Saturday, 24 February 2018

Such weather

It's been a shocking change in weather. The snow cover is virtually gone.

I walked out side the morning and could smell melting snow and heard birds, and it felt like spring.




First robins were heard in the morning.


First robins from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Forest bathing

I took a walk prior to our big rainfall.
A nice piece of fungus on a tree on the island in the wetland. The island looks VERY wet, with a lot of deep snow around it.


This is the island in the wetland.


Back on the mainland...

I love this little cave. I once found a dead porcupine here. Grouse used it as a cave, too.

The trees grow right up through the rock.


The wetland is, indeed, wet. We're in for a big melt.


We share the forest, apparently with a billion zillion springtails, AKA snow fleas.


Then there are the raccoons, the skunks, and the rabbits.


This was a chunk of raccoon fur. Someone had a fight!


There was a big front rolling in, I wanted to get my walk in before that!

Another set of woodpecker holes.


You can see the moss growing where the sun has warmed it.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Meadow vole, AKA Squeakie

It was a comedy. I was working out in the basement. Hooper, who usually runs under the machine, bonking his head, disappeared. I thought, to have a pee. He didn't come back. This was good, as I keep cat toys in the cup holder to throw for him and get him away.
After I was done working out, I went into the litter room. There is a closet that holds the well water pump. Hooper was sitting at the door, listening.
Sure enough, he had found a meadow vole.

This vole was a trooper. Ran out, behind the litter boxes, then into the basement, up and down the baseboard until I caught him and threw him outdoors!


Vole from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

I find them cute critters, although they have a wicked bite. Daisy and Dorah have had bites on their noses. They tunnel under the snow, as well!

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Pileated Woodpecker

 I was doing a walkabout for the Great Bird Count! I could hear him in the forest, squawking at someone. The chips on the ground were a tell-tale sign. There he was! Male Dryocopus pileatus.
The pileated part is the red crest, which is from the Latin pileatus, which means 'capped.'
The males have a red mustache.


In summer, I've found three of them during one walk across our 2nd and 3rd lots, in the forest. We have 16 acres, total. Mostly swamp (~10 acres)!
Upon circling the tree, I managed to get a better view. I was worried about disturbing him, and I did. (See the end of the video) As I backed off, however, he flew in a circle around the forest and came back to the tree.



Feb. 18

I went back the next day, to do another walkabout, and snapped a better photo of his hole. It would make a nice nesting cavity for the barred owl. The barred owl nest is looking a bit the worse for wear.


I could see him across the highway. This is a pretty dirty lens, but you get the drift. It's too bad the shot of him in flight wasn't focused. I'm just not swift enough.

Why don't woodpeckers get concussions?

File:Dendrocopos major skull.jpg
Wiki Jimfbleak
Woodpeckers' tongue are long, and wrap around up over their eyes to absorb the shock of the head-banging.

This photo's post shows the end of his tongue! It is raspy, and can skewer the bugs!

They are large birds, their bodies can be 49 cm (19"), and their wingspan up to 76 cm (30").



Pileated woodpecker from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

Monday, 19 February 2018

Lunch, waterfall and walkies

Feb. 16
Our rule is: When we are too slow to run across the highway to pick up the mail safely, we'll have to move!


We had an extra lamp, having replaced our broken one (New lamps!), and went into the 2nd hand store to donate it. Of course, lunch at Fort Hemlock ensued. I love this spot!


JB had some nummy soup first: Spicy Korean BBQ. You can see the restaurant owner in behind JB, chatting with some other customers. They were discussing the new minimum wage hike ($11.60 to $14 per hour). He was saying servers need to manage 30 customers for him to break even. Also, it's tricky when he has an unexpected influx of customers. I get that, but I'm prepared to pay more for my meal if it means a fair wage for servers. They work so hard, and people should have a living wage.

Eventually, the sun came out. The ice on the dam is amazing.


Smiths Falls from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.
XXX
I love this house, nestled back in the woods.


Next, we went down to the frozen lake at Beveridge Lock. The snow machines have been busy.


Poor Gillian GPS gets confused!


Back at home, I took Daisy for walkies.


You can compare her tracks to the turkey's tracks!

 She had a pee in the snow, just after this!
Daisy huntin' from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.