All photos, poetry, posts, all content is protected by copyright and may not be used unless otherwise indicated in my post, for example a free pattern or craft directions. All rights reserved by Author © Kerrie O'Hearn Marquart 2009 - 2018

Friday, December 31, 2010

The Swans get assertive...

Yesterday afternoon the swans came for their little hand out and the male was in a bad mood.  He started pecking at his spouse and pulling her neck feathers and all of a sudden they were in a flurry of Swan Wings loudly flapping!  Shame on him!! Disturbing our peace like that!  But he had been limping recently and maybe was just out of sorts as he chased her out to the front yard and then they both returned like nothing had happened--hmmm!

And later, we were treated to a beautiful sunset with baby pinks and blues in the sky...

The swans were back today and making us laugh as the male kept dunking his head in the little decorative pond when there was a whole lake behind him-ha!

Happy New Year to you all and please visit our Two Happy Blog for a review of this year that has sped by us!


My heart to yours....

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Hooded Mergansers and Geese

The Canadian Geese are starting to return and we took pictures of this one at the largest lake in the entrance of our community today.  He thought we were going to feed him so he was most cooperative in getting close enough for good pictures!

The group that I am saying are Mergansers are questionable as I could not positively identify them!  They had no visible color or hoods and seem to have only black and white feathers.  My bird books did not have any photos that looked just like these.  They were very skiddish and were on the move the whole time we photographed them on the far side of the lake.  Unlike the Mergansers in our little lake behind the house where they dive and play and are not afraid at all.

The last pictures are of a dear little Chickadee in the feeder when the snow was flying and I took the photos through the den window.

The snow did not accumulate on the ground at all but it sure did flurry for a while on Sunday!  My roses refuse to give up and the brave little buds are still hanging on-ha!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and are looking forward to a blessed New Year.  Thanks for visiting and come back soon.
My heart to yours...

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Hubby read in the Birds and Blooms Magazine to tie a peanut on the end of a pole and "fish" for squirrels.  So he took a bamboo rod, tied twine and a peanut on it and this is what happened.
 He hung the pole out of the window and sure enough, our resident squirrel come a runnin'!
 He lifted right up on the pole just like in the article and slipped off the first try.

Then success!  This time he got it-ha!  He was so much fun to watch.
A few days ago when it was gloomy and raining, the pair that live in our backyard decided to get out of the weather and BOTH got in the birdhouse that they have chewed the opening to fit in!
They are just too funny!
Hope you enjoyed today's squirrel adventure!

Hugs and love,

Monday, December 20, 2010


This morning when I raised the shades in the den/computer room, I was greeted by the couple.
The male mute swan always approaches first and then the female timidly follows.  The males are very dominant and even bite the female on the side of her head and neck to keep her away from the food.

Mute Swans were brought to America from Europe and escaped from the New York area starting wild swan population.  They feed on aquatic plants and insects.  In winter, they like wheat bread that we throw to them.

They build nests near water in heavy growth or sheltered areas that are as much as 3-4 feet wide.  They can have up to a dozen young (cygnets) hatch in the depression at the top.

Mute Swans are not really mute and make hissing or grunting sounds.  I have had them hiss at me and also make a low growl.  They also posture to warn intruders away by puffing up their body and wings to appear more menacing.  Believe me this works!  Their babies also peep. 

Although they are very accustomed to us as they have been coming back for the 5 years we have lived in this lake filled community, they are never really friendly.  They will accept a hand out but do not blink twice about nipping you and their strong bills could mutilate a finger in no time.  So we respect them and keep a safe distance. 

The female is more timid but only to her mate.  He is very dominant even while eating and she does not come first.     Mallards on the other hand are very considerate of their spouse and will sometimes not eat at all but just keep watch of his mate while she feeds.  This is especially true when they have young.  The Canadian Geese are the same.  The male is ever vigilant and his mate comes first.

  The Swan male however, is always ahead of the female in the water and he can cause a good size wake when he is menacing any creature in his territory.
The couple usually are discolored on their head and neck from eating vegetation but this morning they were both extra white and beautiful.

All of their movements are a study in grace whatever they are doing.  It is so wonderful just to watch and observe.

Their feet are huge, at least the span of my hand from little finger to thumb which is 6 inches.  While graceful in the water, they lumber along on land under their great weight.

The male has been limping for a few days and we are hoping he does not have an infection in his left leg. 
   Swans, Egrets and Great Blue Heron are at the mercy of fish hooks and other debris.  They can swallow a fish hook that has been lost in thick acquatic growth or it can get caught on their bill.  Fish hooks can also get caught in their legs and they will sometimes die from infection from these wounds.

The female is so beautiful and you can tell by her more gentle manner how different she is than the male.  But she also is a fierce combatant when threatened.

