Wednesday, June 30, 2010

My photo on TV, take 3

Ian Black, the weather presenter from CBC TV, showed my photo of the chipmunk in today's weather segment. He even repeated my comment that it reminded me of a Beatrix Potter illustration. :)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Deer, Blue Jays, baby Robins, and more!!

We saw a deer on the other side of the lake when we were walking the dogs this morning. This photo turned out surprisingly well.

The Blue Jays like sunflower seeds, so they frequent the area around the feeder that I stock with sunflower seeds. Here the Blue Jays are happily sharing the sunflower seed bounty with starlings and red winged blackbirds. I've been trying to get a photo of the red wing blackbirds in flight, as the brilliant red flashes on their wings are so pretty, but haven't been successful as yet...

This Downy Woodpecker seems to think the markings on this 4x4 post are from insect holes. It discovered that there are no insects in this post. I think it thinks that things that look like holes are suitable for finding insects because it then went over to the goldfinch feeder...

Here's the robin on the nest - this photo was taken about 12:30pm today (June 29th). You can see the beaks of the babies just below the red feathers of the adult robin.

A hungry baby robin, bravely sticking its beak up - hoping for food.

No wait -- there are at least two baby robins in the nest!

FEED ME!!!!!

The mama and papa robins are busy hopping all over the lawn, hunting for bugs to feed their hungry family.

The view from the bedroom window. Very pretty!! And quite close to the bird feeds too, so I can get some good photos.

This is definitely a male American Goldfinch, but I think this one is a juvenile as it is quite small and the yellow feathers are not yet gloriously intense yellow.

As I was snapping photos of the birds, I saw this little fellow pop his head up from the rocks. Taz likes trying to catch this chipmunk. Although he managed to catch one last year, even his speed is woefully inadequate to be regularly successful at it. But at least he likes the thrill of the chase. :)

Ah, finally, a really cute photo! Doesn't this remind you of a Beatrix Potter painting?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My photo on TV, take two!!!

My photo of the Blue Jay on tv, shown by the CBC weather presenter Ian Black.

I posted this photo in my June 1st post, it is the 3rd photo from the top.
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Snake poop

Purolator came to deliver a package. I was mowing the back lawn and saw the truck coming down Howie so I came out to the front and waited for him to arrive.

After I signed for the package, I was taking it into the house and I noticed this little mess on the garage floor. "What is that?", I pondered. Then I saw a snake slithering away a few feet away, and am speculating that the snake got scared and defecated etc.

I had a bent iron bar that surveyors use, so I used that to coax the snake outside. Then I closed the garage door. This is a a photo of the snake, and it looks like it is an Eastern Garter snake (also known as grass snake). Garter snakes are famous for releasing a smelly musk when scared, so that may have been what it did...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A beautiful summer day

June 15, 2010
Tawny took a little rest break this morning on the walk and thought she was hiding from me. Very funny, Tawny old girl!!!!

June 15, 2010 - panorama
Today was a beautiful, temperate and low humidity day. Absolutely wonderful! The best part was the low humidity. This panorama photo shows that the lawn is greening up even more after the recent rains.

Monday, June 14, 2010

My photo on TV!!!!

My photo of American Goldfinches at our feeder, shown by the CBC weather presenter, Ian Black.

On the 6pm CBC news, June 14, 2010.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A very British dog.

Taz is an unusual dog -- he loves tea!!! He doesn't like it hot though, so if we don't finish our tea, we pour the last bit out onto a plate or saucer, or a dog dish, for him to drink up. Here Taz is supremely concentrating - waiting for Freda say 'take it' as she has just poured some tea onto a plate for him.

Taz, the first coonhound to be a citizen of the Commonwealth.

Of course, I can't show you a photo of Taz without including one of Tawny. Here she is, goofing around and showing off that she found one of Taz's "bones" (rawhide rolls) that he dropped when we were out for a walk...

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Birds and more birds

June 3, 2010
Canada Geese - 3 family groupings and two adult geese not with any of the babies. The three groupings from L-R, 6 goslings with two adults, 9 goslings with two adults, and five goslings with four adults, for a total of 20 goslings and 10 adults.

June 7, 2010
Red-breasted Robin. We think this is the female of the nesting pair.

June 7, 2010
Red-breasted Robin. We think this is the male of the nesting pair. He's quite a bit plumper than the female (above).

June 7, 2010
A plethora of American Goldfinches, including one in-flight.

June 7, 2010
This poor juvenile female American Goldfinch flew into the kitchen window and broke its neck. I buried it on the side of sunny south-facing slope near some thistles (Goldfinches eat thistle seeds).

