February Photos

Monday, March 28, 2016

♫ ♪ Christ the Lord ♪ ♫ Is Risen Today! ♫ ♪

Here’s a picture of Caleb and Maria’s boxer, Sadie, and her new toy: 
Isn’t she adorable?  There’s just something about that face...
Kurt was in the ICU at the Omaha Med Center Monday and Tuesday of last week.  He was then moved to a private room – and by Wednesday afternoon, he was on his way home, with oxygen he would need after any exertion and a Pulse Oximeter to check his heartrate and oxygen levels.
Hmmm... I just got a notice, someone has purchased three patterns from me.  I told Larry the other night that if I cranked out 30 more patterns, and keep selling them at the rate I have been, and then if we save every dime I make from those things, we will be millionaires in a little less than 6 ½ years. 
My word!  I’d better get me to my markers and my lightbox!
The trouble is, you see, there are a gazillion other things I wanna do.  And half a gazillion things I need to do.
I need to draw up a variety of designs for a variety of sizes of quilts to make with the Buoyant Blossoms blocks.  You know, it’s a whole lot easier for me to put together a quilt in whatever way I happen to decide, than it is for me to make instructions and a pattern that other people can follow!  Hope I can do it properly.
On the other hand, I see various pattern designers who sell quilt blocks of all sorts, and show no completed version of any quilt at all. 
Meanwhile, the flower gardens keep looking at me reproachfully.  Crocuses are blooming, and the daffodils, tulips, lilies, and irises are starting to come up.  I went out there and tried removing some of the old flower stalks, and discovered they were too damp and soft from the rain and snow we’ve been having to break off neatly, and I wound up pulling up a baby Autumn Joy sedum.  I tucked it back into the earth and happily came back inside.  One needn’t remove old flower stalks if they won’t cooperate, need one?!
My pedometer said I walked 4,278 steps Monday (and I walked some before the package arrived).  Here’s an interesting website about ‘how many steps are good’:  Healthy Steps
I have the p.m. and a.m. time switched around on the pedometer, since I do more exercising after midnight than before noon, most days.  The pedometer is programmed to go back to 0 at midnight.  Since I switched the a.m. and p.m., it will instead change to 0 at noon.  Actually, it would be better if I altered the time on it, and forced it to go to 0 at, oh, say, 4:00 a.m.
I put a bowl of past-their-prime walnuts, pecans, and Brazil nuts (still in the shell) on my back deck table Monday evening.  By Tuesday afternoon, a cute little squirrel had found it, and was diligently and industriously working away, one big ol’ nut at a time.  It’s so cute the way he picks one up, spins it this way and that in his little paws, gets it situated just right so he can best hold it tightly in his mouth, and then off he goes with it – down the deck post to the ground one story below, across our yard, under the fence, and then some distance across the nearby wooded pasture until he finds the spot where he want to cache – uh, that is, squirrel it away. 
I made supper for Loren that evening:  white chocolate pudding to go with cranberry orange muffins, grape jello, mixed vegetables, and Brussels sprouts.  He said he didn’t need meat, as he had a big piece of roast beef from Lura Kay.
​He’s 77, but he stills works industriously at everything he does.  That day, he was washing clothes and hanging them on the line.  ​
At 8:00 p.m. that evening, it was -12° and snowing in Barrow, Alaska.  But it was 43° and raining in Ketchikan, Alaska.  Just how far apart are those towns? I wondered.  I looked it up.  (I like researching stuff.  All sorts of stuff.)
Ketchikan and Barrow, Alaska, are 1,328 miles apart as the crow flies.  That’s a little farther than it is from Columbus, Nebraska, to Savannah, Georgia.  A long ways!
Here’s a map with Alaska superimposed over the lower 48:
And that made me have to look up the mileage between Attu Station – on the island farthest west in Alaska – to Ketchikan on the east:  2,183 miles!
On this picture, Attu Station is atop western California, while Ketchikan rests atop northeastern Florida.
On the other hand, Attu Station, Alaska, is only 313 miles from Russia’s Bering Island, specifically, the little town of Nikolskoye, population 676 as of 2010 (half what it was in 1989).  Oh, and it was 31° there.  :-D  A picture of the settlement:
And now you have your RF(s)D [Random Fact(s) of the Day]. 
Victoria got home late Tuesday night.  The doctor and nurses had let them listen to Kurt’s lungs ---- and this was after they drained his lung, and after breathing treatments, so it was a lot better than it was:  it sounded like a loudly growling bear (according to Victoria), or like rocks sliding down a chute (according to Kurt). 
Even if that young doctor had trouble reading the x-rays, as he had said, and couldn’t make heads or tails out of the blood tests, he certainly should have known from that little gadget called a stethoscope that hangs around his neck that Kurt was in a terrible way!  Yet he proclaimed Kurt’s lungs ‘clear’ when one side was in fact nearly full, and the other side half full of thick fluid.  He had not checked for mono even though Kurt had many of the symptoms.
