Monday, February 19, 2018

Wizened little apples..

The poor squirrels are making a little trail to this ornamental crabapple tree just outside the bedroom window.  I can't imagine they taste very good....although, having said that... perhaps they are fermented from the intermittent freezing and thawing and have a lovely wine-y flavour!

This little guy..or gal....I am voting for a female, was doing acrobatics to get at some of the remaining 9 apples.  They are more like wrinkly cherries they are so small.  She was clinging by tiny toenails upside down and right side up..but moving so quickly I didn't get any shots of the tricks.  Darn it.  She is pretty spry for her shape.  See that fat little tummy?  I bet babies are already hibernating in there ....

Just look at these silly things..... who would want to eat them?  But, there is so much snow... maybe there's not much for them to find unless it is up in a tree.  There are spruce cones nearby ...but, perhaps a bit of fruit is on their dietary requirements list .... don't forget to click on each photo to see them bigger....not the silly wrinkly cherry like thingies of course, .........the cute little squirrel....

















































Uh, oh..... I think she sees me now....and is ready to bolt.....  she was watching me all along, but enough is enough I guess.



Friday, February 9, 2018

SNowmaggedon !!

Things came to a standstill all over the city with that last dump of snow.  It was easily a foot and more..
It took us over 2 hours to shovel ourselves out of the house and around the city sidewalks and our own walkway and front porch area... oh, and patio.... a LOT of shovelling!

I think the movements and strengthening of Tai Chi have helped a lot.  No soreness in the rib tissue at all today... even my mid back which was feeling it yesterday ...is fine this morning.  A beautiful brilliant sunshine morning.... so pretty with all the snow.  But, the driving!  Yikes!

The snow shovellers who do our neighbours' driveways .... got good and stuck when they tried to leave.  It took them at least 45 minutes of struggling and digging and moving trailers and snow machines off and onto their truck to get out of the predicament.   They used almost all of a big bag of mixed salt and gravel too.... nothing was working.  I figured they must not have proper winter tires or something... and, man...why would they not have a 4 wheel drive for that type of thing?  Snow shovelers getting stuck in snow.  Great.  Wonder where they are today?  there is another 6 inches to shovel since they were here last.... mine is all done.  Thank goodness we kept shovelling as it was falling.  It would have just been too heavy to even move by now.

The birdies were around all day looking for seeds and suet... the snow cones on the tops of the feeders fell onto their little heads if they hit the perches very fast or hard...especially the big Flickers... it was pretty funny ...  my entertainment each day anyway...














And, today ...I give you a little Black Capped Chickadee nibbling at a seed.  They take one out of the seed dispenser and fly onto a branch to nibble away at each seed til it is gone.  Such dainty eaters.


















Well, still have one side of the house to do some final shovelling ..... off I go .. maybe it would be a great day to walk around the block to see if any photo ops present...although it is still -29C this morning in spite of the sun...... hmmmmm..... we'll see....
















Somewhere under that bump...is the birdie bath ..... I know it is ......


















Wednesday, February 7, 2018

... can't resist....

 They are just too cute to resist.  I know, I know... only Nuthatches of late...but...

This little guy was standing on the top of the suet cage... waiting.... trying to decide whether or not to join the one already nibbling away at the peanut butter and bug suet.














Finally he did flit down onto the cage and they shared... sometimes they do, sometimes not...

 

They were among the many birds hanging out that day.... it was a cold, snowy one.  All were huddled around looking for a seed or some suet.
Look at the shot from the kitchen doorway ..trying to see across the street... it's still winter in these parts.  More snow forecast for this afternoon and evening... wonder if I will bother driving anywhere tomorrow? ...  Maybe no Tai Chi tomorrow ......

I'm linking up with Stewart's Wild Bird Wednesday ... check out lots of birds over there .... hey, there could even be some more nuthatchies..... click on the photo below to go there .  click on any of the birdie pics on here to enlarge and see the little guys BIGGER.





                                                                                 



Monday, January 29, 2018

more little Nuthatchies.....

