Friday, November 30, 2012

This morning's moon seen through my window for skywatch Friday.

How beautiful it is!  The moon seen this morning from my kitchen window, through the twigs of our birch trees along our diveway.

My thanks to the hosts of Skywatch Friday for continuing to host this very popular Friday skywatch meme. If you would like to post your own photos or just enjoy looking to see the photographic offerings of others, please scroll down this page and look upon the right hand side to click on the skywatch logo to go to the meme. A happy Friday to all.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Hairy Woodpecker in Bird Alley Today

    The joyful part of my day, watching birds at my bird feeders,  has   yielded the sighting of a male hairy woodpecker.  I know it is a male because of the red patches on the back of its head.
    Also in Bird Alley today has been the male and female Northern Cardinals.
                                    Seen above is this playful peek-a-booing male Cardinal.

Also present today in Bird Alley is one American Tree Sparrow; Goldfinches and many Pine Siskins, Bluejays and Black-capped chickadees  and two Gray Squirrels.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tree Sparrow in Bird Alley Today

I was happy to see a little American Tree Sparrow in Bird Alley this morning.  The bi-colourd billwas its  identifying characteristic that identified it to me.  This is only the second Tree Sparrow I have seen this fall in our feeder area.  Also this morning I saw a female Northern Cardinal in  Bird Alley, as well as Black-capped Chickadees, Blue Jays and a Mourning dove.  Bird Activity has been very slow lately.
During the afternoon the Tree Sparrow returned and also the
female Northern Cardinal made a reappearance also and
shortly after sighting the female,

 I saw the bright red male  Cardinal in the tree branches also.  We had lots!! of Pine Siskin and they were accompained by American Goldfinch.  The Goldfinch were not as plentiful as the Pine Siskins.  Aslo Blue Jays and Chicksddes sbounded.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

More Pine Grosbeaks for Ruby Tuesday 2

     Looking very closely at these berries shown above it appears that they have been mulitated and have  not been eaten as they have not remained roundly intact.  What is happening here I believe, is that the Pine Grosbeaks have eaten only the kernel seed within the red fleshy covering.  This same thing occurs when this species feeds on the bitter cranberries in  our own yard in Bird Alley.

   In this  photo above  the Grosbeak is on the ground under the tree.

Ruby Tuesday 2 meme features photos with red of any subject. To contribute to this meme please go to;
or just click on the Ruby Tuesday 2 badge at the top of the column on the right hand side of this blog page.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Seed Dispersal

Autumn is a time of year for seed dispersal and renewal:As the process of regeneration begins anew seed pods filled with determination for next year's renewal  play their role as programed and designed by nature. The packaging and wind dispersal is a delight to observe; take for example: the beauty of an exploded milk weed pod and their delicate seeds awaiting dispersal.  The wind comes into play as an important source of deliverly. Cattails, solid beauties in their summer development,
 come apart or unglued as their solidarity ends and this action and the wind become a source of their dispersal; they seem to just fall apart! 
White fluffy stuff flying through the air to unknown destinations have been sources of beauty and programed purpose.
  Our Manitoba Maple Tree hangs lush with winged seeds awaiting dispersal.
  The packaging of hollyhock seeds have long been a visual delight to me since childhood. The testimony to this delight can be found in my summer garden today. and I could go on and on... Go find some seeds today out there and help nature in its quest to be bountiful. This is a marvellous time of year filled with the optimism of renewal! Go seeds go! Do your thing! Happy Landings! See you in the summer in your new growth garb!

Evidence of Beavers at Work

On November 16th.while pursuing a Ruffed Grouse we found this standing
 beaver-notched' ' gnawed'  tree and the beauty of  its balance and evenly gnawed

precision intrigued us.  We became Curious as to when the tree will fall we have driven to that location twice  since to check on it. 
The last time we checked it was still standing.  This morning we have to travel past that location again, and I shall do a follow up observation with my camera. I will be back  later this afternoon to report on the present status of the tree and the beaver's work.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Pine Grosbeaks for Mandarian Orange Monday

These adult females Pine Grosbeaks lend their colouring easily to  this,my first posting on this meme,
 new to me Mandarian Orange Monday.  A grand theme and one that  would have been would have been a very appropiate  one in which to find examples for the past fall season with so many trees mantled with georgous orange hues.

                               I luckily chanced upon  a lush row of red berred trees and so had these Pine Grosbeaks.  Oh Happy Day!  What a wonderful find for both me and my camera. This grouip od berry trees calls me.  On this day we went to this location in hopes of finding feedin birds there and we did!

