Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


Sharing the Yard

I’ve seen the squirrels’ hiding place,

Beneath this pile of logs,

They stash their nuts and cones in there,

While watching out for dogs.

It’s not that Emma eats their food,

She’s picky what she eats,

But squirrels are safer for the fence,

So they won’t be her treats.

I think I smell some hazelnuts,

Still buried under here,

If I could find a few of them,

I’d be a ‘coon of cheer.

But there’s that snooping dog again,

Alerting everyone,

Time for me to take a hike,

And come back later on.

You’ve heard of cowards turning tail,

They show their other end,

I’m not a chicken, but I just

Have no more time to spend.



Fawn Finding

“Come on, kids,” the mother lows,

“Sniff the herbs now, use your nose.”

“Right in here’s a lovely place,

Duck right in and hide your face.”

“Wait!” says Junior, “I can see,

Some delicious weeds for me.”

“Okay, now I’m lying down,

Are you sure I won’t be found?”

“Rosemary, oregano, 

Fennel too, oh what a show.”

“Look at me, beneath the leaves,

How oregano deceives.”

“Did you think I disappeared?

Scared you, Mom, I know you feared.”

“Now you only see my tush,

Hiding ‘neath the beauty bush.”

Tiny sister on the ground,

If she’s still she won’t be found.

Where’d she go, that little tease?

Camo colours, if you please.

“Here I am,” she flicks an ear,

Sage and lavender are near.

“All right, come on out, you two,

Weeds between the grass to chew.


“We’re quite safe now, don’t you fear,

No more danger over here.”



Note* These pictures are from several years ago, but at this time of year, when the fawns are born.


Goldfinches on Two Sides of the Pond

After seeing my Mystery Bird post last week, a fellow blogger sent me photos of finches he had visiting at his location. It was interesting to compare the different colour patterns.

My goldfinch was the American version on the North American side of the pond. Here are the two blurry pictures I was able to manage to capture of these flighty birds.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond, in the UK, my blogging friend Jeff Grant took these pictures of the European version of the goldfinch.

They are often hard to photograph. These birds don’t want to hang around long enough for zooming or focusing, but isn’t it amazing to find so many of them (at least 14) together in one place.

Thank you for these photos, Jeff.

I wanted to show the colour differences between the two variations – the European and the American goldfinches – but they are too far away to see the colours clearly. Concerned about copyright violations, I didn’t want to use an Internet photo, so I did a daring thing. I sketched a bird and coloured it in my own amateur way, trusting that my blogging friends would forgive my lack of artistic talent and concentrate on the colours that identify the European goldfinch.

Here is my effort at avoiding copyright violation with my own drawing.

European Goldfinch

I would love to see these goldfinches in such numbers where I live. That would be so amazing.


Mystery Bird

A short time ago I had a mystery beetle to identify, but this week, it’s a mystery bird. We don’t often get brightly coloured songbirds here, so when this yellow bird landed on the fencing of my garden, I rushed to get the camera. I barely had time to find the bird in my viewfinder when it took off. Hence the blurry photo.

Later it came back and, again, I rushed to get the camera. Again it was a blurry photo, and the bird immediately flew away.

I snapped wildly in the general direction of the bird’s flight and thought, at first, that I had missed it. But when I zoomed in on the photo, I found it in the top right-hand corner. It’s too tiny to see what it is, so I saved a zoomed photo of that part that I circled below.

It’s still blurry, but it was enough that I could see the colours of the back and the wing markings.

I’ve determined that it is an American goldfinch.

If it ever sits still for longer than a few seconds, I might someday get a clearer picture of it. Meanwhile, it sang to me:


I heard that your birdfeeder has some good seeds,

They’re oh so delicious for filling my needs.

You want to take pictures of me in your yard,

But sitting still long is quite risky  and hard.


I’ve seen that big hawk that is hanging around,

I make it my mission that I won’t be found.

It’s why I’m so  nervous and seem to be flighty,

But when I sit still long, the danger is mighty.


So snap away quickly before I must leave,

I know, if I’m dead, just how much you will grieve.

I’ll fly away happy and singing a song,

I’ll say hello quickly and then I am gone.


Three Blind Mice

“Have a look at the picture below me,” says Millie Mouse.

“Do you see the part that has been circled in black? Well that’s the end of the first raised bed in the garden, and on the corner of the ‘bed’ is a triangle of wood that holds the raised bed together but mainly it keeps the rain out of my nest.

“So along comes that woman with her long-handled claw tool and she starts cleaning house for me, pulling out all the nice weeds I had growing around my nest to keep it hidden. Finally, she took a swipe at the part under my roof and it was just too close for comfort. I was outta there!

“She was shocked to see how fast I ran. I dove under the rhubarb leaves and held my breath. I nearly died when she pulled out my nest. There lay my babies strewn on the ground like three little bird treats.

“They shivered and shook but I couldn’t help them. ‘SHE’ still held that awful long-handled claw.

“But then she dropped it and ran. I guess I was tougher than I thought, scaring her off like that.

“I should’ve known it was too good to be true. Here she came again, out of the house with a ginormous camera in her hand. She put my babies together and pushed buttons on her camera over and over and over – and all the while, my babies were shivering.

“Finally, she found some common sense – although, if it’s so common, why is it so hard to find? – and she put the babes closer together and curled the nest around them. She pushed the nest back under the corner roof and found some more dried leaf bits to put over the babies.

“I guess she’s not all bad. As soon as she was gone I scampered back home to check on the wee ones. They were so scared. And cold! No coats yet. And of course they couldn’t see where they were going  because they didn’t have their eyes open yet. Talk about ‘Three Blind Mice’.

