Thursday, June 27, 2013

Dancing In The Rain

 
 
Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass
It's about learning to dance in the rain
(Vivian Greene)
 
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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Queen of the Swamp

 
Wild Yellow Iris
Iris pseudacorus
 
A wetland plant that is especially showy during its short blooming period. Not native to North America,  Iris pseudacorus was brought to Canada and the U.S. as an ornamental plant in the early 1900s. It is a fast-growing and fast-spreading invasive plant that can out compete other wetland plants.
 
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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Vulturine

Now this is what I call a bad hair day!
I saw this poor guy at my feeders yesterday.
 
 
A male Northern Cardinal in molt.
 
Because feathers wear out, birds molt old ones once or twice a year, usually in late summer and early fall, and grow new replacements. When it comes to molting, there are a lot of "except for the exceptions." A cardinal or blue jay may molt its head feathers all at once instead of gradually. But why?
 
Many people think birds may lose all of their head feathers because of an infestation of lice or mites. Others believe it is due to a nutritional deficiency. I also read that losing head feathers during the post-nuptial molt (after nesting is over), is a normal process in some species including Cardinals, Blue Jays and Common Grackles

 
David Bonter with Project FeederWatch, says "Birds molt at different times and in different ways. There are some general patterns in terms of which feathers are replaced at which time of the year and in which order. In reality, however, there’s an incredible amount of variability in molt patterns, even within the same sex or age class of birds within a species at the same time of the year.”
 
Not to worry,
 
 
in a couple of weeks he will be as handsome as this fellow I'm sure! 
 
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Saturday, June 8, 2013

Fairy Frocks

 
Double Aquilegia (Columbine)
(These little blooms are about an inch in diameter)
 
My favourite flower in the garden.
Beep (my granddaughter) and I,
 think they would make marvellous dresses for fairies!
 
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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Spunky Sparrows

I became a birdwatcher quite by accident in January of 2013. I was stuck in the house due to disability from Multiple Sclerosis, and I had nothing much to take photos of. We've always had a bird feeder set just outside the kitchen window in the winter months. My goal was to feed the birds, not take photos. Upon endless hours inside, I started to watch the feeder, and take pics. I remember some of my first shots were "just" hoards of sparrows gutsing out at the feeder.
 
Now, months later, I am fascinated by birds, and I love taking photos of them.
 
Here are some of the sparrows that frequent my feeders, and I can now identify most members of the "hoards".
 
 
Chipping Sparrow
The Chipping Sparrow is a slender, fairly long-tailed sparrow with a medium-sized bill that is a bit small for a sparrow. Summer Chipping Sparrows look clean and crisp, with frosty underparts, pale face, black line through the eye, topped off with a bright rusty crown. It can be distinguished from the American Tree Sparrow by it's black, rather than rufus eye stripe.
 
 White-crowned Sparrow
The White-crowned Sparrow is a large sparrow with a small bill and a long tail. It has bold black and white head stripes, clean gray throat and breast, pale brown sides, gray belly and a brown and gray streaked back .
 
White-throated Sparrow
The White-throated Sparrow is a large, full-bodied sparrow with a fairly prominent bill, rounded head, long legs, and long, narrow tail. They are brown above and gray below with a striking head pattern. The black-and-white-striped head is augmented by a bright white throat and yellow between the eye and the bill, which is gray. They’re also a great entrĂ©e into the world of birdsong, with their pretty, wavering whistle of Oh-sweet-Canada. These forest sparrows breed mostly across Canada, but they’re familiar winter birds across most of eastern and southern North America and California.
 
House Sparrow
House Sparrows aren’t related to other North American sparrows, and they’re differently shaped. They are chunkier, fuller in the chest, with a larger, rounded head, shorter tail, and stouter bill than most American sparrows. Male House Sparrows are brightly colored birds with gray heads, rufus sides, white cheeks, and a black bib.
 
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Monday, June 3, 2013

Bubbles and Beep

 
My granddaughter loves to play with bubbles,
and I like to photograph them...
 
 
 
but I LOVE to photograph her!
 
 
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Saturday, June 1, 2013