Saturday, March 31, 2012

A spring walk about the garden

This was a lazy morning.  A time to walk about the garden between the rains.  The vegie garden is looking good.  Lots of peas and beans sprouting, radishes,onions.  My garlic are looking super.  We have already had a meal with asparagus!  The warm weather gave us that little gift, soon as the cold returns those spears stop cold in their tracks!  Baby tomato plants coming up.  A friend that winters in FL brought tomatoes and oranges! 
The Kingfishers are busy, the Osprey set, and today while on the pier a Barn Swallow flew around!  Must be a scout, but I gave him a hearty welcome!  My Hummers have not even made a show and here is a Swallow!
And for my pic, here is the Grackle.  They are here.  We just try to control where they nest.  They use compartments they find in the boathouse, and boxes we intended for woodpeckers.  We will chase them from the bluebird/chickadee boxes.
They like this box which was made for Flickers.  The Flickers did not take to it, but one year Screech Owls did and they were successfull.  One of the adults was killed on the road so no return nest, but the remaining adult got three baby owls out!  I have some great shots of those birds.
Here is the Grackle atop its box singing its varied musical tune.  You have to give him his due.  

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

"Mistah Buzzard"

As a child of the South I read/am familiar with Thornton Burgess' books.  One I have in my possession is "The Adventures of OL' Mistah Buzzard".  I have plenty of respect for buzzards (Vultures) and the necessary job that they do.  There is a tree on Highway 168 near Aydlett that is routinely full of buzzards resting.  I have pined for an opportunity to shoot pics! 
The opportunity came to me in a smaller number and window of time:  the empty lot next to me!

I spied them late it seems (just after 9am), but was able to get a few handheld shots.  There were three and when I first spotted them they were all in a drying posture.

From the book:
"Ol' Mistah Buzzard was there holding his wings half spread for the air to blow throught them and the sun to fall on them."

Yes, that is it simply.  What a wonderful sight!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Arugula and bees

Arugula has been so successful that we throw seed in the edges of the property and let them go.  This patch today is full of the white cross blooms and also full of bees.  I managed to catch one in this shot.

Iris are beginning to bloom, the peach and apricot trees are well into blooming.  Blueberries are starting to form buds.

What a warm March.  I watched several large gulls try to scare up a coot from a raft that showed up last week.  Coots raft up (float close together) to prevent predator attacks.  A kingfisher pair has been busy back and forth.  A nearby bank is a prime nesting spot.   And our osprey pair is still bringing a stick or two to finalize the nest.

Update: to the recent Anonymous commenter on an old post about the Arugula.  I have not moved Arugula as whole plants but I think you might be able to do it if you get the roots and soil together.  Cutting is not going to work.  If the Arugula is flowering, you can let it go to seed and then you will have plenty of seed to sow.  Identification of the seed pod is required.  If you know what a radish pod looks like you will have no problem.  Look for a green very slender pod that appears after the flowering, let it grow until it turns brown and even opens and then collect the pods/seeds.  The seeds sow easily, but be aware that finches love the peppery seed and will open the pods themselves and eat away!    

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Ospreys are back

Up and down the island Ospreys are busy with the carrying and arranging of sticks.  Our pair (we claim them because we built the platform for the nest) has returned and are just beginning to carry in sticks.  It's a great effort to watch.  Some sticks get knocked out and maybe picked up again floating on the water.  This is an established nest, so the preparations seem downright orderly compared to watching a brand new pair trying to get a nest done in 2 or 3 days.
The weather has been unusually warm, and I don't trust it.  The typical spring Nor'easters can can create a horrible 3 day cold rain and blow event which can kill the eggs by the time it's over.  But let's hope. 
Last year most of the nests failed up and down the island.  Here is to an easy year for our Osprey!

Here is our banded osprey just off the nest.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Winter Recap of works

Here we are in early March. The Swans and Ducks are gone save for a handful of stragglers. The Ospreys are here up and down the island. Their sharp whistling calls fill the sky and give us something to look forward to: watching the nesting, feeding and fledging of new Ospreys!

So a recap of some winter work is what I will offer today.
I will begin with a fall endeavor. I needed to bring in certain large plants onto a new floor. I liked the cork mats offered in the stores and I save my corks! So I fashioned my own planter mats with corks, hot glue and a strip of fabric as a binder.

I think it is a great way to use those corks!

I also created some original works/patterns that are my typical "art with a functional end use" creations.

I purchased an Iphone 4s and , of course, I had to make my own bag. I made many with a flap and long strap which I love because the design is fun. I then moved to an open top design also with a long strap after a request that spurred me to create something new. I like to wear my phone outside of my main purse/bag for accessibility and because I would like to hear it clearly. My design is simple, tight and has proved a perfect carrier for my phone whether I am in my home, garden or out and about. I call this design the Bonnie Bag. I make it with graphic materials that I have collected or apply my own art to the fabric.
Here is one that has my dragonfly applied. I carry one like this. Perfect!

Kindles are so popular and I made many bags to fit the various models. Here are a couple versions of my original designs.
This one fits the original kindle design and the detachable strap lets you carry it around.
And out of same material a different design, a sleeve with a velcro closure for the new kindle reader that is so surprisingly small!

The last I will show is my original pattern Sling Bag created in Mudcloth from Mali, Africa. I purchased this fabric in Virginia at a February quilt show knowing as soon as I saw it what I would do with it. I buy plenty of fabric without a clue as to end use, I just have to have the fabric and know I will figure it out later. This piece and another mudcloth were purchased with this end in mind. It's a great bag to carry ... functional art!

I've had a productive winter, but I will miss my Swans and Ducks. Come on you Orioles and Kingbirds, I need you!