Friday, September 18, 2020

ROB'S COVID BIRTHDAY

 

Rob enjoying a Moscow Mule on his birthday.

Like everyone who's celebrated a birthday during the pandemic, you make the best of it. And that's what Rob and I did this past Tuesday on his 51st birthday.

We both booked the day off work, so it started off great! He started his day with a nice breakfast and presents. We weren't really sure what we were going to do for the day, but I lucked out, as I had seen a post on Facebook a few days earlier letting me know that Mountsberg Raptor Centre had started a new Raptor experience called Talons and Tailfeathers, perfect for these times. I quickly purchased tickets for his birthday. 

It was nice to get back there and see not only some feathered friends, but a human one as well. 

Jazz, a beautiful Barn Owl.

Lara holding Jazz who's saying, "Where's your glove Rob?"

The experience takes place in the "flyway", and the birds are flown, perch to perch. We saw a variety of species including a Kestrel, Barn Owl, Broad-winged Hawk and a Harris Hawk. I was also treated to a showing of  "Echo", an Eastern Screech Owl. 

I'm not going to lie, we missed not being able to hold the birds, but it was still a very enjoyable experience. I noticed different things about them, like their beautiful colouring, flying by so close. 

Echo, the Eastern Screech Owl.

Even during these tough times, we must take time to smell the flowers.

We have been doing Raptor Encounters at Mountsberg for over a decade, and this was the first time I did not get to hold Echo, but it was wonderful to see her.  

After a great afternoon out we went home for a couple hours and then went to one of our favorite local restaurants, Toast on Bloor for drinks and dinner. 

Celebrating at Toast on Bloor.

We were too full from dinner for more cake at home, but he made a wish.

All in all, I think he had a pretty great birthday! I always joke that I have a great time on his birthday because I always plan it! LOL!!! Here's to making the best of it!    
 

Friday, September 11, 2020

OUR LABOUR DAY WEEKEND

 

TEST
Visit to Springridge Farm to start the weekend. 

Before Covid19 Rob and I enjoyed low key, relaxing weekends periodically, during Covid19 I find I need them. The numbers have started to spike again where we live. We can't change what other people decide to do during these times, but we can control what we do. We still plan to enjoy our lives as much as we can by doing what we can safely. Here's a recap of our labour Day weekend.  

On Saturday we enjoyed a trip to Springridge Farm to pick up a few yummy goodies, including a wild Ontario Blueberry Pie. That was our dessert for the weekend. And we also enjoyed a delicious lunch from their front porch take out stand.   

My yummy breakfast from Toast on Bloor.

On Sunday, after a delicious breakfast on the "Toast on Bloor" sidewalk patio we went for our regular Sunday nature walk. 

Great Blue Heron standing tall and proud.

Taking time to stop and smell the flowers.

One of four Praying Mantis's I saw on our walk.

As most weekends when the weather is good, we enjoy spending time in our backyard. 

Our backyard sanctuary in September.

We sometimes make the squirrels work for their supper. 

Food for them, entertainment for us!

The Baltimore Orioles left us this past week for their journey south. We will seem them again next May.  We haven't seen a Ruby-throated Hummingbird in a few days, but will keep the feeders up til Thanksgiving weekend for any stragglers that pass through, we usually get a few.

The Red-breasted Nuthatches have returned to the yard. They don't migrate but they disappear for the summer. 

They Red-breasted Nuthatches have been enjoying the fountain in the yard. 

The holiday Monday was quite rainy, but we enjoyed binge watching a show on Netflix, Cobra Kai   and getting a few things done inside. A quiet but enjoyable weekend, and I see many more of them in the coming months. 

Monday, August 31, 2020

SIGNS OF FALL

A skunk exploring our backyard.  
Covid19 has affected most areas of our lives, but I'm grateful that it has not affected our backyard, except in a positive way, I'm able to spend more time back there.

Four things happen in our backyard every August that let us know that summer is quickly coming to an end and the fall season is a mere few weeks away.

1. These beautiful yellow flowers bloom along the fence.

They are called Jerusalem Artichoke, a part of the sunflower family.
We hear the roots are edible, but we prefer the Goldfinches eating the seeds.
 2. The Ruby-throated Hummingbird population increases in our yard. We usually have a couple adults with us through-out the summer, but in August we start seeing juveniles as well.

A juvenile fueling up for his first trip south.

3. Skunks make our backyard their favorite hang out! (Good thing we don't mind them)

Checking out the flowers.
Three of the sometimes five that have been around.
Walking through the pollinator garden.
Our ground bird baths become the skunks local watering hole.
I posted this one because I think it's pretty.
They all seem quite happy in our backyard! 
4. The Baltimore Orioles who arrive in May disappear around the end of June or so and reappear in August with the families they have raised.

Papa (top middle) over seeing 3 feeding.
Two enjoying a bath while Papa watches. 
 We're pretty sure we had three families of Baltimore Orioles this year, as we had a dozen in the yard a few times including three adult males.

It's been a great summer in our backyard for the wildlife and for us.