Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Summer begins: flowers, fireworks, birds and quilt labels

The time is flying by as are new birds and blooming sections of the garden this year. It has been pretty mild for the beginning of the summer. July 4th in my memory is always miserably humid, hot and hazy with the threat of thunder storms looming off in the distance. This year it was cool 75ºF and very low humidity with clear skies and a great view of the Washington DC National Fireworks display. Keith and I took it in with our friend Meron from Ethiopia for another first American experience. We were all impressed with the crowd and the show in the sky. The half moon was out in the sky just up to the left in my photos below.


Today I am enjoying the day lilies, bee balm and summer phlox among other flowers as well as the fledgling birds in our garden. We had a clutch of House Wren's last month leave the brown bird house and now it looks like the green A frame bird house has a new set of House Wrens laying eggs and singing their bold songs.

We have blue bird and starling fledgelings who pose while eyeing the big guy at the garden table with the camera reluctant but unsure if I represent danger, they are learning slowly.
a fledgling blue jay has a very short tail and does a lot of crying for food.

The birds flock to our yard to eat the bitter sour choke cherries that hang high in the old tree at the corner of our yard. It's mostly bigger birds like blue jay, starling, cardinals, catbirds, grackles and mocking birds that eat the berries. I got a few shots of these tiny choke cherries look like high over head. I find the pits all over the bird baths and garden where new trees spout every year. As a native tree it's clearly connected to the raising of babies an important food source for those local birds and bugs like the tent caterpillars who often take up residence to eat the first flush of new leaves. Birds eat them too so I don't do anything to remove them as they are native moths in the making. It's all connected. You can see that the second batch of leaves sustain the tree after the caterpillars eat their fill. 

Adult birds are here too and the blue jay was skipping around our compost pile this morning. The robins love digging out the worms from that same pile but I haven't seen the blue jay catch on yet. 

They Blue Jay can be rather bold. There was one yesterday at the bird bath while I was at the table ten feet away. 

Now for a few of the flowers in our garden I am enjoying and wanted to share... 

The red crepe myrtle survived the cold winter snows and freezing to bloom brightly.

Then there is the quilting. I enjoyed several DC Modern Quilt Guild meetings and a class-workshop that taught me how to take apart, lubricate and clean my antique Singer Featherweight sewing machine. 
My current quilt projects are progressing slowly. I have a new one ready to reveal but the  first label failed because the embroidery floss doesn't show up very well. I am creating a second version that will be completed soon. 
the first label failed to be easily readable

This label is looking much better. 

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