I’ve been doing counts for the Cornell Feeder Watch, and also tracking my species counts in eBird. It was exciting to see ten bluebirds visit on Christmas Day, and six of them have stayed on. At least I have only seen six at once for the past few days. After the pair took a look at our birdhouse, there is no evidence it has been chosen as a nesting site, but it is still early. It has been warmer than normal, so maybe the birds were house hunting early. But then we got a dusting of snow yesterday.
This Red Bellied Woodpecker is a frequent visitor. The red patch on his belly is the largest one I’ve ever seen. On other red-bellied woodpeckers that I have seen on the feeder, the red patch was not nearly as prominent. I am not sure if this is the same bird, just more mature, or if it is a new visitor.
There are a pair of downy woodpeckers that frequently visit the feeder. This is the female, with no red patch on her head.
The most exciting part of the bird watching this year was a new bird to list on my lifetime sighting list. I heard a small thump when this little gal hit headlong into the sliding glass door and I looked up in time to see her fall to the veranda. She sat on the edge of a board with her feet dangling down for a few minutes, stunned. I slowly moved to the door to watch her. She was moving her head around, so I didn’t disturb her. But as I looked at her, it dawned on me that I’d never seen one like this, with a bright yellow strip on the top of her head. I looked it up in my bird book. This is a Golden Crowned Kinglet. The females have bright yellow crowns, the males are orange. After a few minutes, she stood up, walked around a bit then flew off.
It has been some time since I’ve seen Oliver. At least that is my impression. For new readers, Oliver is a squirrel I have had living nearby for a couple of years, along with his buddy Jack who has a little notch in his ear. These two squirrels both have the white tufts behind the ears, that Oliver does not have. Both these guys have figured out that they can get fed if they come up when I am on the veranda. They often fight each other if one gets a peanut butter sandwich before the other. But most of the time I can get a squirrel size sandwich to each so they sit and eat peacefully. I wonder if they are Oliver’s offspring.
Now, I need names for them. I’ve run out of Dickens’s characters.
Cute little beggars.
This week I was able to get a bit of sewing done, but I cannot share it yet of course. I am working mostly on Quadrille, and I am almost done with the block construction for the size I chose. I’ll be working on another project soon so I can share more quilting between the mystery steps. If you missed the beginning with the fabric requirements and cutting instruction download, click on Scrap Dance Quadrille Mystery Quilt Along.
Continuing on our chat from last weekend on Alan Rickman’s diaries and movies, I was able to get the DVD of the award winning Snow Cake from our local library. This was one of the few movies Rickman alludes to in his diaries where it seemed he was proud of his performance. Those of you with Prime Video can see it for 3.99. Everyone else, check your library, as it has become a bit on the collectible side. Interesting fact, Alan Rickman had previously worked with Sigourney Weaver on Galaxy Quest, and thought that she would be perfect for the role of the autistic Linda. So he made the suggestion to the producer, and then called her to tell her she should read for the role. The story is deeply thoughtful and sensitive, about the unlikely friendship between a recently released convict and an autistic woman brought together by a tragedy. It is difficult to review without giving away main plot points, but suffice it to say it is worth your time.
This past Thursday, it was a rainy day and I had an impulse to bake a batch of my Fantasy Cookies for our pickleball group. We’d been talking about cookies while we waited for our turn on the court, and it just seemed the right time. I mixed up the cookie dough and scooped out portions on a cookie sheet.
I packed the cooled cookies in a plastic box with a lace edged paper doily, and sheets of wax paper between the layers. These cookies are delicious, full of dark chocolate and vanilla chips along with dried blueberries. Click on Fantasy Cookies for the post with the recipe download. Yes, the pickleball group ate them up!! See the linked post for a pdf download of the recipe.
We have a busy week ahead, with much to get done, so I do not know how much sewing I’ll get done. I am still working on the blue and yellow scrappy quilt, along with Quadrille. I have the basecoat done on some new rocks, so I’ll be painting again. Plus, I am still doing some of the clean-out tasks that I talked about on Tuesday’s post, and I’ll update that soon.