The Indigo Bunting has not been seen since last week. The woodthrush has stopped singing, but we have Veeries, which sound almost as cool
Doug and I were driving to dinner last night when we both saw the weird bird sitting on the edge of the road (or the edge of the woods). We exclaimed, in unison, "What the hell is that?" somewhat startling Sarah in the backseat. It was a little black bird with with a RED breast, not an orange breast, a little smaller than a sparrow. We got a good look at it. It reminded me a lot of a Vermilion Flycather, a little of an English Robin, and nothing like anything I know of around here. I have found a couple of birds that resemble it greatly. In the Texas and Mexico part of the guide books. Though this was the closest match, and looked pretty good, it is almost certainly not a Slate- Throated Redstart, becuse they have only been recorded seven times in the US, and not in NH. I have seen Painted Redstarts in the West myself, which I suppose it might have been, only neither Doug nor I saw any white on it, and anyway, a Painted Redstart is only marginally more likely. If only I had a pair of these camera binoculars (http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/product/standard-item.jhtml?_requestid=32192) (and an functioning Apple keyboard, so I could paste it into a hotlink)... I probably would have missed the shot anyway. I may go hang out along that stretch of road again.
Other than that, I have been in Sharon Costello (http://blacksheepdesigns.com/) 's class at the Fiber Studio, making a Garden Vest out of needle-pre-felted merino batting (she warns most woolen quilt batts are from meat sheep and don't felt, alas), with needle felted-on designs and then wet-felted to size and shape and perhaps eventually lined. I think two persons actually made gardens; one did a very controlled and lovely flowers-in-a-vase hanging, Doug made something very bright and Tibetan-inspired, one made a very successful Van Gogh field, with crows flying away, and one was copying a page from a Guatemalan artist named Claudia Tremblay, whom I wish were findable in Google. I had too many ideas and was not at my most acute, either. I ended up working on a kind of composite of Randolph, NH, from last summer, which Doug recognized instantly (give him a biscuit).
I should not have enlisted in a class on the first day of my period. By around 2 I was regretting the whole thing. It was hot, I was murderous and discouraged, and Sharon (who is a nice person and a good teacher EVEN THOUGH she has a whole different color sense and style from mine) kept wanting me to add in colors that were not in my mental picture. Purple. I do wish she had had a wider palette of colors. Or at least a wider selection that looked more like mine. Doug got me drugs. No one was hurt.
Today was better. Ibuprofen, more air-conditioning, and getting past the hairiest part of the design phase all helped. There is no doubt that Merino felts more easily than Romney. My sky is probably always going to be a little wispier than Sharon's standard (very hard, smooth, tough felt) because I added turquoise from my stash at home, almost none of which is Merino. My moose looks slightly more like Joe Camel than I had intended, but as it is in a pine forest, most people will probably see it as a moose. A picture will appear as soon as I stop being too tired to find the camera.
I still want to a do a felted vernal pond scene for Sarah (or me, maybe she won't like it...) and a Lonely Mountain with flaming Smaug flying over it and maybe a saguaro desert or even a garden, with a little bridge and some herons and a bunch of iris... but the pre-felted merino is $30 a 96" yard and fortunately hard to find. I still have a quilt to finish and a garden to plant and it is supposed to be cooler tomorrow. I sure hope so.