Friday, November 17, 2017

More from Estero Llano Grande

Hello, everyone.

As promised, some more pictures from our visit to Estero Llano Grande this week.

There were a number of butterflies. This one was willing to pose:

We walked back to the alligator pond, passed the first part, and went to the viewing platform at the end. No gator in sight that day!

Silhouetted against the cloud, part of the flock of pelicans. (More are above them, but they blend in with the sky.) They were wheeling around in an updraft before settling down for a late-morning rest.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Estero Llano Grande, second visit

Hello, everyone.

Today we went back to Estero Llano Grande State Park in Weslaco. We got there early, as the day was promised to be warm. ("Warm" in this context means "over 80F.") The forecast was not wrong.

There were a few birders there, but not whole flocks like can happen sometimes after Winter Texas season really revs up. No wind to speak of, a lovely blue sky with white puffy clouds here-n-there, a humid day but not a miserable one. Lovely walking conditions overall!

We saw, but couldn't get a photo of, a vermilion flycatcher and assorted other small birdies that we didn't even get a good look at. There were a number of waterfowl too, in the park proper and in the canal behind the park. (If you follow the trails you can walk along on top of the levee and view the canal.)

Today some of the most interesting birds were at the canal: a large-ish flock of white pelicans that we first saw swimming in the water by the tens and fifteens, then later flying in an updraft overhead, and finally in a clump on the far bank of the canal.

Also, and less to be expected, a pair of kites in a tree overlooking the canal.

There were other interesting sights also; hopefully there will be another post tomorrow with more photos.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Just catching up

Hello, everyone.

It's been quite a while--well, considering that I'm at home and not out of pocket--since the last post. It's been just one thing after another around here.

We did stroll down to the polling place on election day, even though there weren't any huge races to vote in, because there were issues that needed to be voted on.

On the way over, we saw the ducks having a little rest in the park:

These are domestic ducks, provenance unknown, that arrived at the park after the pond was constructed and filled. There are also some geese...not combative geese, thank heavens, possibly because the park is always dotted with walkers and runners and assorted other folks.

During the last several days, besides our little stroll last Tuesday, there were a few things finished off: a rosary with white perle Hail Mary beads and clear heart Our Father beads. An apron that had been originally sewn with its ties off center was repaired. Some more of the quilting on the Tech quilt has been done, too, in between days when the dining room table is used for actual, you know, eating.

Another rosary has been started, too: purple 20-gauge wire, purple lentil shaped beads for the Our Father beads, little purple perles for the spacers at the ends of the decades (useful if one adds the Fatima Prayer to the end of the decades) and assorted heathery colored glass beads for the Our
Father beads. It sits on the computer desk and I try to do a bead or two every time.

There is also some scrap-busting going on in the form of trivets or mug rug sets. Y'all may remember some color play a little while back which was developing ideas for these mug rug sets. The first one has turned itself into a trivet, oddly enough, but that's okay. It's still something that has a use and gets scraps out of the studio.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

A glorious walk today

Hello, everyone.

This morning we got going and walked at Bentsen RGV State Park. At a moderate-slow pace, we strolled three to four miles: from the entrance to the hawk tower and then around the loop back to the entrance, with stops at various bird blinds and feeders.

If anyone is wondering about what can be seen now, the feeder stocking season has begun.

The chachalacas:
An entire flock gathered to eat the seeds. It's fun watching
their social interactions.
Taken at the feeders near the entrance.

And the green jays:
"You got something to say?"
Taken at the blind. They are not fooled by the blind, but they don't seem to care either. These are two of about four or five that were eating seeds. They were loaded with that typical jay-bird attitude.

We are so happy to be back onto a longer walk distance.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Fall is falling

Hello, everyone.

We've been having cooler days now--had windows open for a couple, then actually closed them. Car thermometer claimed 43F when we drove to church this morning.

And from a walk this past week:

Walking east at 8 am (Central Daylight Time) along the flood control channel, saw the tule fog (mist among the weeds) that had formed. Taken with cell phone.
(Technically, tule is a local word for cattail, but tule fog can form in any weeds. This particular ditch doesn't really have any cattails.)

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Progress on the Tech quilt: quilting in progress

Hello everyone.
The Tech quilt is slowly approaching completion.  I'm hoping to finish in time to present it at Christmas.

The center has been quilted. There are a couple of spots that will need to be "unsewn" but it's a good start.

I added some interior quilting to the elephant's blanket and ear.

Now that the center is quilted there needs to be some planning and marking before the sides and top and bottom get quilted.  There are just too large of spaces without natural landmarks to wing it there.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Color Play for Mug Rugs

Hello, everyone.

These are a few color samples--all from stash--that are being considered as mug rug schemes. The plan is to make at least two, possibly four, of each, so the design has to be simple and easily replicated. There might be an applique added if there is a large mock-solid square. Or they might be simple stripes, or even a quarter log cabin. The shapes are still up in the air.

Lots of folks like peafowl and feather prints. This color scheme is
all-season, too.

This looks a little too bland. Possibly an applique in the burnt orange color family would help.
The machine decorative stitches would go well, too.
The yellow is a 4 inch square.

Very springlike! A green binding and maybe some bits of green
lace or rickrack to give it a little pop?

Also springlike. As I don't think there are any 4 inch squares in
these fabrics, maybe this set calls for being a quarter-log cabin?

This set seems blah to me--needs an accent color. Perhaps if they're pieced as stripes
and a contrasting applique is added? Or maybe if there is a black with
teal feathers print in the house, that could be added.

I do like this combination. The flowers are the center of attention, and
the darker reds play support very nicely.
The mug rug sets would be donated for inclusion in prizes for bingo games, so they need to be somewhat less idiosyncratic than some patchwork designs work out to be. It's possible that embellishments might be added--such embellishments as are compatible with being on, essentially, a coaster with a coffee cup sitting on it!