Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Latrobe Road

OK, this is total stream of consciousness, but I have to go to bed soon. We had a nice drive tonight down a dirt road that winds through oak woodland, then oak savannah, and finally just savannah. There are some beautiful rock formations in the oak woodland. We were in search of goatsuckers, owls, mammals, and anything/or anyone else that might be around. At the beginning of the drive, we saw Western Bluebirds on the fence line, and listened to the intense conversation of a group of Acorn Woodpeckers. White-crowned Sparrows sing all year, and it was wonderful to hear their sweet, swinging, sing-songy song as it grew dark. We found our goatsucker – we had a distant view of a Common Poorwill who treated us to its guinea pig-like call and then flew down the road. So cool! A few minutes later, and farther down the road, we had much better views of what was probably the same bird. It was hunkered down in the road, as goatsuckers are wont to do, and we were close enough to see its throat and mouth move a few times. Very cool! Other highlights include: several bats, a Great Horned Owl, Western Screech-Owl (heard only), a flyby of a Burrowing Owl, Cassiopeia in the Milky Way, Jupiter through our spotting scope, Bewick’s Wren, mallards, Rock Wren calling, Red-tailed Hawk, Black Phoebe, and a great acorn crop. The last two years have been bad for acorns, but this looks like it is going a great year – a mast year I think they call it. Acorns are so charming, that when they first start falling, I can’t stop collecting the caps.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Baseball and the Cat Next Door

My back has been hurting lately, so I watched Game 4 of the World Series from bed. There are two problems with viewing baseball this way: 1) it’s hard to argue balls and strikes when you’re looking at the television sideways; and 2) you usually fall asleep, which is what I did before the game ended. Here are a couple of items on the history of team names:

-the Red Sox, from a friend at work

-and the Reds

And just because … here is a picture of the cat who lives next door. He is a funny old cat, and he brings me much joy.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Greetings and Salutations

Welcome to my blog. Game 4 of the World Series is tonight. Inexplicably, I find myself pulling for the Rockies. Perhaps it’s because no one takes them seriously? It would be nice if they could win at least one game, but I fear that they will be swept. Boston (finally) won in 2004, so I don’t have to root for them this year. The season will soon be over, and I will have to endure months without the comfort of Major League Baseball. Sigh …

This year, I’ve been doing a lot of hand-sewing -- embroidery, felt, etc. Be warned: I am neither an artist nor a graphic designer nor a skilled craftswoman. I couldn’t draw, cut, or sew a straight line to save my life. I just enjoy making things, and most of the time I am happy with the results. I get many ideas from crafty bloggers, and I am so grateful to all of you for inspiration and for your willingness to share your ideas and creations.

Here are some felt toys that I made recently – two Bears in Waistcoats from Toys to Sew by Claire Garland, and a (lopsided) panda bear mascot from The Cute Book by Aranzi Aronzo.

Yesterday, we were birding at the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, and I took several photos of this raccoon before a truck drove by and scared it away (note the splash in the second photo).