Sunday Chat and Critter Watch

Someone was sitting nicely, paws folded on our front door mat the other day. The mat says ‘wipe your paws’ but I’m not sure he did so. Still, cuteness abounds and peanut butter sandwiches needed to be made and offered.

This week, I made my Summer Squash Casserole, with a slight change. After mashing the squash, I drained the water again to reduce the liquid in the dish. This worked really well, and the result was a creamier filling and less water at the bottom. It barely lasted two meals. It is a great side dish, but could also work as a meatless main dish.

On the veranda, the candy cane verbena is blooming.

The calibrochea is doing well too.

At the edge of the veranda, mother wren was sitting on her eggs. It is hard to get a photo of her as it is dark in her nest, but look carefully and she is here. The ‘wren’ arrow on the photo is pointing at her head, and her dark beak is slightly open and over her egg. There is a white spot over her beak, and her eye is right at the tip of the arrow. Above you can barely see her spotted back under the leaf. Sadly, when I got back home on Saturday from pickleball practice, both she and her eggs were gone. A predator must have found the nest, perhaps one of the resident squirrels.

More critters have been visiting. The little rabbit is here, and seems to have grown a bit.

We were thrilled to see our local white squirrel visit. These are not albinos, they are a variety of grey squirrel with white fur and some have grey markings. Their eyes are brown. The town of Brevard, North Carolina has a huge colony, and calls itself the Home of the White Squirrel. They have a White Squirrel festival on Memorial Day weekend every year. There is a rescue group for injured ones that care for them and return them to the wild.

This one has been here for a couple of years, but doesn’t visit us very often. Of course I tried to give him a sandwich but he hasn’t learned that food is available here. He was with Oliver, and perhaps Oliver will let him in on the secret. Or maybe not. No, I really don’t know if it is male or female.

Wilson, our local woodchuck, has stopped by a few times. He comes up to the retaining wall on the back side of the garage to get access to the back yard. He goes to the concrete pad where the heat pump sits, and digs under that for bugs. Then he ambles on. I tried to get his picture for a couple of days, but he is fast. By the time I notice him on the wall from the basement, run upstairs to get the camera and get it turned on, Wilson is on his way out.

Remember the “You’re A Star” pillow design I did for Hands2Help for Hometown Heroes? Well, I had my annual physical this past week, and gave the pillow to my doctor’s assistant, Letitia. She is so nice and was really helpful during the last year of Covid, talking with me on the phone, answering all my questions and supporting me through a surgery last October when I wasn’t thrilled with going to the hospital during the pandemic even just for a day procedure.

Back to the garden, snapdragons are growing where I planted delphiniums. The colors are pretty though, and they are doing well growing much taller than previous snapdragons I’ve had.

Looks like I’ll have tomatoes and squash soon!

The goldfinches are wearing their summer frocks and visiting daily.

In the sewing room, this week has been pretty busy. I got another well loved quilt repair done, and I’ll show you that soon. I found out that a friend has been diagnosed with cancer, and sent her a port softie. I realized my Etsy store was getting low on those, so I made more. For those who sew, the pattern is free on my blog – Port Softies. For those who do not sew and need one, they are available in my Etsy store. Our quilt clubs have made hundreds of these over the years to donate to the local cancer center.

I also have a QOV loaded on the longarm to begin quilting this week. The backing is a star print, and is a wide back.

I painted more rocks this week too, and I had a fun idea. I’ll show you those when I have the painting finished, varnished and ready to hide. So this week, I’ll work on this QOV, finish my rocks, play pickleball a couple of times, and maybe have lunch with a friend. What did you do last week, and what are your plans for the coming week?

22 thoughts on “Sunday Chat and Critter Watch

  1. Julie

    I’ve been working on an ‘Elephant Stomp’ quilt for a friend’s great granddaughter arriving in October. Almost finished with the quilting. Yesterday afternoon while sewing during a zoom quilt class, a baby fawn strolled right past my sliding glass doors. Talk about a distraction, that FMQ went off the rails! Your poor wren. You tried to warn her it wasn’t a good spot for nesting. I gave up on potted flowers outdoors. Every morning I’d find them dug up. Marauding raccoons.

  2. Brenda Furlong

    I very much enjoy reading your blog. It is a bright spot in my day. Your little creatures are so cute. It made me so sad to read about the little Mama bird. I have had Eastern Phoebes build a nest under the back porch eave for the past two years and successfully hatch the babies, but this year a predator of some kind got one of the babies and left it by the side garden. Nature can be very cruel. I think it was a stray cat that I saw lurking around for a while. We can’t save them all, unfortunately. Thanks so much for sharing about your days.

