Friday 31 March 2017

A sunny day! Whoopee!

Yes, so off I went. I went to check out the owl's favourite tree. I keep track, just for fun. He's visited and left evidence on these days. Some days he'll poop, others he'll leave an owl pellet (undigested bones and fur of prey), but I haven't actually seen him since December.

Dec. 23rd – One out hunting in the afternoon sun (video).
Jan. 22nd – BLue jays clued me in. Photos and video!
Jan. 24th – Near the nest, blue jays alerted me again.
Feb. 24th – Found an owl pellet under his favourite tree!
Mar. 29th – Pooped under his tree in the night.

As I returned from the farthest part of the back yard, the geese flew overhead! Then they aimed at the lake, then veered.

What a glorious sound! They are a bit miffed, as our lakes are still frozen. They are in corn fields all across the region, hoping for a melt.

If you like the sound...
Geese on the fly from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

The turkeys think it is mating season. They are displaying to entice the females. Bambi doesn't quite know what to make of it all!

Daisy and I went walkies. This fallen tree has proven to be entertaining for all. Hubby took Annabelle there the previous day.

The tree sits in a group of five. I think of them as the Cinq Soeurs. They are a group of five trees, and one, eventually, fell over, June, 2016. watched the tree sway in the wind. It creaked for months. This is what it has looked like since then. The cats love it!

Daisy is a climber. She ran for yards, then flung herself up the tree. She was so happy!

Outside, the snow still melts. Although, today, we have had snow since 5:30 a.m., and now, at 8:30, it's rain.

Inside, my Orchid Cactus is beginning to bloom in the strength of the afternoon sunshine. I look forward to its huge blooms! [ It blooms for a couple of months! My Orchid Cactus blooms!] I put it outdoors in May. That's the second photo! I shall anticipate such blooms!

Oh, yes. Sitting inside, I spotted a chickadee swoop across the window vista, swiftly followed by my sharp-shinned hawk!
He is a frequent flyer, and often appears in the afternoon. He wasn't watching me! I have an archival photo of him on top of the bird feeder stand! At the time of the 2nd photo, April, 2015,  the experts told me he was a juvenile.

Thursday 30 March 2017

Skunk Post Script!

Daisy seems to know that skunkie isn't to be toyed with!

Daisy & the skunk from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

Skunk and raccoon patrol!

July 1st, 2016

We still have our skunk. Our resident skunk has been about in the night.

I spotted him early one morning last summer, out in the front yard. He pretty much ignored me!

Friday night, hubby scared it out of the garage. He opened the kitchen door to to check if the outer door was closed. It wasn't. Off went skunkie.

I think s/he lives across the highway. The beauty of having snow is you can track it! He's a regular visitor. Oft times, in summer, I catch a faint whiff of its powerful scent. They live about 3 years in the wild, so says National Geographic. We'll often see our so-called grass dug up, as they look for summer grubs. Go for it, I say to them!
Skunks are opportunistic eaters with a varied diet. They are nocturnal foragers who eat fruit and plants, insects, larvae, worms, eggs, reptiles, small mammals, and even fish.

The little devil rain around the house on Saturday night, March 25th. I tracked it coming across the back lawn/septic bed, scooting too fast for the good trailcam to capture its image. Little twerp.

I found the week tracks going in and out of the meltwater. We've had a bit of warm weather!
Hubby has a keen nose, and could smell Skunkie after the snow melted this month, and before this latest snowfall. They rather wander about!

Now, I think these were the skunk's tracks. They are similar to raccoon tracks.

These are raccoon tracks (left), but they are similar to skunks, who are smaller.

Raccoons have paws that leave about a 10cm track. Skunk paws are 2.5 - 4 cm long, the back feet are longest. You cannot really see the pads in their tracks, as they have long claws, which show up nicely.

I love trying to find out who has visited in the night! My problem is that we have a small raccoon, about the size of a skunk, who visits nightly. Daisy lets me know, as she tracks it across the front window.

He's a fast little thing! Sometimes I set the trailcam for photos, sometimes video. It doesn't work for skunkie, as he's a blur.
March 15, 2016

Butch Raccoon a couple of nights ago!
Butch Marches from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

Wednesday 29 March 2017

Dastardly delicate Daisy

She's quite a funny cat. I know that she understands what I say. However, she chooses not to listen!

She has a new habit.
The computer cord runs across the floor, and she'll often begin to chew it. I scold her and she runs off.

This is how I work and play on my laptop. It's a nice lap tray, with a cushion underneath, and two compartments. My coffee sits on the right, in the morning. The compartment on the left holds ear buds, the one on the right the cord to connect my camera to the laptop.

