Tuesday 31 May 2022

Phoebe, robins and ONStorm

 πŸ£ Critters

🐣PHOEBE –  Phoebes have hatched May 28th. It looks like all 5 of them! They should fledge June 11th. 

The first πŸ£ROBIN was here as of Feb. 1st, in the snow and cold! They've nested and hatched: May 14. The robins fledged on Sunday, May 29, having hatched exactly 13 days ago. No eggs remained, I assume they hatched 3/3 eggs. 

I anxiously await the Wood Ducks hatching. I did a quick check on them. May 29. 

πŸƒ Invasive Spongy MothsπŸ› <= my data!

We had a helicopter go over the nearby lake. It is always a bit creepy since I associate them with emergencies. I asked on Facebook, and they are spraying BTK on the caterpillars. I hope all our butterflies and caterpillars are safe here. They were up about an hour. Our LDD Spongy Moth caterpillars have mostly died off. After a couple of years they get hit by a naturally occuring virus.

helicopter from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

Public notices describe BTK as harmless to people, and non-toxic to insects, birds, fish, mammals, and adult moths and butterflies. However, this is misleading. BTK is not species-specific and, if consumed, will result in mortality of any butterfly or moth larvae at the time it is sprayed. BTK has been sprayed in several extremely rare Ontario habitats, such as oak savannah, oak woodland and tall grass prairie — which means it can also negatively affect many rare moths and butterflies that use these habitats.

I was quite happy to be able to sit on our back deck in the 31 C. weather. There were flies, but no mosquitoes or blackflies. I've been using Skin-so-soft when I go out to do the lawn. That certainly helps.  My left arm is covered in several blackfly bites, oozing little hives. Unlike mosquitoes, they land and immediately dig in. You just don't feel them.

There are ~5600 households with Ottawa Hydro still without power lo these 10 days. Some homes need to have individual repairs, as their neighbours are up, but they have household damage. What a mess it is. Ontario Hydro has about 7100 left to get reattached.

Monday 30 May 2022

Monday, again!

 Monday comes around again. The garbage is out. Only two mosquito bites this time. Here in rural Ontario, we cannot put it out the night before. Well, we shouldn't. We've bears, coyotes, and crows, especially. Some people place an old tablecloth or old blanket overtop to prevent the crows from ripping it apart. 

This is the mess we found in 2014 (see photo, right). We know someone dumped their trash with ours. I was so disgusted. The critters ripped it apart. We learned our lesson. This happens more frequently than we suspect. 

The kids are happy to be home and have hydro. There are still 9,000 without power in the city of Ottawa. It is helpful to see that there is progress. They are asking people to confirm if they are still out of power. There was so much damage, they were having a hard time keeping track of it. It happened May 21st.
In the province of Ontario, there are 8400 anxiously awaiting power a week later. They are situated from Peterborough east towards eastern Ontario. HydroOne writes: 
"Following destructive thunderstorms, Hydro One crews have restored power to more than 720,000 customers. Crews continue to work to restore power alongside approximately 750 employees from 34 utilities and contractors. Due to the severity of damage caused by the storm, including over 1,900 broken poles and countless downed trees and power lines across the province, some customers in rural, remote and island locations in the Perth and Bancroft areas will be without power for several more days. In the Tweed area, a small number of customers may be without power for several more weeks.


✈ Air Traffic (UA)

The war continues in Ukraine. It puts everything in perspective. I continue to watch the air traffic. There are many countries providing eyes in the skies. 

The forest has been busy. Firstly, Butch racoon. They begin by paying attention to the noises in the forest. They are always on alert. They quickly climb the trees if the coyotes come along.


Butch racoon squabble from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

The coyote came by and marked the spot.

coyote from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

The porcupine came along, shuffling along the forest floor. They are so slow. Towards the end he winds up his pricklies. I wonder if that is the way a cat does?! 


Porcupine May 25 from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

Of course, here is part 3 of the BIG BEAR's visit. I'm not sure what he was looking for. It could be our little 2-year-old juvenile who ambled along. They aren't friendly to the youngsters. 