As I mentioned last week, this young doctor, after hearing about Kurt being in ICU and the details of his illness, called Ruth to apologize for so badly missing the boat.  He called Bill the next day to inquire into Kurt’s welfare, and apologized to him, too.
Let’s hope that something good comes from all this – and that is, that this doctor learns to listen to his patients, and really understand that life is fragile, and if a person can’t breathe, they can’t live!
Tuesday’s step tally on my pedometer was 6,547.  It was a somewhat normal day for me, so I suppose I generally do anywhere from 4,500 – 7,000, as a rough estimate.
Early Wednesday morning, Victoria headed off to Omaha again with Bill and Ruth.  Shortly after 8:30 a.m., she texted:  “Kurt might get to come home today!!!!!!!!! πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™Œ ”  Does that look like High Excitement to you??
Larry, not realizing he was sending his reply to the entire group of recipients, including me, wrote, “Tell him if he gets to come home I’m going to put a monitor on him to make sure he doesn’t leave his house till he’s well enough.  πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ
Norma then joined the conversation:  “Good.  I will tell you someday how well your Dad stayed in the house after he was in the hospital with pneumonia.  πŸ˜‰
I headed downstairs to mend some work pants for Larry, hem a lined, pleated, single-knit skirt for Hester, and work on the Christmas tree skirt.
There was a blue jay on the feeders; he’d discovered the peanut butter suet cakes, and was making that funny ‘toodle! toodle!’ that blue jays do now and then, sounding a lot like one of those Fisher Price Happy Apple baby toys from the late 60s.
Would you believe, there is yet a third alien cat around here?  And Teensy had been bitten on a hind leg, and was limping.  I got the feline antibiotic out again and gave him a couple of doses.
At least two of the alien cats out here are actually quite tame, and I’ve petted one.  Shouldn’t’ve, I know – it just encourages him; but he came rubbing and purring around me when I was working in the flowerbeds... and then he wanted to follow me straight into the house, and he sat on the front porch and mrrroowwwed and ppbbhrrrred... and coaxed and wheedled.  Poor thing. 
But he beats up on Teensy!!!!  I have to care for my own cats, first.  Siggghhhh...
At 2:25 p.m., Victoria sent a text:  “We’re on our way home!!!!”
Larry responded:  “OK I’ll get the surveillance equipment and the ball and chain 😁.  And it’s your grandmother’s fault for my misbehavior.  She was working and couldn’t keep her eyes on me πŸ˜†. ”
Victoria, clearly in high spirits, replied, “Hahahaha okay I’ll let you do that.  And oh SUUUUUUURE , and you were how old?”
Teddy had to throw in his two cents:  “Old enough to know better.”
Meanwhile, I got stymied in the patching of Larry’s work pants, because I couldn’t find the pair from which I was going to cut the patches.  So I cut Hester’s skirt shorter – and was then stymied again, unable to hem it, because I didn’t have the right color of thread.
So... I worked on the Christmas tree skirt.  (That’s what I wanted to do anyway.)  ;-)
I’ll tell you what happens now and then when I happily trot down to my sewing room to sew something, after a too-long hiatus:
I cut pieces... I pick up the first two... (that’s maybe my favorite part, beginning a new project)... I put the pieces together... I insert them under the presser foot... step on the pedal... pull the pieces out ----------
------- and discover I’ve sewn right side to wrong side.
Eh, I learned to sew right sides to ride sides when I was 8 years old, now didn’t I?  Or did I? 
I rip out the seam and redo it.
I redo it the same way I did it the first time.
And so begins my new project.  :-D
At a quarter after four, I put another load of clothes in the washing machine.  These wouldn’t be hanging outside on the line, because we were expecting 5-8” of snow.  The wind was gusting at 45 mph, and expected to increase to 50 mph.  It was 37°, and there was lightning all around us.  The little songbirds were clustering around the feeders, as they do when a storm is approaching. 
I cut 45 more 2 ½” x 1 ½” diamonds, as I needed to make the swirling star middle of the Christmas tree skirt bigger.  Trouble was, I would have to sew them together lengthwise to fit on the side of the star rays they needed to go on.  They’re taffeta and satin.  Slippery!  This may turn into a calamity, I thought.  Then, Ah, well.  I already have plenty of points that don’t match.  I’ll just carry on the theme!  ;-)
By a quarter ’til six, there was a wet, sleety rain pouring down, and the wind was blowing even harder.  The sleet would soon change to snow.  I was glad Bill and Ruth, with Kurt and Victoria, had gotten home.
A quilting friend posted a picture of a small quilt someone had made with a child’s handprints in the center block.  That reminded me of when our oldest, Keith, was in kindergarten, and he made a poster with his handprints in the middle, and this poem underneath:

