Monday, September 17, 2012

Yard Wanderings

I wandered around outside yesterday to see what was happening in my poor yard.  There's not much going on, other than unwanted grasses and weeds growing everywhere!!!   We have been inundated with chamber bitter since Hurricane Ivan blew through here in 2004.  There's some kind of grass that has shown up in the last two or three years and it has spread extensively this year.

The fun thing I did see, though, is a bloom on a cutting that I'd put in a jar to root.  I've had success with rooting like this before, but never a bloom.  The bud must have been set before I cut the sprout off the tree. 

The colors and texture of foliage can be every bit as beautiful to me as flowers. 
Variegated lacecap hydrangea

Shell ginger 

I'm off to a quilting retreat tomorrow.  It should be a fun time, what with over 60 quilters getting together to do what we do best.  Notice I'm not saying exactly what that might be!!

Y'all take care.  

Friday, September 14, 2012

Irresponsible Pet People

I had to conduct another feline burial today.  One of the neighborhood strays got hit by a car overnight, apparently.  Nobody else on the corner is going to do anything about it, so I was, once again, the default undertaker.    Not the first time I've had to bury some critter that has been hit on the road. 

I love cats, but I believe they should be indoor pets.  I had my Tiger kitty for 18 1/2 years and he was one spoiled dude from the time I got him at about 8 weeks old until we had to let him go in his old age due to kidney failure.
My Beloved Tiger kitty 
 I believe they should be spayed or neutered.  Barn cats are not strays, but they also should be spayed and neutered.  I have no patience with people who feed stray cats and thereby enable the proliferation of even more stray cats.  

Aside from the unwanted feces in the flower bed, they are hunters by nature and I don't like to see my birds as their prey.  Only about three months ago, I saw four kittens a few months old feasting on a cardinal that one of them had killed in my yard.  This poor cat was one of those kittens.

Its sad to think this way, but the thought "there's one less stray cat now" crossed my mind.

I'll step down from my soapbox now.  

Y'all take care.  

Monday, September 10, 2012


Frustrated something awful this afternoon!   While traveling, I put together what was going to be a quilt top from a Layer Cake that I'd had on hand a couple of years.  Now, I've decided that I want that fabric to be a new cover for the bed in the RV.  However, there's not enough blocks from the layer cake to make it like I want.  

I've been figuring and figuring for hours trying to find a new design that I like and its just not working.  Now, you might know that the fabric collection I'm using, Fresh Cottons by Moda, isn't readily available, particularly as layer cakes.   Have found it a couple of places and may have to order.  On Thursday, I'll be close to town and will go on in to the quilt shop and see what they have in the collection.  I called them and, although they don't have a layer cake, they do have a few of the fabrics from the collection.  Maybe that'll work.

Meanwhile, I'll just move on to another project!!!

Y'all take care.  

Monday, September 3, 2012

All is Well

All is well on our home front.  Isaac turned out to be pretty much a non-event here at our house, thanks to its westward track, but certainly was a major event in other places. 

The shuttered house got to me after a while and my dear hubby agreed to take a few panels off so that light could come in and I could see out.  Of course, by that time, we knew that our weather wouldn't be bad and that it would be safe to do so.  

My sincere thoughts and prayers go out to all those folks affected by this storm. 

One of the good things to come from this storm, at least from a birder's perspective, was a collection of southbound migrants along the coast.  They reach the coast and due to the inclement weather over the gulf they can't continue their trip.  Therefore, they are gathered in our area.  Birdlady and I met up with Mz. B and let our noses lead us.  On the way to the meeting point, Birdlady saw frigate birds, so those were our first targets.  Now, I'd never seen frigate birds before, so I was excited at the prospect. 
Magnificent Frigate bird 
These are normally seen only around the Florida Keys and do not venture to the Gulf Coast except when blown up here by storms, such as Isaac. 

We saw more and more of them all along the sound.  When we went to some friends' house to check out the birds in their yard, Mr. D.  quickly herded us to the pier to look at the large number of birds roosting in the trees just down the way.  There must have been 50 or 75 of them in the trees.  And all along the coast, more were soaring on the currents.   All total, I bet we saw at least 150 frigate birds that day and reports from Dauphin Island show they were over there as well.

Now, after that excitement, we trooped inside Mr. & Mrs. D's home to take a look through their front windows.  My, what a sight to behold.  Their naturalized yard and water feature pond were being thronged by warblers of all kinds!!   I've never seen so many different little birds in one place, and I didn't even have to trek around to find them!!  We sat or stood in air conditioned comfort.  There were warblers of all kinds -- Kentucky, Worm eating, Hooded, Yellow Throated, Prothonotary, Yellow, Canada, Cerulean, Black and White, Parulas, American Redstart and Blue-winged.  There probably were more that I didn't see.  The Canada Warbler was a rarity, and I had never seen it or the Kentucky warbler.  The bright colors were magnificent as they fed, splashed and bathed in the water.  Of course, we had the usual yard birds -- cardinals, chickadees, titmice, woodpeckers of various sorts, doves, wrens, brown thrasher and pewees.  We also had blue-gray gnatcatchers and one yellow billed cuckoo.  This was a real treat and we took our sweet time viewing them.

I have no pictures of all these lovelies.  My camera just won't reach far enough to do them justice, particularly shooting through the windows. 

After we left there, we headed over toward the shore to see what kinds of birds were there.  We didn't even get to our first stop when Birdlady and Mz. B. spotted a struggling bird right on the edge of the road.  The vehicle was quickly turned around and they both jumped out to rescue the bird before it was hit by a car.  Getting soaking wet from a sudden downpour, they scooped up the bird in a towel and got back in.  Birdlady held the poor bird in her lap as we headed back to Mr. & Mrs. D's to get a box to transport it to the wildlife sanctuary.  Turns out that the bird was a Greater Shearwater, a pelagic species, a bird not seen near land except when blown there by the storms or for nesting.  The poor bird was checked out and found to only be exhausted from a three day battle with the wind and no time to feed.  He's in good hands and will be released as soon as he's had a chance to recover and may, in fact, already be gone.  

Mr. & Mrs. D. went over to the beach immediately after we left and found many of the pelagics there.   This is a very infrequent occurrence.  Birders look for these unusual events to bring visitors to the area.  

I'll leave you with a prothonotary warbler that I photographed a couple of years ago in Louisiana. 
Prothonotary Warbler
Y'all take care.