Bird

For the Birds~ Repurposed Chandelier Feeder

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I’ve been looking for bird feeders to hang near my Potting Shed.

Inspired by a birdelier on Pinterest, original source here, I went to my local Habitat ReStore and found a chandelier to repurpose as a feeder.

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Originally polished brass, I found one for $8

  I thought would work, despite a bent cup and

broken arm which I could re-thread & reglue~

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I took photos of the chandelier in its original state, but neglected to transfer them before my laptop died, but you can see the original brass finish peeking through in the photo below.

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I removed the socket covers and sockets, snipped the wiring, and sprayed it with Rust-Oleum Professional Red Primer Spray,  more rust in color when applied.

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Wanting a verdigris finish that appeared oxidized & aged, I sprayed a coat of Rust-Oleum Universal Satin Espresso Brown over the primer coat. I had some green craft paint left from painting my corbels so I thinned the paint with water, using it as a wash, applying several coats. After it was dry, I sprayed a couple of light coats of Valspar Clear Satin Spray to protect the finish.

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Bowls from my Staffordshire Bouquet Dish Garden picked up for a song, were the right size to serve seed, so I attached them to the chandelier cups using Liquid Nails Adhesive.

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I hung it from a branch using the chain and a hook, near a feeder that the birds were already visiting, in hopes of attracting them more quickly~

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And filled it with seed~

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A Tufted Titmouse was one of the first visitors~

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Followed by the Carolina Chickadee~

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From Chandelier to Birdelier :)

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 Metamorphosis Monday~

Identifying Birds & A Winner!

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I spotted Audubon’s Masterpieces,

like a rare bird, hidden in a clearance

stack of books for $9.99~

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Complete with 150 prints of John James Audubon’s

beautiful and scientific renderings~

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Fun to compare his artistic illustrations with

our bird sightings at the lake~

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Where we often see Osprey, Herons,

and occasionally the rare Blackhawk. . .

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And are entertained by the aerial acrobatics

of Barn Swallows & Purple Martins~

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And enjoy watching the Bluebirds nest~

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I spotted a bird last week that

I’m still trying to identify. . .

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Even Mr. Audubon’s Masterpieces

and detailed illustrations were no help~

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Although it does bear a resemblance to

 the Carolina Turtle Dove or Common Magpie :)

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I discovered it nesting in a bowl with other silverplate,

and endangered from the other knives

and flatware and becoming scratched~

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 So like a good conservationist, I rescued it

and brought it home to roost!

Markings identified the knife as anchor Rogers AA~

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If anyone has any information as to the species :)

or pattern, please let me know!

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The winner of my

For the Birds Giveaway & Gift Card is. . .

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. . . Susan at

 Savoring Time in the Kitchen!

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Congratulations Susan and

thanks to all who entered!

For the Birds~ A Party & Giveaway!

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I’m Having a Backyard Party

and Every Bird is Welcome~

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In Celebration of my three-year

Blogging Birthday on January 15th!

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Millet, Sunflower and Safflower Seed, as

well as Critter Blend is on the menu~DSC_0199-001

To keep those pesky

squirrels occupied~

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There is plenty of liquid refreshment and

 swimming and splashing are encouraged~

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And since no birthday party

is complete without cake~

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I’m serving Birdola Seed Cake

on a Chickadee Cake plate~

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This Carolina Chickadee

flew in early for the party :)

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Bird Seed Cake Table1

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In celebration of my third blogging birthday/anniversary, I’m giving away a $50 gift card, your choice of Amazon or HomeGoods (also good at T.J.Maxx and Marshalls).

You can buy a beautiful book or feed the birds at Amazon, or Be HomeGoods Happy :) with some new dishes!

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For a chance to win, leave a comment telling me your favorite bird you like to see perched at your feeder!

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Subscribers/followers automatically get a second entry. Subscribe by email or follow on Facebook and let me know by comment.

For a third entry, share this giveaway on your Facebook page and leave an additional comment telling me so and where you’d like your gift card from!

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A winner will be chosen January 23rd!

This giveaway is now closed.

Congratulations to Susan at Savoring Time in the Kitchen!

Thanks to everyone who entered!

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For the Birds Details:

Backyard Party Cake Kitchen Papers/ gift~ Thank you, Annie :)

White Bird Plates, Pitcher, & Teapot/ Gracie China, Victorian Bird, HomeGoods & T.J.Maxx, used at the table, here.

Chickadee Cake Plate & Mug/ Kate Williams for Global Design Connection, T.J.Maxx, used here.

 Blue Mugs~ Villeroy & Boch, Cordoba/ HomeGoods, used here. Green & Aqua bird mugs~ Matceramica/HomeGoods

Bird Urn~ retail days, used here.

