Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Love Notes. Scratch That. Dove Notes

I believe after yesterday's poking fun at the mourning doves, they have all been busy early this morning leaving me little "love notes"? No, wait, scratch that, they've been leaving "Dove Notes". Of course!

I wish I was better at bird hieroglyphics. I have a sneaky suspicion they're telling me they're not as dumb as they look! This is the best I could decipher from the little symbols ... let me know if you see something different.

hmmm ... "follow your h.e.a...?!"

"l.o.o.k. o.n. t.h.e. b.r.i.g.h..." I dunno

"W.a.l.k. a. m.i.l.e. i.n. m.y. .s.h.o..."  Whoops! a little mistake there

"b.i.r.d.s. o.f. a. f.e.a.t.h.e.r. f.l....?!"

The only one that was painfully clear to me was this last one ....

"b.i.r.d. f.e.e.d.e.r. e.m.p.t.y."
 Got it.

I have been enjoying watching a link that Quinn of Comptonia put me onto. It's a live cam set up above the nest of a Great Horned Owl in Savannah, Georgia, high up in a pine tree in a golfcourse. The link is through Cornell University. If you're into bird watching, this is so fun to watch. I pop in to see Mrs. GHO early in the morning, and then throughout the day. Owls are most active at night, of course, but you won't miss a thing. There's an infra-red light that picks up all the details all through the night without disturbing the owl. 

I've enjoyed watching Mrs. GHO sit through a rain storm, be visited by a little jay who landed with some surprise on her nest, and watching her roll the eggs. Mr. GHO does not help in the egg incubation, but he can be heard hooting softly to the Mrs. letting her know he's caught a little snack for her. When she hears that, off she goes for just a few minutes to collect her dinner. Then quickly back to the nest where she settles in for several more hours. She is such a good mother. This morning the crows were pestering her out of view of the camera, but very vocal. You could hear her giving little warning screeches to them, but she did not budge from her eggs (there are two eggs). Apparently, the eggs are soon to hatch in the next week or so. 

There are lots of little informative notes that people add on the side bar. If you do go to the live video, you can change the setting to high-def for an excellent, clear image. Just click on the "settings" cog wheel on the bottom tool bar of the video screen, click the tiny arrow, and scroll up to the "hd" option. I just love this viewing. Thank you so much Quinn for sharing this link. There are other bird cams set up too, but I like watching the owl the best. There was a pair of Great Horned Owls living in our woods when I was a kid, and I would often see them high up in the trees. I could usually find out where the owl was by following the racket the crows made trying to get them to leave. 

"t.h.a.n.k.s. f.o.r. s.t.o.p.p.i.n. b.y."

Wendy ;)

Linking up with Eileen's Saturday Critters


Monday, January 26, 2015

The Gang's All Here

Every day I get my resident doves coming for a meal under the feeders. When they've had their fill, they all settle in comfortably for an afternoon's repose on top of the arbour. I love mourning doves with all their subtle colouring and their sad little coos, but I think they seem a bit ... hmmm ... simple. I couldn't resist poking a little fun at them today.

click to enlarge ;)


Friday, January 23, 2015

Smug Bunny

Today it warmed up considerably, and even though there was a gale-force wind blowing, it was a bright sunny day. While walking the dog yesterday morning I came across a nice thick patch of ice with some leaves trapped in it. I used to enjoy skating on a creek on our property as a child, and my brother and I would often just lay down on the clear ice and watch life moving in the water underneath us. It was always so fascinating to see the little plants waving in the flow of the water.

This morning I took my camera along with me and snapped a few shots of those maple leaves trapped in the ice. It was this white maple leaf that grabbed my attention yesterday. I'm not sure how this "ice leaf" was created, but I think there was some thawing and refreezing involved.

Then I just continued along this little patch of ice collecting shots. There were interesting depths of layering of leaves and ice that didn't come across in the photos, but I hope you enjoy them anyway. The layer of ice over top of the leaves made such a soft texture that I quite liked.

My daughter came home for the weekend. I always think she's missing us, but I don't think it's the people that live here that she wants to see as much as the animals she wants to cuddle ...

Smudge was quite happy to oblige. He exudes cuteness without even trying ;) A very smug bunny.

Happy Weekend Everyone!


