I was able to spend a fair bit of time outdoors this weekend. I had a visit planned with my dad on Saturday to take him his new wheelchair!! He was quite cooperative and happy to go out for a walk in the neighbourhood with me. It was really hot!! And since my dad has lived in care facilities he has gained a significant amount of weight through overeating and lack of exercise ... he is a heavy man to push in a chair! Ugh, hard work. He felt sympathy for me and suggested "Come on, I'll push you". Then he said "Take a rest, come sit on my lap". I don't know if he was serious or not ... he looked serious, but I just had to laugh.
I'm so glad my dad still retains a tiny sense of humour even though he has dementia. There are lots of times that I go to see him and all he wants to do is grumble. Then it turns to "I don't know where I am, how do get out of here". It's hard to answer the questions satisfactorily, and then five minutes later he's asking the same things again. There's always a sense of desperation about them, which makes me so sad for him. Getting him out for a walk was such a relief, and a great change of scenery! He was happy, chatty and saying "hello" to people passing by. A very good visit :)
I was walking slowly allowing him time to look around and enjoy everyone's pretty gardens. Even though I wasn't over exerting myself, it was hard work on even the slightest of hills. I was so hot by the time we returned to the home. We wheeled him back to his room, switched over to his walker, and got into the dining room for lunch where someone was sitting in "his" spot. Oh dear. I was luckily able to bring him to the seat beside his usual spot, and he seemed content when I said goodbye.
I guess this will be my usual routine while visiting him now when the weather is fine. I only found out last weekend that he had not been joining any of the outings through the entire winter. I was under the impression that he had been getting out every couple of weeks. I can no longer manage to get him into my own vehicle on my own. I drive a truck, and even when I took a small sturdy step with me, it's really difficult to get him up onto the step and then into the truck. The last time I did that I really didn't think he was going to make it in, and I was getting into a small panic that he was going to fall backwards ... probably on top of me! It was then that I admitted I could no longer manage this safely (I'm no spring chicken myself!). Getting the wheelchair will allow me to take him out again, and he really craves getting out of the building. He loves being outside as much as I do.
Back home I was able to do a small bit of puttering in the gardens. Saturday was hot, and the birds were really enjoying the feeders and the bird bath. The plants are all coming up nicely, although I'm missing a few from last year. And sadly, I think my mom's redbud tree did not make it through the winter ... its branches are bare of any bud or leaf :(
The red-winged blackbirds were cleaning out the feeder regularly. I was just putting one cup full of seed out at a time because they were just inhaling it! You can see in the upper right photo below, the male is strutting his stuff for the little ladies. His bright red epaulets are trimmed with gold, and he fluffs them up with his wings hunched up when he's feeling proud. Once he was back to eating on the feeder, the moment had past and the epaulets are no longer as visible. The blackbirds were all quite vocal, and I just love their reedy song.
One bird that I don't often see in my yard is the cowbird. So named as they will follow cows and other farm animals around out in the pasture. As the cows move along while eating, they disturb bugs, and the cowbirds eat the bugs. I really like these little guys. They used to follow our horse Scamp around the field. I wonder if she didn't enjoy their company too. You can see the subtle colouring on their black bodies in the bottom photo.
And finally, a warbler!! Last spring I was lucky to have been outside when a small troupe of warblers descended one weekend (the May 24 weekend). I wrote a post with lots of photos here if you're interested. This weekend I saw a little Yellow Warbler, and was able to snap four shots of him before he flew away again. I hope more warblers pass through here again, I just love these tiny beauties!
This is what I was seeing last year ...
The American Goldfinches were in their element, especially since I have added another finch feeder for them. I counted ten finches out there, and they certainly brighten up the yard with their flashes of yellow! "Sweet" little birds with a pretty song. Actually, these guys are always bickering with one another, and it's entertaining to watch them with beaks open and wings spread defending their perch at the feeder!
Here's a little White Capped Sparrow hiding out in the pine tree.
The weather started to turn yesterday with a bit of rain late morning, then sun, then rain again last night. This morning is much cooler and overcast, but perhaps it will clear up enough for me to get outside again later today. My husband got the pond cleaned out and the waterfall running again. Although this is officially my son's pond, it seems he has lost interest in it now. I waited all last summer for him to take take the initiative and put some plants around it, but he neglected it. This summer I'm not going to wait, I'll just get some plants to put around it myself because I don't like it looking so empty around the edges.
Unfortunately, there are no fish to put in the pond this year. Some sort of infection took hold of all my son's fish, and one by one they have all died. The last one died yesterday, just as my husband finished filling the pond. It's been a hard winter in that respect for my son, and he was feeling a bit despondent over it all. Hopefully we'll be able to get some more shebunkins (his favourite) at our local gardening centre. I'm tired of burying fish, and now in the gardens are Victoria & Albert, Lemon Ice, Orange (the colour), Orange (the fruit) and Over Under ... we'll miss you guys!
I'm linking up with Judith at Lavender Cottage for Mosaic Monday! Be sure to pop over there and see what others have posted for their mosaics :)
Thanks for hosting Judith!
Thanks for hosting Judith!