Jack’s Walk

Early morning at the park ©voyager, all rights reserved

Our virtual vacation is over and Jack and I are ready to get back into our usual routines… sort of. My mother is approaching the end of her life and I’ve been spending my days at her nursing home which doesn’t leave me much time to take Jack out to his favourite trails. We’ve been managing by taking shorter walks around the neighbourhood in the early morning and late evening and Jack is just so happy to spend time with me that he hasn’t even complained. Poor Bubba is used to hanging out with me all day and he is not happy about me being gone so much. When I’m home he sticks to me like a lollipop on a cat, afraid that I’ll sneak out when his isn’t looking. This morning I made a point of taking some extra time to take him to our local park and it was such a joy to watch him splash and frolic that I’m going to try to do that every day. It’s good for both of us to have a small bit of normal in the form of fresh air and exercise. The blog is a good bit of normal for me, too.

There’s no wifi in my mom’s care home so that’s a bit of a challenge, but we’ll try to be here every day as usual.

Holidays: Friday Feathers

Two marvellous birds from the Zoo

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved



And as an unrelated bonus:

A video I stumbled across indulging in my love for Peter, Paul and Mary: Puff, the Magic Dragon.

What I love about the performance isn’t so much the artists, but the audience who is singing along, or at least mouthing the words, from the toddler to the grandpa.

Friday Feathers: Hornbill and Friends

As promised, there will be pictures. Lots, though I noticed that I took less pictures this year because after all, I went there before. Let’s start with some from the zoo. A great southern hornbill. I also add some others as to not spam my “own” blog with many different posts.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved
Probably a breeding female. Or a napping one…

Now for some frogs…

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved There was a lot of plants around acting as some sort of natural filter

©Giliell, all rights reserved

And finally a water lily. There be fairies.

©Giliell, all rights reserved Off focus but too pretty

©Giliell, all rights reserved No, absolutely no post production on this one.

Baby Ravens are Adorable

We’ve gotten some wonderful pictures of baby ravens from Anne, Cranky Cat Lady. Her daughter Emily Davis took the photos and Anne has been kind enough to share them with us.

…they run from the first time she spotted the nest through their fledging.  They were still being fed by the parents at that point, even though they were almost adult-sized.

These are your basic Common Raven (Corvus corax), also known as the Northern Raven.  The nest was in La Jolla, on the UC San Diego campus in Southern California

May 16/19, ©Emily Davis, all rights reserved

[Read more…]

The Art of Book Design: Little Curiosity, The Story of a German Christmas

J.M. Callwell. Little Curiosity, The Story of a German Christmas. London (Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dublin), Blackie and Son, 1884.

Surprise! It’s July 25 –  the perfect day for mid-summer Christmas. I love that this cover has none of the usual trappings that appear on later books about the season. There’s no snow, no crèche, no tinseled tree and nary a gift in sight – just a happy little bird singing.


via: University of Florida Digital Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries


The Art of Book Design: The Book of Saints & Friendly Beasts

Abbie Farwell Brown. The Book of Saints and Friendly Beasts. Illustrated by Fanny Cory. Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1900.

A children’s book full of stories about Christian saints and their friendships with animals. The stories are very loosely based on legends, but the author has spun them into fantastic folk tales of adventure. Abbie Farwell Brown was a prolific writer and published many children’s books, including a book about the Norse Gods. I rather like the idea of making fictional stories of the saints. I think it strips them of power and makes them easier to dismiss as merely characters in a children’s book, like Cinderella or Red Riding hood.

Unlike the graphic artwork in most books about Christian saints, the illustrations in this book are charming and sweet and very typical of their time at the height of the Art Nouveu period. My favourite drawing is St. Bridget & the King’s Wolf, followed closely by the energetic Saint Keneth and the Gulls.

[Read more…]


Avalus has an eye for the small things of this world and it seems he also has an eye-out.

This little fella’ was hopping on the sidewalk next to a shop. I warded it from traffic and overly curious people that try to touch it for about ten minutes. It tried to fly but only managed big hops until eventually it succeeded and flew away.

Birdy ©Avalus, all rights reserved

The Art of Book Design: Illustrated book of Poultry

Martin Doyle. The Illustrated Book of Domestic Poultry. Philadelphia, Porter & Coates, 1892.

Because chickens are beautiful. And it’s what’s for dinner tonight.

Black Breasted Malay

Ghou Rook Rumple (Silk Fowl Chicken)


via: The Internet Archive, where you can view all the illustrations, including the ducks and geese.

The Return of the Mocking Kites

I mentioned this before, and it bears repeating. These birds have a wicked sense of humor.
This time, two of them have shown up, and when I came out with the camera, one of them started to drift closer and closer and lower and lower, until it was circling right above me. But at the time it was right above me, it was so close, that its angular speed was too high for me to be able to keep track of it. So I only have a few blurry pictures from afar. As usual.

©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.