Monday, July 18, 2011

Seen in the Swamp

It is hot and relatively quiet in the swamp these days.  A lone GBH fishing/frogging at the far end.  Too hot for the turtles to be out on the logs but not for frogs on lily pads.  I didn't even realize how much company I had until I was ready to leave and spooked a couple nearby then realized there were a couple dozen, various sizes, just the tops of their heads and eyes barely visible, blending in with all the green.

Eastern Kingbird nest is empty but it was fun to spot the fledglings zipping around, scrambling for the same branches, following mom and dad around to be fed.

Wood Duck families down the far end of the swamp, very difficult to spot among all the vegetation that now covers the surface of the pond.

Catbirds and chickadees were noisy but swallows and red-winged blackbirds all quiet.

Hummers!  A female Ruby-Throated Hummingbird was feasting on insects caught in spider webs strung out above the tops of the cat-tails.  I definitely needed the binoculars to see what she was doing as the spider webs were not visible to the naked eye.  No picture.
Just another view of how green it is.  The row boat has to just sit and wait for next March!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Bear Claws

How disappointing, not the furry kind nor the kind you can eat!!!  I took my hubby to a quilt shop, hoping to find a summer wool felt pin-cushion project like this but she did not have one available.  Not wanting to leave empty handed, he found a pattern for a table runner using two blocks of bear claws and two smaller star blocks.  

The dark blue patterned strip on the bottom will be the binding.

He and my sister had fun choosing a Moda charm pack, Summer Breeze, since I'm a fan of blue and yellow.  I think it took a week of evenings to cut and piece it.  Now, it is pinned into a sandwich, waiting for the quilting part.  That's where I fall apart - do an overall pattern? stitch in the ditch?  colored thread or just a white quilting cotton thread??  Hopefully I'll decide soon so I can use it on the table while it is still seasonally appropriate!!

  I did manage to finish a spring themed wool felt pin-cushion.  This was one of two my sister, Goddess of Hand Sewing, gave me as a Christmas present quite a long time ago.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Caught in the Middle

Happy Independence Day!  Should be filled with fun and family but instead.....not so much.  The key, I guess, is establishing traditions and never wavering them.  Being the youngest of 5, I don't think there were traditions.  In my early years, our yard had an incredible panoramic view of two cities so the neighbors would turn out in droves, stretched out in blankets on our front lawn to take in two fireworks displays.  My mom would not be real happy about this, as one who craves her space and privacy.  By the time I was ten, my siblings were starting families of their own and so I would tag along with my parents to go where they were.....a few great years when they lived near the coast of Maine were not hard to take.  Then I left, and did my own thing for a few years,  then back trying to tag along with my family in tow to whoever was doing something.....usually up at Rumney, NH where my parents and three sibling families spent summers.  By the time I was able to spend a summer at Rumney with my children, the sibling families were now heading to college and no longer there.  The past few years, we have had Vermont National Guard commitments which made for a unique and quiet-ish fourth.  My husband had to take part in a wreath laying ceremony on the grave of Calvin Coolidge, the only American President to be born on the 4th of July.  My daughter enjoyed that immensely.  People come from far and wide to gather in Plymouth Notch, Vermont.  We gather behind an Honor Guard, two high ranking soldiers from the Vermont Guard, and descendants of President Coolidge, and walk perhaps a mile, to the cemetery and gather while a wreath from the White House is laid and a few short speeches are made.  Then it's back to the historic village for a chicken barbecue on the lawn of the Wilder Inn.  We were usually back to my parents in time to see fireworks above the trees now and then catch the Boston 4th on tv with them.  This year Vermont Guard duties have changed.  Fireworks are now done on the 3rd and in a different spot not visible from my folks.  My siblings are off doing with their families, and my parents are sitting alone....and my daughter with her young family are left to make their own plans as well.  Hubby and I are off to do a paddle with friends, very rare for us as we usually go just the two of us, but it will be a nice change.  He can't comprehend the torn feeling I have.  For how many years did my parents sacrifice for all of us?  Is it wrong to feel guilty to be doing something just for hubby and myself?  We'll paddle this morning, then try and put a festive supper together to eat with my parents.  Next year, we'll have to rent them a cottage so they can spend the 4th enjoying my brother's large family back at Rumney.