Bear May 25 10 p.m. from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

Thanks, Rain, for pointing out my error! I DID post the porky twice! Sigh. It was a busy week!

Sunday 29 May 2022

On the Home Front

Well, the good news is that more Ottawans have power, as well as Ontarians. We're down to 12,000 without power, from an Ontario high of 277,000. 

Grampa, Caitlin and Isabelle went to our local market Saturday morning. They had some breakfast and brought home some supplies. 

The big news is the kids went home yesterday. Come hell or high water they wanted to be their own home in their own beds. They'd been checking their neighbourhood Facebook page, and residents nearby to their house were reporting that they had power, they were hopeful. When they arrived home, Caitlin texted me that they had power AND hot water! What a blessed relief.  YIPPEE!!!

It was the kids' 17th anniversary, and they went out to dinner after doing groceries.  What a fine end to the week for them.

I had a haircut, and came home to do cleanup and laundry. It was a beautiful day. I managed to get some outdoor chores done in the sunshine, including hanging clothes outdoors. We've had two days of rain. 

The cherry tomato plants is coming along! I watered them, filled the fountain, and enjoyed the sunshine.

My fuschia plant fell off the soffat onto the ground. I had just put more earth in it, it seemed to have compacted. I rehung it on another hook, topped up the soil, and hoped for the best. I like its new placement, it is in the middle of the picture window. The hummingbirds visit it.

We've had a lot of rain, and they are like jewels, these blossoms. I realized there are two different types of species in the planter. I actually went outside with my reading glasses on, this time, in order to get a better image. 

They are so pretty. If I had Anvilcloud's skills I'd fiddle around with this image, but I lack patience these days!

 Ontario Election

We've a provincial election. We went into town, Monday, May 21st, for the early voting. The actual voting day is June 2nd. I worry, as we've some whacko fringe parties represented on the ballot. They are represented by this person in this truck. 

This is the last weekend of the election period. Our former premier has been absent from the issues around the Ottawa power outages, he's too busy campaigning. He was absent from the Trucker Convoy on Parliament Hill, as well. He is all about cutting corners, putting in a new highway Toronto does not need, across environmentally significant lands. He cancelled LTC inspections. He cancelled 750 energy farm contracts, wind farms, at great expense in penalties costing Windsor $2.5 Billion in an LG factory contract. He failed thousands who died of dehydration in long-term care (LTC) during March 2020, from COVID, accounting for 69% of all COVID deaths. Then he extended the licences of the very worst LTC home chains, his buddies. He's doubled the waiting list for children to get help with autism. Routine lab tests are now costing individuals, including cancer screening ($86).

Thankfully. We've too many local candidates. Happily, the fringe right have split into separate parties, and won't get many votes.  We've local candidates for the main parties:  NDP, PC, Liberal and Greens. Canada doesn't have 'incumbents' per se, as the previous government is no longer in power after the writs are drawn up and signed. Once parliament was dissolved, we start the slate clean. 

Then there are these folks: Chelsea Hillier (Populist Ontario), Craig Timothy Massey Rogers (Independent), Marcin Lewandowski (New Blue Party of Ontario), Thomas Mulder (Ontario Party). 

We cast our votes electronically, this was the day that power came up in town! And headed home. This is what happened when we stopped in order to turn left on the highway into our driveway. It amazes me that people cannot wait 10 seconds while there is a break in traffic. One day they will take out our mailbox in their anxiety to get to where they are going.

Well, another sunny day. Here is Big Bear, video #2 from May 25th. He was there at 7, 7:24, and 10 p.m.!

Bear May 25 #2 from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

Saturday 28 May 2022

The storm & Saturday's Critters!

 POWER OUTAGE UPDATE: We made it to Friday! Tacos for dinner Thursday, we watched a movie: Uncharted. It was a fun one for all. Everyone is helping out, and we are all making it work. To go from 2 to 6 people is quite the excitement! The kids still didn't have power in Ottawa, although Friday night a neighbour had power come up. We think it'll be back today. That is 7 days without power for them.

