Monday, February 28, 2011

Birds galore!

Since yesterday's weather proved to be much nicer than what was originally predicted, I went to the Montreal Botanical Gardens. At one of the feeders I saw a bird that I thought was a Pine Grosbeak until I got home and looked at the pictures on the computer (next time I should bring my binoculars!). It was a "first year" male White-winged Crossbill. This is a bird I have been hoping to see for years. I knew it had been sighted in the Gardens but I had never been lucky enough to see one until now! Its pink and yellow plumage (very exotic looking to me) will change to a deep pink.

I also saw House Finches, Redpolls, Juncos, Chickadees, Nuthatches and a Cardinal. It was a great day!

White-winged Crossbill

House Finches (male and female)


Sunday, February 20, 2011

The crow

I saw many crows today on Mount Royal. They were uncharacteristically quiet. However they reminded me of a poem I wrote a few years ago.

In case the print is too small on the photo below to be legible, here it is:


I walk along the wind-blown path
With leaves strewn at my feet -
The trees are bent from nature’s wrath
There’s someone I must meet.

And as the thought comes to my mind
A windsong brings a crow
Which ‘lights upon a branch and I’m
To learn what I must know.

“It’s time,” she says, “for you to fly
You’ve been given many a feather.
Try out your wings and touch the sky
You’ve long lost any tether.

Leave all the sorrows of long past days
Rush now, the future’s calling.
All wounds have healed, now turn your gaze
There is no risk of falling.

Remember that it’s me the crow
Who’s helped you find your wings.
I’m there when soft or strong winds blow
No matter what life brings.”

Monday, February 7, 2011


Here is a short video clip taken in the spring of 2009 of a mother Woodchuck and her babies. One baby is determined to wrestle down a particularly ornery root! Mum has a look of resignation as her young ones tumble and play fight around her and she gives a deep sigh at one point. On another occasion she springs to attention when hearing a noise - always ready to defend her young!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Common birds

Sometimes we overlook the beauty of what we consider to be "common". The birds depicted here all fall under that category but if we look closely, are they not quite exquisitely beautiful?

It's always a good idea to look at everyday things with "new" eyes once in awhile and thus appreciate what is right under our noses or outside our windows.

The starling

The sparrow

The robin