Posts Tagged ‘Sparrow’

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

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 Yesterday morning the skies were just beautiful .. rosy pink clouds scattered overhead, I just had to go outside for a little walk to have a closer look!  What an amazing way to start of the day, with this most magnificent display of beauty!

It was a little bit chilly and I saw a thin layer of frost on a few garden items in the back yard.   Early in the morning, the birds were happily nibbling away at the seeds, the suet and the chunks of fat in the suet holders.

Saw a pair of Spotted Towhees swiftly searching the ground for any delicacies .. .of which there are a plentiful supply .. bird seed, insects, you name it.

Happy to see a pair of Red-Breasted Nuthatches flitting about.  The Sparrows (white crown, gold crown) were there also.  As were the Chestnut-backed Chickadees.  Haven’t seen the Downey Woodpecker, but maybe that is just a matter of timing .. I’m not there when he’s out there feeding.   I miss the little fellow.

At my last visit to Michael’s I’d enjoyed interesting conversations on knitting and was particularly interested in a new (to me) type of circular scarf.  It is either knitted in the round or crocheted or knitted on 2 needles.   The bottom sections are sort of twisted and then attached.  The resulting scarf can then be worn as a hood, wrapped around as a scarf or used as a mantle.

This intrigued me .. so I searched through a nearby knitting magazine, saw a pattern, committed the stitches to memory . .chose some wild wool & an accompanying fuzzy wool to jazz it up and planned to create one of these magnificent scarves.

And I knitted and unravelled .. over and over.  I’d start out with 65 stitches, k1, p1, then 2nd row, p .. and somehow kept dropping and picking up stitches.  It was challenging to pick up both strands of wool, as they were each multi-coloured and the one strand was so delicate.   I felt as if I was in a Lucille Ball episode.  It was truly hilarious.

I’d  play around with the method of casting on the first row.  Finally settled on the 2 strand method.  I’d been holding the needles so tightly that I can feel the muscle strain in my right shoulder.  Too tense.

After quite a number of attempts at following various pattern instructions, I was happy to find this site:  http://www.wonderhowto.com/how-to-knit-simple-fake-moebius-scarf-413466/  Knitting by Judy.  I love her instructions – knit the scarf as wide as you want and as long as you want!  Those are my kind of instructions.

So I’m soldiering on with this scarf, I will not let it defeat me.  And soon I ‘ll have some of the tangles undone!

Yesterday was quite the day!  I spent way too much time searching crafting sites on StumbleUpon!

Followed by a few hours of playing outside, which included planting salal, flowering bulbs, potting up ivy cuttings into larger pots.   Planting more garlic bulbs that I’d found!

Lots of time looking at the birds.

The showers began and I continued to dig and play.  Finally, the drops were just a little too heavy so I went inside.  Time to start perusing my beading and art books.   Made notes, dreamed, planned .. lovely.

And so another day starts now!  Soon I’ll be taking little Youbou to his second acupuncture treatment!  yea!!




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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Yesterday was a most beautiful day!  There was a frosty film covering every surface of my little car!  I had places to go and very little time to scrape off enough of this icy material .. so I quickly worked away with my recently acquired Toyota ice scraper.  Soon I was on my way.

Friday was my chance to root for my choice of New Mayor for our municipality .. and I was looking forward to that!

Not long after, I was on a foot walkway atop a busy main thoroughfare of our fair city, happily waving to thousands of cars that passed by .. people en route to work.

Our team of 5 were all enthusiastically waving and cheering and we received many happy waves in returns, plus many cars showed their agreement by honking their horns!

That was such fun and I enjoyed every second of it.

The skies were blue, the clouds were tinged with a rainbow of colours .. portents to a good day and a good election!

Ok . .then home and lots of busyness in the garden. I’ll talk about that later.  Right now I’m off to do my participation in this most important day of days, Election Day!

However, I must post pics of this most darling, rotund little bird that suddenly appeared by my feet last night.  I’ve spent hours this morning, trying to lighten up the photos that I took.  My camera wasn’t set at twilight.

