Saturday, 13 April 2013

Catching up

I seem to have inadvertently gone absent around here of late. So it's long over due that I had a catch up with you all. Today I've been doing some catching up of a different kind. Finishing the March and April HipBee block.

First up Rachel sent me a piece of butterscotch Kona in the week so I could finally get her March block finished.

March Block - Puss in the Corner
Opps I taped it to the wall on the wonk. But you get the idea.

I've stopped trimming blocks before I send off as I've found from my months as queen bee that you do tend to get an assortment of different sized blocks.  I figure by not trimming down I give the queen as much wiggle room as possible with the other blocks she receives.  The above block is called Puss in the Corner. I'd not come across this block before but having done flying geese the month before for Di it's not difficult at all.

For April Karen requested the Whirlygig block.  Most people in the group seemed to complete this block before my fabric had even arrived. I soon found out earlier why. It's so simple. At least I'm hoping that it was. I find if I'm given too many instructions for some things I tend to find them more not less confusing. So once I had the sizes from Karen I just looked at pictures to complete the block.  Of course I may now post a picture and you all might tell me where I've gone wrong. Then I will not be feeling so smug at all.

April Block - The Whirlygigg
I didn't even need to reach for my seam ripper once!

I actually had a day off of work this week (and not because I was ill!). Chief managed to get down on Wednesday night. His back was very bad.  So at one stage I had planned to go into work after all so not to waste a day's leave. But when it came to it, we hardly see each other, so I decided to have my day off after all. We went out to breakfast which was quite a luxury and then Chief set up his new portable hide in the garden.

The new portable hide

I wasn't allowed to take any pictures identifying him in the hide in case people that know him see him in it! For lunch we had a BQQ. Ok it wasn't that warm and it was a bit drizzly - years in the army mean he's not bothered by a bit of rain. I on the other hand viewed most of the cooking from the window. 

German foods for lunch

BBQ Time!
The lesser spotted Chief.

After lunch we headed off for our first trip of the year to Otmoor. We only went as far as the feeding station.  Chief was really REALLY struggling with his back. In fact at one point I thought we were not going to make it back to the car.  I got some of my best bird pictures at Otmoor on this trip. I'm not sure why. Maybe the birds were just more photogenic that day?!

Marsh or Willow Tit
This is a Marsh or  a Willow Tit - they're very hard to tell apart. 
We're inclined to think this is a Willow Tit.

Male Pheasant
This male pheasant was quite a poser. 

At one point I left Chief sat on a bench while I went for a little wander. I didn't go that far or for very long but when I came back, using the same pathway as I'd walked moments before, I happened to look down and see a grass snake in front of me. I can only assume the muggy warmth of the afternoon had brought it out of hibernation. I'm not sure which one of us was more shocked. I was particularly shocked as it was literally only a couple of feet from me and decided to rear up at me like a cobra would.  It then decided to head for cover so the photos I got were not great. With a 300mm lens on my camera at the time I was actually too close to get it all in shot. 

Grass Snake

Grass Snake

If you want to see more wild life pics from our trip to Otmoor I've put them in this set on flickr.  I hope you're all having a great weekend so far. 


  1. A good week for you! And lovely blocks!

  2. You are brilliant with catching up on the bee blocks. You are now ahead of me! Glad that Wednesday was a good day. Di x

  3. Well of COURSE you couldn't take a photo of him in the hide, then it wouldn't be a hide, would it? ;o)

    Glad you got your blocks sorted, I need to tackle my Brit Bee ones this week

  4. When I first saw the photo of the hide I thought it was a pram complete with matching (and peculiar!) rain cover but don't tell Chief I said that ;o) I hope his back gets better soon!

    P.S. Love your bee blocks!

  5. Hey jan!! It' could be lesser spotted chef! Hope u enjoyed it BBQ! Love ur blocks.. I've both set to do this evening and tomorrow!

  6. Great pics of the birds..... I'd have run in the other direction from the snake rather than take a photo of it!!! And your block for Rachel is fab. Must crack on with this month's bee block x

  7. So pleased the pair of you managed to get out and about :) your blocks look great and your bird pics are fab!

  8. I thought of you last Sunday when we went to Pulborough Brooks - you two would love it xxx

  9. I sent my block to Rachel two weeks ago and she still hasnt received it-hope its not lost. Hope chiefs back is better

  10. Excellent photos Jan, thanks for sharing.

  11. Great blocks J! And lovely wildlife!Jxo

  12. Weird, I had the comment box up last night on my computer and must have got distracted by my children or something. You win for first bbq of the season! Glad you got to see Chief but hope his back is okay now.

  13. Lovely birdie pics and love the idea of breakfast out - seems so indulgent and I love doing it...brunch too!

  14. Your photos are beautiful. Hope Chief's back is doing much better.


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