Thursday, May 28, 2015

Hawk Update

I had every intention of working in my garden this afternoon after returning home from my flute lesson, but it was just too hot and humid and I was tired, so the tomato plants will have to wait for another day to be planted. Instead I decided to drive over and check out our newest parishioners, the Hawk family. Dad, at least I think it was Dad, was perched on the cross keeping an eye on things,

Mom was in the nest and soon up popped one of the babies. I believe there are three, but the speakers somewhat block the view and the nest is set back so it is difficult to see. These shots were taken with my Nikon 75-300 lens.

At this point the babies look like little aliens.

Here's my favorite photo. This little guy decided to stretch his wings. It must get cramped in that crowded nest. :-)

Be sure to click on each photo to see a larger version of the image . .  . especially the little alien!!!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Spring Planting Moon Pow Wow in Randolph

Yesterday afternoon, my friend Marilyn and I attended the Mass. Center for Native American Awareness' Spring Planting Moon powwow held in Randolph, MA at Prowse Farm. The event featured Native American dance, music, crafts, storytelling, etc. Marilyn knew that I had attended the much larger Schemitzun (Green Corn PowWow) at the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation near Foxwoods in Connecticut a number of times in years past, so she thought that I might enjoy attending this event.

Grammy Award winning Native American flute player Joseph FireCrow also performed. There is something hauntingly beautiful about the sound of a Native American flute.

It was a fine way to spend a few hours on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Family Fun at Davis Farmland

Yesterday afternoon my seven little cousins, their moms, and I spent the afternoon at Davis Farmland in Sterling. From ages three to nine, all of the children had a great time feeding and petting all of the baby animals. I think that was everyone's favorite thing to do, but there was also a hayride, go carts, a new giant slide, a play area, etc. The weather was perfect, cool and dry, but that also meant the spray park area wasn't open. Oh, well, there was still lots for the children to see and do. We wondered if perhaps the nine year olds might be outgrowing the experience, but no, they had a great time. I particularly enjoyed watching the three year old who may have enjoyed himself the most of all of us. :-)

Friday, May 22, 2015

Friday Garden Photos

Both of these photo were taken at 7:30 this evening with my iPhone. It definitely wasn't the best time to take photos, but I feared the wind would reduce the poppy to a pile of colorful petals scattered on the ground by morning so I took a quick shot.  These poppies originally came from my aunt's garden many, many, many years ago when I was a child. I had two sections of them growing along the fence, but to my dismay, the man cutting my grass this morning must have mistaken them for weeds and one section was completely wiped out by his weed whacker. In his defense, there were weeds growing around them. It's my own darn fault as I should have moved them into my big garden for protection or marked that area off. This will definitely motivate me to move the rest of them. 

These purple irises have also been blooming in my backyard as far back as I can remember. 

Given the time of day and the limited light, I was really impressed with how sharp this iris photo turned out.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Valerie's New Digs

Kitchen counter space is highly overrated . . . at least that's what I will tell myself from now on since Valerie's new tank takes up quite a bit of space.   If you are a long time reader of my blog, you may remember Valerie's story. If not, here it is in brief detail. Shortly before I retired in 2009, some of our eighth grade boys decided to "liberate" some of the tiny feeder fish intended for Tank, the science room's turtle. Somehow, one of these tiny fish ended up on my desk. I named her Valerie in honor of our team's science teacher. At first, her home was a series of gradually increasing sized bowls. A few years ago I saw Valerie, the teacher, not the fish, shopping at a local store. I told her that her namesake was thriving, but about to outgrow her current bowl. She gave me a tank, and that was her next home. In recent weeks, it became apparent that she was outgrowing that tank as well, so on Saturday I purchased this swell new home for Valerie. I'm no expert in goldfish psychology, but it seems pretty clear that Valerie is happy as a clam in her new digs. ;-0

Did you know that goldfish may live to be twenty or more years old? What will I do in a few years if she outgrows this home?????????

