River Island Needleworker

I am an avid needleworker and quilter from Plainwell, Michigan. Plainwell is located about 10 miles north of Kalamazoo, Michigan and is situated on an island in the Kalamzoo River. The Kalamazoo River is an EPA area of concern due to PCB contamination from the numerous paper mills along the river. For more information see Kalamazoo River Superfund Site and wikiPedia

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Humblebee's Buzz

-- Bumble bee: from the old verb bumble to boom or buzz. Also known as humblebees.

Classified in the Genus Bomus, the bumblebee's buzz is truely a rite of spring. The buzz is especially pronounced in bumblebees, as they must warm up their bodies considerably to get airborne at low ambient temperatures.

As you walk in the woods watch and listen. In the spring the queen bees emerge and begin foraging for nectar. Queen bees have longer tongues than worker bees of the same species and can take advantage of the nectar in long tubed flowers like Dutchman Breeches and Squirrel Corn. Look carefully however, you'll often see holes in the tops of both these flowers. These are made by "robber bees" with shorter tongues. They have learned to take a short cut to the nectar! Darwin even noticed this in his journals.

Above is a pinkeep I stitched for a family member under the weather. It is from the Jan '07 issue of The Gift of Stitching from Little House/Country Cottage Needleworks. I replaced the DMC threads with Crescent Colours Overdyed. You know I could never keep Little House and Country Cottage Needleworks apart. Now I know why. The designers are mother and daughter.

I also thought I'd post some progress on Chatelaine's Mystery X. I have 1/4 of Part 5 done.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Spring Love

I haven't had much time in the last few weeks to post much as I was away from the Internet for almost three weeks. I was on vacation for a while (spent some time in Shipshewana at a quilt retreat) and then had a week that unexpectedly needed to be devoted to family. Life happens.

Spring is my favorite season. In late February the signs are there as male redwing blackbirds return and begin defending territory. In March, egged on by increasing daylight, the cardinal's song begins to swell.

I have a pair of phoebes (FEE-BEES) that nest every year in the eaves of my A-frame. I know spring has truely arrived with I wake in the morning to hear them singing their name. Soon after, I hear the song sparrows. Over the past weekend, I heard some migrating white throated sparrows. I always love to hear their song as they move north, it is so beautiful. I wish they would stay. And according to the hummingbird map, it's time to start hanging the feeder.

During my 'hiatus' I rec'd two exchanges from Britt and Mylene and have sent both of mine off. I hope they like them. Both ladies sent me robins! Above is Britt's pillow to me. This is so perfect as my yard is full of spring blooming bulbs and robins . . . .and cardinals.

Speaking of cardinals, spring love is all around, including one cardinal who should now be brain dead. He spends the day dive bombing his reflection in my windows, and I mean from dawn to dusk. When I'm home I sometimes start whistling at him and that starts him singing. His females seems to stick close by, encouraging all his antics.

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