  Swans are wild creatures and while beautiful and we tend to want to get closer andfeed them, always be very careful.  A standing swan is easily 4 feet high or more.  In my case, a stretched swan neck could reach my eyes!   As with any animal, respect them and you will not be injured.  If a male swan is making gutteral noises, he is really not wanting you near, so high tail it out of there! Ha!  When they hiss, this sounds like a cat spitting and you will know not to get near if they are doing this, also.
     The Mute Swans are magnificent creatures and I hope you learned something about their behavior today.  We never get tired of seeing their beautiful feathers and how they can glide on the water with wings billowed in a heart shape.  We have also observed courting rituals which are beautiful.  They wrap necks and make little cooing sounds to one another.  They actually hug with their necks.  The only down side is when they have their clutch in the spring, as soon as the young are able to fend for themselves but still fuzzy and gray, the Park rounds the young up and relocates them to prevent an over population.  This saddens me when they are separated!  They do the same with the Canadian Geese, also as they are so numerous and their droppings are everywhere and they are in the middle of the roads all the time.  But with all the lakes, it was a natural nesting site for all of these species and man is the invader.  The Birds just do what comes naturally after raising generations in the area.
   Please come back soon, we love sharing our backyard wild life with you and leave a comment as they make our day!  Thanks!
My heart to yours...

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Today was rainy, all day long!  And a wonderful day for crafting and being nostalgic!  I finally got to make my wreath below.  For details and how-to go to
And the little Wrens came to the feeders not only to eat but to get out of the rain!  One male and female couple just sat in this feeder on the shed while it poured.  It tickled me so to watch them.

and Isabella the Ragdoll just loved being lazy all day, falling asleep using her toy puppy as a pillow-ha!

And I thought I should show my beautiful china Bunny in her Christmas Red Bow.

So actually, it was a pleasant, quiet rainy day.  I did some more cleaning, finished the wreath, made baked chicken and rice for supper and met a new young friend of our daughters tonight who trains Raptors.  There was no lull in the conversation with all of us loving birds!

Thank you for visiting and do visit our other blogs.  The links are in the sidebar.  We love your comments so please leave a few.
My heart to yours....

Monday, December 13, 2010


GOOD MORNING!  I am featuring our home made wooden Santa's today, enjoy!  Many of these were made long ago.
This is our floor Santa.  I designed him many years ago and my hubby cut out the form for me out of clear pine.  He made a stand for him and then I painted him.  My son-in-law Mark has always loved him and so we surprised him with one last Christmas.  He stands about 2 feet tall.

This is our moon Santa and we have been making him for a very long time.  We have given many as gifts through the years.

The one on the left is an original pattern made in the eighties.  And the one on the right is an Intarsia Santa made from a pattern by hubby.

The one on the right is a shelf version of the standing Santa with a different face.  The one on the left is one made from a pattern.  Hubby does all the cutting out and we both paint.

The sleeping shelf Santa was from a pattern with a face I created and the Raggedy Ann is our own pattern.

I really love this one and it is one featured in our yet to be published craft book as a pattern.
Hubby is a fisherman and I just had to create an Intarsia Santa.  I fashioned the vest after a real one our oldest daughter gave hubby for Christmas one year.

These are other figures we made many years ago.  I made the Gnomes from looking at the Gnome book which I love-ha!  And the jolly old man was made with a likeness to a paper doll Christmas card.

This is another one that I really love!
He is our own creation and also featured in our pattern book.  He is also an Intarsia pattern, which means that all the parts are cut out like a mosaic, glued back together and painted.  His face is my signature Santa.  I have been drawing Santa since I was a child.

And last but not least, this is an over the door or window Santa.  He was a pattern in my hubby's woodworking book but the face I created is my own.  I really like him a lot, too.  He is over our window in the den. 
Thanks for coming and I hope you enjoyed our Santa's made from wood!  Please visit our other blogs with the links in the sidebar.

Leave a comment, we love them!
My heart to yours...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Pink Saturday

A vintage pink striped glass ball ornament

Granddaughter's Prom Wrist Corsage

The Pink Glow of a Sunset in our Back yard

A Pink Rose I drew on Pink Paper

A Pink Ornament Dress I recently saw.  I would
love to make one of these!

And last but not least, my young friend, Adriana's Pink Violin.....

Friday, December 10, 2010


After a frosty but sunny day, we were treated to a lovely, lovely sunset!  The sun sets almost North now and I ran outside the minute the sky turned red so that I could catch the color before it faded and was gone.  I adore sunsets! 

I got the gifts wrapped today, balanced the check book and posted on my Christian blog, a good day I would say-ha! 
Have a wonderful weekend and do come back soon! 
My heart to yours...