Monday, 9 December 2019

Rudy (or Ruby) and Bella

A new eastern screech owl has started using the old roost box. This time, it's a rufous phase bird. In Canada, the grey phase predominates.

Ruby or Rudy? Regardless of gender, you are certainly a cutie.

Yep, it's me at the window with that darned camera again!

Oh, and thank you for helping control the mice population!

A few winters ago a female Red-Bellied woodpecker appeared in my back yard. It was the first time I had seen this species. I love her zebra stripe haute couture. She, or another one just like her, is back and on her own again. She spends a lot of time hiding food so I assume she intends to stay the winter. I've named her 'Bella'. I wonder if other folk have pet names for their backyard birds?

This old Manitoba Maple with it's peeling bark is a favourite foraging spot.

Don't worry Bella, I won't cut down all the trees!

Someone has already picked out most of the whole peanuts.

Daintily, she selects only the finest black oil seeds from the tray.

I'm sure there is strong competition from bird feeding neighbours but one attraction here is untidyness. (Normally not something one brags about.) Old trees, brush piles, overgrown vines, wild shrubs and weed-lined ditches are all good wildlife habitat. But since I do keep the lawn mowed around the house, I shouldn't get a municipal complaint just yet.

Monday, 18 November 2019

My Winter Friend

As dawn approached, I spotted a familiar wee face in the entrance of the old box that faces my kitchen window.

For the first time this season, an Eastern Screech Owl is using the shelter for daytime roosting and as a larder.

Prey birds are not nearly as happy as I am to see the little owl in their midst. They are swift to spread the unwelcome news to their fellows.

A Cooper's hawk checks the yard on a regular basis so the little owl is wise to stay hidden during daylight hours. 

Within their hives, my bees cluster and shiver their flight muscles for warmth. Their honey will nourish them throughout the winter as well as provide a delicious sweetener for my toast, salad dressings and drinks. In the event of a power outage, bees wax candles provide clear and fragrant light. But, perhaps above all else, I just love to see them humming from flower to flower, benefiting all.

The lawnmower is on winter vacation while the snow blower has reported for duty. Each season has it's own beauty. Now that I'm retired, I especially love to look out the window at gently falling snow. Snow that becomes an insulating blanket to those who sleep beneath.