Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Balmy Days

We have been enjoying much higher temperatures than normally seen at this time of year. Lounging on the deck in short sleeves while sipping a summer drink at this time of year has been a special luxury. And to ice the cake -- NO MOSQUITOS!!! Yesterday was so warm and sunny that I hung my laundry on the backyard clothesline. Turned out the sun was too low on the horizon and the air too moist to have a good drying effect. Still it was a cheery sight.

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Eastern Ontario is currently experiencing an unusual invasion. Boxelder bugs. They are only 12.5 mm long and quite harmless apart from the annoyance factor. Because of the very dry summer we had, these bugs enjoyed a baby boom. They lay their eggs and feed on Manitoba Maples (a.k.a. Box Elders) of which I have aplenty. Like tiny cats, they love to bask in sunlight. Indoors, they settle for the glare of televisions, house lights and computer screens. Other years at this time, I would be giving the 'bums rush' to Asian Ladybugs that enter this old farm house. This year, not so much. 

 

A Boxelder Bug peers up from my kitchen sink.

 

I quite enjoyed listening to an audio book I downloaded from our library. It's titled 'Lady In Waiting: My Extraordinary Life In The Shadow Of The Crown'. The audio book is narrated by the author, Anne Glenconner. Her aristocratic life is one of privilege but not immune from drama and tragedy. I highly recommend this read or listen.



 

Balmy weather called for walkabouts with the trusty old camera.

Our weeping willows are always the last to drop their leaves.

Southward bound Canadians.

Ripe and edible Nanny berries. They taste much like prunes.

A secret nest no secret anymore.

Two friends relaxing in a sunny patch.

A couple of patrons on my new feeder.

My screech owl buddy catching some rays.

No, he's not commenting. Just horking up a pellet.

Reddy and I pause to exchange our hellos.

Ellie Mae listening for tiny rustlings in the grass.

 

Thursday, 22 October 2020

October Treats

This is the first year I've had much success with hosting Eastern Bluebirds so they are still a novelty and I'm learning their habits as I go. By now I would have thought they'd be winging their way south. Not so! They are still here and paying regular afternoon visits to their beloved, little old cement birdbath. I suppose they are staying to fatten on the abundance of wild fruits. Besides insect fare, they can gorge on Wild Grapes, Virginia Creeper berries, Thorn apples, Nannyberries and Highbush Cranberries. But yesterday the little beauties were distracted from their bath and snacks. Angry tweets from their neighbours warned them of a menace. Upsetting to them, perhaps, but a welcome sight for me. My old pal, the screech owl, was again using it's winter roost box.

Mr. Blue: What's this I hear about a sneaky villain?
It's dark in there but I think I can see the bad guy!

Take a good look, Junior, and remember this lesson!

That really gets my feathers in a ruffle!

Mr. Nuthatch: We know you're in there so don't try anything!

Reddy: Yikes! This dude totally creeps me out!

Screech Owl: Have you ever had your food scold you?



 

Since switching to a whole food - plant-based diet at the first of this year, I've discovered many treats I previously didn't know existed. I used to love wonton soup from a restaurant here in Ottawa. I rarely eat out now and not at all since the arrival of COVID-19. But I've discovered something that tastes similar but even BETTER!! Vegan Miso Soup!! I'd not heard of miso before and most grocery stores don't carry it. Luckily Ottawa has a T & T that specializes in oriental products and is well stocked with it.