This is Merivale Rd./Viewmount Dr.
We lived near here, in Pine Glen.

We went down on Saturday and came back on Sunday last week. There was a lot of damage.

Caitlin worked in the Muskoka room, or the office. Josephine had homework to do. I puttered. Grampa went into town for dinner supplies. We're just taking one day at a time.

JL had to go into the city for work. He ended up at his house, cleared out the freezer (such a waste) and put it in recycle for Saturday pick-up. He drove back here and we feasted on spaghetti and meatballs. Another movie, Moonfall, and I konked out at 9 p.m.! 

There are still 26,800 without power across the province, about the same number are out with Ottawa Hydro. Here are the original power outages map May 22nd, and the map from yesterday, May 27th.

Saturday's Critters!

The critters have been busy. Robins have hatched, House Wrens are singing lustily, housed, as they are, in the Bluebird Nesting box. 

Phoebe babies have hatched. The kids have enjoyed watching them swoop in and out under the deck as they worked in the Muskoka Room. Singing at the top of their lungs. 

Off to the forest...

The coyote was caught on the trailcam, but it didn't like it!


coyote May 21 from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

In the backyard, the doe ambles, whilst bats fly about.

doe & bat from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

I had three eggs that I knew I should throw out after our 23 hour power outage last weekend. I thought Butch raccoon would get them. 


crow & ducks from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

Our three Musketeers are still hanging about.


3 crows from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

Blonde Butch raccoon is definitely lactating!

And, finally, Big Bear. What a surprise! I have two more videos of him. He was here at 7 p.m., and later in the night twice. He's nowhere near the house, and we've been running around doing outside chores, so he is a good bear! Hunting season begins today, we wish him well. 


Bear May 25 7 p.m. from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

Thanks to Eileen for hosting Saturday's Critters. Join us at: 

Saturday's Critters # 441

Friday 27 May 2022

Ontario is still in recovery!

 Thursday we had a threat of rain, but, as usual, we were the rock in the river. The storm moved around us. I guess it could be too hot to work on Hydro poles, instead of too wet. 

I feel better writing about our situation, rather than the other horrors going on around us in the world. The kids are with us still. Progress is being made in getting power to Ottawa. There is hope.

We planned dinner, tacos, Grampa went shopping, and everyone went to work. Isabelle doesn't have any schoolwork (gr, 6), but Josephine does. Momma and Papa worked, as well. If worse comes to worse, it could be Virtual School on Monday.

Storm Damage

  • Ontario still has 48,000 homes without power. They are whittling it down from 277,000. 
  • Ottawa still has 37,000 without power, down from 176,000. 

We had 11 deaths as a result of the storm. All things considered, it could have been worse. The derecho was phenomenal. It is 1000 km from Sarnia to Quebec City.

The size of the tree that fell, as well as the hydro poles that snapped, is astonishing. This church is going to need some work. The Twitter photos from across Ontario are shocking.

Spring Flowers

I hustled down to the trailcams and remembered to go a little farther and check on the lady slippers. I am glad I did. This is the last one to bloom. I could see it from a distance. 
The horse chestnut tree is in full bloom.

The honeysuckle are so pretty.

Going out back to fill the fountain, Caitlin was working in the Muskoka Room. Nutmeg was not amused as she wanted out.

It is a busy spot. You can see lots of action from here: Blonde Momma Butch ambles by.

Blonde butch from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

A little later, there was a crew!

The evergreen, the top stripped from the LDD (spongy) moth caterpillars last year, is showing a recovery.
A large Leopard froggy sits happily on the goldfish pond. 

The Phoebes have hatched. At least 4/5 eggs. All is good. They sing around the house, and is a delightful song just outside the bathroom window whilst one brushes one's teeth! The House Wren continues to charm us. They must have eggs by now!

House Wren from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

Cinnamon and I went walkies. He stirred up the Wood Thrush pair who scolded him mightily. There must be a nest nearby.