Snowing in April!

I can’t believe this weather!  The last few days have been dark dreary rain with high winds.  This morning we wake up to snow.  Not just a couple of flakes that don’t stick, but actual accumulating snow!  Weatherman, can I have a word with you – in private.  Yes, I live in Michigan where if you don’t like the weather today that’s ok because tomorrow it will be different.  But, really!  I want spring!!  You know, spring, April showers (and not snow) will bring May flower!!!  Remember, I am working on a SPRING Basket Quilt!!

Woo-Hoo! Spring Has Sprung!

Carolina Chickadee

Cardinal

Woo-Hoo! Spring has sprung!  The birds are back!  I was up in my sewing room stitching away when I heard this sound outside and I couldn’t figure it out.  I looked out my window and saw these cute little birds fluttering around.  They were chickadees and as they wouldn’t sit still long enough to get a picture of more than one together, you will only get to see the one I did get up close. 

The other lone bird in the tree with them at the time was a cardinal.  But, again I could not get a picture of the two birds together.  Those little chickadees are active.  I hope they come back.  I love watching them and listening to them sing.  Maybe I will have to get a bird feeder.  But then, wouldn’t that be teasing my poor cats?

With our one day of beautiful weather (a high in the mid 80’s), I decided to venture out to Joann’s and see what I could find.  Was I glad I went!  They are having a fantastic sale this week on all sorts of items I needed.  All of their thread is 50% off, so I stocked up on some of that.  I also got rotary blades and sewing machine needles at 50% off too.  And, I did manage to snatch up some nice remnants and other material.   It looked like everyone else had the same idea as me.  The store was very crowded but the shoppers were very nice and polite as we waited to get are material cut.   I love seeing what everyone is making. 

Today is rain and thunderstorms.  A great day for staying in and sewing.  Happy creating!

House Finch

Yesterday I spent part of my day sitting in my chair working on my baby grandson’s v-neck sweater.  I am a few a rows away from starting the decreases for the armhole on the front.  It is coming along slowly, but steady.  I do not need the sweater until July and my thoughts are on other projects I want to get started on. 

As I was sitting there, I heard the long twittering sound of the House Finch.  Originally these birds were only found in Mexico and parts of the western United States.  The small song birds were not common in our area until after the 1940’s when they were illegally brought to Long Island, New York to be sold as caged birds.  The birds were released into the wild by the vendors and owners to avoid prosecution. It took a while for them to become established, having struggled to survive, but they are now widespread and a very common sight in our area.   

I looked outside and saw a number of  these little birds sitting in the bush next to our house.  I was lucky to get this photo through the window glass.  Click on the photo for a better view.

Eastern Bluebird

It is so much fun to see nature in our yard.  I’ve posted about the deer.  They are plentiful in the area, but a very rare site for our yard!  And, you’ve seen the sandhill cranes, a sight we see and hear quite often. 

Birds are everywhere, but when I see a unusual one for our area I get excited.  I took this picture of an Eastern Bluebird yesterday.  The first one I’ve ever seen in our yard.  He was all alone.  No mate.  You can tell it is a male because he has such a beautiful bright blue color.  It is a little early for him to come around.  These birds are summer birds and the weather has been unseasonably cold.  Yesterday was no exception.  It was very cold and rained all day.  I was lucky to get this photo.  It was through the glass doorwall to our deck.  Sorry, it was the best I could do.  He flew off.  I hope he comes back with a mate and maybe some babies.  Wishful thinking.

♥ Happy Earth Day ♥

This is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.  I am more aware now than ever before the importance of doing my part in taking care of my small space on this earth.  Each year I try to implement more and more energy-saving and earth protecting ways to my everyday life.  

 There are many things we can do to help save our environment; from recycling to reducing energy usage and everything in between.  As a crafter I like to show off the many different bags I make and put them to good use by taking home my store purchases in them – from groceries to yarn.  Some stores even pay you a nickel for bring in your own bag.

I want to share with you a slide show that explains why I either take my own bag or ask for paper when shopping.  This Power Point slide show on “The Dangers of Plastic Bags” made me stop and think.  Think Green! 

♥ Happy Earth Day! ♥

Walks ~ Willow Trees & Kids Books

Good Morning.  Yesterday was such a nice day for being outside.  While walking with the dogs at the State Park I came across an old Willow Tree.  Willows are such an interesting tree to look at with their huge knotted & crooked trunks.  It reminded me about the kids book  The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree by Stan Berenstain.  This was one of my kids favorite books when they were growing up.  If you aren’t familiar with the author I highly recommend any and all of his kids books. 

This got me wondering and thinking about Willow Trees in general.  There are so many references to them in Literature.  Hans Christian Anderson wrote about them in Under the Willow Tree, J. R. R. Tolkien’s book The Lord of the Rings has the character “Old Man Willow” and more recently, J. K. Rowling writes about the “Whomping Willow” in her Harry Potter Series.

The Willow Tree is never made to look friendly and inviting.  It is always sinister looking and alive – like the branches are going to lean down and grab you.  I think that is why it is so prevalent in Folklore and myths.

I’m glad I live by the water where these trees grow.  I can’t wait to come back on another beautiful day with a good book and blanket, lean against its foreboding trunk and relax. 

Enjoy your day and I would love to hear from any of you about Willow Trees – folklore, myths, literature & experience!

Sandhill Cranes

Spring has arrived.  How do I know this?  The Sandhill Cranes have returned.  There are many protected wetlands in our area, one right behind us.  This is a good thing.  This allows us to see many wildlife creatures we would otherwise not be able to.  Yesterday it was the Sandhill Cranes.  They are not quiet birds.  They let us know in a very loud manner that they have returned.  Their squawks can be heard by all.