Friday 31 December 2021

Bunnies, mice and deer

I've the attention span of a gnat, but I'm trying to do The Globe and Mail's 2021 giant holiday crossword puzzle. It's free online, you just have to print it all out, the cut it up and tape it together. It is 3 pages across x 2 pages down = 6 panels. I've only taped together the upper three. It's a start. 

 πŸ˜’ My new trailcam still isn't working. Three sets of batteries. It's just a pain-in-the-arse I cannot manage well. I had to cancel a delightful haircut with a new stylist as I am coughing. Better keep my germs home safe and sorry.

The oldest trailcam hasn't had any critters. I should move it, as the tracks show me they are using the frozen wetland as a trail. The older trailcam, in the front yard, has been pretty good. It's not great, but we used to have replace our computers every three years. This one was from last year and I didn't spend enough money on it. 

Sorry to vent. Here I come to the fun part. I keep changing the batteries on this camera, since the bunnies spend hours here off and on. You'll notice the time stamp on the camera defaults to 2020, as the internal battery isn't working. I keep forgetting to reset it properly.

I've mentioned the mouse hole on the front deck. I finally captured them this year. If you look straight up above the cottontail, you can see its eye shining in the light. Isn't that fun? bunny & mouse from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.


The cottontails are pretty hoppy. One of them nibbled on my rose bush during the video. (Bad bunny!) The one has three marks on its hindquarters. That's one way to tell them apart. Unless it is a grooming issue! 2 hoppy cottontails! from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo


It's peculiar that the deer think the cats bear watching, but they were non-plussed with the bunnies. I'd not seen this before. doe and cottontail from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.


The bunnies were there a long time, off and on. It's been fun watching them. 

Thursday 30 December 2021

Arctic vets

I managed to remember that I wanted to clean out and tidy the linen cupboard, and then to find the will to do it. My attention span is not great these days, nor my motivation! I was looking for a particular pillow case, after I'd changed sheets, but I didn't find it! The space looks pretty good, though. For now! 😹

The walking is still tragic outside. A layer of ice lies on top of the snow cover. Indoor chores and exercise are a better option. I love the fresh air. I'll go out and refill feeders wearing my cleats, and penguin-walk back indoors. 

We've been having fun with TV in the evening. We are watching CBC's Arctic Vets. Assiniboine Park Conservancy and the zoo are an amazing example of people helping animals. They only keep the animals if they cannot be released. They released an eagle who was experiencing electrocution symptoms one episode. Male and female vets, they are wonderful role models. They love the animals, know them well, and are committed to keeping them as healthy and happy as possible.

They have 9 unreleasable polar bears, trained to mark positions. This way, the keeper calls out 'mark' and holds her hand up high (they are big bears!), they can administer booster shots of annual meds, as well as antibiotics, if necessary. It allows them to visually inspect the beasts, as well. Sometimes, they have to do procedures, and they bring them in and dart them. 

Polar bears are a big problem in Churchill, Manitoba. They wander into town and cause trouble looking for food. With Global Warming the ice they need on which to hunt seals has been precarious. They've come up with a strategy to keep them out of town. A park ranger looks for them, and uses truck horns and sirens to send them around town. Sometimes, a cub is orphaned, and they take them in. This provides great opportunities to do research. Two biologists are experimenting with a photographic computer program to identify individual bears.

In one show, they feature a seal, taken in from a German breeding program that didn't have any where else to put him. All their rescue seals are males, and they train them both to provide healthcare, and to keep them busy during mating season. 

In Canada, watch any time on CBC Gem! Download the CBC Gem app from iTunes or Google Play, or watch in your browser. Season one of Arctic Vets is now streaming in the US on National Geographic and internationally on Roku!

Cinnamon jumped up on my lap during the show, and he was fascinated with the seals (big fishies!) as well as the polar bears (bear, Cinn!)! JB can see his face, and Cinnamon turned around to watch them. The paw of the polar bears can be 30 cm (12") wide. 


We had ice pellets last week. The sound was both amazing and sad. The poor deer had ice accretions on their backs. Not a great photo, but you can see what I mean. By the time I fetched the camera, they were headed down the hill.

You can why on the trailcam. dear deer from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

The cottontail is a frequent visitor. cottontail from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.


The deer like to browse under the feeders, as well. deer from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.


When I was up this morning in the dark, there were three deer sleeping under the big white pine tree.
They do this often. It's a safe place. The predators avoid the back yard.

Wednesday 29 December 2021

Stories of here and there

Cinnameg were sleeping in the weak sunshine, safe and cozy.

