Sunday, March 31, 2019

Bluebird Sightings Make Me Happy

While bluebirds hang out in North Texas year round, there are often gaps of time between when I see them in my backyard. I was experiencing one of those bluebird sighting droughts before I mowed a couple of days ago. As I rounded a curve in my mowing pattern I noticed a male bluebird perched near the top of my jujube tree. I looked around to see if there was a female nearby and sure enough, she was sitting atop my chain link fence. It just made me smile to see them around again. Perhaps this response comes from growing up during a time when bluebird populations were very low and there was a push was being made to save them. To learn what you can do to support bluebird populations in your area of
Texas, Texas Parks and Wildlife has an extensive, informative pdf on all things bluebird.

I usually see bluebirds in my yard when they're looking for food. They like to perch on my chain link fencing, tall plant stakes, trees or anything else from which they can swoop down and catch an insect in an adjacent open patch of lawn or pasture. I sometimes see newly fledged bluebirds and have even seen their parents feeding them. I don't know if they are breeding in a natural nest cavity on my property or in a bluebird house provided by one of my neighbors. Whatever the reason, I enjoy seeing them around. The photos in this post are from previous years and show a male and female sitting on my chain link and a young bluebird perched on a wooden structure.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Welcoming the First Day of Spring

Often I share images of blooms from my yard to welcome in the first day of spring. This year my fresh blooms are in the form of a new pair of floral earrings I created.

I recently acquired a strand of carved jade flowers. When I was storing my new supplies this strand and the spring-like weather we were having called me to create something using the flower beads. I pulled out several other strands of jade to see what I wanted to pair with the carved flowers to make a pair of earrings. I settled on using a head pin with a ball end on the open side of the carved flowers and a darker green jade sphere on the stem side. For some reason the spherical beads made a more pleasing design than the cylindrical ones that mimicked a stem better.
Now that we have reached the spring equinox marking the first day of spring, we begin to enjoy more light than darkness from now through the fall equinox.

As the daylight portion of your days lengthens, I hope the weather is warming where you are and that flowers and trees are budding out. Sunshine, flowers and spring green everywhere is a great tonic after a very gray winter.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Monarchs on the Move

While the fall monarch butterfly migration seems to be more concentrated through my location than the spring one, it is time for us to be on the lookout in North Texas for the butterflies are on the move. Sightings of monarchs laying eggs on milkweed in Austin have already been reported. Report your sightings too.

You can help sustain monarchs on their journey north by planting milkweed and nectar sources for them. There are many good native nectar sources as well as
flowering shrubs, annuals and perennials found more commonly in the nursery trade.

I have also seen well traveled monarchs on several flowers not included in any of these lists such as sunflowers and hyacinth vine bean flowers as seen in this post. I suggest trying to fit in some of the plants in the lists but if you can't, put out colorful nectar producing flowering plants and hope to see a fluttering patch of orange land on your flowers to refuel on its journey.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Mansfield Arts Week Includes Work by C Stein

Arts Week in Mansfield coincides with spring break. This ten day event (Thursday, March 7 - Sunday, March 17) combines arts from every spectrum. I posted last week about one facet of Arts Week that I am participating in, an artist reception from 6-7 pm, Friday, March 8 at the Mansfield Public Library for artists whose work is currently hanging in the library. This week I wanted to share a few more opportunities for you to find me and my work in Mansfield as part of Arts Week. I have five of my photographic art
pieces hanging inside Calibration Chiropractic, one of the businesses who have offered artists space to show their work as part of Arts Week. I will be there at specific times Monday - Wednesday, March 11 -13.

Monday, March 11 is Kids Day. A potter will be doing pottery wheel demos from 10am - 2pm that day at the clinic my artwork is hung in. Many other events are happening for Kids Day throughout the city. I will also be at the clinic for both days of the Historic Downtown Mansfield Arts Walk, Tuesday the 12th from 1-4pm and Wednesday the 13th from 5-8pm.

There are plenty of additional activities and events going on during the rest of Mansfield Arts Week. My art is scheduled to continue to hang at Calibration Chiropractic throughout the month of March.