Thursday, December 31, 2015

Day 365 - 31st December 2015 - Woodpeckers, Wreath and White-Throated Sparrow

Well this is it - the end of the month and the year. Tomorrow we move on to 2016. This must be my year end gift - I slept until 5:30 am! Oh what a day it will be. Looks like it's going to be mostly a mild and wet day, but if you are going out to welcome in the New Year with friends watch the roads, temperature looks like it will dip later tonight. This is the time to think about resolutions for the coming year. Tomorrow will be the 1st day of the 4th year of the blog. I always wonder if I should continue, but I will. For me it's a bit like therapy and a journal.
Wednesday wasn't a bad day - warmed up, the roads cleared and it was good to get out.  Most people were doing the clean up in the morning - shoveling, plowing driveways etc. The roof stuffy seems to be working against the ice, although I probably should have plugged it in earlier than we did the other day. My feeders and Lois' usually have the same birds. Although I've got Juncos (2 now) and she has a White Throated Sparrow. The Goldfinches and Purple Finches, Chickadees, Blue Jays and Mourning Doves just go from feeder to feeder in the hood.
Male Hairy Woodpecker.
The Male Purple Finch adds a shot of color against the snow.
Female Downy Woodpecker.
I waited patiently and the White-Throated Sparrow emerged from his hiding spot.
And I did get a wreath on the front door before the holidays. Thanks to Larry.

Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Day 364 - 30th December 2015 - Ice and Goldfinch

Beautiful early morning, trees are covered in snow and the moon and stars shine on them. Looks like it will be a pretty good day out there, although I'm sure the roads will be a tad slippery. Absolutely no idea what I'm going to get up to today. Definitely some walking and there are a few inside projects that I can finish and get started on.
Ok, so winter can leave now. Had enough of that Tuesday. Oh yes our first snow storm of the season. I'd forgotten (or maybe I choose to push it to the back of my mind) all the things that are really annoying about winter - taking the extra time to get bundled up to walk Lexi, shoveling, frozen mail box,  etc. Apparently there is nothing we can do about Mother Nature but go with the flow.
I got out for a walk before the snow started yesterday morning, it was calm and quiet - as they say before the storm.  Of course Lexi loves the snow and would spend most of the day out in it, except her pads ice up and we stop frequently but that never deters her. I dug out my snow suit and we roamed the woods in the afternoon. Barely able to see where we were going, but she had a ball. I worked some more in the library and spent a little time in my sewing room doing alterations - still a few more pants to shorten. Lots of Goldfinches, Purple Finches, Chickadees, Blue Jays and Mourning Doves at the feeders. And of course our single Junco.  Think I spied the White-Throated Sparrow at Lois' in the afternoon.
 Before it started snowing it was a good morning for some ice photos.

Not a good day to be a bird - Goldfinch.

Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Day 363 - 29th December 2015 - Purple Finches, Goldfinches and a Junco

Sounds like a good day to be inside - snow, ice pellets - the lot. The stars from last evening have all disappeared  and the moon is just a hazy spot in the sky this morning. Wind has died out and it's silent. No Owls hooting. Guess I'll continue with yesterday's project since it will be an inside day. Maybe I'll get out for a jaunt before the snow starts.
Brrr.... the temperature sure took a nose dive yesterday. Not quite like Christmas Day when I planted bulbs. Lexi and I of course still roamed the hood- bundled up with gloves and cap. The wind cut through you but then we aren't quite use to winter yet.  I puttered around the house putting gifts away, trying things on to see what needed to be shortened (that's a given) and catching up on laundry. Decided it was a good day to start re-organizing the library. I did some cleaning in there before the holidays but still not quite how I wanted things. Time to sort out books. Cleaned off my desktop to an external hard drive and packed that up. It's old, doesn't work well and just takes up space. The feeders were busy with the pending storm - Goldfinches, Purple Finches, 1 Junco, Mourning Doves, Blue Jays, Chickadees and I caught the tail end of our winter resident Sharp-shinned Hawk. Looked like he left hungry again.
Female and Male Purple Finch.
These cheeky guys are always dodging in and out of the feeders.
Purple Finches and a Goldfinch.
Our one Junco. Never seems to be with others, but stays all winter.

 A few red berries still hold out on the forest floor.