Sometimes you get discouraged
  Because I am so small,
And always leave my fingerprints
  On furniture and walls.
But every day I’m growing,
  I’ll be grown up someday,
And all these tiny handprints
  Will simply fade away.
So here’s a final handprint
  Just so you can recall,
Exactly how my fingers looked
  When I was very small.

After church that evening, Hester gave me two scarves, one in a rust/peach print that matches my skirt so closely, it almost looks like it was made from the same fabric.  The other is ivory, part in a fine, thin linen-type fabric, and part in lace.  It was exactly right for the ivory and gold jacket I’d gotten. 
Hester also gave me a pin-striped tan jacket with tiny ruffles all around the double-lapeled collar.  That, I decided, I would wear for the Sunrise Service, with a navy and indigo skirt with tan and ivory flowers.
Larry and I went to Wal-Mart that night for thread to hem Hester’s skirt.  There was no thread of the right color in serger thread; I’d have to make do with regular sewing machine thread.  Serger thread is two-ply; sewing machine thread is three-ply.  When that happens and I’m serging thin fabric, I do a three-thread seam instead of four-thread, so the thread won’t be so thick on the fabric.
We got some Martinelli apple juice in cute roundish 10-oz. bottles for the kids and their kiddos, as a little Easter gift.  We cleaned off the rack and asked a stocker if there was more, but we were out of luck; it was all gone.  It’s good stuff – and other people must know it, too!
As it turned out, I don’t think we even got an inch of snow that night.  Why can I never find a previous day’s precipitation totals??  I hunt around here and there on the Internet... I can find ‘greatest precipitation on this date in history’...  I can find ‘predicted precipitation for 2017’...  but not for yesterday.
Thursday, I wound a couple of bobbins with the thread I’d gotten, threaded my serger, and finished hemming Hester’s skirt.  The fabric is a thin, fine knit, stretchy, with very narrow pleats pressed into the fabric in a bit of a design.  My serger can’t equal the big commercial sergers at stuff like that, but it can give them a good run for their money, if I get it set properly.  It’s a Bernina 1300DC with a gazillion settings.  Pretty slick machine.
I repaired Victoria’s bed ruffle, did a bit of laundry, and then got back to work on the Christmas tree skirt.  After adding another row of diamonds, the rays for the center of the Christmas tree skirt were ready to put together:
Next, I cut eight ivory satin triangles to go between the rays.  I was nearly done sewing the ivory-colored satin triangles onto the star when I noticed:  half of the triangles are of shiny satin, the other half are of slightly less-shiny gloss satin.  Aarrgghh. 
Well, I gave it a quick press, spread it out, looked at it, took a picture... and went off to bed.
Friday, I headed downstairs to my sewing room all set to get down to business with my new Bernina seam ripper.
Except...  it was still hard to tell those two fabrics are actually different, even by light of day in front of the big patio doors.
Therefore, I decided to pretend the fabric mix-up never happened and proceed on.
I cut the outer borders for the Christmas tree skirt blocks, and then went to my blind friend Linda’s house to fix a few things on her computer.  Java needed an update, and Eudora, her mail program, wasn’t reading properly.  I’m not very accustomed to Eudora, but I opened the program, sat and stared at it rather dumbly for a moment or two – and suddenly noticed:  all the buttons over the various email columns were stacked on top of each other, so the synthesizer couldn’t read them!  Must’ve happened when the program crashed, a couple of days earlier.  I restored the Google search app that her Internet Service Provider had removed without her permission a week ago, and set it as default instead of the Yahoo search they’d changed it to. 
Once the computer issues were resolved, I stepped back in time and inserted a ribbon in a manual typewriter that she uses to print envelopes. 
