Saturday 25 December 2021

Merry Christmas

 These were the days just too many "several high hundreds" Covid infections,

We had "snow birds" fly away:

I hope we shall all stay connected in spirit even if separated in space-time ands society.

The snow birds left me behind - WOB

Monday 20 December 2021

I guess I am ready for the Christmas Bird Count.

 In the first instance, I am playing this straight. Donald M., Vicki S. and I spent Saturday in a snow "storm" with strong winds. In the morning we walked over toward Leacock. I did not expect to see this hawk

Saw this - Redtail? - on October 28. It then flew off never to be seen again?

However, when we got to "Leacock and Museum" we thought - I thought - I would surely see the Downy again. No such luck. However, we did see at least 2 different species of Finch -

I had seen a Redpoll nearby several days earlier - but never a House Finch. I have to correct that: I saw a pair of House Finches in May 2016 (Wed May 25) -

(And Arni, the tree is real and still there!)

But back to Saturday and counting the snow drops. I know the difference between a muskrat and a swan even when both are swimming. And 2 Trumpeters and 3 Mutes, too, I'll stick to them to complete.

Not even a flying squirrel:


There were 2 - yes, astronomers can count at least this high, maybe even to five:

The 2 Trumpeter swans are in the foreground. And the 3 Mutes near the shore of Barnfield - Tudhope:

A snowy blowy blustery day.


Friday 10 December 2021

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

 Well, that seemed simple enough - then I read that Brant geese line their nests with "copious amounts" of down, using more down than do Eider ducks, from her book A Naturalist’s Guide to the Arctic

 So I have just identified a Downy woodpecker - and had it confirmed:

It often feed on suet hung out at winter bird feeding stations. Now I know where to look.

No Redhead . so female but that would also apply to Hairy woodpeckers, too.

The point for ID that I was given was the shorter/smaller bill that the Downy has, compared to the larger Hairy. I compare distance from eye to base of bill to length of bill - comparable for the Hairy. So now for some profile shots. Please pose - and smile if possible for the camera:

Thank you.

And now why the name, Downy? Nesting   I looked it up and:

"The cavity is lined only with wood chips."  !!!

Seems strange, Try Google:

"The Downy's name refers to the soft white feathers of the white strip on the lower back, which differ from the more hairlike feathers on the Hairy Woodpecker."

And I'm  just a hairy guy! So there you are - if I hadn't asked I would not have been able to sleep tonight. A summary.

I guess I am ready for the Christmas Bird Count.




Wednesday 8 December 2021

Fake It Till You Make It !

 Recently my blood pressure has been rising - over weight plus inactivity, partly caused by Covid but also brought on by my life style changes living here in Ontario. Since the Summer I have tried to reduce this trend and - well, on Friday the dental hygienist surprised me with a blood pressure measurement. It was lower than at any time in recent memory. So - "go-for-it"  went to the Doc's on Monday and - the same encouraging results! So I thought I would share my joy with you.

Isn't amazing what a slight change in view-point can do?


and see what you get. Like Smiling can trick your brain into happiness — and boost your health 

Top 10 Reasons to Smile Every Day  

So our family is healthy. Shot at least twice and survived - survivors will be shot again! 


I thought I would reuse my long-term memory from November 2019

Picture this:


Never smile at a crocodile
Never tip your hat and stop to talk awhile
Never run, walk away, say good-night, not good-day
Clear the aisle but never smile at Mister Crocodile
You may very well be well bred
Lots of etiquette in your head
But there's always some special case, time or place
To forget etiquette
For instance
Never smile at a crocodile
No, you can't get friendly with a crocodile
Don't be taken in by his welcome grin
He's imagining how well you'd fit within his skin
Never smile at a crocodile
Never dip your hat and stop to talk awhile
Never run, walk away, say good-night, not good-day
Clear the aisle but never smile at Mister Crocodile

(Songwriters: Jack Lawrence / Frank Churchill
Never Smile at a Crocodile lyrics © Walt Disney Music Company)

This is aerobics - feel your blood pressure rising - but note, there is no impact on your joints.

Now the lowering of the blood pressure, We shall sing the Crocodile Song:

Oh, she sailed away
On a fine and sunny day
On the back of a crocodile.
You see said she,
He's as tame as tame can be,
I'll ride him down the Nile.

The crock winked his eye
As the lady waved goodbye,
Wearing a great big smile.
But at the end of the ride
The lady was inside
And the smile was on the crocodile!

 Now, isn't that wonderful? Cheers me up every time as you can see:

 Smile - everyone will wonder what you have been doing!


Monday 29 November 2021

Yesterday was First Advent

 Hanging up a wreath at the front door:

Comes complete with door knocker. Maybe if you look from the side?

Stay safe - WOB

Sunday 28 November 2021

Riviera Orillia

 I was outside sunning myself -

when our Male delivery arrived - from Rory, if there was any doubt,

Not much difference - except our "strand" is whiter than his!

Off my left palm we have a willow and off my right palm we have an oak -

And we our fresh water Cenote

 - and I am sure you would be "blue" if you swam there.

Happy Holidays,