Monday 31 March 2014

Month of March weather: in like a lion, out like a lion!

March 31st!
What a month of snow, rain, and warmth and cold! Mid-March we had double-digit below zero temperatures. We have had 157 cm of snow this winter.
MARCH snow
1-Mar      3
2-Mar      3
5-Mar      2
7-Mar      2
9-Mar      5
10-Mar      1
12-Mar      20
15-Mar      3
20-Mar      1
22-Mar      7.5
30-Mar     6
 TOTAL: 53.5

What a range of temperatures and weather conditions!

Cardinal in snowfall
A heavy snowfall expected Sat., Mar. 22. It may be the first full day of spring, but it's no surprise that mother nature is still in a wintery mood. A potent disturbance currently over Chicago is expected to carve a path across Southern Ontario tonight. A period of heavy
snow is expected beginning tonight near Lake Huron reaching the Barrie area today and far Eastern Ontario later tonight. The snow is expected to be very heavy at times with snowfall rates of more than 3 cm per hour. Although the duration of snow is relatively short, the accumulation of heavy snow will likely reach 15 cm before it tapers off later tonight near Lake Huron and over Eastern Ontario  Travellers are urged to use caution tonight into Saturday morning due to visibilities of 200 metres or less in heavy snow as well as significant and rapid accumulation on untreated roads.

Wed. March 12th
Wed., March 12th

March 11th: 10 C.!

Poor deer: another dump of snow

They gather on the hill, nestle down into the new snow fall, digging a bed in the snow with powerful hooves. It was a mere 5 or 6 cm of snow, but it covered up all the warm beds of pine needles where they had sat and chewed their cud in the sunshine. It's amazing how they gather in our winter deer yard, hanging about in a group. One will get up, and the whole crew will move to the backyard.

Come summer we barely see them. They split up and forage alone.
The deer that hoofed it into our yard, to escape the wolf, I haven't seen since. Nor have I seen the wolf, thankfully!

Men's World Curling; Chinese water supplier corrupt or incompetent?

Ice maker discusses creating 

elite level curling surface. (VIDEO)

Currently we're watching the Men's World Curling championships. Hubby is an avid curling fan, as many of my readers know.

Hubby creates a matrix of teams, and records each win and loss. Not a bad hobby whilse recovering from ill health!
He videotapes most games across the pond, since there is a difficult time difference for us. Today's game was being aired at 7:00 a.m. and we had to hustle to get everyone fed, fetch the newspaper and grab our coffee!

Now, hubby's gotten to know the players on various teams. He has followed all the the winter tournaments, as well as the Olympic Curling. Canada is famous for its ice making, as well. They import our experts to create the ice. There is a trick to ice-making in China, since in Beijing the outside humidity complicates the ice conditions. There have been some strange mistakes made by our expert curlers, which they attribute to the horrible ice, and rightly so.

The Canadian ice-makers, Hans Wuthrich and Greg Ewasko, have prepared well. They arranged to buy and import some pure water. Unfortunately, they shipped the water in containers contaminated with petroleum. Is this corruption, or incompetence, or ignorance, or just what?

The contaminated water means the the ice in Beijing didn't freeze properly. In fact, TSN tells us, 2/3 of the ice isn't level, and it's not meeting the blades of the ice machines. There are low spots, and the stale pebble causes more friction, it curls a little sooner.
Hubby tells me that we will see the difference as the tournament advances in that the expert curlers, the ones with skill, talent and finesse, will not pull ahead as they should. The ice is unpredictable, and the skips cannot read the ice. Our amateur curlers have spent years perfecting these skills. Employers five them time off to do so. Other countries pay their curlers to do this full-time.

Sheet D is especially bad, they say, and really having an impact on the performance of the top teams.
Canadian media are so darned polite:

Koe learning ice ‘nuances’ at curling world championships


In this video, Greg Ewashko talks about 4 days working around the clock to prepare the ice.
They pebble and scrape it with their machines. What a colossal waste of time, energy and money, as well as water!

Sunday 30 March 2014

March 30th - another dump of snow

Things were melting nicely. It was beginning to warm up. Most days have been above zero C., if not the nights. The wind is blowing the snow off of the roof.
We're nearly out of firewood, which I'm darn sick of hauling, even if it is god, healthy exercise!
Instead, yesterday I playing with Dreamweaver, and dreamed of day trips in the warmth of the summer sun. We managed to visit all 7 Wonders of Lanark County in 2012.

Click on the hot spots in the photo to find photos of these hot spots!
Tourist season is approaching!
Rideau Ferry, Westport, Otty Lake, Coutts, Rideau Ferry Beach and Boat Launch, Perth Golf Course, Foley Mountain!

signage lanark county westport rideau ferry otty lake coutts beach golf course foley mountain

Saturday 29 March 2014

Wildlife is on the move; snow bunting, chipmunks!

Yes, more signs of spring. The chipmunks have woken from slumber, sharing the scattered seeds under the feeder.  

love how they can get along

They are friendly, if not demanding, buddies!

However, another exciting sight for me: a Snow Bunting. I haven't seen one of these since we lived in North Gower. They migrate south for winter, a ground feeder, they eat weed and grass seeds, and bugs.
Come April, the boys go back north, prepare a (warm) nest for their girls, who migrate 4 -  6 weeks later. 

