Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Antics in the Yard

We had a lot of rain yesterday, which is a good thing, since our well is pretty low. We really have to watch our water use. This is definitely a consequence of a dry summer. The wind has blown fairly hard all day today, and this morning it was quite chilly. Fall can't be far away. I tried to post a video of the chipmunk and bird antics, but it just wouldn't "finish", so I finally gave up. Stills will have to suffice. I so enjoy watching. Even if I can't share the videos, I love to watch them myself. Perhaps they are too long. I sort of got carried away, and there are neat shots of blurry trees, and leaves on grass, while I tried to follow a bird or the chipmunk. Ah well.

There are usually 12-15 finches around

The purple colour doesn't show up very well, but the bird on the left looks
like it has been dunked in raspberry juice. It's a purple finch. The female
looks more like a sparrow. The young goldfinch on the right is ok with the company.

A bit blurry, but I had to add another feeder to accommodate the numbers

And of course, little Chippy.
The hummingbirds are still here, though it won't be too long before they start heading south, perhaps they'll stay another week if I'm lucky. I will miss them.
It will soon be time to start up Fall programs at the church, so I have been going through music, to get ready for choir. It will be interesting to say the least, doing this on my own. Hope all goes well.
I have an assistant who will play when I have to be away. That's a good thing, since I have an operation on my eye coming up. Darned cataract...........!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Enjoyment or a 'Waste of Time?

That is what I ask myself sometimes, as I sit outside, with my coffee, or lemonade, and watch the activity at the bird feeders and in the grass. I prefer to think of it as enjoyment, whether or not it is a waste of time.
Sometimes there are several different birds, and the chipmunk, all doing their thing. The jays are screaming, the goldfinch are singing, the chickadees are dee-dee-deeing, doves are cooing, sparrows are scrambling, playing tag (it seems) and this morning they were joined by evening grossbeaks, for the first time this summer.
How can a person not sit and watch them flitter to the feeder, then fly to a branch to break the sunflower seeds open? The goldfinch will sit right in the feeder and eat. The chipmunk tries to gather all the seeds that have been dropped, filling her/his pouches so full, I wonder that it isn't top-heavy. I can't forget the humming birds, that have become so accustomed to me that they will hover and look right at me, about 3ft away, sometimes less. They perch quite often in the tree, and sometimes decide that there are too many birds and whir around chasing a few away. They are so amazing. The more I watch them, the more I am infatuated with them. I suppose it will soon be time for them to start their migration. I am not sure when they begin. Perhaps it depends on how warm the weather stays. I try so hard to get some good pictures of them, but my camera is not equipped with the necessary close-up focus that I really should have, and I guess I am more of a watcher than a photographer.

Goldfinch on limb, and a pine siskin in feeder, though I am not positive of that one.

Sadie does not like to be left alone, and misses me when I go out, and she is left inside. Last evening, as I was watching the birds, I heard this scratching sound, and wondered where it was coming from. Then, I looked up to the window of my den, and there was Sadie, scratching on the window, as if to say, "Hey, remember me? I'm your loving puppy dog who DOES NOT LIKE TO BE LEFT ALONE! Well, what could I do but get right in the house, and give her a big hug, (all the while, giggling to myself.) To explain, I have two desks, one for the laptop, and beside it, another for writing and painting, and felting. Sadie likes to sit on the desk when I am working, and look out the window, or sleep or whatever. She manages to get down from there, when I don't lift her down, by walking across the two desks, squeezing under the shelf where the printer is, thence to the file cabinet, then onto the back of a living room chair, to the seat, and then to the floor. Apparently, she retraced her steps last night and found her way to the window. What a puppy. Well, she's not really a puppy, as she is 81/2, and probably getting more spoiled every day.

Sadie at 'her' window.
Now, some more pictures from my trip to Ironwood.

tomatoes in the hot house

The new ram, Lester, brown, in the background.

More sunflowers. These are huge, and growing in the field across the road

A part of the same field

That will do it for now. Back to my question.......definitely enjoyment.....and being in the moment.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Ironwood Visit

Finally, I made a trip to Ironwood. Took the big, old truck and headed off around 9am. There is construction going on at Windsor, so had a long wait, going and coming home. No problem. I wasn't in a rush.  Managed to find my way without missing a turn, except for the driveway, which is sort of hidden, and I recognized it just as I was passing. I laughed at myself, found a place to turn around and turned in to start my day at the farm. I had waited a long time to get there, and was quite proud of myself, first for taking the truck and second for getting there without getting lost. When you aren't the driver, you miss the roadmarks, and this was the first time on my own.

