The Daily Bird #776

Tree chickens!

The “private area” of the mini farm was directly opposite our caravan, and while it was protected with a reed fence, there was a tree that was higher than the fence and the tree had a ramp for the chickens. In the evening some of them enjoyed to walk up the ramp and then hop from branch to branch. I so love that chess board pattern one.

A black and white chicken among the leaves of a tree.

What yer lookin’ at? Never seen a bird in a tree? ©Giliell, all rights reserved

A brown chicken in a tree

©Giliell, all rights reserved

A black and white chicken on a meadow

©Giliell, all rights reserved


An unexpected guest

Last night I was sitting behind the house with some friends, when I heard a “plonk” where no plonk should be. I looked and found the biggest caterpillar I’d ever seen. It had crawled up a grass stalk but then gravity happened and it ended up on the terrace.

Turns out it’s the mature form of the Elephant Hawk Moth which are indeed about 8 cm (3″ and a bit) long. After taking the pictures I took the hapless traveller and put it some place with more green.

Picture of an Elephant Hawk Moth climbing a stalk.

Elephant Hawk Moth in training. ©Giliell,all rights reserved.

Elephant Hawk Moth caterpillar.

Elephant Hawk Moth in training. ©Giliell,all rights reserved.

Elephant Hawk Moth caterpillar.

Elephant Hawk Moth in training. © Giliell, all rights reserved.

Elephant Hawk Moth caterpillar

Elephant Hawk Moth in training. © Giliell, all rights reserved.

Jack’s Walk

An untaken path, ©voyager, all rights reserved

This path branches off from one of the main dirt trails that Jack and I use along the Thames River. It always looks inviting, but so far we haven’t explored it because Jack is allergic to grass. He might be just fine with it because, frankly, it looks like more weeds than grass, but I don’t want to take the chance just to satisfy my own curiosity. Maybe some day I’ll come without Jack and scope it out. I have so many questions.

Barcelona: Camping 2: The mini farm

As I mentioned before, the camp site used to be a piece of farming land, and they still keep some animals that reflect the place’s history. It has a “public” meadow where visitors can see them and a “private” meadow where the animals can go if they want their privacy. We were lucky to be next to the private part. The management offers you to switch places if you don’t like the animal noises, but I quite enjoyed the chickens (no rooster, though), the sound of the goats  and the occasional braying of the donkey.

Once a week the children can enter the meadow for an hour, but it is also ok to feed them appropriate snacks through the fence.

A donkey grazing

Pitufo (Smurf), the donkey. His companion is a mule and he quite like scritches behind the ears.

Close up of a donkey's head.

Isn’t he a beauty?

In case you’re wondering about the leather strips in front of his eyes, they keep the nasty flies away.

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Garden Foxes.

From KG: In the first two, the fox is not easy to spot, but it’s on the garden chair at the bottom of the neighbour’s garden, while she’s out in the garden herself! They have indeed got very bold – it had taken to snoozing there regularly, and I surprised one under a bush a few days ago and he (I have observed him while he was cleaning his groin) dashed off a few yards, but then just turned and looked at me. 301 shows this one fairly close-up; I think he’s this year’s cub, still quite small and with a thin tail. The other we see about – I think the one in 206 and 210 – is considerably bigger, with a bushy tail. We haven’t seen the limping one for some time, so I fear it may not have survived, although I heard neighbours a few houses along had called in the SSPCA (animal charity) to try and catch and treat it. Click for full size!




© KG, all rights reserved.

Barcelona: Camping 1

I was practically born into camping. My first camping holiday was when I was about six months old, and the few times I spent in hotels didn’t exactly warm me to the idea. However, in one way, camping is exactly like staying in a hotel: the term describes a wide range of options, from very simple to very luxury. The American version of pitching your tent in the wild and shitting in the woods is unknown in most parts of Europe, probably because we don’t have many bears that can eat you up. People here go to campsites, which range from simple to holy fuck, how much does that cost?

Campsites near big cities, like the one we stayed at, have a very interesting social mix, since the residents range from students on a 20 bucks a day budget (been there, done that, it was great fun) to people with camping “cars” that cost twice as much as our house, extra car not included. Interestingly, those peple also had the cheapest, most uncomfortable folding chairs on the market, the very ones Mr and I had back in the day when we didn’t have the money or space for anything that didn’t leave you with a sore back.

Anyway, we clock somewhere in the middle, with a tendency to pack too much stuff and create utter chaos:

A caravan with a sun roof in front of it. Table and chairs under the sun roof. Lots of articles of daily life are cluttered all over.

What I personally like about this version is that you’re as protected from the elements as you need to be, but as open as possible. The campsite is on a piece of former farmland, so you live in nature, which gets me to our constant companions this holiday: ants.

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Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

The wooden structure in the middle of the cornfield is both a landmark and a viewing platform that will become part of a corn maze in the fall. The floor of the platform is a bit over 3 meters high so you can see that the height of the corn is not far off that mark. It seems too early for the corn to be this tall, but staff at our local farmer’s market tell me that new varieties of corn mature more quickly. So quickly in fact that they already had local corn for sale. It doesn’t seem that long ago that you had to wait until late August for corn-on-the-cob. I wonder when that changed?

The signs in the field are also for fall festivities when they will be used as targets for a pumpkin cannon.

Jack’s Walk

A fine set of pinecones, ©voyager, all rights reserved

It’s a bit warmer and a bit more humid today so Jack and I opted for a walk in our little wildflower forest, Trillium Woods. It was a good choice, too. We were shaded the whole way around and had the company of a very busy woodpecker pounding out a beat too fast to count. He was too far up to see properly so I can’t show you a photo, but he was so loud that the sound was bouncing off the trees and creating a sort of echo chamber that you could almost feel as a vibration. It was an interesting experience. Definitely physical and a bit exhilarating, but also a bit annoying and the short pauses the bird took were definitely a welcome break. Jack thought so too. I could see he was a bit anxious and every now and then he’d look up as if he was waiting for the sky to fall. All in all, an unexpected and different sort of adventure for Jack and I today.

Jack’s Walk

Roadside thistle, taller than me, ©voyager, all rights reserved

It’s another beautiful day in Southwestern Ontario so Jack and I took to the country for our outing. We had a lovely slow walk looking at all the growing things and finding everything healthy and big for this time of year. The corn is my eye high and even the weeds reach over my head. I love it when the plants are big enough to make you feel small and a bit like Alice through the looking-glass.