Anyway, if anyone knows what kind of bird this is, pls let me know .. he wasn’t timid and didn’t fly away.

Away I go .. and will return later to recount events of yesterday!


So yesterday, at the end of my long day spent clearing up the garden, sorting pots, raking leaves (and stomping on the gigantic leaf mulch pile) .. I took some time to just stop and watch the antics of the birds.

It was around 4 pm or so, the sun was setting, and the light wasn’t the best.  I was standing near the main food station, which is the lovely little Lee Valley arbour .. from which I have placed: a bird feeder; a thistle seed container .. and a hummingbird feeder.

I was standing there ever so quietly .. blending into the shadows, as it were .. enjoying the frolicking of the Dark Eyed Juncos, the Anna Hummingbird (the backyard family, that is), the Sparrows, including the White Crowned Sparrow (they seem to appear in the late afternoon .. perhaps they have a busy schedule all day long).

And I was so happy to see that there was not only one .. but two!!! Spotted Towhees!  So I didn’t dare breathe, and kept clicking away on my camera.  I was afraid to startle them, so I wasn’t able to adjust the camera to the twilight or sunset mode.

Then I just happened to glance down at the ground and there was the most rotund little bird that I have ever seen in my life!!  I don’t know how he had arrived there.

He was just barely 2 feet away.  It was so strange.  He was breathing quite rapidly, his little chest rose and fell at a rapid pace, and I wondered if he had been in some kind of crisis.   He lifted his sweet little face up to me and I saw a pair of the brightest little eyes and, I might be totally imagining this, but his demeanor was quite trusting.

Staying in the same spot, he was busily munching away on the seeds that were dropping from the bird feeder overhead.  The Juncos were quite comfortable with his presence and moved freely around.  After I’d clicked quite a number of pictures, I bent down to have a closer look.  He didn’t shy away and run, so I was curious about that.  Looking closely at his back, I could see quite a bit of fluffy, sort of down like feathers on his back.  His little wings were neatly folded and there didn’t appear to be any problems with them.  He was so rotund that I couldn’t see how he could fly.

After a while, I moved a little closer to him.  His breathing had appeared to be more normal now.  He didn’t fly away, but just seemed to scuttle along on his little feet and I soon lost sight of him.  Argh.

I decided to walk along the opposite side of the yard and soon caught sight of him again . .there he was .. walking along the newly planted ferns.    In a few seconds, he had perched his little feet onto the stem of a plant, so I thought that was a good sign.  He moved on again until he reached a grouping of potted Red Hot Pokers.   I moved closer … until he disappeared and then popped up again, in one of the pots.  There were some hanging cedar branches nearby, so I decided that he was alright.

I don’t know what kind of bird he is.  This being November, I don’t think that any bird-babies are happening, but I could stand to be corrected.

Quite the little mystery, it seems.  I’ve been searching for information on what type of bird he is .. but no joy so far.

And today has been quite a day.

More tomorrow!


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Friday, November 11, 2011

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Lazy morning, not inspired to do much.   Sky is overcast, rain comes and goes .. till the early afternoon that is.

Yesterday the weather was completely different .. it was a sun shiny day.   What did I do yesterday?

Hmmm .. .I went looking for a shallower litter box for Duncan & Youbou.  However, no joy … the trays were deeper than I wanted.   Kept looking up at the sky . .it was sunny .. why was I shopping?????

Made it back home and remembered that I’d wanted to get a few veggies at the Root Cellar .. so va va voom .. there I go!  Lovely selection.   Even bought some organic celery .. the stalks are thin, but the colour looks great .. so into my shopping basket!

Visited Home Hardware on Burnside .. and what did I see when I entered the doors .. two beautiful dogs, one was named Luna .. both were sweet, shaggy and friendly.   They wandered around in quite a relaxed manner.  I just wanted to hug them.  But I did restrain myself.

