The (Beswick) birds & (bomboides) bees

It’s National Pollinator week. I have been saving pictures of bees for a while now to do a big post about bees. So when I went for a hike this evening after work, my goal was to get just a few more bee photos.

beswickwrenAnd the first thing I saw was this gorgeous Beswick’s Wren.

It was a good birding day in general at Canemah. I also saw a Bald Eagle, hummingbirds, song sparrows, blue jays, robins, flickers, and Cedar Waxwings.

I also saw a lovely Downy woodpecker (one of my (many) favorites). I didn’t see my Great Horned owl again, though.

I’m glad I’m blogging this, because next year around this time on a similar kind of overcast day, I’d really like to take my chair down and just watch for a while. It was really a good day because all the birds were really chattering and singing away.

 

californiagroundsquirrelI also saw my nemesis for identification. I’ve asked everyone what this creature is, but no one is sure. I think California ground squirrel. A mountain beaver has been suggested and sighted in Canemah (not by me), but I don’t think so.

Okay. Onto my original topic… pollinators (specifically bees).

Bees

There is a page that I love called Bees of Oregon. I love it because I can’t identify anything and I’m amazed the author can! It’s truly amazing.

As I’m sure everyone has heard, pollinators like bees are under threat. They are too amazing and vital to lose! Don’t use pesticides!

Remember the knitting when loosing weight

I’ve been a little blue today for no particularly good reason. Today is also weigh-in day, but I was expecting good things and I wasn’t disappointed. Another loss for a total of 29.6 lbs obliterated!

Unfortunately, I still have a long ways to go. That distance is very daunting and a little voice starts to discourage me sometimes. In spite of my progress, I still have so much to loose. Also discouraging is that no one really notices any changes. Hardly even me. Yes, things are getting loose, but really…

tara

Me the day before I started Weight Watchers, 29.6 lbs heavier than today.

tara2

Me, this evening, after 8 weeks on Weight Watchers (less 29.6 lbs)

There is just not a HUGE difference.

But as I was giving myself a little pep talk, I realized the similarity of my weight removal journey to knitting.

 

 

Knitting is really  just a series of little loops. One or two little loops doesn’t make a big difference; a few hundred makes a baby hat; a few thousand a scarf; a few tens of thousands a sweater. No matter the item, however, it’s all just a bunch of little loops strung together.

Back and sleeves of sweater (with ever helpful cat)

Back and sleeves of sweater (with ever helpful cat, Bella)

I am currently knitting a sweater (my third upper-body garment and my first “in pieces”.) I have completed the back and I’m working on the sleeves, which I am knitting simulataneously.

I’ve been knitting on this since the end of February. I’ve been planning on knitting this for two years prior to starting it. My anticipation for this sweater is intense.

And I’m bored. I want the thing done.

See the connection?

 

 

 

Loosing weight is a bunch of little steps (loops). In working on my lifestyle, I am not depriving myself; when I knit, it’s in my spare time or with friends. In one session of knitting, you don’t see progress, just like in one or two weeks you don’t see your weight loss.

These things take TIME! Persistance. And maybe a little humor.

I think I can do another day… and another row.

runcation

runcation, n.: The action or an act of weeding. Also occas.: the action of rooting.

There are many jokes about Oregon and summer and rain.

“Oregonians don’t tan, we rust.”

“Oregon summer: the best two weeks of the year.”

Question:  “What do you call two straight days of rain in Portland?”
Answer:  “A weekend.”

“It only rains twice a year in Portland:  October through April and May through June.”

Question:  “What does daylight-saving time mean in Portland?”
Answer:  “An extra hour of rain.”

I really like the last one.

In this spirit, Oregonians don’t wait for good weather to accomplish things.

Today I had one goal–to get in some good weeding time. so after a few quick errands, I made my way outside. The sky was overcast with clouds of varying blackness around, but it wasn’t raining right then.

Over the next hour and half I weeded in various states of rain. Finn, who is clearly much smarter than I, moved in and out of the garage at each change of weather. But I persevered.

