Friday, July 21, 2017

Mountain Quail

More new babies!  The very shy Mountain Quail have been visiting here for the last couple of years.  Each year they bring their brood.  This year it was 9 new babies! 

I followed them around inside my house, peaking out windows, trying to get pictures!  Very challenging.  In the end I only got two chicks together and one parent and one chick at the water hole.

They've returned, so it's possible they are nesting nearby!  I'll keep trying for better pictures.




Sunday, June 4, 2017

New Babies

I love this time of Spring when new baby wildlife start appearing from the brush.
This week two song sparrow fledglings have joined the world.


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

May Flowers

It is true that April showers bring May flowers, but I think in our case this year it was many months of showers!  Finally the sun has come out for more than a few hours and things are drying out and blooming.  Life!









Monday, April 24, 2017

Spring Has Sprung!

Finally!  Some greenery and buds to show for all that rain we have had. 
The wildlife is returning and so is my sanity - but still not much sun.





Thursday, March 9, 2017

Mountain Quail



These little cuties are new to my area, only seen in the last couple of years. 
Easily confused with the California Quail, but if you look at side by side photos, the differences are many.  These are bigger, like the size of a football, much more colorful and their topnotch is more of an apostrophe shape.  The CA Quail's topnotch curves over the top of their head.

This year I have only three or four.  Last year I had about twelve.  I imagine they are a tasty treat for cougars, bobcats and coyotes, which we didn't have last year, but have been seen this year.

I enjoy watching these sweeties roaming about the yard, driveway and bird feeding area, just about any time of day.

I'll try to get better photos, but they are quite skiddish, so I have to shoot from inside the house.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Mini Art Studio

If you've been in a vintage mobile home you have seen the second "bedroom" which is really more like a closet.  Very small.  In the old days a single bed could fit in them and maybe a small dresser.  A friend of mine had one and they built in bunk-beds for their kids.

This small bedroom, that I previously used as a closet, (calling it my walk-in closet), has been transformed into a small art studio!
I have lived here over 10 years and never realized how perfect this space is for a studio.  It even has a window!


Before it could be a studio I had to remove some old shelves, caulk the cracks and seams and repair some wall board.  Then I painted it a lovely bright white, installed new shelves and additional lights.


The next two photos are some of the tools and supplies I use.



This very small room turned out to be perfect for the metalsmithing work I do.  I work standing up and can reach all of the shelves and work tops easily. 



Saturday, February 25, 2017

Winter 2017



We've had a lot of snow this winter - for us, anyway.  The above photo is the front yard the first time it snowed.  We had about a foot the next time, and several days of just an inch or two.

The second photo is Highway 101 - the main road north and south along the Hood Canal, this is in front of the Lilliwaup post office.  Even the plows couldn't keep up that day!

I know so many people who had trees down due to heavy snow, unfortunately this year, I was one of them.  The damage was minimal!

I had just arrived home and heard a thump - turned around to see the neighbor's willow had just fallen over, on my new fence!





Fortunately they were home and we were able to cut away the branches to take the weight off the fence, then cut away the trunk.

I was greatly relieved to see very little damage done!  A few boards will need to be replaced and one beam is leaning slightly, but I think it can be propped up from this side.  Several piles of branches in the end, which they promptly hauled off.


The bamboo all survived, save for some minor embarrassment of being tossed about by the whole experience.

Winter is not over, and more snow could fall, I just hope nothing else does.  :)

Friday, January 6, 2017

Snow Days


I don't much enjoy snow anymore.  It's stressful to drive in and I live at the top of a steep hill.
But there are some little pleasures that come with having it snow and stick around.

Foot prints.  Pictured here are squirrel prints.  I've also seen raccoon prints this week and possibly a bobcat.  Bird prints are pretty cute too.

It's fun to follow them and see where they go.  A lot of them are focused around the bird feeder and the water hole.

It's very cold here this week, not the norm, but it does happen.  Personally, I look forward to the rain returning, but until then I shall enjoy scouting for foot prints in the snow.

Monday, January 2, 2017

2016 - It's A Wrap!

Huckleberry hollow underwent some major improvements this year.
To recap, here's an overview, follow the links to read the full posts.

Back in April of 2016 I decided to redo the bathroom - again - and it really turned out nice.  New paint, trim and floor paint.  You can read the full post here:  https://huckleberry-hollow.blogspot.com/2016/04/bathroom-make-over-again.html .


All Spring and Summer a friend helped me install a new 6 foot cedar fence along my property line.  This was labor intensive!  Together we cut the labor costs and although it took us several months of part time work, we were able to finish it in time for some outdoor deck sitting - with privacy.
You can view the complete post here: https://huckleberry-hollow.blogspot.com/2016/07/fence-me-in.html .


In the middle of the summer I started working on new ways to skirt the mobile.  I love Pinterest and get a lot of my ideas there.  I found some great ideas on alternative skirting concepts and used two of them for around my place.
One was a row of concrete blocks placed just under my addition, leaving about an inch of air flow space.  Another was to use cedar fence boards like pickets, around other sections of the home.
Two posts covered this subject and they are here:  https://huckleberry-hollow.blogspot.com/2016/07/skirting-issue.html .  And here:  https://huckleberry-hollow.blogspot.com/2016/07/skirting-issue-part-ii.html .



By the time summer was winding down and had a little more free time from work, I decided it was time to tackle the mud room and front deck issues.  There was dry rot and leveling that needed addressing.  Again my friend helped me with the leveling and I replaced the top deck boards last.
That post is here:  https://huckleberry-hollow.blogspot.com/2016/10/restructuring.html .
 You'll notice some additional upgrades to the paint around the place too.


After that we transplanted 2 of my very large bamboo into 4 bigger pots, as well as dividing them.  They are 12 feet tall now and have occupied those pots for about 10 years.
They add the perfect privacy screen above the new fence!
That post is here:  https://huckleberry-hollow.blogspot.com/2016/10/bamboo-transplanting.html .


By then the weather was changing and it was time to focus indoors.
I needed to finish working on a back bedroom that needed some odd repairs, not pictured, but not interesting in photos anyway.  The goal here is always about insulation and sealing, while still trying to maintain aesthetics.  It's not a pretty place, but it is very functional.
I also worked on the other two little bedrooms, carrying on the same theme with new paint.

I also revamped my first poetry book, Poetic Zen, with new color photographs.  The post is here:  https://huckleberry-hollow.blogspot.com/2016/12/new-book.html , with a link to ordering it.

After the fallout of 11/9 so many of us were devastated by the news of a new leader that when I finally regained some optimism, I decided to pull together some artists and writers and publish a book about hope.  It's called Messages of Hope and the post is here:  https://huckleberry-hollow.blogspot.com/2016/12/messages-of-hope.html .  You can order from the links there.

I wrapped up the year by reopening my Etsy shop and diving back into metalsmithing.  I purchased a new domain name for it as well, you can visit it here: www.jgray-design.com .
My goals this year are to increase my work-from-home income with finished jewelry pieces as well as supplies for other artists in similar mediums which lead to a second shop just for supplies at https://etsy.com/shop/jgdsupplies  .

So the smallest bedroom has been converted into half storage and half art studio.  Upcoming posts on that as I try to squeeze another work space into an already tiny space!

Thank you all for following along with me on my journey to remodel my life.  :)
Farewell 2016, and hello 2017!  May we all prosper and find joy.