Friday, April 30, 2010

Crafty Girl.... or Looking for my Niche

You do realize that you'll probably have to click on the image in order to read the text, right?

I was updating my digital photo album that I make PDFs from so I can share with my 'away' friends. I type little blurbs beside each image and this saves me from having to type it up in an email each time. The person I was mostly doing this for is moving here but I'm going to keep adding to my album anyway. I like that I have all the tools (which are the tools of my trade, actually) for building and creating digital albums that will keep for ever (or as long as I have a device for loading and previewing them). It's all good.

So, I'll leave you with some of my crafting attempts. I really do want to get into painting of some sort.... water colours would be nice but I'll have to explore and see how well I do. If I can't do something right, I won't do it at all. Bit of a perfectionist, I'd say.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Little Tweets That Come Calling

I was inspired by a fellow blogger to share some photos of birds that visit our feeders. The quality of my images are poor for a couple of reasons.. 1) My camera is dated and not high end and 2) Some opportunities to take photos mean you get what you can when you can. My longing for a new camera that can take detailed close-up shots is just that. My budget does not allow for every luxury that my heart desires. And so it goes....

I even made a little 15 second movie of our hummingbirds since I didn't have a good photo of them. I used my iMovie software for the first time in many years. The quality is so bad but I did manage to add a theme, a title and some music. So, at the risk of presenting crappy images, here are some of the birds we've enjoyed at our feeders.

I wish I could show you what I get to see from my dining room window. One day, I happened to wander over to the window while talking on the phone and witnessed a Bald Eagle coming down to the water's surface, talons extended and he ever so gracefully plucked a fish from the river and flew off with it. We also see osprey hovering over the river in search of food and then watch him dive bomb into the water and fly off with a struggling fish. Funny to see the osprey fighting to keep a firm hold and find a place to land so he can eat his catch.

We have a number of ducks that pass through in the spring, some I have yet to identify. One type looks like a loon and another which is similar but larger with a reddish orange beak. The females are a drab brown. I think they may be common mergansers. Then there are the Blue Heron's which I have yet to see at the river. I believe they'll show up a bit later in the spring.

Other wildlife I've seen here are coyotes, pheasants, fox, deer, moose. There are bears in the area but I've not seen one yet. And a good thing, too. Some summer evenings, I'll hear a little fox crying out, making the strangest sounds and as for the coyotes, well... I'm not too keen on hearing them howling. On a nature walk a couple of years ago, we were stalked by a pair of coyotes. They were huge. Why do I get the feeling I wrote all this here in my blog before?

The Chickadees don't seem to mind the watchful eye of CeCe!

The coo-ing sound of the Mourning Dove is always welcome.

Seeing these Red Grosbeaks at our feeder was an unexpected treat.

These Evening Grosbeaks were an even more unexpected treat. They're so beautiful!

The Bluejay has always been one of my favourite birds.

Monday, April 26, 2010

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Garden Sanctuary

You who walk,
Maybe with troubled thoughts,
Come, enter here and rest;
And may the sweet serenity of growing things,
And the heavenly peace
Be mirrored in thy soul.

-Doxis M. Palmer

Monday, April 19, 2010

Blogging Blahs and Little Green Worms

The weather sucks - it's cold, windy and rainy. I'm house bound, our dogs are restless and I have nothing of much interest to blog about. Soon, my only brother and his wife will move here to the East Coast, trekking clear across the country with all their belongings in tow. It's a huge ordeal for them but they've accomplished so much already. He has work lined up, a three ton truck for transporting their furniture and a little house to move into.. a rental for now but eventually they will buy some property and build a new home.

I'm looking forward to having family here. While they looking for a house to rent, it was found that more people are looking to rent than there are places to rent. I was able to check out the place they're going to live in as it's not that far from me and the gentleman who's renting the house was very kind to hold the place for my brother even before he put any money towards it... how cool is that?

Now, about those little green worms. We planted a gooseberry bush (it IS a bush, isn't it?) a couple of summers ago. Last summer, it was growing like a weed and I could see that we were going to have a nice little bounty. Then, I look at the plant and the leaves were near gone... it looked sick. How could that happen so fast? Little green worms, that's how. Hubs had to go and pick them all off (shudder). Not a job for a wimp like me. The plant survived, as did the berries and this year, I'm going to be keeping my eye out and some pepper spray on hand - or something. Our garden is strictly organic so whatever we use must be safe for us and our pets.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Oh Ladybug, Ladybug... get out of my house

Isn't she pretty? She eats aphids that eat the plants we love. We like the ladybug. She is our friend.

Yah.. OK. To a point. I wish to talk about ladybugs and being stupid.... err - I mean naive, we thought we were being friends to the sweet ladybug when they decided to find a place in our home...... First, I'd like to back up a few years and tell a story about a Vancouver experience with ladybugs.

We lived along the Fraser River in South Vancouver at the time. Across the river, there were fields of cranberries. In mid October there is usually a warm spell. It's also the time when the cranberry fields get flooded - a harvest thing which I know a bit about. Anyway, all those lovely ladybugs that eat aphids and such have to take to the air. One particular year was a good year for ladybug reproduction. Understatement!

We were out for the day and had left some windows open in our high rise apartment. No biggie. When we got home, we saw our cat sitting at the window looking at 'something' with great interest. We went over to see what held her attention. Ladybug infestation! They were spilling into the sill, the air was filled with them and the apartment building (high rise!) was covered in lady bugs. I recall seeing a lady scooping them out of her apt. Tons and tons of ladybugs. It was science fiction in the making. I was in such awe and have never seen anything like it before or since.

Flash forward some six or so years later. We're country bumpkins now in Eastern Canada. A few ladybugs found their way into our home in the fall. No biggie. We like ladybugs. We have forgotten the infestation episode in Vancouver. We let them live with us till spring. BAD idea. They reproduce, you know, like rabbits, only worse. Poor hubs... filling a jar with them and releasing them outside. This went on for weeks... 50, 70, 90 at a time. By the time it was all said and done, we (mostly hubs) had removed several hundred of them from our house. All this from compassion for a few. Be afraid! Be very afraid and send them suckers right out your door as quickly as possible in the fall. Don't be a victim! Save yourselves and show no mercy. Well, maybe you don't have to go to such extremes. I can count a few of them in my bedroom right now. I just can't squish 'em or flush 'em. Hubs is collecting them and taking them out but I did purge the ones I could find last fall.