They are social, and even when creating their fur and feather-lined nests, they come together in flocks of 30 to 80 birds to forage.

They nest in the high Arctic, in deep cracks or rock cavities.

The male feeds the female, since she must keep the eggs warm in what can be -30 C. Arctic spring temperatures. What was unusual, is that this little guy was all alone. It was on the ground feeding, then flew up to the tree when I got out of the car to take his photo.

He was still there when we returned from our errands!
The linky is up for Saturday's Critters. Eileen spotted blue heron, while I'm still sighting winter birds!

Song sparrows are singing, it surely must be spring!

Song sparrow sings for spring from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.
I opened the door and the bird was singing lustily.

Friday 28 March 2014

Pastel Paint Party Friday

Bought myself some pastels!
My inspiration on the table

Paint Party Friday

This woman tells me she's
painted hundreds of canes!

Winter: Last kick at the can this week

Apparently, Spring arrives this weekend! I love the changing seasons, and try to find the beauty in them all. Certainly, the photo-ops have been rewarding and challenging. They anticipate freezing rain today, Friday. We shall see! Currently, there is a couple of cm of snow on the ground, and it is still snowing.

Sitting in the sun Wednesday, is a treat. On a -5 C. day, under the shelter of our old White Pines, it was brisk. The sun kissing my face, keeping me warmish! The Pine protected me from the cold wind.
I've been working on an cross stitch project my late mother started in the 90s, but didn't finish. She died in 2006, Mother's Day weekend, and I've been working at it off and on, since discovering it in her project basket. It's very complex, picky work. My ex-late husband used to do embroidery, funnily enough. It's such precise work. I'm not great at it. I've been somewhat creative with this, as I can barely see the directions. They are very complicated, and make me cross-eyed.
The hoop helps, I maketh progress!

The white and black fur on it doesn't help!

limbering along
I love reading the tracks in the snow. Yesterday, I spotted raccoon tracks across the yard. If they are up and about, it must be spring!
Big paws! 3"

About 8" apart

S/he sunk down in
the 2' snow in spots!
Big paws!

A Bala raccoon

This 'coon visited March 27 last year!
S/he was missing a paw.

The twins are much help, playing in the snow! Dorah found the brown spot, where the sun had freed the sleeping brown grass. She followed me, as did Daisy, as I explored the tracks. Dorah took off towards the back, where I spotted the wolf the other day. She was after a squirrel!
Dorah was bold!

I cleared off the bench, still buried in snow.
The deer's bloody prints still remain.
She was the one who got away!

Thursday 27 March 2014

Daisy walkies, wild turkeys fly!

Daisy walks on the snowy bog from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.
We were tracking the deer, who was running away from the wolf. Daisy could smell the canines who'd marked along our trail! She'd run a long way trying to get away from the wolf. It was amazing!

We'd walked a long way in the snow, following the bloodied trail. Daisy insisted on coming along.

When turkeys fly from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.
Daisy and I were tracking the deer/wolf chase. The wild turkeys, not surprisingly, were pretty skittish. They heard us and flew up into the trees, with great commotion! Daisy was fascinated.

Wednesday 26 March 2014

I saw a wolf in the back forty!

Yes, I was staring out at a deer, she stood panting beside the bird feeder. The story unfolded when the wolf appeared. Daisy and I tracked the deer's path yesterday. It was easy to spot the drops of bright red on the snow. The wild turkeys tried, but couldn't obscure the path! Their tracks were everywhere.
It was snowy, and Daisy was a trooper!

The wolf in hot pursuit, skirted the forest, hiding in the trees. Thankfully, he was afraid to come up onto the lawn. 'Lawn', meaning snowy lawn.

He paced back and forth, then disappeared by the time I got the videocam. I was safely on the upper deck!

Down we went, me an' my buddy, to where we spotted him. Daisy and I followed the deer and wolf tracks to the beginning of the bloody tracks (X marks the spot).

They are fascinated with Daisy
The deer was first wounded on the point, then ran around there, up towards the meadow, and skirted the property around the lawn, behind the shed. Then, the deer skirted the backyard into the gully, and back up the hill into the yard. She wisely ran up to the bird feeder where she felt safe. Heckuva run! What I find amazing is that these deer, who can outrun a wolf, are afraid of my wee daisy!

coyote track (there seemed to be two of them!

One big, hungry wolf!
She was huffing and puffing, but the deer
was faster than the wolf!

backyard wolf from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.
I looked out into the backyard while waiting for the stove to preheat. There was a doe, panting heavily, staring at the back forty. I looked again, and saw a wolf amble by way at the back. Ran and grabbed the videocam, coats, and boots. Daisy was on the side fence and I quietly called her in. You can see that the wolf had clipped the deer, there was blood on her hind leg, and blood on the ground near the feeder. She took off into the forest with her buddy. I just missed photographing the wolf!

My literate readers: Alfred Lord Tennyson!

Who trusted God was love indeed 

   And love Creation’s final law- 
   Tho’ Nature, red in tooth and claw 
With ravine, shriek’d against his creed-