Then, with the ink scrubbed off my fingers (I hoped), and her little dog Cassie properly petted, I returned home and got back to sewing strips of ivory satin onto the Christmas blocks.
Sewing sans pattern is quite a lot like traveling sans map.  But, oh, the things (and places) we wind up with (and in)!
A quilting friend said, “I know how that works.  You have your plan, but when you actually get into making the project you see things you hadn’t previously thought about.  What if I did this?  Or what would this look like?  Oh, wouldn’t this look spectacular?  LOL”
Yes, well, ... one of my main and foremost thoughts is, “Oops.”  :-D
And then, Ah, well; guess I’ll do this... and this... and this... instead.
I hadn’t been home long before Linda wrote to tell me, “I keep getting ‘Program Manager wants attention’ when I either open Window-Eyes (her reader) or go to the Desktop with Windows key and M.  It’s making my keystrokes really sluggish, and everything else, too.  It doesn’t tell me anything, and I can’t close it with Alt F4; that only asks me what I want the computer to do.”
I suggested a total reboot, then typed ‘Program Manager’ into Google to see if I could discover what that was all about.  What I got was a whole bunch of information about starting a career as a Project Manager, and nary a single entry about ‘Program Manager.’ 
When Linda turns her computer on, her synthesizer announces something about an ‘Event Status Manager’.  I cannot see anything happening – but her synthesizer reads it; I heard it myself.  I searched around to see what that might be, but didn’t find anything helpful in the slightest.  She also got a popup that said ‘Start wants attention’.  I’ve never heard of such a thing before.  “Next thing you know, you’ll be getting one that says ‘Polly wants a cracker’, or ‘Cassie wants a milkbone!’” I told her. 
In one of my searches, I found this paragraph:
“Windows oozes with all sorts of hackle-raising ‘features’ that interfere with just plain using your PC.  But don’t chuck your monitor across the room!  By the time you’re done reading this article, your headaches should be gone.”
Trouble was, the article only told me a bunch of things I already knew, an’ I dint larn nuttin.  Someday I’ll look to see what things are scheduled to launch upon startup on her computer.  It didn’t occur to me to do that until after I got home.
Early Saturday afternoon, I happened to look out the window, and was surprised to find it snowing like anything.  Big, fat, wet snowflakes.  I pulled up WeatherBug, found a winter weather advisory... and saw that we could expect 2-5”.  The temperature dropped from 36° to 32° in the next hour, and the snow started to accumulate. 
Meanwhile, Barrow, Alaska, had finally made it above 0° – they were at a balmy 2°.  That wouldn’t last, though; the high for Easter was expected to be -4°.  I like to know things like that, so I can feel warmer by comparison.  :-D 
I’ve always loved Alaska.  We studied Alaska when I was in grade school, and I’ve read stories and biographies of people who lived in Alaska.  More recently, I’ve seen films, and later, youtube videos, about Alaska.  When I was young, my parents and I headed to Alaska, but my mother got sick, and we turned back at Grande Prairie, Alberta, north of Jasper National Park.  I was always sorry about that, and hope to go there someday.  Now, there’s a destination Larry won’t put up any fuss about! – he wants to go to Alaska just as much as I do.  Barrow is the 11th northernmost public community in the world and is the northernmost city in the United States.
I like mountains... and snow... and big wild animals... and I also like to look at weather extremes around the world.  We have a big, intriguing earth.  Too bad evil people make so much of it unsafe.
Here is a list of the northernmost cities and towns in the world:  Northern Cities
Many of those are in pristine, beautiful country.  The most northern of them all, named Alert, is in the Qikiqtaaluk Region of Nunavut, Canada, and is only 508 miles from the North Pole.  There are polar bears... artic foxes... ptarmigans (and other birds that nest there in the summer)... muskoxen... wolves... arctic hares... caribou...   
