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Monday, March 30, 2009

Topsy-Turvy!

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Some feline critter must have been trying to EMulate some other kitties! Topsy-Turvy needs more practice by the looks of things, though ;)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Where has the week gone?

I walked to work 4 out of the 5 days ~ still between 19 and 20 minutes each way. I have chosen different routes to walk, but on Friday as I was cutting through a trail, I passed a 'gentleman' in his bathrobe walking his two dogs. He probably is used to nipping out to do this without running into anyone...although I had my camera, I didn't think it would be quite polite to snap his photo! It was a funny and unexpected sight though! :)

The weather was a bit brighter during the week, but still not very warm. I hardly took any photos until this weekend when I spotted a sure sign of spring in my garden. (I had to quickly change my template because the purple text with the violets melded into the blue background.)

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On Saturday, my son and I worked in the house and garage, managing to do some more spring cleaning. On Saturday night, there was really a gale blowing, and we were wondering if the power was going to go out. However it did its job by blowing the clouds away, and today was glorious. I spent most of the morning outside tidying up and spreading some sea soil around. Many birds were twittering in the trees, but I raked up lots of nest-making debris that seems to have been passed by.

In the afternoon, I decided to go for a drive as I haven't been far from home all week. Here are some photos of my afternoon in a slide show format. The ones of the crows aren't very close for the most part, but they were diving about making a heck of a racket ~ protecting nests no doubt.




How was your weekend?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

First Blog Birthday

First of all I'd like to give a big thanks to Flighty for helping me celebrate my first blog birthday, and also to thank him for the reference to Frog Ponderings and all that has evolved from Frog Newton and the gang. What fun we've had! Who knows what is to come?!

I decided to look back through my photos to find a special one for my first blog birthday. I found a photo of the sweetest cat I have ever personally known! He came to live with us when his human family had to move to a place where no pets were allowed. Lots of combing and brushing! He had a lovely nature. Here he is out on the back steps looking purrfectly content!

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Thanks again Flighty for your special friendship and for introducing me to many wonderful blog friends!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Mish Mash Monday

Well, it was back to work today after having 13 days off ~ and a busy day it was. It took me 19.07 minutes (thanks Liv, for noticing that seconds was too bionic for me!) to walk there in 2 degree weather this morning. It was even colder walking home with wind and icy rain.

I am going to post a mish mash of recent photos ~

Meet the frog ensemble, huddled together to keep warm, wondering when spring will arrive:

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Hopping to another photo ~

A heart rock I brought home from the beach on one of the two nice days during Spring Break:

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The red-breasted nuthatches have moved in to nest in the bird house at the bottom of the garden:

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A squirrel that was running around the park yesterday:

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And there you go ~ Mish Mash Monday!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Down to the wire!

On Thursday, when Flighty wished everyone a good weekend, I gasped. Weekend! It was only Thursday and I wasn’t going to let the last four days of Spring Break dwindle away to nothing! Armed with a pair of rubber gloves and a determined attitude, I threw open the garage door crying, “Attack!”

FYI Although the garage does house my car, my car doesn’t have an awful lot of room to stretch, if it had a mind to. There are my tools, lawn mower, a freezer, Christmas decorations, paint cans, trunks filled with my children’s toys and books, etc. Also, two of my sons who have moved away from home have left things or returned, bringing more things for “safe keeping”…Things do accumulate!

Thursday and Friday were spent flattening cardboard boxes for the recycle bin, and filling bags of ‘stuff’. I filled my car with these items and, between rain showers, made two trips taking them to the appropriate recycling and transfer station spots.

That brought me to Saturday ~ Once more I filled my car ~ this time with two storage containers of CD’s, guitar books, a homemade guitar, a reel to reel tape recorder, an old record player, a set of dishes, a pair of flippers, two pairs of ski boots, and topped it all off with a snowboard... I looked like I was ready for anything! This car load was destined to be driven to Son #2 who now has his own house about a 40 minute drive from here.

Hmmm, I thought ~ if I’m driving south anyway, after unloading, I might as well continue for another 1 ½ hours to see Son #3 and watch his hockey game that he mentions he plays each Saturday night. That of course, means staying overnight ~ and why not since I have been literally cooped up for the whole rotten weather week… so in the small space left in my vehicle, I put in an overnight bag, camera, laptop and sleeping bag. And I’m off.

Son #2 thanks me for bringing his belongings, unloads the car and shows me his garden work ~ he has pruned his fruit trees and planted a couple of plum trees and a walnut tree. He has added kelp, cardboard, and sawdust to some planting beds, and he has some pallets to make shelves in his greenhouse. No sign of Bentley (the large cat), but Penelope seems to enjoy leaping up into the branches and following my son wherever he goes. Penelope is the other cat, by the way.

The weather is brightening and I arrive at my destination approximately 6:30 p.m. and visit some friends I haven’t seen for some time. They invite me to stay overnight, which saves me from driving any further distance. We chinwag until 10:00 p.m. and then off I go to see the 10:30 p.m. game! Their front door will be left unlocked until my return. At the arena, I sit with my son’s girlfriend and remember when my son was just a little hockey player! Although he’s kept up with ball hockey, this is the first year he’s played ice hockey (non contact league) since he was a youngster.










By the time the game is finished (the Grey Team wins, Yay), it is midnight. My son decides he needs nourishment and we all head to a café for ‘breakfast’. I finally arrive back at my friends at 2:00 a.m. and, feeling like a teenager, quietly enter the house, lock the door, and climb into bed!

It’s now Sunday ~ today! My friends and I share breakfast, I thank them for being so thoughtful, and then I’m off to pick up my son and his girlfriend for some time in the park and then out to lunch before I head home.