Bird cup & saucer in Urn~ Williamsburg Aviary

Flatware/ Pottery Barn

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Seasonal Sundays~

On the Ropes

One of the pleasures of being on the lake

is watching the birds~

especially the Swallows and their cousins,

the Purple Martins.

We have been visited by a large group

or “kettle” of Barn Swallows this year.

We watched them flying under our dock to build nests formed by mud cups this summer.

Both parents assist in nest-building, and make an estimated 1000 trips to collect mud to build a nest which is then lined with grass and feathers.

They return to same nest season to season and making any repairs needed.

This photo is attempt #35~  less than stellar, but a finally successful & coordinated effort for me :) holding the camera one-handed, while floating under our dock to catch the swallow sitting inside.

The downside to being on the water

is the abundance of insects~

This is our third hatch or “bloom” of Mayflies this summer~ they mature all at once, hovering together and clinging to every surface~ chairs, siding, screens. . .

Messy but harmless, Mayflies they live only a

few hours to a few days~

long enough to mate and become part of the food chain.

Which explains our abundance of Swallows,

lined up to feast like it’s a Thanksgiving buffet :)

Entertaining to watch their aerial

 acrobatics as they snatch insects out of the air~

Hard on ropes though :)

Thank you for your visit, I’m joining:

Little Red House for Mosaic Monday~

A Southern Daydreamer for Outdoor Wednesday~

Jenny Matlock for Alphabe-Thusday, K for Kettle of Barn Swallows

The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays~

Osprey, Heron, Geese and Blackhawks

It’s usually pretty quiet in our corner of the lake until boating season kicks off Memorial Day, continuing through Labor Day~ for the most part, just us and the birds.

Herons are here year round~ we have a permanent resident in our cove ~you can see the one in my header, strolling down our dock.

 In his case, trespassers are welcome :)

Sea Gulls flock around February~

Squatting on our neighbor’s dock~

Osprey return around the end of February/March to nest.

It’s always a challenge to boat close enough to get a glimpse of any chicks.

We keep our fingers crossed that the Purple Martins return each spring~

This year like last, they are cohabitating with the house sparrows.

We’ve sent eviction notices to the sparrows, but they are choosing to ignore them :)

The geese are here year round~

 I always look forward to seeing the goslings!

Last week we had a different variety of bird, noisy for our quiet cove~ two Blackhawk helicopters doing water rescue maneuvers.

The North Carolina National Guard and their Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team (NCHART), were conducting training exercises on Lake Norman, practicing rescuing victims from the water.

These teams rescued approximately 350 residents in North Carolina after Hurricanes Frances and Ivan in 2004, and are called on to rescue stranded/injured hikers from remote mountain areas.

Warning, objects flying overhead are a lot closer than they appear~ enough to rattle the floors and windows and cause Chloe & Gracie distress. . .not that it takes much to cause Chloe distress :)

By day three of these maneuvers, I was wishing for noise cancelling headphones to hear myself think.

My lens isn’t “zoomy” enough, but to give you an idea of how close they were, there are photos with our house  ( #7 and #13) in the background, taken by the Charlotte Observer.

While this training is necessary and fun to watch, I’m happy that our regular lake birds aren’t quite so noisy :)

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The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays~

Little Red House for Mosaic Monday~

A Southern Daydreamer for Outdoor Wednesday~

Shades of Grey and a Winner!

 

Grey . . .

Foggy. . .

Misty. . .

Perfect weather for our resident Heron~ who despite the foggy & murky conditions, manages to keep a keen eye out for any fish.

Or perfect weather to sit inside and enjoy some tea~

The winner of my Chickadee Giveaway is

Rett at The Gazebo House!

Rett~ email me your address so these Chickadees can fly home to nest with you!

Thank you for your visit, I’m joining:

 Outdoor Wednesday~

  Watery Wednesday~

Alphabe-Thursday~

 Seasonal Sundays~

Mosaic Monday~

They’re Back…

They’re back . . .

Squatting on our neighbor’s dock. . .

 Squawking. . .

 Soaring. . .

 Sunning. . .

Providing us with a show & some smiles :)

“Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding. Find out what you already know and you will see the way to fly.”
― Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull

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Return to a Winter World

 

Winter World **** by Bernd Heinrich

I’m  reposting this book review from last year for Food for Thought, which I’m thrilled about returning, with our first book selection Friday, Jan. 20th~ The Night Circus!

Next up is Chocolate Chocolate: The True Story of Two Sisters, Tons of Treats, and the Little Shop That Could ~ a book chocoholics can sink their teeth into & perfect with Valentine’s Day on the horizon! Join us Friday, February 3rd to satisfy your sweet tooth & your reading enjoyment!

