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

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Berkshire Crafts Fair

This weekend, August 10 - 12, 10am to 5pm daily, at the Monument Mountain Regional High School on Rte. 7 in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, I will be exhibiting my baskets. This is a gem of a show, only 89 artists, media includes: jewelry, clothing, ceramics, leather, glass, fiber, metal, mixed media and wood - something for everyone!

Hive -  detail

I've started a new series of sculptural baskets referencing environmental topics of the day. This year, here in Vermont, I'm participating in the first ever, state-wide bumble bee survey. Over the years, these important pollinators have been on the decline. Doing a survey will provide a reference for discerning the gain or loss of populations of this valuable resource.

This piece is called "Pollinators". Vermont has almost 20 bumble bee species and a few are in serious decline or may even be extinct in our state.

This piece concerns the battle with genetically modified crops that is a hot topic. It's a very controversial one, many pros and cons, but one that we should all be well informed about.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Yarn Bombing!

Main Street Arts, spindles at entrance.
    This past winter, I taught a crochet class for children ages 6 and up at our local Main Street Arts Center, here in Saxtons River. This is a Creative Arts Program that invites area artists to teach a class, one day a week, for four weeks. I knew crochet stitches could be learned by young and older students and thought a "yarn bombing" project would excite them all. It certainly did!

lamp post, downtown Bellows Falls, Vermont.
   I also belong to a knitting group. We knit mittens, hats and sweaters for our local schools and shelters. When I showed them pictures of the yarn bombing I did with the kids, they wanted to do one too!!  So we measured and planned to "bomb" the lamp post outside the Village Square Booksellers in downtown Bellows Falls.

    Some knitted their section, some crocheted, and we added crocheted flowers and bugs too! All our yarn is donated and this project let us use the leftovers - those small balls of yarn in various colors, not enough for a pair of mittens yet perfect for a yarn bomb :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Spring Waterfowl along the CT River

Barnacle Goose, Vernon, VT

   The Barnacle Goose nests in Greenland and winters in Europe, and rarely strays to northeast North America. They are a favorite aviary bird, so whether this one was an escapee or not is uncertain. This past winter one has shown up in Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut and ours on the Vermont/New Hampshire border. All have been found in flocks of Canada geese.

Canada Geese
   Among the flock that the Barnacle was with, were a couple Canada geese that showed some hybridization. The one on the left in the above picture, has a white line down the front of his neck, white around his eyes and bill, an orange-mottled bill and when he flew in, a few of the leading primaries were white. Also, notice the goose (third from right), his chin-strap is incomplete. Compare it to his neighbors whose white chin-strap extends from cheek to cheek, by way of the chin.

Northern Shoveler
   With hardly any snow here in southeastern Vermont this winter and temperatures that seemed to be warmer than usual, the Connecticut River and other lakes and ponds thawed out sooner than ever. Flocks and flocks of Canada Geese and other waterfowl went north to their breeding grounds pretty quickly. This pair of Northern Shovelers started their day at Minards Pond in Bellows Falls, about 45 minutes later, they flew into Herrick's Cove, a mile or so north. Later that day, a birding friend found them still further north in Springfield. Whether it was the same pair is hard to say, but no Shovelers were found in the area the next day. The next few pictures of a some of the ducks I photographed this spring, some will continue their migration north and some will nest here.

young male Common Goldeneye
adult male and female Common Goldeneye

Ring-necked Duck (top) and Hooded Merganser

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Common Eiders at Cape Ann

Common Eider - male

     I usually don't get very good pictures of the birds I see on my birding outings. One reason is that I only have a Canon point and shoot. The delay in depressing the button to the time the shutter reacts is long enough to result in the object of my desire either leaving the scene, diving or turning around. They don't  pose like movie stars wanting to put their best face forward. But on this trip to Cape Ann in Massachusetts, I managed to get some good shots of common eiders and a few others.

Common Eider - male and female
     The second reason I don't get good pictures, is that I forget to take any. I get so caught up in just watching the bird that I forget I even brought the camera along.       

female eider and male Red-breasted Merganser

   The eiders were pretty close to the shore which certainly aided in getting nice shots. There were lots of red-breasted mergansers too.

Harlequin Ducks - males

   We also saw the about 200 Harlequin ducks at various locations along Cape Ann's coast. It was a great day of birding!!