Monday 30 April 2018

April snow and rains

2014 160
2015 84
2016 15
2017 127.5
2018 148

It looks like spring was extra late this year. This chart marks the first full week of mean temperatures above zero from 2001 to 2018.
Data courtesy of Environment Canada.
cc @BlacksWeather @environmentca
— David R. Carroll (@DavidRCarroll) April 27, 2018

April 25/56 – 20mm

Lots of rain!
It is going counter-clockwise,

This is ridiculous!

April 15

What a month! It was -3 last night.
Tiny hail:  graupel in Newfoundland. (Soft hail or snow pellets, too small to be called hail.)

April 16th – still a mess

Some of us have empathy for one another. Others, like my MPP, do not. He brags, stealing a photo of a tree down, with a power line under it.

April 15th – It is a mess

April 14 – 15 cm just snow!

April 13 – lots of rain, a bit of snow.

April 12th – 9mm

April 6th

We had 2 cm snow yesterday, but it melted.

April 5th – a horrible -10 C. this morning.

Still many without power across southern Ontario.

April 4th – 24 mm of snow, hail, ice pellets and lots of rain!

Multiple, multiple vehicle accidents southbound 400 at Bayfield in Barrie. Gonna be a long backup. #stillwinter #DriveSafe
— Bala Garden Centre (@BalaGardenCntr) April 4, 2018

By the afternoon, more snow, more wind.
And more wind... at 6:00 p.m. 100,000 without power.

Flights delayed or cancelled.

Wicked winds, after the precipitation. Lots with power out. HydroOne says 50000 without power at noon.

April 3rd

Lightning Maps shows much lightning to the south east.

April 2nd

April 1st

The cats aren't too happy with our overnight -0 temperatures! No joke!

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker & birthday

We have a pair courting! The mate was on another branch. I've been seeing them more often. Soon, I'll have to put the feeders away.

Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.
Yellow-belled Sapsuckers perch upright on trees, leaning on their tails like other woodpeckers. They feed at sapwells—neat rows of shallow holes they drill in tree bark. They lap up the sugary sap along with any insects that may get caught there. Sapsuckers drum on trees and metal objects in a distinctive stuttering pattern.

Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

In the meantime, Friday PD Day, Caitlin took the girls to one of my favourite spots, Stoney Swamp Conservation Area. We used to live near there, and we'd go often. Now she takes the girls! They found a garter snake.

Garter snake from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

They visited this weekend, and we did Izzy's birthday. I made a Cockeyed Cake, from the I Hate To Cook Book (1960), by Peg Bracken. I made it in a round pan. Grampa can eat this, no dairy, yeast, or eggs! Grampa and Jos were in charge of putting the candles on.

Josee and I took a trek down to the 'meadow', which is more of a pond, with all our rain.

Sunday 29 April 2018

The bees are awake!

The bees were busy after the rains.
Bees on crocus from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

Saturday 28 April 2018

Ducks are busy!

Saturday's Critters #228
We've been living here beside the swamp since fall, 2010. It took me a couple of years to buy cameras, and install the first, second, and then third wood duck boxes. Last year we had 12 eggs hatch in one box. I count the eggs, record the data, the number of live ducklings, and watch for hatch day.

 Every year, I watch for the frog pond to thaw. Once that happens, the ducks move in. Prior to this, I clean out the nesting boxes. This includes removing old shells. They hatch, and take off within 24 hours.

On the trailcam, I spotted 3 male wood ducks, one of them guarding his female. Also, it appears to be a hooded merganser and a female with him. This is the first time ever! The mergansers nest in cavities, as well. I don't have high hopes, but we shall see!

The photos aren't great. It is a record of our events! It's been a momentous capture on the trailcam, with the date (which was a day off), the time (off by 10 min.), and the temperature.

I am unable to manage a good photo of the ducks, as they are (wisely) quite wary. We have coyotes, barred owls, that can take a duck, and many species who will eat the eggs (raccoons, fishers, snakes). This is my only excellent photo of the male, from a park in Vancouver!
Mama wood duck, May, 2017 
Male and female wood ducks

female hooded merganser, Bala, 2008
Wood duck, Vancouver, 2015

We have mallards on the pond, as well.
They do not nest here.