Thursday, March 17, 2011

The cardinal's back, and a bit o' blarney...

These pictures were taken exactly a week ago; since then the snow has been steadily melting and today the temperature is allegedly going to hit 14C! But what's really making me happy is this bird sighting:

The Northern Cardinal is back! This is one of my favourite birds. Not only does the male have a beautiful song, nothing that cheers you up on a snowy day like this brilliant splash of red on the white landscape.

Gorgeous, isn't he? Too bad I couldn't get a better photo.

The cardinals are not exactly rare, but they come and go in our garden. It's always a pleasure to see them. The female is less showy but still lovely!

And speaking of birds, my friend Ronna made these fabulous cupcakes for dessert last Saturday:

Red velvet cake, cream cheese icing, Weetabix/coconut nests and candy-coated chocolate eggs. Are they not things of beauty?

"You'll have to pry this cupcake from my cold, dead hands!"

And finally, happy St. Patrick's Day! I hoist a pint o' virtual Guinness in honour of my paternal grandparents, who were both Irish, not to mention my Dad, who was culturally Irish despite being born in London (where he grew up in an Irish ghetto.)

That appears to be Jesus sitting on the radio, keeping an eye on Granddad as he smokes. Oh yes, my family was very, very Catholic. Nanny went to Mass just about every day of her life.

Nanny and Granddad and miscellaneous grandchildren at a wedding in the 1960s.

My Dad (on left) with his mother and two sisters, 1943. Dad was 13.

Nanny was born in Kilkenny, Granddad in Wexford.

Have a green day!


  1. I'm waiting to see some of the birds return too. We are having similar weather so anytime now. I still have our Christmas tree on our deck full of baskets of bird-seed and suet so it's not like I'm not inviting them. It's been a drive-thru restaurant since Christmas for sparrows and black birds and squirrels. "Come on birds."Cupcakes look amazing. I am 1/2 Irish but doubt I'll be out drinking green beer tonight. Can't stand the stuff. Have a great day. Hugs, Deb=^..^=x5

  2. You beat me to it. No Cardinal here
    just yet. But a bunch of other birds like Robins, Starlings, Mourning Dove, Canada Geese, Nuthatch and more.

    Have a great day.


  3. The cardinal is indeed gorgeous, he certainly shows up against the snow.
    Those cupcakes look scrummy.

  4. There's something about a cardinal on a background of white snow that just warms your heart...Have a nice St Patty's day!

  5. Anonymous2:54 pm

    I'm worrying about that shelf loaded with rather heavy objects and Grandad apparently sitting right underneath it. Careful now Grandad.

  6. Anonymous6:17 pm

    I wish we got that kind of beautiful bird color around here. We did get some orange from some towhees (?) passing through last week. That was a nice change from the boring sparrows and finches.

  7. My cardinals are back too - haven't seen them yet but I can here him singing got his wife!

  8. What a striking bird. Very cool to have one in your back yard. And Happy St. Patty's Day O'Knatolee

  9. Anonymous5:57 pm

    Yes, he's gorgeous but you and your family also are ;)
    Sorry, I've been far from blogosphere just for a while, I'll keep to read you ;) hugs,


  10. Hi Nat! I've been away for training for work this past week, and just got back home and checked out your blog! You've been busy!

    I love the family photos, I love old photos and books and such.

    And the bees, you had one on your hand! Oh, I would have so freaked out if one was on my hand like that! We had bees when I was a kid, and I didn't mind them at all. Since then I've gotten a fear of bees, I need to get over that if I want to get bees again...

    I also loved the chicken pics, of course. You got Errol's crow in the video - he is a handsome roo!

    Happy Saturday!

  11. Oh, oh, I forgot to say, Happy Belated St Patty's Day! I have some Irish in my roots, and so had to go have a green beer that night! :) May the Luck o' the Irish be with you!

  12. Hey Deb, I bet your birds will be back any minute. We have robins all over the place now. We just dragged the Christmas tree off our deck last week!

    Willie, spring has sprung! Looking forward to seeing you. :)

    LBM, Ronna used to run a cake business and she has created some really spectacular cakes.

    Jennifer, I completely agree.

  13. H. Insciens, it's good that the shelf was loaded and not Granddad, God rest his soul. He was quite the drinker in his youth, keeping up that Irish stereotype!

    Cog Dis, are you in quite an arid area? We've been watching Big Love and I'm getting a sense of what SLC and Utah look like!

    WanderingCat, don't they have the most exquisite song?

  14. James, I missed cardinals when we lived in BC, but there are some gorgeous birds out west, too. Top o' the mornin' to ya!

    Lynn, I think that if you start working with the bees, you'll get over your fear. I also felt better after I finally got stung; it wasn't bad at all (hornets and wasps are nastier). I think the bees sense a lot, too, and if you go in there calm, they know it. :) Slow gentle movements! And you have Irish in you too, ah, I knew there was a reason I liked you so much!

  15. Anonymous2:38 pm

    I love cardinals on a snowy day! Nothing lovelier!

    Speaking of bird food, I saw this link on someone's blog, in case you want to do some bird desserts yourself.

  16. A tad envious that you have a cardinal visiting. I get the jays and the pileated woodpeckers and such but never have seen a cardinal yet.
    Rona's cupcakes are awesome looking, bet they were delicious!

  17. Marylee, those owl cupcakes are ADORABLE! Thanks for sharing that!

    Paula, hope you get a cardinal soon. Their song is so gorgeous in spring!


Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!