Sunday Chat

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.

24 thoughts on “Sunday Chat

  1. Sue Hoover

    Yummy! Cookies! We enjoy feeding and watching the birds here too. Can’t say as I’ve ever even heard of a kinglet. Google tells me that i should see a few here in IL except during winter as they migrate south. Your bird pics are spectacular.

  2. Julie

    Bob Cratchit’s family will keep you in squirrel names for a while. I just finished binding my 2022 Autumn Jubilee quilt. It’s a nice lap size. Carolina Wren visited on the deck yesterday. I guess they can handle the cold as long as there’s enough to eat.

  3. lee

    Love the bird pictures and my hub and I enjoy feeling and doing the count also! We see the kinglets here in the winter but never at our feeders. Today we are going out after dinner on adventure to hopefully see some short eared owls that have consistently been seen feeding at one of our birding sites. Your cookies look delish!

  4. That must have been a stunned bird. I wonder if Oliver trained his offspring? I thought of you when I saw a video yesterday of a man on his porch who has bears visit and films them. He just watches and was certain that recently a regular visitor brought the cubs to meet him. You might be surprised! I think these new squirrels will be entertaining to watch as well.

  5. I had not heard of “Snowcake and will look – I like both of those people. I have a lot of birds at the feeder at the side of the house that I see from the sewing room but very few to the feeder at the back of the house – so few I have been thing of moving the feeder to another location

  6. Rita C.

    Ohmygoodness, the beautiful birds!! Love the bluebirds and kinglet. Thanks for the movie recommendation. Happy Sunday and new week.

  7. Carmen

    On your fantasy cookies, can you use butter instead of butter flavored shortening? They sound absolutely delicious.


  8. We just put a bird feeder in our yard and are enjoying watching the birds come – we have seen a woodpecker – not sure of the variety. We will have to get better at identifying them. The cookies look delicious! Have a fabulous week.

  9. lucky you having such sweet bird presence right there to enjoy.
    We have been seeing so many many many birds…. ON TV. Youtube
    We watch Lensmyth. The kitties love them.
    I do not know where all of our “wild life” is. Probably hiding in the bushes.
    Happy Sunday

  10. I liked reading about birds you’ve seen. We have bluebirds, but I don’t spot them often. My red bellied woodpeckers are not as colorful as yours. All of them are fun to watch.

  11. Susan

    I have printed out the cookie recipe and am looking forward to trying it. I have to see if I can get the ingredients. If I can’t find dried blueberries, do you think fresh or frozen will work?
    I have never seen a Golden Crowned Kinglet before.

  12. Joan Sheppard

    Whoopee! I actually have all the ingredients! Chicago – very urban – not too much bird watching so really enjoyed “meeting” Golden Crowned Kinglet. I got my Quadrille cut out yesterday. Very exciting! Thanks for all the info!

  13. I love that you name the squirrels from Dickens characters! And they’re charming — as is that Kinglet. I’ve never seen one of those and they’re lovely. I’m almost to Galaxy Quest in the Rickman book. I think I’m liking it better than you, now that I’m into the rhythm of the writing. There are a few passages I’ve written down, I find them so perfectly stated. I’ll have to check out Snow Cake. I tried to find “Rasputin” on Kanopy but all they had was what looked like a bit of a cheesy documentary! (However, while looking, I did find “The Bishop’s Wife” which made all the search worthwhile!) Have a great week — those cookies look fabulous!

  14. feliciahamlin

    How about Mr. Darcy and George from Pride and Prejudice? Plenty of characters there. Enjoy the rest of this Sunday. We are having sunshine for a change and 37 degrees above. It has been so gloomy and much colder the rest of the week.

  15. jseccurrtwcnyrrcom

    Carole, Amazing pictures of the birds! We have a bluebird box just outside our kitchen window. We put a squirrel baffle on the post of the bluebird house to keep the cats away. Our neighbors each have bluebird boxes too. We currently have a couple of bluebirds in our box but soon after the babies they change locations usually to the neighbors box. It’s quite cold here so it’s amazing they are still here. Thanks for an uplifting chat.

  16. Darci D Marshall

    An enjoyable chat! I had neglected my eBird app in favor of Merlin, and had forgotten you can use it to do bird counts. The little golden crown kinglet is one I haven’t seen before, so lovely! We mostly have juncos and goldfinches at our feeder now.

    I will most certainly check out Snow Cake

  17. Glad you’re still getting the squirrels to come, even if it isn’t Oliver! I do always wonder how often we see the same squirrels in our yard, and what the neighborhood population actually is. Are squirrels territorial? So exciting to see a new bird, too! Your cookies look yummy – thanks for sharing the recipe.

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