Mystical Cats

I love cats and these wonderful creations by Anne, Cranky Cat Lady are glorious.

Photos of my Mystical Cats from Lyn Belisle’s Mystical Cat Shamans class.  The faces are her work (she does lovely ceramics) but the rest is mine.  Leafy girl is Thera, Protector of Wild Things, the turquoise cat is Bast, my Mewse. Because you know how much cats love to help with your work.  Lots of vintage bits and pieces, handmade paper, and beads. They’re pretty big, about 14″ tall, and I’m going to have to move stuff around so I can hang them.

Thera, ©Anne, Cranky Cat Lady

Bast, ©Anne, Cranky Cat Lady

Can You Identify This Pretty Little Bird?

Avalus took some good photos of this little guy, but he hasn’t been able to identify what type of bird this is. My bird guides are North American, so not really useful to identify a European species, but I bet that one of you can help us figure this out. Leave us a comment with your ideas.

©Avalus, all rights reserved

©Avalus, all rights reserved

©Avalus, all rights reserved

©Avalus, all rights reserved

The Last Birds of Winter

Ahh, my friends, Spring is coming. We actually had a “heat wave”, with more than 20°C in February. Climate change will be no fun, but there’s nothing you can do about an early spring day but enjoy it. The pics here are a few weeks old, but I didn’t get around to post them. BTW, <b>Charly and rq</b>, the cranes are on their way. I sent them with greetings for you.

©Giliell, all rights reserved A little wet siskin

©Giliell, all rights reserved Not a siskin, but a wet yellowhammer

©Giliell, all rights reserved A female sparrow. We’ve got lots of them, but usually behind the house is tit territory and they keep t the hedges in front of the houses.

©Giliell, all rights reserved While taking those pic I thought “that’s actually the weather when the hawfinches used to come” and look who made her appearance.

And then we had a very rare visitor, and they didn’t want to stay for an extensive photo shooting, so I only got one halfway decent pic:

©Giliell, all rights reserved

If you ever wondered what the back of a sparrowhawk looked like…

Patterns in Ice

From Avalus,

A muddy, frozen puddle by the roadside.
Boring, one might say.

©Avalus, all rights reserved

But, what interesting patterns in the ice, indicating the shrinking liquid underneath.
Let’s look closer.

©Avalus, all rights reserved

Structures emerge between the layers!
Let’s look even closer.

©Avalus, all rights reserved

The ice sheet that seemed so uniform from afar is structured, almost like cathedral glass, from many tiny crystals of ice.
Everywhere, there is beauty in the universe.
(This was pretty much my thought process when I came by that frozen puddle. That, and my cold feet, reminding me of my poor choice of shoes I took for that walk :D)

Evasively Cute

As mentioned previously, tufted tits (more correctly, European crested tits) have been a tough customer for me. They are shy and hyperactive, plus their camouflage markings make them difficult to see, as they prefer to remain in the hedgerow as opposed to coming out in the open. So today’s exemplar is uncooperative. In other words, find that tit!

Such a pretty little bird, as you can see… (c) rq

A little bit of yoga, to stretch the neck and spot those seeds! (c) rq

Not looking at you… (c) rq

Unfortunately, that’s the best I could do. I really love them, but they could manage to hold still long enough, couln’t they…?

Here’s someone else’s photo to get a better view:

And in honour of today’s Perseverance rover landing (hopefully!) On Mars – David Bowie’s “Life on Mars.


Great Tits!

The visual tour of our local tit diversity continues. Today: great tits! They really are great, also larger than other tits – really big tits. They’re also braver than other tits, as they have safety in numbers. In bright lemon yellow, so quite the cheery addition.

Checking out the first feeder (it broke), there’s rarely just the one. (c) rq

Also not shy about the acrobatics! (c) rq

Excellent form. Thought there’s no seeds down there… show off. (c) rq

Given to curmudgeonliness, despite the bright colours! (c) rq

And not shy about tackling walnuts or buried seed. (c) rq

Floosh! (c) rq

Concentration… must get that seedy goodness! (c) rq

Next up I think will be tufted tits, which are devious to the core and absolutely refuse to hold still for any kind of decent photo. Tough customers but adorable in the extreme.

Red Moon by Tom Jackson

I watched CBC’s Trickster and just love the soundtrack.


Blue Tits!

Here’s the first set of this winter’s tit pics. The blue ones are rather rare this year, but there’s one or two regular visitors willing to put up with the great tits and sparrows. I have to say the weather this weekend was that perfect winter mix of sun and frigid, no wind.

So, let’s all be 12 together and check out some blue tits, shall we?

Blue tit with walnut (c) rq

At the other feeder (c) rq

The walnuts are for the corvids, but they haven’t been by for a while. (c) rq

Warming up… (c) rq

… for the acrobatics! (c) rq

Note: most photos are taken through a selection of windows, one of which is tinted, so the lighting can be a bit odd.

Another cover today, but hey, it’s winter, warmer under the covers!

Leonard Cohen’s “Famous Blue Raincoat”, performed by Eivør.

Bramblings Whoosh

This year we have snowy winter. The snow came late, but it came in droves. And with plenty of snow also came bramblings, a flock of about 30 individuals. They returned multiple times, and I have managed to get some pictures, although the light was less than ideal.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.



Whatever anyone says, the kids aren’t alright. Emotionally speaking, that is. But we deal, even if the current state of affairs makes it hard to be there for them. That’s today’s sad comment.

These motion shots always remind me of Caine (I miss her) and somehow I forgot to transfer the best one (working from my phone). But I’ll find it! There’s also still plenty of bird to get more.

Consider these teaser tit pics. But I will call them by their adorable Canadian name this time, because I also miss Canada. My mum is still being responsible and not flying back. So there’s that, too.

Chickadee whoosh… (c) rq

More chickadee whoosh… (c) rq

Chickadee whoosh while told off by a brambling. (c) rq


The Bangles – Hazy Shade of Winter

The original may still be the best, but I love this cover.

The Art of …

… flowers, by  Raku Inoue

This Montreal-based artist uses fresh flowers to create images. The pictures below are from his Natura Insects series, and you can read more about it at My Modern Met. You can also visit the artist’s web site, Reikan Creations, or his Instagram page, where you will find even more awesome whimsicality.

Kabutomushi (Japanese Rhinoceros Beetle), by Raku Inoue. Image from My Modern Met.

Black Widow, by Raku Inoue. Image from My Modern Met.

Butterfly, by Raku Inoue. Image from My Modern Met.


Northern Parrot Substitutes

Hi everyone, things are nuts, but what can you do. I’ll complain later.

Winter has come, with so much snow, it’s wonderful. Never a better way to get the kids outside.

This year I also decided to tame some crows (progress: none), since they were stealing the walnuts anyway. As a side effect, I decided to feed all the little birds, too. I put out large nuts for the large birds, and keep the others supplied with sunflower seeds and pork fat. The nuts disappear, but I still have no crow friends to gloat about…

Anyway, I can’t compete with Charly’s amazing birds, he’s certainly got some wonderful rare species showing up, but I’m quite pleased with this year’s feeder flock. Tit pics later, currently I’m most proud of my bullfinches because at least two couples live nearby and visit.

They obviously don’t mind each other’s table manners… a match made in heaven!

Taking care of the competition… (c) rq


Wipe your beak. (c) rq


I got one photo of both together, then the male walked out of the frame. (c) rq


No napkins in nature, I guess! (c) rq



These were very welcome visitors – about 8 to 10 of them. Last year I have seen no goldfinches at all, the whole year. A small flock last week made me really happy.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.