Sunday, December 31, 2017

Day 361 - 31st December 2017 - Shadows, Snow and A Mourning Dove

Here we are saying good bye to not only another month but the year. It's the last day of 2017. Not sure how great of a year it's been - some highlights, but many low times. Best thing - Larry had his hip surgery so  by the end of January he should be back to work. He feels good and has no pain anymore. So I'm thankful for that. Sadly we lost out beloved Lexi, a few friends and too many community members. But they stay with us in our memories and hearts. Hoping 2018 will bring some new good things to our lives while maintaining some of the old. I've been kind of forcing myself into a vacation/break of sorts this last week,  am so ready to start fresh tomorrow. Tree will probably come down today sometime and the house back to rights again, ornaments and decorations packed away for another year. First thing - I'll be getting my sewing/photography room back to rights and turn the library back into a library from a sick room. Nice to have a bed in the middle of your books but highly impractical! No great plans for tonight, we'll just see where it takes us.  I rarely can stay up til midnight to usher in the New Year.

 Love the shadows on the snow.

When the Mourning Doves aren't hoarding all the food in the feeders, they rest in the bushes and trees.

No longer in bloom, dried and brown, but covered in snow, they still hold an interesting texture.

Enjoy your day!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Day 360 - 30th December 2017 - Northern Flicker, Downy Woodpecker, White Throated Sparrow

Here we are creeping along to the end of the month yet again and the year. I wonder what was on my "to do" list for 2017 - anything I can finish up today so I look more accomplished. Probably not, although there are a few things I vow to get underway first thing in the New Year.  I always have projects I want to tackle then for whatever reason they drift away, I go back to work, something else catches my interest. Nope - 2018 I'm going to get them off my bucket list.  And we will get more birding in - that's my big want to do!! Yesterday started off real cold but seemed to get better as the day went on, we made a quick trip to town for essentials - bread, milk and bananas. I took a quick jaunt in the hood, Larry did a little cleaning around the yard. Nothing exciting.

Northern Flicker

Male Downy Woodpecker
White Throated Sparrow

Enjoy your Day!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Day 359 - 29th December 2017 - White Throated Sparrow, Red Winged Blackbirds and The Lake

It remained cold all day yesterday, brrr. I've decided I'm not a fan of winter anymore. I used to have a tolerance for it, but now I just want it to go away. The house just doesn't want to warm up either, but I think that's all down to the fact there is not enough snow down yet to be banked up against the foundation of the house. Once that happens it acts as an extra layer of insulation keeping the drafts out.  The joy of an old house. Larry has been struck with the man cold, I'm hoping this morning he's feeling somewhat better since he slept most of yesterday away. I started off with the headache and cold chills after supper but this morning other than sniffles I don't feel any worse so I am no doubt going to survive.  The feeders are active in the cold weather. Lots of Goldfinches and a flock of Starlings as well as three Red Winged Blackbirds. Of course the Woodpeckers, Chickadees, Nuthatches, a few Juncos and the White Throated Sparrow spend most of the day.
 White Throated Sparrow - he's getting more sociable now
 Pussy Willows look like they are budding up!
 The Lake seems to be frozen now - I can hear the woop, woop in the morning.
Mourning Dove with two of the tree Red-Winged Blackbirds that were around the feeders yesterday. Nice surprise.

Enjoy your day!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Day 356-358 - 28th December 2017 - Woodpeckers and Bird Nests

I'm back! I'd like to say we had a fun couple of days but being without power in the winter time isn't really all that entertaining. It gets old really fast, especially since it's been so cold. Although one thing I noticed was with the dark sky (no street lights, etc) the stars were so bright those few mornings.  Now we have a "cold artic airmass" over the province - brrr for the next few days - windchill of -20 to -30. I'm not right thrilled with that forecast. Anyway we continue on.  A few years ago (maybe longer) we had a power outage for several days before Christmas and the power returned Christmas Eve. I don't remember it being so miserable. This time the temperatures were probably lower. Even though we have a wood furnace we get a minimum amount of heat - the blower of course is electric. So the basement is warm, the upstairs is warm but the main floor remains cool. It keeps the pipes from freezing. We have a butane burner that serves as a cook surface so that's good. Larry got our generator going - it's small but will charge up a few things as well as keep the fridge going or the freezer (we alternate between the two). We checked on some of the neighbours in the hood, making sure they had what the needed, delivering water to one. Played crib by candle light in the evening and I caught up on my reading.  Next trip to town I'll need to stock back up on paper plates, butane and batteries.
Male Downy Woodpecker
 Female Woodpecker
I can always find the bird nests after the leaves are gone!

