Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Canning Bee: Why Honey Doesn't Spoil KBB Post

Learn about the infinite shelf life of honey, hoe to refresh crystallized honey and much more in my latest Keeping Backyard Bees post The Canning Bee: Why Honey Doesn't Spoil 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Oliver Retrieving Duck Decoy in Pond Video

Over the past few years we've been working with our Golden Retriever Oliver and his ability to retrieve. Like most Goldens, he was born with the instinct to bring things back to us when thrown, so there wasn't much we had to do as far as incentive. Really, his training has been more of associating commands with the action of running, bringing back and release so we're more in control of the situation. We do it more for fun than anything else. It gives him an activity that he loves and gives him lots of healthy exercise. Here's a video of him retrieving the duck decoy from our pond last year. He LOVES to swim!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Pilgrim and Toulouse Goslings Video

This is a video I took of our goslings last year. They're all grown up now and laying beautiful large eggs. Enjoy the video!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Ducks are not Chickens + GIVEAWAY CC Post

Thinking of getting ducklings this spring? Read this post first. Ducks are not Chickens

Also enter to win a copy of Sarah Rosedahl's Adult Coloring Book!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Local Birding

One of my favorite things to do is travel around looking for wildlife to photograph, particularly birds.

There's a dirt road a few miles from our house that borders a long lake/slow river. Each spring this body of water is always brimming with birds. Some returning from the long migration, some stopping temporarily before moving even farther north to their breeding grounds.  As in the case of these Common Mergansers.

Pair Common Mergansers

We usually visit the lake earlier in the year when there are upwards to 50 Common Mergansers stopping for a short rest before heading north. At this time in the year, there were only a few pairs left.
Pair Common Mergansers
While I always aim to take the best photos possible,... often when I'm birding, I will simply settle for a recognizable documentation. As was the case with many of these images. The birds were simply too far away to get a quality image with the lens I have.

Female Common Merganser has a brick red/orange-y brown head with a crest of feathers that flail backwards.           
Male Common Merganser

Pied Billed Grebe
 We also saw a Pied-Billed Grebe. I find them to be adorable. They're a tiny duck-shaped bird with a stubby little bill and huge eyes. 

Pied-Billed Grebe 
They have an incredible ability to dive and are mostly silent birds. 

Canada Goose
 We saw many Canada Geese. 

Canada Goose
 This one is sitting on a well built nest. 

Belted Kingfisher
 We also saw a beautiful belted King Fisher. 

Pair Mute Swans (Nesting Canada Goose)
 And a pair of Mute Swans. See the Canada Goose in the background sitting on the nest? 

I have a swan goal this year. I want to see a Trumpeter Swan. I've been reading that they are making a comeback in our area. I've done some research and spoken with a few birders who told me where there are some good areas to find them. 

Red-Tailed Hawk
 This Red Tailed Hawk dove in front of the Jeep trying to escape the packing of two very upset Crows. Most likely this hawk was trying to rob the Crow's nest and the pair attacked, chasing the hawk away.

Crows = Orange Circle, Hawk = Yellow Circle


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Learn to Spin Plying Techniques Video

In this video I show how to blend 4 colors by plying a 2 ply yarn. In the first skein the colors are distributed evenly, in the second they are distributed unevenly. This allows for every color to touch every other color in the finished 2 ply skein. The finished yarn is well blended.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Sandhill Cranes Returning Video

I was outside the other day...back when I thought it was spring...before the snowstorm hit, taking pictures of the goats when these two beauties flew over. It was one of those right time, right place sort of experiences. Poor things are probably wishing they would have stayed down south with the weather we've been having lately in Michigan. If you can, turn up the volume, they make the most interesting sounds. A very loud rattling call.