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Monday, November 28, 2011

Wintry Grey Day

I went for a brisk walk in the afternoon. It was just above freezing, but there was an arctic wind blowing which numbed my hands in no time at all.  Soon I was back and checking on the birds at the feeders.

With an audible flap of his wings, a woodpecker arrived on the scene, flying from tree to tree.  He kept up with this behavior, first coming closer and then retreating, making it known that he wanted me to leave before he flew down to the feeders.

Friday, November 25, 2011


It was blustery here last night, but nothing unusual occurred that could disturb our sleep.  There's barely a breeze blowing this morning, and we are looking out on a tranquil day.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Red-Breasted Nuthatch

On this balmy, breezy afternoon, I stood near the feeders with my camera poised waiting for something to happen.  I heard his "toot" before I actually saw him.  He is a quick little fellow and usually doesn't stay around too long.  But today he lingered at the suet ball eating tidbits before flying away with a sunflower seed that he would shell in a nearby spruce tree. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Winter Fare

Photographing the rose hips the other day made me think of the Ruffed Grouse family, and I wondered how they were doing.  I haven't seen them since late August.  The grouse feed mainly on birch tree catkins and dormant aspen buds as well as twigs, leaves and rose hips during the winter.  In previous years, I have also seen them eating the leftover red currants and saskatoon berries that had dried on the bushes and sunflower seeds under the bird feeders.

Ruffed Grouse Chicks in the garden this past August

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Currently -20C (earlier -24C)
I noticed a flock of small birds in the birch trees as I glanced out the window while having my breakfast  and wondered if they were redpolls.  Were they going to stay or fly on through?  At ten thirty I went out to see about the feeders, and found a very determined redpoll sitting in the platform feeder gobbling up the sunflower seeds as fast as she* could shell them.  Every now and again she would poke her head up for a quick look round (my chance to take a picture).    

Common Redpoll

*Both the male and female have a red crown, but the female lacks
the red cheeks and breast.

Downy Woodpecker

Black-capped Chickadee

Friday, November 18, 2011

Winter Landscape

It is a beautiful still morning, -14C. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I believe this variety of lichen is called Hooded Bone, named for its hood-shaped lobe tips.

"Many species [of lichen] are sensitive to air pollution to differing degrees and have been employed successfully to monitor levels of air pollution, especially sulphur dioxide." source: Plants of Northern British Columbia, MacKinnon, Pojar, Coupe, published by Lone Pine Publishing 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Good Morning

the sunshine beckons to me to come out and greet the morning, cold and crisp

moon setting in a blue sky, trees sunlit

little bird sits on a branch eating a seed

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Snow Falling

under the protective branches
of a spruce tree I stand
and watch the chickadees,
lingering as long as possible,
still clad in my pajamas.

~ April

9:00 a.m. - a perfectly gray morning, -1 C

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Walk in the Forest

I think I am in Lilliputian Land when I discover someone's table littered with discarded pine cone scales.

A little further into my walk,  I come upon a soft, mossy carpet and a supply of pine cones, neatly piled.

I see a movement in the trees near me.  Two squirrels quickly run away, but then one abruptly stops and gives me a good scolding.

"Please excuse me."   "I'm awfully sorry for the intrusion."

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Fresh Snow

The first snowfall of the year.  It really wasn't much, but it was a little icy driving down the hill this morning on our way to retrieve the remainder of the firewood. 

Squirrel races along a log carrying something

a broken, old tree used by the woodpeckers

an offering

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Wood Cutting

a pine beetle killed tree cut down for firewood.

-5 degrees C in the morning, but all together a very pleasant day in the woods.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Nature Notes

This morning as we started out for the city we saw a flock of wild geese resting in the field and then two deer at the road's edge when we drove round a corner. Once on the main highway, we saw a fox heading towards the woods beyond the right-of-way, and on the way home, I pointed out some ducks and a beautiful antlered deer to my husband.  Our lucky day.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


November by Hartley Coleridge

The mellow year is hasting to its close:
The little birds have almost sung their last,
Their small notes twitter in the dreary blast --
That shrill-piped harbinger of early snows;
The patient beauty of the scentless rose,
Oft with the morn's hoar crystal quaintly glassed,
Hangs a pale mourner for the summer past,
And makes a little summer where it grows; --
In the chill sunbeam of the faint brief day
The dusky waters shudder as they shine;
The russet leaves obstruct the straggling way
Of oozy brooks, which no deep banks define,
And the gaunt woods, in ragged, scant array,
Wrap their old limbs with sombre ivy-twine.

~ Hartley Coleridge (1796-1849)

English poet