Archives For Animals

Black Necked Stilt

June 30, 2016

The black-necked stilt is a locally abundant shorebird of American wetlands and coastlines. It is found from the coastal areas of California through much of the interior western United States and along the Gulf of Mexico as far east as Florida, then south through Central America and the Caribbean to northwest Brazil southwest Peru, east Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands. The northernmost populations, particularly those from inland, are migratory, wintering from the extreme south of the United States to southern Mexico, rarely as far south as Costa Rica; on the Baja California peninsula it is only found regularly in winter.

Adults have long pink legs and a long thin black bill. They are white below and have black wings and backs. The tail is white with some grey banding. A continuous area of black extends from the back along the hindneck to the head. There, it forms a cap covering the entire head from the top to just below eye-level, with the exception of the areas surrounding the bill and a small white spot above the eye. Males have a greenish gloss to the back and wings, particularly in the breeding season. This is less pronounced or absent in females, which have a brown tinge to these areas instead. Otherwise, the males and females look alike.

Downy young are light olive brown with lengthwise rows of black speckles (larger on the back) on the upperparts – essentially where adults are black – and dull white elsewhere, with some dark barring on the flanks.

Data Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black-necked_stilt

 

Image Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Black-necked_Stilt_RWD4.jpg

Image Source: http://nathistoc.bio.uci.edu/birds/charadriiformes/Himantopus%20mexicanus/index.htm

Image Source: https://www.utahbirds.org/birdsofutah/BirdsA-C/BlackNeckedStilt6.htm

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Butterfly ‘Anouk’ Lavender (also knows as Spanish or French lavender), is a hardy, drought tolerant, deer resistant shrub with highly aromatic flowers and foliage.  It has a long blooming season from late spring to late summer and forms bushy mounds that can reach 18″ tall by 24″ wide.  This showy lavender does best is full sun with well-drained soil, either in pots or in the ground.  Mass plantings create a spectacular show and will be a magnet for butterflies.

Image Source:  https://www.gardenia.net/rendition.slider_detail/uploads/plant/1431363979-b80dd4dbf1d64cc7a/7163720_m.jpg

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Image Source:  https://static.99roots.com/uploads/images/Lavandula-stoechas-Alexandra_4913_1280_1280.jpg

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The Torch Lily, also called Red Hot Poker plants, are drought tolerant perennials (hardy through zone 4) that are easy to grow.  These South African natives produce showy flowered spikes form spring through fall and are vibrant in summer heat, just when many other plants are fading.  Plant in full sun in well drained soil.  Feed with a general purpose fertilizer when planted, and once per month thereafter.  Once established they will need little care.  Depending on the variety, they will grow from two to five feet high.  A wonderful bonus – hummingbirds love them!

 

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Add this show stopper to your garden for years of sensational summer shows!

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The Warbler

February 19, 2016

There are a number of perching birds called warblers. They are not necessarily closely related to one another, but share some characteristics, such as being fairly small, vocal, and insectivorous

They are mostly brownish or dull greenish in color. They tend to be more easily heard than seen. Identification can be difficult and may be made on the basis of song alone.

Green Warbler – Image and Data Source: : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warbler

 

Yellow Rumped Warbler – Image Source: http://birdnote.org/show/yellow-rumped-warbler-winter-warbler

Cerulean Warbler – Image Source: www.birdwatchersdigest.com

Blackburnian Warbler – Source: http://www.larkwire.com/library/bird-sounds/1629/Blackburnian-Warbler-songs-and-calls

 

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Eurasian Blue Tit Bird

February 16, 2016

The Eurasian blue tit bird is a resident (non-migratory) bird found through Europe and western Asia.  They usually nest in tree holes, although they adapt well to nest boxes where necessary. Easily identifiable by their yellow and blue plumage, these are common and popular European garden birds due to their perky acrobatic performances when feeding on nuts or suet. They will swing beneath the holder, calling “tee, tee, tee” or a scolding “churr”.

Eurasian_Blue_Tit_Bird

Image Source:  http://www.markhancoxbirdphotography.co.uk/pages/galleries/tits-and-garden-birds.php?gall_id=62&fsindex=52

The Eurasian blue tit prefers insects and spiders for its diet. Outside the breeding season, they also eat seeds and other vegetable-based foods. The birds are famed for their skill, as they can cling to the outermost branches and hang upside down when looking for food.

Image Source: Source:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurasian_blue_tit#/media/File:Eurasian_blue_tit_Lancashire.jpg

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Creme De La Creme Phlox

February 8, 2016

Creme De La Creme Phlox has it all – lovely cream and pink 5-6″ flower heads, an intoxicating fragrance, and a long blooming season that starts in early summer.  This elegant, hardy hybrid will provide you with beautiful bouquets all summer.

