Thursday, 30 July 2020

July Bits and Bobs- Bird, Bunny, Butterfly, Blooms, Blocks, Bel Canto

It's turning into one of the hottest summers on record here just outside Ottawa, Canada. Several days have broken a 100 year old record. Of course, it is the humidity that people complain the most about as there has been lots of that too.  I find it saps my energy when it hits a certain point and working outside becomes uncomfortable. That being said, it is cooler today with continuing sunshine so promising to be a beautiful late July day.

 No veranda stitching lately but lots inside under one or another of the ceiling fans. I finished Melva's latest block, Dragonfly, in her Pieces From the Past SAL. Not perfect by any means.  Said it would challenge me and it did. It went smoothly till I joined up the final quarter which I think I can easily amend. 
This colourful Solidarity block is now finished. 
And I was happy to achieve my July OMG at Elm Street Quilts. I have 13 of these 9 1/2 inch Flower Garden blocks made so far -this is a pattern also available from Melva's Pieces From the Past SAL. I will keep stitching them as I enjoy EPP very much. Great for evening t.v. viewing/listening. Later I'm going to retake this photo to try to show the pretty blues better. 
My audio book this week is Ann Patchett's Bel Canto, an Orange Prize for Fiction winner and available on YouTube.  I disappointed myself years ago when I couldn't get into it and I'm now finding it enjoyable to listen to her confident writing being read by a soothing voice. 
                                                         Image result for bel canto ann patchett review
My lunch is always better if I treat myself to smoked salmon and avocado with it. Since lunch is important for me as it breaks my fast, I try to choose wisely what to eat. That does not always happen!
Cone flowers are in bloom and attracting lots of attention from the butterflies, especially the Swallowtails.
Meanwhile the hydrangea seem to love the heat. The blooms are so heavy the branches are all but lying on the ground.
I loved this delightfully written post from Carol Michel at her May Dreams Garden site (which is called that because we dream all year about May and getting into our gardens). The Five Secrets to Achieving Happiness in Your Garden

And visiting my garden recently, this bird of prey.  It sat in the grass for a while idly eyeing the bird feeder area. It sat there so long I worried if it was okay. But after a seeming rest, it strutted around for a bit and then flew off.  My amateur guess is this is a sharp-shinned hawk. 
I'm sure my hawk-eyed 😉 birder friends will identify him.  

One day I turned a corner in the path to the pond and this guy was just sitting there. Hastily got a shot before he hopped away.  I told him he was very lucky it wasn't Mr. Fox that happened along.
I have another very unusual visitor to the garden to share with you on Sunday. I had to google him to find out what exactly he was!
Hope your days are filled with interesting bits and bobs too. 


 


 
 






25 comments :

  1. ahhhhh so good! I haven't heard of that book, but I know what you mean. I couldn't get into Harry Potter in the beginning!!! Imagine that! Then of course went on to read all the books etc. The hawk! what a picture. Bet he's hot too. We've been seeing robins stand on the ground opening their wings to cool off, and our fountain attracts them all. We have a day in the 80's F today, a respite from the extreme heat! LOVE your EPP blocks...
    LeeAnna

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  2. Your stitching is sure pretty and the salmon looks yummy. That hawk doesn't look too happy.

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  3. Good morning, Jocelyn! Your Dragonfly block is beautiful. What pretty fabric and nice contrast. Hmm, I've never had salmon and avocado together but I love them both. I'll have to give that a try sometime! I hope you are doing well and staying safe. {{Hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne

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  4. You got a good photo of the hawk and it's probably the one you think it is. It's always hard for me to tell the difference in hawks. LOVE your quilt designs and hydrangeas are my favorite flower. Lots of my favorite things on your post this week! Enjoy your day.

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  5. You get the prize for the most creative blog title this week, Jocelyn! I always love seeing the blocks you're stitching - the Pieces of the Past block looks great to me! Pretty Solidarity block, and those stars are wonderful, too. I can see why you're enjoying making lots of those! I remember reading Bel Canto and liked it. Your lunch looks delicious! I find hawks hard to identify, but you could be right that yours is a sharp-shinned. Interesting that he was sitting in the grass like that!

