Sunday, February 28, 2010

Feathered Friends Finally Find the Feeder

At last! For a few days there the seeds were disappearing but I still never saw anything on the feeder. I suspected some less welcome critter was raiding it at night.

This morning, The Hubby came into the kitchen to tell me we had visitors. And did we ever: song and English sparrows, a pair of cardinals, chickadees, and a pair of titmouses. (Titmice? Whatever.)

Oddly, they all came at the same time, in a mixed flock, staying under the cover of the pussywillow and maple. They swooped in, grabbed a seed or two, and fled back to the bushes. They stayed about an hour and then all disappeared again.

Now I just have to find a post or something to mount the feeder a few yards from where it is so I can actually see it from the windows. And take down a screen. And mount the camera on a tripod, at the ready. I'm excited!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Nature Notes: Patterns


I rescued this piece of firewood from the pile because it's just too pretty to burn.

Hubby was amused, but apprehensive. "You aren't going to start collecting chunks of wood now, are you?"


"Do you think you can do something with that?" He sounded dubious, but thoughtful.

"Dunno yet. Just don't burn it up until I think about it, OK?"

He agreed and suggested I take up wood turning on the lathe. I have actually considered it for a while now. Truly gorgeous bowls and containers can be made that way, but I find the machine too scary. When you spin a piece of wood at high speed, you risk having it fly out of the chocks and break your face. Or worse.

And anyway, I think something involving crosswise slices is more appropriate for this. The pattern is probably the result of some dread disease or infestation, but I love it.

So what do you think? Bookends, maybe? Something sculptural? Really big pendant for a necklace? Or ... ?

Click here to see more Nature Notes.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Home Sweet Hobbit Hole

Live in your own little piece of Middle Earth. These unique cottages are environmentally friendly, charming, and cozy. Best of all, you build them yourself with plans and advice found at

* All photos used by Creative Commons permission. Property of

Saturday, February 20, 2010

What's Wrong With This Picture?

OK, I give. How come I have no birds on this thing?

I had it around back, hanging off the deck on a shepherd's hook for two weeks. It was about 5 feet off the ground, and birds were never shy about perching on the deck in the summer. In fact, a hummingbird feeder was a big hit when it was in that spot.

I moved the feeder around to the front porch a week or so ago, thinking maybe the birds that frequent the big pussywillow bush and maple tree there might notice. No takers.

The seed mix has millet, corn, sunflower seeds, and dried berries in it, so it should make everybody happy. What am I doing wrong?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Let There Be Lights

Finally replaced the old, broken, corroded outdoor lights for these new ones.

After a year of hemming and hawing and online shopping and indecision, I ended up just walking into a Menards store determined to walk out with something. These are them. Like 'em?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Signs of the Season #49: Living in Captivity

It's still snowing. In fact, it's snowing like it will never stop. They say it's "only" lake effect snow, but I have never understood the distinction. It's white, it's cold, it's wet, and it's coming down in boatloads, so it looks pretty much like the real deal to me.

Nobody goes out much any more. The thrill has long worn off cross country skiing, snowmobiling, sledding, and so forth. Not that I was into any of that to begin with. Just getting down the driveway is thrill enough for me. It's a sharp S-turn downhill through the trees, and when it's iced up it's like navigating a luge run: Too slow and you bog down, too fast and you fly offtrack to semi-certain death and destruction. I managed to get myself turned completely sideways last week, both sets of wheels firmly embedded in snow banks. (There's another plus for marriage - hubbies will dig you out of a snowbank. They will not let you live it down, but they will dig you out. So maybe that's kind of a wash, now that I think about it.)

Anyway. Let me introduce you to some of my fellow inmates ...

Gatsby, of course. He makes a big show of trying to get out, but we all know he'd want back in the moment he found out that snow is wet.

Did I ever mention that the neighbors down the road raise bison? Well, they do. There are at least a dozen in the herd. We don't often seen them up close because they prefer to stay back away from the road. In the winter, though, they come up to stand in the shelter of the barn. It's amazing to see these moving mountains out there in the snow.

And what is there for a tractor to do when the fields are all asleep? This one must have attempted a slow-rolling escape to Florida, because the farmer has it incarcerated behind an electric fence.

The gorilla statue lives behind bars in a secluded little courtyard between two local businesses. (Why ask why?)

There are lots more Signs of the Season entries and Nature Notes at Michelle's place, Rambling Woods, so be sure to stop by and check them out, OK? This post is a little early, but the others will be along in a day or so.

Just click here to be magically transported.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Lots of love and hugs all around to all of you!


Tuesday, February 9, 2010


I passed the test on the first try! Yeah, baby, the old girl's still got it. LOL

Actually, I think I must be a very lucky guesser. However it happened it's over and done, and I am free at last, free at last, great God almighty free at last!

And with that, I am off to enjoy the evening with a wine glass in one hand and a TV remote in the other. I have SO earned it.

P.S. - All the way there I kept reciting the positive comments you guys have left. I think it really helped to know you were rooting for me. THANK YOU!!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Quick Update

I'm doomed. After six solid days of class and studying, ten to twelve hours a day, I still haven't mastered half the material I'm going to need for the test on Tuesday. The issue is that most of it is straight memorization of tables, figures and facts, and my short term memory is practically nonexistent nowadays. I should still be studying now, but at this point the text may as well be written in Sanskrit. Just can't do it another minute. If I pass the test the first time, it will be nothing short of a miracle.

However, when I chucked the books and sat down here to play, I got to see a herd of deer move through the yard that included several antlered bucks. We don't see those very often, and it was a welcome treat. Just the thing to uplift a battered spirit.

There were two eight-pointers, one of which had lost one antler. There were also two two-pointers, a six-point, and one with odd-looking single spikes. Six or seven does and yearlings were with them. I took this photo at dusk, from a distance, through a dirty double-paned window with a screen on it, so it ain't great. But isn't he something?

In other news, there are still no birds on the feeder. Not one. No clue why they haven't found it yet. Gatsby's doing well, though, loving his new water fountain and scattered mugs of water. The college kid wants to come home for a weekend already, and I can't wait to see him again.

And that'll have to do until after/if I pass that damn test. I'll let you know how it goes. Hope everyone has a great week!