At the park petting zoo, a goat seems to be reminding me it’s the last day of Spring Break, and he's not 'kidding'…baah baah

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The day is slightly overcast, but not bad. The daffodils are still blooming, the wallflowers are not yet out, but some of the trees have blossomed.

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I arrive home at 6 p.m. Still 12 hours until the alarm goes off!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Monday, March 16, 2009

Not again!

After two lovely spring days, winter returned with a vengeance ~ wind, sleet and snow flurries with zero degree temperatures! Luckily during the warmer days I worked out in the garden tidying up and even finding the first touch of yellow tucked in the mossy grass! That's right ~ my first dandelion of the season!
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On Sunday I visited a gardening centre and picked up a few plants to brighten up the window boxes, however yesterday they and I stayed indoors looking out at the cold, windy, snowy weather:



One of the plants I bought was a hellebore after seeing them on Louise's site. There's something about their muted colours that appeal to me ~ an old world look, I think.

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Now here's my thought process as I looked out at the weather and pondered on Nikki's gorgeous blooming flowers in her garden ~ I wondered how far away her roses were. It turns out the distance is about 1300 miles south. My mind thinks ~ "I wonder how that compares to the length of Britain?" which leads me to google again. The next thing I find is a fascinating journal which I downloaded (free) of a couple who walked from Land's End to John O'Groats (1120 miles) ~ and that is how I spent the rest of my snowy day ~ reading their journal!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Nature Barks and Basks

Yesterday was cold, bright and sunny, which was an opportunity for some clean-up and then a drive out to see what nature was up to.

First, I returned to the same location where I photographed the eagles. There were many flying over the ocean and among the trees. Here's one shot:

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Out in the water, the sea lions were having a herring feast and their barking echoed across the blue, however they looked like small brown specks , so no good footage. Farther on along the coast, I spotted some shapes on a mooring, so I pulled in ~

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and what about this elephant trunk ~

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Another bright, crisp and clear day today. It was -3 overnight, and up to 8 today, with forecast of rain/snow showers for the next two days.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Blue and white!

Yesterday was absolutely unreal! It was cold but bright and clear, so I decided to drive out to see the herring boats and all that comes with them.

When I went to the place “where the river meets the sea”, there seemed to be wall to wall seagulls! I’ve never seen so many birds in one place in my life ~ and being the only human there, I felt I had entered a whole new world of wings! The colours of the sea were beautiful ~ various shades of blue ~ from turquoise to bright blue. A cacophony of excitement! I didn’t know where to point my camera first. As I said it was cold with quite a sea breeze, so I put up my hood, which I also thought would provide protection with all the wings (and other parts) flying overhead!


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Eagles were flying in the distance, and I did manage to follow one for awhile.



I decided to drive on. As I drove along the coast, I spotted the herring boats and turned off the road.

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I walked down a steep hill and I could hear the call of the eagles. It was amazing! There were many flying in and out of the trees and across the water. I wish I had had a stronger lens. Here are some photos:

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I think he heard me trying to impersonate an eagle whistle…gulp.

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We turned our clocks one hour ahead on Saturday night, so when I was getting up for work this morning, all I could see was pitch black out of my bedroom window. As the light began to dawn (in more ways than one!), I looked outside and couldn’t believe my eyes! Winter had returned once again ~ having snowed overnight. Some places, just south of here, had a 4 inch covering!


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The day became sunnier, and once again, the snow bid farewell! It is still cold though. One more day of work before my Spring (Winter?) Break ~ woohoo! My new passport arrived today! Hmmmm….Oh, right…spring cleaning the garage…blech

Sunday, March 8, 2009

...for the birds

A little catch up from last week:

I did beat the 20 minute walk to work one day, barely...

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I've neglected photos of the mountain recently because I don't drive that way to work anymore, but caught it in the sunshine last week :

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A glimpse of a pastel evening on Friday ~

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Yesterday was for the birds ~ the weather was temperamental ~

When hail started to ping, I saw wings diving for the underbrush:



Snow followed, with the sundeck looking like this ~

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After an hour, the sun shone, the snow melted, and the birds came out of hiding:

In the front garden, the dark-eyed junco was busy at the bird feeder, when he was joined by a friend:

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In between beak-fulls, they must have had a discussion about swapping sides:

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Meanwhile, on the grass, Robin made an appearance:

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Oh, Robin says, taking my picture? Just a minute until I get the right pose:

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Hmmmm...not quite what I'm after. There now - they don't call me Robin Redbreast for nothing...

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Now, let me be ~ I feel a worm coming on!

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Meanwhile at the back bird feeder, a Varied Thrush was contemplating.

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In fact, he contemplated so long, he was still there after I had run upstairs to get my camera.

Now what was he thinking about?
Oh, I see ~ trying to figure out how to approach the bird feeder...

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After a long time, he decided to make his move...

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and up he went ... steady now

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And so it continued... up and down





Once he got the hang of it, he looked right at me as if to say, "Did you get all that?"

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Soon a Red-Breasted Nuthatch arrived ~ followed by others on the suet feeder. These are the first nuthatches I've noticed this year. Nuthatches nested in the birdhouse at the end of he yard last year. I think the Varied Thrush below may be the female, as the necklace band is not quite as dark as the other one. She seemed to have no trouble hopping from the window box onto the bird feeder. Having the nuthatch and thrush in the same photo shows the comparison in size.

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Nuthatches are also know as "upside-down birds", often hanging upside down or going down trees head first ~

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Here are the two Varied Thrush and a Dark-eyed Junco.

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Quite a day...for the birds :)