Thursday, July 2, 2015

Warbler Guide Birding App: A Review

No quilty business today!  
Sometimes I'm just a bird brain!

A few weeks ago, I was invited by Princeton University Press
to review their new Warbler Guide App.
I jumped at the opportunity, only to discover that I could not
access the App from ITunes while I'm vacationing in Canada.
So, I turned to my nerdy Birdy Brother-in-Law for help!

No, no! That's not him.

There he is!
He is my birding mentor
and soley responsible for my birding addiction.
Remind me sometime to tell you about our winter birding adventures
in (Brrrrrrrrrrr) Maine when I was just a beginner.
What did I learn?  Well.....A duck isn't just 'a duck'...
....And not all white clumps are snow....

...But, back on track,
and without further adieu, 
I'd like to take this opportunity to share his review of

The Warbler Guide App

Warblers are some of the most fun birds to find and identify. Unlike sparrows, who are all small brown birds, or sandpipers, who are difficult to distinguish without lots of practice, warblers come in a wide variety of colors and patterns. Many are so distinctive in their spring breeding plumage, that it would be nearly impossible to confuse them with any other species. Their colors and patterns are strikingly beautiful.

            The problem with identifying warblers is that it can be difficult to get good looks at them as they flit around the tree tops feeding. Anyone who has followed the sharp, loud, “teacher, teacher, teacher” call of an ovenbird can attest to how hard it is to actually see the bird. And then, in the fall, many warblers lose their brilliant colors and become the “confusing fall warblers” as Roger Troy Peterson famously called them. That is when I need some help identifying them.

            I recently downloaded the new app from Princeton University, “The Warbler Guide.” It covers all the warblers found in the US. Oftentimes, we only catch a quick glimpse of a warbler, maybe from underneath or maybe just of its face. While most field guides only show warblers from a side view, this new app shows every warbler from six different angles: side, face, 3D, 45 degrees, underside and undertail. Did you know that the undertail pattern of many warblers is all you need to ID it? Sometimes that is all you see and that is enough with this app.

            The search function in the app can be programmed by region, season, and color which quickly limits the number of possible birds to search through. Then when I choose from the pictures of all the possible warblers I might see, I also get similar species to compare. So if I am birding the north east in the fall and see a drab gray warbler with a yellow patch on the throat, I might click on  the common yellow throat picture. 

This pulls up the common yellow throat page with taps that leads to an amazing amount of information, such as maps, aging, photos, and habitat. One of the most helpful tabs, especially for identifying birds in the field is the “Comparison Species” which shows similar species.

            This app is really quite complete. It provides all the information needed to identify even the most confusing fall birds or those birds that are difficult to get a good look at. It provides all their songs as well. If you are looking to learn your warblers, this app is just the thing you need. It is easy to use and having such a complete guide with so much information at your fingertips in the field is really amazing.

Great review, Don!  Thanks a million!
I expect our birding adventures next spring
will be that much more awesome.

for this great opportunity.

Monday, June 29, 2015

A Few Finishes

June is over all ready?
I do have a few finishes.
I just kind of poke along at my own pace.

First up,

"Keeping Perspective"

My first (and maybe only) foray into modern quilting.
Inspired by a quilty blogging friend of many years,
who embraced modern quilting, and
despite reoccurring medical issues over the last two years,
she never appeared to skip a beat, never stopped smiling,
and continued sharing her knowledge and skills.
Her word of the year?

"Keeping Perspective" was custom quilted by
Natalia Bonner of PieceNQuilt.
Pop over to see!
Her pics are so much nicer!

Another finish was my Posie Quilt,

gifted to a friend who was just diagnosed with breast cancer.
It was delivered yesterday and she was just delighted.

Here's how I quilted it.

And here's the sweet label,
I just took the flowers out of the middle of the pattern.

Last, but not least, I made a wallhanging for my nephew.

It measures 24x32.
He just got his first apartment and had a birthday, too!

June was a rainy, cold month.
Believe it or not, I'm still having warming fires in the mornings!
Here's hoping summer finds us soon!


Saturday, June 6, 2015

Real Life

Quick Post

Projects are often staged in cleverly arranged photo shoots,
but in real life, this is what's going on at my house,
with no time taken to edit the photos,
because as you can see, I've got work to do!
And my new laptop and I still haven't bonded.

1. The kit I am so glad I bought.  Helped me get back into the groove
after being away from the machine for so long.
2. My Elephant Parade, just short of half machine quilted.
3. Posies from the UFO bin for a friend 
just diagnosed with breast cancer.
UFOs rock!
4. The Houndstooth quilt I've always wanted to make.  
This will be my airfare quilt this year, 
purchased by the friend just diagnosed with cancer,
for her last and final grandchild.
This makes four!
She deserves a comfort quilt after making my annual
migration to TX affordable three years in a row!

5.  The Broken Dishes blocks that WERE going to be the border 
of the Posies quilt - oh, so long ago.  
There are enough for a sweet baby quilt.
6.  The afghan I'm crocheting during evening hours and on road trips.
7.  My next project, by The Raspberry Rabbits!

Last but not least,
your favorite,
a bird picture.

whetting his whistle.
This is just a medium sized plant pot and saucer
turned upside down.  The birds love it.

I'm going to have a busy, quilty day
since it's cold and rainy.  Again.
Hope your day is special in some way!


Monday, June 1, 2015

Double the Quilty Delight

Saturday dawned cloudy, foggy, and chilly
here on the water, but turned into the perfect day
to travel with The Cuddle Quilter to the annual

Thistle Guild Quilt Show
Westville, NS
May 30, 2015

and meet up with the
Nova Scotia Bloggers Quartet!

