Thursday 31 March 2022

Nocturnal visitors

 I've been watching the Flight Radar some. The horrors are atrocious online, tales of Russian soldiers looting without mercy, and I'm still looking for helpers. I find some comfort in seeing the various countries patrolling near and around Ukraine over NATO countries. 

✈ Air Traffic 🚁

USA's FORTE10 spent all day there. They must be refueling in the air. Italy and the RAF are there, as well. Someone is coordinating it, as the different countries spell one another off. I find comfort in it, as the NATO countries are there doing watching and ready. The map darkens once night falls. It's interesting.

They spend a lot of time here, watching east, I am sure. It's just west of Ukraine:

 Usually our wild visitors drop off in spring, as food is more readily available, and they don't have to search high and low for food. The raccoons are awake, they sort of doze in the depths of winter.

Jean came up with a clever name for our newest visitor: 'Pepper'! He appears to be a black cat. Cinnamon and Nutmeg were joined by Oregano, another tabby who may or may not be feral or wild. I don't think barn cats visit us, but who lets their cat out to roam at 2 a.m. at subzero temperatures? 

Here is video #2 of Pepper. Pepper cat from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

Cinnamon cat looked out where Pepper had gone. I let him out at his usual 6:30 time. I know people complain about cats outdoors, but ours primarily keep our rodent population down.

Contrary to weather predictions, we didn't get the tons of rain and/or snow. We had some graupel before dark. The sound was quite striking. Graupel is something between hail and ice pellets. Graupel March 30  


The storm looked a lot worse than that which they predicted. There was some rain, some freezing rain, but not too much. We've an appointment with a tax accountant this morning. I give up! I've done TurboTax since 2011. It's been stressing me out too much over the past year. 

Wednesday 30 March 2022

Paint Party Friday

Yes, I know it is Wednesday, but Paint Party Friday [PPF - The After Party] was wound down as of last  Friday. Many artists have inspired me to sketch from that blog. I appreciate that and wanted to mark the occasion. This is my latest drawing Draft #1 I used pencil crayons, and fine coloured sharpies for the outline.

I went back at it. Realizing I'd forgotten my purple alien, I added it in. When I used to sketch while I sat with a hospice client, he'd always ask about my little alien. He was such a nice client.

Polka dots were fun for a tablecloth. For those I used my oil-based paint pens, with a thicker nib. I had in mind some sort of wood pattern, maybe using Graphic Converter, but that didn't work out. Polka dots won the day. 

We had a chilly afternoon yesterday, but Cinnamon and I went walkies. Wearing my mittens helped, but I accidentally had the 'close' mode setting on the camera. I thought it quite artsy. I turned it to 'sports' mode, as I usually do, and you can see what I was trying to photograph.

We went down to the point, along the way he did his business, as usual, and carefully covered it up. He was quite keen on watching the deer. The cats, being vulnerable forest walkers, are very aware of noises.

This morning it is -10˚ C. and Cinnamon didn't want to go out. Clever lad. Nutmeg bolted out the door. We are in for some weather this afternoon. They are warning about ice rain. I'd rather it turns to snow, as it won't last. Thursday is supposed to be 16˚ C.!

Cinnamon is sitting in the window, where he likes to watch the squirrels. They ignore the birds, now, knowing they haven't a hope in catching them. He is watching the the turkeys out front. Wild turkeys from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

Tuesday 29 March 2022

Trip to Brockville

 No, not a trip like the good old days, during the pre-COVID days, we just went to the auction house and headed back home. 

😷COVID-19 <= Our numbers in the hospital are continuing to rise. (Ontario hospitals seeing rise in numbers of staff testing positive for COVID) We're not testing in Ontario, except for extreme cases or hospitalizations. Wastewater tests are rising. The news I read, from reputable sources, told me that the new variant, BA.2/BA.2.2, can present as norovirus, with gastrointestinal symptoms. 

There are school staffing shortages, but we don't know how many teachers have COVID since they don't qualify for a more accurate PCR test. Our premier is running for re-election, and doesn't want us to know the numbers. They have very limited parameters for getting a PCR test. 

Wednesday, March 23rd 

When we left, it was cloudy, and some bad weather was supposed to be on its way. We debated on going Wednesday or Thursday, and it looked like it would get worse overnight. Snow or rain. 

We began in the clouds, and drove into blue skies. You can tell we live in farm country!

There is lots of water on the fields. Yesterday morning, when I took the garbage out, is was -12˚ C. Thursday it is supposed to be 16˚ C. Such wild swings in temperatures.

Somebody had to have their car towed!

This was fun. As we drove I saw a large vernal pond, with tons of birds.

With melted snow, comes the mud!

Some of the snow is still on the ground.

I really like the stonework on this house:

For Joseph Brian: a sweet wrap around porch or two...

For me, an interesting garden.

It is still pretty wet. We had snow all day Sunday, after 20 mm rain the day before, but the snow mostly melted.

How is this for a mailbox?! 

My poor driver: he had to manage on roads that felt like fudge.

Horses for JB.

Somebody had a fire. So sad for the family.

I love stone fences.

And, another fire. 

This is for JB!

As we approached Toledo, I spotted a red-tailed hawk. It landed in this tree. We watched carefully on our way back. It was gone. I thought this was a nest but it might just be a witch's nest.

It was a safe pick up, outside at the curb, behind tables, with staff wearing masks, as well as most of the customers.  This was my goal: replacing my mom's garden ornament, Emily. She had an incident with Butch raccoon, as I made the mistake of putting bird seed in her basket.

My prize! Isn't she sweet? Emily 2.

Monday 28 March 2022

The Battle of the Burrs

 Yes, burrs. I removed two thistle plants leftover from last year, and two burdock plants from the back lawn. I should have done it before the snow melted around them. The thistle is in the near middle of the photo to the left of the water fountain, which is still wrapped for winter. I did remove the Christmas lights from it last week. It was time!

Burrs are an effective means by which plants are dispersed. There are two types of dispersal: endozoochory and epizoochory. The first is when animals swallow fruit and seeds, and secrete the seeds out the other end. The last type is what the burdock burrs do: they use little hooks and barbs to stick to the outside of the critters, and the animals transport them on their coats.

The burrs stick to everyone!

You can see the burdock plant skeleton in the lawn. This was when we had more snow. 

My scarf is a bit of a mess.My coat looks pretty bad, too! I am waiting for some sunshine to sit on the front deck and remove them. 

It is an invasive species, sadly. 

"Arctium is a genus of biennial plants commonly known as burdock, family Asteraceae. Native to Europe and Asia, several species have been widely introduced worldwide." Wikipedia
Bur Macro.jpg
By Prosthetic Head - Own work, 
CC BY-SA 4.0Link

This is where the daffodils will come up! This is from April 21st, last year. We had some late snow, but the daffies survived. 

Unfortunately, aside from the burrs that stuck to me, there are a ton of burrs on the ground. This is where I intend to plant my veggies.

Not too long until I remove the tarp and get the water fountain going.

🍃seeds grow

In the bathroom I've got some coleus, strawflowers, pansies, and lupin. 


The zinnia I removed as they were becoming too long and falling over. I'm out of practice with this, but it did me good to plant them!