Wednesday, January 25, 2017

My sweet little Northern Flicker

This little gal spent hours hanging onto the rocks on the sunny side of the house.  I was pretty worried by the time 4 hours passed and she had only moved a few rocks over.  Well, actually I was worried long before that ... but it was at least 4 hours til she flew off and went to the suet feeder and also got a drink of water at the heated water bowl.  I felt somewhat better then...

It looked like she was sleepy.. because her eyes kept closing.  There was definitely something not quite right with her though, because usually they fly off if I even move anywhere near the window.  This day, I was even able to remove the screen inside the window to get a better photo of her and she just hung there.  By then, I was not sure if I wanted to take her photo... because I felt it wasn't fair.  If they are injured or sick ... I always feel like that.  It is like having an unfair advantage over them and I feel bad about it.

Silly me I guess.  But, later, at dusk, when she did fly away to the nearby Poplar tree and then...on to the nearby golf course trees....I felt a bit better about her health.  She was back in the morning and only hung out on the house side for about 2 hours and then... hasn't been hanging onto it since.  Maybe she just had a headache from pecking something too hard,  or was sick for a few days or something....  I hope that's all it was.

Anyway....I did take several great photos of her and I wanted to post them today.

Here she is  ...  my beautiful little Northern Flicker girl.  Please do click to 'embiggen' and see her lovely face right up close and personal.  So gentle looking... and, I'm sure she sees me, but doesn't appear too concerned about me at all ..... maybe she knows I'm harmless.

If you'd like to see more birds.... head over to Stewart's blog, Paying Ready Attention.  Or, click on the badge below..

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Soft and Downy

Isn't she just?  Look, there are even lots of little feathers all around the base of her beak.  I don't know if those are what they term 'rictal bristles' or just some soft, downy feathers... either way I think they are cute.

This is a little lady Downy Woodpecker that comes to the suet cage for her favourite.  Peanut butter and bugs.  Suet cakes I buy at the bird feed shop.  They, and the Northern Flickers get on there and hang... literally ... sometimes it appears as though they are snoozing...but, sometimes, maybe they just refuse to get off and give anybody else a chance.

There is a "pecking order" too it seems.  If the little Downy is on there and a big ol' Northern Flicker shows up....well, the little one flies off for a bit.   But, she comes back... and so does her boyfriend... I've never seen it the other way around.  No Flickers leave if a little Downy shows up for grub.  Big Meanies.
Don't forget... click to make larger to see details if you like.

Waiting patiently for me to finish shovelling so she can come into the patio for her suet cage.  Not too nervous at all...unlike the big Flickers... who take off the instant I go out there.  They may be big meanies in the bird world...but, they are afraid of me.  Hah....

Here is one of the big Flickers...  all fluffed out so he looks even bigger.  It is -25C these days and they puff out their feathers to keep warm I guess.  And...below...... ...the little lady Downy so you can see the size difference.  Sorry they are a bit soft focus looking... almost fuzzy... they were taken with the venetian in the way...but, didn't want to scare them off so left it.

Linking up with Stewart's Wild Bird Wednesday again... check them out by clicking on the photos below.

Friday, January 6, 2017

"A gentle expression"

That's the phrase the bird books uses when describing the look of Northern Flickers.  It's so true.  Look at this guy...or maybe it is two different guys ...I can't say for sure.
All I know is ...they hang out ...literally..on my suet cage.  We buy the 'peanut butter and bugs' one and they seem to love it.

Here he is on a cold day.. perched on top of the feeder pole in the sunlight.  Definitely looks like a gentle expression to me.

Hunkered down and all fluffed out on the top of the patio wall
.. still looking pretty gentle.  I wanted to say 'chill' or 'cool'...but, ..hahahha it is cold and snowy and those words seemed not quite right.  Somebody may have thought I was trying for a pun or something..

This is the type of weather we are having ...   it is still snowing, so I will definitely be out there again this afternoon putting in some more shovelling time.  Did over an hour earlier, so I don't think I'll bother with the treadmill today..or the weights... I have sidewalks, a patio and a double driveway to shovel... that'll be another good hour of exercise, so I can opt out today.  ...  maybe just some good stretches later.  Or.....not..........................

Check out lots of other great birds at this site.  Just click the badge...