The goldfinches were fussing like hoydens and jackanapes at the feeders.  What sounds like friendly little chirps, tweets, and twitters are actually altercations, squabbles, and wingdings.
I got a few funny shots of their fusses and squabbles in the snow:  Junco Versus Finch, and the Sunflower Seeds
That afternoon, Larry worked on his big trailer, putting new wood on the floor and greasing the wheel bearings.  He says it’s because he might sell it.  I thought it was more likely because he’d bought something and needed the trailer to haul it.  I would learn I was right – but it’s a secret, and I can’t tell you yet.
He took a little break that evening, and went with me to take Hester her skirt, and the rest of the family the Martinelli apple juice.  Four of these 10-oz. bottles come in a pack.  We found them in the juice aisle (as opposed to the cooler aisle).  There is no water, no concentrate, no preservatives... just apples in it.  Yummy stuff!  I just looked it up online, and I see the company was started in 1868:  http://www.martinellis.com/about.shtml
Oh, haha, I just noticed a column of running Tweets at the side of their homepage, and someone had written, “Mom gets me a jug of Martinelli’s Apple Juice and says that’s what I get for Easter.  #MomOfTheYear”
Hee hee  Reckon my kids will award me ‘#MomOfTheYear’?
That afternoon when Levi, who’s 5 ½, saw it snowing, he took a mixing bowl out to the patio so he could catch some.  Hannah didn’t know about it until late this afternoon when he kept talking about the prospect of making snow ice cream.  She asked him where he got that idea, and he said it was in a book.  Hannah told him they’d need snow.
“No problem,” said Levi, “I already collected some!”
So Hannah got out the ingredients for a recipe she found online, and they made some ice cream.  “It was really sweet,” she said, “but fun to eat anyway.”
Saturday night, I got the Christmas tree skirt top finished; it’s now ready to be quilted.  Larry looked at it, and wanted to go get the Christmas tree from the basement and set it back up.  Then he suggested I put it around one of the blue spruces in the front yard, right atop the snow, to take a picture of it.
Our Sunrise Service started at 7:00 a.m.  It was 22° as we drove to town a good half-hour before sunrise.  After some songs and a sermon, we went to our friend Tom Tucker’s big camper sales building for breakfast.  They clear out a large part of the building and set up tables, and it makes quite a nice place for our get-togethers while the Fellowship Hall and school are under construction. 
We hope to have the Fellowship Hall done by the next wedding, which will be in 2 ½ months.  We’re hoping to have the school done by next fall, too.  All the windows are in now.  It sure is big!
By 10:00 a.m.., we were home again, and Victoria and I had changed clothes in preparation for our morning service, which would start at 11:00 a.m.
Larry prepares for the next service by removing his suit jacket and tie, taking a nap until half a minute before time to go, then putting suit jacket and tie back on – which once again goes to show how unfair life is for us ladies who like to look all spiffy and coiffed and Easter-Sundayish. 
It had only warmed up to 25°, and Saturday’s snow was not melting.
We were surprised to see Kurt at the service!  That boy refuses to stay down for long.
Amy sent pictures of some of the kids drinking their Martelli’s apple juice that afternoon, writing, “Kids love the juice!! Thank you!!!”  
Our evening service was at 6:30 p.m.  Shortly before time to go, I looked out my front kitchen window – and there was Kurt, dressed in his Sunday best, coming down the sidewalk to get Victoria and take her to church!  I really was quite surprised that he felt well enough to drive all the way out here to collect his girl and ferry her to church. 
Larry let him in, and I immediately said, “What on earth are you doing out of bed?!” which made him laugh – and he didn’t even cough afterwards.  You can’t imagine – well, maybe you can – how relieved we are to see him getting well.  He still must use oxygen after any exertion, as his oxygen levels fall fairly quickly.  But he’s improving. 