However, when the rain started to look like this, I gave up.

rain

Birding at the beach

I don’t get down to the beach to visit  my parents as much as I probably should, but this weekend I made my way down for a quick visit. The Audubon Society of Lincoln City was offering their monthly Saturday morning walk and Mom and I decided to spend the morning birding.

The group went to two restoration areas at Tamara Quay and Pixieland Restoration Site on the Salmon River.

The last time I went birding with this group was in November and on that day I saw many birds as well as river otter. I was blown away by the group leaders.

On this trip I was again amazed by the group leaders, but we didn’t see as many birds… but we could sure hear them, and the leaders helped us with ID.

Here are a few birds we did see. Additionally, we saw (but I didn’t get good pictures of): Rufous Hummingbird, Belted Kingfisher, Yellow Warbler, Warbling Vireo.

After this trip, Mom and I went home to check on Dad and make lunch. When he took a little nap, Mom and I headed to Salishan for a little more bird viewing.

This time we took Finn, who as always seemed to enjoy himself. On our way back to the car, we did a little window shopping through the Salishan Marketplace, but mostly we just enjoyed their flowers.

It was a great day. We got some strawberries in Otis and had strawberry shortcake for dessert. I only wish Dad could still participate and that I could get down to see them more often.

The painting harlot?

I am normally a pretty focused person. Point A to point B. I read my emails and file them. I weed one bed at a time, in a counterclockwise path. I knit one thing at a time.

And then there is painting. In spite of having eleven paintings going on, I started two new ones tonight.

"Between Classes" - needs to get darker

“Between Classes” – needs to get darker

untitled - hard to judge, has masking on

untitled – hard to judge, has masking on

My favorite blogger, Stephanie Pearl McPhee, adopted the name of her blog “Yarn Harlot” because of her similar propensity in the knitting arena.

Pearl McPhee calls this “startitis”. According to her, there is no harm in it. No one is hurt by starting a new project. Yes, she occasionally write letters of apology to her unfinished projects, but let’s face it… some project just don’t stand the test of time.

I’m not ready to write apology letters, and without any deadlines looming. Well… maybe I should start some more!

Life list addition

Since taking a hike with Ashley, I’ve been traveling a little extra during Canemah hikes to see if I can spot the dark visitor we spotted but couldn’t identify. And today… I found him! In almost exactly the same place, stalking a squirrel (apparently he had one squirrel pinned and the other was chattering vociferously at him). When I walked by, he took off into a tree and the squirrel darted out a few minutes later.

owlI marked the tree and stepped off the path to see if I could see him.

It’s pretty dark back there, so the photo quality  is not the best. But I’m going to tentatively ID this as a Great Horned owl.

I’m a little unsure because I don’t see “horns”, but nothing else in my ID book fits.

I’m going to email this to the Audubon society to get a firm ID.

This is so exciting for me! I’ve always wanted to see an owl in the wild.

It was really cool the way he waggled his head checking me out.

I just couldn’t be more thrilled!

owl2

 

Unexpectedly domestic

After the excitement of the show this weekend (the last day was a great cap to an awesome weekend) I took an extra day off to do exciting things like laundry, grocery shopping, etc.

quiche_finalAt the farmer’s market on Saturday I had bought a zucchini in hopes of making a Weight Watcher’s recipe that had been featured a couple weeks ago.

This desire to bake something is unexpected. The motto in our family is more along the lines of “When it’s smokin’ it’s cookin’, when it’s black it’s done” or “The fire alarm is the dinner bell.”  If I was to appear on a Cooking Channel program, it would probably be Worst Cooks in America rather than Chopped. Still, something about this recipe appealed to me.

I remember the first time I had quiche; it was at my friend Anna’s house and I didn’t know what it was. It took a lot to talk me into it.

So what inspired this desire to make a zucchini quiche? Got me.

And it was good. My only comment is that when they tell you to chop the zucchini fine, they mean a lot finer than I did! Didn’t effect the taste though.

Other Dinners

I also took Finn for a hike. We saw a robin fighting to kill a little snake. It was gruesome, but a little funny because the snake was so big the robin couldn’t fly off with it as we approached. He kept dragging it down the path. I was glad when we turned so the robin could rest!

Not too many flowers are blooming now, but there are still a few beauties.

