Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Good thing I bought that deluxe birdseed mix!

Wouldn't want those poor starving turkeys going hungry, now would we?!

They've discovered my birdfeeders and are now making daily visits.

This morning they came charging across the neighbouring field towards our house like a feathered cavalcade.

Time to chow down. I like how the turkey in front is balancing on just a couple of toes.

Still lots of seed for the squirrels after the turkeys sauntered off.

And we still have many beautiful Northern Cardinals hanging around. Yesterday I saw five at one time, which is a record for me. 

Here's Mrs. Cardinal...

Too bad this one wasn't in focus...

...but  I like it anyway. You can see that the females have a lot of red in their feathers too.

And here's a Bluejay...

...using his beak to dig seed out of the snow.

The Turkey Channel is Emily's favourite!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Winter weekend

In the dead of winter...

...my orchids have started blooming! So nice to see beautiful flowers in January.

And Julius is keeping himself entertained...

"Oh hello. I'm a little busy!"

"I'm willing that Cardinal to come in the house I can make myself a nice bird sandwich!" 

"Mmmm.. bird sandwich....mmmmmmmm!"

Meanwhile, Naomi was hanging out in her favourite place.

Gordon got me that John Deere tractor shirt at TSC last week!

Hope you all had a happy weekend.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Ah, the 80s!

I can't remember if I've posted these before, but they amuse me so I'm posting them again. I joined the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve in 1987, the year I graduated with my Bachelor of Music. It seemed to me like a good place to play clarinet and get paid to do so. I had a ton of fun and never really thought much about the possibility that I might get shipped off to war somewhere! Ah, youth...

I found these pics the other day and they brought back some memories.

Here I am in my dress blues in 1988, with my trusty dog Chelsea. I have no dea why I didn't put on shoes for this photo. Not long after this, the Navy got rid of those stupid necktabs for women and I learned to tie a Windsor knot.

Chelsea lived to 15-1/2 and was my heart dog. I adopted her as a puppy from the Pickering-Ajax-Whitby animal shelter and she was my loyal friend through thick and thin.

In 1989,  I spent a lot of time playing gigs with our Naval Reserve jazz band,  and the combo a few of us had put together. Although I'm a clarinetist, I am proficient on saxophone. That's my and my alto sax, second from the left in the front row.

Gordon is the one who taught me to shine my shoes for Navy. I used to keep them looking very nice!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The turkeys are back!

It was bitterly cold today, with a windchill/frostbite on all day. The highest temp I saw on our thermometer was -22C/-7C, but when we got up this morning, it was -30C/-22F. It's supposed to warm up as the week goes on. A cold snap like this is not unusual in January here. 

The poor ducks and chickens had to stay in their coops all day, because it was too cold to let them run around the lower barn. In fact it was so cold, wild turkeys showed up at my birdfeeders for a free meal!

Isn't she cute?

Alex and Emily were enthralled with the giganto-birds right outside my office window!

"Can't you see we're busy here?!"

I'm pretty sure the cats would lose if they dared to tangle with this big bird!

And a Blue Jay flew right up to taunt Emily!

"I'll get you, my pretty. And your little blue friends, too!"

The cardinals were taking advantage of the free meal as well.

Alex kept up turkey watch after Emily left!

This turkey girl was very wary when she caught a glimpse of me at the window!

As the afternoon came to a close, the turkeys decided it was time to move on.

And off they went, across the fields and into the woods next door...

I hope they'll be back tomorrow! It's fun watching them at the feeders.

Ms. Sparrow has been having lots of turkey adventures lately too!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

No, that's not allowed!

In our house, cats are not allowed on the kitchen counter.

At least they weren't...

...until Emily came along...

...and started exercising her kitty mind control!!!

And after I took this photos, I unceremoniously dumped her on the kitchen floor.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Frosty chin whiskers

Yes, well, although I am almost of an age to start growing Nanna-style chin whiskers, in this case I am talking about dog chins...

We went out for a very nice walk today. It was -15C but there was no wind, so I felt quite toasty in my parks and silly raccoon hat. We snowshoed to the back of the farm.

The dogs were so happy to get out for a walk, they couldn't decide which way to go!

Me and my number one furry man. Well, Gordon is furry too, in his own way... he's my number one humanoid furry man! I love this dog. Tristan is slowing down so much. It's a bittersweet time. He sat next to me while I took photos and just snuggled right in.

We all enjoyed walking through the woodlot. I can only get through this east side of the lot in the late fall until early spring. The rest of the year, the vegetation is too gnarly and high to walk through without scratching my legs to ribbons.

Tristan followed some tracks under the fence. Deer? Coyote? Fox?

I found a hole in the snow, about as big as my fist. Whatever it is, it likes pine cones! Pine marten, maybe? They are predators but they do eat berries and things like that, and I know we have them in our woods. 

Nobody was home. At least, I don't THINK anybody was home!

We're having quite a cold snap this week. By Wednesday the high is supposed to be -20C, the low -27C. But this is apparently the statistical dead of winter, and after this the worst of the cold will be over.

"Cold? I don't care about no steenkin' cold!" And she doesn't. Sophie loves nothing more than to be outside, running running running!

I saw lots of snowshoe hare tracks in the woods. I don't often see the hares themselves, but once a large one bounded across the trail in front of me, and the dogs took off after it. No way would they ever catch it. The hares are amazingly fast. In summer, they're brown, but in winter they are all white. Hinterland Who's Who says they can "advance up to 3 metres in one bound and travel as fast as 45 km an hour." Incredible.

Tristan was pretty tired when it was time to head back, but he methodically plodded home.

My cutie stopped for a roll in the snow...


...and a cuddle and photo shoot!

It was all going very well until...

...Sophie couldn't take it anymore and gave me a great big kiss. Which wouldn't have been so bad, except a few minutes earlier, she'd had a big snack of coyote poop, preceded by a big snack of her own poop. UGH!! Where's the Lysol when you need it??

And the sun is setting a little later every day now. The white pine and sumac in this photo were planted along the creek banks a couple of years back as part of an erosion-prevention program. They're doing well!

I always have such a nice time snowshoeing with my dogs.