I really like to take lots of pictures when I'm there. I told Heather that I had more pictures of Ironwood than anything else. There is just something about the old place and the outbuildings, the tunnel and green house, and of course, my favourite, the sheep, that make me pull out the camera and start shooting.

It is a very busy place, people coming and going, and lots of things going on. Heather and I went to pick blackberries, and encountered some very interesting spiders.

The spider is difficult to see, but it is upper middle.
Some were quite big, and when we got back to the house we discovered that they were black-and-yellow Argiope. Their presence made us very careful where we picked. Heather did most of the picking, I stared a lot at the spiders.

It is a beautiful place, and it is right on the Avon River. Here are a few shots from the field we were in, looking to the river. This field is across the road from the farm house site.

The little lambs had grown of course, so I made my way around the various fields to visit them. First off, I went to see Luke, and his "girls".

On my way to visit the ram lambs I met "Wilbur" , who posed for me quite nicely.

I called him Wilbur, influenced by my visit with the spiders across the road.

They are still beautiful, and friendly.

I have so many pictures to share, that I will post again on Ironwood. Suffice to say, it was great seeing Heather and Rupert, and spending a day at my favourite place. 

Managed to get caught in a real downpour coming home; a rain so hard that I pulled off the 101 and took the old highway until the rain slowed.

All in all a great day.
Will post more pictures next time.

Monday, August 13, 2012

The week has passed quickly, even though we closed the u-pick on Monday. We had a pretty good season, despite the slow start. Thus, I am no longer tied to the house and phone. A great relief.

Lindsay and I went down to inspect the lower pond, to see what was happening there. I was surprised at the reeds that had grown up, and there are now frogs in the pond, as well. Every pond should have its share of frogs.

Lindsay - the cattails are taller than her

a couple of froggies

The water level is down quite a bit, as we've had very little rain. You can tell by the colour of the field that it is dry.

This past weekend was busy, and I am always tired the day after, so now I will be trying to catch up after 3 days of activities. Our community and the next one, held a joint picnic friday evening. There were lots of folk there, food galore, games for kids, and neighbours catching up on news.
I did not take the camera, and so I have no pictures of the event.

Saturday was spent in Halifax at the Give Kids the World fundraiser, that Dawn and Rae had been so involved in. It is the same charity that Lindsay raised money for. The Hfx event raised over $5000 for the village in Orlando, that welcomes Wish Children and families, at no charge.

Yesterday following church, there was a Baptism, held at a member's cottage on a nearby lake. It was a very special time.

It takes a while for me to recover after lots of activities, and so I am going to just take it easy today, and catch up on a few things that were left in the lurch on the weekend.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Between this and that... has been quite a while since I have posted. I kept thinking I would wait until I had enough things to make posting worth while, but the days have sped by so quickly, that the things I wanted to write about are really old news, or completely forgotten.

Having passed my 69th birthday, I find though I am older, I am not much wiser, and still manage to get myself in the middle of a muddle. Oh well, life goes on.

Heather treated Dawn and I to a play in Wolfville, Wingfield's Progress, which we all enjoyed. Dawn's birthday is the day before mine, and they fall right in the middle of raspberries, so we had to take a welcome evening off to go.

The raspberries, though slow in coming, really came on strong 2 weeks ago, lots of orders, and many, many u-pickers. They are drawing to an end now, as many are overripe, but we'll stay open for u-pick for a few days yet. The weather has been desperately hot the last couple of days. Fried raspberries anyone?

I have been seeing fledgling blue jays, song sparrows, goldfinch and hummers, as I sit outside, ready to wait on customers from the raspberry field. The chipmunk has been paying regular visits to the lawn, helping himself to the dropped seeds. He, or one of his friends have found some sunflower seeds on the picnic table, which were left purposely to see what would search them out.
At one time, there were 3 chipmunks racing around, and they didn't seem to mind my watching. One of the chipmunks is an accrobat, and has found a way to the small bird feeder, though is not that great at jumping from the tray to the tree limb above.......vroom......flop!  Another time he was in the feeder, and was joined by a chickadee. Neither seemed to care.

I have been watching some of the Olympics, when I can. I was completely worn out rocking back and forth, helping our Canadian rowers. What talented young people, and I mean all the athletes. All having worked so hard, and given up a lot of things to pursue their dreams. It's a shame that only the top three are recoginzed, because there are so many who have achieved their personal best, or those who just didn't give up, pushing through the pain to finish, perservering to the end. I think it is quite an achievement just to qualify for these games. I salute all of them.

Here are a few pictures from the last couple of weeks.

Lilies blooming

Look carefully-there is a hummer on the small branch

Little chipmunk sniffing around