The Belted Kingfisher

The Belted Kingfisher

We have been lucky to spot the belted kingfisher in a tree across the road from the house for a couple of days – both the male and female.

the male belted kingfisher at craftygardener.ca

This one is the male belted kingfisher. My husband spotted them first. I think he has eagle eyes as he always spots birds that are quite a ways away.

the male belted kingfisher at craftygardener.ca

Are you looking at me? The male has a white chest.

the male belted kingfisher at craftygardener.ca

Depending on the way the kingfisher was looking gave his feathers a different appearance. The shaggy crest looked either smooth or ruffled.

the male belted kingfisher at craftygardener.ca

He was quite co-operative in looking in different directions for a variety of photos. This one shows his straight, thick and pointed beak. They hunt fish so this beak would be good for capturing them.

the female belted kingfisher at craftygardener.ca

The female belted kingfisher has a band of rusty brown/red on her chest.

the female belted kingfisher at craftygardener.ca

Kingfishers are smallish birds, and the female has more colour than the male. It is usually the other way around.

the female belted kingfisher at craftygardener.ca

I noticed on the Ontario bird group I’m on that lots of people are spotting these birds as they return to their breeding summer residence.

the female belted kingfisher at craftygardener.ca

What a joy to see this bird so close to home. It appears in this tree about the same time each morning and evening.

male and female belted kingfisher at craftygardener.ca

And finally after a few days of trying I captured a photo of both of them in the same tree.

male and female kingfishers at craftygrdener.ca

We’ll be watching for more photo opportunities.

spruceline2a
lens friends at craftygardener.ca

I’m sharing with Wild Bird Wednesday,  I’d Rather B Birdin’ and Saturday’s Critters.

This is April

This is April

April has been a mixture of rain, wind and cold days. There was just the odd day that gave you the feeling that spring weather was there, but it only lasted a few hours. Just a tease!

daffodils at craftygardener.ca

The garden continues to grow despite the weather. The daffodils are blooming but the crocus have finished now. The promise of tulips is beginning to show.

trilliums at craftygardener.ca

One plant I have been diligently looking for is the trillium. Last year this clump got moved from the shady north facing garden to the new back tree garden. And I finally found them poking through the ground and saying I was glad the transplant had worked. You just never know.

spring growth at craftygardener.ca

Showing lots of growth are the poppies, daylilies and iris. Already I can see areas to thin out.

lovage at craftygardener.ca

The tall shoots of the lovage look very promising for this tall plant that covers in an old chain link fence. This plant grows very quickly and will soon be up to the top of the composter that it is beside. Those composters are on the list to be moved this year.

Egyptian Walking Onions at craftygardener.ca

The Egyptian walking onions are one of the first plants to show when the snow fades away. They are a very hardy plant and so much fun to watch grow. Every year I save a lot of the little topset onions to take to various Seedy Saturdays. If you haven’t grown them you really need to find a source for the little bulbs and you will be fascinated to watch them grow.

spring growth at craftygardener.ca

Peonies, bleeding hearts, and Lady’s mantle are popping through in shades of greens and reds.

Other plants spotted are coral bells, sorrel, hostas, and even the clematis are showing some little green shoots. Check out my gardener side plant list to see how these plants grow.

April in the garden at craftygardener.ca
view of the garden on April 20, 2020

I try to get outside as much as possible, even though the weather doesn’t seem to want me too. I hope that everyone is enjoying some outside time during this time of self isolation during the covid19 crisis. Remember that there are better days to come … as the garden is showing us.

the gardener side at craftygardener.ca

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day is a place to share what is blooming in your garden.

Nature Notes is a place to share all things nature.

My Corner of the World shares photographs from around the world.

Bottle Cap Flower

Bottle Cap Flower

I’ve been making bottle cap flowers. In my craft stash I had a lot of old caps from years ago. I had enough to make three flowers, one a bit smaller than the others. Now I’m on the hunt for more bottle caps. Problem is there just aren’t as many products that have those old fashioned caps anymore.

how to make bottle cap flowers at craftygardener.ca

You need a supply of bottle caps, pliers to squash the caps, and a lid to glue them onto. I use E6000 glue, but it doesn’t dry instantly like a glue gun, so you need to keep the items flat till totally dried. I have a can opener that takes the lid off and doesn’t leave a sharp edge on either the lid or the can. It was well worth the money. The lids can be used for all sorts of crafts.

how to make bottle cap flowers at craftygardener.ca

Put the bottle cap into the pliers and with a gentle squeeze the cap will fold over. Don’t push too hard as you want the cap to be open a little bit.

how to make bottle cap flowers at craftygardener.ca

I used ten caps for around the outside of another cap. These are glued onto the lid. The third flower I made used a smaller lid and fewer caps.

how to make bottle cap flowers at craftygardener.ca

The next thing is how and where to display them. The fence garden is my first thought as that is where I put all the old tools.

my whimsical owl at craftygardener.ca

This photo was take in May 2019 and you can see the old rusty flower (made from a Quality Street tin) and my log owl, which uses tin can lids for the eyes. I’ll have to wait for the nicer weather to decide where to actually put it.

I found this great bottle cap flower idea at Crafts by Amanda.

the gardener side at craftygardener.ca

I’m sharing with:

Backyard Beauties

Backyard Beauties

I’m enjoying the beauty and enjoyment of being in Porta MyYarda with the feathered lens friends. Some are year round visitors and some are returning for the warmer seasons.

cedar waxwings in the garden on April 8, 2020 at craftygardener.ca

April 8, 2020 is the earliest we have spotted the cedar waxwings in the garden. They are summer and fall visitors.

