Thursday, August 30, 2012

More Quilts

I just picked two quilts up from the long arm quilter. This is Sarah's Roses from the Stack N Whackier book. The yet-to-be completed pillow sham is a picture quilt. 

Another Stack N Whack - a gift for my older daughter Laura and her wife Cheryl. I don't think they read my blog so the surprise won't be ruined. Bill likes this one so much he doesn't want me to give it away.

I'm finishing the machine quilting on Pamela's quilt and then I have to do the binding on all three!

Still can't upload pictures in Chrome - and I've tried everything. It's a pain having to use Explorer - but guess I gotta do what I gotta do!

More Hummingbirds and a New Quilt Top

We had a very quick but heavy rain the other night and this hummingbird took refuge under the eves of Das Kookin Haus - our name for the structure that houses Bill's prized grill - which also has a nickname - The Benford.

I've been working on a quilt for my daughter's family. Pamela selected most of the fabrics on her trip to Ocala last winter. The blocks are a pineapple design from the book Trash to Treasure Pineapple Quilts by Gyleen X. Fitzgerald.

Pamela likes the scrappy look - so this was perfect - but I found having to square the block each round was tedious and after several blocks I was bored with the process. I'm pleased with the finished top - especially the addition of my sister's beautiful hand-dyed materials - but will not hurry to do another pineapple.

The top has been sandwiched and pin basted and I've begun machine quilting.

For some unknown reason blogger opened in Google Chrome will no longer allow me to upload pictures. I had to revert back to Explorer to upload images. Chrome works fine with everything else. Has anyone else had this problem?

Friday, August 24, 2012

New Visitor in the Yard!

We have lots of Grey Squirrels that visit our yard - but the black squirrels usually stay in the Black Forest area. I hope he becomes a regular!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

"Dogging" in Pueblo

Bill and I went to the Pueblo Reservoir Park to do some birding - but we felt more like we were "dogging." The Prairie Dogs were everywhere! Yes, they are cute. The park has been affected by the drought with ugly brown grass and dying trees. The water levels are as low as I've ever seen them.

We are not sure what the next rodents are - they looked like squirrels on steroids.

Finally some birds!

This is a young Mockingbird. He still has spots on his chest.

We can always count on the park for Western Kingbirds with their beautiful yellow breasts.

I've decided this is a Say's Phoebe.

I was surprised to see a Killdeer splashing in the water near the dam. It was far out so the picture quality is poor - but the double ring on the neck definitely means it's a Killdeer.

We also stopped by the Pueblo City Park where I can usually spot a few Wood Ducks. I believe these are late eclipse males. All of their beautiful colors will return in the fall.

Back home, it was a beautiful pre-fall evening so we sat outside and enjoyed all the birds in the yard. We have hummingbirds everywhere, the usual quantity of House Finches and Goldfinches and more than our share of Chickadees. Many birds are starting to form larger flocks - getting ready to head south.

The cute little Black-capped Chickadees are some of our favorites. Bill took this picture of one of our guests enjoying the berries in our bush.

This little guy entertained us for the longest time! As the evening light faded, we watched the Nighthawks in the sky. Yes, I tried to take pictures, but was unsuccessful.

Bill noted that the weather-vane is pointing towards Florida and that maybe it's getting to be time for us to migrate. I could be ready in about an hour.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Pamela & Sebastian

My daughter Pamela and 4-year old grandson Sebastian came to visit! We had a wonderful time!

Sebastian and Bill
Bill and Sebastian had fun playing games on my new smartphone.

I made sure I had lots of puzzles and toys for Sebastian - including a new bike. It was just his size and he had fun riding it to the playground.

Sebastian loves to have his picture taken - especially when I tell him I'm going to send it to daddy so he can see what's he's doing.

What trip to Colorado would not be complete without a visit to Garden of the Gods!

Then we headed for the airport where we had a surprise for Pamela - flying lessons!

Ready for takeoff!

After Pamela landed, it was Bill's turn for a lesson - while Pamela took pictures of the mountains, the Broadmoor Hotel, Garden of the Gods, the Waldo Canyon burn scar and the "Roy Rogers Memorial."

Garden of the Gods

 Our beautiful mountains have taken a beating this year.

Broadmoor Hotel

The Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun

Bill took this shot of his daughter's neighborhood.

Another day we went to Helen Hunt Falls where Pamela and Sebastian climbed much higher than Bill and I climbed. We had a super visit!

Back at home, the hummingbirds are back! These are Broad-tailed Hummingbirds heading south from their nesting sites to Central and South America.

Male Broad-tailed Hummingbird
 This morning we had a noisy visitor - a Scrub Jay.

Now I know where my flowers are going!!

Friday, August 3, 2012


I just got a new book from - Stokes "Beginners Guide to Dragonflies" so was excited to see a dragonfly in the yard. I promptly took his picture and set out to identify it. I was sure this gorgeous creature had to be the rarest of the rare. 

Twelve-spotted Skimmer
 I've decided it is a Twelve-spotted Skimmer, so named because of the twelve black spots (three on each wing). It's listed as "common." Oh well! I'm still pleased with my first Life Dragonfly!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Up the Mountains

When I was a youngster living outside Philadelphia - we went "down the shore" so I guess now that I live in Colorado - we go "up the mountains." It's a beautiful day - but still warm, so we decided to do a little birding with altitude.

Dark-eyed Junco
Dark-eyed Juncos are common among the pines in the mountains.

Mountain Chickadee
 We have two types of chickadees: Mountain Chickadees and Black-capped Chickadees. The Mt. Chickadee has a dark line through his eye.

Mountain Chickadee
 Rampart Range Road is still closed because of the Waldo Canyon Fire, so we went to Woodland Park and over to Farish, the recreation area of the Air Force Academy.

Broad-tailed Hummingbird
 The store and registration station had an empty hummingbird feeder hanging on their porch. Lots of little birds were stopping by - but left disappointed, so I told the man on duty and he filled it - much to the delight of the birds. He said they have to fill it 3 or 4 times a day and that this time of year they go through 20 pounds of sugar a week!!

The next three pictures were taken in a beautiful meadow near a pond. There were hummingbirds and wildflowers everywhere!

Lark Sparrow
 Bill spotted this Lark Sparrow along the trail.

Steller's Jay
 We've seen Steller's Jays before - but I've never been able to get a good picture. I told Bill this was my goal for the day - and he came through for me! Don't you love his top-notch!

Steller's Jay

Black birds are boring, but this guy was huge! Ravens look like really big crows - with more thickness in their bill.

We had a nice ride but wanted to get back down Route 24 before the afternoon thunderstorms that have been causing severe mud slides. Route 24 has been closed almost daily. Even a small amount of rain on the Waldo burn scare is causing major flooding. It just started raining and, sure enough, the emergency scroll is again running along the bottom of the TV screen.