Sunday Chat

It was overcast several days this past week, but those days were the only ones I had to try to get some wildlife photos. I sat on the veranda for a while, quiet and still until the birds felt safe and came back to the feeder. I watched the bluebirds go in and out of the house building a nest. This was so fun to see.

The male sat in the oak tree for a photo, then few off to help gather nesting materials.

The house is in the redbud tree, hanging from a lower limb, but high enough off the ground to be safe from ground predators. The tree is fully blooming now, but much more sparsely than before due to the limbs we had to cut down. I hope the extra light in the interior will encourage it to fill in this year a bit more.

In the trees, many varieties of birds stopped by. It is hard to get photos of the tufted titmouse as he blends in so well.

This goldfinch is changing from baby down over to adult yellow. I am a bit surprised that they fledged this early. The parents must have done their nesting very early as I usually don’t see them like this until later in April.

The adults are almost all bright yellow now.

Of course, while I was out bird watching, someone stopped by and begged a meal. It has the white tufts behind its ears.

Of course, I got up and got him a sandwich.

I saw Oliver a few days ago, happy that he is still around. I’ve been hearing the coyotes howl at night, and I’ve been a bit worried that he was a coyote dinner. But he is still around.

In the garden, my tulips are coming out.

In the yard and the meadow, the wild ajugas have begun to bloom. They will make small carpets of purple, at least until the guy comes to mow the the meadow.

Friday evening, these deer were here. They munched on my hostas a bit, then came pretty close to the house, before strolling into the woods. It appears to be a female adult, and a juvenile female probably around a year old.

I had a great time at our sleep-at-home retreat this week, and I’ll have more on that on Tuesday. While I was there, I hid a bunch of rocks in the stone walls and columns around the Bonclarken conference center.

There was another group there using another part of the facility, but no one found the rocks while we were there.

I hope they are found eventually. But I hid them on Tuesday, and they were still there on Thursday.

In the sewing room, I have a challenge out for our Facebook group. I am challenging them to step out of their comfort zone and do some free motion quilting on their Oh, My Strippy Stars quilt. The prize has a layer cake, batting samples, Milk Street magazines, a wool applique kit, flying geese rulers and more goodies for a prize package worth close to $100!! It doesn’t have to be the strippy stars pattern, any free motion quilt can enter. Participants just need to post their progress on this in the month of April.

My pickleball pals have requested some Easter cookies, mainly so I’ll come by to visit. So, today I’ll be baking some vanilla butter cookies with pastel color M&Ms. Naturally, I cannot find a recipe that will make what I have in mind, so I’ll have a new one for you soon, if they work out the way I plan.

Early this week, I deadheaded my hydrangea, and cut it way back. It looks pretty pathetic right now, but when it leafs out, it will be lovely. I did that before the second round of injections in my knees on Wednesday. I went to retreat on Thursday, and everyone was so kind to help me so I didn’t have to walk around much. I get the final shots on Wednesday of this week. Then, I’ll see how it goes. So far, I do see some improvement, so I have high hopes that they will be effective.

What are you working on now? Do anything fun last week?

19 thoughts on “Sunday Chat

  1. Julie

    Fantastic photos, as always! We had a beautiful sunny 70° day yesterday, but it so windy we joked that we’d soon be paragliding instead of walking. I saw an ad yesterday for a Milk Street Wok. I’ll be investigating that. I’m off to sandwich my Strippy Stars & start imagining my quilting plan.

  2. Rheanna

    Thank you again for all the lovely nature pictures. They always cheer me. After the 5-6 inches of snow we got on Friday night I am feeling like spring will never come.
    I will continue to work on Oh my Strippy Stars this week. With my retreat being cancelled and then having to watch the kids while my husband spent time on snow removal, I just didn’t make as much progress as I had hoped.
    Hopefully your last set of shots will do the trick and you will be feeling great in time for the summer. 😊

  3. Judy

    I come from Mich originally . I fell in love with robins. Here in Florida they come for one day and fill my yard and then they are gone. But here in Florida I have fallen in love with the hummingbirds. God’s nature is so fun to watch and such a blessing. I have been working on an Easter table runner.

  4. I cut my hydrangea down to the ground level as it really looked totally dead with brittle canes and no buds what so ever – after I did that it started to grow from the roots – I might have a 3 foot tall plant by the end of summer and back to flowers next year! sometimes you have to take drastic measures.

  5. Cathie J

    I hope your knees start feeling better. I guess I should get cracking on trimming my hydrangea, but it has just been so cold and windy here. I hope to get a sewing machine in the future that allows for free motion quilting. Maybe someday. I love all the nature photos.

