Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Book Review: The Parallel Lives of Elizabeth Ann

Parallel Lives of
Elizabeth Ann
Well-edited, I only found one typo where she takes her 'does' of medicine. For a first book, it wasn't bad.

I found it difficult grasping the concepts of the plot, at first. I worked my way through it, eventually. I wouldn't so much call it a thriller, but you didn't want to find out what happened. It's a lovely setting, by the shore, but I didn't really like all of the trio of split characters. The descriptions, and the seaside locale was lovely.

There was some immorality to it, and I was uncomfortable, as the actions of the characters just didn't feel right for me.

The dialogue was somewhat stilted, to my mind.
"I did not mean to upset you, Liz." Who says this during an argument? That's when all conversation is fast and grammar rules tend to go away!

I hope that the author manages to find a better voice in the rest of the books in the series.
Déjà Vu is French for “already seen.” Some theorists, including Theoretical Physicist Dr. Michio Kaku, say that Déjà Vu happens when parallel universes temporarily synch. “The Parallel Lives of Elizabeth Ann,” by artist and writer J. Nichols Mowery, is a psychological thriller that follows the parallel lives of three women born as one child, contemplating the great mysteries of our universe. The first in a series, this new book explores the concept of parallel dimensions and the consequences of the choices we make in life.

Sleeping dove, Virginia, driving incidents,


Mourning dove from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.
It may be a means of reducing parasites and/or feather conditioning, or it might just feel good. This is called "sunbath". One of my favourite moments!!! I have all birds indulging in this through the season. They sit in full sun- open a wing and maybe the tail feathers and just drink it in! They often go into what I call a 'rapture'! The eyes close, the beak opens and they are GONE!!! It is such bliss!

She's so pretty, sharing the milkweed with a wood nymph and ants.

Virginia came to visit from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.
This video is about Virginia came to visit


Driving at the speed of stupid from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.
First he passes us, we were in the right lane. The lanes merged,and he moved over to the right, and passed these people on the right. It's no wonder there are road incidents. You can't call them accidents.

Monday, 29 June 2015

PART III: Cats as killers... debate continues!

They haven't read the reports themselves.
Feral cats have helped push
33 birds to extinction worldwide.
Most of these on islands.
Yes. I read the reports. I read the fine print. Still, the bird biologists keep going on and on. They simply do not understand cats. I read the Blanchard 'report', which was not pure research, but a synthesis of research and created a formula to determine how many birds are killed by cats.
They are extrapolations based on cat owner self-reports, reported number of house cats and feral cats, individual cats tracked, and extrapolated data. They call it a 'stochastic model'.
The formula ignores the fact that birds fly. Cats do not. These sparrow are frequently on the 100m driveway. The cats can't even get close.

Song sparrow food fight from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.
Just beginning a walk, I gazed down the driveway, and spotted some sparrow. One stole a worm from another. One was feeding its partner, too! You can see that our driveway needs doing and I didn't have a tripod!

The formula ignores the fact that certain cats (depending upon the breed/genetics; their proclivities; where they live: their environment, their climate; their gender, and which tend to be hunters, many do not hunt in the way the tracked cats hunt. Our four cats are profoundly different.

Daisy heard this mouse in the snow,
waited for it and pounced.
House cats simply are not the cause of endangering species for those birds who are in our yards.

  • Most cats grab ground feeding birds, in cities, at feeders. 
  • Most cats are not on islands, where endangered species are at risk.
  • Most cats are NOT the voracious bird hunters they claim, based on cats they track who ARE hunters.  (Ten per day?! As if. They get bored.)
  • Most cats capture juncos, goldfinches, jays, sparrows, at winter feeders – or sick, or young birds. 
  • Many cats do not capture a lot of birds in forests, or wetlands, they fear being prey themselves.
This is what the study says specifically...
They barely notice birds in the trees,
lie these waxwings who were gathering nest materials
4' off the ground in the front yard over two days.
They know they cannot get to them
"Twenty-three species at risk in Canada (COSEWIC 2012) are among the potentially vulnerable species in Table 5; 
all of these birds nest on or close to the ground in open landscapes in southern Canada, two on islands. 
Only one (Barn Swallow, Hirundo rustica) is frequently present in urban and suburban landscapes. Predation by cats is mentioned as a concern in status reports or recovery plans for at least 10 of these species, though in no case are house cats listed as the primary threat to population viability."
The butterfly net works well,
Annabelle brought me two last week.


Daisy likes catch and release.
She gets bored, and they take off.
That's not what the study says...
 It does say:

PART I: Cats as Predators
PART II: Cats as Killers: Myths or true data?

Old-time farm equipment and hay bales!

On our way into Constance Bay, we always pass these dudes. Now, the people are mannequins, but the horses, for example, look like horse statues.
I always do a double take. It looks like a group of old time, pioneer families on their way west.
Now, hubby grew up on a working farm in the 50s –they didn't have electricity or running water. He said they had all of this old equipment, and it was older than neighbouring farmer's equipment at that time. This looks like a museum.
One looks closer... 



Farm equipment from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.
The most amazing display we've ever seen!

Then there is this spot
Totem poles and bird houses

Someone told me about the Montana What the Hay! contest.

"What the Hay!" began in 1989 as a joke between two neighbors. There were no rules or prizes. . . just a personal one-upsmanship between friends. It was done with such humor that another local decided to make a contest out of it.

Last fall, this plant nursery always does up a wonderful display.


The first bales are being taken off of the fields in Ontario in June. This is a cow, but I missed it on the way by!

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Another canoodle ride!

Northern Map turtle
Ontario has 10 species, most are at-risk.
Cottage Life says there are 8,
but they are wrong. Can't depend on for-profits!
I was up early for a canoe ride, June 24th. Hubby went into the city for breakfast with his buddies.
Otty Lake is only 60' max at its deepest. So different from Muskoka lakes.

I used my Garmin GPS, however, it turned itself off midway through my canoe ride. It looks like I paddled in a perfectly straight line, and on land.

I would like to know how I ascended 15m, though!

I was on the upper right section of the lake. My top speed was 6km, although I hit 5km a couple of times.

For sale! I tracked it down.
343 Mile Pt. Rd. only $459,000
Only 2 bedrooms

 I cannot tell when the lake will be too rough to paddle before I get there, so I go early enough that the winds haven't started. It was so quiet. A couple were fishing on their barge. There was a man working on one cottage, redoing the outside. Otherwise, it was just me on the lake.

I like the variety of cottages, some bunkies, some as old a 100 years, others brand new 4-season homes. And yes, they call them ALL cottages, because this is a real estate definition in that we are in cottage country!


Otty Lake
44.8489746,    -76.2180165