Tuesday, 3 August 2021

'Confusing fall warblers!'

Confusing warblers! There is a page for them in the bird guides – for good reason...

The one was feeding the other, with the flappy wings and open beak, demanding food! 

 Just to further confuse me, there were a pair of birds in the pine tree out back. I tried to photograph them, but couldn't. I heard a noise out front, and realized they were out front, and someone suggested house wrens. What a noise!

In the meantime, we keep finding spaghetti sauce-like stains on our clothes. Cannot imagine why! I pruned a whole lot of them lilies.

The hummingbird likes the tiger lillies! hummingbird  


Clover continues to eat... well, clover! The fawns are still feeding.

The fawns are adorable! Twice on this camera (coming and going), and once on the far trailcam. deer friends  


For fun, I made a recipe of Curried Sloppy Joes. I cooked mine in a crock pot. Daniluk made hers on a hot plate, as they were camping! We had leftovers, and I froze another 4 portions for when the girls come back.

Our Canadian vaccination rates, by age, as of July 24th. It's the provinces and territories who have the healthcare mandate, but the federal government who procured the vaccines. 

I'd just checked, Cinnamon came in after dinner and was sleeping on his bed. I told him Josephine went home, but he likes his bed.

Just for fun, on a quiet statutory holiday, we were tucking into our latest TV watching (Murder Call – from Australia), I heard the sound of a large cat jumping onto the floor. Sure enough, another bat flying up and down the hall, around the kitchen, and the dining room! 

JB stood at the front door, I was at the back. The cats were enthralled. I grabbed it in the butterfly net and took it outdoors. It likely came in through the chimney. We've had bats on and off for years. Bats in my belfry?

Monday, 2 August 2021

Monarch butterfly eclosed

 I spent hours doing this. Looking for caterpillars. This leaf was amazing, with an egg and a caterpillar on it. Last year, they'd crawl up under the ledge of the porch. 

This one was the first to eclose, July 25th of this year.

This monarch chose to hang off of my spruce tree, which I was trimming. I found it a couple of days after the one above. I stuck it on the front porch, where it would be safe. 

Friday, July 30

You can tell, once they begin to turn black, that they are on their way! I figured it was a great opportunity to film it.

I set the videocamera up and filmed for hours on Friday, July 30th. It put up a piece of paper on the wall to reflect more light. I hung a couple of lanterns there for yet more light. 

Next, I trimmed the branch for a better view.  It was getting black. 

What happened? Well you might ask. I was using a 32GB memory card. I filled the 16GB one twice. Switched them out.  Nothing happened on Friday, my legs were sore from jumping up and checking it. 

Saturday, July 31

Saturday morning, I was up at 6 a.m.! We began again. I took the lights away, since it was now a sunny morning. I kept running back and forth, checking the memory card. 

The black became transparent, and I could see the true colours coming through.

Finally, around 9 or 10, I went out and there was a glorious monarch. It moved from the chrysalis, and let its wings fall with gravity, and straighten. I had it all on tape! I kept watching and taping, maybe thinking I'd get its first flight. 

Well, fat finger delete and the cosmic joker. It's a teeny screen, and the videocamera isn't as simple as my old one. I accidentally erased the whole memory card, not jut the last video which was 30 minutes long. (I think.) I have strict orders to hang onto the card, and submit it to my SIL. He may be able to recover them for me. I am so upset with myself. 

 I took a video after its wings were dry and it rested. It moved. You can see its proboscis moving.

monarch butterfly from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

Sunday, 1 August 2021

Fires...from British Columbia to Ontario, and parts south

It's been a terrible season for fires. Heat waves, dry conditions and the snow on the mountains melts.

What I like about our Canadian government is that they show both Canada and the US on information maps. The fires are terrible all over, with dry, hot conditions.  Out west, the weather and climate are very much the same above and below the border.

FIRES Natural Resources Canada

Fires and smoke patterns

We worry about our kids in Vancouver. They've had excessive rain, then drought. With the heat, many have died, and many more are impacted by the fires. Our kids don't have air conditioning, either, as Vancouver residents seldom needed before this. 

In Canada, the fires are having an impact on many First Nation territories, such as Osoyoos. There are so many men and women working to put it out, as well as caring for those who have had to flee their homes.

Provinces are sending extra help, firefighters have gone from Newfoundland and Quebec, and sent to help here in Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia. 

Mexico and the US have sent firefighters to help support our weary workers. Mexico has sent 100 men and women. Hot and dry conditions, with dry lightning, has sparked the forest. July 17th, Ontario Forest Fires reported that a firefighter had a medical issue, and passed away on the flight to hospital. So sad. Northern CTV News made a mistake sending up a drone near firefighters who have to use the air to fight the fire.  Ontario laws forbid it.
It is illegal to fly a drone within 9 km of an active forest fire. Doing so could interfere with low flying waterbombers or helicopters and endangers the lives of pilots, firefighters and emergency personnel."
 What a terrible time they have, between COVID–19 protocols, as well as the hard work. One firefighter died on the way to hospital, with a medical emergency. So sad.

They have 500 ostriches, which they use for meat, eggs, and oil for therapeutic purposes.  Add to this, that  other farmers have been dropping off animals on their farm.  

Saturday, 31 July 2021

Saturday's Critters

 🐻BEAR WATCH <= check out my latest. There have been reports of bears in the area. We haven't seen any since July 9th [Critters galore!]. These reports are all within a normal bear's range to us.  

July 20 – reports of a big bear at Beveridge's Locks. (Since May.)
July 25 – Report of three cubs Elm Grove and Hughes Rd.
July 28 – Bear scat on Sunset Dr.

