Birding along the Truckee River ~ Cottonwood Park ~ Sparks, Nevada

A few sights from my walk along the Truckee River bike path near Cottonwood Park in Sparks, Nevada on Saturday, January 3rd, 2015.

Bewick's Wren, Sparks Nevada, 3 January 2015

Bewick’s Wren, Sparks Nevada, 3 January 2015

Bewick's Wren, Sparks Nevada, 3 January 2015

Bewick’s Wren, Sparks Nevada, 3 January 2015

Goldfinch eating sycamore fruit/seed, Sparks Nevada, 3 January 2015

Goldfinch eating sycamore fruit/seed, Sparks Nevada, 3 January 2015

Goldfinch eating sycamore fruit/seed, Sparks Nevada, 3 January 2015

Goldfinch eating sycamore fruit/seed, Sparks Nevada, 3 January 2015

Goldfinch eating sycamore fruit/seed, Sparks Nevada, 3 January 2015

Goldfinch eating sycamore fruit/seed, Sparks Nevada, 3 January 2015

A tiny female Bufflehead on the Truckee River, Cottonwood Park, Sparks, Nevada 3 January 2015

A tiny female Bufflehead on the Truckee River, Cottonwood Park, Sparks, Nevada 3 January 2015

A tiny female Bufflehead on the Truckee River, Cottonwood Park, Sparks, Nevada 3 January 2015

A tiny female Bufflehead on the Truckee River, Cottonwood Park, Sparks, Nevada 3 January 2015

ice formations on along the shore.

ice formations on along the shore.

ice forming along the edges of the river.

ice forming along the edges of the river.

These Great Blue Herons were in UNR’s Main Station Fields along McCarran, between Rock and Mill.

Male Great Blue Heron in the fields along McCarran Blvd (UNR's agriculture farm)

Male Great Blue Heron in the Main Station Field along McCarran Blvd (UNR’s agriculture farm)

Female Great Blue Heron in the fields along McCarran Blvd (UNR's agriculture farm)

Female Great Blue Heron in the Main Station Field along McCarran Blvd (UNR’s agriculture farm)

Wordless Wednesday ~ Last Night’s Moon

Panasonic Lumix FZ150

Panasonic Lumix FZ150


2014-11-04 17.18.39
11/04/2014 Sparks, NV around 5:10 pm PST.

11/04/2014 Sparks, NV around 5:10 pm PST.


11/04/2014 Sparks, NV around 5:10 pm PST.

11/04/2014 Sparks, NV around 5:10 pm PST.

A Wednesday Round-up ~ It’s been a while!

Wow…it’s been quite a while since I last blogged. Pop some corn, grab a beer. 🙂

Quilting & Sewing:

Since I brought my new Brother sewing machine home, I’ve putzed around with it. I’m still learning what it can and can not do, but all in all am getting the hang of it.

1930's HST baby quilt.

1930’s HST baby quilt.

Patch quilt top in the making using Nordika.  I have 1/4 of it sewn together now.

Patch quilt top in the making using Nordika. I have 1/4 of it sewn together now.

I’ve made up a few of these cute totes, modifying a free pattern.

Totes with pencil/crayon slots.

Totes with pencil/crayon slots.

Had one crafting day with friends…another one coming up. We’re gearing up for a November craft fair.

Day of crafting with friends.

Day of crafting with friends.

Canning:

Made up another batch of mustard! Loving the smell and taste of this one! I used Stone Smoke Porter, yellow & brown mustard seed, apple cider vinegar, ground mustard, salt, pepper, allspice, nutmeg. I adapted two recipes I found (Homemade Beer and English Mustard)…it made up 10 4-oz jars. I plan on making a Cranberry Mustard too.

Spicy Beer Mustard

Spicy Beer Mustard

I was given a bag full of clipped lavender from my MIL’s garden earlier and dried it. Part of it is now in a big old canning jar of local Nevada honey with my own dried rosemary. I’ll be putting this into 4-oz canning jars in about two weeks after it’s been strained.

Lavender Rosemary Honey.

Lavender Rosemary Honey.

Ghost Hunting:

My sister has quite a few ghost hunting equipment and she booked the Miner’s Shack up in Gold Hill (just south of Virginia City on the Comstock). My niece, Hannah, and her friend Maddie, my sister and I all spent an afternoon in VC and the night in Gold Hill. That was fun! Definitely want to go up with them when they do the Washoe Club in VC.

Miner's Shack, Gold Hill, NV

Miner’s Shack, Gold Hill, NV

miners1

Yellow Jacket Mill

Yellow Jacket Mill

Fourth Ward School, Virginia City, Nevada

Fourth Ward School, Virginia City, Nevada

Fourth Ward School, Virginia City, Nevada

Fourth Ward School, Virginia City, Nevada

Bottle Tree.

Bottle Tree.

I know my niece, Hannah, took a bunch of photographs, but I never see them…hint, hint…if you’re reading this, Ms. Hannah.

Hannah.

Hannah.

Mackay Mansion grounds.

Mackay Mansion grounds.

Carnelian Bay, Lake Tahoe:

Took a Monday off so we could spend Sunday night up at Tahoe. Spent Sunday at one of the free public beaches and Monday morning we tried kayaking (waterman’s landing). So…I’m saving my money up for a sit-in kayak now. 🙂

Carnelian Bay from the Gar Woods pier.