After the song service, however, Kurt’s heartrate was at 160 bmp.  He went out and used his oxygen, which he’d brought along, thankfully.
Lawrence was well enough to come to both morning services.
There used to be a Sunday School teacher at our church when my father first arrived, long before my time, who would simply spend the hour reading some long passage of Scripture, and then end it by remarking gravely, “That was self-explanatory.”
That’s what you say when you haven’t studied the passage, and/or have no earthly idea what in the world it means.  The older members of my family who remember that are still prone to rattle off some bit of deep, incomprehensible rocket science and then remark drolly (with a deadpan face), “That was self-explanatory.”
At the luncheon, we sat by Loren, and Bobby and Hannah and family.  I sat next to Nathanael, who’s 9 ½.  I got a glass of white milk before I knew they had chocolate milk, so I tried to trade Nathanael my ‘lovely, delicious, snowy-white milk’ for his ‘dirty ol’ stuff’.  He thinks Grandma is lots of fun (though he didn’t trade).
Lura Kay gave me a pair of Ginghers appliquΓ© scissors yesterday, the type with offset handles and a ‘pelican bill’, as it’s called, which helps to keep them from accidentally snipping underlying fabric.  More than just appliquΓ© scissors, they will be just the ticket for trimming silk ribbon when I’m using my embroidery hoop, because of the offset handles!  Ginghers slide open and closed so smoothly. 
When we got home, I wrote to her, “Good grief, did you know those things are $40 scissors????!!!!!!!  (I know, that’s supposedly rude to find that kind of thing out, but seeing as how we were raised by the same father, you’ll know how I couldn’t help it – and, besides, now you know I’ll take really, *really* good care of them!)”
Teensy must be feeling his cheerios this afternoon.  As I type, he has gone bombing through the kitchen and living room several times, twice taking a time out to leap into my lap for a short cuddling.  He doesn’t race around very often; he’s generally more dignified and sedate.
When we were first married, we lived in a nice trailer court not too far from where we live now.  Our trailer, a nice large one, had a big ‘garden tub’ with steps into it, and metal scrollwork on one end that reached the ceiling.  Well, we had a calico kitty who would climb the scrollwork all the way to the top – especially if one of us was in the tub – and then she’d sit up there, stranded, and cry until we rose dripping from the tub and helped her down.  :-D
It’s a lovely day here, 66°, bright and sunny, and I’m hanging clothes on the line, and there’s a red-tailed hawk doing spirals on the updrafts overhead.  If he gets too low, all the little songbirds at the feeders scatter.  They don’t seem to mind Tabby snoozing away on the deck, though. 
Three loads of clothes are folded and put away... one load is hanging and drying... last load is in the washer.  How do I break two nails, just washing clothes?  (Not that nails are very high on my list of priorities, but I would rather they weren’t all jagged and ugly.)
The windows and doors are open... the birds are singing... and Teensy is still in High G. 
There goes the little chiming tune on the washing machine... time to hang out the last load.
Okay, I’m back!  Did you miss me?
The wind is gusting at 25 mph, and the humidity is only 22.4%, so the clothes should get dry by the time the sun sets at 7:50 p.m. (2 hours and 10 minutes from now).  The birds are singing their evening songs.  I like it out here in the country.
And now it’s a quarter ’til 8, and the clothes did indeed get dry.  They’re folded and put away.  The sky is all lavender and aqua and pink, with little puffy cream-colored clouds drifting in long ripples low at the horizon.  The grass is green from Saturday’s wet snow, and the trees are turning a misty green from the tiny new leaves.  I like the country, I like springtime, I like the birds – and here comes a warm, cuddly, purring cat to hop up onto my lap and get in the way of my keyboard. 