Image Source: http://cdn.brecks.com/images/500/05851.jpg

Image Source: http://www.chudo-clumba.ru/data/Floksy/Phlox_Creme_de_la_Creme_NEW.jpg

Find Creme De La Creme for sale HERE;  http://www.dutchbulbs.com/product/Creme_de_la_Creme__Hardy_Tall_Phlox__/Sun-Perennials-Plants

and HERE: http://www.brecks.com/product/Phlox_Creme_de_la_Creme/Garden_Sun_Perennial_Plants

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“Such a nice scene and so well framed. Very good quality. I’ll be keeping an eye out for my next purchase.” ~Charlene W.

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Encouraging Women to Propose on Leap Day: How did it start?

The legend goes that St. Bridget of Ireland was frustrated that all the non-nun ladies in 5th century Ireland had to sit around waiting for proposals that might never come. She complained about it to St. Patrick who, probably impressed by Bridget’s ability to turn her used bathwater into beer, finally proclaimed that women could have the chance to propose themselves once every four years on the leap day. This became known as “The Ladies’ Privilege.”

Data Source: http://mentalfloss.com/article/30102/ladies-privilege-encouraging-women-propose-leap-day

Leap_Year

Images Sourced: http://hubpages.com/holidays/Doomsday-Leap-Year-and-Sadie-Hawkins-Day#

Image Source: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/88/1c/bb/881cbb8932043fd37a71094c57c75e49.jpg

 

Who’s done it?

A handful of famous women have proposed to their husbands, although sadly none that we can find on a leap day.

In 1839 Queen Victoria proposed to Albert, a situation necessitated by the fact that she held a much higher rank than him. Victoria recorded in her diary,

“At about half past 12 I sent for Albert; he came to the [room] where I was alone, and after a few minutes I said to him, that I thought he must be aware of why I wished [him] to come here, and that it would make me too happy if he would consent to what I wished (to marry me); we embraced each other over and over again, and he was so kind, so affectionate…I told him I was quite unworthy of him and kissed his dear hand.”

Zsa Zsa Gabor has claimed that she proposed to all of her nine husbands. The first proposal was when she was only 15 years old, to her 35-year-old boyfriend, a Turkish official named Burhan Asaf Belge. It was Gabor’s parents who provided the ring, sporting a ten carat diamond, for their daughter.

More recently, celebrities such as Halle Berry, Jennifer Hudson, Heather Mills, and the singer Pink have admitted to proposing to their husbands (or ex-husbands).

Broken_China_Jewelry

 

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Greenfinch (or Green Linnet)

September 6, 2015

The Greenfinch (or Green Linnet) is a large stocky finch with a distinctly forked tail.  Male Greenfinches are a dull olive-green, with greenish-yellow on the breast and rump, together with bright yellow wing flashes. Adult males also have bright yellow carpal joint (the alula feathers) and yellow to the edge of the tail. Females and immatures are duller in appearance than the adult males, with less yellow visible in the plumage. Juveniles are paler in colour and have streaked plumage. The size of the Greenfinch (similar to a House Sparrow) makes it easy to separate from the much smaller Siskin. Greenfinch is common garden bird, often occurring in large flocks.

Image Source: http://www.wildbirdseeds.co.uk/lincs/index.php/whats-that-bird-mainmenu-7/13-greenfinch

Its diet consists of seeds, buds and berries.They will visit bird tables for seed, but are increasingly happy to perch on hanging feeders containing peanuts or black sunflower seeds, where they often remain for several minutes and sometimes up to half an hour or more. If a feeder contains a seed mix, they will often throw all the other seeds on to the floor so as to get the black sunflower seeds. Greenfinches tend to nest in rather loose colonies, with evergreen shrubs providing perfect sites for the placement of their nest, built with twigs, moss and grass, and lined with roots and hair.
keeping-greenfinches-Broken-China-Jewelry-Vintage-Belle

 

Image Source: http://www.pets4homes.co.uk/pet-advice/keeping-greenfinches.html

They are commonly found in woods and hedges, but mostly found close to man on farmland and in parks, town and village gardens and orchards. Only absent from upland areas without trees and bushes.

Broken-China-Jewelry-Carolina-Blue-Jay-Bluejay-Sterling-Silver-Pendant

Vintage Belle Jewelry has been making broken china jewelry since 1994.  Our passion is to help our customers find a piece of broken china that brings back a fond memory or to make new ones with their families.  Thanks to all of our customers and fans who have helped support Vintage Belle broken china jewelry become a success over the years!