Carnelian Bay from the Gar Woods pier.

Kayaking on Lake Tahoe.

Kayaking on Lake Tahoe.

Mergansers.

Mergansers.

Truckee Trestle Tour:

We finally made it up to Truckee, CA for the Hobart Estates Trestle Tour! They’ll be having another one in October if you’re local! We toured the lumber railroads and mills.

Remains of a flat car near Hobart Mills.

Remains of a flat car near Hobart Mills.

Railroad maintenance shop, Hobart Mills.

Railroad maintenance shop, Hobart Mills.

Lumber railroad trestle remains.

Lumber railroad trestle remains.

More trestle remains.

More trestle remains.

Baseball Bingo:

How to have fun when your minor league team, the Reno Aces (Arizona Diamondbacks), is losing. Sorry guys for wishing one of you got beaned by the pitcher! 🙂

Baseball bingo!

Baseball bingo!

Miscellaneous:

God-Awful Rim Fire smoke from Yosemite...Reno/Sparks, we can't breathe.

God-Awful Rim Fire smoke from Yosemite…Reno/Sparks, we can’t breathe.

Scheaffer's Balance Blue fountain pen my husband found for me.

Sheaffer’s Balance Blue fountain pen my husband found for me.

Sunrise with a little bit of Rim fire smoke in air.

Sunrise with a little bit of Rim fire smoke in air.

Balcony Container Gardening ~ Sparks, Nevada

My garden space this year has diminished quite drastically…I have to utilize my balcony. Luckily it’s positioned for optimum sunshine!

I decided to limit myself to herbs, tomatoes, leafy greens, and probably a chile pepper of some sort. We have pretty good farmers markets around the Reno/Sparks area so I’ll supplement my kitchen herbs with the local farmer’s goodies.

I got these nifty containers, from Lowes, that sit on top of the balcony rails…the rest of the containers are made up of old flower pots I’ve found and some of my enameled cooking pots.

cont2

So far I have planted chives, sweet basil, Greek oregano, Italian flat-leafed parsley (hate the curly stuff), lemon thyme, rosemary, orange mint, two different lavenders, summer savory, cilantro, red Russian Kale, German chamomile, and arugula.

Still need dill, either a jalapeño, serrano or New Mexican green chile, I’m thinking two heirloom tomatoes, garlic…and some radish seeds.

cont1

cont3

cont4

cont5

cont6

Wordless Wednesday ~ 15 May 2013

Sparks Marina

Sparks Marina

Yellow-headed Blackbird

Yellow-headed Blackbird

Iris

Iris

Lucy and Leo

Lucy and Leo

The McCarran Ranch Preserve ~ Nature Conservancy in Nevada with slideshow

Last Saturday we drove a few miles east of Reno/Sparks to the Patrick Exit on 80 to the trailhead of the McCarran Ranch Preserve. I saw online that the trail was now open to the public!

The McCarran Ranch was homesteaded in 1862 and encompassed approximately 2600 acres in the Truckee River canyon east of Sparks. Many, many years ago the Corp of Engineers straightened the river out…luckily for us, The Nature Conservancy has been rectifying that. In 2002 they created wetlands and riffles and started revegetation and invasive weed control on 20 acres. In 2006 they added another 100 acres. Last year they opened up a stretch of the river to the public between Lockwood and 102 Ranch (USA Parkway Exit).

A third of the way through our walk we came upon a bunch of people working on a wetlands project near the river…planting willows and grading the slopes. Met Martin, Volunteer Coordinator for the Nature Conversancy in Nevada, he said the volunteers were from Truckee Meadows Community College’s Natural Resources class. After crossing a bridge to the north side of the river we met up with Martin again at the Ranch House’s amphitheater where he fed us lunch, gave us extra water and lots of information on the project! They couldn’t have picked a better person for that job! Thanks, Martin!

We continued east on the north side of the river where we crossed the train trestle where I prayed I wouldn’t end up like a flatten penny on the tracks…but the fishermen where doing it, so I ran across the plank way. I’d probably loop back the way I came the next time I’m there…which will be as soon as the trees start leafing…and in the fall when they start to change colors. 🙂

Birds spotted on our walk besides the sparrows and finches were Kingfisher, Bald Eagle, swallows.

I took lots of pictures so I put them into a slideshow. Hopefully it plays for you…and with the music too (which, if you hear it, is The Roan Inish Theme from the movie Secret of Roan Inish).

LINK TO SLIDESHOW ~ ncn_mccarran

Holiday Craft Fair ~ Sparks Christian Fellowship ~ November 3rd, 2012

Hey all local folks!

I’ll be sharing a booth with two of my friends this Saturday, November 3rd at Sparks Christian Fellowship’s Holiday Craft Fair.

FREE ADMISSION! Last Sunday we were told there will be over 75 vendors.

9 am to 4 pm.

510 Greenbrae Drive (for all us “oldies” it’s in the old $1 Movie Theatre)
Between Pyramid and 4th Street.

I’ll be having 4 different cold processed soaps; about 6 quilts; lots of leather wrapped bracelets; hammered copper bookmarks; earrings and pendants; made some of my photographs into notecards…my friends have made lots of jewelry (silver, copper, swarovski Christmas trees and snowmen).

We’ll take your hard earned cash and credit cards! 🙂