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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Squabbles at the mouse-house

The mornings here at the mouse-house have a new feel to them. It's mostly cool with a light breeze and the air feels fresh. It's certainly not near as hot as most of August was but there is still high humidity to contend with.  The birds are very active in the sumacs; especially the chickadees. Sometimes they fly so close it's as if they might land on your shoulder. And the finch are everywhere along with the little brown sparrows. Yesterday I watched as a young downy travelled up and down the maple tree banging away at the bark. The chipmunks are running in pairs; fat but always wanting more seed. I watch as they take it back to their den under the wood-pile to store for the coming winter. And the bird-baths are very much appreciated in the heat.


I can't get enough of this adorable bird.


It's fun to watch the antics of these birds. Here you can see where, no matter how much seed is around, there are always some squabbles over the tastiest ones.


There's a lot going on here.
Boy, did she stand her ground.

"And don't come back."


                                                      Cocky little sparrow.

Hope you all had a peaceful, enjoyable day.
Audrey says "Hi".


hugs, Deb

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Lucky to be an in-door cat.

I received a comment today asking if I had plans to keep the tabby cat in my previous post. And as much as I would love to share life with a terrific tabby again, David lives with four other cats and three dogs and is loved and well cared for by his owners. Their cats roam free and because of that David visits regularly and we have become very fond of him. I never see him out at night so hopefully he is in before dark; safe from wild-life. That is my biggest concern for him. Nights lately have you leaving windows open for the cool breeze which carries the sound of the near-by coyotes. The little ones are hunting now with the adults and the yipping and howling is startling to hear in the wee hours of the night. It seems to be getting closer and closer.

I remind Audrey every night that she is lucky to be an indoor cat. And I try to make her indoor life interesting and stimulating by adding perches for bird watching and little places for her to hide out. She loves to be up high, like the lion she thinks she is, so giving her time on the plant shelves is a must.


This is Audrey smiling her little head off.
okay then...
 As a matter of fact, my plants have not been on the window shelf for a week now. She's having too much fun up there.

Annie's a different nature and seems quite satisfied with her cat tree and one cozy corner on the couch. She's not much of a climber. Could be the short legs. :)

                                                                            "Heyyyyy!"

We are heading into a hot and humid few days again.
"Blah!"
I've been really happy with the weather of late...more like Fall temperatures.
At least you can breathe.
And I love sweaters...
and coloured leaves
autumn air
and golden skies
cozy socks
woolen scarves
hot chocolate
and
"oh, someone shut me up."


hugs, Deb



Monday, August 22, 2016

this guy

Our little purple finch passed away the same day we brought her to the care center. They told us, on closer examination, it was concluded that she had hit something hard, most likely a window, and could not survive the internal injuries. The heavy breathing and blood in it's beak were signs of impact with something. We were disappointed and, of course, very sad for the little thing. I can just imagine the numbers that die every year like this. We are fortunate that it was not a disease, though, that could be passed to more birds here. It's really heart-wrenching to find a sick bird.

Our garden seems to be on it's second wind now. New blooms are appearing and it looks like we'll have another harvest in a few weeks; especially the beans and zuks. Our carrots are still small but so good. I have rainbow peppers and chili peppers. They could use another week to change colour.
The tomatoes are taking over the garden so lots of them go out to family.

I was walking around the woodlot this morning, picking up sticks and debri from the wind yesterday, when I heard a rustling in the grass. I was greeted by this guy.
This is David....King of the Wild Frontier.
He comes by for some lovin' and, of course, to see what might be fun to hunt on our little lot. So, I give him lots of cuddles and carry him around for awhile then pop him back over his fence. I love him, I really do, but he's not to hunt at the mouse-house.

"She loves me but I can't eat her chipmunks."

"I've got some thinkin' to do." =^..^=

hugs, Deb



Sunday, August 21, 2016

This & that at the mouse-house.

 You just never know how your day will begin. 
While feeding the birds at the sumacs, I noticed the purple finch that was in the bird bath yesterday was sitting on the feeder this morning looking out of sorts. On closer look, it was breathing heavy and it's eyes were half shut. Even in that condition, though, it was slowly eating the niger seed. This bird was not well or it had hit a window and was injured. It calmly let us pick it up and place it in a box.
We are only 20 minutes from a Bird Care Center so without hesitation we brought it in to be looked over.


It is an adult, female, purple finch and the care worker said after a quick examination that it was in pretty bad shape. :(
There was no diagnosis at that point; they wanted to give it some time and a closer examination throughout the day. We'll call tomorrow.