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Best Christmas present ever ...

A robot.  Yep.  IRobot Roomba.

You know when we were young and a vacuum cleaner as a gift was not what we had in mind? ....   Times have changed.

He works diligently let me tell you... and, he doesn't miss a spot.  Those legs under the beds?...especially the ones in the middle? ... he goes around them at least 3 or 4 times making darn sure there is no dust left lingering... what a treat.

The first time we asked him to do our bidding it was almost like having a new puppy.  We followed him around the house checking everywhere he was going... to make sure he wasn't getting into any mischief.  He is so clever... mapping out the areas; making sure he didn't miss any spots, etc..   When we tried out his services a second time he was even more organized.   After all, he had 'mapped' our house previously.  There is only ever a slight problem near the docking port... but, maybe a chair in too close proximity caused that.  We moved the port and will see what transpires next time.

It takes him about as long as it takes me to vacuum the whole house... but, hey..  I can let him get on with his job and I am free to do other things...I love it.!!  Of course, I will still be vacuuming...but,  if little Snoopy does his job once a week, I bet I can cut my own vacuuming down considerably...   he won't be able to open and close doors to get behind them..nor will he do steps .. so the human touch is still essential every so often.   But, the square footage I will actually have to do will be minimal if he does all the rest and does a good job.

After so many years of renovations and having to vacuum daily and sometimes many times a day...I will be so happy to have this little vacuuming buddy ... can't even say how much I love him already.  The main vacuum cleaner is also being replaced... we killed it with all the drywall dust we vacuumed over the years of the silly renovations.  Maybe next week I'll get my new one of those......... the shipment is stuck in eastern Canada.... snowstorms and whatnot... probably some Christmas delays as well.

Friday, December 23, 2016

I have new babies...

I took out my box of Christmas 'mousie' bits when I searched for the Christmas cards in the storage area awhile back.
It was a Herculean feat just to get into that storage area believe me.  It is still stacked with all manner of "stuff" we had to move in there to get it out of the way so we could make our renovation mess.   There were rolls of excess carpet, boxes of record albums, boxes of electrical and electronic gear, my massage table, boxes of tiles, golf clubs and carts, the other pop down movie screen and two long blinds from upstairs reno of 3 years ago....acckkkk!! Disaster area of the first order.  In January, I am going to do a major purge... what fun that'll be.  No, really, I'm actually looking forward to throwing out anything and everything related to renovations.  Goodbye and good riddance to it.  I no longer have to save any of it.  Wheeeeeee!!  oooh, sorry, got a bit giddy there for a nano second..  Oh, alright... perhaps maybe one box of tiles in case there is an accident and something needs replacing.  But, there is going to be a lot of stuff piled out by the fence in the New Year.  We love doing that... we have some regular scavengers who stop by to check it all out and in no time at disappears.  Perfect.  I bet some of them have built houses with all we have chucked over the years.  Complete houses.

Back to the mousies.  It appeared that I had cleaned out several walnut shells last year so I had a head start... thank goodness, as we finished this reno so close to the festive season I didn't have much time to tinker around.  Managed to find a few hazelnuts in the box as well, to make into the actual mice... so, lots of drawing eyes and noses and gluing and playing later...I have several new babies to hang on our own tree or to give to various neighbour kids.. I sneak out on Christmas eve and hang them on doorknobs for a laugh.  Only got caught once when somebody decided to drive home at the exact time I left the porch.  Probably I looked like a deer in the headlights.  I was busted there.  And, one dog barked his head off inside a house...but nobody figured out why, so I sprinted down the block before they opened the door.  Whew.

I love them on our tree... and little kids and parents alike think they are so cute... I make a dozen or more every year it seems.

Here is a shot of a portion of my tree...  you can see a few of the little guys on there.... along with origami and all my other fun little things.. it looks like one of those pics you could make a puzzle out of doesn't it?
Click on any pic to biggify

Here are the little mousies... all the same and yet...all so different.  Just like little babies in a nursery...hahhahahah.... oh, I'll take that one please, the one with all the lovely black 'sticky up' hair...oh, just a minute there aren't any.  Not since my nephew was born.  Okay then..the one with the little blue flower between the ears please?  She's mine, all mine.