Enjoy your day!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Day 362 - 28th December 2015 - Goldfinches, Purple Finches and Gulls

It's started snowing - quite hard actually, the deck is covered in a matter of minutes. The forecast isn't giving any amount today - that's for tomorrow. The year is ticking by quickly now, only a few more days left to go. I wonder if I've accomplished everything I wanted to these last 12 months - probably not but that's ok. Somethings are taken out of our control. The important things do get done.
Sunday was mostly a lazy day. I did a few things up in the morning - lunch boxes, laundry etc. Larry puttered around cleaning one of  "his rooms" (I try to keep the door closed on those) then I curled up with my kobo and read - ate too much junk and basically did nothing. It was a good day for it - raining, wet and miserable here.
Goldfinches and Purple Finches were at the feeders most of the day. The wet weather must have brought them in.
Taking photos through the kitchen window doesn't often give me good shots.

A few gulls hanging out from Saturday's excursion.

Enjoy your day!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Day 361 - 27th December 2015 - Mountain Bluebirds, Great Egret and Guillemot

Sunday morning - stars and moon from last night are all hidden behind clouds now. Rain is on it's way for today. Heard an owl up the lake. In the quiet of the early morning hard to tell just how far away they are. Will let Larry have a sleep in - he's back to work tomorrow which means it's lunchbox prep day. Short lived break from that. Maybe tidy up the Christmas gifts and finish the book I'm reading.
We had a great Boxing Day. Went to Cape Sable Island to do some birding and finally I found the Mountain Bluebirds - lifer! Found the Great Egret but he was too far for good shots, lots of  Gulls but didn't notice any of them being unusual or different. The Snowy Owls seem to be absent as well. Stopped to visit Irene and Billy and actually caught them home. Normally we would poke down through Baccaro and homeward that way but decided since Larry still had to fish an extension cord through the foundation for the de-icer stuffy (technical term) on the roof we should just go straight home. I got my walk in even though it was late in the afternoon.
 Finally after 4-5 trips, I found the Mountain Bluebirds.

They are handsome birds.

Guillemot at the Wharf in Daniel's Head.
The Great Egret was across the marsh - no way was he coming closer for good shots!
And of course no day is complete without a Chickadee.

Enjoy your day!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Day 360 - 26th December 2015 - Cobwebs, Gulls and Canada Geese

Boxing Day - most places will still be closed today not that I want to go shopping. It's going to be a birding day for us. Think we'll pack our lunch and make a day of it. Hoping there is something interesting out there for us to see/find. Looks like another fine day on the horizon. The full moon is still big and beautiful this morning with the stars shining around it. Apparently a rare occasion for it to happen on Christmas Day.
We had a lovely Christmas - a few new bird books - Hawks and Sparrows among many other gifts. Lots of good food and family. In between meals I planted some flower bulbs that I should have done several months ago but with weather like this it didn't matter. I see the tulips, etc. are sprouting through the ground now. Apparently they've not heard it's winter either! Went for a jaunt around the hood but couldn't even find a Chickadee - super quiet and the lake was calm as glass.
Cobwebs and fallen leaves lay in the moss of the woods.
The Gulls were hanging out on the reef in the harbour.
Not a great shot - it was actually brighter with the  naked eye than the camera but it looked like a rainbow pillar.
The Canada Geese were in Lake Philip.
Another cobweb.

Enjoy your day!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Day 359 - 25th December 2015 - Christmas Lights and Decorations

Merry Christmas Everyone! Thick fog out there this morning, but it's mild and going to be fine. We will spend most of the day with family - breakfast and then dinner.  Going to need to get some walking in after all that food!
Yesterday went well. I buzzed around did up some things around the house in the morning then curled up for a bit to read. It rained all morning but eased off by noon. Larry came home around lunch time. We had a nice dinner of lobster pasta, potato salad and some more lobster. I even found time to snag a nap in the afternoon. After supper we headed to Sandy Point to enjoy an evening with family and friends. Lots of good snacks, some had a game of darts - lots of laughter. Just what the holidays are about.
 Just a few photos of Christmas lights/decorations I took last evening on the way home.

