Sunday, 8 October 2017

Fall Treats

This time of year always brings Cluster Flies (pollenia rudis) to my rural area. They buzz about the sunny side of the house, in search of protected over-wintering sites. The flies are only a minor nuisance and easily subdued by my trusty vacuum cleaner. But one of my cutest visitors finds them delightful. Yellow-rumped warblers (Setophaga coronata) are now in winter plumage and making their way south. But first, they are fattening up on cluster flies. These cute-as-buttons little birds seem to be almost constantly on the move, darting and fluttering to capture the flies. Focused only on the fly bonanza, they are unconcerned by my picture taking.

A Yellow-rumped warbler scans her surroundings for insects.

The droopy wings give a fatigued look as she pauses her frenzied hunt.

It's easy to see where the name "Yellow-rumped" comes from.

Last week, a nephew was surprised and delighted to see a wolf pup eating apples on the ground of his cottage-country backyard. That very same morning I watched my own version of 'The Littlest Hobo' here. A coyote was mousing in a hay field, leaping up in the air and pouncing down in a fox-like manner. There is an abundance of mice here so I'm sure this handsome guy makes a very good living.

Pausing to check for danger before resuming his mouse hunt.

One of my fondness memories is that of my mother's maple cream fudge. (We had our own dairy cream and our own nuts.) Some years, the butternut trees in our wood lot produced bumper crops. Cracked with a hammer on a good granite stone, butternuts were the gourmet ingredient of Mom's fudge. Lucky me, friends recently gave me a bag of butternuts. And yes, I have delicious plans for those walnut cousins!

Green butternuts dry and mature on a bed of newspapers.

With a little hammer skill, the nut meats can be winkled out whole from their hard shells.

These two remind me of Audrey II begging, "Feed Me, Seymour!"


  1. Lovely photos of the warbler! I have seen them on occasion in our yard. Also great capture of the coyote. We saw a fox strolling through our downtown on our early morning walk last week.
    What a wonderful memory of your Mom. The fudge sounds incredible! We are heading to Niagara On The Lake for a few days so I will have my fudge fix from the local fudge store there.
    Have a good week!

  2. What a yummy recipe. And wildlife right there, a delight for anyone.

  3. Love seeing your photos of that lovely warbler. I am surprised by how many birds and the singing going on still here. There are tadpoles still in the little pond. I hope the very warm temps. yesterday aren't completely throwing them off their schedules. Coyotes are very prevalent here too with warnings at times but how great to have gotten to watch one actually hunting. What a great memory of fudge making...very popular when I was growing up as well. Ours was usually chocolate and included Carnation milk. I wish I still had that recipe. I bet yours with the fresh butternuts will be amazing. Enjoy!


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