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Great Horned Owl

August 21, 2015

The Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) is an adaptable bird with a vast range. It is sometimes called the Tiger Owl, Hoot Owls, Cat Owls or Winged Tigers. It was first seen in the Virginia colonies and it got its species name “virginianus” from the Latinised form of the colonies’ name. This owl is the heaviest extant owl in Central and South America and the second heaviest owl in North America.

The Great Horned Owl is easily recognized by its earlike tufts, intimidating yellow-eyed stare and deep hooting voice. It is the owl depicted in the storybooks and is one of the most common birds in America equally at home in the deserts, wetlands, forests, grassland cities, backyards and almost any other semi-open habitat between the Arctic and the tropics.

Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_horned_owl

The female Great Horned Owl is slightly bigger than the male, an average adult weighs about 1.4 kg, has a length of 22 in with a wingspan of 49 in. There is a considerable colour variation of the owl’s plumage between subspecies but the body shape remains the same. They are heavy built, with barrel shaped bodies that has broad rounded wings and large heads. The facial discs are rusty brown to ochre-buff, paler around the eyes with a prominent blackish rim on each side and there is a white patch on the throat. The iris is yellow except in the amber-eyed South American Great Horned Owl. The upperparts are mottled brown and the underparts are light brown. The feet and talons are slightly feathered and are large and powerful. The overall color tone of the Great Horned Owl varies regionally from sooty to pale. They are also natural predators to preys heavier than themselves like the skunks and porcupines.

Great Horned Owls have adapted to many different places and climates. You can find this widespread owl in woods, particularly young woods interspersed with fields or other open areas. Its breeding habitat extends from subarctic North America throughout most of North and Central America then going down to South America.

Bubo virginianus -Canada-6.jpg

Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_horned_owl

The Great Horned Owl is nocturnal and activity begins at dusk but in some region may be seen in late afternoon. Both sexes may be very aggressive towards intruders when nesting. They hunt by perching on poles watching for prey. From their high perch they would dive down to the grown with folded wings before snatching up their prey. The prey almost always dies immediately when grasped by its large and powerful talons. Common preys of the Great Horned Owl are medium-sized mammals such as rabbits and hares, moderately sized rodents such as squirrels, mice, rats and voles.

Breeding season is in January and February when the male and female hoot to each other. Unlike other birds they do not build their own nest instead they utilised nest from other birds like the crow, hawk or heron. They sometimes use the nests of squirrel’s nests, abandoned buildings or artificial platform. Two to four eggs are laid which are incubated by the female for 26 to 35 days. For 6 to 7 weeks the young would start roaming the nest and other branches, they don’t get to fly well till they are 9 to 10 weeks old.

A Great Horned Owl in captivity is known to live up to 29 to 38 years and wild owls can live up to 13 years. Most deaths are related to man through shooting, traps and road kill. Their only natural enemy is the Northern Goshawks over nest disputes. The Great Horned Owl is not considered a globally threatened species by the IUCN.

Broken-China-Jewelry-Great-Horned-Owl-Pendant

Broken-China-Jewelry-Night-Owl-Birds-of-Prey-Pendant

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The Great Egret

August 20, 2015

The Great Egret also known as the common egret, large egret is a large, widely distributed egret. This  S-necked white bird is found throughout the Americas and around much of the world. In North America it is more widely distributed, and it is ubiquitous across the Sun Belt of the United States and in the Neotropics. Great Egrets are tall, long-legged wading birds with long, S-curved necks and long, dagger-like bills. In flight, the long neck is tucked in and the legs extend far beyond the tip of the short tail. All feathers on a Great Egret are white while their bills are yellowish orange and their legs are black.

Great egrets are found near water, salt or fresh, and feed in wetlands, streams, ponds, tidal flats, and other areas. They snare prey by walking slowly or standing still for long periods, waiting for an animal to come within range of their long necks and blade-like bills. The deathblow is delivered with a quick thrust of the sharp bill, and the prey is swallowed whole.

The-Great-Egret

Common food staple is fish but they use the same technique  to eat amphibians, reptiles, mice, and other small animals. You’ll find Great Egrets in both freshwater and saltwater habitats. These birds nest in trees, near water and gather in groups called colonies, which may include other heron or egret species. They are monogamous, and both parents incubate their three to four eggs. Young egrets are aggressive towards one another in the nest, and stronger siblings often kill their weaker kin so that not all survive to fledge in two to three weeks.

The Great Egret’s beautiful breeding feathers where in huge demand for hat decorations during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The Great Egret made a comeback after early conservationists put a stop to the slaughter and protected its colonies; as a result, this bird became the symbol of the National Audubon Society.

Image Source: https://fsuornithology.wordpress.com/2011/12/09/great_egret/

Image Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikebaird/501821581

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