Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Quite possibly the cutest things on earth...

There are twelve Muscovy ducklings and they are doing very well. Mama is still quite protective. When I attempted to pick up a duckling today, she attempted to amputate my finger but failed. No harm done!

Eugenia takes such good care of her babies!

My heart is melting!

If you need a Muscovy duck, let me know! ;)

Time for bed!

They follow Mama everywhere.

Slowpoke! The last guy in jumps up on the ramp. They are surprisingly agile.

All tucked in for the night. "Come any closer and you'll lose that eyeball!"

Jack's Ottawa memorial

I tried to post this last week, but all the pics got erased (uh, accidentally, by me) while I was working on the draft post on our trip last week. Anyway, I happened to be in Ottawa last week and decided to walk by the little memorial for Jack Layton. Jack was the leader of the official opposition until his death this month.

It was also one of the days that he was lying in state in the Parliament buildings, and there was a very long line-up for the public to get in and pay their respects.

Jack was married to Olivia Chow, a NDP MP who immigrated to Canada from Hong Kong as a teenager. Jack spoke some Mandarin, and he and Olivia had quite the love story. He was quite popular with some member of the Chinese-Canadian community, as this banner shows.

The flag on the Peace Tower was at half-mast.

The news media was out in full force... were members of the Canadian public. "Elect more women!" I couldn't agree more.

People left many personal notes.

A teddy bear next to Jack's picture. The colour of the NDP is orange, hence all the bottles of Orange Crush, orange flowers, and such.

I admit to getting a tear in my eye when I saw this message from the cats of Parliament Hill. There is a feral cat sanctuary on the Hill that I love to visit. Dedicated volunteers care for the kitty colony there.

I loved this little kid's drawing of Jack, and the simple message.

You can see the lineup stretching across the front of Parliament to the right and beyond.

Simple but moving.

Someone else was moved to poetry.

There were many flowers and messages of hope.

More kitties missing Jack.

The crowd was quiet and respectful.

You can see part of the long lineup on the horizon over the Centennial Flame.

One chapter closes, another begins. Such is life.

I was quite touched by the messages I read at the site, messages of hope and affection. It would be nice if a little of that rubbed off on every Canadian.

Monday, August 29, 2011

I survived Hurricane Irene!

Well, she was really just a tropical storm when she hit Maryland. Gordon and I are on our way back from a few days in Silver Spring, where we attended our friends' son's Bar Mitzvah. Irene hit Saturday while we were there. Many people cancelled on the Bar Mitzvah party, but we intrepid Canadians drove down and survived! Having lived through the eye of hurricane Juan (force 2) passing right over our house in Nova Scotia, I found this storm less scary, at least where we were staying. Not so much in other places it hit. :(

The power went out at our hotel sometime while we were asleep Saturday night, so yesterday we moved to a hotel in Baltimore that still had electricity. All very exciting!

Good thoughts to everyone who has experienced hardship and property damage because of the hurricane. I have a friend in Vermont whose house foundation has collapsed. Her basement is full of water and her fuel oil is leaking into it. She and her pets are fine and safe, but it's an awful situation. 

We had a fun time in Maryland but I'm looking forward to getting home to see my DUCKLINGS! Our very-capable friends have been looking after our place while we've been gone.
Meanwhile, we are enjoying pizza, beer and satellite TV in our Cortland, NY hotel room. More after we get home!

Get your insulin!

Insane cuteness!

In record time (for Gordon), my hubby built a new little duck house for Mama and her babies, inside a dog run we got a while back. Later we will use it as the second duck house. He built it using all scrap wood, metal and a window that he found in our barn. It's quite sturdy and Mama and babies seem happy in there:

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Extreme cuteness!

Eugenia the Mama Muscovy and her beautiful babies!
More coming soon! 

My latest handiwork...

Designing display banners for the SD&G Certified Forest Owners. There were three of them, but the third one was inside the tent at Wood Fair last weekend.

Duckling updates coming soon!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dogs in Soybeans

Every so often when we are out walking, the dogs take off into the soybean fields! Then Sophie does her dolphin imitation. She is pretty darn good about coming when called. Boing, boing, boing!

Aboriginal rights, anyone?

Gordon has done an interesting blog post on Aboriginal rights. Click here to read.

Honey Day

We finally took some honey off the beehives the other day, but it's not what I'd call a stellar year. My bees have been doing all sorts of weird things and even though I split two hives into four back in May, I am back down to two hives. Still, this first crop of honey is YUMMY!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Birdy happenings around here

Some interesting bird action around here lately. The other day, I heard a shriek outside my office window and saw this:

A hawk had just caught a Bluejay. My birder friend thinks it's most like a Cooper's hawk, athough it could possibly be a Sharp-shinned hawk. They look quite similar and share a taste for songbirds! Poor Bluejay.

The photo would be better if my stupid flash hadn't gone off!

We also have this little fellow dining on a tree in our yard...

He/she is in love with this (no doubt diseased) tree and is on it all the time. He makes a noise like a squeaky toy. It's very endearing.

I love woodpeckers!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Nice tribute

Be sure to check out cute ducks in the previous post. But here's a nice tribute to Jack from This Hour Has 22 Minutes:


A happier post today!

Guess who arrived this morning?!

Ducklings! I've counted ten so far. We'll see if more eggs hatch today. Are they not UTTERLY ADORABLE?

She is a fierce and protective mama. 

"You touch my babies, you die!" It's not going to be pretty when we have to move them all to the new duckhouse in a day or two!

The murderous look I know so well from the past five weeks!

Eugenia looking after the little ones. I will take my Nikon down and get better pictures soon.

Very hard to get any work done with all this extreme cuteness going on!

Meanwhile, poor Mama duck has to listen to the crazy lady and her baby talk...