Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year !!

Just popping in to offer my best wishes to you all for a very happy and healthy New Year.

I'm still having fun doing origami ornaments.... it's lovely and relaxing and they are so beautiful.  A friend gave me some especially interesting paper....it's all glittery and quite glam....

Somehow the last 14 were all in pastels..... hmmmm...they could be good for an Easter tree... maybe I should keep some of them out for a few months.


Did anybody save me some lovely gold foil papers? ..... I'm on the lookout....















2015..... ready, set, go!!




Saturday, December 20, 2014

'Tis the season to be.... sparkly!!

... and, I've been making more origami ornaments like I do each year since I learned how to make them.  I love doing them and using pretty foil type wrapping papers.  My neighbour gifted me a strip of beautiful, sparkly, almost fabric like paper...wow...it folds wonderfully and looks great!

Yesterday I heard some little noises in the front room and poked my head around the corner to see what it was.....


(click to enlarge them!)












Uh, oh.... sure enough, there were these two on the coffee table... playing with the half done papers ............  Tuffy deciding it must be a party hat .... but, then...  complaining because it was waaaay too big for his little head.

..... then, more muttering....something about,'who the heck was it for anyway'? ....













Frikkles, on the other hand, decided he would claim the one with turquoise and pink papers.... because it matched his big ol' hand made glass bead..... and ...he loves that colour!














I tried to explain to them that they were actually ornaments for the tree .... and, now .....they are lobbying to sit next to them in the tree when I hang them........ hmmmmmmm... trouble comes in all sizes ........




Monday, December 8, 2014

Good one for a Monday...

found this online somewhere ..... and neglected to copy the info.....sadly I know not where anymore...

If it is yours or related to you...please jump in and say so..... I just thought it very cute......



Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Wild Bird Wednesday

I've become a once a week poster.  Bad me. Bad me!

This is for all the Magpie lovers out there .... and, those of you who have never seen one in real life...or who have trouble tracking one down for a photo op.... they photo bomb plenty of pics of the little birdies 'round these parts..... they are real rascals!

But, they are also a lot of fun.

Check out this guy.

He saw the Flicker hanging out on the new suet feeder and figured .. what the hey... I'll butt right in and have a go at that great smelling stuff.  (It's got peanut butter and bugs.)
He landed in the Hawthorn tree right beside the Flicker and got his wish.  The Flicker didn't like being watched and left.

"Now, let me see..... how did he do this?"  ... "Open sesame" .....














"Nope... not the right password I guess"...













"Maybe this side"..













"Damn tail....keeps slipping off the rest"....

"Okay then..... ..  how about some mid air strikes?".....














"Brother.... this is a lot of effort".... I'm not exactly a hummingbird"...

"Hovering is tricky with this bulk" ....



"Whew..... that's enough.  Maybe I'll just check under it now to see if I managed to knock off a few bits" ....














"What the ...? ... not even a crumb? .... man, this is way too much effort" ..














"I give up ... maybe I'll just hang out and wait for the messy sparrows to drop some seeds on the ground instead"......    sigh.................................................














"Hey guys?... ... where are ya? ...... c'mon I'll let you use the seed feeder ..  honest.   I'm definitely not going to try for seeds.... that'd be even sillier than the suet feeder".......    please? .... I'll be good.  I promise.  Come back".

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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Wild Bird Wednesday

...on Thursday .....

All I have today is a Magpie... oh, alright .... it is the majestic Black Billed Magpie.... as Chris likes to call them.  Here, we usually call them nuisance or other even more unfriendly and not very flattering names....

Chris even recounted a funny story about hunting for them in a dangerous area... anybody want to photograph magpies... pack your bags and come to visit....I've got them year 'round ... lots of 'em...

The first few are earlier in the fall...the last one a day or two ago...it has snowed and this one came to check out what the piggy sparrows were throwing around while gorging on sunflower seeds at the feeder.... then, he hopped around on the snowed in bath to see if he could peck up a drink of water...no luck... solid ice under the snow...

They really are pretty colours when it comes down to it... and, I guess they are important in the eco system ... the "cleaners" ... of road kill, etc... and, the thing I throw brooms and rubber boots at them for? ...robbing nests of eggs and babies of smaller birds... mostly I treat them like a nuisance... but, I do let them have a drink every so often.... I do know it is all part of Mother Nature's plan...but, honestly, sometimes I think that old dame is a bitch ....


