Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Brush with Sandy

 We had our brush with Hurricane Sandy last night. It was pretty windy, enough to blow down the dead butternut tree, but it wasn't as windy as was forecast.  Very little rain.  We will get more rain tomorrow as the storm tracts east but nothing more than a regular rainstorm.

 This morning it is sunny, breezy and mild.  It actually feels like March.

 And to add to that effect, I noticed some surprise flowers as I checked on the property.  A fresh, bright nasturtium flower, just opened.

 Some yellow primroses, a little worse for wear from the storm, but still putting on a show before the snow flies.

 This pink primrose must have opened this morning after the winds had died down.

And finally, the very last Iceberg rose blossom which also opened this morning.

Our thoughts and prayers are for the people in the US who will be struggling for quite a while with the effects of the storm.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Our Special Furry Friends

 Little Jaws, our son's dog, can be pretty fierce if you are a mouse, a squirrel, a pussycat, a schoolbus or a truck, but he is affectionate with people and loves soft blankets, comfy chairs and sunspots.
He was a rescue dog and we don't know anything about his past.  He didn't show signs of abuse but we think he was left alone a fair bit because he will chew blankets sometimes if we aren't home. He may have picked up the habit from being bored at home alone. He is best buddies with Ginger.

Ginger has gotten sleepy in her old age (she is 10) which is probably a good thing because she is somewhat fragile.  Last fall, she hurt her back leg or back and it took many weeks of very restricted activity to get her healed up.  A few days ago, she reinjured herself but it is not so bad this time and hopefully she will get over it sooner.  She is very into food as most Labs are and she is a friend to every person or dog.  Her favourite place to sleep is close to her sister, Snap.

Snap is the thoughtful one.  She is always "reading" you - body language wise.  She loves games, especially ones where she has to find something.  She also loves food, but you can win her over with fun just as easily.  Unlike her sister, she is often apprehensive of other dogs and prefers playing with people.  Although she is 10, she can be puppyish and downright mischievously sneaky- "What's in Snap's mouth?!" at times especially if she thinks the grandchildren are getting too much attention.
Our special furry friends.  They add smiles to our lives.

Tonight the edge of Hurricane Sandy will blow through our area.  We won't get  a lot of rain but the winds will be high.  We stocked up on water and food so if the power goes out, we'll be fine.
Hope it's not too bad in the US.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sky Lines

 Even without leaves, trees are beautiful.

Friday, October 26, 2012



A beautiful sunset tonight with many layers of clouds.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Food for the Wild Things

 I noticed this small fruit tree a few weeks ago but I haven't been able to identify it.  At first glance, I thought it was a cherry but when I squished the berry, I found it had three seeds inside.  Not likely a cherry then.  The leaves look somewhat like an apple or plum, but the fruit doesn't match up.  Anybody know what it is?

 This is the trunk of the tree for the above fruit. It has definite white markings on the trunks which are about 1-2" in diameter/

 The hawthorn bushes in our area are all dying - some blight I suppose.  The birds liked to eat the haws, but as one kind of plant dies another one takes over so there is always food for the birds. They even eat poison ivy berries.

 I heard on the radio that the wild turkeys like grapes and have been helping themselves in some vineyards.  Although I saw grapes forming on the wild vines earlier in the season, I don't see any mature grapes now so I guess the turkeys came and ate them all.  Apparently they will also eat tomatoes.  One more critter after our gardens.

For the deer, there is still lush grass growing in undisturbed spots.

The bullrushes take on a lovely sheen at this time of year.  I don't know if the birds eat the bullrush seeds at all but certainly the fluff will make a soft lining for nests next spring.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pink Polkadot Plant

I decided to treat myself to a Pink Polkadot plant (Hypoestes Phyllostachya).  I haven't had one for several years and they are fun and cheerful.  The tag says that they are native to Madagascar and first grown in England around 1840. I'm guessing that in Madagascar they would grow into a small shrub - imagine all those pink splotches in a large plant.  They are easy to take care of, but my experience in the past is that, after a year or so, they get leggy and not so attractive. You can take cuttings though if you want to start new ones.  They will bloom but the flowers are small and not very exciting.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Last Little Bouquet

This will be the last little bouquet for this season, but we had such a bright, sunny summer and pleasant fall so far that I am quite ready for winter and even the dark days of November.
As I continue to tidy up the gardens, I think about all the fall bulbs that are growing lots of roots in the cool, moist soil and getting ready for a burst of colour next spring.
Time to get out my knitting needles and find some good books for the long evenings.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Up On The Clouds

 Up on the clouds
 Away we sail
 Into the great blue yonder

 Up on the clouds
 We float away
 Over the wide horizon

 Up on the clouds
 We see so far
 Out to the stars and further

Up on the clouds
We sing our songs
 Loud as we want, and louder

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fall Moths

 Every year I find moths on our house that I've never seen before.  The variety seems endless.  This one , looking so much like a dried leaf with tiny dark spots and a ragged edge, is a marvelous example of camouflage.

 Even its body looks like a rolled leaf.  Don't know what kind it is, but lots of fun to look at.

 This one is such a soft, furry grey.  It reminds me of a donkey.  Not very good camouflage!

I always like the ones that look like woodgrain.  Beautiful scalloped wing ends with a delicate little accent of white and dark grey.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Misty Morning

 Gentle reflection

 Soft and dewy

 A mellow view

Monday, October 15, 2012


 First a few, red drops splashed on debris

 Pointing the time of year, a whisper of change

Then charged with colour, poised to flash through the air

Finally all around, tobacco tea-smell crunch

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Mullein and Other Natives

 Mullein is a biennial so it grows a rosette the first year and shoots up a long stalk with yellow flowers the following summer.

 I really like the flannel softness of the mullein leaves.

 The Virginia creeper is a lovely red accent as it twists through the willow.  The goldenrod plants in front are all fluffy at this time of year.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Crow Silhouettes

 A couple of crows were in a leafless poplar tree.  I liked the monochromatic colour scheme and the contrast between the very twiggy branches and the clean lines of the crows.

 This crow was bobbing his head and making funny soft sounds.

 Perhaps this is a pair.  Hard to say since male and female look the same.

 A dramatic pose.

A lone bird surveying the landscape.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Bustling Birds

 The other day when lots of birds were bustling about, flitting amongst the weeds and shrubs, I saw a downy woodpecker in the mix.  Normally I only see them in the woods looking for bugs in the trees, but this day they were searching for food in the smaller plants.  Such handsome little birds.  I had to use lots of zoom so the pictures are fuzzy, but the striking markings, nevertheless, make the little guy stand out.

 I could hear all kinds of birds but they were so active I couldn't focus in on any particular one.  I just took a random shot and later saw that there were two sparrows in the picture,

and a junco on the power line also made his way into the frame.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


 In the fall, the starlings congregate in large groups before they migrate.  They make quite a racket that you can hear from quite far away.  As you can see, this tree was just full of starlings.

Finally, they flew off, albeit in the wrong direction if they were hoping for a warmer clime.
I find the big flocks of starlings kind of creepy. I'd much rather see and hear the cheerful honking of the geese.