Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Harbour Quilt Company

in Antigonish, Nova Scotia,
has designed some amazing quilted wallhangings. 

I couldn't take my eyes off of this one!!
And it's haunting me, now,
so I'll have to make another trip to her store
to purchase the pattern and fabrics!

Here are a few others:

Nature isn't her only theme! 
I had a difficult time resisting her
seasonal table runner kits, too.

Why not stop by her online store
She has a blog, too, that you can also access from her sidebar,
and I'll bet, with a little encouragement,
we can get her to post more!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Extraordinary Owl Pellet

High atop Monkey Rock at Baleine Peninsula,
one of the properties Nova Scotia
is considering declaring a protected area,

while observing migrating whimbrels
feeding on the crowberry barrens,
I decided to explore.

Resting on top of a rock pillar that was split apart from the rest
of this massive boulder was the most interesting 'owl pellet'. 
When I spotted it through my binoculars, my curiousity got
the best of me and employing a little gall in my old age,
I managed to breach the gap to investigate further. 
There were 3 or 4 regular but older pellets
containing the usual rodent bones,
but this one was fresh and new.  And very strange.

Yes, those are somebody's feet!  I didn't throw down
anything for scale, but I carry an assortment of containers
in my backpack for just such finds,
and this fit perfectly into an old discarded pill bottle
that measured 3" high and 2" in diameter.
It also contained a bone, .5 inches in diameter and 2.5" long
and some feathers.

You know what?  It kind of gave me the willies. 
I couldn't bring myself to pick it apart:)!
Now that it's been discarded, I'm sorry I didn't.

The Ranger suggests a very hungry Great Horned Owl left this behind,
and I'll wager a very confident guess
based on the freshness of the pellet,
the size and color of the feet,
and the numbers of Whimbrel passing through,
that these feet, indeed, belong to a Whimbrel.

For an excellent, well laid out post about owl pellets,

Thursday, September 8, 2011

'Tis the Season of Migration

And my favorite bird to observe is the Whimbrel.  I feel honored to be in such a place as this, where I can sit at my sewing machine with the sliding glass door open and hear them pass over to the point near my house where they feed.

They feed in flocks and do not allow you to get very close.  However, here are a few pictures from a distance and zoomed in.  Here is the sentinel, poised atop a bluff while the rest of the flock feeds below, just out of sight.

And one in flight -  just enough of a view to see that
remarkable curved bill, evidence that they are
a member of the curlew species.
Whimbrels eat berries during migration
and come to rest along the crowberry barrens
of the Atlantic Maritimes. 
Berries are pulled off a branch with the tips of the bill.
The bird then flips its head back and swallows. 

They breed among the tundra in the arctic
where they feed on small crustaceans. 
Their long, curved bill is perfect for probing in the mud.

Crowberry (Empetrum nigrum)
The botanical name, Empetrum, is derived
from the Greek EN (upon) and PETROS (rock).
Nigrum means black.

Although I do not believe the Whimbrel is listed
as a species of concern any longer,
the U.S. Shorebird Conservation Plan
places this species in the category of shorebirds
that have shown to be in significant decline. 
The Hudson bay population has declined
from an estimated 42,500 in 1973 to only 17,000 in 2007.

For a short, and fascinating read about one migrating whimbrel,
check out this recent post on 10,000 Birds.
If you'd like to read a little more about it,

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Project Linus Call for BLANKETS for BASTROP (Texas)

Bastrop, Texas, a small community SE of Austin,
is among the latest towns to fall prey to wildfires. 

The Quilt Haus of New Braunfels, together with Project Linus,
has already put out the word for quilts.
This from their most recent newletter,
dated in the wee hours of this very morning:

Project Linus Call for BLANKETS for BASTROP
Our Project Linus chapter is one of the closest to the Bastrop area, where nearly 500 homes have been destroyed by the wildfires, and evacuations are ongoing.

WE NEED BLANKETS to deliver to the shelters!! We'll gladly accept baby/toddler sized blankets, up to lap/throw sizes for the teenagers affected.

Please help! We need:

•donations of finished quilts/blankets (made with a personal touch, of new materials)

•donations of crib size batting (45x60")

•donations of backing fabrics (1-3/4 to 2 yard pieces)

•machine quilters who will volunteer to quilt the many tops we have on hand

•volunteers to bind quilts

•volunteers to wash and label finish quilts

You can also help by spreading the word to all your friends! Thank you in advance for your generosity to those many, many families affected by the Central Texas wildfires.

The Quilt Haus
651 N Business Ih 35 Ste 510
New Braunfels, TX 78130
(830) 620-1382
Project Linus
Creative Sewlutions @ The Quilt Haus is the proud home of the New Braunfels Area Chapter of Project Linus, a non-profit charitable organization devoted to bringing comfort in the form of handmade blankets to children in need. We meet the 3rd Wednesday of each month, at 10am. We would love to have you become one of our "blanketeers"; bring your sewing machine and basic sewing supplies, your rotary cutter and ruler, &/or your donations of fabric, batting, etc. and help us "blanket" the New Braunfels/Seguin/San Marcos Area.

Thanks!! ~karen

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Wood Turtle

Species at Risk

The Wood Turtle, (Glyptemys insculpta) 
can be found primarily
in forestry and agriculture areas.

In some areas, the wood turtle is commonly called
"red legs" because the back of the legs vary in colour
from bright orange to red.
The underside of the neck and tail are also orange to red.

It lives mostly in the northeastern mainland
and the River Inhabitants in southeastern Cape Breton.

In mid to late June,
females usually dig a nest in a sandy gravel bank
on a bend in the river.
They deposit 8 to 10 leathery eggs.

In other parts of North America,
this turtle is also threatened or endangered
throughout much of its range.

(Photos courtesy of The Ranger,
taken June, 2011,
River Inhabitants, CB, NS)