Stopped in at Thrifty’s for a few things .. as I entered the parking area, I noted a funky little sports car, roof down, and a happy little Beagle was all comfortably seated in the passenger seat.  Seat restrainer buckled in.  Blankets tucked around him.   Big fluffy doggy pillow in front of him.  And here was me .. without my camera!   It was a lovely sight to see this beloved dog!

Yippee .. final stretch .. now I head home.  Put everything away.  I see that the acorn squash has a sticker with instructions on how to cook .. good idea.   That will be a nice addition to a soup or stew or maybe just baked!

Everything put away, finally I can go outside and play for a while.

Spend a good few hours cutting some bamboo .. omg .. some of the growth is over 20 feet in length.   I cut them up, using the sturdy bottom sections for the addition to my mulching area little fencing project.  Soon I’m hammering these sections into the ground.  And not too long after, weaving the more slender sections of bamboo in and around these sections.

It’s quite a sweet little fence.  Next I empty the recently gathered 18 bags of oak leaves.  Next I water them thoroughly and then it’s time to climb onto the pile and stomp around, in my gumboots.  Ah, to be a kid again, feels great.

Then, I just can’t stand the suspense!  I grab my gardening fork and start lifting up segments of the original mulch pile.   The one I’d started a few weeks ago .. and… lifting out some bits near the top .. I see the lovely heat rising up .. and see that the leaves have started to break down already!  I’m tempted to turn the whole pile over, but make myself wait for a few weeks.  It’s good to get the heat going first.    Oh, this is going to be just beautiful material for the garden .. I can hardly wait till spring!

The birds are out in full force.  The Sparrows are having such a long, loud conversation, I wonder if there is a convention going on in the apple tree?

Most of the regulars are visiting .. good to see them.   Happy to see that everyone loves the suet blocks!  The bird feeders are empty, time to fill them up.

All too soon, dusk descends … time to leave my little friends and go inside.

Once the kitty kats have been fed .. it’s time for Supper, Coronation Street .. time to relax with DH ..  it’s been a day!

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

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Yesterday was nice and sunny all day!  After I finished my 2 hours of distributing pamphlets .. it was time to drive over to my leaf source and bag up oak leaves!

Whew .. I knew that I had reached my limit and yesterday confirmed that.  I was rapidly filling up garden bags with oak leaves, using my orange Handie Hands!  Soon I had filled 23 bags.   I crammed as many as possible into my car, drove home, threw them in the driveway and returned to fill my car with the balance of the bags.

Then at home .. the dance of the moving leaf bags began.  At first it seems a formidable task and soon, many trips back and forth, the bags are situated near the mulch pile.   So I spend a bit of time emptying them, stomping on them to compress the layers and finally a good spritzer of water.

I’ve reached my limit of leaves .. thank goodness . now I can focus of finishing preparation of the yard for winter.   Using cardboard and newspaper, I’ll lay down a layer of these materials on the ground and will cover with a good layer of Miracle Mulch.   Some plants I just don’t know where to plant permanently, so I’ll just dig them in for the winter.

Lovely layer of frost on the yard yesterday and the same today.   Beautiful sunrises both days.

Noticed some new birds in the garden.   Some white Crowned Sparrows … at first, I had noticed some musical trilling bird calls ..looked around and saw these lovely little birds .. so I wonder if they were singing.

Another time, I noticed some birds at the feeder, they had yellow throats, tawny heads and dark bands on their wings.  Perhaps they were the singers.   I’m looking in my bird books to see the type of birds they are.

Looking through a trellis, I notice a larger bird at the suet block .. later I read that it is a European Starling.  Quite striking plumage.

Enjoyed watching the antics of the Red Breasted Nuthatch.  At one point, I was standing about a foot away from the suet block .. and he came flying in and began feeding.  He hadn’t noticed I was there … so I was able to enjoy a few minutes of up close observation.

The more I observe the lovely birds in our  yard, the more I wonder about the covered up lakes and ponds that once existed at Babe’s Honey Farm … where once there surely must have been quite a variety of birds that lived there.  What happened to them and how could this have been allowed to happen?  The 10,000 truckloads of waste that were dumped there. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UGnRFeIPHA


Anyway, it was a lovely day, especially with time spent just relaxing, watching the beautiful winged creatures that visited our yard.