Lesley, The Cuddle Quilter, Linda, our very own Scrapmaster
and Sheila of Sheila's Quilt World, a Thistle Guild member,
stop to admire one of Sheila's entries in the quilt show.  
The back is just as pretty as the front!

During TeaTime, we had a fun, fun swap!
Armed only with each other's initials to embroider,
it was exciting to see what we each made!

Here's Linda Ooohing and Aaawing over the wallet
Sheila included in the beautiful batik tote bag she made.

I used a pattern from a Gail Pan book to make Lesley
a drawstring bag.

And Lesley used the same Gail Pan book
to make a beautiful tote
for Sheila

Always the industrious one, 
Lesley added a stitchery to BOTH sides!

Linda made me a cover for my KitchenAide
because she knows all it does is sit on my counter
and collect dust!
I'm excited to get my mixer down from winter storage
and dress it all up!  They are pretty heavy.

The Tea Room, so beautifully decorated,
was filled to the brim,
but it was like we were the only ones there!

We had so much fun, I know we were the envy 
of all those other quilters in attendance!

The afternoon was doubly delightful for me,
because upon our return,
I had a one-on-one show 'n tell at Lesley's house
of all the beautiful finishes she accomplished 
while she patiently waited out the long, hard winter,
as well as a sneak peak of her future projects.
Everything is even more beautiful in person
than pictured on her blog.
I was so inspired,
I couldn't wait to get home and get to work!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Spring Market Cornered

I love spring!
And I get to welcome this time of renewal in Texas,

Puppy helping me clean out and rehang birdhouses.
then in Massachusetts,
up into Maine,
Trout Lilies on the bank of a stream.
and now back home in Cape Breton.

My new barn quilt, compliments of Crafty Daughter.
(I might enjoy it more here in Cape Breton if it was a little warmer!)

After a month of travel and a week back,
I've finally set up my sewing stations,
reacquainted myself with my Janome,
and made my 'to do' list.

I've visited lots of friends and family,

My little sister, The Fern Lady, and my Birdman BIL.
have seen many migrating birds,

Yellow Warbler
and went hiking at some new places,
but now it's time to start sewing again!

I'd say I've got the Spring Market cornered, for sure,

and instead of new lines of fabric and patterns,
I enjoyed 'the fabric and patterns of nature'.

Speaking of visiting friends,
I had a lovely visit from Julia, all the way from Yarmouth, NS.
She blogs over at Jada's Quilting Adventures.
She was raised on the island and still has family here.
She brought her sweet sister to meet me, too!
She's a new quilter!
We never thought to get a picture, though!

Have a great week!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

First Day With My New Shoes

Whenever I trip or stumble,
I always cover up my embarrassment with a sheepish grin
and say, "First day with my new shoes."

My laptop finally went to live in laptop heaven.
I haven't even been taking pictures 
since I had nothing to import them onto.

It took me a long time to choose a new laptop
because so much has changed 
and to say I was overwhelmed is putting it mildly.

I am not techno-savvy by any stretch of the imagination,
therefore, it has taken me all this time to gain the confidence 
to even open the lid!

So, this is my "first post with my new laptop".

Since I wasn't on the internet,
I was at the machine.
I finished and sent a quilt off to Natalia Bonner at Piece N Quilt
to be custom machine quilted.
I know, I know, you're thinking why didn't I do it myself!
Afterall, I have a new Janome, right?

I think it's obvious from this sneak preview 
that I swiped from Natalia's FB page
that I made a right choice.  I still have a lot of practicing to do before
I tackle a major project and produce anything that looks like this!

I was a little productive throughout the long winter months.
I made my sweet, little friend a special library bag
that I saw on Pinterest.

She's in preschool and goes to the library
once a week.  She loves her library books, 
and she loves to keep her possessions organized in bags,
(she's all girl!)
so how could I resist?
This might be a better look.

Couldn't send Avery a gift without slipping something into the mail
for her darling little sister!

Another finish was this
 quick quilt for Crafty Daughter.

It's a large twin to replace the one I made 
for her HS graduation 20 years ago.
She loved it to death and it finally had to be retired.
She picked out the pattern and the fabrics and I got right to work.
When we are together during the winter months,
she picks out most of my fabrics!
It's so refreshing.

By the way,
I did get new shoes! More exacting, sneakers.

Not the most attractive,
but I'm a walker and needed a sturdy, well made product.
They're kind of clunky, but I haven't had an embarrassing mis-step yet!
The big test will come when I get to Maine
and do some marathon spring birding!
I'm almost there.  Arrived in Massachusetts on Saturday,
and will be heading up in a week or two.

My new computer?
I'm not liking it too much,
but I know I'll get used to it.

Have a great day!
Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Individual Goals

Two Red-shouldered Hawks flew into a nearby tree,
calling and calling and calling.

This House Finch was grooming himself on top of the fence
when he heard the menacing, relentless calls of the hawks.

He thought he might be safer

if he dropped down a level
and watched and waited patiently,
he'd be safe.

He's just so cute!

While his goal is to stay alive,
mine is to make a quilt for my nephew, a Marine,
from start to finish,
by month's end.

His sister received hers at Christmastime

and now it's his turn.
I want to leave it in Maine with his mom
for his June birthday
when I pass through next month.

I started with this pattern,

changed it up a little bit,

and got right to work.

This is only as far as I've gotten,
but I know if I commit
by linking up to
Sew Bitter Sweet Designs

I'll be sure to meet my goal.

I'd better get back to my machine!
Those small sawtooth stars are a lot of work!