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Sunshine in Winter

It's a gorgeous sunny morning here in southern Ontario!! I hate dreary, overcase winter days which seem to drag on and just make you feel low. But today is crystal clear, the thermometer read -15C (before wind chill) earlier, so I clipped Cody onto his leash and we had a lovely brisk walk out there through our neighbourhood. We have to walk through plenty of shady spots, and the wind bit through any exposed skin pretty quickly. I bundled up well and my woolen scarf was wrapped across my nose, so I was good. As long as Cody keeps moving, he doesn't mind the extreme cold. He felt quite spry this morning and galloped across the soccer field when I let him off the leash. He was ready to play and raced back with a plastic water bottle that he shook to death and raced back and forth across the field with it in his mouth. Silly pup. He's a senior citizen now, but you wouldn't know it!

The pond has been frozen over most of the winter. A little bigger and we could go skating on it. I love outdoor skating, and when my kids were younger, I'd take them and their friends to skate on a large pond in our neighbourhood. It's an old pond that was once a part of a local farm (farm is long gone), but local kids clear it of snow to make a hockey rink and it gets plenty of use. Those are some of my best memories of having all the kids skating on that pond.

I was hoping to catch the mourning doves plumped up and crowding the top of the arbour, but they weren't around when I took these photos this morning. Yesterday, there were about 20 birds nestled together across the top bars. So cute ;)

These grasses look so sparkly and bright through the winter months. Some people despise ornamental grasses, but I just love how the sun reflects off the blades. On a sunny day like today, they just shimmer and catch my eye every time I look out the patio doors. In the summer, they look so lush and provide great privacy around our patio. I plan to put some more of these tall grasses in this summer.

Once we got home Cody enjoyed lying in the sunshine pouring in the kitchen windows. That's the only symptoms he has as an older dog ... he loves to soak up the sunshine now, whereas when he was younger he just couldn't tolerate it.

A tired dog is a happy dog. This saying is so true for our Cody. He's always up for a walk no matter how tired he might appear.

My indoor plants are surviving. The geraniums are doing great in the sunshine, but other things are just hanging on. My in-laws sent a pretty evergreen bouquet at Christmas, and I kept the roses out of it and they've now dried.

I personally would never think to buy white roses, but they do look nice, even dried!

This is my Blue Mountain pottery again. I like the roses draped in this small jug.

And some other bits of colour ...

I mentioned prior to Christmas that I had to complete a bathrobe for my son's gift. I was really cutting it close with a few things, but I did get the robe completed and it turned out really nice.

How's that for some good old-fashioned northern comfort? This is a nice thick fleece. I love this pattern, and this is the second bathrobe I've made from it. I lined the hood, which is a key element in this robe according to my son. No bathrobe should be without a hood says he!

I thought the pattern on the fabric is perfect for my wilderness boy ;)

And now it's time for a small pot of tea!

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you have a wonderful day :)


PS Thank you so much for all your kind comments regarding my computer troubles. Although I didn't throw the computer out the window! (so tempting), I did leave it alone for about a week. The battery died down completely, and when I charged it up again, a lot of the slowness issues had corrected themselves. I've only visited a few blogs recently, but have been able to leave comments successfully. I don't know. I had put in a new battery prior to all the issues and maybe it just needed to reboot and get back to it's proper default. I'm no techy, but I wrote this entire post and uploaded all the photos with absolutely no problems. It would have taken me days prior to this to get one post written up. Looks like I'll be able to get some visiting done now too ;)  See you all soon!!

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Just So You Know

I feel I have to let you all know that I'm having huge computer issues right now. I'm getting so frustrated with it, that I may just cave in and take it to the computer store to see if they can fix it up like it used to be. Every time I try to visit your blogs, I get "error" over and over again. Then when it finally loads up and I type in a comment, the comment window comes up as an error. Sometimes I check back to see if my comment did actually publish, but it's just taking up so much time to do all of this. 

I hate to be rude, so felt I needed to say this. All comments go through my gmail account, so I think I've been able to respond to all the comments you have left for me here. But even then, it takes an age for the gmail account to load, and then another age to get the little reply window to open up.

I've visited everyone who left a comment on the last two posts, and it's really been hit and miss whether I've been able to make the comments stick! I should take this opportunity as well to thank all of you for your wonderful comments when I did my kitchen reveal before Christmas. Time got completely away from me by that point, and I just wasn't able to reply to you all individually. But your positive feedback meant so much to me, and really made me glad to have pushed through and finished the kitchen. You guys are the best support team anyone could ask for ;)

Anyway, I'm not sure how many more times I will even be able to get posts published before I throw this computer out the window!! I may be silent for a little while if I take it in for repairs. 