Then it was time to go inside, prepare supper.   And I made a huge chicken lasagna, enough for 3 meals!   More garden time for me, hee hee hee.

On with this most lovely day.

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

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Yesterday was truly a thorough working day.  I was determined to spend the whole day outside, creating order out of chaos in the middle section of the back yard.  The day started out sunny and cool weather was predicted for the afternoon. So I worked hard trying to clear up this area.

Started out with just staring at the space, sipping my Y tea .. trying to imagine how I could create a nice little flow from the newly reshaped veggie garden into a little seating area and then a propagating area.

No flashes of inspiration.  Started moving the rocks around .. I’d used them to edge the veggie garden areas last year .. found myself tripping over them a lot .. so decided to just throw them, helter skelter over here (easier than carrying them over, saved time .. and time was important).

Since I decided to line the veggie gardens with bricks, the rocks, all shapes and sizes would be used elsewhere .. don’t know where just yet, though.

I’d promised my DH to not overtake the whole yard and make it into a series of gardens.   He would like a specific area for grass .. so I started to mark the line of division.    Finally, a flash of inspiration … bricks would make a great transition.  The lawn mower would easily pass over them quite easily.  The only problem .. where in the yard could I find more bricks?

Aha .. I remembered the bricks I’d used at the side yard .. there certainly would be enough there.  And I’d replace the bricks with some of the rocks!  So I started the trek, carrying a container of rocks to the sideyard, remove 6 bricks, replace with stones, carry the bricks over to the garden, repeated until I had enough bricks.  I felt like a little ant, carrying things back and forth!

And I like the look of the rocks at the side yard, they blend in much better than the bricks did .. the look is more natural and relaxing.

I always find it interesting when I start out on a project, not sure of the changes that I’ll make .. work away .. and then suddenly, the creativity starts.  The ideas arrive and the energy takes over.  How fun.  I love this process, it always surprises me .. and perhaps it shouldn’t.  What happens is that I’m allowing myself to tap into my creative energy and it’s like delving into a treasure trove!

Back to the new garden area .. on my hands and knees, digging spaces for the bricks ..in some places the roots of the cherry tree are too close to the surface, so I can’t place whole bricks there.   Luckily I have some split bricks that suit  the purpose.

A few hours later, the bricks are in.  I’ve filled in the empty spaces with the newly sifted soil and the area is starting to take shape.

Next I start gathering my bags of leaves, bags of compost, bags of soil into one area.   Wow … hadn’t realized that there was so much material.  It is going to be heaven to have one area for propagation!  I’ll set up a proper work area .. for now, though, it’s enough to assemble all similar materials.

Then, I moved those lovely styrofoam rooting containers into one area.  Hmm.. didn’t realize I had so many of these, either .. and I still plan to fill more.

Time to put all my lattice frames in one space .. hmm.. I do have some, don’t I!  These will be used to create a little garden nook, with my bench and the pond liner (next year).

There are 2 large Rubbermaid containers and one wheelbarrow full of lovely surplus soil from the garden area .. so I drag the containers and barrow so they are all together.

The rocks . .. well, I’m hoping inspiration will strike me today … maybe a little round garden bed or something.

Man, I was just physically exhausted form the whole day of thinking, sifting, dragging, moving, organizing!  So I decided to set up my camping stool, iPod, Suduku, and just settle back and relax for a while.

Had fun watching the Sparrows, Junco’s, Woodpecker all trying out the thistle seed in the feeders and the suet block.   Was very glad that I’d put a surplus of grass seed in the one area by the veggie garden.   As this seemed to be a popular place for the Junco’s.    Well, I’m not worried .. there are lots for both of us.

Totally satisfied with the work done .. and looked forward to DH’s arrival at the end of the day .. he was suitably impressed with my progress!.

Today seems to be starting with a promise of good weather .. so shortly I’ll go outside and start playing around with my “new” space in the back yard.  Look forward to new flashes of inspiration!

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