The weather outside is frightful . . . while we thankfully have not had as much snow as the Northeast, it’s been colder than normal here in the sunny South. Snowbound, I had the perfect excuse to stay indoors and read a couple of weeks ago. This book provided *interesting reading while I was tucked away, cozy indoors, watching the birds and wondering how nature adapts to the frigid temperatures and winter landscape.

(*interesting reading for those defined as a bit of a Discovery Channel or Animal Planet geek :-)

“From flying hot-blooded squirrels and diminutive kinglets to sleeping black bears and torpid turtles to frozen insects and frogs, the animal kingdom relies on staggering evolutionary innovations to survive winter. Unlike their human counterparts, who alter the environment to accommodate physical limitations, most animals are adapted to an amazing range of conditions. In Winter World: The Ingenuity of Animal Survival, biologist, illustrator, and award-winning author Bernd Heinrich explores his local woods, where he delights in the seemingly infinite feats of animal inventiveness he discovers there.”

“Because winter drastically affects the most elemental component of all life — water — radical changes in a creature’s physiology and behavior must take place to match the demands of the environment. Some creatures survive by developing antifreeze; others must remain in constant motion to maintain their high body temperatures. Even if animals can avoid freezing to death, they must still manage to find food in a time of scarcity, or store it from a time of plenty.”

“Beautifully illustrated throughout with the author’s delicate drawings and infused by his inexhaustible enchantment with nature, Winter World: The Ingenuity of Animal Survival awakens the wonders and mysteries by which nature sustains herself through winter’s harsh, cruel exigencies.”

 I set a Winter World-inspired table with pine cones, lichen covered branches, moss & a few nuts for foraging squirrels. . . on a landscape made of a jute runner layered on a snowy white quilt.

“Perhaps none depends on snow more than the snowshoe hare. The size of this hare’s tracks are out of proportion to the animal’s size. As a result of its low foot-loading, the hare can walk, hop and run very near the top of the fluffiest snow. As a consequence, the more that snow accumulates, throughout the winter, the more easily the hare can reach its food, the fresh twigs of small trees and brush.”

Woodland botanicals, snowy white orbs, and branches fill my lanterns on the table. . .

Rock Salt is sprinkled to mimic an icy coating, rather than to melt the snow on the sidewalk :-)

I was surprised to learn that Crossbills often lay their eggs in winter, so they are able to raise their young when the seeds of spruce or pine cones are most plentiful.

Heinrich is a scientist with a talent for relating his love for nature, his appetite for discovery, and his humorous insights in a fashion that is enjoyable for the reader.

My appetite led me to Pine Cone Cheese for Food for Thought, you can find a recipe here.

Winter can be difficult for birds when the days are short and nights are often cold and long. The natural food supply has been consumed or is hidden by snow.  Water can be hard to find, and food needed to provide the energy to keep birds warm might be scarce.

Food for Thought also led me to make pine cone bird treats for our feathered friends. . . snowy day fun for kids if you have the materials on hand, with a recipe found here.

 Winter World Table details:

Bird Dishes: Gracie China/Home Goods

White Plates: Oneida Westerly Basket

Jute Runner & Napkins: Pottery Barn

Thank you for your visit, I’m joining:

 Metamorphosis Monday,

The Scoop,  Inspire Me Tuesday,

Wow Us WednesdaysTablescape Thursday,

 Open House ThursdaysFoodie Friday,

 Home Sweet HomeBe Inspired Friday,

 Feathered Nest FridaySeasonal Sundays

Chickadees on the Porch & a Giveaway!

I’m on the porch nesting with Chickadees . . .

Enjoying some tea and tucked in a nest of grey~enjoying a bit of warm & welcome sunshine on the porch.

 These Chickadee plates, Global Design Connections by Kate Williams, along with teapot, cream & sugar~ took flight from HomeGoods to follow me home~

I was enamored by the grey twig-rimmed edge on the plates and twiggy detailed spout and handle on the teapot :)

To celebrate my two-year blogging anniversary January 15th, I’m sharing some dish & bird love and giving away this set of two salad plates, two dinner plates, teapot, cream & sugar~ to one winner~ to perch at your table.

For a chance to win these Chickadees :) mention in a comment  you would like them come home to roost with you! Subscribers/followers automatically get a second entry. For an additional chance to win, leave another comment and tell me your favorite bird you like to see perched at your feeder :)

 A winner will be chosen February 1st.

Wishing you a warm place to nest & perch this winter~

This giveaway is now closed. 

Congratulations to Rett at The Gazebo House!

Thank you for your visit, I’m joining:

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