Sunday, November 26, 2023

Blue Bee

 Did you know there are blue bees? Some are navy blue or a brilliant royal blue. Although he is considered a blue bee, depending on the angle of the light, this particular guy tends to look greenish. He is iridescent, like a glass bead with a "blue iris" finish. Sometimes his fuzzy hind legs look violet. Mr Blue Bee has taken up residence in a decorative bird house. He carefully created a smaller opening and squeezed himself inside, then closed up the opening to seal himself in, away from predators. Each morning he nibbles out the opening just enough to go searching for pollen. The cycle continues each day. Yes, bees are busy, no matter what color they might be.

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Fallen Ginkgo Leaves

 Most of the neighborhood ginkgos have now turned from green to bright, clear yellow. Backlit by the sun, the host of fluttering fans look like pure gold.  As much as I love the story that ginkgos lose all their leaves in one day, this is not entirely true. It CAN  happen, especially if there is an overnight cold snap. The stems of deciduous trees develop "scars" that encourage leaves to detach from the tree. Ginkgos are more decisive about this, which is why they often drop all their leaves in a short time, as opposed to a red maple releasing leaves over the course of a week or more. The fans here on the sidewalk will soon be joined by their friends who still cling to the branches.

Sunday, November 12, 2023

View From the Big Round Window

 Many thousands of people converged upon the George R Brown Convention Center last week for the annual Houston International Quilt Festival. Last Sunday, less than an hour before the show ended, I trekked upstairs for one last look through the big round window that looks down on the quilts. All week, those aisles had been as jammed as rush hour traffic in a big city. Now the last attendees had the luxury of unobstructed views of their favorite quilts. It made me a little sad to know that the magical, inspiring displays would disappear within hours. But I'll be back next year.

Sunday, November 5, 2023

Lots and Lots Of Stitches

 My friend Christen Brown is a master of the first degree when it comes to wielding an embroidery needle. She has written many books sharing her embroidered and embellished fiber art. This week, during one of my free afternoons at the Houston Quilt Festival. I helped Christen to get her table ready for incoming students. We unrolled and unfolded her many sets of stitch samples, all carefully labeled with the name of each stitch. Such a multitude of stitches in so many beautiful colors! The tableau illustrated a world of creative possibilities, requiring only a needle and thread