  3. Thank you for the chemo pattern. We have a good friend up in N. Y. Going thru chemo and this will help. Unfortunately her outlook is dim.
    We have wrens here too, (Georgia) and they’ve set up housekeeping in the screening under our deck so they are safe
    Joan

    1. Squirrels also like turtles. When my son was young, we had a kid pool and he had turtles in it. Came home from school and we had turtle parts all over back yard and one squirrel with the turtle still in his mouth. Horrible scene for an 8 year old.

  4. Jo Anne Seccurra

    Oh the wonders of nature! Thanks to your photos, I’ve now seen a white squirrel for the first time.

    Last week, I finished a 1930s quilt and prepared for a quilters “trunk” show. Our guild members met in a parking lot yesterday, sold quilt related items from our vehicle trunks, chatted and had fun.

    This week’s list includes quilting, retreat preparation, seedlings to nurture in the garden (Zone 4) and catch up work around the house.

  5. Brenda @ Songbird Designs

    Good to see the squirrels and I love that white one! I’ll be working on my project for the upcoming Fairy Tales Blog Hop. I digitized some fun designs to add to the quilt! Hopefully I’ll have time to work on my next block of Sunshine Cove also! Have a great week, Carole!

  6. Mary Stori

    Another visual packed post…..and it shows your great generosity…bet you made the doctor’s assistant one happy and appreciated gal!

  7. That white squirrel is beautiful and fascinating! I’d never seen one before. Your bird and wildlife photos are always enjoyable to see, Carole! I’m going to have to try your Summer Squash recipe – my mom might like that. Hope you’re having a lovely Sunday!

  8. Gretchen Romanelli

    Thanks for the update on your animals and nature. Oliver was adorable on the welcome mat. I have never seen a white squirrel, especially not the ones in your area.
    Your squash casserole inspired me to create one based on your recipe. I use ricotta cheese instead of cream cheese and Italian bread crumbs instead of crackers. Adapted to what I had on hand. I made it just last week with leftover grilled zucchini instead of yellow squash. Lol.
    This week I had raccoons raiding the hummingbird feeders off my deck and fighting at 1 am. Lots of summer wildlife here too.

  9. Donna

    I was not aware of white squirrels until today! My husband is from Iowa and they have black squirrels! Cute picture of Oliver on the doormat! I think he was making himself at home!

  10. Delightful! I may need to take a nap after reading about ALL of your activities!! Isn’t it wonderful to see the spring awakening? The world is coming alive again, and it is a much needed sight! Thank you for sharing!

  11. Will Oliver take his sandwich from your hand yet? I wonder is he will share the food secret with his silver associate? My week will be busy…six days and counting until the wedding! Today I will do the lining for my dress and get it attached, then figure out how I want to do the lace jacket. I am thinking an asymmetrical front with a loop closure at the collarbone, and edge it with the satin. Time to decide, we drive on Tuesday!

  12. We have lots of critters in our yard these days too. Squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, orioles, blue jays, cardinals, gold finches, robins, humming birds…I love watching them when they visit. Your plants are doing well! We used to have snapdragons in our garden when I was little.

  13. Thanks for all the “fur family” pictures. And the flowers look great! I brought my geranium in last fall and it seems very happy sitting over the air conditioning vent so maybe I won’t put him out this year. Finishing 3 baby quilts for a friend who is also in chemo but wants to make sure all “her” babies get quilts. Hot, humid – perfect for hiding in the basement workroom and sewing!

  14. Libby

    I have never heard of these Port Softies before your blog today. Thank you so much. I will start making them right away.

  15. Lori Smanski

    Oh your flowers are lovely.

    Look at all those wonderful animals.

    I have never seen a white squirrel with a gray stipe. So cool.

    Your recipe looks fabulous.

    Do you mind if I get he recipe? Please?

    Lori Smanski

  16. I’ve been working off and on trying to quilt my Scrap Dance Pachanga on my little quilting machine on the frame. I’ve spent a lot of time “rippin’ stitches”. I am SO frustrated with this set up that I am ready to throw the machine out the 2nd floor window. Saturday I did two rows near the bottom of the quilt and my machine jammed and stopped and I finally worked the quilt free. I decided to finish on my domestic machine and let the one on the frame rest. I can’t figure out why the tension went nuts and have exhausted my patience. In the process I managed to slice a nice hole in my quilt top. SIGH………told my husband I was going to sell the stinkin’ thing! I am destined to quilt sitting down on my domestic. The red snappers are working great tho! So sorry about your little wren

  17. What a fun catch-up, Carole! I love your white squirrel and that pillow, too. You have a lot of fabulous wildlife! The squash casserole sounds very good — I’ll have to look that one up. It’s a little early for that here but soon enough and it sounds delish!

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