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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Catching up!

Earlier in the month, on the Saturday of our Thanksgiving weekend, we broke tradition, and headed over to a small island where my son has a cabin. It was a rainy trip across on the ferry, and then we trudged along the trails until we reached our destination. Nine of us gathered around the table for dinner. We had a great time! On the way home, it was still raining...and dark, which gave me an opportunity to take some photos as we headed back to the ferry dock. Here is a panorama of this dark and quite spooky scene just in time for Halloween:


Also, before I get on with some photos from today, I took a few sequential photos of a very tall tree as I looked up and up and up, and made a panorama from them. The resulting 'stitch' looked like the tree had been felled, however, I managed to stand it back up where it belonged and here it is:


The other day when I was out for a walk, I noticed this large fluffy fellow, who looked like he did not want to be disturbed by anyone at all! In fact, if you look at him for a few seconds, you'll see what I mean!

Today I decided to go for a walk to search for more cones. It was a bit damp, but I dressed for the weather and headed out around the neighbourhood. Here are some photos from my little jaunt:




Does anyone know the name of the mushrooms in the photo above?

I only found one more of the long cones; perhaps someone else is collecting them. Here is my fall basket of some of the gatherings (the opened cones are older ones) and the new large closed one is in the foreground of the photo and looks kind of grey-coloured). Uphilldowndale mentioned she'd like a basket of cones, and although it's not a huge basket full, I hope she likes how to send it far across the sea? ;) I guess a photo is the best I can do!


This afternoon while I was 'lounging' on the sofa with my laptop, I noticed the difference in the colouring of the trees out of the front window and back sliding door.


Today I also made some blueberry muffins, and worked on a little 'project' for tomorrow. Can you guess what I'm going to do with this?


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Splendiferous Coniferous

The small photo at the top is the view I see when I walk towards my postbox, and as I get closer I notice a tree changing into its autumn colours, and the large conifer dangling many splendiferous cones, each 15 cm long.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

When the Frost...

Sorry to have left you with barking sea lions in my previous post, but I've been otherwise occupied and didn't have a chance to shut them up until now ;)

First of all, Happy Birthday to Flighty ~ although it is still his birthday here, it is tomorrow where he lives! So this post is especially for Flighty, and includes a reference to his encounter with frost and his love of poetry.

Fun first ~


OK, party time is over ;)

Last week I visited a farm that was celebrating the Pumpkin harvest - before the frost.


The combination of seeing harvested pumpkins and Flighty's mention of frost descending on his allotment sent me to become reacquainted with the poem 'When the Frost is on the Punkin' by the American poet, James Whitcomb Riley (1849-1916). This poem was written in the Hoosier dialect of Indiana. I wondered about the origin of such a dialect, and found out about the connection to a Cumberland (Cumbria) dialect from those who arrived in Southern Indiana! I was especially intrigued because I emigrated from Cumberland, but not to Indiana. I love finding connections like that!

Quite a fascinating write up of the life and work of James Whitcomb Riley here.  

When the Frost is on the Punkin
is a wonderful read for me, and I hope you enjoy it as well.

When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock,
And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin' turkey-cock,
And the clackin' of the guineys, and the cluckin' of the hens,
And the rooster's hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence;
O, it's then's the times a feller is a-feelin' at his best,
With the risin' sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest
As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

They's something kindo' harty-like about the atmusfere
When the heat of summer's over and the coolin' fall is here --
Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossums on the trees,
And the mumble of the hummin'-birds and buzzin' of the bees;
But the air's so appetizin'; and the landscape through the haze
Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days
Is a pictur' that no painter has the colorin' to mock --
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

The husky, rusty russel of the tossels of the corn,
And the raspin' of the tangled leaves, as golden as the morn;
The stubble in the furries -- kindo' lonesome-like, but still
A-preachin' sermuns to us of the barns they growed to fill;
The strawstack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed;
The hosses in theyr stalls below -- the clover over-head! --
O, it sets my hart a-clickin' like the tickin' of a clock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock!

Then your apples all is gethered, and the ones a feller keep
Is poured around the celler-floor in red and yeller heaps;
And your cider-makin' 's over, and your wimmern-folks is through
With their mince and apple-butter, and theyr souse and saussage, too! ...
I don't know how to tell it -- but ef sich a thing could be
As the Angels wantin' boardin', and they'd call around on me --
I'd want to 'commodate 'em -- all the whole-indurin' flock --
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock!

A view taken of the fields from my visit to the Pumpkin harvest farm:


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010

I was so excited!

Yesterday, a flickering motion in the front window box caught my attention. The cutest little bird with a red crest was flitting amongst the Heuchera leaves near the window. I picked up my camera and cautiously approached. It was difficult to get some decent shots from the inside since it was bright outside, making a glare on the window, but I did manage a few! This is a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, with other links here and here

Once when I was out for a walk, I saw numerous of these little Kinglets on the path before me, darting about like tiny gold-green imps with a mission. I wasn`t aware they had red crests that become visible when excited.  Click for a larger image.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

October scenes - edited to add eagle

We have been experiencing some blue sky October days, temps hovering around the 14 C mark during the day, and actually dropping close to 0 degrees overnight. The bright weather has offered a wonderful backdrop for photos. These photos were taken at a recent visit to 'where the river meets the sea'. There were hundreds of water birds, some seals, and eagles flying overhead! Spectacular October scenery!




