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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

An Unexpected Visitor

We had an unexpected visitor in our yard yesterday.  I was standing at the kitchen sink when all of a sudden all of the songbirds who were in the lilac bush,waiting for their turn at the feeder, took off as one.  They were flying into the windows, the doors, streaking away as if their lives depended on it ... and then I saw the shadow from overhead ... as it turns out, their lives WERE depending upon their getting away as quickly as they could!

It was a sharp-shinned hawk.  I've never, ever seen one this close.   I raced for my camera and started snapping pictures as quick as I could through the window, so sorry for the picture quality but I was afraid he'd fly away if I opened the door to go outside.

He sat on the rock wall for the longest time and I was so interested to see that he wasn't just looking overhead for his 'lunch' but also spent a lot of time looking down on the ground, into the dried and dead perennials from last year.  Hoping, I guess, that one of the little birds had dove for cover rather than flying away.  He then flew into the lilac bush and sat right overtop of the feeder!

Just so you can get a sense of his size, the feeder is about 10" or 11" in height.  He was so beautiful, despite his deadly intent.

Just look at those eyes!  My bird books say that he is of the genus Accipiter, a group of small to medium sized hawks that prey on songbirds and the occasional small rodent.  They all have short rounded wings and long tails to help them maneuver quickly while chasing their quarry in amongst the trees.  They are often seen around feeders in the winter according to the books but this is the first one that I have ever seen at ours and I am sure that our songbirds are hoping that it is the last!

So when I've not been racing for cameras and taking pictures of hawks, I've been working on some new items and have one that I'd like your opinions on.  It is a little sheep door hanger, here's a picture.

Initially I was going to paint the word 'Spring' directly onto his side but then thought I'd print it out onto a piece of muslin and then pin it in place with some rusty safety pins instead.  And then I had the brilliant idea (or at least, I thought it was brilliant!) of making an assortment of muslin banners with different words and phrases on them so they could be changed as the mood took you.  Here's another banner so you can see what I mean:

I've got several different words and phrases that can be interchanged made up so far: Spring, Simplify, Welcome, Wool For Sale, Primitive and Sheep.  They are all in different fonts but all of the banners are about the same size so you can just change them up as you'd like.

My question is:  would you be interested in buying a door hanger or wall decoration that you could change with the seasons (or with your mood) or do you prefer changing your seasonal decorations with a different piece entirely?  Would you get tired of looking at the same sheep day after day despite him having a different phrase pinned to him?  And here is the kicker, would you be willing to pay a little bit more for a piece that you had the option of changing up?  If you have a minute, leave me some feedback to let me know your thoughts, I'd appreciate the input!

Hope that you all have a wonderful Easter weekend with family and friends.  We are having the most glorious weather here right now; sunshine and it is so lovely and warm for this time of year.  My apologies to those of you in the East who are not having such a great Spring, I'm not trying to rub it in, really!  I am well aware that the other shoe could drop here at any moment and we could get a lot more snow and cold, so I am enjoying the moment :O)  Enjoy your week wherever you may be and thanks for visiting!



  1. You captured great pictures...never heard of this bird.
    Blessings to Spring

  2. Deb, your photo captures of the sharp-skinned hawk were great and I’m hoping the best for your songbirds. I did see one up close and personal after he got his prey. All natures creatures have beauty. About your door hanger project, I love anything you can change with the seasons or as the mood strikes you. Brilliant!!

    Sending my best Easter Sunday greetings to you and yours.

  3. What a real treat to see such a bird up close and personal, and while it is hard to accept that they are predator to our lovely song birds, their only motive in life is to survive just as nature intended... as for the little sheep, it is so cute... I love the idea of the option of changing, however, for myself personally, I know I would not change it because I am usually too busy to bother and I don't decorate for the seasons... but it is a unique idea... either idea is great, but if you went with only one saying, then perhaps offering the choice of which saying they would like, rather than pinning your choice on! Cheers~

  4. Don't you just love birds! I have several feeders around my house just so I can watch the birds. I am so lucky to have them year around.

    On the door hanger. I decorate by seasons and probably wouldn't keep the same sheep up, but would switch to other items. :)

    Thanks for sharing the hawk with us. :)

  5. We occasionally see a hawk here too, but nothing like that one. Vey handsome.

    I have a wooden sign that reads "Horses Boarded" on one side and "Christmas Trees For Sale" on the other (I made it). It is kinda neat to have a double (or more) duty decoration. Saves on storage!!

    Thanks for the blog visit too; Spring has stalled a bit since I posted those outdoor pics. Will pick up again this weekend we are told We'll see!

  6. I have never heard of that bird. Thanks so much for sharing. I love your door hanger and think it would sell well.


  7. What an unusual bird. Great photo. Birds are not easily photographed. 'Love the sheep door hanger. The idea of interchangeable words is nice also :)

  8. Awesome pics! Love seeing the hawk up close and hope that the song birds were able to evade him.Sweet sheep hanger.Hugs,Jen

  9. What a great photo of the hawk. We have LOTS of birds in our feeders right now...hope the hawks stay away. I like changing everything up for the seasons but I think you have a good idea for the sheep! Happy Spring!


Due to an inordinate number of SPAM comments lately I have had to turn on comment moderation. Your comment will be published as soon as it has been reviewed, thanks so much for your interest in my blog! Deb xo