We saw a small bear on camera in June of 2021.

And a large bear  in June 2020.

A Great Crested Flycatcher!  

I spotted this bird on Tuesday, but by the time I put on my 2nd shoe... I missed it. Wednesday morning, it was in the backyard, worried about the crows.

This is probably a vireo chick  They are all over, and BirdNet keeps IDing them by song.

The grandies named our coyotes, Chad! 

Who knew there was such a thing as a Coyote map for urban Toronto? They are quite bold in the city, acclimated to humans. Ours lurk in the forest, scooting past the trailcams most of the time. I've seen them, perhaps, four times in ten years here. Ours are quite afraid of humans, as many here have animals to protect.

Coyote map

doe and two fawns  
The fawns are now appearing on camera. If you watch this one to the end, you'll see the two fawns nursing behind the tree! They don't need to nurse, as they can chew on leaves and grass, but you know how the little ones are!


Saturday's Critters # 398 Thanks, Eileen, for hosting.

Friday, 30 July 2021

Gramma Camp – Week 34.3

 We eased into the day. I did my blogging. The girls arose around 10. It rained much of the day, on and off. 

Papa set the girls up with an old games player. Isabelle and I connected it up, after a few tries. Iz wanted to play Bubble Bobble. We met with varied success. It was so funny.

My favourite game of the 80s was Q*BERT. We tried that. Hilarity ensued. I just couldn't get the controller under control. We laughed so hard, Josephine came downstairs because of the noise. Isabelle said it wasn't her fault she didn't do well. She grew up in the age controllers with more than 6 buttons,  3–D graphics, and open world settings, not this stuff! She is quite droll.

Bubble Bobble - Wikipedia
Bubble Bobble


I told Jos that the tree frog was on the railing. It is so well hidden, she asked to play 'hot and cold!' That helped.

After it rudely peed on her, she giggled, put it back, and washed her hands!

Isabelle found two connect-the-dot pages to do. She couldn't connect her wifi to my printer, so she did Facetime with Papa. I heard her talking to someone and was curious. I ambled down the hall. Poor Papa was trying to work from home, so I offered to help. She texted the PDF file to me and I printed it from my laptop. The one she did had 650 dots to connect!

They did the garbage and recycling today, with Grampa directing traffic. Everyone helped tidy, the girls broke down boxes with me, they filled the dishwasher. Grampa said, "This is great, by week 34 they are doing garbage and recycling!" Grampa's arm precludes him doing garbage right now. It's been tough.

I watched the afternoon movie with them, in the basement. They finish each other's sentences;  'his brother...'  'Oh, yeah!'

Guardians of the Galaxy

Today, the 2nd monarch chrysalis should eclose! IT is getting quite dark.

Thursday, 29 July 2021

Gramma Camp – Week 34.2

I tried to make the dashcam video better, but I didn't do very well. When Grampa and Josephine went to the store on Tuesday, they saw the doe and a fawn on the front lawn. They are on the left. Maybe for my birthday we'll get a new dashcam! fawn 

It was the first time we've seen the fawns in the daylight up here. We'll see them more often in August, when they are a little less vulnerable, and a little more streetwise!

 We'd planned on going to the Perth Wildlife Centre Tuesday, but it is cool and rainy! I spotted an ad for volunteers to help with their butterfly gardens, which reminded me of it. 

On Tuesday, Isabelle announced that she was going to the Muskoka Room. With lots of rain on the way today, she might end up there to draw and listen to music, again. Notice the water bottle, Momma! 

Off we went Thursday at 10 a.m. We packed water, bug spray, cameras. 

Not quite sure what they were up to...

We made it. We have an annual pass to the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) parks.
A swallowtail was doing something in the mud in the parking lot. One car left as we arrived, and there was one other there. It was quite peaceful.

It was a lovely walk through the forest, along the paths. Lots of birds, but the bugs were so bad we didn't stop.

We made it to the river. The girls hunkered down on the dock and talked, while Grampa and I climbed the viewing lookout. I took a selfie with my phone, and sent it to Momma, who is working from home.

We climbed. I didn't take a photo, this is from our visit in 2018.

From the lookout, there were birds snatching bugs.

There were a pair of ducks but even with the zoom lens, which I dragged along in my backpack, I couldn't attempt to ID it. They were diving for food. 


The girls were still on the dock when they saw kayakers. They decided to make turkey sounds??? Tay River  


It's just a lovely, peaceful scene. The Tay winds around the marsh off in the distance. It was a perfect day!

You can see one of the kayaks in the middle of the river.

The girls joined us on the tower. More selfies for Momma!

And we were done, headed back to the car! It was a good walkabout. It was a good hour we were out there. 

We hustled back along the path, and I heard a bird. (It was really buggy!) catbird 

We didn't see any stinkpot or blandings turtles, but they are there!

When you come to a fork in the road...

I'd shown Josephine my October, 2018 blog post of our extended family visit, and she wanted a reprise of the photo! 

The poor trees, LDD damage.

We arrived home, and Isabelle and I tried a reprise of the lily photo, with pollen on her face. I wasn't wearing my reading glasses and couldn't tell it was out of focus. Oh well! Her facial expression is a hoot. They are so much fun.

We all vegged out after this. It was an afternoon of reading, drawing, and, of course, their 3 p.m. video. The three of them watched in the basement: Isabelle, Josephine, and Cinnamon! It was, apparently, a 'cheesy' one. (They picked their own videos!) Grampa and I watched Olympics to catch our breath, and put our feet up. 

After spaghetti and meatballs, with meatball jokes from Grampa, we watched America's Got Talent while Isabelle had her shower. Lights out by 9:30!