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Monday, December 31, 2012

Ringing in the New Year

To acknowledge my 500th post and wish you all a Happy New Year, I have convinced my colourful little feathered friend, Townsend's Warbler, to share a tale with you ~


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Winter Wrap Up ~

Carrying on from my previous post ~








and That's a Wrap, for this post :)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Hummers and other happenings

Christmas was a wonderful family time ~ three sons stayed over, gobbling up a full turkey dinner along with steamed pudding, tarts, etc.  It was a cozy and comfortable time :)  It did snow during the day to add a sprinkling of magic, before disappearing, although at higher elevations it caused some apprehension for travellers.

Inside and outside:



Readers have mentioned their interest and delight in seeing photos of hummingbirds on my blog.  The appearance of them during the winter months had some people wondering!  Of the 356 species of hummingbirds in the world, here are only two species of hummingbirds on Vancouver Island:  the Rufous and the Anna's.  The Anna's Hummingbird is a year-round resident in this area.   They feed on nectar, sap, and small insects.  There are still some blooms around, and I've noticed one frequenting the Winter Jasmine at my front door.  I found suggestions online about keeping hummingbird feeders from freezing, which I have noted, although I haven't tried bubble wrapping yet ;)  I replenish the liquid frequently and have added more sugar to the solution as suggested.

This appears to be either a female Anna's Hummingbird or a juvenile, having a little rest in the front Magnolia bush and catching a few fleeting rays on its front!  It looks like the one on this site.


Interesting little hummingbird facts gleaned from the links:

  • What do you call a flock of hummingbirds? Few animals have so many applicable terms, and none so beautiful. Instead of calling them a flock, choose between a bouquet, a glittering, a hover, a shimmer, or a tune of hummingbirds.
  • Hummingbirds have tiny legs and can neither hop nor walk, though they can sort of scoot sideways while perched




I have often noticed a furtive little Wren in the bushes.  Lately it has ventured out occasionally to join the other birds near the feeders.  It has become quite brazen and, after several attempts to figure out the contortions necessary, has learned the technique of properly accessing the food in the suet cage...






A view of the mountains from the front door:

Morning:

Evening:


 and the weather forecast for the coming week, which sees us into the new year.  I see some sun :)


I wish you all a Happy Healthy New Year :)  Snuggle up and keep warm!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas!




I merged a couple of photos I recently took in Victoria, BC for this greeting and send it out to all my bloggy friends for a very Merry Christmas ~ 
Thanks so much for your visits and kind comments which I truly appreciate!   

 

Friday, December 21, 2012

More than 7 Swans-a-Swimming and Bear Feet

I published my previous post at 12:12 on 12.12.12.  It looks like I had that all planned, however once I noticed I had 12 birds in my collage photo, and realized the date, I also noticed the time and didn't have to wait long to make it all synchronized!

Now in recognition of the Winter Solstice, I present a few recent photos and a video.

We have had a blizzard type snow storm which caused some excitement, however the snow has melted away.  Definitely winter, though.

Here's the hummingbird still coming for a drink ~ notice white snow in background.  When I refilled the container, I inadvertently placed the little perches off centre, causing the hummingbird to lean over.  I have since rectified the problem!


A few days before the snow arrived, the temperatures had dropped below 0C which offered the opportunity to see tracks frozen in the sand near where the river meets the sea.

There were numerous tracks, but the eye-popping ones were these unmistakable bear tracks... and bears love salmon!

Yikes, you can bet I looked over my shoulder after spotting them.  There were also raccoon prints, and other small animal prints.

Before the track spotting, I enjoyed watching the Trumpeter Swans, eagles, myriads of ducks and other birds on that cold but sunny day.


A video of serenity turning into a squabble ~ perhaps a process for determining which ones were going to be chosen for the 'seven swans-a swimming' contest. ;)




Here's to the Winter Solstice and the start of longer days and shorter nights.




Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Monday, December 10, 2012

'Twas


'Twas three weeks before Christmas, when all through the halls,
Two roommates were stirring new paint for the walls.
The windows and trimmings were taped off with care
In hopes that the paint wouldn’t splash everywhere.

Four  kitties were nestled all snug in each bed
Inside the garage where they curled up instead.
And Nikki , and Roomie, as well as her Pop
Continued to paint for a week, near non-stop.

When in the garage there arose such a clatter,
Cats sprang from their beds to see what was the matter.
Away to the ladder George flew like a flash
Tore right up the steps and peered out the sash.

When what to his wondering eyes should appear?
Just a sight of the outdoors and all he holds dear!
And then in a twinkling, he heard them advance!
It wasn't just reindeer that knew how to prance.

Now Emma! Now Wimsey! Now Georgie and Sam!
It’s bath time for felines, so don’t try to scram.
Then Roomie and Nikki as quick as a wink,
Corralling four fur balls, went straight to the sink.

'Twas Emma`s turn first and she wasn't too keen
But soaped up and rinsed off, she looked very clean.
Samantha was yowling as she likes to do
But soon she was finished and very clean, too.

Now George wasn't happy, but took it in stride
Yet, wrapped in a towel he tried hard to hide...
Then, Wimsey, Lord Peter  in fact, is so couth
That any adventure appeals to this sleuth.

When all had escaped from each towelling sheet,
They licked their own fur, from their heads to their feet -
A bundle of felines all primping and preening
Determined to fluff up and finish with cleaning.

Their eyes, how they twinkled! Their whiskers how merry!
Their ears, pink like roses! Each nose like a cherry!
Each droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow
And clean tufts of fur were as white as the snow.

And Nikki and Roomie? Right jolly young elves
Who laughed when they saw them, in spite of themselves.
They spoke not a word.  They had finished their work.
The walls were all painted. The cats weren't berserk.

They sprang to the kitchen, and gave out a whistle,
More towels to wash than the points of a thistle!
But I heard them exclaim, "Oh, we`re in quite a quandary.
Merry Christmas to all,
we`re off to do laundry!"





 

Friday, November 30, 2012

Wild and Wonderful

As November comes to a close, when it rains down here at sea level, it snows up there at mountain level ~ the first snow.



Today in between rain showers, I skedaddled to my favorite place.  It was windy but mild. The waves were churning up all sorts of succulent morsels, much of it being caught amid the eelgrass, seaweed and whatever else accumulates along the shoreline.


A plethera of pinnipeds ;)

Seagulls were shrieking together over salmon bits and bones.  Can you see the salmon bones?


Eagles everywhere



A myriad of eagles flying overhead:


... perhaps keeping eagle eyes on this youngster. See the white feathers showing through?





 Oops, sorry to interrupt...Keep Calm and Carrion





Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Surprise!

Although the weather forecast predicted rain for the next while, today turned out to be a surprise.   Sunshine!

I was off on an adventure to my favorite place to experience wildlife away from my front and back yard.  Remembering I still had two fold up chairs in my vehicle, I was able to find a good viewpoint and sit down to enjoy the wonder of it all.

The Trumpeter Swans have returned. Parents with three young:


Eagles everywhere:






and a sea lion has a successful salmon hunt:


What a catch and what a day!

Many thanks to Hilary of The Smitten Image for chosing my Drama in the Skies post as one of her Posts of the Week.  I am in excellent company!  :)