Friday, December 28, 2012

Slip, Slide, Slip, Spritz, repeat

It is my practice, as a quilter, to wash and iron my new fabric before using it.  Let me tell you, however, it can get way ahead of you if you don't pay attention!   And I wasn't paying attention.   I've got stacks and stacks of fabric that needs to be washed and ironed.  Now, some people just go ahead and use their fabric as they get it, but I like to do my best to get rid of any crooked rolls on the bolt and to get rid of any excess dyes that might be in the fabric.  I definitely don't want to have any bright/dark color running the first time its washed and ruining a quilt.  Today, for instance, I washed yards of a dark blue mottled batik.  It is gorgeous fabric but the excess dyes released in the wash turned two color catchers nearly dark blue.  Can you imagine what that would have done to a quilt?  I shudder to think.  
Sorry for the fuzzy pic!  I must have moved the camera.
Anyway, I've spent a lot of time the last few days on this chore.  It is so satisfying to see those lovely stacks of beautiful fabrics just waiting to be sewn. 

Anybody want to volunteer to come do the remaining 5 drawers (plus more) of fabric??

Y'all take care. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012

Let me wish all of you the most Blessed of Christmases. 

May the New Year bring you peace, good health and prosperity. 

Y'all take care. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Midnight Visitor

Oh, I've just gotta tell somebody!!!   I just had a black bear sitting hardly 10 feet from me chomping away on the safflower seeds in the birdfeeder!!!   He was outside and I was inside, but still!   And only a window between us.   

I heard this soft clunking noise several times and it finally occurred to me that there might be a critter on one of the feeders.  I went to the back door (a french door), turned on the patio light and looked out to the feeder I had in mind.  Nothing.  Then, it dawned on me that the feeder next to the patio was much lower to the ground than normal and there was a big black body busily fishing seeds out of it! Because the lid is hinged on, it was the loose side that he kept bumping and it would clunk back into place. 
Black Bear along Alaska Highway, 2008
After watching for a couple of minutes, I wondered if I dared try to get a picture and went for my camera.  Unfortunately (or not), I had also turned on the motion sensor lights in the back and when they flashed on, he got spooked and ran off.  I got back to the door just in time to see his black butt disappearing into the brush.  

So, no pictures here except for those in your mind.  And hubby is so lucky that I didn't go wake him up to see it too!    We've suspected ursine visitors a couple of times before over the years when strange things happened to our birdbath, but had no proof of it.   Until now. 

Y'all take care. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Bird Count

It's that time of the year again, time for the Christmas Bird Count.  This was my first outing and it really wasn't much different from any other birdwatching day except we started at 6:20 a.m. and didn't stop until 5 p.m., when it got so dark we couldn't see another bird!!  Oh, and the record keeping was more detailed.   I was elected to be the driver yesterday, so it was a little more taxing on me than the passengers.  

Our day started by getting up at 4:15 a.m. and heading out the door by 5:30.  It didn't take us as long to drive to the count location as we had anticipated.  Anyway, we got to our first stop in time to watch dawn break and to hear the birds start to wake up.  I can't  say we got to watch sunrise, because we didn't see the sun all day yesterday.
Common loons, winter plumage
We did, however, get some wonderful rain about midday.  I don't even remember when it rained last here and certainly enough to be measurable.    We were in and out of the car, trekking down paths and wandering in parks.  Our count was in a small town, but one with tons of trees and natural areas.   Didn't bother with photos to speak of because it was so dark..

After meeting up at the coordinator's home for a count tally and dinner, we drove back and I dropped the other girls off at about 9 p.m. and I was home by about 9:40 p.m.   Today, I'm a bit draggy, if you know what I mean.  
Brown Pelican on a dreary, dark day 
But, I get to do it again on Thursday when we will be surveying an area along the Choctawhatchee River.  It will be as isolated and wild as our trip yesterday was urban.  I'm looking forward to this one because I've never had a chance to explore that area before.  

Y'all take care.  

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Winter Feeding

Oh, it is so dreary outside today!  After all the wonderful weather we've had up through yesterday, this is a real downer.  However, the birds activity in the back yard just about makes up for the gray, chilly skies. 

I don't think I've ever seen quite so many little ones flitting around.  There's a large flock of mourning doves.
Few of a large flock

There are lots of titmice and chickadees.  And flocks of yellow rumped warblers and chipping sparrows move through several times a day.  

Can you believe we actually have robins?!?!?  It's an odd time of year to see them here.   

Early this morning, a large bird swooped through the yard and landed in one of the oak trees. 

A while later, he returned. 
The residents didn't seem to be too concerned.  I sat and watched cardinals and other smaller birds move about in the trees not ten feet from him.   Its definitely a juvenile, but I think its a red shouldered hawk.  He was just too big to be a cooper's hawk and the chest markings dont' look quite right.  I could be wrong, though.  I've sent a request to the Bird Lady to identify him for sure.  

Well, the squirrels have knocked the top off one of the feeders, so I've got to go out and replace it (and refill the feeder).  Oh, the things we do for the critters. 

Y'all take care. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

We're Home!

I'm home!!   After travels to see the kids for the holidays, we are home at last.  The trip just seems to get longer and longer each time we make it. 
Bald eagle on really cloudy, foggy day 
Now, it's on to other things - like Christmas cards, gifts to ship across the country and general home chores. 
Horsey Home 
I'll be back later but just wanted to say that we're well and happy, but busy at the moment. 

Y'all take care.