 

A little news update

Open Studios of Beavercreek

setupWell, Open Studios of Beavercreek has been going on for two days and so far it’s been great.

First, I have been so touched by all the people who have helped and shows support. My friend JJ came out bright and early on Friday morning to help me with the last minute details and getting prices on everything. She’s a wonder with setup and visual stuff, so I was really grateful.

Next the ladies from my church came by to show their support. This made me feel so good, but even better a few of them actually bought a few items! One sale in particular seemed to be because the lady really like the painting, which really made me feel good.

The ladies had no more than left when my knitting group came by, and again I made a few sales. So it was pretty exciting!

Sue Allen from Clackamas County Arts Alliance next came out to help with publicity for the show and took pictures of all the artists to post in their Instagram and Facebook accounts. Pretty exciting! But also exciting, I met Sue Allen herself whose art I love!

Today a few more friends, knitters, and fellow artists came out, some doing the whole tour and some just to see a few favorites. I also sold a painting so a completely unrelated stranger… something who just liked the painting! SO EXCITING!

At my location there are three other great artist, so the camaraderie has been fun as well.

Customers have been very nice and quite talkative today. I’m going to think about maybe doing some smaller pieces, though there are drawbacks. Chickens are popular, but a theme about birds in general is something to consider.

Thoroughbred Racing

Well, the Triple Crown excitement is over. California Chrome gave it his best, but he was outrun. I was hoping for a different result, but I wasn’t too surprised. The Triple Crown is a challenge of (literally) epic proportions.

I am a little disappointed with some of the un-classy comments I’ve been hearing. While I think there is a point about being disgruntled that “fresh” horses are allowed in the racing, that is the way it has always been. It’s a Grade I race with a large cash prize. The winner, regardless of Triple Crown or not, will go down in history. The stud fees of the winner will increase because the horse is a “classic” winner. Is everyone supposed to back off just to give another horse and owner a better shot? Doesn’t sound like a real sport then, does it?

As this year has proven, the thoroughbred industry has its faults. From everything to the breeding to the way racehorses are treated, there are problems. I really respect California Chrome’s owners because they have really done a great job showcasing what a responsible owner and committed team look like. I hope they don’t ruin it with bitterness.

A little Canemah

Friday night after the show I went to Canemah. Upon arriving I thought I saw a bald eagle, but ended up changing my ID to a red-tailed hawk. Looking at the pictures, I’m less sure.

hawk1hawk2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anyone else got an ID?

Short post because I painted too long

Tonight was my painting night and I made a lot of progress. In fact, I painted so long I hardly have time to post before bedtime!

I worked on this painting:

egret_1egret_2This background was created while ice painting back in February. I recently saw another artist’s piece doing a white egret on a red-orange background and was inspired.

The image on the left is the egret done in guache (rhymes with squash). The image on the right is acrylic (with a few other tweaks).

I think it’s coming along.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I took the texturing off the abstract I started last week, and I’m pleased. It reminds me of the ocean. I think I’m going to do a piece inspired by my whale watching tour a year ago, but I’m not sure how to get that specific with an abstract!

abstract1abstractstart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also worked on the second of my “Trackside Discussion” series. I’d like to take this up to Equine Art in July, but I’m not sure it will be ready.

trackside2I did a few strokes on several other paintings, but nothing too exciting.

It’s all about the grass now

Today was a big day. “Delight” was turned in to the Oregon Society of Artists Rose Festival Show. Fingers crossed it gets juried into the actual show. I was so excited I had trouble sleeping last night.

After surviving the excitement of the day, I came home and took Finn to Canemah.

No matter what the calendar says, it’s now summer. While there are some flowers still blooming, it’s really all about the grasses now.

Of course, that isn’t to say the flowers aren’t blooming; but even the flowers are long and whispy.

Today we went a little further than normal, into the Douglas Fir area in hopes of seeing the (possible) Great Horned Owl seen on my last hike. No dice, but it was clear that the song sparrows had recently fledged. There were several that were unusually loud and still on our hike. I swear, one kept following me and let me get incredibly close.

friendlysongsparrow youngsongsparrow

ospreyAlso I confirmed that the osprey nest across the river is definitely being used this year.

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