She knows how to open the compartments,  and lift out said cords, then run away with them. She knows it garners her some attention!


Her new trick, when she's bored, and it's snowing (or raining), and she wants me to play with her, is to detach the power cord from the laptop. I caught her in the act, when the camera was ready. BUSTED!

The footstool is her original game. You pop a toy down the handle/opening, and she tugs at it.

She looks so innocent! Yet, she drives JB nuts doing this. She'll chase her tail on the railing indoors, too. This was last Friday, March 24th, the last day we had sunshine!

Tuesday 28 March 2017

How Trump's budget affects the environment

This is why Canadians should be worried. The National did an excellent piece on Environmental Protection Agency cuts. If the US goes back to coal-fired plants; if they get rid of state policy (California), Federal regulations for energy and methane, if it's 'business as usual', nothing will be changed.

The US will look as smoggy as China. We've seen these smog photos in January. With Obama's American Paris Pledge, it would have taken US Greenhouse Gas Emissions down.

When you think it can't get any worse

How Trump's budget affects the environment

  • 1 week ago
In addition to cutting the Environmental Protection Agency by 31 per cent, Trump's proposed budget would have an effect on climate change that goes beyond the U.S.
Click here for the full story: ht... 

Trump’s big new executive order to tear up Obama’s climate policies, explained

1) Start rolling back the Clean Power Plan.
2) Reconsider carbon standards for new coal plants.
3) Reconsider regulations on methane emissions from oil and gas operations.
 4) Revisit the “social cost of carbon” estimate used to justify climate regulations.
5) Lift the moratorium on federal coal leasing.
 6) Repeal guidance for factoring climate change into NEPA reviews.
7) Rescind a bunch of Obama’s other executive orders on climate.
8) Tell agencies to review all rules inhibiting energy production

Solar Power

Greenbyte, maker of wind and solar asset management software Breeze and Bright, has just released an interactive map showing the cumulative installed solar power capacity per country, continent and the world between 1992-2015.
The Evolution of Solar Power is the result of a cooperation between Greenbyte and SolarPower Europe. See the interactive Evolution of Solar Power map here.
Interested in seeing the Evolution of Wind Power worldwide, consult the interactive Evolution of Wind Power map here.

Book Review: Quantum Lace

It is spring, and the spring weather has been coming and going.  This novel arrived in the most delightful package. I felt as if I should dress up to read it. The author has such dignity and class. There was a bookmark, the book was delightfully signed for me, and I just had such a good feeling opening up this package!

Instead of dressing up (I felt I should have), wearing my late father's Toronto Maple Leaf's sweatshirt, I poured a glass of wine. I sat on the front porch and read. I was somewhat distracted by the robins and chickadees singing for love, but love is one of the themes of the book!

It is delightful.
It's not a long read, in fact only 94 pages, and in a large font. (Praise be!) I sat in the sunshine and finished it in one go. It is part 1 of a series. I think I would prefer, since it isn't very long, the entire series would be in one book.

Annabelle and I read the book together. Daisy was squirrel hunting, although she took a break to chase her tail on the railing. Annie just watched Dratted Red Squirrel.

The Writing

billboard-1.pngI found the author has a wonderful style. It took me back to 1895 England quite well. I could picture it. She describes a funeral, and it was very poignant. Also, as St John takes us forward in time, she uses expressions that fit the era. At first, "Kick The Bucket" seemed jarring, but then I look it up on Wiki and they say it first appears in a book in 1785! Who knew?

I learned a couple of new words: a sfumato painting, and fossicked! That is always pleasing to me, as a voracious reader!


I like to give the author feedback, as my faithful readers know. Editing is my pet peeve in self-published authors. St John has self-published, but this isn't her first book. It's well-edited, I didn't spot any typos, which is unusual!
 I did have trouble with cursive-fonts .
They are fancy cursive, which fits the setting of the book, but makes them harder to read. I think a title ought to be sans serif and in CAPITAL LETTERS.

About The Author: Leigh (Bella) St John 

 Born and raised in Australia from a family originally of British descent, having traveled extensively and having lived almost a decade in the USA, Bella now passionately and proudly calls the entire globe “home”. When you meet her, you instantly understand the meaning of the word “passion” – she lives & breathes it with an enthusiasm that is contagious!
Saturday, Mar. 25th, it was glorious. The birds were singing, robins eating sumac berries, cats were watching the squirrels. They know they can't get the birds! Today, Mar. 26th, we anticipate freezing rain!