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Friday, May 27, 2011

Nearing the end of May!

Sun was scarce this week and so was I, blogwise,  however after supper the sun showed its face tonight and encouraged me to have a walk around the neighbourhood.

In the garden, the Pink Dogwood dripped prettily with raindrops ~

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Mock Orange had a visit from its Ant Matilda

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Oakley, the tree that has grown from an acorn I planted a few years ago is thriving in a bigger pot.
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A drenched female House Finch takes refuge in the bird feeder I hung at the front with black sunflower seeds inside.
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The tree near our mailbox drops huge cones and seems to be top heavy with ammunition ~
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I better keep clear of that area during a wind storm!

Pine needles gathered around a storm drain.
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This Sunset serenade was kindly performed by a White-crowned Sparrow this evening,

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while a dragon cloud or whale cloud ~ depending on which way you look at it, drifted into the sunset.
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I am compiling my May list of photographs from the Scavenger Hunt and will post them in the next day or so :)

To refresh your memory, the list is as follows:

a butterfly 
a bicycle
a red door 
a cartoon character
an emergency vehicle 
think vintage!
something blue
a street light
texture
a sign of the zodiac
an interesting local building
a portrait in black and white

Monday, May 23, 2011

Colours of Monday

This is the last day of the long weekend that is considered by many to be the start of 'summer' festivities with numerous outdoor activities. Saturday and Sunday were slightly disappointing because of the clouds and rain! However this afternoon, the sun made up for it, although many people would be heading home!

Around my garden, the lilac, pink dogwood, mock orange, apple and pear tree blossoms are offering fragrance and colour. I noticed one of the red peony buds was starting to open. During late afternoon when I was 'lounging' on the deck with my ebook, I noticed the cherry tree branch above...no more blossoms, but the suggestion of cherries, which are usually ready by the beginning of July.

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When blue sky appeared early afternoon, I decided to walk down to the woodland garden. It's such a pretty area right now with blooming azaleas, rhodos, and various shades of leafy trees. Here's a collage of a few photos I took while I was there:
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Robin Redbreast in one of the daisy, bluebell and forget-me-not meadows:

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and I thought this image looked rather ethereal:

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A pair of ducks enjoying the marshy pond area, but no sign of ducklings!:
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On my way back I stopped on the wooden bridge that crosses this pond, and caught a glimpse of red against a tree...I couldn't get close, but took a couple of photos. Guess what it was! My first ever photo of a Red-breasted Sapsucker!! Another link here with interesting facts:

• A group of sapsuckers is collectively known as a "slurp" of sapsuckers.
• The Red-breasted Sapsucker prefers to drill sap wells in riparian species such as those in the willow and birch families. They also like other deciduous trees like orchard crops.
• The Rufous Hummingbird is closely associated with this sapsucker. It nests near sap wells and may follow the woodpecker around during the day, feeding at the wells the sapsucker keeps flowing.

Although I can't imagine seeing a slurp of sapsuckers, I was happy to spy a sip of a sapsucker ;)

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A panorama of the seaview from the gardens:

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A most enjoyable Monday!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Golden Hour

As you could tell from the previous post, sunny Spring returned at last! For two days it has been glorious. 
Winter pear:
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Pink Dogwood:
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I don't even know where to begin ~ the sights and fragrances of Spring are amazing. On Thursday I took a few more photos in the garden and of course, the BBQ had to be lit for a steak dinner! I had also baked some French Bread to accompany the meal. (not shown)
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About 8:00 p.m. I thought it was time to visit Harzel. Such a lovely evening for a walk. Quite a lot of snow still on the mountain.

View from the end of the street:
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Taking deep breaths of lilac was so therapeutic!

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My goodness me, Harzel has filled himself out!
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Sunset shining on Harzel:
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Here he is sharing the golden sunset with me.

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Did you know that birds watch the sunset as well? I've noticed this before. I think this little Song Sparrow was singing the Sunset Serenade as a robin landed on a wire, a crow landed on a tree top, and then flew to another one with a clearer view
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It would be wonderful if this weather continued, but I see the forecast is for 'cloudy with showers'. I'm sure the plants will appreciate the mixture of sun and rain, but personally I'd like more sun, please :)
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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Seeing white, pink, lilac, yellow....and blue!

After many dreary days, today shone brightly! Sunshine and blue skies make such a difference to how things look on the outside and how things feel on the inside!

I could hardly contain myself ...gardening? walking? skipping around the garden in glee?  I did a bit of all that.

The mock orange bush near the front door is full of scented blooms ~

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The red oak is leafing ever so gently ~

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The lilac tree is in bud and I was able to catch a whiff of its special fragrance ~

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The daffodils in the back radiate with sunshine ~

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The winter pear is bountifully blessed with blossoms ~

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A minute ladybug (about half-size) on a golden plum leaf ~

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Here is a close-up ~
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Here are some interesting facts about ladybugs from this site.
• Because Ladybugs eat lots of aphids and other pest insects, many gardeners and farmers use them for pest control instead of chemicals.
• A Ladybug can lay up to 1000 eggs in its lifetime.
• Not all Ladybugs have spots.
• Ladybugs will clean themselves after a meal.
• Ladybugs come in many colors like pink, yellow, white, orange and black.
• Over 300 types of Ladybugs live in North America.
• Ladybugs make a chemical that smells and tastes bad so predators won’t eat them.
• Ladybugs hibernate in large groups in cold weather.
• Many countries consider a ladybug to be a sign of good luck.
• Ladybugs are actually beetles, so sometimes are called LadyBeetles.
• The bright colors of Ladybugs warn birds that they don’t taste good.
• The spots on a Ladybug fade as they get older


and a Robin was contemplating some pressing issues:

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I enjoyed reading about the American Robin's nest building process and the way it was presented on this site.

I found the following information on this site.

If you hear a robin early in the morning and it is singing, it is a male American robin. The female does make certain chirping sounds, but they are used for communication. She uses them to locate the male and to warn him of approaching predators. But the male is the song bird, and while the young robins are still in the nest, they will make loud chirping sounds along with the father.

About 4 p.m., it was so pleasant on the deck, I lounged with my ebook!! Ahhh, perfect...I decided to eat my supper out there too. The aroma of BBQ wafted through the air from somewhere else...

After supper, I went for a walk around the neighbourhood, accompanied by the melodic song of a House Finch.
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Pink blossoms contrasted beautifully with the blue sky background, although many petals were scattered like confetti, circling the curb with their prettiness.
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Fortunately, more of this kind of weather is forecast into the long weekend (Victoria Day is next Monday)...;)

Yay ~ Spring is back :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Seeing grey ...

On the way home from my recent driving trip south for my brother's birthday, it would have been helpful to have been driving an amphibious vheicle.  The rain was absolutely pouring down. We splooshed our way home by 11:45 p.m. We are lucky to get 12C during the day and 5C at night. There is sun on the horizon apparently this coming weekend. Let's hope so!

The photos I have managed to gather are of some birds taken in a lagoon, and one of the Spotted Towhee today with what looks like a peanut snack.

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No ducklings, no goslings....no sunshine ;)