Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Photo of baby Opossums from the TWC Facebook page.
This past Sunday Rob and I joined three of our friends, Murray, Debbie and Patty to check out the Toronto Wildlife Centre annual open house. Rob had been once before, but it was the first time for the rest of us, and we were all looking forward to it.

I was immediately impressed with how organized it was. There were many display tables; educational, merchandise, refreshments and volunteers and staff on hand to answer questions.

The tour started with a short slide presentation that was very interesting. You learned the history of the centre and about the many programs and services they provide, including; rescue, recovery,  rehabilitation and hopefully, release. They also offer educational out reach programs to various other organizations. 

After the presentation we were given a behind the scenes tour, and it reminded me very much of a hospital. Our guide, Lisa, was awesome. She was very "matter of fact" and didn't candy coat anything, and I liked that. She was also willing to answer any questions we had, and we all learned something new. I came away with a greater appreciation of all that goes on there, and have a great respect for the people who work and volunteer there.

The opossums pictured above are 2 of 9 siblings that were brought into the centre after they were found clinging to their dead mother, who had been struck by a car. We were able to watch the unfortunate, but adorable critters climb around in their cage and sleep in a "pile of possum" in their hammock through one way glass.   

Start of the slide show.
Display table.
Containers of various turtle eggs that will be released after they hatch. How cool is that!?
Who knew Grackles would eat scrambled eggs?!
The eye of a Sandhill Crane through his inclosure. He's recovering from a broken leg.
 I'm sad places like this are needed, but grateful that they exist. Rob and I are proud to be monthly sponsors. 
Debbie, Murray, myself and Rob after the tour. Pic by Patty!
Footnote:  During our tour we noticed that a Peregrine Falcon had been admitted the day before. All of us being Canadian Peregrine Foundation volunteers had us immediately curious and upset. Seeing our concern, and only because it was Open House, we were able to watch some the of falcons exam through the window and the vet even took some time to go over the X-rays with us. We were to find out it was a falcon known to us, and more so to Murray, Debbie and Patty, who participate in "Fledge Watch" where the falcon, Kendal, is from. His injuries are serious, but he is in good hands and we all wish him a speedy recovery so he can get back to his nest site in the east end of the city.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Rob helping Meadow make a wish!
Meadow has a birthday today! Rob's little Princess, or as I call her, Fuzzy Butt, is 10 years old today.

Meadow's yearly physical happens pretty close to her birthday every year, and after the health scare we had with her last year, we felt the need to celebrate, her birthday and her excellent check up this year. Rob and I are on different shifts this week so we had an early birthday celebration on Sunday.

She shared her cake with us.
Cake and her birthday present.
She loved her new toy! Stuffed Butterflies filled with catnip.
As much as I pick on her and name call, she's been in my life almost all of hers, and I can't imagine the house without her. Happy Birthday Meadow!

To read more about my unique relationship with this special little kitty, click here

Monday, July 15, 2013


A beautiful Black Swallowtail.

Not much will get me moving from the comfort of my lawn chair on a hot summer afternoon like a butterfly flying by. I hop up so fast to go investigate I remind myself of the dog in the movie "Up" and his fascination with squirrels.

I took a bigger interest in butterflies last year and am always on the look out for a new species in our backyard or when we are out birding in the summer.

We had company for a BBQ on Saturday and I was treated to my first viewing of a Black Swallowtail in our yard. Rob had seen them before, but this was my first time seeing one in our yard, so I was pretty excited about it.  Thanks to Dave for snapping a few pics for me!

Black Swallowtail enjoying the "Bee Balm" Plant.
The four of us enjoyed a lovely summer afternoon in our backyard enjoying the birds, butterflies and the critters. Rob showed off his BBQ skills to go along with the salads I had prepared, and Andi made a traditional "down home" Strawberry Shortcake" for dessert.

A traditional Maritime Strawberry Shortcake, divine!
It was another lovely day spent in our favorite place, the backyard.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


The best kind of mail, from my niece, Tayler.
The above picture is of the letter I received this past Monday from my almost 8 year old niece, Tayler. It's the kind of mail that makes your heart smile.

It's no secret to my friends and family what a huge Harry Potter fan I am. I've been able to share that love with my 13 year old niece, Ashlee, for the past few years. I bought her the complete series of books, her first chocolate frog and lots of memorabilia from my visits to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando.

Tayler was always just a little too young, but no more! I was thrilled when I received this letter Monday. I'm going to reread the series, again, along with her. The only thing that could of made this letter better is if it had of been delivered by a owl.

I look forward to rediscovering the magic of Harry Potter with Tayler.

Thursday, July 4, 2013


A skunk enjoying a drink from one of our many bird baths.
Yesterday morning, shortly after 5am, Rob went out to fill the bird feeders before heading to work. He wasn't long coming back in exclaiming, "There's a skunk in the backyard!"

We haven't seen a skunk in our backyard for five years or more, so we were pretty excited. I watched the little guy roam around our yard from the safety of the kitchen window. Rob grabbed his camera and quietly went back outside to snap a few pics. Our yard is quite long, so he was able to keep a respectable distance. Unfortunately due to our surprise backyard early morning visitor, the birds had to wait until Rob got home from work to fill the feeders, but I'm sure they managed.

Hope he comes to visit again!

To learn more about skunks, please click here.    

Monday, July 1, 2013


Looking for birds, butterflies and dragonflies on Canada Day.
 Our Canada Day long weekend was restful and mostly spent at home enjoying our backyard, just like we wanted it to be.

We started the long weekend Friday night by finally cracking the bottle of Blue Chair Bay Coconut Rum that I had in my possession for almost 2 weeks. Kenny Chesney, the Country Super Star, recently got into the rum making business, the rum is not yet available in Canada, but I had my resources. And just in case I get to talk to the man, who I am seeing in concert on August 15th, I wanted to be able to tell him what I thought of it. It's delicious!!

Enjoying a glass of Blue Chair Bay Coconut Rum to start the long weekend.
Saturday afternoon our friend, Patty, came over to spend the afternoon, early evening with us. We all thoroughly enjoyed the weather and furry and feathered friends that call our yard home. We had barbeque burgers, corn on the cob, and I made a Nova Scotia dessert, Blueberry Grunt, that Patty had for the first time.  All of Saturday's pics were snapped by Patty.

Rob and his Princess, Fuzzy Butt, oops,  I mean, Meadow.

Me giving my main squeeze a squeeze!
Meadow eying Rob's burger.
Pierre showed up for a visit much to Patty's delight.
Me having a chat with Meadow, she is not amused. LOL!!!

Sunday morning I walked over to the bakery shortly after it opened to buy us some chocolate croissants to enjoy with our morning coffee.  It was another restful day in the backyard with our furry and feathered family. 

Wedding gift from Darlene got used this weekend for the first time, bug free coffee, Yay!!
My Sunday lunch.
Misfit and Moonie on the table, Meadow under it.

After spending 2 days at home we decided to head out Monday morning for some birding. We went to Cold Creek Conservation Area where we had many views of Indigo Buntings and enjoyed the singing of a very vocal House Wren. We also had fun chasing butterflies and dragonflies around.

A beautiful, male Indigo Bunting. 
A very vocal House Wren sings atop his house.
A White Admiral Butterfly.
The long weekend is coming to an end and we very much enjoyed it. Happy Canada Day everyone!