“My heart is still pounding  like a snare drum, but as soon as SHE is gone, we can all have a nap and pretend it never happened.  I’m so glad the kids didn’t see a thing.”



Internet Dating

Once again, inspired by David Kanigan’s blog about Wally’s Great Adventures, I wanted to share Emma’s reaction. Please click on the link to see Wally’s pitch for a girlfriend. He’s so cute. I think he’s trying to show how tough he can be, and I must say Emma was impressed.

Emma must have thought I was looking for an Internet friend for her. When she heard Wally’s barking and saw him cavorting on the bed she naturally thought it was pillow talk.

She told me it was the best dating app she’d ever seen, and asked if I had Wally’s number.

She wouldn’t let up until I told her that Wally wasn’t interested in dating an “older woman.” He was just a baby and she was wasting her time pining for him.

It was hard on her, and I had to give her an extra treat to make her feel better.


Golden-Crowned Sparrow

The sun came out today. It was a big deal. The golden-crowned sparrows decided that it was time for their spring bath.

“So who’s in first?”

“Oh no! Don’t start with that ‘Who’s on first?’ thing again!”

“I’ll go in,” says Gordie, “and I’ll test the depth and make sure it’s safe for you, Goldie.  Ahh … yes, it feels so good. Just look at those droplets flying. Lovely! Come on in, Goldie.”

“I’m in, Gordie, but I’m not so sure I like where the droplets are flying. Have you no consideration for others? Stop splashing me. You’re getting me all wet.” Goldie sighs. “Ohhhhh, I’m getting out!”

“Aw … I’m sorry Goldie.”

“Nope! She’s not in a forgiving mood. Sheesh!  Worried about getting wet in the bath. Go figure!”

“You didn’t have to take offense right away. Hmpf! SO … sensitive!”

“Never mind, Gordie. You just go ahead and enjoy that bath ALL by yourself. I’ll just wait here on the post while you do your thing.”

“Oh, what the heck! I’m gonna go for it. Here I go. Bluddle-uddle-uddle-uddle-um-dum-dum.”

“Well, he got that right,” Goldie whispers under her breath. “The last part. The Dum-dum part.”

“Meh! I don’t care what she says, folks. Turn on your sound and watch this short video of me having my bath – with the whole tub to myself!”


Mystery Beetle

It’s really bugging me, but does anyone know what this beetle is called?

Is it maybe Buprestis aurulenta? Or?

It was lying dead on my deck. I’m on Vancouver Island, so if you want to check it out the I.D. of the beetle, you’ll have an idea of the area where this bug was found.

The greenish-blue colours of the wings are gorgeous, as is the coppery underbelly. What an amazing outfit it’s wearing.

I welcome any suggestions if anyone knows what it is.

It’s about a little over an inch long.

What do you think it might be?


Waiting for Spring

Where, oh where has springtime gone?

Where can springtime be?

Say I’m not the only one,

Who’s making poetry.

Spring, you say? Where did it go?

Peek around that corner,

Squirrel is looking,  doesn’t know,

Logs can roll, I’ll warn her.

Spring, beneath me, do come out,

Hiding snug in there,

Listen to my warrior shout,

How’s that for a scare?


Nope, it’s not beneath the logs.

Maybe there’s no spring,

Anyway, I see no frogs,

Croaking, trying to sing.


With no insects to digest,

Stuck with eau de sweet,

When it warms, the gnats are best,

They’ll be such a treat.

Goodness me! What do I see?

Spring has brought a pest,

Who has asked him in for tea?

Awful ratty guest.

Yummy! Yummy! For my tummy,

Lovely sunflower seeds,

Eat them quick before they’re hummy,

Just what Ratty needs.

Wind and soggy rain we’ve seen,

Why are days not warmer?

Where, oh where has springtime been?

Look around the corner.


Daffy, dilly, daffy dolls,

Harbingers of spring,

Cheering brightly, each one calls,

Happiness we bring.


Not to be outdone in show,

Tulips stand up tall,

Wanting all the world to know,

Who’s the best of all.


Mother! Look! The spring is here,

Sunshine, and those flowers,

Come let’s sing and give a cheer,

In between the showers.



Quentin Quail Is Alive and Well

Remember Quentin, sole survivor of a flock of over forty quails that used to wander through the yard? It has been a few years since the flock has dwindled due to predators, chemical lawns, and habitat encroachment.

Quentin has been lonely, coming each spring to look for what he must have thought was a kindred spirit looking back at him through the window by our front door.

It has been a brutal winter. Really brutal. I thought for sure Quentin did not survive this one.

What a surprise I had when I saw him  at our front door, trying in vain to look through the smudged glass for his reflection buddy.

I take no responsibility for the messy window. It’s all Emma’s fault. Whenever the Captain leaves in his truck, Emma runs to the window to watch him leave and her spaniel noseprints are forever on the bottom part of the window.

So, sorry, Quentin, you are out of luck if you had hoped to see anything in the window.

He flies up onto the railing to think about it. He saw his lady love in that very window last year but she didn’t want to come out to play. Now she’s not even there. What to do?

Quentin turns to face me as I take his picture, showing off a perfect white collar that frames his face.

But I have no answers for him in his quest for a mate.

“I might as well go look elsewhere,” he mutters. “Maybe I’ll grab a few seeds from under the birdfeeder first, but what a downer. I was sure she’d be here.”

“You’d think she’d wait for me by the window. I know she lives in there. (Sigh….) Well, maybe after dinner … or tomorrow morning….”