When I get dressed in long pants, and head out, Cinnamon likes to come with me. I missed the shot, but he was on the path looking into the forest and stood up on his haunches doing 'bear.' Then, he went back up the hill. I thought he was cold but behind me, in the forest, You Two deer were running away to escape us. They don't recognize us in the forest, or maybe they have situational awareness of us. Cinnamon ended up coming with me! 

There were deer beds! They scrape out a bed and hunker down for a few hours.

I've given up trying to videotape our Mice Friends. I did once. Maybe the camera has reached its best before date.

Here is a good story for you! 

JB bought me a trailcam for my Christmas present. I was so excited. I bought it November 4th, and gave it to JB to wrap. It's been sitting here, and I finally opened it up, and discarded all the awful packaging. (Ridiculous...) Reading the Quick Start Guide, the date and time was set. I realized it has solar power! One is supposed to plug it into the computer for 48 hours to charge her up. 

Charging it for 24 hours I was hopeful. I grabbed it as I was heading out during the 45 minutes we had sunshine on Tuesday afternoon. Turning it on... NOTHING! 

It is a Spypoint Solar-DRK Camera. Grabbing the guide, this senior, with her B.A., B.Ed., and M. Ed., had failed to read the fine print. "Batteries not included!" We begin on Plan B. Batteries inserted,  plugged into the computer. Fingers crossed. So far, nothing...

✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈

The trailcams haven't done well lately. Fortunately, I've other things to write about. Dec. 24 – Sander Geophysics did a fly over!

Plane CGSGL  – I attempted a video to grab the plane register. I need not have tried so hard. It was on the radar.


She really likes the decoration and the train! We had to move it.


We have had lots of mourning doves (13), chickadees (12), several woodpeckers. Tuesday, a junco, a pair of cardinals, as well as a female evening grosbeak. The mourning doves were huddled in the sunshine, under the evergreen tree, during that 45 minutes when we actually had sunshine yesterday!

Archive photos, they are camera shy!

Tuesday 28 December 2021

Not so Silent Night

It's been a tough week. We'll get through it. Outdoor walking is treacherous, which is a shame. I drove down the 100m driveway to get the recycling boxes as it is so slippery. Walking on the snow, with a significant top layer of ice, defeated me.

Home is still safer. Our COVID numbers are shocking here in Leeds, Grenville, Lanark Health Unit. We had 253 total cases last Thursday: 542; on Monday, 556 cases Tuesday. (They don't post on holidays or weekends.) The last time it was this high was Dec., 2020, when it was at a peak of 314 cases. 


On a lighter note♪...  I miss the church music at Christmas. 

We had many happy times in the church choir, we (my mom and dad), as well as Wendy and Andrew. Both my parents sang in the LPCC choir, begun by my aunt back in the 50s. It was a musical family, my adoptive family. 

On Dec. 21st 1973, 47 years ago, I travelled to Timmins to be present for my friend Wendy's wedding. It was a long bus ride and I was nervous. Billeted in her friend's house, it was quite an experience for me. 

Wendy and Andrew were students in the university nearby. I was telling two of my three kids about the choir and thought of the good old days. We reconnected on Facebook. Wendy and Andrew's daughter just graduated with her PhD! They have a granddaughter, as well.

We spent hours singing at LPCC. This is the foyer of the church. 

I joined the choir when I was in Gr. 8, 1969. I sang there until I was married at Lawrence Park Community Church on Dec. 10th, in 1976. I tried being in a choir here, but the politics of the church and church choirs, set me on edge. This brings fond memories. 


Wendy, and her then boyfriend, were in our church choir. They graduated from the local university and settled in Toronto. A beautiful couple, with good hearts, and fine spirits. Both talented musicians, they kept up their church choir work. When I think of them, I think of our choir at Christmas. We had many candlelight services in the church. 

Wendy and Andrew (my mom called them Wendrew!) have worked long and hard in the musical community.

Donaldson is the third of seven children born to Northern Ontario missionaries. He and his wife, Wendy, have lived in the Hambly Avenue area of the Beach for almost 50 years.

Donaldson received a B.A. in French and English studies from Glendon College, York University (1974), and studied classical guitar at the Royal Conservatory of Music, where he received the Associate Diploma (ARCT) in classical guitar performance (1979).

Advent Music at Holy Trinity: Welcome to Andrew Donaldson and Wendy Wyatt  Donaldson – Holy Trinity TO
A 2017 photo from Holy Trinity church

They have worked hard in many different countries.
Andrew Donaldson

In these COVID times, they have pivoted, as many musicians have been forced to do. There are many musical videos online of their work.