Oh, hai.... I'se bizzee in yer garden













Check me out from the other side, eh?....











Am I a good looking dude or what? ...('course, it could be a girl for all I know..hahahha) ....















What the? .... where'd the bird seed go? ..... This sun is blinding on the snow....


















Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday .... check it out .. click on the photo below to go there...










Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday is not always a good day....

BAd start to this one. Power outage overnight.... furnace didn't start.... many tries later it finally got going...but, noting error messages in the little display window ....

Apparently the High Pressure and the Low Pressure switch are both involved..... one failed to open, one failed to close.  It's not an old furnace...

For some reason....  it is still managing to run and the house does have heat... but, for how long I wonder?

December 10th is the first regular service call appointment available.  I booked one.

If the heat quits.... I guess it is an Emergency Call... when they will show up is anybody's guess...    and, of course, it is now Friday.... a weekend call is even more  $$$$$ .....oh, goodies.....

I found this photo to cheer me up... somebody went to a lot of trouble to paint that... looks like the kitty is not impressed.... but, what a trooper to be still through all of that work... hahahhahha... oh, bad me....I shouldn't laugh......


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wild Bird Wednesday

Chickadees!!

Last week when it was reeeeely cold..... I was out there trying for a chickadee pic or two.  They used to be a bit less jumpy when the weather was warm..I'm sure they were.

I started out a long way off...hahhaha... .. but, this was too funny not to show it... if you look close, you can see a little guy in the Hawthorn tree...but, look down to the left... another one just zooming away from the feeder to the tree...or maybe further out at the speed he is going... hahahaha...it makes me laugh every time I look at it...













Eventually I had to get much closer to attempt any worthwhile shots...so I began sneaking up on them.  They scolded me .. and boycotted the feeder for a bit.  But, I "dee dee dee'd" right back at them and, tried to coax them ... they probably thought I was nuts...but, they did begin to go back and forth from lilac or Hawthorn to the feeder... keeping a watchful eye on me all the while.  I know they would get used to me if I was out there all the time, but in the winter?...I don't think so.... it's too cold to stand around outside talking to them.  I'll have to pick and choose the days.

It started to snow a bit ... my fingers were getting darn cold.  I need some thin gloves or I'll dig out Mr. BV's mitts with the flip tops so I can flip them on and off when the need arises... now where are those mitts?? .....

I begged them to land in the Hawthorn so I could get some pretty red berries in the pictures.... they didn't listen... instead they hung out on dead lilac bush branches...

And.... I know there is one guy out there who will appreciate this one....... they were always facing the wrong way.

Let's face it....that is a cute butt!!














Finally!  It all came together.  The berries ....the facing in the proper direction.... the soft little feathers blowing in the breeze..... wooohoooooo ......

Remember to click on the pics to "BIGGIFY" these cute little guys....





























If you want to see more bird photos or to add one of your own... just click on the bird below and go to the Wild Bird Wednesday site...




Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Wild Bird Wednesday

I've been hoping for a chance at a Blue Jay but had never seen one.  Finally in mid October.  The only one I had seen in the yard ... ever.  There was still greenery..so wanted to get him/her on here before I launch into wintery photos.... not that I have many of those....yet.  I was out there for awhile today and my fingers were getting pretty numb.  It was -15C with a gusting wind to about 40kph for a portion of the day.  Thankfully there was some sun.

This was as close or as lucky as I got  ... ... my first look at a jay ...through the window.  I loved the whole thing even though it is through the screening ..... so kept it.  It reminds me of a vintage photo.














Then one day I was trying to sneak up on the American Goldfinch sitting on the feeder and saw a blur ... thought it seemed pretty blue and looked away from the camera... but saw nothing.  Okay.  Back to looking at the goldfinch... he was either really patient or really tired.  He just sat there and I got several great photos of him.  Thank you Mr. Finch.

When he flew over to the lilac bushes I looked up ...and then  ...what the?>? .... there was movement really close to me.  I looked down at the birdie bath... which was right beside me and there it was.  The Blue Jay!!  Sheeesh ..... quickly tried to focus much closer to me than I had ever anticipated  ... trying to move as quickly but as stealthily as possible.  He must have thought I was a lawn ornament or something....because he looked right at me and didn't even try to move away.