Here are two photos from three years ago when Emma and Valerie first met.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Sunday Sampler

These first few photos have been in my camera since last week, but I didn't get around to posting them. I love these red tulips and grape hyacinths which grow each year in front of my neighbor's wall.

These ladders are in Lower Jackson Square. Twenty-nine members of the South Shore Camera Club showed up one afternoon last week to photograph the herring. Unbelievable! If you click on the  photo above, you can see that a turtle on the left also trying to swim up the ladder. It has always fascinated me how these fish make the long journey up the Back River from the ocean to reach their spawning site in Whitmans Pond. These ladders were constructed to help them along their way.

Unfortunately, some no sooner make it up against the current one level before being washed back down again.

A polarizer would have been in order for these shots, but trust me, there are hundreds of fish in this photo resting before attempting the ladders.

After their arduous journey, sadly many become someone's dinner. 

These guys simply ignore the posted signs.

Okay, so here's the really big news. I hadn't seen them, so I thought the hawks had abandoned the nest in my church's steeple. But no!!! If you enlarge this photo, you can see a tiny ball of fluff next to the mother. I watched for quite a while, but only saw this one quick glimpse of what I think is a baby. For sure, I'll be back tomorrow to check it out again.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Quilted Vermont Scene

Here's another just completed row from last year's Row by Row Experience. This pattern was from the Hen House quilt shop in White River Junction, VT. A red barn, hot air balloons, and a covered bridge . . . it doesn't get any more Vermont than that.  Click on the photo if you would like to see a larger version. I used some wonderful fabric for the foreground which suggests a field of wildflowers. 

My goal is to try to complete a quilt top with rows from last year before the new Row by Row Experience 2015 begins on June 22nd. Maybe if I put other projects on hold,  I just might be able to reach my goal. :-)

 Non quilters will probably not understand, but my friends and I can't wait for the fun to begin again. We'll try to visit as many shops as possible to pick up each store's pattern. The theme for this year is "water", and it should be interesting to see how each shop interprets the theme.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

A Field of Fabric Flowers

Last Friday night at our once a month evening quilt meeting at Heart in Hands, Stacey showed us how to make fabric and button flowers. We took a strip of fabric twenty-two inches by two inches and folded it in in half lengthwise. Next we gathered the raw edges and pulled tightly creating a fabric rosette. A button was then placed in the middle with tacky glue, and a pin was glued to the back. Here is mine from the other night.

Honestly, I couldn't picture myself ever wearing one, but I thought almost immediately that it might be fun to create a little art quilt featuring a field of these happy flowers, and so I did! The piece measures 12'"x 12."I varied the length and width of the fabric strips to create different size flowers.

Karen Eckmeier gave a wonderful presentation at the Crosstown Quilters Guild on Thursday. What a lovely, personable, creative lady she is. I used the technique she explains in her book Accidental Landsapes  to create the field for my little piece. The stems were cut from various widths of rickrack and the buttons were sewn on to anchor the flowers. I added a bee for an extra little touch of whimsy. This little piece now adds a fun pop of color in my kitchen.

On Saturday, Beth Helfter from Eva Paige Quilt Designs spoke at the Herring Run Quilt Guild meeting. Her talk was lively and fun, and I purchased a pattern which should be just perfect for an upcoming project.

Happy spring!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Springtime Yellow - Part 2

My friend Ginny called the other day to tell me that her daffodils were absolutely beautiful this year, so of course, I drove down to her home to take a few photos. They grow along a low stone wall on either side of her front yard. These daffodils are descendants of the very same daffodils which were given to me so, so many, many, many years ago as recounted in the post Full Circle.

Through the years the bulbs have been divided and shared with many gardening friends.  Ginny said that when she happens to be in her front yard, motorists and bicyclist will often stop to tell how much they enjoy seeing them each year. They are truly the gift that keeps on giving pleasure to all who view them.