,,,>^..^<,,,     Sarah Lynn     ,,,>^..^<,,,

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Christmas Tree Skirt Ready to Be Quilted

See photos here:  Christmas Tree Skirt Flimsy
(A 'flimsy' is a quilt top ready to be 'sandwiched' and quilted.)

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Junco versus Finch and the Sunflower Seed Wingding

I looked out the window this morning, and discovered it was snowing like anything.  Big, fat, wet snowflakes.  I pulled up WeatherBug, found a winter weather advisory, and saw that we could expect 2-5" of snow.  It was 36°, but the snow was still starting to accumulate.  By the time it quit snowing, the precipitation was at the high end of the spectrum, but a lot of it melted as it fell.

A whole lot of little birds were clustered around the feeders -- and the goldfinches, in particular, were fussing like hoydens and jackanapes at the feeders.  What sounded like friendly little chirps, tweets, and twitters were actually altercations, squabbles, and wingdings, heh heh.

Dark-eyed junco minding his own business, until --

-- along came a feisty goldfinch who screamed at him rather rudely.


He looks at the offensive little twit... sizes him up... and then...


A temporary truce is called.

Nom nom nom nom nom

A fellow finch-in-arms, uh, finch-in-wings, dive-bombs and spoils the truce.

But Finch One hangs onto his quarry,

... and Finch Two is left contemplating his wrongs.

Yet another goldfinch makes an inroad...

... but Finch One keeps his seed safe under his foot.

Back to the trough.  There are enough seeds for everyone, birds!  Really, there are.

The house finches look on in some amazement at the smaller, roudier, and less mannerly goldfinches.

If your beak is too full to peck an intruder, rake him with your talons!

Finch One comes skidding in and snatches a seed right out of his feathered fellow's beak.

And then, to add insult to injury, he squawks in his face!

A-comin' and a-goin' -- while Finch One scolds in disapproval.

Ah-ha! -- he may have met his match here!  A dark-eyed junco watches the uproar.

One bold little goldfinch tells the larger but more docile junco a thing or two.

Finch One actually pecked another goldfinch and sent him sliding right off the slippery banister.  You can still see his foot and tail, heading south.  Finch One peers over the edge:  "Ha!  Took care of you!"

This house finch was working away at husking a sunflower seed when a husk from overhead landed right beside him.  He tipped his head and stared at it:  "Huh?"

Female house finch

Finally, the male house finch has had enough, and tells his birdie pals to kindly quit screeching at the table.

The End