A Kestrel on Fire

I am glad for the photo-op late in the evening, but I hope this was just a brief pause between murderings of voles who are a scourge of my garden. I haven’t seen kestrels or signs of them near my garden last year at all, but this year I have seen at least two individuals, and that is a good sign. The voles infestation used to be less severe when they were around regularly – when I often found their feathers and pellets of undigested food.

I never thought I will miss the times when I had fresh bird vomit in my garden all the time, but those really were the good times.

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

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

Jack’s Walk

Sugar Maples at Ye Olde Sugar Shanty © Voyager, all rights reserved (click photo to see it full-size. You can do that with all of our photos!)

This building is a fully functional sugar shanty, just like the sign says.  The syrup is boiled over a wood fire, and it’s my favourite maple brand because it carries a hint of Bubba, who pees on all the trees. Sugar maples do more than make good syrup, though. In autumn, they have the most vibrant colours of any tree around, and they make the landscape into a brilliant work of art.

Degupdate: They Do Run Run Run, They Do Run, Run, Run

The new degu run is set up now and Candy just loves getting out. When we come to Degustan she’ll go downstairs and wait for the door to be opened. then she takes a longer or shorter stroll before returning. By now she has deemed me fully safe. The degus love to run, and in doing so, they slow me down, as I spend some time sitting quietly.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

We tied a few old T-shirts against the door to close the gap so no degu gets hurt falling down. Of course they#re also playthings and the string is a highly sought plaything.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Looks like a leaf but isn’t edible! Cheating!

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Hi friends!

Estelle is coming around. Candy does actively encourage her to go outside and today she even sniffed my hand. We’re getting there.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

The obvious advantage is that it’s much easier to take pics of careful Estelle than of whirlwind Candy.

But talking about “sitting down”: As I sat crosslegged today for 45 minutes, barely moving, I managed to cut off circulation in my feet to the extend that when I got up, I fell flat on my ass again. Thankfully the degus were inside by then and all I suffered was a laughing attack at my own stupidity and a headache.

Jack’s Walk

© Voyager, all rights reserved

I’m in one of those periods where my brain doesn’t want to write. It doesn’t want to read, either, which is a bitch, and math is simply out of the question.  It’s a neurological thing related to fibromyalgia, and it comes and goes, but it’s sticking around for the moment. Rather than fight it, I’ve been doing outdoor things and enjoying the season, so this week expect some pretty autumn pictures and not so much storytelling. Jack says hi.

The…. WOODPECKER

Boy was I happy to see this fellow peek over the sunflower’s head and pecking at the seeds. I have planted the sunflowers to feed them to birds anyway, so I do not mind him eating some a bit prematurely. Next year I will plant even more.

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

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

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

Degupdate: Snugglebeasties and DIY

Slowly, the reality of having degus is getting us. No matter how much you read, it’s never going to come close. First of all, the two remaining degus have completely different characters. Candy will come to my hand as soon as I open the door and see if there’s a treat for her. I think before long she’ll ride on our shoulders.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

As a result, Estelle is often missing out on the best treats. She still vanishes either inside the house or behind it and will not move any closer to us. Best we managed so far is that she no longer whistles in panic all the time. I try to place the treat near her while Candy is nibbling hers so she can get her nut as well.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

It’s not like I’m worried about her. She’s obviously growing and in good shape, her fur is shiny and silky, and when I sit down and just watch from a distance, she is active and interacting with Candy.

©Giliell, all rights reserved The picture quality is sadly very bad as there wasn’t much light.

I love watching them. I just sit in an armchair for 15 minutes and watch them “talk” to each other, take a sand bath, or try to destroy Degustan. It’s so relaxing. It also makes me think of Caine a lot and her ratitude.

But talking about the reality: The People Who Tell You About Degus insisted that you can let them run in your room for an hour every day. After the two escapes by Estelle and the one by Candy it’s become clear that this is not an option. The room has way too many places where a degu can vanish and even possibly hurt herself. Also capturing them before they’re totally tame would always mean extreme amounts of stress for the degus, not to mention the risk of being savaged by degu teeth. But there’s also useful ideas on the internet and one lady just built a barrier to give them a bigger run but also protect the room.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

It’s foldable and can be put away when not needed, but I’ll need to do something about the light.

Oh,a nd since the temperatures are getting lower, I bought them a “snuggle safe” heating pad. It gets heated in the microwave and then keeps the warmth for several hours. I much prefer that to a heating lamp, especially over night or when we’re not home. The degus absolutely love it and I can only recommend it if your pet could do with a how water bottle occasionally.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

A Corvid at work

Something new from Avalus,

Then there was a crow, trying to open a walnut. I first took the photos and then a short film. And then my battery died the very moment the crow had enough of my staring.

© Avalus, all rights reserved

© Avalus, all rights reserved

© Avalus, all rights reserved

And now, Avalus’ little movie. There’s a bit of wind noise, so you may want to turn our volume down.

 

Jack’s Walk

Jack and I haven’t been to the park for a while, so we thought we’d take a stroll around the duck pond today. We went expecting our usual quiet, contemplative walk but found a dusty, noisy construction site instead. The city has finally decided to fix the small concrete bridge that links the park across Cedar Creek, and the sound of heavy machinery and jackhammering filled the park. The construction also meant that Jack and I had to content ourselves with half of the duckpond, so we chose the east side because there’s less goose poop. We went slowly to accommodate Jack’s stiffening hips and shoulders, but he was full of curiosity, and his nose didn’t stop. Every fallen leaf was thoroughly assessed, and as we moved along, Jack would look up and bark harmlessly at the geese. It was more “Hello!” than “Hey, you!” and the geese knew it, and didn’t flinch. Despite the noise and gloomy skies, we enjoyed the outing and lingered by the pond while discussing the coming winter. Jack has been asking for an electric blanket, and his argument is sound, so I’m going to order one for him as a surprise. Maybe he’ll let me share it now and then. But the winter is still off on the horizon, and for today we’ll just occupy this moment of colourful, beautiful fall.

Jack’s Walk

© Voyager, all rights reserved

It’s been another beautiful day around here, and Jack and I spent most of it outdoors again. We started the day with a bit of gardening and then spent the afternoon taking a slow walk in the woods. Mr. V joined us, and it turned into a pleasant family outing, taking in the best of the season and meandering our way home down a few country roads. I had to stop and say hi to this small herd, who were quietly cutting the grass in this home’s front yard. They were friendly and curious and not at all bothered by Jack’s excited calls of ‘Hello, I’m Jack. What’s your name?”

The cows made me think about ice cream, so we stopped at Dairy Queen on the way home, and we had ice cream before dinner. Which is meatloaf. Don’t tell the cows.

© Voyager, all rights reserved