Thanks for understanding!


my Christmas card from my little brother

Monday, January 05, 2015

New Chandelier & Christmas Boxed Up!

Christmas is all boxed up now, and the weather has turned from mushy-wet to icy-frozen in the space of one day. Personally, I prefer the colder temperatures in winter, and a little snow would be welcome as well. 

Over the holidays we picked up our new kitchen chandelier. I just love the country look it gives to the kitchen. We also got the beadboard up around the sink counter, and it's all painted up. Those two details really made this a country kitchen for me, and I'm just loving it! I forgot to get a photo of the beadboard for this mosaic. The little plate here is one I picked up from the dollar store one year in a rush to use for Santa's cookies when my kids were very small. My kids then insisted that this plate be the official plate used for Santa each year ... and so it is ... or was, now we use it for our own cookies ;)

Now I'm going to do something which will probably make most of you groan ... I've wanted to post photos of some of my Christmas decorations since last year, but my time always runs away from me through the holidays and I've not been blogging too much while my family was home together. If you've had quite enough of Christmas and would rather not look at the decorations, you can slip away now ;)

I bought a set of pewter decorations through the mail from the Canadian Nature Federation  way back before I was married. They're still my favourite decorations. The china bird was purchased at an antiques store years ago, and the mini Santa has a tiny bell inside him (he's really tiny and actually meant for a miniature tree).

The little mouse on a spool of thread and the little bear working on sleigh bells are Hallmark decorations that my husband and I picked out when we were first married. I like to sew, and he likes to work in his workshop. The partridge in a pear tree decorations are printed on leather, and I bought them at the One of a Kind craft show in Toronto many years ago. I couldn't afford the full 12-piece set at the time, and had to be satisfied with just these three. I probably picked these three because they depicted birds. And another pewter decoration from the set.

 A couple more of the pewter decorations, and a glass moose my daughter picked out for my husband's gift one year when she was about 3 years old. 

The first Christmas I moved out of my parents' house and rented a century-old farmhouse with friends, we brought home a live Christmas tree and I made all the decorations for it. These little felt mice and the hazelnut angels were some that I still treasure. 

I have a few decorations that my kids made through the years. The globes hanging from the lamp are made from circles cut from old Christmas cards and then glued together. My daughter's handprint is made from cinnamon and apple sauce and is 18 years old! The star decoration is made from flour dough and made by my son in kindergarten. (my daughter is 20 and my son is 17 now)

The music box was a gift from a previous employer when my daughter was born, and West Coast decorations from my brother and his wife who live in Victoria BC.

A little fishing fox (I like his candy cane hook and the fish underneath him in the water). The trio of crocheted trees was a gift last year from a fellow blogger in New Zealand. The wooden Santa has about six nesting Santas inside him. We bought one set for each of my kids when they were small from a Christmas store in Toronto one year. Behind Santa is my special Venetian cat mask that I bought in Venice a couple of years ago. The little glass snowmen I bought on a whim quite a few years ago.

My kids and I love our nutcracker soldiers, and we have them scattered around the living room at Christmas. Father Time sits on top of the grandfather clock with Baby New Year standing by his side (you can just make out his black top hat). The angel is from my parents' decorations and she adorned their tree every year until my mom died. I repainted her wings in silver paint.

A ceramic snowflake with a piece of sea glass melted on top. I really like this new decoration from my sister-in-law. She always sends the nicest decorations. This particular snowflake was made by one of her friends in Victoria. The advent calender is from my childhood, given to me by my grandparents from Sheffield, UK, in 1964. I'm glad I still have this as it was the one thing I eagerly dragged from our Christmas box as a child each year. The photo is of my two kids when they were little.

My great-grandmother's buffet with various decorations set up around her old oil lamp.

A few years ago, we cut down some scraggly cedars alongside our fence. I peeled the bark off some of the twigs and keep them in this pottery vase. I hang a few nature-inspired decorations on it at Christmas.

And last of all, my tree! As I removed the decorations on the weekend, I took some photos to show my felt-circle garlands that I made a few years ago. I'd be quite happy with just this garland on the tree ;)  I cut the circles from felted sweaters and using a very large tapestry needle, threaded them all onto crochet thread. The circles can slip around a bit which works well when I have to fit it over branches and around decorations.

And that's it folks! I make no apologies for sharing my Christmas things in January, but I did want to have a record of them on my blog. Hope your eyes didn't glaze over too badly ;)

Thanks for stopping by!


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