Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Birds of a Feather

Todd and I took a chilly walk this morning to our local park, where our polling place was conveniently located. It might sound silly, but I love to vote. We didn't always have the opportunity to do so. Our Revolutionary War came about because King George III refused to allow delegates from the colonies to have their say in parliamentary sessions. This lack of basic representation galvanized the colonists into action, and after much bloody conflict our independent nation was born.

I'm proud of our history, and I try never to take our freedom for granted. Voting is one way I honor those who died for the privileges I now enjoy.

Of course, I couldn't resist picking up this little piece of vintage fabric when I had the chance. It's in a small wooden frame, hanging in our bedroom.

Voting complete, I was able to spend a little time in the yard. It's amazing, the changes that autumn brings. Our pokeberry bush has kept its leaves, and they're turning a brilliant red.

It's another added bonus from these amazing plants.

The birds have eaten nearly all the pokeberry seeds. The five-petaled bases that held them for so long look like waxy flowers. They're quite pretty.

I love the deep greens and purples that develop in my hydrangea leaves. They're so pretty that I bring them inside for bouquets.

The lilac bushes are changing, too. Their leaves are small and stiff, but the color changes are amazing!
Bosewichte feels like an intrepid explorer beneath their cover.

I was absolutely amazed to see a female praying mantis in the yard last week, despite our nightly frosts and the lack of active insects for her meals. She seemed stunned by the cold air, and I haven't seen her for several days. Praying mantises die when the weather turns cold.

I found several more ootheca, or praying mantis egg sacs, in the lilac bushes. We are going to have a bumper crop of them in the spring. There can be up to 400 mantises per ootheca!

The birds have been enjoying our full feeders. They say that birds of a feather flock together, and it's true in our yard, at least. These sparrows can clean out a feeder in two days! I'll also see an occasional chickadee and cardinal.

The birds also flock to our empty container gardens and take "dirt baths" in the soil there. Rubbing their feathers in dirt can help dislodge pesky parasites, and even soothe irritated skin.

The neighborhood squirrels also take advantage of the container gardens to store their winter nuts.
We've got a new squirrel that's moved into our big pine tree. He's a young, feisty squirrel that we've named Peabody. We love to watch him frolic around the yard, hanging from fence posts and chittering at the birds.

Strangely, he's on his hind legs a lot...more than any other squirrel I've seen.

We're still enjoying the beautiful leaves.

I never get tired of looking at them. I love to bring colorful ones back for our dining room table, or to press in books or letters.

The leaves are really starting to fall now. We won't have many more weeks of this beauty.

But we'll always have next year!

The kittens are getting much bigger! I love watching their progress. They're definitely more aware of their surroundings now. Let the hijinks begin!

Their feeding time scrambles are miniature dramas. Outraged meows come from all directions if one little kitten takes more than his fair share of space...and food!

They're playing together more, which is always fun to watch.

In the course of my time there, one little kitten has begun to stand out from the rest. His chubby little body tells the story...he's the biggest eater of the bunch.

He's positively gleeful at mealtime, kneading his mother mercilessly and curling his toes in delight.

He's also the most playful, rolling around with anyone who comes near.

He's the most adventurous, the first one to climb out of their box.

He's very alert!
He's got a very appealing face. I'm not sure, yet. But I've very attracted to this jolly, exuberant kitten.

I've been putting in a lot of time with my knitting this week. I'd hoped to have Caulfield done this week, but it's a remarkably complex project.

Nearly every stitch is cabled, created an elaborate criss-cross affect. So much work is involved that I nearly frogged it halfway through. Todd convinced me to keep going, and he's right...I think I should see this through to the end.

I've been doing a lot of cooking this week - spicy squash soups and casseroles, thick and hearty beef and vegetable stews, all with fresh, hot french bread for dipping. This is truly the best season for baking! I can't wait for tomorrow's homemade french onion soup with a zucchini tart, and peach crumble for dessert. Yum!

Have a great week!


  1. Stunning as always. Thanks so much. I forget to pay attention to detail, to anything really. What a joy! You should at LEAST consider selling some pics to a picture service like fotolia, istockphoto, or veer!

  2. Thanks! I will definitely look into that.