Thursday, December 10, 2015

Green Christmas

Well we had a beautiful bright and sunny day yesterday, but today the dark brooding skies have returned. It was 8C this morning when I decided to head down to the lake (Lake Ontario). It's just a couple of minutes from my house. Despite the warmth in my neighbourhood, there was a damp chill in the air at the lake. It's amazing how different the temperature is right beside the lake. I sure wouldn't want a house on the edge of Lake Ontario in winter ... brrrr! 

I must thank everyone for their suggestions with the mystery duck in my last post. I didn't know this, but mallard ducks have bred with all kinds of other ducks, and there is now all kinds of "mallard hybrids" out there in the wild. Who knew?! Not me. But Eileen suggested I google mallard hybrids, and wow! what an amazing variety of colourations of these pretty ducks! Of course, I think my mallard hybrid is the prettiest of them all ;) Thanks for another mystery solved!

The sun was trying very hard to break through, but all we got was this watery shimmer through the tree silhouettes.

It is so dark out again today that I had to brighten up all of these photos when I got home. Most of them looked like black and white photos! The sky was pretty much the same colour as the lake, and there was a fog lying heavy over the water further out. On a clear day we can see the CN Tower in downtown Toronto from here. Today I could barely see past our little harbour lighthouse.

And here's my birding shot for today ;) I only took a photo of this poor dead bird because I wasn't sure what it was. You know how I like to identify these birds. I thought it might be a loon when I saw the tiny white spots on its wings. I didn't want to touch it since I had the dog and little kids with me, so I couldn't flip it over. I wonder why it died, it didn't look like there was any trauma about him. He was far from the water though.

Three times in the past month or so I've had little birds hit my kitchen window. The first was a female cardinal. I almost cried over that because she was already dead when I found her on the patio. Next was a teeny tiny little female kinglet. That one died in my hands, poor thing. Today I heard the smack again of a chickadee, so I rushed out to see if I could save him. I brought him inside to warm him up, and gave him a drink from a spoon of sugar water. This revives birds after they have had a shock. I'm happy to say the little chickadee felt much better, and when he started to struggle in my hand, I took him out and placed him in a flower pot nestled into an evergreen bush. I could keep an eye on him there so that no cat got him. He flew off within a few minutes to join up with his pals. 

This is the old pumping station just opposite the beach. There was talk many years ago of turning this into a cafe or something. I think that would be a nice idea, but as you can see nothing has been done with it yet.

I played around a little bit with the photos of this ancient willow tree bending over the beach. 

Love those scraggly branches.

There were a few other people at the park, but nothing compared to what it's like in the summertime. The Waterfront Trail runs through this park, so there is usually a lot of cyclist traffic. 

No snow has fallen here since October. I'm kind of glad since I've invited my family out to my house for our Christmas gathering, and I hate to ask anyone to drive far in bad weather. But it really doesn't feel like Christmas here at all! Perhaps if I got my decorations out of the crawl space and put up around the house I might feel a bit more festive? Hmmm I've been playing the Christmas CDs and watching a few Christmas movies, but I can't get into the spirit of it at all this year. I think other things are pressing on my mind (as usual). I'd like to do some Christmas baking this weekend, so that might help too! I'm glad my shopping is all finished and I can wrap the pressies now ... although no tree yet to put them under ... a minor detail.

Thanks for stopping by today!



  1. Hello, even with the gray skies, the scene is still beautiful. The bare trees look like sculptures to me, very pretty. Sad to see the dead bird, it does look like a Loon or maybe a Grebe? The news today reported that most likely this area will not have a White Christmas, that is OK with me. Have a happy day and weekend ahead!

  2. I am so glad that you managed to rescue the bird today, so sad about the others though and the one you photographed. I wonder if the lack of snow is somehow affecting them. I hope that it means that your family gathering can go ahead and will be fun though! Hope you enjoy it. We haven't decorated yet, and I am not really feeling the most Christmassy yet, I think that the lack of decorations play a part, so I hope that when I and you get ours out we will both feel more Christmassy! Hugs! xx

  3. I felt like I was walking right alone beside you

    I am ready for some snow down here in central Missouri

  4. Pretty shots even on a cloudy day! At our last house we had a few birds crash into our big bedroom window. It had such a bright reflection of our backyard. I am not ready for snow, but it sure give things Christmasy feel.

  5. My husband had said it was a mallard and I'd told him no it wasn't, so I guess he was right after all.

  6. I don't think there is anything wrong with not feeling too festive now, after all Christmas is still a fair way off........we don't want to peak too early!

  7. I really enjoyed your photos today, Wendy. The tree silhouettes are so dramatic against the dark sky. It's dark and gloomy here today too, with a storm coming in for the weekend. I really hope we get some snow. I particularly liked your photo of the old building. Growing up, I had a friend who loved to photograph old buildings like factories and train stations. He had a real eye for it. I'm so proud to say that today, he makes his living as a photographer and writer on that very subject. I knew his passion for it would take him somewhere as an adult. I can't help with the bird but I would have been curious as well. I've also had birds hitting my windows recently, especially the sliding glass doors off my breakfast nook. This is weird because they have to fly under the porch to hit the doors, and it seems like they'd slow down before they got there. They usually fly off but once we found a little bird dead in the yard, it hit the glass and tried to fly off but must have been too hurt. That was sad. My kids were really little and I had to keep them away from it until I could find gloves and bags to dispose of the body. Now I might make one of them do it, ha. I'm so caring. :) I hope you have a good weekend, enjoy yourself.

  8. Quite amazing that there is no snow yet! Not surprising in Texas, but would think you would have snow where you are. Don't you just hate it when those birds run in to windows. Our cabin has a big window in both the front and the back, and that is something that happens to us often.

  9. I love the photos from your walk! Thank you so much for posting the tree pictures, I love trees. I am so glad to hear that you were able to save the little bird that day. I am not feeling the spirit this year either. I am sure it will come when it's ready.


  10. These photos have so much atmosphere, I'm sure a mystery is about to unfold.


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