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Posts Tagged ‘red squirrel’

It’s a little bit funny, this feeling inside…….

The snow has melted and left us with these feelings of expectation. Each day we look for the signs. We scrutinise the grass for sprouts of green and dig around the shrubs just in case new life might be hiding there. The temperatures are deceptive. We are teased with blasts from the polar vortex followed by the odd warm spring day. But we don’t mind as the warm days are such a reprieve. We have bravely packed away all the heavy coats right to the back of the closet. It is a point of no return!

Nature reminds us that new life is on its way. We spotted the sleek mink at the bottom of our garden. It dived excitedly into the clear river and inspected the bounty of food. Tiny minnows darted for cover. The graceful creature swam with purpose and was soon sunning himself on the rocks, content and delighted with his discovery. Not sure where Mrs Mink was hiding out as she was missing out on all the fun. Through the winter we would often see the tell-tale signs of tracks up from the river into our back garden. One of those was the Eastern Cottontail rabbit. It has been around throughout the winter and provided much amusement in an otherwise seemingly lifeless vista. According to Germanic myth Eostre, the goddess of spring, created a rabbit by transforming a bird. Ever since this unusual conception, all rabbits and hares have laid eggs during the week of Easter to thank Eostre and to celebrate their ancestry.

Our cheeky Easter bunny

Our cheeky Easter bunny

Our graceful mink

Our graceful mink

See I’ve forgotten if they’re green or blue….

Our regular pair of Mallard ducks are back and have been setting up a nest for the new arrivals. The handsome male with his luminescent green head is a sight to behold! His head catches the filtered light through the leafless trees. He waddles up and down gathering twigs unaware of the human appreciation. Every now and again he looks up as if to keep an eye out for Red Tailed Hawk. He is splendid with his large frame of about 60 centimeters. This king of the food chain reigns in our back yard and sends many shudders down the backs of our array of ‘kleinwild.’ The vocal and fearless Red Squirrel stamps his feet and flicks his tail. The hawk does not flinch as he knowingly takes in this tiny pile of cheek…..all of 250 grams of body weight. He gets away with it as the hawk realises that this little creature is but a mere aperitif!

The Mallard couple

The Mallard couple

A scrap of cheek....

A scrap of cheek….

King of all he surveys....

King of all he surveys….

And you can tell everybody this is your song
it may be quite simple, but now that it’s done
I hope you don’t mind, I hope you don’t mind that I put down in words
How wonderful life is now you’re in the world.

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

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It is a new year and resolutions abound! You cannot get away from it at all. Bill boards offer special deals at local gyms and televisions scream at you to try their ‘fat reducing products.’ A few weeks ago they were encouraging us to partake of all the festive goodies now they are trying to get us to shed the excess. That’s marketing for you! It is obviously effective, as I have heard from a reliable source that you cannot move in our local ‘sweat room.’  It is crammed with ‘do gooders’ and the regulars wait for the rush to wear off…….as it usually does.

Our resident red squirrel

Our resident red squirrel

As the grey days of January chill us to the bone, it is refreshing to experience the spirit of hope and renewal. A few animals have begun to venture out again having been snowed in for weeks. I have moved my writing table to the front room where I watch the comings and goings in my front garden. My resident red squirrel has a skip in his gait. He enthusiastically scurries about collecting up his stashed summer loot. He has taken to sitting at the front door on one of my chairs……utterly at home. He peers in the windows and has noticed my new position. He cheekily makes eye contact and flicks his tail my way. Maybe he has noticed the red fox that has been lurking around. Apparently they are partial to a bit of squirrel meat!

Our red fox

Our red fox

But the little creature that enchanted me the most is our resident ladybird. She has set up home in the kitchen on our window sill. I first noticed her in October last year before it became cold. She came inside and stayed! I did try to coax her out through the window but she was having nothing of it. I say ‘she’ as I like to think that a female has joined me in this all male household! Apparently she is an exotic and is known as the Multicoloured Asian Ladybug. They were brought into the US and released in Washington in the 1920’s to control the aphid population. They made their way up the coast and many have set themselves up here in Ontario. What a resourceful and resilient creature. She disappears for weeks at a time and then pops up to renew her acquaintance with the household. The French champagne brought her out last time. This lady has taste!

Lydia the ladybug

Lydia the ladybug

So we navigate through another new year with resolutions, renewed enthusiasm and the anticipation of the year ahead. A holly branch from our garden surprised me the other day. I had picked the stem 2 weeks before Christmas and it stood in water in the kitchen over the festive season.Well, it is covered in tiny white flowers…..and it has no roots either! Surely this burst of new growth is indicative of the exciting times that lie ahead!

They appeared out of nowhere.....tiny white flowers.

They appeared out of nowhere…..tiny white flowers.

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