Thank you to everyone for their birthday wishes for my dad. As most of you know, he has dementia, and he no longer recognizes me, but understands me when I say I'm his daughter. He has lived in a seniors' residence in the dementia ward since my mother went into hospital five years ago and passed away four months later. He has declined since then, and not all days are happy ones for him. He does brighten up considerably when I take him for a favourite walk along the wooded path below his home. My friend tells me there are coyotes in these woods, although I've never seen them. Once we get outside and into the woods, he forgets all about telling me how he doesn't like living there, how he wants to move back to England, why can't he live with me, etc, etc. Those types of conversations are agony for me, and I answer as best I can, but he's on a one-minute loop and will ask all these questions again and again. I've posted this photo of my parents before, but I just love those happy smiles.
|Mom & Dad on their wedding day 1956|
Some days when I'm feeling a bit low and missing my mom and feeling sad with how things have turned out for Dad, I am blessed to have a visit from an unexpected quarter. Birds. It never fails. I could be having a quiet sad and selfish mope about how I still miss Mom (even though she's been gone for five years), and suddenly I will look around me and see a beautiful feathered friend of the familiar, but maybe not quite so common, variety. Today was such a day. I was sitting at the kitchen table and was attracted by some movements on the patio. I grabbed my camera and here's what I saw ...
|He was eating ants!|
|you can see his tongue sticking out in this photo!|
Isn't he gorgeous?! A Common Yellow-Shafted Flicker ... part of the woodpecker family, and one so striking in his colouring. He licked up those ants with some relish, and I was cheered up by having him come to visit. A few minutes later there was a pair of red-breasted nuthatches visiting the fountain, but they moved so quickly I didn't get any photos of them. I haven't seen them since earlier in August, so a nice treat to have them come by again.
Yesterday I caught a chickadee having a bath in my cheap-O fountain (ie. "free"), and every time he came up for air, he looked a little more disheveled.
|He blends in so well with the grey fountain, but he's really having a good splash in there!|
|Another dip & splish splash!|
|Completely and satisfactorily drenched!|
Chickadees really love this small fountain for their baths. They barely fit in the middle basin, but they sure get a good soaking with the water pouring on their backs as they dunk into the water head first!
Then up in the sky I spied a huge bird getting ready to soar. Wings flapping slowly as he rose up higher and higher, and then he was off and circling lazily around. He was so far up, I couldn't identify him, so grabbed the camera and luckily it was able to zoom in on that tiny speck. Much to my surprise ... an osprey! Not a bird I see from my backyard normally. Earlier in the summer I took the daycare kids to a park along the lakefront and we watched a family of osprey diving for fish right there in front of us. Every one of the birds dove into the water and came up with a fish. It was incredible watching them, but I didn't have my camera with me that day. I was amazed that after they dove into the water and got so wet that they were able to pull themselves up and out again and still have the wriggling fish in their talons. Then as soon as they were flying level, they would give their body a full and violent shake and the water was dispelled off them in every direction. There were a few seagulls bobbing on the water in the same area, and a couple of times the osprey crashed into the water only a foot or so away from a seagull. Great viewing that day!
My backyard neighbour
trimmed butchered the cedar hedge dividing our properties last week. Suddenly the windows that have been hidden behind a lovely tall hedge are now exposed to us, and we can see that he really is a hoarder!! This house used to be so nice when an elderly couple lived there and cared for it lovingly. The new owner rents the house upstairs and lives in the basement. There is a pile of discarded wood, bikes, lawn mowers and chairs piled along the fence line ... his own personal garbage dump. Now this ... ugh!
Is it any wonder skunks, possums and raccoons have been running wild in his yard (and now into mine). There's an empty inground swimming pool with a discarded plastic cover draped into and around it filling the backyard. Not very nice to look at or sit beside. It's on a rather nice street too.
Anyway, just a bit of this and that ...
Thanks for stopping by!