a blog about what interests me! birds, baskets, butterflies, moths, biking.............

Sunday, January 24, 2010

birding the coast

Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day so we went to the NH, MA coast to bird with friends. Saw lots of great birds; snowy owl, peregrines, common eiders, loons, goldeneyes, long-tailed ducks and many many others! We went hoping to see the Sage Thrasher but he was gone. I added a lifer to my list though, a sleeping Eastern Screech Owl. He was perched in his tree roost at Odiorne State Park and not at all perplexed by all the people staring at him and taking pictures. A great day!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Basketweaving and Birds

In preparation for my interview tomorrow with Nicole from the Keene Sentinel, I've been weaving baskets. I want a nice assortment at various stages so I can explain my process when she gets here. And it's about time I do some new work :)
I've been keeping my eyes on the bird feeders too hoping for a new visitor. I would love to see some off-course migrant end up in my yard!
It's also been snowing the past few days amounting to less than 2 inches. My friend Ron is in Florida and he's been sending me pictures of all the birds he's seeing. This is his favorite shot and so far, mine too. White Ibises! Looks like they're keeping they're eyes out for dinner.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

peregrine falcon

I visited a friend in New Hampshire. We were walking around Concord this morning when I noticed a falcon flying onto the top of a church steeple. It was a beautiful peregrine falcon. There are plenty of rock pigeons around for a lot of meals for this adept hunter. Peregrines were on the endangered list in the 1970s brought about by pesticide use, mostly DDT. Now it's back, recovered and while still not common, it is finding a means of survival in our cities.

Monday, January 11, 2010

taste of the arts, tales from a community

I'm giving a talk about my work as a basketmaker this Thursday in Saxtons River at Main Street Arts. It starts at 6pm with a meal and I start my talk around 7.
I'll start with the basics: how a basket is made from black ash, but I will also discuss those influences along the way that have changed my basket designs from functional pieces to today's works of art. Bits of history, family and porcupine quills - along with my obsessions with detail, perfection and collecting - make this an evening not to be missed!

Taste of the Arts
Tales From a Community

A fundraising series where you can hear unique presentations from local residents - Enjoy "good eats" from Harvest Moon with friends,
and support your local community arts center.

Thursday, January 14 at 6:00 PM

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

black skimmers

My birding buddy Ron Romano is in Florida sending back pictures of the birds he's seeing. Here in Vermont, there's not too many species who enjoy the cold, snowy winters. Although there are some birds who think of Vermont as the 'warm south' (they usually spend summers in the arctic), most birds have left. So it's really nice to see these Florida birds; many never venture to Vermont.
This particular picture that Ron took, at first glance, looks like a flock of penguins. It's a flock of black skimmers, recognized by the remarkable bill; the large red and black bill is knife-thin and the lower mandible is longer than the upper. The top picture is a close-up of these beautiful birds.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

sharp-shinned hawk

New Year's day brought an unexpected visitor to our bird feeders, a sharp-shinned hawk! We were lucky to get a good picture; such a beautiful accipiter. A great start to a new year of birding! And all the juncos, chickadees, goldfinches and the other feeder birds escaped unscathed. Thanks to my husband Gerry Biron for the great shot!