June 8, 2010
This is a Killdeer. They are always very close when I don't have the camera soo this is the best photo I have. I will see if I can do better...

June 8, 2010
I love this photo of the robin on the rocks. Very pretty.

June 8, 2010
Hmm, why is the robin in the next again when the babies have already flown the coop??

Update June 13: I found one of the baby robins, dead in front of a window. We think it probably flew into the window and broke its neck. Freda buried it on a sunny slope facing east.

June 9, 2010
I snapped this photo of this strange bird at the Goldfinch Feeder. At first I thought it might be a juvenile Goldfinch, but the tail is too short - it's almost non-existent (look at the tail of the goldfinch just above it!). I have several other photos of this unusual bird, but this is the best one.

June 10, 2010
Action shot of the Goldfinches!!

June 10, 2010
The Blue Jay (top left) and the starling (just behind the feeder at bottom right) just had a bit of a squabble about who got to feed at the sunflower seed feeder. I think they were squabbling because there weren't many sunflower seeds left, so I filled up the feeder. The birds can go through about 5 lbs of sunflower seeds a day, and probably more if I kept it filled up all the time...

June 10, 2010
A close-up of a starling.

June 11, 2010
This is an injured deer fly. It was injured when it landed on me and I was able to smack it and I guess that it can't fly anymore. If you see these flies with their patterned wings land on you, you can be sure that they will have no hesitation at taking a big bite out of you, so I'm not feeling so sorry for it now... Deer fly bites swell up a bit, and are incredibly itchy for several days, and can take 4-5 days to heal (or a lot more if you scratch the bite initially!).

June 12, 2010
A dove, sitting on the fence with its feathers all puffed out...

Free tree!

The City of Ottawa delivered our free tree on Friday, along with a bag of shellfish compost and pine mulch.

This is a closeup of the leaves on the tree.

We had asked for a ginkgo biloba tree as our first choice. The Ginkgo Biloba has very distinctive leaves, so we didn't get our first choice. The Ginkgo Biloba is very unique and is very hardy against pests and harsh climactic conditions. This species of tree also has no other living relatives. But the most unique aspect of that tree is that it is a living fossil - it is from the Pilocene era.

For our second choice, we had asked for a Maple tree, which this is not. I couldn't remember what our 3rd choice was so I started googling for images of the leaves from the tree list on the city's web site, ignoring the maples and the ginkgo biloba, of course!

This is a photo of a serviceberry tree that I found on I saw this photo and it reminded me that I had selected the serviceberry because its berries are good food for birds. The serviceberry is not a huge tree so having it relatively close to the garage is okay.

This is the info from the City of Ottawa web site about the serviceberry.

Can you read it? I'll transcribe it for you:
Botanical name/common name: Amelanchier spp. Serviceberry
Native to Ottawa: yes
Average height at maturity: 7 m
Average width at maturity: 4 m
Characteristics: white flowers and edible fruits
Summer colour: light green
Fall colour: red-orange

The tree has been planted, and I am watering it with the root feeder. I left it in the ground for almost an hour because only a little water comes out as the end is mostly clogged with a little stone that is stuck in the nozzle!

Friday, June 11, 2010

A sequence of panoramas

June 3rd, 2010
This pano of the front lawn shows that it has gone dormant, due to the heat and the lack of moisture. We did water the big elm tree in the front (at the left of the photo) but the lawn is too big to try to keep green.

June 3rd, 2010
This pano of our little forest is before the dying elm was cut down. The left part of the photo makes the lawn look more burnt (yellow/brown) than it really was. The photo of the front lawn above is more representative of the actual colour/state of the lawn.

June 8th, 2010
This pano of the our little forest is the photo after the elm was cut down. Of course, we had some good gentle rain, so the lawn is starting to green up, and the trees like it too.

June 8th, 2010
This view of our front lawn looking towards the flower beds and the house. The lawn is starting to green up but is still predominantly yellowish.

June 6, 2010
The backyard is looking somewhat yellowish and dry. However that doesn't stop Tawny from enjoying a chewie on it. :)

June 10, 2010
After a bit of rain, the lawn is greening up. You can see the dark clouds that just passed over us are in the distance on the right side of the photo.

June 8, 2010
Taz is enjoying the lake scenery.

June 8, 2010
Tawny is enjoying the scenery too but is looking at me sideways, hoping that I will let her go to run down to the lake for a morning swim.

June 11, 2010
A beautiful day, with a few dark clouds. The grass on the hill is being cut, as you can see the tractor starting to cut the grass beside the road - look along the right side of the photo.