Thursday, March 21, 2013

Spring visitors

My newest daughter-in-law is a master photographer when it comes to birds. She carries a huge camera that I would hardly be able to aim, and picks tiny little birds in flight.

Yesterday I filled my window cafe and thought if I sat very still, I might be able to catch a photo on one of the visiting tits. They are always watching and waiting so there were plenty of visits ... but... This is the least blurred picture through my window. Grab and fly does not take long!

The Brown-eared Bulbuls also have an eye on my garden wall. I can hear them calling before I even get back through the door after setting out fruit or juice.

These guys were able to drink a full glass of orange juice down to half from dawn to noon.

I started setting out juice about ten years ago after seeing a photo of a Japanese White-eye drinking from a wine glass. I use a heavier glass because the juice also attracts larger birds, Starlings, and Azure-winged magpies. My neighbor might not appreciate smashed glass on his side of the wall.

I have heard that some buildings forbid the dwellers to feed wild birds. I'm not sure why, but maybe they don't want bird poop on the railings?  Our family has always enjoyed whatever nature we can lure to our windows.

When we moved back to Nerima, the neighbor was concerned that our air conditioner would attract the feral cats that lurk in everyone's gardens and the park around the corner.

Whether it was for good or bad, our AC has been broken for the last 5 years so no cat warming its toes there.

Then, about a year and a half ago, the neighbor's gas water heater began to give off noise and fumes and even sometimes smoke. Since our house is only about a meter away, and fire is a scary reality where houses are so close side-by-side, I advised the neighbor to have the gas company check it out.

Finally, last Fall it was replaced and we are no longer aware every time they take a shower or run their bath.

The local feline population is no longer missing their former hot spot. The new heater has a nice flat surface ... unlike the slanted top of its predecessor, and it is a great perch for viewing the bird feeder or taking a nap after a long night of yowling.

And not all of nature is on the outside of the window.

This tiny baby "tokkei" is sitting in the genkan window.
The glass is louvered on the outside so the screen is inside. He looks rather skinny but it won't be long before the mosquitoes will be rushing in each time the door is opened.

Now, just so you don't think I am sitting around contemplating nature, I dug out a nice piece of indigo-dyer shibori cotton.
This will be the base for my next follower block.

And while I was at it, I grabbed some more of those blue scraps to make a tiny runner for my trash bin top.

When we bought our refrigerator  we were living in a house with a nice big roomy kitchen. We got one with a door that opened on the right, because the counter spaces were all on the right.

Our kitchen here has a wall and cupboard on the right. In fact, one drawer can't open because the fridge is blocking it. Also, our big kitchen had room under the sink for two waste cans.

There is so little room to put anything in this kitchen (even people) so I was happy to find a small stacking trash bin. Even more happy because this one has two bins, one above the other and it is dog-proof. It is also convenient to set things on while opening the fridge. Here is where I set my coffee while taking out the milk, or my plate while getting the jam.

I found a little mat that had been used on the telephone stand or some other place in former homes.  The fit was not right but better than nothing but it was needing a replacement.

This will match the table runner and was all assembled in one train ride to choir and back. (Well, there were plenty of little pieces cut and marked and it didn't take a mathematical genius to figure out 11 x 7 inches worth of scraps).

So, here it sits, just above the "burnables".

And here is the former little mat ... running off for a much needed washing.

I have killed enough time nature-watching and sewing binding. Time to get back to the business at hand!


  1. there are far worse ways to spend your time than doing some hand sewing while watching the wonderful nature you have around you xx I get very few birds in my garden because my neibour has 5 cats x my mum and dad have lots of feeders and birds ... so I get to go and see them there ... none as brightly coloured as your visitors though x enjoy x

  2. Julie
    I love your little mat in the blues, so cheery. Thank you for the great photos.

  3. I love your little mats in the blues. So pretty!
    We used to put a bird feeder on our picture window. It was great to see all the birds coming to the window to feed. When it was empty, they would actually peck on the window to let us know! We had to take it down because the squirrels were wrecking our house to get to it. Sad day - I loved watching the birds so close up.

  4. My cat would be happy if I attracted the birds around here with feeders or drinks of orange juice! Sorry, but I would feel it was a trap, so no offering from me.
    You are so quick and have, in a jiffy, replaced the charming fish with another beautiful Blue and White mat.

  5. Such patience. Last week our neighbour's aircon (also 1m from our bedroom window) started rattling. Took 1 night of being awakened to realise something was up. 2nd night realised what it was. Heard neighbour go out for a fag at 5am so wandered round the back of the house and told her to switch off the noise.Next night - fixed aircon! Wish I could likewise tell 'em to stop smoking as it seeps all around and into our house. But somehow that doesnt seem acceptable...

  6. You have created more blue and white beauty! It's lovely and has a practical purpose which makes it even better.

  7. I enjoyed seeing your photos and the bird in a cup is a keeper.
    Love that white cat, and we seem to attract cats too, they like sitting on my back porch.


  8. What a wonderful peek into your life, to say nothing of your kitchen! I wonder whether any of our birds would appreciate orange juice? People here think that feeding the birds attracts rats but as we are never supposed to be further than a few feet from a rat at any given time I don't suppose it makes a lot of difference! The birds give such pleasure and the rats are God's creatures too! I adore that shibori fabric and am very excited to see what you will do with it for my block - I'm assuming :-)

  9. I love your photos today - especially the cats, the lizard and the mats.

  10. Well, I guess, I'm glad the feral kitties have found a little comfort.
    Your kitchen and mine! Really, sometimes I wonder how I manage to cook anything in the little space we have!

  11. It seems that cats are attracted to your air conditioner. Haha! Those pictures were really cute! The white cat looks mighty sitting there. It's as if he's so proud to be on top of your AC unit. :D