Enjoy your day!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Day 355 - 25th December 2017 - Fox Sparrow, Junco and Grandmother's Journal

Merry Christmas Everyone! So finally the day has arrived. Quiet in this house, as usual I'm up too early. Wind is blowing, the stars that twinkled in the sky last night have disappeared. We had a good day yesterday, delivered our gifts to family (I'm lost one but the recipient knows I'm searching), took a run to the Industrial Park looking for birds, dropped off my cakes, picked up milk and then headed home. Larry took the opportunity to put some more wood in the basement as it was fine. I puttered around and then curled up and read for a bit. Larry did up creamed lobster for our anniversary supper - so very good. Usually we go out to visit on Christmas Eve but decided to stay in last night. Hopefully the weather will hold up and we will join our family at Mom & Dad's later today. One weather site says snow turning to freezing rain to rain, the other just says rain. So guess the easiest way to figure this all out is to look out the window when the daylight comes.
Grandmother's Journal: 
24th December 1977 - Very mild. I drove to town. Stopped for tea with the girls. Bob, Bobbie and Mike came down later.  Had a nice Xmas Eve with our family.
25th December 1977 - Lots of nice Xmas presents. Spent the night Xmas Eve at Bobbie & Betties. Bob, Mike and Bobbie went to MC for most of the day. When they came home we had Xmas Dinner. After dinner Bob & I came home. Stopped at Barb & Judy's, got home about 10:30. Real nasty storm - high winds, heavy rain and lightening. Very mild and warm. I am very tired tonight. Very high winds and rain overnight. Had a real nice Xmas.
Fox Sparrow at the Industrial Park. Lots of Robins, a Northern Flicker, Juncos, Chickadees, Goldfinches.
Bird nest

Enjoy your day!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Day 354 - 24th December 2017 - Downy Woodpecker, White Throated Sparrow and Blue Jay

Here we are at Christmas Eve. It's mild out, rain seems to have stopped and the snow is all gone again.  Should be a good day for those that have  travel, although the temperature will drop later. Watch the roads tonight.  And it appears we'll get some ice pellets Christmas morning and then straight rain. Sounds like they've changed their mind about the storm but high winds are expected. Maybe we will get to Christmas Dinner after all. It is my favourite thing - I know I'm all about the food! This is truly the most relaxed I've been before the holidays in years, I'm just chilling about the whole thing. Normally it's a time of year where I nearly kill myself to get ready but not now. Today we'll deliver gifts to family, drop off the little cakes I made at the Church Hall in Town for the Dinner tomorrow, maybe take Big B. for a short run and home to relax. Thankful to our neighbour who gave us lobsters, they'll be on the menu for supper tonight.

Female Downy Woodpecker - we have about 6 Woodpeckers in the yard - both Downy and Hairy.

White Throated Sparrow is still a bit shy but is coming around.
Blue Jays are fun to watch and listen to.

Enjoy your day!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Day 353 - 23rd December 2017 - Goldfinch, Grackle and Mourning Dove

Snowing again this morning, had started early last evening so there is a little bit down.  Looking at the forecast seems like today is going to be messy - snow, then freezing rain and then lots of rain. The feeders will be busy this morning, snow always brings the birds. Still have the White Throated Sparrow around, a number of Woodpeckers both Downy and Hairy stop in to the suet. Goldfinches are getting more settled. Maybe today will bring something new. They still haven't made a decision on Christmas Day's weather. Hopefully by tomorrow we know more about that. Right now - there is a warning up - snow or rain....... ummm. Got lots done yesterday - groceries, few deliveries made, gas. Put away the wrapping paper, bags etc.Amazing how that stuff came out of the closet easier than it went back in. I've got a couple hours of baking to do this morning- those little cakes for the Annual Christmas Dinner. It's free and open to anyone. My favourite part of the day is Dinner at my parents with all the family.

Goldfinch and Chickadee sharing

The Grackle is here everyday.
And there are lots of Mourning Doves.

Enjoy your day!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Day 352 - 22nd December 2017 - Downy Woodpecker, Robin and Ice

Just when I thought I was beginning to sleep, I get up at 3am - going to be a very long day. Hopefully after going to town this morning for a few groceries, errands and deliveries I'll snag a little nap. It's cold and windy out there this morning,but the stars are shining brightly in the sky. Think I've got everything wrapped so I can put the paper and bags back in the closet for another year. Larry put some more wood in the basement, doing it much slower than he normally would  but it's getting done and helping to build up his strength too. I can't seem to stop baking-did a trial run on a cranberry gingerbread cake yesterday. Have a pan that does little individual cakes so thought I would try it out. Have volunteered to do a cake for the  Dinner that is put on in town on Christmas Day. Think they'll work out fine and if I double the recipe will get 4 to 5 dozen.  Maybe a lemon or caramel sauce would go nicely . 