To podt photod on this meme and to learn more about it please go to:., or click on the mandarian orange icon on the upper right of this page. It will be a fun week looking ahead to next Monday and searching for orange.  Have a great day everyone!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Ruffed Grouse and Beaver Tree Cutting

sterday, Tuesday, while driving along the Branch Road, my husband was driving, I saw a ruffed Grouse feeding on the roadside shoulder, and I said to my husband, "Let's turn and go back to see if we can find it."  ( I wanted to take its picture.  He found a rain filled entrance to an old logging road , and as the truck got turned after a stalled motor, we were on our way returning back the way we had come.  I was scanning the opposite roadside for grouse, despairing that we wouldn't find it again.  My husband spied some fallen trees and roadside waterfilled ditches.  Then
he sighted a tall tree, with a notched ( gnawed base line.  Aha! Beavers had been at work!  what an amazing skill and accuracy these beavers have. their work is rather beautiful in their destruction.  I wonder how many nights work these beavers have ahead of them befpore this tree falls? I shall follow up on this location to see what success these industrious creatures have with their tree cutting and logging.
so We admired the beaver's work and took a couple of pictures, before we moved on , up the highway when I suddenly called, "Stop" , to my husband, for there ahead of us  on the highway was the Ruffed Grouse,  whose sighting had been the purpose of our redirection.
The Grouse

was wary of our moving vehicle and did not stop and pose for my camera.  It acted in a shy manner and in a few seconds flew across the highway to escape from our attentions.

Wednesday update of Beaver notched tree:

Still standing:

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A White -faced Rock Dove ( Pigeon)

Yesterday we were quite intrigued when we saw a large group of pigeons on wires crossing the river. There were about 65 pigeons perched here. As you can see in the top photo a couple of these pigeons had white tails.

A closer and more focused look, in the photo below showed that one of these pigeons also had a white face

 The pigeon with the white face also had a partial white breast as well as a white tail. These features are shown in the profile ( sideways view) of the pigeon in the photo below. 
I find this fascinating!. A short while ago this
past summer I had seen a white pigeon perched on a barn roof about 7 km from this location.I had posted about it here. We think there are several pigeons in the area that have partial white patterning and the flocks intermingles with eachother. I shall try to record more observations of this fascinating group in the next while.

Common Mergansers in the River

                             I was about mid- October when I  had commented to my husband that I hadn't seen any Common Mergansers in the river during the summer.  Other years ,sightings of these fishing ducks had been quite common.  Yesterday , while driving across the highway bridge I spotted three  female Mergansers in the river; turning into the parking area near the river I was able to get these pictures before, and as, these ducks took offf. This is an area where I have often seen this species previously.  I shall return to that location today and wait and hope I see them again!

Monday, November 12, 2012

male and female Evening Grosbeak for Mellow Yellow Monday

   Only for one day last week did we enjoy the beautiful bold yellow of the handsome male evening grosbeak and the demure yellow of the lesser brillant female of this species.
The following three scenes of yellow were seen from a passing train window.  Upon our return home from London , Ontario a week ago I woke in the morning to see many yellow Tamaracks outside our sleeping compartment window.  I said to my husband, "the Tamaracks have turned!  This hardwood appearing needled softwood tree lends its soft beauty to the woodlands at the end of the  brillant coloured leaf cycle and is most prominent in November in our area.  I spent the latter part of our train trip viewing their passing beauty
 In the first  photo below an extra yellow of the reflecting of the interior light within the train compartment is included . 

     speed blurs, pic taken from the moving train above and below

Got pictures with yellow that you would like to share? Why not post them on Mellow Yellow Monday, a delightful meme that focuses on the colour yellow?Just clink here: to access this meme

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Pine Grosbeaks for Camera Critters

This is the species of bird that started me in on birdwatching.  On  Nov. 10th, 1999, thirteen years ago today! I saw a handsome red, male Pine Grosbeak in the line of trees and bushes alongside my house which has since been named by us as Bird Alley. 
 The male Pine Grosbeak was feeding on the bright red berries of our cranberry tree there.  I didn't know what the bird was. I had never seen Pine Grosbeaks  before!! they fascinated me!
After that sighting my husband encouraged me to buy a digital camera.  I bought a Sony Mavica ( $800)   it had .05 megapixes. I loved the camera!!!! I was fascinated with it!! and I was delighted with the pictures I was able to get with it. I  had retired from teaching in  March, 1999 and a new fascinating interest had developed for me;  birdwatching and nature photographer.

Each November since then we have watched and waited for Pine Grosbeaks to show up in Bird Alley to partake of the cranberry  feast.  They don't show up every year, bu tthis year they have!  Oh, Happy day! when I looked out window  on Tuesday
 and saw this bird feeding in the cranberry tree in Bird Alley, it was just the one!
Needless to day I shall be watching daily for these beautiful Pine Grosbeaks to return  for a cranberry feast! 
Camera Critters is a meme that features critters, any kind, any size. To see more of this meme please click on the CC logo which can be found on the right sidebar on this page or please click here.