Sunday, June 28, 2015

Back from the Ocean

Left last Wednesday for a whirlwind trip to Massachusetts to visit colleges, stop at the ocean, and eat lobster!

My niece is going to be a Senior in high school this coming fall, so we accompanied her and her father on three college visits. First stop was Stonehill College south of Boston. Loved the campus, the tour guides and the location.

Left there, and craving lobster, we headed north of Boston to Rockport. The lobster roll was delicious, scenery beautiful, and the weather spot on!

Sadly, we left Rockport, but gladly, our next destination was Newburyport, MA. Newburyport and neighboring Plum Island are two of my favorite places in the world. Plum Island is home to the Parker Wildlife Refuge where we bird every time we visit. The weather was beautiful, and we were able to walk the beach on Plum Island and at nearby Salisbury. Took some time to visit the shops in Newburyport and eat lobster at Bob Lobster.

Parker Wildlife Refuge is a great federal preserve where you can see all kinds of shore birds. We took lots of pictures, walked some trails, got eaten alive by mosquitos (!), and saw some incredible birds. The highlight was watching an osprey circle a pond and then drop down and scoop a fish. We got some great photos.

Just amazing to see!

Lots of other birds in attendance: willets, purple martins, great egret, snowy egret, double-crested cormorant, along with cedar waxwings, tree swallows, gulls, killdeer, and some warblers.

After a lovely day at the ocean, we left the next morning to tour Worcester Polytech and Assumption College. So far, the clear winner is Assumption. Time will tell!

A great trip!!

Hope you are enjoying this start to summer as much as I am. Here is the rug I am working on. Of course, there is a bird on it!

Happy hooking, and be sure to visit my Etsy shop:

Friday, June 19, 2015


An uneventful week this week. Sometimes that is good. Lots of rain, babysitting (my beautiful grandson), rug hooking, weaving, and birding.

My main source of interest this week has been The Goldfinch. I have been unable to put it down at times. I know I've said it already, but read it!

I have begun hooking my new challenge rug for my rug hooking group. I am enjoying using lots of bright colors. Will post my progress next week.

Did not get a lot of birding in this week because of the weather, but I did manage to spot an Eastern Kingbird, a new bird for me. Here is a Web photo of him.

The grackles descended on the feeders, and at times, it felt like they were circling the house.

Off to the ocean for a few days next week. Hope your Father's Day weekend is a good one.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Here comes summer!

The weather is starting to heat up in the Northeast bringing humidity and warmer nights. But after our very long winter, who can complain?!? The peonies in my back yard are just starting to bloom, and already, their weight is pulling them down to earth.

I've started The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt and it is wonderful. I like to read at night, and I tell myself just one more page, and then off to sleep. That usually means another ten pages! If you want something long and captivating, try this book.

The binding on my large tree and bird rug is complete. The next step is to add some roving as eyes on the birds. I also want to fill the nest with felted eggs to give it a three-dimensional look. This will be a good project for today, as it looks like it may rain all afternoon. Here is a partial view of the rug laid out on the bed. Once it is hung, I'll take a full shot of it.

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Just a reminder that you can find my wool on Etsy:

Spent yesterday morning at The Wilton Wildlife Preserve. A 2.5-mile hike that was disappointing as far as spotting birds went. Saw only a few common birds, and really didn't see much movement in the trees. However, it was great for daily exercise. I have a fit bit and clocked in 7000 steps on this hike alone.

My bird of the week is the Barn Swallow. My brother and I took a ride through some backroads where you can find several thoroughbred horse farms. Needless to say, the open barns allowed the swallows easy access, and the bird activity in and out was quick-paced! Also saw several Eastern Bluebirds (the state bird of New York). They are so pretty with their bright blue backs and wings and their orange underbellies.

The backyard is humming with activity. Squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks, and birds! For the past two days, we've been plagued with Common Grackles. They came in a huge flock and ravaged the feeders, driving the small birds away. Although they are a beautiful bird with their purple and blue iridescence, I finally removed the feeders for the morning. I put them back later in the day, and so far, so good.

Hope you have a lovely weekend. Our huge Flag Day Parade is tomorrow (Saturday). Looking forward to it!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Hello June!

Another busy week has gone by. Spent the days hiking, birding, weaving, and a little bit of rug hooking. It was very rainy this past week, but I still found that I wanted to be outside. The last few days have been lovely, so I've been taking advantage of it.

First for the sedentary activities.

I have finished The Gift by Cecilia Ahern and liked it very much. An easy read that had a message for the stressed and overworked.

I am now starting The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt for my book club. Luckily, we have til September to finish it as we are off for the summer. Quite a long book!

Slow going on the bird/tree binding. Tonight, I am definitely going to put some time into it, so I can finally get it ready for hanging.  I did mention last time that I have a new pattern ready to go. Here is a photo of the pattern.

This is part of a challenge we are doing in our rug hooking group. Looking forward to starting this rug. I will post my progress once I get started.

Spent two hours at the Weaving Studio located in our Arts Center building. Working on placemats in a twill pattern. Two down, four to go!

And now onto the more active parts of my week!

Spent some time at the Vischer Ferry Nature Preserve, approximately ten miles north of Albany, NY. A beautiful set of trails, but the mosquitoes were killer size! Got a new bird - a yellow warbler.

This makes three warblers on my life list. So many more to discover.

I also went to the Saratoga National Historical Park (Saratoga Battlefield) to do some outdoor sketching and painting with friends. While I was there I saw a Bobolink, another bird I had never seen before.

A visit to the small town of Galway, got me a lovely shot of a beautiful butterfly.

This stream was right next to the road where the butterfly was sitting. A gorgeous place.

 Lastly, here are two shots of clematis blooms from my home garden. I wish that they would bloom all season.

To those of you who are kind enough to purchase my wool on Ebay, I wanted to let you know that I've moved most of my listings to Etsy. Wool will still be available on Ebay, but their fee structure is making it harder to list there. So please visit my shop on Etsy. Here is the link: