing forward, each with an oar to paddle...and occasionally pole!  Such a different perspective from my years of viewing from the end of a log on shore!!  We discovered the Canadian Goose pair nesting on the beaver lodge this year instead of the rock!  She is very well hidden and has her head down, blending in nicely with the sticks.  It was just so amazing to be behind and beside the rock and lodge I've been looking at across the swamp for years!

 Unbelievable how large this tree is that the beaver are obviously working on!  
Heron rookery!!  This is the newest nest.

These shots are the three nests down the far end of the swamp.  Turns out, they are not all the way at the end of the swamp as I thought!!

Hard to fathom that 23 years ago when we bought the property, we could walk across the swamp on mostly dry ground and that 15 years ago our children walked across on fallen trees.  What a treasure.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Progress Report II: Embracing Imperfections

First Quilt is still underway!  After hand quilting 66 blocks, I laid it out to see what it still needed and discovered I had an entire row sewn incorrectly!!  (marked by stars) The perfectionist in me goes crazy every time I see it, but it would be more work than it's worth to try to fix it so onward I go.  Corners don't meet, my stitching is inconsistent, I've introduced puckers.....but it is relaxing and I'm learning all the things to do differently next time.
     66 patterned blocks and 28 triangles have been quilted, just a basic stitch in the ditch.  For the 17 squares, I am quilting a pattern that I've stenciled on with chalk first in order to follow it.  No picture of that yet.

Friday, April 1, 2011

April 1st

The good news.....tomorrow is supposed to be 48 F.