Saturday, December 31, 2022



My birding highlight of 2022, I found a Boreal Owl in Toronto.
January - The new year didn't get off to great start. Rob came down with Covid on the 2nd, and me a day later. Thankfully we were able to recover together at home. Care packages from friends and family were left on the porch and much appreciated.  January 17th was the first day I had any real energy and took advantage of it by getting out to play in the snow!
Never too old to make snow angels.

I love a good snow day, when I'm home to enjoy it.
 February - While out for a Sunday nature walk with Rob, and with the help of some noisy Chickadees, I found what I thought was a Saw-whet Owl. I was quite excited and happy about that, as I had never found a Saw-whet Owl on my own before. After Rob posted on social media about it, he started getting messages about my Saw-whet Owl possibly being a Boreal Owl. WHAT!?! Thankfully the owl stayed put over night, and we were able to go back and get another look, and photo of our lifer Boreal Owl! It was nice to look at it, knowing what it was. He wasn't as deep in the bush as he was the the day before. I spend less than a minute looking at an owl when we find them, as I'm more concerned about not flushing them than anything else. I was grateful for the second and much better look. 

Our first look at the Boreal Owl. 
March - Finally made it to the first Canadian location of Carlo's Bakery in Port Credit! I was super excited to go there, Buddy the Cake Boss is a happy Las Vegas reminder for me, as his restaurant was the first restaurant Rob and I ate at on our trip in 2018. There is now a second bakery location within walking distance of my work. I have yet to decide if this is a good thing or bad thing.
Carlo's Bakery, Port Credit, Ontario
April - Easter was celebrated in April this year, along with Merry & Molly's 7th birthday. Turning 7 officially makes them senior kitties, but you wouldn't know it the way they act. They're still our big babies. 
Merry & Molly, from kittens to seniors at 7.
 May - May is all about the birds and the return of the summer migrants. We had a week of vacation to bird locally, check out some new spots, and an overnight trip to the Port Rowan area. Our main highlights were on our Port Rowan trip where a tip from another birder had us jetting off to see a lifer wayward Black-necked Stilt on someones front lawn, and best spotting was a Golden-winged Warbler at the Long Point Provincial Park.  
Black-necked Stilt and a Golden Winged Warbler.
June - This was the most difficult month of the year. Dad's ashes joined Mom's on June 21st. My older brother Jeff and my oldest niece, Ashlee, flew from Alberta to join me in Nova Scotia for this difficult day. I hadn't seen them in four years, so this was a huge comfort to me. We were surrounded by friends and family, some who we hadn't seen in decades. It was so nice to see and spend even a little bit of time with everyone. I know Dad would of loved that. 
Dad's ashes joined Mom's on June 21, 2022. 
July - The highlight of July was finally getting to celebrate my Cousin's birthday, along with my own, together. Our birthdays are three days apart in June, but because I was sick the weekend we were suppose to celebrate, it got postponed. This marked the 10th time we had celebrated together, we enjoyed the usual lobster dinner and cake for dessert. She gifted me with a lovely and thoughtful scrap book about our meeting, discovering we were actually related years later, and of course our birthday celebrations over the years. 
Birthday dinner and cake. 
A very cherished gift.
August - We don't venture far during the summer months, preferring to enjoy our weekends in the backyard. I did however take in two pretty big concerts this August, The Stadium Tour featuring Joan Jett, Poison, Motley Crue, and my favorite band of all time, Def Leppard. Later in the month I was able to see the Scorpions, Rock Believer Tour, as a friend had an extra ticket. It sometimes amazes me that I am still going to concerts of bands whose posters use to wallpaper my teenage bedroom wall.   

Summer backyard shots.

Joe Elliot of Def Leppard, no zoom required, I was that close. 

September - We had a week off in September to celebrate Rob's birthday, and met up with some friends for a long overdue Raptor Encounter at Mountsberg Conservation Area. We spent a couple nights at Port Severn Lodge over Rob's birthday, and ended our vacation with a day trip to The Donkey Sanctuary with childhood/school friends.    
Fun at Mountsberg, and at lunch afterwards with friends. 

Rob's birthday at Port Severn Lodge.
October - The weather in October was seasonable warm, and we took advantage of it by getting out for numerous nature walks. We were on vacation the week of Halloween and enjoyed day trips and walks. Halloween was more normal this year despite the rainy weather and Jello Shooters were once more made for the neighbors who wanted them. 
Some sightings on our October walks.

Happy Halloween!

Jello Shooters, because the adults deserve a treat too!

November -  I added a couple extra days onto my October/November vacation to go away with my girlfriend, Pat. We hadn't been away together since Oct. 2019, so it was long overdue. We treated ourselves to a two night indulgent spa package at Ste. Anne's Spa. Later in the month Rob and I were off for another week to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. We planned a trip to Algonquin Park, as we hadn't been there in about five years, and spent two nights at the Couples Resort in Whitney. 
Ste Anne's Spa, a most relaxing and indulgent getaway.

The Pine Marten alluded us for years, but we FINALLY saw one on our 10th anniversary! 

Always thrilled to see Gray Jays in Algonquin Park. 
December - Things were pretty much back to normal this year, with an in person Xmas lunch at work which was enjoyable.  On December 17th we joined my Cousin Andi, and her husband, Dave for our annual Xmas get together which includes a delicious dinner, dessert and gift exchange. Started my Xmas break with brunch and Espresso Martinis at Toast on Bloor before Rob had to leave for work. Xmas Eve was just the two of us, no nature walk this year as it was much too cold. We opened some gifts Xmas Eve, and some Xmas morning before going to Rob's parents for dinner. Boxing Day and the 27th were spent at home watching movies and being lazy. Merry and Molly LOVE Boxing Day! New Years Eve is always spent at home, but at least it's not going to be so bitterly cold, so we should be able to get a couple nature walks in before 2023 is upon us. Wishing you all a wonderful 2023!  

Espresso Martini, what Santa left us, and the kitties enjoying Boxing Day!

Yummy goodies enjoyed over the holidays.

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