Downy Woodpecker - there is something in that hole in the tree
 Robin hiding among branches
Ice in the lake from a few days ago.

Enjoy your day!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Day 351- 21st December 2017 - Berries, Goldfinch and Song Sparrow

Brrr...the temperatures have dipped down again and it's windy, but apparently they are going back up tomorrow. Wednesday was a freaky weather day. Sun came out, got dark, hail, rain then snow flurries most of the afternoon. There is still one lone Grackle that hangs around the yard most of the day. The large flock of Mourning Doves try hogging the feeders, making it difficult for the smaller birds to eat. I'm sure 6 Mourning Doves can cram themselves into a feeder that 4 Chickadees couldn't. Don't get me wrong - they all have to eat but some are greedier than others. Larry put a little more wood in the basement but then found the deck was getting greasy so gave it up. Have to send him into town later this morning to pick up some things which will give me a chance to whip around getting things done.

Not many berries left in our area.

Goldfinch settled in for breakfast

Our resident Song Sparrow.

Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Day 350 - 20th December 2017 - Downy Woodpecker, Chickadee and White Breasted Nuthatch

Stars are out this morning, must be a little cooler (but not cold) as I can see frost sparkling on the deck. For those travelling you might what to be careful this morning, roads could be a bit slippery. It rained most of Tuesday, but we headed off to Cape Sable Island to visit and catch up with friends and then Barrington for a little shopping. Not much as I was more or less finished - just needed a few things. For some reason I never feel my shopping is complete with out a trip to Barrington. We were home by mid afternoon. Cathy stopped in for coffee on her way from work, nice to have a chat. Larry went to work making one last gift I need, today that will be done and I'll give it a coat of paint. Seems that a few weeks ago I had nothing done, now I am pretty well finished and am looking forward to a few days of reading and  some birding over the holidays.
 Male Downy Woodpecker
White Breasted Nuthatch

Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Day 349 - 19th December 2017- Blue Jay, White Breasted Nuthatch and White Throated Sparrow

Temperature has risen this morning with a little rain. Well you all know the saying- it's Nova Scotia -  wait 5 minutes and the weather will change. It's suppose to remain mild for a day or two. I don't mind a few warmer days but then when the temperatures dip again, it will be all icy underfoot. Larry went on a jaunt to town yesterday leaving me with a couple of hours to buzz around and do some work. I enjoy some time to myself at home - can get so much more done. He managed to get some wood in the basement after lunch. A good way to build his strength and stamina back up after the last couple of months of basic inactivity except exercises and walking. The feeders and yard are active these days. Nice to watch the birds, still no signs of Purple Finches, Pine Siskins or Evening Grosbeaks. Would be great if the Red Polls arrived this year too.

Our bright bird of winter - Blue Jay
 I love watching and listening to the White Breasted Nuthatches
The best I've done with the White Throated Sparrow. He hides in the Honeysuckle Bush.

Enjoy your day!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Day 348 - 18th December 2017 - Downy Woodpecker, Robin and Ice

It's cold, cold this morning, stars are lighting up the sky. I can hear an Owl calling in the distance, otherwise it's very still and quiet. Temperature was - 9 when we came home from the potluck supper last night and I'm sure it's colder this morning. Had a good turn out, Santa arrived with treats for the children and seniors. Nice to see so many out from the community. I spent most of the day working around the house, a  walk after lunch. Larry moved some wood around in the basement, preparing to add more from the woodshed. That time of year when we need to think about putting more in before the worse of winter arrives. The lake has started to freeze over, still a wide channel of water in the middle and my no means safe yet. Milder weather and possibly rain tomorrow will put an end to it.  A White Throated Sparrow has arrived at the feeders. He's pretty shy, no opportunity for a pic yet but will keep my eyes open for a chance. Guess I'll continue working around here today. Exercise class tonight.

Female Downy Woodpecker

A small flock of Robins were in the swamp.

Ice has arrived.