  6. Diann@ Little Penguin Quilts

    That is a great photo of the bluebird in your birdhouse! It looks like they are making a nest, let’s hope they lay some eggs in it, too. I’m soglad your knees are responding well to the injections. Those cookies sound like they’ll be delicious! My month of March has been consumed with my mom’s hip fracture surgery and rehab, so nothing much fun to report. But it made my week to see her get up from the chair and take a walk down the hallway with me on Thursday! I was afraid I’d never see that again. Enjoy your Sunday, Carole!

  7. Patty Brenner

    I also really enjoy your nature photos, it’s fun to see some different wildlife than we see here in central Texas – though we share a lot in common. I live out in the country so the deer are everywhere. There is a doe with a very short tail that my husband named Stumpy – she has had twins for at least 6 years now (which is getting old for a whitetail!) Her belly is looking swollen again this year so we’ll see if it’s twins again. I haven’t done any quilt related sewing lately, I’m busy embroidering sashes for a rodeo queen pageant I’m involved with. I offered to make them to save them a couple hundred dollars. It’s fun to do and feels good to help them out. I hope your injections give you relief soon!

  8. You would think someone would see the rock and at least pick it up and look. Just amazing. Your tulip is such a pretty color as are the redbuds. I haven’t seen any blue birds yet but do have a chickadee trying to nest in my one remaining house . I think the crazy weather has them confused as we all are. My “roll out ” flowers are still in question. They must be kept watered and this cool snap isn’t encouraging them to do any thing. HMMM.
    The peonies look good and I can only hope they will do their thing. My GK “teacher” says it may be a dream to want beautiful blooms in my area..We will see. All I can do is try.
    I’m so encouraged for you and your knee. Hang in there.

  9. Love you nature pictures! It must take patience to get such great photos!

    Gearing up for our quilt show. Doing show publicity and putting the finishing touches on entries.

    Wishing you super results from your knee treatments!

  10. I’ll be interested to see how the pain level is with the injections. I injured my left knee a couple of months ago (meniscus tear) and surgery is on Apr 14th – to clean out the debris from the injury. While I was with the surgeon I asked him about the right knee (by far the worst one) and he confirmed what I suspected — I need a total knee replacement. With the surgery on the left it should be good to go for the rest of my life (as long as I’m careful not to injure it again), and the right knee (after surgery) is good for 15-20 years. I’m losing weight right & left now from his suggestion — have just ONE meal a day (lunch), which is very healthy, little to no carbs, loaded with protein, veggies and salad materials. I am enjoying those meals and its been incredibly easy — wish I’d known about this years ago. Should be able to have surgery later this summer at this rate. I am hopeful, though, that once I lose a bit more the right knee pain will be much less and I might be able to put off a bit longer as its a pretty brutal surgery. Anyhow, once I hear how you do with your injections I will probably ask the surgeon at the follow up (the end of April) to do an injection in the right knee. I’ve heard about gel injections that cushion between the bone on bone areas — those are supposed to be really good for a longer term solution. Good luck with your injections!

  11. I can almost hear the breeze in the trees your photos are so lovely! Chicago is greening up in baby steps. The Conference center looks amazing! People visiting the conference area might think the painted rocks are part of the property! They are so cute. Thanks!

  12. June Neigum

    All of my piecing last year has paid off. I have gotten 3 quilts quilted(free Motion) and finished Maybe I’ll enter your challenge this week.

  13. Bonnie Coleman

    Hey Carole! I’m praying your knees are improving. It’s so important to keep moving! I have to work hard to keep myself moving.

    Question: I have babied my hydrangea for couple of years, and had several blooms last summer. When those died back, I deadheaded them then. So is that where I am doing things wrong? The plant looks healthy so far this year. I would just like to see more blooms!


  14. Mary

    I always love seeing your nature photos. It’s a great time of the year for animal activity. I hope you’re back on the pickleball court in no time at all.

  15. I love those photos of your wild friends! I had a nice, quiet week, and and hoping for another! I have Master Class tomorrow, and make up lessons, but have spent the last hour trying to move as much as possible to Monday because we are expecting 1-2 feet of snow Monday night through Tuesday!

  16. Kathleen Cuilan

    I’m glad you’re feeling a little better now. I was watching the news today about this terrible weather hitting so many towns through the midwest and the South. So many people have lost so much. I hope you and your husband are safe and don’t have to deal with this weather situation.

  17. What a glorious bunch of birds and wildlife! It’s almost like being there, seeing your wonderful photos and imagining you right out there, watching! And that redbud is a gem. They are my favorite tree — soon to be in bloom here, but not soon enough. Happy week!

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