Tag Archives: birds

Kiln back in action

At last! It’s not like I’ve been waiting for a repair, or anything like that. Summer is just so full of good things that there is hardly room to work or breath. But, I’ve managed to do both lately.

While firing a batch of silver clay pieces, I got out the bronze and copper clay for the first time since June. With the current high price of silver clay, I felt less constrained with the base metals. My goal this week, with all three kinds of clay, was to come up with some birds for a little show on Sunday at the home of my sister-in-law Karen and her husband Hugh. Birds play a big part in our lives and it’s going to be fun to see what several friends have made for “Island Birds,” at the Smallwood’s house on Sunday, August 8 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Everyone is welcome to come and the various birds will be for sale. Jim Bright has bird carvings, Karen and Hugh have paintings, Rick Alley has paintings, Joy Sprague has photographs, Jeri Spurling has bird-inspired floor cloths, and I will have some birdy beads on necklaces and earrings. This could be the year I start my Christmas shopping early!

Silver pieces out of the kiln and headed for the tumbler:

Bronze and copper pieces ready for the kiln. It’s such a different firing process from silver. Everything above went easily into one load. Whereas the pieces below required two loads. My fingers are crossed that the first batch wasn’t too crowded, and will have sintered properly.

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Colorful birds

are providing some nice compensation for the incredibly gloomy weather we have had all spring. (Yes, I know it could be worse. We don’t have flooding or tornadoes to deal with.) Yesterday the high temperature for the day was 48°. (That’s 20° below normal for this time of year.) The sun was out on Sunday for an hour or so, but it was gone before it set.

Waaah, waaaah, waaaah. Before it’s time to call in the waaahmbulance, I’ll tell you about the cool bird activity which has been taking place regardless of the rain, fog and cold weather.  There really is something to see any time I look out my window. We finally have a few pair of cardinals on the island and two of them frequent our bird feeder. Even when I don’t get a sighting, I can hear them singing most of the day. When they come to the feeder together, they do something I have only seen cardinals do. The male brings seeds to the female, and feeds her.

                         

Pretty darn sweet.

Most people on the island keep track of the birds. Some more than others. My sister-in-law, Karen, arrived from Baltimore on Thursday and she has seen tons of warblers, already.  I can’t identify them like she can, but I did notice a Magnolia Warbler and a Myrtle Warbler (aka Yellow Rumped Warbler), before she got back to the island.

Watching the warblers is not as easy as looking out the window at the bird feeder. They hop around from branch to branch eating bugs and barely staying still for more than a few seconds. This is a good time of year to see them, with the leaves not all the way out on the trees. Karen keeps her binoculars handy most of the time. Today she stopped over to borrow some yeast and to play a quick game of Banagrams. At one point she picked up her binoculars and looked out the window. “There’s a Chestnut-sided warbler.” He stayed around and jumped along the ground for a bit so I could get a good look at him.

As Karen left, she looked again at the tree tops and said, “There’s a Blackburnian Warbler!” I had never seen one before and it took me a while to see him for myself, but I did.

Our Postmaster, Joy, has bird feeders galore and half the birds on the island stop by at her Post Office feeders. She had not yet seen the Rose Breasted Grosbeak, who kept me company last week, when she decided to add some black oil sunflower seeds to her feeder. (She has been spoiling the birds with her “meaties,” the already-shelled variety of sunflower seeds.) She figured the Grosbeaks liked opening their own seeds. I got a call from her on Monday. She confessed to successfully luring my Rose Breasted Grosbeak away with her fresh, unshelled bird seed. I might have missed the Grosbeak if I hadn’t had an equally colorful visitor to take his place on Sunday.

A Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was enjoying the orange I had put out, in hopes of getting some of Joy’s Orioles to visit me.

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