Now that I've got your attention ... there really aren't any flowers blooming in my backyard yet. I think the only way I'm going to see any blooms this year is if I knit them myself :[ And that's just what I've done! I have a book 100 Knitted and Crocheted Flowers that I purchased last year. I hadn't made any of the flowers in the book, but there are quite a few really fancy ones I've been wanting to try. Check out this link for some gorgeous photos of flowers made from the book.
For the last couple of nights I've been playing around a bit with the yarn and this book, and came up with these:
I really only made two. The one in the bottom photo on the left is from a pattern in the book (which I knit up first), and the one on the right is one I made the pattern up myself. They were fun to knit, although a bit fussy, and there are a lot of ends to weave in at the end. I think I'll give the smaller one to a little girl I know and will pin it on her coat! The large flower measures about 3" across.
Even though there aren't any flowers out there yet, and the temperatures are all over the map lately, we've been having a nice selection of birds migrating through. We're directly in the flight path of many birds as we live fairly close to a large marsh area along Lake Ontario. I see some nice birds during the spring, but then I'm left with the rather common birds for the rest of summer.
Last night I spied this beautiful Brown Thrasher (below) in my yard as we ate supper. My family endured my photo snapping session while they ate, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to catch this guy on 'film'. Isn't he gorgeous! I love his markings, and the very beautiful fox red of his back. His golden eyes have a very intense look about them. I first saw one of these where I grew up below the Niagara Escarpment, and I had to look him up in our bird book to identify him. I remember feeling quite proud of myself for figuring out what he was. I think this beauty was tired from a long day of travelling as he wasn't very interested in food, just standing and looking about him.
There have been a few pretty sparrows flitting through too. I saw a chipping sparrow last night (didn't get a photo), and he is so sweet and delicate compared to the chubby house sparrows that usually take over the neighbourhood. The White-Throated Sparrow has been hopping through the grass regularly, and I was able to get a few shots of him (below). Also the goldfinches are back, and the male birds have molted their winter olive green feathers and have nice bright yellow again.
Did you know that goldfinches are attracted to the colour yellow (like themselves)? If you put a bright yellow bird feeder full of niger seeds (or thistle seeds) in your yard, you will get the goldfinches coming to your yard very quickly. I didn't quite believe this years ago, and I tried it when I lived in Burlington. I hadn't seen even one goldfinch in our yard. I put the seeds in the yellow feeder, hung it up, and within an hour there were about six goldfinches flitting back and forth to the feeder! They are such bright, gentle birds, and I like the little trilling song they sing, especially as they fly. Where I grew up there were many birds around in our woods and fields. I used to watch them flying, and began to identify the birds by the way they flew, each with their own particularly flight style. Goldfinches always fly up in a sweep and then down again, and as they fly up they sing, and when the reach the top of their upward motion, they stop singing. So their little tweets are quite noticeable because of the break in song when they reach that top spot. OK, I had a lot of time on my hands as a child ;)
|American Goldfinch, White-Throated Sparrow|
This morning I opened the back door to let the dog out, and I could hear a robin singing very loudly in a tree nearby. Robins have such a loud, clear song, and it always reminds me of early mornings in the summertime when I lived with my parents. We slept with our windows open, and I worked at a golf course in the summer and had to be at work by 6:00 a.m. I always remember the robins waking me up closer to 5:00 a.m. with their loud singing, and although it sounded beautiful, I was dragged from sleep much earlier than I wanted! I'm referring to American Robins (below), of course, we don't have the tiny English Robins here.
|Clockwise from Top L: American Robin, Brown Thrasher, Chipmunk, House Sparrow|
No sooner did I fill up the bird bath with fresh water yesterday evening, than a little house sparrow jumped right in and had a nice splashy soak! Birds just look like they enjoy getting a bath so much :) A little chipmunk has arrived at my home too. These little guys are adorable, but they worry me a bit ... I try to watch where he runs to as I don't want him creeping into my house somewhere. The thrasher in the top right photo (above) wasn't too bothered with the rubber snake I put there. It was supposed to be a deterrent for Resident Rabbit, but it seems to have little effect on rabbits or birds.
Well hopefully I'll soon have some flower blooms to share with you all. The bleeding hearts are the tallest shoots right now, but no hearts. I'm hoping that by next week I'll have something out there. I want to join up with Fishtail Cottage's Garden Party, which I noticed Tracie has started up now. Have a look over there if you're in need of some inspiration for things to do with your gardens. I just loved this party last year. So many amazing things people share!
Thanks for stopping by everyone! I hope your springtime weather is perfect and you're enjoying the smells & beautiful flowers of spring :)