Tuesday 30 June 2020

Gramma Camp is on!

Cat in a tree. The birds are smarter than the cats think. The cats are happy the girls are here for the week, as are we! They've been told that school will resurrect itself in the fall. Kids will be their either Mon./Tue. or Thurs./Fri., with the school getting a deep cleaning on Wednesdays.  We shall see how that goes. 

Grampa met them at the hostage exchange. I did some chores, i.e., vacuumed, laundry, and prepared.

It is such a relief that home schooling is done. We've planned meals by text. I'd made a meatloaf last week for this week. It was cooler then. This week is heating up. Thursdays we always order in. It's a chore, figuring out the best restaurant where everyone can agree to choose something. 

We looked at one another, took a deep breathe. Jos said, "What are we going to do?" We had some surprises hidden to celebrate the end of the school year. First up was Lego. 

Next, we did some art. I'd bought the girls some art books from our local bookstore, the Book Nook. They've a robust website, and their arts and crafts section is great. I bought some puzzles, too. We'll see how this week shapes up!

I'm proud of this photo. The sawyer was on the outside of the glass, and I managed to get one photo that was in focus by framing the focus. 

Never mind Art in the Park and all the art festivals we are missing, we did art on the deck. You'll note my laundry on the laundry tree. In the afternoon we had a wild storm, and rushed to take all painting supplies indoors. They helped me with my laundry, too! I took photos of our progress, and sent them as text messages to Momma. She misses them, and they have been wonderful during COVID–19. I know they miss their friends. 

Artwork... Jos sketched. Izzy painted.

I sent JB down to Miller's Bay farm to fetch some strawberries. Little did I know that he isn't overly fond of them. The girls and I finished them off! Momma sent a watermelon, as well. 

Elsewhere on the property, the storm from Saturday wreaked havoc on the phragmites. They are lying flat in spots. The wind whips in here, and flattens them. It's sort of pretty.

The frog pond and dock. The 'pond' part is drying up, as this is a vernal pond. 

After only 8 mm in the last storm, I noticed where I had accidentally lowered the mower blade too much. You can see how beneficial the higher 'grass' is during our drought. (It's mostly NOT grass!) We really have to rethink lawns in this day and age. I still see people putting poison on their dandelions. People cut their lawns too short, as well. 

This is how most of our 'lawn' looks. The daisies are lovely. The surprise is these lovely little wild flowers. 

As I mentioned, the storm whipped in on Monday afternoon. The arrow shows the direction. It missed us, again. Just a few drops. Smiths Falls had a downpour. 

There were thunderboomers, too! By this point, the girls were downstairs watching their afternoon video. 

Well, that's it for June. We'll see you tomorrow in July! It is Canada Day tomorrow.

Monday 29 June 2020

Birding close to home

The bird sanctuary we took our baby birds to posted photos of them, plus a PSA, on Facebook. NOW they post it! Our little two are in the photo. One is in the far corner. The other is the wee one on the left. You can see the size differences.

Here is our baby bird #1. This doesn't look capable of surviving outside the nest. Just sayin'. JB found one dead on the ground in town, during his morning walk in town.  It looked as young as this. Definitely a hatchling. 

This is bird #1, day 1. Next, bird #2, day 2. We kept #2 overnight. 

Their PSA.

I went out into the front yard to fetch trailcams, as is my regular routine. The birds were calling me. I need not go far to see some. Birding is quite difficult for me. I cannot see with my dominant right eye. I kept hearing a bird I was unable to ID. There were several on the front lawn.
They are lousy shots, into the bright sky, but for those who enjoy the bird songs...

Finally, despite singing its little lungs out, I saw the singer.

The song sparrow is still nesting.

Sunday 28 June 2020

Ottawa and Perth

The testing centres are interesting. We passed the Ottawa East COVID–19 testing centre on our way in to take the robins.  I thought JB would like to see it, as he was driving. This is a former school. 

Also, they are working really hard on fixing up this old farm house. It is comforting to see the old place coming back to life. Many of us can identify with it, having not been to the hairdresser for months! Contractors, on the other hand, are still working away.

What a great way to visit in times of COVID–19.

This is such a fun backyard!

Watering in times of drought
These handy little trucks truck water as they go around and water all the hanging baskets in Perth. It would have been clever to get a photo of the planters, but I failed to do so!

It's good to have help watering at home. Can you see him on the fence?

Nutmeg hunting for mice friends beside my one pumpkin plant.

We were quite relieved to have rain on Saturday. I was not hopeful, but anticipatory. We ended up with only 8 mm, which is better than nothing. We've another cloudy day, which is good. That will let the plants absorb more water before it evaporates.

Saturday 27 June 2020

Drought and baby birds

Water levels are bad, here in South eastern Ontario. We've not had much water for 3 months. The year 2016 was the worst. The watershed conditions do not look good this year.

We drove into Ottawa Thursday, to take a baby robin into the Bird wild life. I popped it into a fake nest I'd bought years ago.  

This is where we found it. In the sun, out in the open, on the dry, crackly grass.

This is who lurks in the night.

Ottawa Valley Bird Care Centre on Moodie Dr. , 70 km and an hour later.

We made it home, after lunch with the kids, who are in our bubble. I had a suspicion, and wandered out into the backyard, where I'd found baby robin #1. Sure enough, a screaming baby robin #2. Something had gotten to the nest, I assumed.

It looked helpless, sitting there in the dried grass and in the sun. We've weasels, coyotes, aggressive blue jays, wandering around the yard. Never, in all my time outdoors, have I seen such young birds on the ground. They get their flight wings, and momma and papa follow them around.  The young ones have speckles on their red breasts.

We just couldn't face another trip into the city twice in one day. I sent JB out to get pablum and eggs. That's what we fed Batman Not Robin, back in the day, on the advice from the same bird rescue peeps. It didn't work very well.  Cat food (you know, stuff from the vet @$2.68 per can), is what I fed it. We weren't about to go into the city again. It was starving.

We've seen robins and robin's nests over the years. They are demanding babies.

These are archived photos of Batman. It was blind in one eye.

I'd tried pablum and egg yolk, but had troubles. 

Off we drove to the bird centre.

Arriving at the Centre, I took the wee one in. I was shocked. The technician told me that I should not have done so. That Momma would be around feeding it, and I should have watched it for 2 hours. She said that it wasn't too young to be out of the nest. I felt as if she slapped my face. It was the centre that told me to feed this to Batman, all those years ago (2011). Batman did well on it. Well, we arrived home and put our feet up. At least we know they aren't dead. 

For more critters:

Saturday's Critters #341