And....a Downy....   Woodpecker, that is...

Just because they are so cute and I stood out in the cold to try for some closer-ups....

One little guy (or girl)  is pretty feisty and brave.  He just kind of peeps softly and stays right on the nut dispenser all the time I am there.  But, then... when I least expect it... he whizzes past my ear on his way to the Juniper tree.  Or to flit back to get my attention.  It is tough to get focused even with Auto Focus, and get a clear shot of him/her.... they flit back and forth to the lilacs and off to a big spruce across the street.... man, they're fast.

You can see them closer too if you like .. just click on the photo ....








This little guy comes to peck on the suet cage and then...kind of falls asleep or dozes for a bit....leaning further and further back...til almost a backbend... he is very flexible.  But, kind of strange...he stays on there til somebody bigger, like a Norther Flicker manages to get his attention and off he goes.  He even stays there while I shovel snow in the patio.  Weird. 







Thursday, January 25, 2018

Nuthatches instead of idiot people

Nuthatches are soooo cute. ...   People in the news lately are not.

In fact they are total idiots and I am so sick of reading about them that I feel like the old buzzard joke.... you know the one..... Two of them sitting on the wires over a deserted road waiting for a car to come along and run over something so they can have lunch ..   Finally one says to his buddy...."I'm tired of this.... let's go kill something."That's about what I want to do.  Kill most of the stupid women who think sexual harassment is a look that to them appears to be a leer or a comment that they take as sexual misconduct..... arrrgghhh!@#$% .

GAG me with a BIG wooden spoon.  What the hell is going on?  Has the whole world gone nuts?  If something offends you women or you can't figure out a way to say 'NO' or 'SHUT UP'  or figure out some way to deal with reality and just carry on with life as the rest of us do  .... stay home babes....   it's actually a real world out here.   Get a grip willya?

'Nuff said... they are making my life hell at the moment... as are the other stupid women who are beating and starving their children....and locking them cages in the basement....   I'm so mad I could spit.  Who even wants to read the news anymore?

So, instead, because I haven't yet figured out a way to get rid of those last two miserable bitches I read about, who've totally ruined and injured some precious little kids .... I give you some cute nuthatches....

Red breasted ones at that.... even the males ..hahahhahah..... actually I am not sure which are males and which are females.  There must be some say to differentiate...but I don't know what it is.  Perhaps just the colouring is a bit more vibrant or something.  In which case these may be little ladies ...they seem a bit paler than some I've seen.  Stewart?  Do you know? ... Kenneth? .... any other birders out there? ..





















Here is a Female Downy Woodpecker sharing with a Nuthatch.  They don't mind any bird on the other side except Sparrows.  They hop around and peck those and get rid of them.   The others all peck in harmony for some reason.


















Head over to Stewart's blog and check out lots of beautiful birds.. or click on the link below.









Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Bobcats

One day in late fall, we were cleaning windows when I spied a bobcat strolling along across the street.  Looked like he owned the whole street, and, in particular, a couple of neighbour's yards, the way he was strolling through all of them on his way to who knew where.

Well, next day I saw it again..this time with a full grown bunny in its mouth.  The thing was about the size of the cat... dragging on the ground... 

I watched it go around the back of the neighbour's house and so I emailed her to let her know...in case she came out and was face to face with it eating its prey. 

She wrote back to say.... 'it is a Mommy and she has two babies in the backyard'.  'That is their lunch'.  She asked if I wanted to go over and we could look out a basement window to see them.  YES please!!

Off I trotted with my camera.

Here are some of my photos of that day.... those babies were so darn cute I wanted to go out and pet them.... but, Momma was nearby cleaning herself at the fish pond... not a good idea.

The first glimpse of it carrying something...didn't yet know what.  If you are a bit squeamish, don't look at the second photo.  And, if you want to see closer....click on the photos.
















I couldn't believe the size of the rabbit compared to the cat... it was pretty darn big.   Poor bunny.  Neighbourhood cats, BEWARE>














Then, I got some pictures of the babies through the neighbour's basement window....awwwwwwww......... how cute are they?













