Sunday, 13 June 2021

Phoebes, robins, and LDD caterpillars

The bugs are out. We've mosquitoes, blackflies and... Now, it's deerflies! These I took these with my macro lens. I'd lost a lot of my photos, and couldn't figure out why my computer was slow to load, and lacked memory. They were stored somewhere. My SIL, an encryption engineer, figured it out for me! He's a good one!

These are the last photos of the phoebes! 

One egg remained, so we hatched 4, and one cowbird!

I took the girls outside to look at the phoebe babies Friday, after their lunch, and they EXPLODED from the nest! It was great fun. Isabelle is becoming quite the philosopher, "Oh, well," she commented as we returned to the house, "at least we held them last year!" There were phoebes all over the yard! 

The robins are still in the nest. The adults watch us all carefully.

The girls are home, now, but we had fun and watched America's Got Talent one night. These two, Les Beaux Frères from Montréal, were the highlight! They've worked with Cirque du Soleil.

Les Beaux Frères

I ordered two Women in Science t-shirts. Josephine's fit, a women's medium, but Izzy's was a youth medium (whoopsie), and I asked Jos to ask Caitlin (M.Sc.) to give it away somewhere! They are avid and eager scientists, all!

After our COLD swim Monday after school, they hung their suits and towels in the basement. This is major progress! Funnily enough, Isabelle went downstairs to the freezer to get her morning waffles, and thought to bring the bathing suits up to pack, so they don't forget them. 

Jos crossed off our weekly menu.

We had a quiet day, they packed, and off they went. 

Our sumac has been interesting. The previous owners plowed out the field, here, and knowing that trees are all connected (new research), they are dying out. The wild grape vines are climbing up it, however. It's something.

You can see that I've done some work to keep the You Two doe out of my garden. They've eaten a couple of hostas (2nd photo below), and 5 lilies. Maybe the flags will help!

 The only problem with setting up a perimeter, is seeing the 8 blooms on my peony plant! It's a different paeonia, I'm not sure what kind. It could be a peony 'Yellow Crown'.

One of the original Intersectional peonies, raised by Professor Itoh in Japan. Sadly he did not see the result of his labours. 

There were two, beside the house, but with climate change it was too hot for them. I moved one, the other died, but this bloomed first in 2019, after the move.

The 🍃LDD Invasive Moths🐛 are growing, still. They are up to 35 mm. 

The mosquitoes continue to be merciless in the forest. I wear my red hoodie, and spray my back and cuffs. That helps. They aren't so bad in the yard in the sunshine.

Trailcams have been spotty, this young buck circled around our backyard for me. The bugs are terrible, they cover him.

buck from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

The fishies are doing well. The big one is...well, big!

The little dweeb. I was trying to get her indoors. It was futile. We are worried about the robins fledging. I tried to sneak up behind her, and I know she heard me. Her ears went back, then she rolled over to keep an eye on me.
JB tried, too, with treats. She was on to us.  She ended up coming after lunch. Today, they are confined to barracks.

The monarchs have been by to check out the milkweed. A good sign. Some of the milkweed had frostbite. These, near the steps, are OK.

To leave you on a sweet note, teeny wild strawberries!

Saturday, 12 June 2021

How about this gray rat snake!

We really like snakes! The gentle gray rat snakes are fascinating. Our girls really like snakes. They've learned about them. We don't have any poisonous ones around here. Water snakes are known for biting, but these gentle creature just roam looking for critters in the trees.

July, 2017

Nearby Murphys Point Park has a display all about rat snakes, and they track them with monitors.

This is from a camping trip and visit the girls made to Murphys Point Park, when they track these endangered snakes.

gray rat snake
The girls are such hams!

This is a series of tweets and videos from Kim, whom I follow on Twitter. She lives here in southeast Ontario. It's hilarious! Her commentary, I mean.  

From Ontario Nature

: The gray ratsnake (Pantherophis spiloides) is the largest snake in Canada and can grow to 2.5 metres in length. Juveniles are distinctly blotched, but older individuals become increasingly black with only faint patterning. The belly is whitish with black checkerboard markings, and the throat is a uniform cream or white.

View an interactive map of the known ranges of gray ratsnakes in Ontario. 

JB went in for footcare, and saw a dead gray rat snake by the side of the road. So sad. This is part of the reason they are endangered. 

For more critters: Saturday's Critters # 391

Friday, 11 June 2021

Gramma Camp – Week 31

Firstly, signage. We white people really have to get together to fight racists, and be allies. Sometimes it is difficult to know what to do. These hateful acts can blatant, or be microaggressions, which we whites never have to face. There were terrible murders last week in London, Ontario, a hateful man attacking Muslims. A family, mother, father, grandmother and daughter gone in an instant, leaving a young 9-year-old boy orphaned.

Our kids gave us two of these signs, and I've had comments from various delivery people who liked it (we don't have visitors here). JB gave one of our Welcome signs to Picnic Cafe in September of 2020. Picnic Cafe has now printed 50 up and people are buying them, the money donated to the orphan. They will be placing them around Perth. There is a Facebook page for Welcome Your Neighbour Canada


That was a day. With the Internet failure Wednesday, both girls plugged away on their schoolwork on Thursday. Grampa had some footcare, and after our 2nd vaccine dose the day prior, we thought we'd take it easy. We were pretty good. 

I went in to wake Izzy up by opening the blind, and she popped her eyes open, startling me! She had a good giggle about that. Isabelle had breakfast outside, listening to her music.

Isabelle's teachers made up a different sort of plan for Wednesday/Thursday. It is really tricky keeping track of it all. With this schedule, she's right opposite Josephine's schedule. They usually read while they eat, anyway, but it does make the adult's work more difficult, having to keep track of yet a different time to stop and eat.

After our day was done... Grampa brought us an afternoon treat.

Spaghetti and meatballs for dinner, with chocolate mint ice cream in parfait dishes, served by Isabelle! 

Lymantria caterpillars (LDD) 

This tree in the back 40 is looking pretty whipped. May 27 and June 10.

The LDD caterpillars are up to 32 mm, and I've been picking off the ones on my roses, rhododendron, and hops vine. It is discouraging.

Phoebe babies are doing well! They should fledge any minute. We've been severely limiting outdoor cat time. We let them out to pee, and feed them later. when they come in. That way they come back in, hungry.

Finally, a lovely visitor. great crested flycatcher