These are the two I managed to get before he flew off.

Click on the images to "biggify" him...
















What beautiful colours....!!  they don't even look real to me..... the bit of greenish gold in front of his body is a leaf on the Korean Lilac ... which was directly between us.













I'm pretty excited to have seen him.  Especially so up close and personal.

Please take a trip over to Wild Bird Wednesday sometime and look at all the other amazing birds from all over the world.  Why not add one of your own?  Anybody can play ....

Just click on the image below to be taken directly there....

Monday, November 10, 2014

Winter has arrived

I hope it's not here to stay for the duration of the wintery months.... like, until spring...which in this part of the world could be, erm... May.....

We usually have plenty of sun though... and, we also usually have lovely warm spells called Chinooks... but, last year it was pretty much from Hallowe'en til .. oh, yeh...... May ....  darn it.  .........I hope this year is not like last year.

My Christmas cactus has bloomed; when is American Thanksgiving?   must be soon.... seeing as it usually blooms about then... so I changed its' name to that instead of Christmas cactus.  It might be finished blooming by next week this year...what the heck? ...

Those are new little ornies I found already.... it's kind of a tradition to buy a few new little things for the tree each year... and, to give away some of the other ones I've enjoyed for years....














The snow began to fall late Saturday night....












By morning the top of the patio wall was chest deep on sparrows... they don't look particularly pleased do they?
                                                                               





                                                                                 





They had a look at the bird bath.... hmmmm... the snow was beginning fill it as well... the water is frozen solid of course..... no bathing today guys!

I'm not sure they believed me.














They went away and didn't even bother looking at the feeder for seeds.  Hmmm.... weird.

I thought they would be hanging around all day til it was empty and then...beg for more.

The snow continued throughout the whole day yesterday .....

Cupid disappeared ...............

Definitely no bathing today guys........ but, did you notice the thermostatically heated bird water I put out? ...it's over in the patio .... come on back..........!!!  Not for swimming mind you...but, how 'bout a drink? ....

Awww... come on............ I paid good money for that thing....


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Wild Bird Wednesday

I almost feel guilty.

My birdie feeder is such fun... and, it is collecting quite a few visitors... mostly sparrows...but, hey I love all the little guys.

But ... the other day, a larger, brown form swooped in; touched the feeder briefly with a foot and then..landed on my cupid's head on the bird bath.  Yikes!!  I've created a hunting ground for hawks!!

I quickly went to the window and was going to open it and shoo it away...but, Mister BumbleVee said ...don't scare it away.... get a picture !!  I grabbed the camera, which was on the table ... fumbled with the venetian blind in the window and managed to get one.... luckily he was totally intent on staring at the sparrows in the shrub.

I don't know what it is ... but, it isn't very large.... and, it's beautiful.

All the little guys disappeared into the middle of a Korean Lilac bush... and, even though there are no leaves left on it... the tiny branches protected them....no way that guy would fight his way into that bush.

Mr. BV was right.  I did get a great photo.

I don't know what it is .... maybe a Kestrel? .... a Merlin?..... ....   anybody??????  Help me out here please...there is still more tail down behind cupid's wing...which has a bit of snow on it.... sadly I didn't get a glimpse of the tail..... which could probably tell us a lot......

Click on the pics to enlarge ....see him/her up close .......

















And, here is a shot of the bird bath with the cupid in full view and sparrows near it for a size comparison..















If you would like to join in or just have a look at lots of other birds .... go to Wild Bird Wednesday to check them out.



Monday, November 3, 2014

Terrariums cont'd.....

A few people asked me some questions regarding terrariums... and, I looked online... plenty of info out there for sure ... here is a nice man showing how to build one...  and, as I mentioned before I wish I could find some little ferns like that!

http://youtu.be/P76eFEwilEU


I do have a pink plant just like that one he planted!  Now....I want moss!


Friday, October 31, 2014

Who remembers terrariums?


Well, actually... even though I first heard of them eons ago (back in the hippie days).... I don't think they ever really lost popularity ... either that, or they have made a big comeback.