This is his beautiful arrangement of Silent Night. (Singers and Players of Beaches Presbyterian Church, Jo-Ann Thornton Dell, soloist, Don Anderson, piano, Andrew Donaldson, conductor.)

Also, Andrew has his YouTube channel with more music.

Here they are in a delightful piece. Wendy is on the far left.

Monday 27 December 2021

Trailcam Critters

Things have been busy. I had a lovely 65th COVID birthday, all things considered. Thank you for all your best wishes. 
JB went all out, as far as he could in these trying times. He planned ahead, as we haven't gone far from the house lately.

We did Facetime with Ottawa. They showed off their loot! 

This was a hoodie Josephine designed for her sister.

The day deteriorated. I had a couple of anxiety attacks. That didn't go well. 
It's really icy after our rain/ice pellets on Saturday. I daren't go out walking, even with my special boots with the built-in cleats. I had to put garbage out this morning, and I backed up the entire 100m driveway, but it was slippy. I was proud of myself. Twas in the dark!

 The deer were skidding around on the ice. 

The cats went out, they didn't like it much.


I thought of this as I processed the video clips!  
 In the room the women come and go 
  Talking of Michelangelo. 

 I am unable to capture the deermice on the video. They have a little hole.

The cats know the mice are there, though. 

 JB was walking his walk. The young male kept following him, looking for food.  Since it was -12 C. or so, he decided to put out a bit of MNR-recipe deer food. Turn up the sound! 

It was pretty cold, and one of the mother/son pair of deer were following him. You remember You Two!


How to tell them apart... I had to look them up.

Sunday 26 December 2021

Happy boxing day!

First, a story!

Dec. 11th – I suddenly realized we hadn't had any propane delivered.  I phoned them up and said that we were at 37% and I was worried. They told me we had enough for the weekend and into the week. They'd send some. I had a senior's moment. That was awhile ago. By Christmas Eve I was worried and checked it again. We were down to 27%. I phoned. They said we were scheduled to get some that day, Dec. 24th, and we had enough to last a couple weeks. What, me worry? 
Whew! It was quite a bill, but as Jesse said to me yesterday, "It's only money!"


This is Boxing Day. It is also my 65th birthday! Last week, Joseph Brian happily exclaimed, "Soon you're going to be a real senior!" I guess he likes to hammer that home, as he turned 70 a couple years ago...

My mother gave birth to me on her own. A single mom, back in 1956, when it was shameful. Happily she gave me up for adoption. I met her, Meeting my birth mother, and it didn't go well. I've had a good life. 

I awoke to a surprise the cats set out for me. JB put it out last night, but Nutmeg attacked it!

We had a wonderful birthday party last year.  We'll celebrate in the New Year sometime. We are staying safe in our home. Last year we had the girls off and on, while their parents worked from home. It was wonderful being useful, while the parents juggled work and family.


We had ice pellets on Christmas Day. That on top of snow!

It's an interesting sound. A bit spooky, as Ice Storm '98 occurred at this time of year. We filled the bathtub, and checked for flashlights. There were 10,000 without power in Ontario on Saturday. We were unscathed. Most came back up that day.


We opened our stockings. Now, JB put together all of ours. Happily he's of the age and stage where he forgot what he put into them! He was happily surprised, as was I.

S-I-L Jean-Luc brought the striped one over (see yesterday's post!)  and Cinnamon thought it was amazing. The pompoms got his attention. After this, they showed much more interest in the boxes – rather than the new cat toys. He is so cute!

Cinnamon had the wrong stocking. The cat stuff was in another one!

I created a monster! 

When a woman turns 65, these are tools you really have to have on hand! I asked JB to order them for me. 

We did Facetime with the kids in Ottawa and in Vancouver. It was lovely to talk to them. Jesse's daughter, Cluny, in Vancouver, has lost her two front teeth! They were quite excited to have snow in Vancouver on Christmas Day.

The girls showed off their loot! Isabelle was having fun with Momma...

Izzy showed us her plasma ball. It is fascinating. They love science.

These are really cool. These are all drawings Josephine has done, which they put on shirts. These are just screen captures from our Facetime chat, but you get the picture! 

Poor Cinnamon was on my lap when we were watching The Repair Shop. The one craftperson revved up his table saw. The noise scared Cinnamon.  I have a bandage on my hand, with a deep cut, as well as my chest. My 'nurse' went and fetched me bandaids and Polysporin. What a way to end the day!