Saturday, February 18, 2017

SNOW BUNTINGS INSTEAD OF ALGONQUIN

A mix of male and female Snow Buntings in and around the traps.
 The first weekend in February we were suppose to head to Algonquin Park for an overnight with friends. But, I was struck down with a nasty stomach flu on Jan. 27th, and had been home for a week recovering from that. I knew I wouldn't be up for the trip to Algonquin on the weekend, but as I was feeling some what better, I also knew I needed to get out and get some fresh air in my lungs.  

We knew Rick and Nancy from the Ruthven Bird Banding station were banding Snow Buntings out their way, so we decided to join them for a while. Not much walking, and not too far of a drive. I could handle that. I hadn't had a good look at Snow Buntings in over a year, and I think it had been even longer since we had seen Rick or Nancy, so we were looking forward to it.

Click on Photos to Enlarge.

These birds are well camouflaged out in the fields.
Me with Rick and Nancy getting some birds out of the traps.
Getting weighed!
Males have white secondary coverts.
These birds fly great distances to be here for the winter, even from Greenland!
Dark secondary coverts indicate a female.
Getting some grit from the road to help digest the corn used for bait.
They put on a lovely flying display.
Rob helping Rick bring in the traps.
It was a very cold and extremely windy Saturday morning, but it was also a very enjoyable one. And we may still try to get to Algonquin Park before winter comes to an end.

Monday, February 13, 2017

SNOW DAY FUN

It was a wintry wonderland in our yard on February 12th, 2017.
I don't mind a good snowfall in the winter, especially when it happens on a nonworking day. Yesterday happened to be one of those days, and we took advantage.

We only started taking Merry & Molly outside last spring, so they have never been outside in the snow before, We decided to introduce them to snow yesterday.

We can't use the KittyWalk system in the winter, which Molly prefers over the leash and harness, so we took them out one at a time. Merry was up first, as she got quite excited when she saw her leash.  

At first she wasn't sure what to think.....
but she quickly got into it.
Merry enjoyed watching the snowflakes.

Watching in wonder.
She got a little cold, so Rob to the rescue. 
Molly watching from the back door.
Merry prints in the snow.
Molly's turn.
Bug-eyed, but curious too. 
Molly's ready to go in. 

This is better, her feet aren't cold any longer.

Me looking for a Screech Owl in the Cedars.....didn't find one.
Once the cats were back inside after their adventure, it was time for me to have some fun....making a snow angel!

Getting into position.
Swish-Swish-Swish

I think that's enough.

Ok, how do I get outta here?

I'm gonna need some help!

Ta-Da!
Hot Chocolate and Marsh-mellow after we went in.
We had a great time outside in the snow, so glad it happened on a day we could enjoy it!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

A LOOK AHEAD AT MY 2017


Well, here we are, two weeks into 2017, and I'm just getting around to my first blog post of the new year. January is always a bit of a struggle for me, getting back into the work routine after the Xmas break, and after all the fun and festivities of December, January is just kinda blah. I do deal with the "winter blues", but I've found that taking vitamin D and making some plans can help me fight those blues away. I do love having something to look forward too!

JANUARY- A girlfriend asked me if I'd be interested in going to the Scandinave Spa up in the Collingwood area. So, next week, I am taking a four day weekend to go away and get a little spa pampering! I've not been to this area in years and have never visited the Scandinavian pools before, I am really looking forward to the mini break.
Scandinave Spa at Blue Mountain
FEBRUARY- The first weekend in February we have plans with friends to visit Algonquin Park and spend the night in the area. Algonquin is always a winter highlight. It just wouldn't be winter now without hand feeding some Gray Jays.
Hand feeding a Gray Jay in Algonquin Park 2013.  
MARCH- For the first time in four years, the Ontario Eastern Bluebird Society Annual General Meeting, is a different weekend than Toronto Comicon, which means Rob and I can attend both this year! YAY!!!  We may love our birds, but we need to indulge our inner nerd on a regular basis too.

APRIL- By this time it should be starting to feel like Spring, We have a long weekend this month with Good Friday, and I am hoping to score some Blue Jays tickets for Rob and I to attend a game as an early birthday present to me.

MAY- Aw, May, a birders favorite month of the year and probably the month where we lose the most sleep. Spring migration is in full swing, and we're taking two weeks off to run around and see as many birds as possible in various areas of Ontario from dawn til dusk.

JUNE- I will be turning 48 this year! My friend Andi's birthday is 3 days before mine, and it's become a tradition to celebrate together by enjoying a fabulous lobster dinner and birthday cake at her place.
Last years birthday dinner.
JULY/AUGUST- We don't make very many plans for the summer months, We enjoy spending our weekends in the backyard, enjoying the birds, BBQ's, and Blue Chair Bay Coconut Rum.
The backyard, our favorite place to chill during the summer months.
SEPTEMBER- Rob will catch up with me in age, and as his birthday falls on a Friday this year, we will be making it a long weekend. Planning a weekend away with the girls this month, be our 16th year doing a "Girls Getaway Weekend".

OCTOBER- We've booked another week of vacation this month to enjoy the weather and beauty of the Fall. We will be spending 4 nights at Cedar Grove Lodge in the Huntsville area. Our first time going there, but it must be good, you have to book months/years in advance to get a cottage!

NOVEMBER- We have our last week of vacation this month. As we are taking the week of our 5th Anniversary off, and plan on doing an overnight in Niagara Falls.

DECEMBER- My favorite month of the year!! All the fun and festivities of the season! And for the first time in almost 20 years, I will be seeing my brother at Xmas, as the plan this year is for Rob and I to spend Xmas in Alberta.

I'm also looking forward to many great movie releases this year and hoping for a couple good concert announcements. All in all, it's shaping up to be a pretty good year!