I've had this one for .... oh, man....I can't remember how long.  It dried out, the plants died and the dirt was rock hard...the thing was sooooo dusty...... but, I loved it then and carted it around with me for years.  Every move; it survived ... glass top and all.  I wish I had a photo of it in its "throw out" state.  Mr. BV tried to toss it more than once... and, who could blame him.

But, I salvaged it from near the garbage can and have been saying for the past 3 years that I was going to clean it up and re-plant it.  Never got around to it.

This summer I saw it yet again....sitting there all dusty in the garden shed.  That did it.

I needed a new date palm anyway seeing as my BIG guy of many years had shrivelled and died.  I blame in on the big renovation... because we had to move it in and out of the house; to the garage etc...it got pretty wind blown and roughed up and neglected.  No wonder it died.

Anyway... long story a bit shorter .... at the shop where I found palms on sale...there were so many tiny plants for a dollar.... I couldn't leave them to die there ....or be tossed out...they looked in a bad way....

I came home, got the terrarium out of the shed... washed and buffed it... put in some lovely new soil, a few little plants, some special rocks.. put in a bit of water and closed the lid.

Et voilĂ  !!



Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wild Bird Wednesday

Yesterday this little birdie came to the feeder.  I sprinted out as soon as I noticed him/her.  A tiny tyke, smaller than a chickadee... and, seemed to be all alone.

Please, click the photos to 'embiggen' and, get a closer look look at him....














He didn't much care for the sparrows when they tried to outmuscle him on the perches even if was half their size.  He opened his little wings and gave them what for....  (I didn't hear what he said, but he meant business )...  He didn't seem to mind the nuthatch or the chickadees.  If they showed up, he just went about his business.
















Mostly, he waited 'til the feeder perches were vacant ... got onto one and was quite enjoying sitting there in the cool sunny day.. picking through the sunflower seeds and bits... and, usually, it seemed... the sparrows kind of left him to it for a few minutes.  Then, if several of them would go for it at the same time, he flitted up into the Hawthorne tree..... where he waited and would go down again when they had pigged out and left.

He didn't seem as nervous as the sparrows either...they all left in a big flurry when I went out and there he sat.... looking at me...  quietly munching seeds, wondering what the big deal was.  Of course, I tried for that one step closer to the feeder and off he went into the tree.... and, then...nobody showed up til I left and went in the house.  Bummer...I was hoping for a real close up... but, had to resort to a bit of cropping.

Here is one of his back side to show the markings....















From my only bird book...I think he might be an American Goldfinch although I don't know if we get many around here.  Looking at him from a distance I didn't think he had a finch type beak...but, now ...looking closer ..perhaps that is what he is.  If my birding bloggy buddies "in the know" can let me know, I'd be a happy bird watcher.....

Isn't he a little cutie? ... He is so tiny even though it is hard to tell in a photo.

Please take a minute or two to check out other birds over at Wild Bird Wednesday.... there are soooooo many......

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Monday, October 27, 2014

It's dry, crispy and orange.....

It's autumn for sure now.













Orange is not really my favourite colour ....  especially when it is corrupted with darker splotches and colourations.  Sigh.  Oh, well....it is that time of year.

We have a variety of leaves in the yard...not many from our own few columnar aspens ... and, plenty blown in from front, back and sides.... all the neighbours have the trees ... the wind is their friend.  They all wait long enough so that they rarely have to rake.

One out of four is aspen.













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I'm ticked.  Somehow I caught a cold.  Must have been about 17 cold germs marched in abreast in a weak moment or something..  and...I got it!  Dammit.  I hardly ever get a cold so I'm not a good patient .... as a matter of fact I have no patience at all. !!!

I felt a scratchy throat on Thursday and by Friday my head felt like a giant puffball.  I couldn't breathe through my nostrils at all.  Not much sleep that night... which of course, doesn't help anything.  Then, coughing all day Saturday til I felt my ribs were in grave danger ...luckily I've been working out regularly for the past few months and I'm sure there was more strength there than usual.  I was even doing oblique crunches ... getting to where I could get my upper body off the floor pretty well... not perfect yet and now set back a few weeks I'm sure.

It may be short lived as I feel more human already today... but, I ain't going to rush things....I know how quickly a person can set themselves back if they overdo too soon after a down and out session.

Looking at blogs still doesn't interest me... but, I'll get around to it .........soon.......... maybe.............