Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Wild Life in a Not-So-Wild Life.

 There's a lonely, tooth-scored soccer ball sitting on the snow on our front lawn. I have just vacuumed up the top layer of dog hair (doodles don't shed - hah!) and have found a dog brush that fell out of HRH's travel bag. The YG came out on Saturday and picked up her dog after a fraught ten days of travel around Europe. She shovelled off the roofs, cooked supper and generally looked after her aged parents before she and the pampered princess returned to the city. There are still Shammy sized holes in the snow banks and lots of footprints. But I think both the dog and we enjoyed her stay. The turkeys did not - Shammy hardly ever barks and if she does it is a sweet and soprano sound. Not the day the turkeys visited. She raced around the outside of the house in full-throated voice for quite a while and I have not seen even a turkey toe-print since.

This buck, on the other hand, has been here often. There have been no does for several weeks: I think they must be 'yarded up' because of the crust. This buck is not huge, but he has a splendid rack and still has it. And he seems to be able to get through the snow. Here he is in all his glory on the feeding station, having slurped up all the deer ration and corn. Well, what the ravens and jays did not get to first.

It's been bird city around here lately. We've had 30 to 50 American goldfinches every day, on the nyger feeder. One of our neighbours was up here to consult with JG on a porch redesign and he says their feeders are carrying close to 100. We also have both white breasted and rose breasted nuthatches, the usual jays and chickadees, both hairy and downy woodpeckers on the suet. Today I spotted a pileated woodpecker on a cedar out near the feeding station and a small flock of about a dozen juncos, the first I have seen for a long time. And I'm pretty sure I saw some red-winged blackbirds on a road verge last week - a month early, the silly things.

(Sorry, YD. I know bird spotting is not your favourite thing.)

We've also had two days of glorious sunny weather. We got an 8" dump of snow on Friday night and then a high wind with mild temperatures. It sculpted the snow into weird shapes, as this sort of bread twist on the kitchen porch railing. It also covered up the ice, for which I return much thanks. I can walk down the laneway without my ice grippers.

I've also had a lot of flowers; cut flowers for our anniversary and, just lately, the paper white I got for a Christmas gift is blooming. Plus the Christmas Cactus. And the tarnation poinsettias just won't quit. I figure, dead or not, they are going out to the compost on the 1st of March, lion-like as it is forecast to be.

There's another snow dump due to come in then: in the meantime, I will enjoy one more blue sky day.


  1. Gotta hand it to Google; they show your pics well if you click on them -- a little slideshow.

    It sounds like bird heaven or haven out there.

  2. We've had mild weather, or at least not much snow. Tonight, though, we're supposed to get a wintry mix -- freezing rain, sleet, etc. The kids are hoping for no school tomorrow...

  3. I don't not like birds ... just in moderation. She really doesn't she (all that much) - just imagine if it were the two border collie pups! And I think that I get as much looking after as I provide - it was a lovely dinner, and you did look after the pooch, all protestations a few years ago to the contrary.

    1. Does it do me any good to protest? Do you see me parting YF from his granddog? Ha.
      She is an easy dog to keep. Thank goodness.

  4. Do keep the Winter Weather up there, won't you? Thanks.

    I've awakened to birdsong here for a few mornings now! It's most welcome. A cute, scooty junco or two has been in the backyard along with our nuthatch, who zooms around. I've seen a downy woodpecker, too. No finches yet, so please send them back ASAP--I miss that yellow zing in my yard.

    I would assert that cat hair is eleventy times worse than labradoodle hair, but I suppose I cannot be sure. All I know is that I seem to be just as covered with it as Piper and Marlowe are, and they, of course, are the cats. Sigh. If only I didn't take it so personally each and every time I had to haul out the vacuum and sling it around.