Happy Sunday. It's my turn to host our Paper Player's challenge this week featuring Sandy's fabulous choice of Clean and Simple with a theme of Feathered Friends. This challenge is so perfect for me that I cannot believe I didn't think of it! However, I get to have the fun of hosting for Sandy while she is taking a well earned break.
There were SO many sets I could have used for this challenge, but I decided to create a card for a friend at work who has been very supportive over the last few difficult months. I thought the set - and this particular sentiment - were perfect.
I began by inking up the "grass" and the "sky" so that I had something to ground the chicks. I then stamped and colored the chicks and fussy cut them. I then mounted them with foam squares and added the sentiment. Quick - and easy.
Here's my card:
As always, we hope you play along with us this week and, if you are looking for some wonderful inspiration, you just have to check out the cards from our design team!
On a personal note:
the weather was glorious today. In the 80s with low humidity. I was sitting in the screened in porch this evening just watching the birds and animals go about their business in the wetland and woodland. it was wonderful. A brief shower came through and brought a cooling breeze. It truly was so relaxing and peaceful.
However, it wasn't quite so peaceful for a couple of seconds yesterday! I was crafting in my room and suddenly there was an almighty thump. Really, really loud. I immediately called up to Lou to make sure he was OK and check on the cats. It was only when we looked outside that we saw what the reason for the noise was.
For the 5 years that we have owned our house, this majestic Cottonwood stump has reigned over the wetland.
He was tagged for removal when we were building the house and we told the builder that they were NOT to remove him. The woodpeckers absolutely loved him and he had some cool fungi growing on him. Everyday we have looked out from the windows and seen him in all weathers and all lights.
Sadly, the woodpeckers and the elements finally caused him to fall. He's pretty rotten all the way through, so there isn't much we can do with him, but we will be trying to preserve the areas where the dinner plate sized fungi are growing.
We will also be planting a tree where he once stood to fill the gap that has now been left. I'd like to try and plant another Cottonwood, but am doubtful that we would even find one that would survive. The Cottonwoods have been a stable of wetland areas in Minnesota, providing homes for eagles and shade for other trees, but are becoming more and more rare and many are not surviving through the early years of maturity that they need. This Cottonwood was dead when we built the house, but has provided food and homes to many species of birds in the years that we have been here and he was majestic to the end.
The good thing is that we have plenty of other snags (albeit it much smaller), so the woodpeckers still have places to forage for larvae and other food. Saving dying and dead trees is essential for the birds. I know they look messy, but they are a part of the cycle of life and so many species are dependent on them for survival. Consequently, we have bucked the trend in the area and have kept ours instead of having them removed.
Here's a photo of one of our returning Woodpeckers. We had never had the Sapsuckers in the garden until the migration south last year. Two Yellowbellied Sapsuckers stayed with us for about a month before moving south. They had a passion for our Hackberry tree and spent many hours drilling little holes all around the tree to get the sap.
We were thrilled to see one of them return this year and he is a regular visitor to the jelly and oranges. It was pretty tough getting a good shot of him - but here's the link where you can read all about him - and listen to his amazing call - on the allaboutbirds site
I'll be back tomorrow with another card. In the meantime, warm hugs and prayers for those of you who need a little lift tonight.