Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Rain, Drizzle and Fog.

We haven't seen the sun in a long time. Lots of rain and wind. Mild temperatures for this time of year. I'm not complaining, I'd rather have this than snow.

Laurie arrived on Thursday. So good to see her. Himself phoned from Marrakesh on Xmas Eve wanting me to hear the noises from the main square. He sounded pretty good after his bout with flu and bronchitis. Colds and flu are running rampant around here.

Had a couple of friends in on Xmas Eve. It was very enjoyable. Had a few drinks and snacks, lots of conversation. Xmas morning Laurie got up and said she had a bad sore throat and felt a cold or flu coming on. Bummer!! We both decided that it was best if she left for home as she could be worse the next day and she had a three hour drive to get back to the city. I am now waiting for it to hit me. So, the most I've been doing aside from the regular chores is read and watch a little tv, although there's not much on there.

It's a bit early I'll admit but I'm looking forward to spring. My mind is going off in different directions re: the garden and what I'll want to do there. Time to have a look at the seed catalogs I think. There haven't been a lot of birds at the feeders. I expect because of the mild weather they are getting food elsewhere.

I hope you all have a wonderful New Year.

Frankie on Xmas morning.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

High Winds and Lashing Rain.

What a time I've put in waiting for daylight this morning. We've had high winds for over 24 hours. I can hear the wind roaring and the big trees (aspen and spruce in particular) doing a mad swirling dance. I can also hear the roar of the ocean and wave crashing on shore.

Last night at about 7:00 pm I was just sitting down to watch a bit of television when the electricity was knocked out. I had a choice of two things, either stay up and look at a candle until heaven only knew when or go to bed. I opted for bed.

I woke up at about 4:00 am, almost my usual getting up time and there was still no electricity. Thank goodness for my old rotary phone as it was the only thing working. I phoned the power companys outages number and the recording said that we would have power back on at noon. Thankfully we have a wood stove, at least I had heat.

So for about four hours waiting for daylight, I was sitting staring at a candle. Not an easy thing for me to do. Well, daylight finally came and I went out to let chickens out and feed them also feed wild birds and bring in wood. It was blowing a gale and raining. That done, it was only a matter of waiting. At around 10:30 the electricity was back on. What a relief.

The wind has died down somewhat so fingers crossed that we don't lose the electricity again.

Himself is in Spain for the holidays and has come down with flu and bronchitis. His daughter took him to a doctor there and he now has antibiotics. They had planned to go to Morocco for a week come Friday so hopefully he will be up to it.

Laurie is coming tomorrow to spend a few days so I'm really looking forward to that.

Said Candle.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Flicker back again.

He was here just minutes ago. Still a bad shot taken through a grubby window. He's very nervous so I have to be careful. Anyway, a little better picture than yesterday. He's just lovely.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

First time bird in garden

I happened to look out the window and saw what looked like a strange bird over on one of the further feeders. First I thought my eyes were deceiving me but I got the camera anyway. I guess it saw me move in the window and it flew up into a tall spruce tree. I noticed yellow under it's wings as it flew. I couldn't see it so after waiting for a while, I gave up but kept the camera at hand. Not long after, on looking outside, the bird came out of nowhere and once again flew up into a tree. Well, although it was in a terrible position to get a shot and was shaded as well, I went ahead and took these pictures. I'm afraid the pictures are pretty bad but at least I've been able to identify it as a Northern Flicker. You can just make out a red spot on the back of his head so it's a male. Hopefully he'll hang around as I'd like to get some good shots. You can click on pictures to enlarge.

Lost Man

Himself took off for Spain on Friday, due to arrive in Malaga Saturday afternoon at around 1:00 pm via Paris. About an hour after arrival time the phone rings. It's his daughter....."Have you heard from dad. I'm at the airport, his plane has landed but he's not on it." omg! he's LOST!

Well, what to do! The airline wouldn't give any passenger list to her, there was another plane due from Paris two hours later. His daughter had requested a wheel chair for him at the Paris airport so he could be shuttled through quickly so we didn't know what had happened. We both thought it strange that he didn't phone one of us to say where he was. So, we said if either of us heard from him to let the other one know.

Two hours past by and I was on pins and needles. All kinds of horrible thoughts going through my head. Finally, the phone rings. It's himself.....he's arrived in Malaga, the flight from Toronto was an hour late arriving in Paris, consequently he missed his connection. "Why didn't you phone one of us, don't you know how worried we were." Says he.."I couldn't figure out how to use the French pay phones."

Looking out the window.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Wee Bit of Snow Overnight.

The other day my daughter, in St. John's, my granddaughter in Ontario and myself were doing a video chat. My daughter was telling her daughter that when she was growing up, to think of talking to someone and seeing them on a computer at the same time was science fiction. Hilary thought that was pretty funny but it's true. How times have changed. Sometimes I think if the old people could come back, what a shock they'd have. Me...I'm still amazed that I can talk to someone anywhere in the world by a telephone. Speaking of which, I still use this .

I do have a modern phone but if we lose the electricity due to a storm, etc., then this is the only type of phone that works. Tried and true, it never fails. It goes back to the saying that they don't make things like they use to.

On to the weather.....although we've had a brush of snow overnight, it's been like spring here. The seed heads are still on the hemp which is amazing.

The chickens are still enjoying their days of going around the property looking for bugs and grubs. Making mad dashes to the ground under some of the bird feeders when they see seed dropped by jays, etc.

The little squirrel is filling up on suet.

