Tuesday 18 June 2024

Happy Father's Day!

 The school year winds down. Jo (gr. 11) is studying for exams and finishing off major assignments. She has exams at the end of the week. Tough ones, English, physics, and chemistry. Then, an easier one on Monday and she is done for the year! Aster has another two weeks, being in gr. 8. 

It was Father's Day on Sunday. Neither of us here have fathers living. What is really special is having grandkids do Facetime with Grampa. He was out shopping when they phoned the first time. I was out back tying up the Hops Vine some more. I scratched a blackfly bite and began to bleed. I didn't notice until I saw these red spots on the railing, with an ant eating the blood. How weird is that?!

Grampa arrived home, and the kids had gone berry picking. We caught up with them later. Our Ottawa kids traditionally pick strawberries on Father's Day. 

Strawberry Photo Shoot
Caitlin said they were going to try and reprise some old Father's Day photos. This was such fun!


Aster was in the snugly one year. Now she is taller than most of us!

This was a very hot year! Not so much this year, as it was cool.

Back in the day!

And a good time was had by all! Isn't that fun?!

We're in a heat dome, with a terrible heat wave. My lawn tractor is back from being repaired and back good to go. I have work to do today. 

Monday 17 June 2024

Booboo bear and Muskrat

The back deck is the place to be. This past week was a tad chilly. We anticipate a hot spell this week. Heat warnings abound. In the meantime, I put out garbage in the pouring rain and climbed the ladder to clean out the gutter. 

The good news is I get my lawn tractor back today. The battery was fried. They serviced it, as well. The bad news is that it is pouring rain and too wet to mow. Thunder and lightning to the south west of us.

I've scheduled a pedicure today. That will be a nice treat. 

The good weather  brought out the planes! 

This was a Cessna!

Going down to the frog pond has been good exercise. One is wise to wear bug spray, long sleeves, boots, and pants. The joys of living in the middle of a wetland! 

Muskrat has been working hard building a shelter under my dock. I guess it is easier than in the middle of the pond. I've been tracking it or them, hard to tell if there is a pair.

 This is just a young bear, determined to renovate Muskrat's shelter. They are curious! He was here an hour prior📹 and came back. You can see him rake away the debris as he snorts and snuffles.


Booboo bear June 13 from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

The next day, Muskrat was working to repair the damage by the curious juvenile bear. I finally captured it on camera! It is working hard to seal up its shelter under the dock. Booboo hasn't been anywhere near the house. Thankfully.

Sunday 16 June 2024

Books and bears

 📚 Book Reviews! 📕

We've had a strange weather system roll in. It's been chilly.  It's 14℃ here now, but 7℃ in Ottawa. The sun is out and it'll warm up. Reading on the back deck, my summer pleasure, requires a blanket once the sun disappears.

 I seek respite on the back deck. It is lovely to relax and read. The first is by an independent author, R.A. Consell, Stealing from Wizards. It is a great fantasy read, for teens and adults. Quite a wonderful fantasy, the third in the series. Caitlin told me about these books, and we've read the first two.

The next book is by a Canadian author, Daniel Kalla. He's an ER doctor in Vancouver. This is the list of his books. It is all about the plague returning. He just published a new one and was interviewed on TV.  I'm trying to read them, but someone has them out from the library and isn't reading any too quickly. 


"Daniel Kalla finished his latest book about vaccine hesitancy and misinformation the day he learned what COVID-19 was."

Since it's been chilly, it was a time to bake! I love the bubbling as it comes out of the oven. Local strawberries and rhubarb. My rhubarb has gone kinda wild. It is wonderful being able to support local businesses.


rhubarb strawberry crisp from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

Even Cinnamon wants to snuggle for warmth!

reluctant sharing from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

During our storm, the poor little critters! 

hummingbird in rain from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

I heard the barred owl!


dusk barred owl hoots from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

We went down to fetch trailcam videos! I had on an anti-bug shirt. The mosquitoes have lessened, though. Now it's blackflies and deerflies. 


Cinnamon walkies Jun 13 from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

🧸 Lo, and behold, Booboo bear. It knows Muskrat is in there! At the end Booboo is pulling the debris away from Muskrat's shelter and looking under the dock. I think Muskrat is trying to block the sunlight. Or itself?

bear june13 from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

The bears are good bears. We've no food out there, bird feeders well away in spring. Garbage is secured in the closed garage. There are too many humans with guns out there for local bears to be complacent around humans. I've not seen them around the house at all in the daytime. They wander at night. 

