Thursday, 5 May 2016

My 2016 birding list

Currently, these are the birds I'm seeing at my five feeders, I'm anxiously awaiting our Hummingbirds, as they nest nearby, as well as the cedar waxwings.
This is the May feeder list. The sparrows stay, but the Pine siskin nests further north.

Sadly, the cats do grab some birds, but very few, considering my bird counts. Three cats, three birds in 2016, so far. They are quick, and the cats cannot fly. The new fledglings are the ones most at-risk, once they mature the cats capture very few, despite the numbers who read on Social Media. I've seen a Blue jay eat a chickadee, back when I was student teaching at MacSkimming Natural Science school and trapping and banding birds. My granddaughter, Josie, had a field trip there Monday, May 2nd!

Birds at the feeder in May

Rose-breasted just appeared yesterday!


Local birds

These are the birds in the area, up above, or in our forest. The Pileated I list here, but on cold, long winters they'll go to the feeders! Once I snapped a Hairy woodpecker at the hummingbird feeder! It looks a bit odd, and they are comical since they are so much oversized.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Raging fire in Fort McMurray, Alberta: look for the helpers

I've been following the devastating fires in Alberta. The news can be depressing. I am searching for the good stories within this terrible ongoing event.

Our Canadian news is filled with horrific scenes of totally burned out communities. People have fled with little and/or a suitcase. The good news is that, so far, no one has died or been seriously hurt. They've got a fair number of fires in B.C., the province next door, but Ontario is sending some firefighters.

The problem is in the geography of this place. Fort McMurray had one highway going through (#63), running north to south. North of the town are mining camps, as well as other businesses. Suncor and Syncrude have had to shut down due to evacuations.

People in these camps to the north have been told not to go south.

So far, 88,000 have been evacuated.

Alberta Government@YourAlberta
Information for Fort McMurray wildfire evacuees will be posted here and will updated regularly. #ymmfire #ymm
They say that 10,000 people evacuated to the north to the camps, while those in the south are going farther south.

Hotels to the south have taken in refugees, and citizens are offered empty homes.

They've run out of gas for 200km along autoroute 63.

Some have managed to take pets, others have been told to register with the SPCA who will try to take care of them.

The Red Cross is taking financial donations for food and water. They don't have the resources to take goods, at this point. They are looking for donation at

Red Cross Alberta is registering those who have been displaced so that worried family members can find good news.

The Feds have agreed to send military helicopters, as well as personnel, who are on their way.
There are 250 firefighters there and 300 RCMP on their way to assist.
It's not been controlled yet.
View on twitter

View on Twitter

 The Weather Network has collected some tweets.
They have featured a video, if you wait for the ad, showing people evacuating while fires are on one side of the road.

Rehabilitation of county Rd. #1

In honour of the construction,
I've given bear a hard hat!

It started with traffic cones. Then, they began marking the Bell and gas lines with little red and yellow flags. I must admit to some curiosity!  I asked our local radio station on FB. They told me to contact the township.

Citizen journalism at work! I actually emailed the county (this IS 2016!) and the PR person responded.

"As per the Director of Public Works, there are going to be some culverts  replaced, the existing asphalt is going to be pulverized, new granular added and then the road will be repaved with the addition of a paved shoulder.The work is going to start next week and is scheduled to be completed by the end of June."
Bikes & cars have had a hard time
without a shoulder.
We're in for some construction! It runs for about 5km, and it'll be great having the traffic slow down. They'll have to! We have quite a few trucks, and we're really hoping for a ring road around Perth, but that isn't going to happen soon.

You know it is spring when construction beings! Even the police are warning us on Twitter.


First the pylons were put into place. Bell (red flags) and the gas lines (yellow) were marked.

Contract # PW-C-14-2016-16-E0
Warm Mix Rehabilitation of County Road #1 (Rideau Ferry Road) Warm Mix Rehabilitation County Road #1 (Rideau Ferry Road), Thomas Cavanagh Construction Limited, $1,372,020.03 and Provisional Item #1 Trackless Tack Coat, $13,299.00.

April 26th 

 After this, the culverts were the first to be replaced.

April 29th culvert work

This is just the beginning!

There are those who say Canada only has three seasons, bugs, construction and snow! Traffic can be a scary thing.

This infrastructure is very important and provides jobs, as well as helping people get to their work, play, and medical appointments.
What about your neck of the woods?!

Parks Canada spending $40M to shore up crumbling Rideau Canal

This is just the beginning of construction in our region. This was some early spring work. parks Canada is trying to create more tourist opportunities.

Including previously announced investments of $6.6 million at Black Rapids Lock 13 and the Poonamalie Dam, the government says it has now announced $46 million in infrastructure spending on the Rideau Canal in the past five years.

Parks Canada will do smaller repairs at the Upper Nicholsons, Edmonds and Narrows lock stations and the Merrickville swing bridge. It will also spend $7 million on repairs to dams and locks in various locations along the canal’s length.

Motts Mills dam renovations

Poonamalie Dam Reconstruction 

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

NaPoWriMo Day 25 –poetic prompt

Day 25

Rage, rage against the dying of the light
Experience the journey – simply not a fight
May 31, 2011
Refracting rainbow's colours arrange
Each person a prism life souls exchange
Challenge us, prompt us, lead us to life
Our soul's point of view cuts like a knife
There are schisms between us unembraced
Decades pass still they're unerased
Is it the destination that really truly matters
Or the journey along as friend and foe scatters?
Embrace all you endure for they are only lessons
'Tis true I can share all my old confessions
We must keep moving forward despite aches and pains
As wisdom accrues like flying paper planes


I've always fought against this poem by Dylan Thomas, despite enjoying it!

Do not go gentle into that good night
Rage, rage against the dying of the light

Serendipity in the outdoors

I wanted to see who was down at the frog pond. Monday, I managed to capture a photo of Mac Muskrat. Suddenly, I saw something across the pond. I think he has a girlfriend! He left the spot where he was eating, swam over to her, and there was a bit of a confrontation, and a huge splash!

I was doing a circuit, and walked back up to the backyard forest to try to look for the owl and/or their nest. I thought I could see a face in the hole in the dead tree. I'm still not sure!

The flowers have been lovely in the forest. White trillium are nearly ready to burst, the red trillium are out, and columbine. Do you know how hard it is to walk, looking at the ground trying not to step on the flowers, but watching the trees for the birds?!

Back up on the hill, there was something in the tree. A porcupine having a nap. They are nocturnal. I didn't know if it was the owl, at first, just a dark shape in the sky. The tail gave it away. There is a den across the street. There are quite a few, many become road kill since they cross the highway slowly in the dark. The latter is an archival photo.