Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Where's Mary??

"I think she's out chasing a bird!!"
My mother was the first person to say that, but not the last!?!
With new arrivals nearly every day during April, it's important to go birding as often as possible.
I live on the south shore of Lake Erie and spring bird migration is a big deal!!
This beauty (Rose-breasted Grosbeak) just arrived for the summer nesting season!
I don't just walk and gawk at birds though -- I try to be useful to the woodlands as well!
Every spring walk finds me pulling as much garlic mustard as I can clutch in my hand and carrying it on to the next trash can.
This is native to Europe, but it's invasive in North America and even though we'll never whip it out here, some of us try to keep it from overrunning woodlands and pushing out native spring wildflowers plus it decoys this threatened butterfly, the West Virginia White, into laying eggs on it's leaves but the caterpillars starve when they eat the leaves.
I've also been lobbying for and monitoring some control efforts of lesser celandine in my favorite local park!
Across the creek, the ground is covered with this plant and on this side of the creek, you can see the results of herbicide spraying -- look at it wilting!!
Once again, no way to eliminate it completely so efforts are focused on keeping it out of high quality stream beds and wildflower areas.
It's my dream to see this stream-side terrace covered with native skunk cabbage and marsh marigolds!!
Most evenings find me stitching on something!  Amy at Amy's Creative Side has started a hashtag on Instagram (#onethingwithamy) -- click HERE to explore!!
The idea is to set a achievable weekly goal -- so far I'm all over it!!
Week 1, I bound and washed this quilt to prepare it for donating!
Now I'm working on this motley collection of tumbling block units that are leftovers from all my y-seam piecing demos.  Since I've stepped away from teaching, I don't need them so I'm attempting to turn them into a "cute" child's quilt.  
It will be small but I'm not so sure about "cute"?!?
I have been fiddling with it for a couple evenings and just have one more zig-zig set of 12 y-seams to finish -- then borders!! 
Since I always chain piece through y-seams, I alternate with other projects so I finished assembling this scrappy quilt top -- made a backing and it's on the layering table waiting for pins as I write!
 I finished assembling this top and am ready to add the borders! 
Like many of you, we have been getting lots of rain and while general flooding hasn't been a problem, I have to admit I'm a bit frustrated by the ever present wetland along the edge of my lawn.
This fella (Northern Cardinal) is loving it though -- just peaked around the the monitor of my computer and he's out there right now, scouring the soggy lawn for edibles.  He must be having great success because he's working out there most of the day!
The Korean Spice viburniums are blooming and filling the yard with a luxurious scent!
The red currant is in full bloom and I'm hoping the insects are pollinating it so I can enjoy lots of fresh berries this summer! 
A male house wren has laid claim to the back half of my garden and is exploring every nook and cranny -- bad for the bugs -- and singing his merry tunes! 
So far, I've managed to fend off the white-tail deer munching on my flowers -- I see their tracks but they don't like my bi-weekly stinky spray program! 
And the old peony that I moved at the wrong time last summer is showing buds!!
So spring is good -- still several weeks of bird migration to soak up and wildflowers to find. The garlic mustard won't pull itself and energy spent on my garden will pay off this summer!
I'll be wearing myself out!!



  1. Great to hear from you. I'm also enjoying a beautiful spring and have recently seen grosbeaks. So beautiful. Keep moving, and sewing!

  2. What a great post - quilting and Spring. Thanks!

  3. Love this post. I sent you a link to a birding article in the Washington Post via IG. I'm not very good with IG, so I hope you got it. What is your recipe for stinky stuff that deer don't like?

    1. Thanks, Pat -- I use Liquid Fence, a commercial product. Easy! The trick is to start early I've discovered and spray every 10 to 14 days at the beginning of the growing season -- I'm spraying today for the 4th time already and so far, so good!! I don't use it during the winter so they don't get too use to it!?!