Booboo is likely looking for a new habitat. The older bears don't wander near homes in the daytime. 

This is the time of year they are mating. The females kick the 2-year-olds out of their territory, or the males could hurt the young ones in competition. The bear that wandered by at midnight is a mature bear, looking for love, I'll bet.

People talk about critters invading human spaces. So far so good here! 

Saturday 15 June 2024

Saturday's Critters

 It is a blessing to be enjoying the season. Sitting on the back deck is lovely. No bugs, just critters wandering around. 

Down on the lawn is another story. 

The forest is as bad. Still, I put on bug spray and went down to wrestle trailcam memory cards. The crooked camera is a sign of bears!

Muskrat has been building some sort of shelter under the dock!

Booboo bear inspected it. 

Out front, the deer fence is doing its job. I am very pleased with it. This is the second year. I have clematis and allium blooming. The lilies are growing tall, unlike some years when Clover trimmed them for me. Last year I wrapped it around the garden. This year I just put it on the far side. That makes weeding easier. Although I am getting lazy about weeding.


doe June 11 from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

The crow came to visit. I'm not sure why. Fred is so tired, laying down on the deck.


The crow visits Fred from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

Near as I can figure it was just before midnight, June 9, 2024.

bear June 9 from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

We haven't had bear problems in a couple of years. The bears have been good and stay down by the frog pond, usually. They are fascinated with trailcams. People often post videos of bears attacking them. It really is funny, if expensive. So far so good here since one just bent the camera support. 


bear from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

Saturday's Critters # 548 <= for more critters from around the world.

Friday 14 June 2024

That was a storm!

That was a big warning, but we didn't get a tornado after all. We had 5 drops of rain I think. So I wrote early Thursday. Things changed after that. The storm built up, we had tornado warnings on the TV and the phone. Joseph Brian and I headed for the basement. It was 10 o'clock and there would be no sleeping after that. 

We ended up with about 9 mm rain (3/10"), and no damage. The thunder and lightning was amazing.

By 10 there were 71, 246 people without power in Ontario. Our power flickered several times, but came back on. We were lucky. Lots of people without power still (47,000). 

The lightning strikes across the province were numerous.

We were relieved to see the tornado warnings were called off. The message came in at 10:30.

We'll see what today brings. I don't see any damage around the house. That is a good thing. 

I did manage to clean the goldfish pond pump. My oldest fish is growing. The deerflies are out. Sadly. I think I have 10 bites during the process. I even wore my deerfly patch on my hat. I am so dumb! 

I've been putting goop on my arms as I didn't realize. The mosquitoes aren't as numerous. There is a cycle to their activity. 
May – mosquitoes & blackflies
July – deerflies and horseflies 

It was a lovely day until the skies filled. 

The hawkweed on Oliver's Lot is doing just fine. 

Look at the progress! OK, maybe you can't see it!!! May 29 vs. June 11.

I've had some camera fails! This is my latest placement of the oldest one. It's on the top of the steps. Just below, beside the lower deck, is Fred's burrow entrance. How brilliant, I thought. 

The first day I only have the top of Fred's head. The next day, I forgot to turn on the camera after I switched out the card.

Fred June 12 from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

I spent an hour or so trimming the lilac tree. It is expanding sideways, and I cannot see beyond it. Nor can I trim around it with the tractor. When it gets fixed. It's a little uneven, 

Frog pond June 10 from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

Thursday 13 June 2024

Strawberries are ready in Ontario!

But first: Muskrat has been busy down at the frog pond. 


Muskrat from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

These from the other side of the pond. 

It is filled with non-invasive phragmites, as well as invasive Frog bit. 

The strawberries are early this year. Miller's Bay is not only selling them at the road side stand, but Pick Your Own! Here is a teeny wild strawberry in the grass.

I sent Joseph Brian to them to bring home some rhubarb and strawberries. Rhubarb Crisp!

I quite enjoy the caterpillar tree. There is a battle for the top spot. If one is up there, the other launches itself up and faced with the sibling, jumps down. Until this month. Cinnamon was quite firm and insisted on snuggling with Nutmeg. She was not pleased. But he won.

Somebody has to cover up during walks. We do have Lyme Disease here, too, Barb. The doctors are pretty good at treating it these days. It is common. The trick is to get them off ASAP.  My lawn tractor is not working properly and is out for repairs. What can I do but wait?! The bugs hide in the grass.

We have lots of critters!

hare June 4 from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

turkeys may 28 from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

porcupine may31 from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.