Tuesday, April 10, 2012

We have a new feathered friend!

Last year we had a Robin's nest just outside our kitchen window. The whole family was excited to watch the tiny bright blue eggs hatch and see the chicks grow and eventually fledge.

Yesterday we found a new surprise:

9 eggs! A Mallard duck has taken up residence in our crumbling stone grill/fireplace and has built a rather cozy nest. We had actually planned to finally take the grill down this year, but obviously that will have to wait. :)

I'm really excited to see if Mama Duck is able to successfully hatch a brood of little ducklings. It's odd that she chose our backyard, because we aren't within visual distance of a natural water source. But then again, I'm not a duck, and she obviously picked our yard for a reason. She may still be in the laying stage; I'll keep an eye on the nest over the next few days to see if she lays more. She wasn't on the nest all day, which apparently isn't too unusual until she finishes laying and begins incubating. She finally settled in for the night at around 6:30 this evening. Her head just peeks out from the top of the fireplace and she blends in perfectly with the stone. Pretty smart actually...she is protected in the back of the fireplace and has a bit of a vantage point off the ground which hopefully will protect her and her ducklings. The large barking Rottweiler in the yard behind us doesnt seem to bother her too much. We will just have to establish some ground rules with our kids and the other neighborhood kids to be sure everyone stays away from the nest for a while.

The kids are excited too, and already we have been doing some research on Mallards and the nesting/hatching process. Watch this space for updates on the nest this spring! :)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Crochet Bunny Peeps!

I wanted to share one of my favorite Easter/Spring crochet projects. Crochet Bunny Peeps!

This pattern is not mine, but was shared by Ryan at Scarlett Design in 2010. I LOVE this pattern - so easy to follow and the project came together for me really fast! Swing by her blog and check out her great patterns and other goodies!

My favorite yarn for this project ended up being Simply Soft by Caron...it's easy to find, has lots of bright colors (you need bright colors for that Peeps look!) and is really soft. It also helps that I have quite a bit of it in my yarn stash so it was a great way to use up some of the yarn that was piling up. I also used other worsted weight yearns...really anything will work!

For the eyes I used the plastic safety eyes that you can find at any local craft store (I got mine at Joanns). Quick tip - put them in your project before you put in the stuffing and reduce your rounds so much you can't get your fingers inside to attach the back. Not that I know this from experience of course... *wink*

Anyway, go check out Ryan's blog, which also has links to her Etsy shop.

By the way, how is it possibly only 6 days till Easter? I have done NOTHING to prepare! Work has been too crazy, but I made it through the weekend in one (relatively unscathed) piece and am really looking forward to my day off tomorrow. How are your Easter/Spring plans going?