On looking out this morning.....

Outside...Finally got a few shots of the chick a dees. They are fast movers so it's difficult at time.

This was taken into the sun so it's not the best but I like the bit of snow on the trunk.

A few Grosbeaks waiting their turn at the feeders.

Little Freya says that inside is the best place to be today.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Deck the Halls.

This week I've been busy with holiday decoration. Himself will be in Spain for the holidays and he said he would like to see the house decorated so he could enjoy it all before he left. Well, nothing for it but to haul the artificial tree out of storage. Early yesterday morning I decided it was time to get it done. I can't say that I was in the best of moods for this job as I figured it was far to early to put the tree, etc. up. It took me most of the morning to get the lights and decorations on the tree. When finished, I plugged in the lights and stepped back and realized that I had put up the wrong tree. I'll just say one thing, it's staying up!!!! Why the wrong tree you might ask. Well, it's an old tree that was losing it's needles and a couple of branches wouldn't sit right and really should have been thrown out. I, for some reason, had it nicely packed up and stored. So, it's now getting another kick at the can.

The weather has been wonderful for the most part. Just a couple of days ago I was doing things outside with just a sweater on. Unreal!!

I've taken a few pictures of some of the inside decorations. Still a bit left to do. I do much the same thing every year so some of you will have seen most of it before.

The Tree.

Old Bones of course always makes an appearance.

A few more......

Monday, November 22, 2010

Beautiful Boy

One of our lovely boys.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Brrrrrr, Cold!

I think I mentioned early this summer that my black currant "tree", (I have to say tree as it's quite big). Anyway, it was so laden down with berries (a bumper crop this year), that I had to tie some of the branches up off the ground. So...I've finally gotten around to making 24 jars of jam and it's very tasty. A job that I was both dreading and looking forward to. I've never been much of a jam maker.

This week we put up holiday lights around the roof of the house and a tree with lights on the front porch. Also put lights around the archway into the inner garden. It's early I know, but the weather had been so mild that I figured why not get it done now rather than face the cold later. I'm so glad we did it because it has turned quite cold now. Temperatures going down to - 9C tonight. Of course the lights won't be turned on until sometime in December.

The birds have had voracious appetites this past while. I guess they are trying to fill up with food to get through the cold days and nights. I was putting food in one of the feeders the other day when I saw movement over by the woods. I quietly walked over and saw a grouse. You have to look pretty hard to see it in this picture. It's amazing how they blend into their surroundings.

We haven't seen a bear on the property this fall. It's a relief in one way but I would have liked to get some more pictures. I heard that there were a lot in the woods but I daresay the berry crop was good this year so they could fill up on the berries.

Lots of Evening Grosbeaks around now. They are such lovely birds. A couple of pictures I took yesterday.

Well, that's it. I have to mix up some food for the crows now. They'll be flying in for breakfast soon.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Need Bird ID

This bird has been hanging out in a friends garden for a few days. He's never seen one like it at his feeders and he gets quite a variety of birds. This is the best picture he's gotten so far. Can anyone tell us what it is? It's smaller than a crow but bigger than a North American Robin.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Bits and Pieces.

It's been t-shirt weather this past few days. Can hardly believe it as we are in November. Of course it's not going to last but it did give me the opportunity to finish up some things out side. I'll not get the perennials cut back, a job I'm now leaving until spring. I did find this beauty under one of the eaves when outside working around yesterday.

It appears to be abandoned so I'll likely remove it in a day or two.

Some good news. My father has finally gotten a hearing aid. It was so difficult to talk to him especially on the phone. The conversation would go something like this....
Me. "It's raining here today."
Him. "What, you're straining?"
Me. "No, Dad, it's RAINING here today."
Him. "I don't know what you're saying."

Now it's....
Me. "It's raining here today."
Him. "It's raining here too."

lol, what a difference it's made.

Then I have this fellow here. We get up a couple of mornings ago and himself says "I was up three times last night, I thought I heard someone letting the air out of the car tires. I got the big flashlight that lights up things for miles and each time there was no one there. Then I realized it was you breathing." ahahahahaha!

It's raining today but still quite mild. I've been preparing for company coming for a few days on Thursday. Last week I made a fruit cake with brandy. I got the recipe from a fellow blogger, Cicero Sings. I made it last year and it was a hit. I also made a cherry cake. Both now in the freezer until the holidays.

A few pictures taken this past while.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Samhain.

Dawn had just come up and I was outside putting food out for the birds. There was a wonderful October wind and the autumn smells were intense. No signs of life yet as it was too early for most creatures. I simply had to stop and look around. The moon was still showing sharply in the sky and the wind was blowing some of the leaves off the trees. Not a sound except for the wind. What a sense of oneness with the world around me. When I have these moments I feel truly blessed. The crows have just flown in for breakfast so all is right with my world.

And so a wish to all my friends.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Just Birds.

It looks like my trip to the city, planned for this weekend, is put on hold. My hip and lower back, which I injured years ago is in a state again. I daresay I triggered it off by spending a morning lugging heavy pots filled with soil half way across the property. I never seem to learn! I can't sit for long, in fact we drove up to the store earlier today and by the time we got back I had to get help to get out of the car. So frustrating!! I've been going to bed very early as well, and taking pain killers, only when I can't stand it anymore. So, that's my lot for the next while. Nothing to do for it by rest and do as little as possible.

So, just before supper last night I did manage to shuffle out side and take some pictures of a few birds that were around.