April 202, white throated sparrow at craftygardener.ca

The white throated sparrows are returning birds for the summer and fall.

doves at craftygardener.ca

This dove, a year round resident, was sitting on the old table under the honeysuckle tree. It was a windy day and you can see how its feathers are getting ruffled. I use this table as part of my tea thyme display.

doves at craftygardener.ca

A pair of doves are enjoying the feeder by the honeysuckle vine.

goldfinches at craftygardener.ca

The goldfinches, who are year round residents, are getting their summer colours.

bluejay at craftygardener.ca

The bluejays feathers aren’t as white as they are in the summer. You can’t miss hearing this noisy year round visitor to the garden.

bird saying by Emily Dickinson

We have also been seeing and flocks of geese fly overhead. The heron has also been spotted as it flies to the wetland not far away. I’m keeping my eyes out for the turkey vultures that circle the farm fields, haven’t spotted them yet, but they will be around soon.

We are lucky having a big backyard that is overlooked by farm fields. You don’t have to go a long way to enjoy the beauty of nature.

lens friends at craftygardener.ca

I’m sharing with Wild Bird Wednesday,  I’d Rather B Birdin’ and Saturday’s Critters.

Have a look at more of our backyard beauties.

FYI – many used to reply to me via the email update you received, unfortunately that is one thing you can’t do with this new setup. You either need to use the contact form, leave a comment or actually use my email address. Sorry for the inconvenience. I will check into it to see if there is anything I can change.

Rainbows Give Hope

Rainbows Give Hope

Many people are putting rainbows of hope in their windows, to show we are all in this together. You can find many places for inspiration and patterns for rainbows.

I decided to paint a rainbow on a rock to display in my garden.

a rainbow over the garden

Rainbows are very often seen during or after a rain storm, especially if the sun has been shining. They represent the hope and good luck and motivate us to know that beauty and good come after something bad. It is an arc connecting parts of the world and you never know, perhaps the pot of gold is at the end of the rainbow.

a rainbow made with plastic canvas and lacing from craftygardener.ca
a rainbow made from plastic canvas and lacing when I was a Brownie leader, see more ideas for Brownies and Guides

During this time of social distancing we are discouraged from hiding and finding rocks, but I thought if it was placed in the garden, people walking by would see it and hopefully it will bring a smile to their face. I will probably paint some rainbows on smaller rocks to hide once this is all over.

painting a rainbow rock at craftygardener.ca

A rock of any size will do. The rock I chose is about 30 cm x 25 cm (12×10 inches). I lined up the 7 colours of the rainbow I was going to use, and then painted a strip the width of each colour onto the rock. Patience is required while it dries.

painting a rainbow rock at craftygardener.ca

When it is sealed and dry it will go out into the garden.

painting a rainbow rock at craftygardener.ca

I wish it hadn’t been quite so pointed for the last arc of colour. So I took the rock and flipped it over and started again, this time from the bottom up.

painting a rainbow rock at craftygardener.ca

It still needs some work once this layer is dried, but I’ll get it finished today and share another photo of it outside. The rainbow curve has been flattened. Are you flattening the curve?

painting a rainbow rock at craftygardener.ca

All finished and sealed and on display outside with the boots and bumbershoots.

The storm will be weathered, and a rainbow will appear overhead. Stay strong, stay safe.

Remember April distance, May existence.

More rock projects

Catch a smile, share a smile

catch a smile, share a smile at craftygardener.ca
the gardener side at craftygardener.ca

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It’s Growing

It’s Growing

The daily walks in the garden are discovering more and more plants growing.

peonies growing at craftygardener.ca

The peonies are poking through the ground, such a delight to see and the promise of gorgeous pink/white blooms in the weeks ahead.

rhubarb growing at craftygardener.ca

Look at the rhubarb making wonderful progress. From checking the photo archives it is about a couple of weeks ahead of time. The leaves are starting to form now and soon they will be growing with those long red shoots. If you check the link above you will see the photo in that post was taken April 20.

daylilies at craftygardener.ca

The orange daylilies or ditch lilies always grow with fury, multiplying and spreading like wildfire. It seems no matter how much I dig them and give them away or move them to other areas of the garden they come back much stronger.

herbs growing at craftygardener.ca

The feverfew and sage are showing their leaves. I can’t wait to get some annual herbs as well.

crocus in the garden April 2020 at craftygardener.ca

The purple crocus are starting to bloom while some of the yellow and white ones are finishing. These grow in a shady north facing garden.

the honeysuckle vine in April at craftygardener.ca

Small bunches of leaves are appearing on the honeysuckle vine.

daffodils in April at craftygardener.ca

It is lovely to see new growth and a promise of better days to come. These daffodils in the north facing shady garden will be blooming soon.

How is your garden doing at the beginning of April?

the gardener side at craftygardener.ca

Gardening is – growing food and flowers, a lifestyle, nurturing, exercise, learning, addictive, relaxing, therapy, hard work, and lots more

The Gardener Side … plants … seed info … veggies & herbs … bulbs, corms, tubers … the gardens  … garden whimsy … garden printables

I appreciate all the people that have decided to follow along with the new icons at the bottom of the page. I’d love to hear how it is working out for you. Just a quick comment will help me. Thank you very much.