Monday 31 July 2023

Family travelers

 I've three adult children, and 4 granddaughters. Two kids live in Ottawa: Caitlin and her youngest brother. Jesse and his family live in Vancouver. I don't know what my youngest is up to, we are estranged.  He is gainfully employed and his siblings check in on him. (Musta done something right! πŸ˜› )

There is much going on with Jesse and Caitlin, however!

πŸ•° First of all, Jesse and his family flew to Calgary for a family anniversary party. Secondly, Caitlin and her family are in New Zealand. It is tricky keeping in touch. Jesse, in Vancouver is three hours behind us. The Fearsome Foursome Flyers are 16 hours ahead of us. 

I keep on talking to Siri: "Hey, Siri, what time is it in New Zealand?" It's great! 

We actually had a call from them. Calgary is only two hours behind us. Jesse and family took some time for a trip there for a party. Here they are, the Drumheller hoodoos! 

It was a 60th anniversary for Stacie's aunt and uncle. It was a grand party. The pool time was a hit! There were party games. Bryony is quite the character, ready for swimming in her swim donut. Hooray for a hotel!

And, New Zealand! They are now staying in a cottage in Hahei, and are traveling by car, although they've stayed put for several days. 

Hot Water Beach is a beach on the east coast of the Coromandel PeninsulaNew Zealand, just south of Mercury Bay.[1] 

You can see the steam rising.
A boat tour was fun. These are wonderful caves. 

Dinner! It was the only open restaurant in the town.

At night, they return to their accommodations and upload their photos in order for us to live vicariously. With an uptake in COVID-19, I am happier at home! Josephine has been taking some marvellous photos, as well as Isabelle. They've been taking turns doing blog posts, as well.

The adventure the other day was to hike Te Pare. Apparently, the hot water beach was too crowded. 

A cat named Howard in the cafe!

Sunday 30 July 2023


 The garden thrives in the rain, heat, and humidity. People are wilting, however. People in and near Ottawa had a brief tornado warning on Friday. There was a lot of thunder and lightning. There was hail and strong winds in Ottawa. It toppled trees and knocked out power. Saturday was chillier, with rain and a cooler front moving in.

We used to live in Pineglen!

It did not cross our path, fortunately. We've moved from that horrid heat with overnight temperatures of 20 C., into a cold front. This morning it was 11 C. and the nocturnal tree frogs have moved down into the ivy. 

Emily enjoys the garden. Down in front of her is a petunia that seeded itself from last year! I love the pinks and purples!

This is a plant I got from a plant sale. (We drove to Playfairville!) It has spread and is a native plant. A double bonus.

The frog pond has benefitted from the rains. It was fairly dry.

frogpond from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

The frogpond had been drying up. July has been wetter than June. The pond has served its purpose. Tadpoles have morphed to frogs. Mosquitoes have relaunched their attacks.

I've no idea where this plant came from! iPhotos has a feature to identify it. This is what it came up with.

The angel's trumpet is setting blossoms, having dropped seeds from my planter last year.

July, 2022

The balloon flowers are thriving.

The forest is damp and humid. We've lots of mushrooms. I believe that Butch raccoon has been murdering mushrooms in the forest! There are a whole bunch of them knocked over. Maybe they want some butter and sauteing?

This is such a pretty rose. It begins more orangey-yellow, then changes to bright pink.

Saturday 29 July 2023

Saturday's Critters

 Here we are and it is Saturday again!

It is katydid season! They are everywhere.

I spotted both a small viceroy and monarch. Honestly! 

It's been awfully hot here. Weeding has been a chore. Critters are few and far between on the trailcams, except for Fred. 

I've been featuring Fred. There is still no sign of kits.


burrow from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

Fred groundhog has a burrow under our deck. I cannot do any better videotaping it than this! I'm trying to find out where the hole is under the deck.

Fred July 25 from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

coyote July 19 from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

One coyote or two? There is a bat or moth. The coyote blesses the area, too!

