Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


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….”


Dinner Guests

Hanging feeders for the birds,

I had not expected herds,

Bandits coming in the night,

Gobbling food with all their might.

Table manners, not so good,

Faces masked, but without hood,

Swinging on the feeder tube,

Like a common country rube.


One sat on the table top,

One beneath ate what might drop.

Cleaning up left over scraps,

Without worries about traps.


To watch the video, you have to be very quick. It’s only about 4 seconds long. You may have to replay it a few times to see the top raccoon stuffing his face, with the feeder at an angle so the seeds fall out better, and the other raccoon sitting underneath him, cleaning up.

I should be thankful that they clean up after themselves.


The Lilac Notebook

You won’t want to miss this one. Carol Balawyder’s latest novel is something unique.

Here is Carol and a little bit about her.

Carol’s academic training is in English Literature and Criminology. She studied criminology so as to bring credibility to the crime novels she wanted to write.

These days Carol is retired from her teaching post of supervising and teaching criminology to college students. She has been busy as a volunteer, visiting Alzheimer’s patients. She brings along her little dog, Bau. One of the patients, Doris, especially loved spending time with Bau. The sweet relationship they developed is reproduced in Carol’s latest novel.

The Lilac Notebook is a study of the decline of a young woman in the early stages of Alzheimer’s.

Doris had lost her ability to speak. Ms. Balawyder used this as a focal point of the murder investigation in which her fictional character, Holly is accused, but unable to defend herself.

Her main character Holly, is partly based on Doris and her relationship with Bau.

My Review of The Lilac Notebook.

Carol Balawyder’s novel, The Lilac Notebook, left me thinking of the plight of one of her characters for many days afterwards. Although it is a crime story, it is different from every other one I’ve read, because Holly, the main character, has early onset Alzheimer’s.

Her husband has never loved her, and now that she has this debilitating disease, she knows that he will find her a burden. She makes the decision to leave before it gets too bad, signs up for a college course and makes friends with two women who will entangle her in a murder mystery.

We learn in detail of her challenges as Alzheimer’s symptoms manifest themselves. In some cases, Alzheimer’s patients lose the ability to speak. They can still hear and reason, but find it difficult to respond. Sometimes the right word is hard to find, and increasingly it becomes more difficult to speak.

After a second murder takes place in their part of the city, Holly and her friends fear for their safety. Holly is haunted by clues she tries to put together, and suspects that the killer may be somehow connected to them. Her speech is becoming difficult, so she records as much as she can remember in her lilac notebook.

When one of her friends suggests that possibly it is Holly herself who is doing the killing, she is in turmoil because her memory has been failing her more and more. She wonders if her friend could be right. Perhaps Holly did kill those people and she just doesn’t remember it.

I was particularly impressed by the way Ms. Balawyder weaves in the details of Holly’s advancing Alzheimer’s in such a compassionate way. We are made to feel Holly’s fears, trepidation, confusion, and frustration as “the plot thickens” and her disease becomes more debilitating.

Real life still happens to people with Alzheimer’s, but we rarely have a chance to look inside the heads of people who suffer from it. With the murder mystery entertaining us, we empathize with Holly’s plight as she tries to solve the murders even while she is implicated in the deeds.

A well-researched nail-biter of a story.


You can purchase The Lilac Notebook at:




While you’re there, check out her “Getting to Mr. Right” series.

Please feel free to reblog this post and help Carol to spread the word about her wonderful new novel.


Spring is in the Air

These common mergansers feel that spring is in the air.

“Ooh! La! La!” Miss Mergie croons.

(Hope these guys are not buffoons.)

“Are ya lookin’ fer some fun?

Do ya care, my hair’s not done?”



“See you boys have on yer suits,

Least ya don’t look like those coots,

Y’all look fine, all dressed up nice,

Looking fer a little spice?”

“Shoulda known they’d take a hike,

After taking what they like,

Now I’m busy night and day,

Keeping predators at bay.”


“Still, it’s worth it, when I see,

Baby ducklings just like me,

Such a cutie, stay near Mom,

Don’t go doing something dumb.”