Acting Naturally.

 As Spring slowly, slowly unfolds this year the lessons Nature
wishes us to learn become apparent.
Things are seldom simple.
And  they are seemingly not what they seem.
First and foremost, Nature is in complete charge.
If She wishes that there be snowstorms in April, so be it. 
This is not about You.
Well, that's not quite true. You will learn how quickly hordes of little tiny Common Redpolls can empty a feeder full of niger. And you may also learn how much better off you'd be if you'd only taken advantage of the bird seed sales last week!
Should have done that.

The camera that was on sale just after Christmas would have captured the feeding frenzy a little better too, proving Nature's lesson that he (or she)
who hesitates is lost generally pays more.

You may also learn that if you must take a picture through screening, then you should have installed the lighter coloured screen and not the black stuff.
Yes, Nature helps us to see many things more clearly.
There is an art to seeing.
If you are a Hermit Thrush you need to blend in and be almost invisible in front of your prey. If you're a human trying to capture a Hermit Thrush with a camera you need to be quick. And lucky.

Sometimes you really can't see the forest for the trees. And  what you think is  a leaf is in fact a Purple Finch. This was  a lucky shot, only discovered after
the fact, with the aid of the digital magnifier.
Nature doesn't need one of those. Ever. She knows exactly how things
are meant to be in order to blend in, you dull earthling dolt. 

Of course, being in complete control of this little blue planet, third from the sun, Nature is not always nasty. In fact, after proving beyond every single solitary reasonable doubt just who's in charge, She  usually sends us something breathtakingly beautiful.
A Loon calling plaintively throughout the night, searching for completion.
There is no nicer Evensong.

And just to be very sure you get every lesson you need to learn, the occasional oddity will be tossed in your direction. Just to make sure you're paying attention. That in the midst of chaos, you've kept your sense of humour.

Believe me.
Until we accept that Nature's in charge here,
and learn how to live within our means,
we're going to be needing it.

Happy Earth Day.


This is a Whine Tour

While winter still insists on scratching it's cold brittle limbs against the window and pelting us with what would be rain if it weren't ice, it's a good time to at least think about birding.

One lovely mellow day last fall I went for a drive through the rich plains leading down to the river - an area of lush farm fields and ditches overflowing with tasty treats for wandering warblers, sparrows, and hawks on high.

It's an old area, on the edge of the Canadian Shield and hunted by the Algonquin over 6000 years ago.  Samuel de Champlain lost his astrolabe near here on one of his visits, and the Voyageurs plied the many lakes and rivers, laden with baubles and beads to trade for furs to warm the tops and bottoms of  European royalty.  Over time it became a destination for Irish, Scottish, Polish, German, and French settlers, hoping to escape famine in Europe in the early 1800's.
The day of my drive, the sun was warm, and lazy bees were making slow work of the meadows, lopsided and laden with pollen, they bobbed beside me,
while bright beady eyes followed their movements.
The Yellow Rumped Warbler is one of the first warblers
to appear in the spring, his cute little butter bum seen flitting
in the bushes and along the edges of fields.

The Song Sparrow is one of the first sparrows to make it back to the Valley. I know for a fact that they have returned, because I've heard then calling out and heralding the rites of Spring. Although I suspect that today
they are hunkered down, hopefully inside a barn out of the wind and rain.
Most likely wondering when the sun is going to shine, and wishing they'd lingered
a little longer  on the  south side of Lake Ontario!

Here in the middle of winter, a day of rain and temperatures hovering around 0 would have everyone saying things like, " Wow, is it ever mild!"
But in April?? Not so much....
Oh crap!
I have just proven, again, that Canadians  will always find
some way to talk about the weather.
Must BE the weather that causes this national trait!


Little Goosey Gander

Little Goosey Gander
Wither do you wander?
In the master's chamber.

(Who dreamt up that little ditty? What could it possibly mean?)

I have no idea what it means! But I do know that over the years, given all the crap and oil and crap and oil that has been placed in the way of all creatures great and small, I have developed a profound respect for any thing with wings who manages to fly by me!

Welcome back  Canada Goose, my  personal harbinger of Spring.

Honkkkk...honkk...hey You! Featherbrain? You listenin' to me?


for more views of the skies around this world, check out


Channeling Dean Martin

Begin humming:
Memories Are Made of This

Take one gentle Cuban night
(Sweet, sweet memories you gave- a me)
Add one restaurant that felt right
(Sweet, sweet memories you gave- a me)

Then add a lobster tail
Some shrimp and rice as well
Strange little vanilla bean for flavour

Stir in an artist's stare
Three pesos to show you care
These are the dreams we will savour
(Sweet, sweet the memories you gave-a me
Can't beat the memories you gave-a me)

What happened to my hair?
Your eyes are brown, you shouldn't stare
(Sweet, sweet the memories Filito gave us)

Out of no where came the band
House in N' Orleans with a Cuban hand
Oh, the evening it was grand

Fold in lightly with the tunes
(Sweet sweet, the memories you gave-a me)
See some art and then the moon
(Sweet sweet, the memories you gave-a me)

One cab, one ride
One beach , one tide
Memories are made of this!

Buenos Noches!