Honestly, I just wanted to bring one home.  Fairly big babies ... but babies nonetheless... just lazing out after a nice dinner and sort of seeing some movement from us, but not concerned.













Mommy, tidying up after the messiness of feeding the kids.
















Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Miniature Gingerbread Houses

From a Cupcake Jemma Youtube video.

I have no clue about piping and have never made Royal Icing before.

so.... as you may or may not know............ nothing is quite as simple as it looks on Youtube.  Besides, she is a professional baker ..hahahhahah... silly me.

I always just expect to follow along and things surely must just happen as easily as they do for them on there right? .... nope.......

Every square inch of my kitchen was a disaster let me tell you.  Icing sugar is so messy even if a person is careful and I am very careful.   And...it just didn't come together like hers did at all.  She put in 3 tablespoons of water and barely had to add a bit more and it looked great.  Of course... seeing and 'feeling' consistency isn't quite the same.  I had to add about 6 tablespoons of water just to get it to be almost solid glue...and, yes...I measured the icing sugar very carefully... an exact 400 grams... by the scale.  Maybe it is a case of the lack of humidity in our homes compared to those in England.  Basically, we have none.

Anyway... very long story made somewhat shorter ..( many hours long if truth be told!@#)  finally I got some icing in a bag.  By then, I already had 3 spatulas with hard, crusty bits on them so had to keep tossing them and reaching for a new one... good thing I have many, many spatulas. .. (still could not get a tip small enough to do it properly either) and practiced on some parchment paper for a bit and then...onward with biscuits to build some tiny houses.  Tiny being the key word here....they are only 3.5 inches high...and, 2.25 inches across the front...only 2 across an end.

At first I was pretty disappointed with my results...but, on I went... and even if they are a bit more whimsical and not as tidy as Jemma's.... I like them.   she did have 3 colours ...but in the end...all I could manage was my white icing... not trying for 3 colours if I can't even make the icing pipe properly.

Mr. BumbleVee says I was trying to make a two story house look like a bungalow....aha....I didn't notice that really....not a wonder they don't look so great.   Not a wonder he is the designer.  I watched the video a few times...and, then...just went for it.  Some details escaped me I guess.  Next time I may draw out some door and window configurations before I  begin winging it.....

Also...I did watch a few more Julia Usher videos later...WOW !!  and, discovered my icing had to be much softer  ... no wonder my arms and wrists almost gave out after 5 houses and many hours of struggling.  We ate the 6th house and other extra roof and side pieces.  A good thing.  My arms wouldn't take any more ...nor would my back. And, that is the BEST and tastiest gingerbread recipe ever.  I love those biscuits.  She uses Golden Syrup instead of molasses ... which I don't like anyway... so I love the taste of them.

I want to take a cake decorating class now...to learn how to pipe icing properly.  What fun that would be.

Here are my cute little "gb" houses.... as my friend Muriel calls them.... in spite of all the pitfalls and my own limited piping skills....I do like them a lot.



















Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year

Cold and snowy and the brilliant sun is shining....

A new year .... so many possibilities .....

It has been so cold the birds are always searching for more seeds and the suet.. it is wild at certain times of the day.  As many as 3 and 4 Flickers hanging out on the wall of the patio and even clinging to the rocks on the side of the house..waiting their turn at the suet.
Sparrows by the hordes... plenty of chickadees and some nuthatches and Downy woodpeckers ...I think we may have a Hairy one too...but, not too sure about him...

This one is so cute.  The big and the small.... Northern Flicker and a tiny nuthatch.... these two don't mind each other on together.  The Downy on the other hand darts around to peck anybody on the other side...this is a bit fuzzy looking because the venetian blind was in the way but I didn't want to scare them off.  Just took the cute photo.




Just look at this cheeky guy.... trying to chase off the sparrow... who does look a bit nervous... he got pecked and just hunkered down for a second or two but, then, decided to get off.