Enjoy your day!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Day 347 - 17th December 2017 - Grackle, White Outs and Ice Droplets's cold out there this morning, but the stars are shining brightly in the sky and the snow is sparkling on the ground.  Wind has picked up since I first looked out. Snowed hard in the morning on Saturday but then stopped around lunch only to throw out a few flurries later on. It was a bit of a lazy day, puttered around cleaning up a few things including laundry. Enjoyed watching the birds at the feeder. The weather has brought more in - a  small flock of Starlings with a Grackle, Mourning Doves, a Song Sparrow, both Nuthatches, more Goldfinches, loads of Chickadees, Woodpeckers and two Juncos. Everyone was hungry so after cleaning out the furnace I filled up the  feeders. Big B and I did get out for a roam later in the day between flurries. Today I need to be more productive - finish filling up tins to give away, potluck supper at our Fire Hall so need to come up with something for that and a number of other things that need crossing off the to do list.
Grackle getting his fill.

White outs across the road.

Ice droplets in the lake.

Enjoy your day!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Day 346 - 16th December 2017 - Lichen, the Lake and Snow

Snowing again this morning - it's that fine stuff that adds up after a while. Looks like a good day to stay home. Will putter around, get the house back to rights and maybe put a few decorations out. If it stops later a walk with Big B will be nice. Friday we seemed to spend a good part of the day in town. Got everything on my list except a few things I forgot,but that's ok,will pick those up the first of next week.  Larry and I had lunch at the Beandock, I had to pick up a couple of things at the museum. Then it was off to Sobeys for groceries, and a few errands at the mall. It was mid afternoon when we got home. I went for a quick jaunt, stopped to Lois' for tea.  Had my first Junco of the season under the Honeysuckle bush before supper, hopefully a few more will join him.
 Snow on the tree lichen
 Wintery and  quiet at the lake
Still hanging on, but snow covered now. Some wild plants have great strength.

Enjoy your day!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Day 345 - 15th December 2017 - Snow, The Lake and Berries

A few snowflakes in the air this morning and  much colder than it has been.  Went out for a roam in the hood yesterday morning - to see the first snowfall. Through the path in the woods, it was quiet and pristine. No tracks ahead of mine except Max the cat. It was a bit of a hard walk for me, the first snow was one of Lexi's favourite walks. Her nose would be to the ground sniffing and throwing snow up in the air. Days like this make me miss her more. It's been eight months since we lost her and there are times I still turn around and look for her.  They say time heals, I hope so.  I probably should remember the good times, not be sad and sometimes I do.  I puttered around the house later,cleaning the upstairs, laundry putting away cookbooks for another year. No Thelma and Louise today, my partner in crime is otherwise committed so I'll drag Larry to town, do some errands, finish up the last few things I need to buy.
The old leaning tree is dressed in white,a skim of ice on parts of the lake.

A few red berries remain.

Pine branch covered in snow.

Enjoy your day!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Day 344 - 14th December 2017 - Snow, Canada Geese and Bear's Brook

A sliver of moon hangs behind the trees, the stars are twinkling in the dark sky. First real snow fall of the season. Winter has arrived, although technically it doesn't happen til the 21st but try telling Mother Nature that. Sounds like anyone that had to be on the roads last evening had a rough time - white out conditions and slippery underneath. What I can see on the deck looks like a couple of inches which was more than the weather people were saying (flurries - 1 cm). Probably not enough for me to get out my snowshoes though. It rained all morning on Wednesday but by noon it had pretty well stopped so we brought in the tree from the building. Went for a quick jaunt and then hauled out the decorations and spent the afternoon  trimming the tree. Finished the last of the cherry dipping. Baking is done for another year unless I get the crazy urge to do something more next week.  So even though I started off being behind things are coming together. Will do my purge/fall cleaning after the holidays this year.
 Snow and Ice on bushes
 Canada Geese

Snow at Bear's Brook on Tuesday

Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Day 343 - 13th December 2017 - Baltimore Oriole, Snow Bunting and Canada Geese

We headed it off to Yarmouth Tuesday, wasn't a bad day to go shopping if one has to do it.  The stores were busy but not like a Saturday so I managed to cope. My shopping is all done except for a few things to pick up in town which I'll do later this week. The rain even held off til we got home. I was surprised going up through the back road it was all snow, still some on the sides when we returned in the afternoon.  Before going home we took a quick run around to a few birding spots and I was delighted to find a Baltimore Oriole and a flock of 50+ Canada Geese.  I think we'll get the tree up today, not sure about decorations but that might get done too. Will wrap what I picked up yesterday and do a few other things around. It's coming together.

Baltimore Oriole
 A single Snow Bunting on the back road.
A few of the many Canada Geese - yes some were in a Cemetery. They must be regulars there as I saw them a couple of years go in the same spot.

Enjoy your day!