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  6. Hello,
    we have had a string of hot and dry days too. Your quilt blocks are pretty, my favorite is the flower garden blocks. Love the shot of the coneflowers with the Swallowtail butterfly. I have trouble iding the raptors, I have two guesses, the Cooper's Hawk or the Sharp-shinned. Take care, stay safe! Have a great day!

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  7. Wow - amazing shot of the bird! I can't help with identification but he sure is magnificent. And that photo of the butterfly/flowers is postcard worthy! Try to stay cool.

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  8. I'm sorry you have been having such a hot humid summer - I know exactly what you are going through as we have that from late May well into September and it is miserable trying to do outside work in it - even trying to sit and enjoy oneself on the porch after 11AM at times is difficult. We will have lower humidity and heat starting tomorrow for about 5 days and it will be so welcome - we have not had many days of extreme heat this year.

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  9. The only way I can identify a sharp-shinned hawk is it's yellow legs so your picture is no help. I love your dragonfly block and can see no problems with it.

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  10. Lovely post. Your blocks look great to me, love the app. Your lunch looks really yum. Great to see your garden and garden visitors.

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  11. Gorgeous quilt blocks. Awesome picture of the coneflower with the swallowtail! That would make an awesome framed picture or art quilt. Your hydrangeas are lovely.

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  12. I’m pretty sure that our summer might be setting records for cold! Your blocks look really nice. I’d have no idea what kind of bird that is.

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  13. I think you are correct on the hawk ID. Perhaps he was finishing a tasty meal. I read Bel Canto a few years ago, and enjoyed it. Your two blocks are so nice!

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  14. Great blocks, flowers, and critters. Thanks for sharing.

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  15. I like those Flower Garden blocks. I must get back to my EPP project. I've read other Ann Patchett books, but not Bel Canto. I'll add it to my list. What kind of crackers are those in your lunch bowl. They look interesting.
    Pat

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  16. I very like to saw your news.Take care of yourself.

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  17. So many cool things! Speaking of cool- hope you have cooled off there. Crazy weather all over. We were 118 yesterday and expect to break records again today. Whoever invented the ac should be given a medal. I like that dragonfly block. So many times when I read your blog I learn some-thing. Today I learned there were audio books on You Tube. Unbelievable. What time are you serving lunch? That’s my favorite combo-salmon and avocado. Enjoy! Mary

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  18. Your Melva block looks so pretty - I did not see an error, just a beautiful block! I love the hand embroidered header! That is a beautiful pattern! Lunch looks delicious! :)

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  19. Very nice! Thanks for linking up with Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal and congrats on your finish.

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  20. Love your pretty quilt blocks!

    Have a great weekend!

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  21. Hello, Jocelyn

    Your lunch does look delicious! I enjoy seeing your current projects and pretty blocks. The Hawk has such intent look, great shot. Your Sharpie id was right on. The Swallowtail on the coneflowers is my favorite, great photos. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Enjoy your day, have a great weekend! PS, thanks for visiting my blog and for the comment.

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  22. You've got some projects in the works, love your stars. Your garden is beautiful. Hope you get some cooler, drier days to start August with.

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  23. I thought I commented before but in case I didn't these are lovely pieces and I'm loving the garden, too!

    I’m so happy to see your link at ‘My Corner of the World’ this week!! Thanks for linking up with us.

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  24. All of your work is lovely! I’ll be featuring that gorgeous flower block in this week’s Creative Compulsions.

    Michelle
    https://mybijoulifeonline.com

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  25. Last week's Pieces From the Past Russian Sunflower I think has 52 pieces! That Dragonfly block was a piece of cake! Your pictures of your flowers are beautiful!

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My favourite thing about having a blog is hearing from you. I appreciate it so much and I will definitely check out your blog too. Thanks!