Edited to add: Video of bald eagles ~ second section has audible eagle cries, third section, eagle is carrying a fish in its claws, then is joined by another eagle in flight.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Giraffe Fever

After reading Uphilldowndale's recent post "The Colour Purple", I found myself bobbing into Photoshop;)



I will never see the beach quite the same again ;)

It seems other people may have experienced similar giraffe fever, as there is a satchel or wallet available to coordinate quite readily!

I hope you are feeling much better, UHDD!

Saturday, October 9, 2010


We have had some very pleasant autumn days recently and it has been wonderful to see the leaves gradually changing colour. However the rain has returned just in time for our long Thanksgiving weekend. It's not going to stop me though, because I'm off on an adventure tomorrow. More later ;)

During the sunny spell, the two deer revisited the back garden; the younger one has lost her spots now. On the feathered front, the Steller's Jay have also been visible, especially now that black sunflower seeds are in the feeder. These seeds seem to be a big hit with the small birds like the Red-breasted Nuthatch and the Black-capped Chickadees which look like they fly away with one seed at a time. You can see how the blue jay eats in the video.

One morning the feeder was on the ground and there was Mr. Sneaky cat lying beside it! I didn't stop to take a photo before shooing him away. At first I thought that he had jumped up and knocked it down, but more sleuthing showed that a raccoon or two had been about because there were little diggy holes where they had 'mined' for grub larva. I should have cameras set up like Midmarsh John and find out what exactly goes on outside during the night! In the video, the blue jay is picking up the spilled sunflower seeds.

Here's the cute little chickadee that I think is singing in part of the video.

...and here is the Steller's Jay. I have seen three of them at once around the bird feeder.  They sound crow-like when they squawk.

The following information re the Steller's Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri) is from this site. To read more about where these birds originated and other information,check it out.
British Columbia's provincial bird is a bright blue jay, but it is not the Blue Jay of eastern North America. This member of the crow family is bright blue on its wings, tail, and underparts, with a black hood extending from its upperparts to the top of its crested head.

My video:

Hope everyone has a great weekend with some sunshine. (It must be there, because it isn't going to be here ;))

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Far from home

Although I posted earlier today, I'm posting again!  

In honour of the National Poetry Contest in the UK (theme: Home), I have stayed up late to write a true story-poem that I heard about last month.

Far From Home

The feathers of Gustav were ruffled,
but not in a floofified way.
A storm had appeared out of nowhere
and literally blown him astray.

He’d tried to keep track of his bearings
as gusts threw him hither and yon.
Alas, he’d no choice but surrender,
discouraged, bedraggled, forlorn.

Collapsing at last at a beach house,
dishevelled and feeling defeat,
he hoped that the end would come quickly.
He knew for a fact he was beat.

Although he could not see distinctly,
a shadow appeared from a height.
He thought that the end was approaching
but had no reserves left to fight.

His leg was being held by a stranger
who peered down through two glassy eyes,
then left with a whisper so soothing,
his heart skipped with fluttered surprise.

To help him, the stranger was phoning,
determining what should be done.
He learned that the bird had been racing
before the storm warning had come.

Directions were given for feeding
to care for this bird in a bind.
The stranger befriended the pigeon
and Gustav responded in kind.

So gradually Gustav grew stronger,
his feathers now shiny and sleek.
How lucky he was to recover
when fortune had seemed sad and bleak.

Exploring the island’s surroundings
by flying some distance away,
he returned to rest in seclusion
before setting out the next day.

For more than a week he persisted
until he set out at a pace
that welcomed him home to his nest box ~
at last he had finished the race!

My surmisings:
Start of race September 11; arrived home September 27.
Distance of race approx 300 km ~ blown off course approx 75 km.

A photo that was sent to me of Gustav in the eaves, taking a break from scouting the skies after he recovered his strength.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Tasty owls, jumping salmon and island view!

I mentioned in my previous post that I was playing with food ~ I made these heart owls and dropped them off at school for the staff.


The next day, I went off to see how the salmon were running upstream:

and the day after that ~ which was yesterday, I went on a ferry to a nearby island for a change of scenery ~ it was another lovely day. Whenever I see identifying marks on a ship, I look up the specs when I get home. The Tao Star is listed here on the Wisdom Lines site. Here are photos of the BC ferry (Canadian flag), other vessels, and a view from a perfectly placed bench on the island!






A panorama:


Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Estuary

A couple of videos I've made out of recent jaunts to the estuary, beach and river:

A Great Blue Heron flies over during the filming:

Yesterday I visited where 'the river meets the sea' and also farther back up the river where the salmon were spawning.

Today I played with food! ;)  More photos coming soon.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Looking up!

I've been enjoying looking up and seeing the golden leaves against blue skies!  My son has a few days off so we've been out and about enjoying the weather.

Yesterday we walked along a river trail that led to an estuary. It was absolutely glorious ~ the signs, sights, and smells of autumn ~ just beautiful.



Just a play on words here (trunk-truncation) ~ the estuary is very well cared for and is an amazing source of enjoyment for all, including the wildlife, stewards and visitors.


After this special time, we decided to drive south for a return trip to the Cidery! After all, it is apple time. (I've made a big batch of applesauce myself, and will have to make a pie or two with my remaining apples). But, in the meantime, why not eat pie I didn't make ;)


More  to come soon ~