For the Birds

Over the weekend, we visited a local conservation area to see migrating birds. We typically go during the kids' spring break (well, in the before times), but looking at the Facebook page, I could see we needed to go much sooner or there wouldn't be any birds left to see. In the past, it seemed to always be freezing cold in mid-March when we'd visit. Well, it was March 5 and in the 70s. And most of the birds had already left. Global warming, I guess.

I managed to forget the binoculars--I'm out of practice! I didn't even realize I forgot them until we were outside the visitor center and saw a large party of Amish visitors with a serious bird scope. We looked through the viewing scopes at the visitor center to see a nice amount of swans, though not in any detail because the viewers had poor focus and magnification. I'm not even sure what type of swans they were. We went off on the back roads to where we usually see pelicans.  We found a fairly small amount of them. We used the zoom on the camera as binoculars. One kind lady let us borrow her binoculars, but the camera zoom actually gave a better view. So we passed around the camera. We were lucky we got there fairly early in the morning, because they all took off and flew to who knows where while we were standing there.

We also were able to see three whooping cranes--parents and a juvenile. There are 78 whooping cranes in our migratory zone, and only just over 800 in the world, so seeing three is amazing! Someone else let us look through his camera to see the cranes since they were on the other side of the pond.

We also saw several types of hawks, an eagle, loads of coots, Mallard ducks, Canada geese, killdeer, and Canvasback ducks. We did not see any snow geese or Sandhill cranes. It was so nice to get out, see different scenery, and enjoy nature.

I haven't gotten much shareable sewing done this week--most of my test quilt is assembled. I did make this Peace for Ukraine block the other night, along with the appropriate donation to relief efforts. It was so nice to just sew something because I wanted to, with no deadline or any other pressure. It got my creative juices flowing, but alas, I have very little time for pleasure sewing right now. I do wish that things were such that this block was not needed. And while people whinge on about masks, gas prices, perceived slights, and such, and waste gas driving around in protest convoys, I am choosing to be thankful that I currently live in a safe area where my life and livelihood are not at risk. 

I made a little progress on my Macaron mystery quilt. I'm ready to join the rows together and trim the overhanging pieces. At that point, the pattern would technically be considered done, but I don't really care for smaller square quilts, so I will add strips to the top and bottom to make the quilt oblong. The top and bottom are actually the partial blocks, but those are going to be my sides.

See my bird fabrics in the center? I have more to use for backing and I call this quilt "For the Birds". How should I quilt it? I'm currently suffering from decision fatigue.

Moving on to the business side, I met my goal of five quilts for the week. I'm not sure I'll hit that for this next week. I had to order thread for four of the quilts I had lined up and everyone will be home next week. Anyway, here's last week's five.

Keetah's throw quilt, hand-guided loopy meander.

Keetah's Christmas quilt, also loopy meander.

Here is one of Elle's, quilted with In the Swirls.

Another of Elle's, quilted with Saffron Blossoms.

And Annie's steampunk quilt, quilted with Bora Bora.

Meanwhile, I harvested the last (I think) of the lettuce from the hydroponic garden. I actually had a fairly large head from it! We had enough for 3.5 servings of Riviera salad. There is a restaurant at home that serves this salad. It is usually made with leaf lettuce or mixed greens, pecans, strawberries, and sweet poppy seed dressing. This recipe is fairly close to the Arnie's dressing. I quarter the recipe. I'd like to experiment with reducing the sugar some time. Side note: I just looked up their online menu and they have rebranded and overhauled their menu. 😩 The Riviera salad is still there, though. And I can replicate it at home whenever I want. Also: I have not lived at "home" in 25 years, would not want to live there now, but still call it home. Weird.

Well, I guess that's about it for this week. Trees are starting to have visible growth, the daffodils are maybe 6" tall and many have buds, though not my usual first bloomers, and most of the grass has not started greening yet. We had another huge thunderstorm front move through with several inches of rain Sunday night and the repairs done to the potholes  from the last heavy rain a few weeks ago washed away. See you next week. Peace.


  1. Your Macaron quilt is looking fabulous and those migrating cranes are so majestic!

  2. Congrats on meeting your goal. You Macaron quilt is going to be beautiful and a wonderful addition around the Christmas Tree. Thank you so much for linking up to Put your foot down.