Monday, March 1, 2021

WELCOME MARCH

 

My first and only Snowy Owl sighting this winter.

March 1st marks the first day of Spring in the meteorological calendar, and also in the birding world as well, for those who list their birds seasonally. I do not remember ever being happier to turn a calendar page to a new month as I was this morning.

I handled the first lock down much better than this past one. The last two months have seemed like a year long. I only left the house the last four weeks to go to work for a few hours every Thursday morning. I worked and hibernated at home the rest of the time, even forgoing my daily walks around the neighborhood and our regular Sunday morning nature walks. I spent my free time binge watching the Food Network and Netflix. 

I knew it was time to get moving again and got out for my first Sunday nature walk in weeks yesterday. I was  rewarded with my only Snowy Owl sighting of the winter. The turn of the calendar page this morning has made me feel more optimistic about the rest of the year, vaccines are starting to role out, migration is only a few weeks away, and the warmer weather is on it's way as well.

A coyote we saw on our walk yesterday. He was gone quickly when he realized we spotted him.

Another shot of the Snowy Owl seen yesterday. 

Even though this summer may not be "normal" again, I am looking forward to being able to enjoy our backyard once again, and the wildlife that visit us. It's time to shake off the cobwebs of the last couple months and start enjoying my life again, as best I can under the circumstances.        

Friday, February 5, 2021

FOODIE FRIDAY - CATERED CHRISTMAS

 



Yule Log for dessert, it was delicious! 

This past Christmas when the health officials asked us to only spend Christmas with those we live with, we did. We knew it was going to feel very different, but I wanted it to be special too. This was only Rob's second time not having Christmas dinner with his parents. The first being in 2017 when we flew to Alberta with my Dad to spend Christmas with my brother and his family.

I still had lots of turkey in the freezer for soups and pot pie from Thanksgiving. So when I saw an ad in my Facebook newsfeed for "Christmas Dinner for Two" from Encore Catering, I took a look. The menu looked lovely, and I thought the price was reasonable. After discussing it with Rob and having a couple questions answered from the company we decided to place an order. Rob doesn't get as much time off over the holidays as I do, so it was nice to really free up the day. I loved that they delivered, but our back-up plan if it didn't show up was pizza. I'm glad we didn't have to use the back up plan. 

Molly checking out the Christmas dinner box. 

All the goodies inside the box. 

The reheat instructions were perfect and easy. In the oven, not microwaved.

Table for two!

Everything was delicious and we even had a few leftovers.

I was in awe of the Yule Log and meringue mushrooms!

I added on a box of 4 Hot Chocolate bombs to our order. They were delicious! 

I will most definitely use this company again for catered meals for a special event or "just because", but next year I do hope we are all able to gather again around Rob's parents table for Christmas dinner.   

Friday, January 8, 2021

OWL SURPRISES

 

Screech Owl in our backyard, December 19th, 2016 

December 23rd, 2020 was my first full day of Christmas break, and it turned out to be quite a memorable day! 

Rob doesn't leave for work until around 1pm, so we were home together in the morning. That morning the Blue Jays were quite vocal and Rob noticed them swooping by the owl box, so we both kept a look out. Rob had seen an Eastern Screech Owl in that same box almost 4 years ago to the day, but I was at work that day and missed seeing it. That was the first time he had seen an owl our yard. 

At 9:30am it happened, Rob was downstairs, I looked out the window and there he was, another Eastern Screech Owl hanging his head out of the box! I called Rob quickly upstairs so he could see him. After a quick look, Rob went out the front door to walk around back to see if he could get a picture, but during this time, the owl ducked back down in the box to sleep the day away.

I kept a look-out all afternoon, and at 4pm he showed himself again. I texted Rob right away, and he asked me if could try to take a pic with his camera. I tried.

Eastern Screech Owl, December 23rd, 2020 

This was the best I could do. It's taken through the kitchen window, as I didn't want to flush him. I sat in the window and watched him for 2 hours. He spent a lot of time looking towards the back of the yard. Who knows what he was hearing. When it was getting dark he flew to one of the pine trees in front of our kitchen window, I could see him sitting there, and then he flew to a neighbors clothes line, before he flew off to hunt, and it was too dark for me to see him any longer. We really hope another Eastern Screech Owl visits us again.    

January 4th I was back to work, but Rob had the day off. We had got a tip of a Barred Owl being seen not far from home a few days earlier. My work day ends at 3:30pm, so we went for a dusk walk. I haven't seen a Barred Owl in many years. We were both very hopeful that we would see one on our walk. 

Barred Owl, January 4th, 2021

I spotted him while we were walking along a path in the area. If you ever see me giggling and doing a little jig while out in nature, it's a sure sign I have spotted an owl. It's not planned, all reaction. 

What a beauty!

As always, we didn't linger. A couple pics and good looks through our binoculars and we continued our walk. What a great start and end to my Christmas Break!