Enjoy your day!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Day 358 - 24th December 2015 - Grasses, Goldfinch and Mayflowers

Christmas Eve and our Anniversary. Oh the weather was very different so many years ago - stormy and a blizzard but the minister made it and we tied the knot. It's raining hard this morning but hopefully will clear later. Shouldn't be a whole lot on the go today, a couple loads of laundry and little tidying up, supper to figure out (lobster). Larry will be finished around lunch time so we can enjoy the afternoon together. This evening we'll spend with some of our extended family - I'm sure there will be lots of laughter and merriment. 
A rather dull day, the sun didn't make much of an appearance but it was mild. Got out for a good walk but it's terribly quiet these days - all I heard or saw were Crows and a flock of Mourning Doves. Stopped for tea with Lois and her feeders aren't any more active than mine - Goldfinches and Chickadees. I guess with this mild weather they can find lots to eat in the woods. Although the squirrels seem to be too lazy to forage anywhere but the feeders. A few more things done around the house. Delivered gifts after supper and the last of the errands in town.
This plant holds it's interest and shape long after the flowers have bloomed.

And the grasses are still interesting in the bleakness of the season.

But on the upside I found Mayflowers budding up! Could winter be done?

Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Day 357 - 23rd December 2015 - Fog, White Breasted Nuthatch and Pussy Willows

A mild morning with stars in the sky and a little wind. I know that everyone (or most people) hope for a White Christmas as the song says but in reality a green Christmas is much better for many people. Those that plow roads will be home with their families, less chance of accidents, picking up loved ones from airports, visiting, etc. For me it's the selfish reason - I hate the thought of missing turkey dinner at my parents.  It's all about the food and being together. Have a few things left to finish up today and then we will deliver gifts this evening.
Wrapping finished up, odd jobs around the house done and very little left.... I think. It was a nice morning for a walk before the rain started after lunch.  Made a lasagna for supper which is good for another night. Will save the Lobster for Christmas Eve.
Thick fog on the lake, but with not a breath of wind -beautiful for reflections.
Raindrops hung from all the branches.
Perhaps I should take my tea with me and enjoy some deck time at a neighbour's.
Birds were few - although I did find three White Breasted Nuthatches.
Pussy Willows in December?

Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Day 356 - 22nd December 2015 - Ice, Frost and Goldfinches

Winter Solstice - shortest day of the year. Now the days will  begin to get a little longer - not that we will notice anytime soon but it's a good thought. Looks like the forecast has some rain scheduled for today. Hopefully I'll get out early before it starts for a jaunt. Then it's clean up and finish wrapping. Nothing terribly exciting on my agenda.
Had a busy Monday, lots accomplished. Finished off the last batch of liquored up cherries, put together 10 tins and 1 tray of sweet treats for gifts. Decided it was a good time to install the new TV and managed a nice walk in the morning and tea with Lois. The last night of exercise class til after the holidays so I hauled myself off there - my other option was to shell out lobsters. That's more up Larry's alley.  It was cold in the morning but didn't take long to warm up and the snow melt.
Ice and frost on the grasses in the lake.
The sun was trying to make an appearance over the point.
The flock of Goldfinches is growing daily.
A little bit of shell ice was along the edges of the coves.

Enjoy your day!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Day 355 - 21st December 2015 - Goldfinches, Woodpecker and Snow

So I thought today was the shortest day of the year but apparently after checking google I'm wrong this year it's the 22nd! I'll save my thoughts on that for tomorrow. Not as cold this morning and the wind has died out.  Looks like a nice mild day in the making. I've got to get those things done that I put off on the weekend - cherries dipped and cookies decorated then tins filled to give away. Should free up some space in the fridge and freezer. I believe a good long walk in the hood is needed too.
Sunday remained windy and cold so we gave a pass at going to Cape Sable Island.  Puttered around the house - as usual doing the Sunday lunchbox cooking (seriously getting tired of that).  Went to town to pick up the things I forgot on Saturday and then we went to a birthday party - nice couple of hours. At 4:45pm yesterday with some daylight left the moon was sitting high in the sky.
 A windblown Goldfinch.
 A female Woodpecker found some good eats.
A great feeder for the Goldfinches and other small birds, however,  I've seen the squirrels weasel their way in too.

The cranberry ditch is frozen over with snow along the edges.

Snow dipped branches.

Enjoy your day!