Thursday, January 5, 2012


Mom and I being silly when I visited her in October.

When I think of the past year the first thing that comes to my mind is that my Mother was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in April, and my life was forever changed. Surgery, hospital stays, nursing home placement, not really the stuff one wants to remember. But, as I looked back over my blog posts from the past year I noticed something. I made a lot of happy memories too, and those are the moments I would like to share as I look back at my 2011.

Rob and I take a snowy drive up to Huntsville for the weekend to celebrate our 7th "togetherness" anniversary. Though the drive up wasn't fun, we had a great time once we got there visiting Algonquin Park.

Hand feeding a Chickadee in Algonquin Park, always fun.

Rob and I spend most of our weekends winter birding.

My first Long-eared Owl!! Rob captured this photo one February weekend out, this photo won first place in the Ontario Green Party's calendar contest in 2011.

March- Two rather exciting things happened in March. First, I went to a Canadian Music's Week event featuring a live interview with my teen idol, Nikki Sixx. And two, we got to help out the Canadian Peregrine Foundation during the Sportsman's Show. I should mention that this got to happen because we met some great people, who we now call friends, on our first tour with Authentic Canadian Tours the month before.

Nikki Sixx leaving after his interview. I was this close, no zoom required.

Me holding "Alex" a beautiful female Great Horned Owl for CPF at the Toronto Sportman's Show. What a thrill for me!

April- I go home to Nova Scotia when my Mom is diagnosed and stay almost two weeks while she undergoes surgery. My older brother goes home too, for the first time in over 20 years. We all try to make the best out of a horrible situation.

May- After returning from Nova Scotia, I have a week off with Rob and we visit Point Pelee National Park for the first time with our friends, Jim and Lynda. I escape into my "birding world" and we see more species and have more lifers then we have since we started birding! We definitely became true "bird nerds" on this trip. We also take the first of many trips to the Ruthven Bird Banding Station and get a taste for banding birds.

Rob, Jim and Lynda during our first visit to Point Pelee National Park.

A Black-and-White Warbler, just one of many warbler species we saw on the trip.

Me releasing a male Baltimore Oriole.

Rob banding a Tennessee Warbler.

June- I celebrate my 42nd birthday! We visit Mountsberg Conservation Area and enjoy another "Raptor Encounter". We spend time with our favorite Barred Owl, Teddy. Little did we know it would be our last, she passed away 3 months later. She was a special owl and is greatly missed.

Teddy and I sharing a moment.

Rob took Teddy for a walk and got lots of attention in doing so.

July- We are surprised by an email from the Muskoka Wildlife Centre, asking us if we are still interested in sponsoring their Saw-whet Owl, Luna. We expressed interest in 2009, but she was already sponsored and didn't think the opportunity would come after she won the new critter contest that summer for Telus. We are thrilled to become her new sponsors!

Luna wins the new face of Telus!

Luna back in 2009 when we first "met" her.

August- I decide to do the I Love All Access package again for one of my favorites bands, Def Leppard. Only this time I have to go alone because my concert buddy is away. I end up having a great time anyway and meet their guitarist, Phil, AGAIN! YAY ME!! Our house gains another feather head the very next day.

Me and Phil, second time meeting him and I was missing my concert buddy Brian bad at this point.

Spotted this little guy roaming around our yard the day after the concert, good thing I took the day off work! "Moonie" is now part of our family.

September- Rob celebrates his 42nd birthday! I surprise him with a private photo shoot at the Muskoka Wildlife Centre as part of our weekend away to Algonquin Park.

Rob with Luna during his private photo shoot.

Feeding a Gray Jay in Algonquin Park, I love doing this!

October- I go home to spend a few days with Mom and have a good visit with her. I make her laugh as much as I can. Back in Ontario, later in the month, Rob, myself, along with Jim and Lynda visit an amazing organization called "The Owl Foundation".

Spending time with Mom.

It was an honour to meet Kay McKeever, the founder of the Owl Foundation.

Angie the Psycho Clown, Halloween was memorable this year.

Rob and I have a weeks vacation and have a lot of fun, including a crazy Halloween, a trip to the Ruthven Banding Station and our first trip to Amherst Island where we see our first Saw-whet Owl in the wild!

Our first wild Saw-whet Owl!

December- Was full of loads of festive fun and lots of socializing!

Handing out some goodies to friends at a get together at our place.

Enjoying "High Tea" with girlfriends at Jen's Annual Christmas Tea.

And that was our 2011, here's to a great 2012!

1 comment:

Dan said...

Congratulations on a grand 2011 full of wonderful experiences.

Thanks for sharing your journey.