I have another new addition to my step-back cupboard.
This vase will look pretty on a shelf with short-stemmed white flowers.
$1.95 at a thrift store.

For now it can join the rest of my favorite pieces.

I hung some niger seed for my goldfinch as I read that they are still nesting until mid-September. I'd love to have a family move in.
Looks like someone else loves that special seed, too.
That's ok...I never have too much of these delightful birds.

                                                       Black-capped chickadee


More rain today and I have cat-sitting to do so I'm wishing you all a great day.

hugs, Deb



Friday, August 19, 2016

Company in my tomato-filled kitchen.

Who knew that skinning tomatoes could be such a pain in the ...........neck.
But now I have fresh tomato sauce for the freezer so I think, kinda, that it was all worth it.
If you have an abundance of tomatoes like I do, here is a recipe to try for your future pasta dinners.

Fresh Tomato Sauce 
Serve over pasta
1 lb tomatoes
1 med. onion chopped
8 tbsp chopped fresh basil
2 cloves garlic crushed
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1/2 tsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. olive oil
Peel the tomatoes by plunging them into boiling water. Leave them for one minute and then plunge them into cold water, then peel off the skins.
Put the remaining ingredients, except the oil, into a large saucepan and stir well.
 Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, then cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 40 min.
Add the oil and remove the sauce from the heat.

Good source of Vitamin  A & C.

                                         Cutest kitchen company ever.  =^..^=

                   "So you are telling me...that you aren't putting meat in that tomato sauce?" :(

There is a lot of cleaning up to do in my kitchen tonight but I have good company. Annie enjoyed her dinner and is now in her 'clean-up mode' herself.

 And now it's time to catch the last of the sun-puddles for the day.

 Have a good evening.

hugs, Deb & Annie =^..^=





Wednesday, August 17, 2016

An unexpected visitor in the woodlot.

Forrest loooooves his grampa.

It was another hot, dry day last week when we took our grand-dog for a hike.

But our grand-dog, Forrest, doesn't care about the heat.
He just wants to head out on an adventure.
So we keep him on trails in the bush out of the sun.
Other than yanking my arm out of it's socket...
he's a good dog.

Around the garden this week...
there were many visitors in the sumacs.
First off, a very odd looking bird came by for seed bright and early this morning.
Notice the beak.

It's always nice to get a different bird from our regulars to drop by.
He hung around in the wood-lot for the morning.

I watched that he could eat seed, which he did, as I was concerned about that.
After showing his photo to a birder friend, I was told that he may be a Starling with a deformed beak.
Has anyone ever seen a bird like this?

And this is the first of our Downies this summer. I have not seen one since the heat hit.


He had some fun on the sumac.

We've had some steady wind and rain this week. 
That could be why a Pine Siskin hit our window and fell to the ground yesterday.
I ran out and picked it up; caressing it's head to see if it's neck was ok.
It looked around, obviously stunned.
I left it on the ground, lifting it onto a towel away from the rain. Then I waited an hour... checking on it's condition every few minutes.
I was prepared to take it to our Wild Bird Sanctuary http://www.wildbirdcarecentre.org/ if there was no improvement.
But the last time I looked...it was gone. :)


I didn't have the heart to take a photo of the stunned bird.

I love happy endings.

btw...we have sun-catchers and ribbons hanging on our windows but I guess the rain confused the bird.

Today
the sun is out,
(She doesn't care)

 the sky is blue
and I have some veggies to deliver. :)

Have a good day,
hugs, Deb

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Welcoming more and more chickadees

You can imagine that I'm in my glory.

 More and more chickadees have returned and new ones have found our woodlot. It's lovely to sit under the sumacs and listen to them introduce themselves as they arrive to the feeders. I just love this bird.

My pretty glass feeder was scrubbed and dried ready for another week of feeding. It is important to keep all feeders clean so that there is no bacteria build-up. And, they shine so nice in the sun-light after a good scrubbing in soap and water. Rinse well. :))

This morning I was surprised to see that the 'knocking noise' behind me in the sumacs was being made by a chickadee. You can see that his head was banging away at a broken branch.
I expected to see a downy woodpecker and stood in awe of this little tiny bird causing such a racket. 
I later read on-line that chickadees can excavate their own nesting cavities, removing wood chips and dumping them away from the site to avoid predators. So, although it's past their nesting time, I guess it was not unusual to see one pecking away at a branch. Geesh..you learn something new everyday.

                                                               Head just a bangin'.
Fascinating little beauties.




Time to fill the feeder.

The weather has cooled somewhat and more rain is on the way.
I'm cooking with veggies from the garden

while Annie watches The Olympics.

hugs, Deb