I love these two tree frogs! They like the corner of the railing.

tree frogs from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

Coming back from putting out garbage, the catbird fetched herself a moth. If you watch until the end, you can hear why they call them catbirds!

cat bird from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

One young 'un hit the deck glass and landed on the deck beside me. The parent landed in front of me, most concerned. There was a third one. Two of them ended up on the laundry tree. 

great crested flycatcher from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

Thanks to Eileen for hosting! Saturday's Critters # 502 

Friday 28 July 2023

Another storm, here and there!

My volunteer hospice gig was cancelled. I tootled around the house. I made a cabbage salad from a cabbage JB brought me from down the road. The flavours are 'getting acquainted, ' to quote my late mom. I used to get calls from the church ladies for a cabbage salad and pie. I'd have to phone my mother every time for her recipe. Now, I research it and/or make it up as I go!

The day before there was a buccaneer plane cruising around. They are interesting planes. 

Sadly, a Cessna crashed near Ottawa, in Alexandria yesterday. We had a Cessna buzzing the lake last month.

buccaneer plane from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo

🌳 My poor old catalpa hasn't given up the ghost yet. It was burned during a too-warm winter or two, damaging the cambium layer. Shoots have been coming up. The first photo is from 2020, after the tree died, I trimmed it up, with help from the grandies. The grape vine has successfully climbed up to give us more green. 

Here is the catalpa from the other side. You can see the wild grape ivy up at the top. (It was both smoky and hazy with humidity.)

That was a heckuva storm! I watched it approach, wondering if I should fill the bathtub. It avoided us, but reigned terror in southwestern Ontario, as well as in the US. These are screen captures of the impending storms. We are on well water and if the power goes, we have to use the water barrels to flush. There were 14,000 in Ontario without power after the storm. Most are back up today.

storm July 26-7 from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

Happily, we just had lots of rain, no lightning. It was A LOT, 40 mm (1.5")! 

🚘 🚘 🚘 🚘 🚘 🚘 🚘 🚘 🚘 🚘 🚘 🚘 🚘 🚘 🚘 🚘 🚘 🚘

The Fearsome Foursome Flyers have hunkered down in the winter weather in New Zealand for a tour. 

It was pouring in Auckland! There is nothing like rain on the roof.

New Zealand rain from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

They have rented a car, and are currently in Hahei. 

Lawnmowers Son Art Gallery

Thursday 27 July 2023

Wednesday was uneventful!

 It is great having things to look forward to. We watched Canada's women playing international soccer. I've a respite client Thursday afternoon. It is good to have a purpose in life. We rounded out the day by beginning watching Season 2 of Whitstable Pearl

I tried gardening, and the heat is overwhelming here. We had moderate smoke, which didn't help. I watered hanging planters, and filled the water fountain. Everything is growing like mad. We've beautiful waterlilies. Percy goldfish is in there somewhere, growing, I imagine. sigh. 

The Tiger lily and phlox are growing and the sphinx moths and hummingbirds are happy with that!
The berries are amazing. They are frequented by the cedar waxwings, robins, catbird, and life is good!

πŸ›¬ πŸ›¬ πŸ›¬ πŸ›¬ πŸ›¬ πŸ›¬ πŸ›¬ πŸ›¬ πŸ›¬ πŸ›¬ πŸ›¬ πŸ›¬ πŸ›¬ πŸ›¬

It's been tricky keeping up with the Fearsome Foursome Flyers! They is 14 hours ahead. In Singapore, they bought these delightful toys for the girls and a friend. 

You'll recall the packing they did? Maybe not. This is their luggage pile for the month!

They used a vacuum to take out the air, and the Chicken Littles are flat as a pancake!


Making Chicken little for travel from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

They flew from Sydney to Auckland Tuesday night, Wednesday for them. After our latest breakout of COVID, it is wise to wear a mask. Here is JL ready for a sleep during a flight.

It is tricky keeping up, seeing as they are 16 hours ahead of us. They have settled in New Zealand for the main part of their vacation. I was awake at 5 a.m. on Wednesday, and they were chilling in their accommodation. 

The kids are keeping up with their renovation via the photostream. The kitchen renovations are coming along!

They took a taxi to their B & B. They are all snuggly in their secondhand Vinnie's warm clothes!

They visited the Maritime Museum, it poured rain, and 14 C. weather! Ironically, we had a  big front move in, and it is pouring rain here, as well!

Lunch in the pub to warm up!