Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Another shot from last week.
The magnifying properties of raindrops. 

"The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk.
The rain makes running pools in the gutter.
The rain plays a little sleep-song on our roof at night -
And I love the rain."

                                April Rain Song
                                                Langston Hughes

Sunday, May 29, 2011

I changed some settings and
I am able to comment on my blog now.
I am still having trouble commenting
on some external blogs.

Last week we had days of rain.

"The rain is raining all around,
It falls on field and tree,
It rains on the umbrellas here,
And on the ships at sea."

Robert Louis Stevenson

Thursday, May 26, 2011


I noticed this the other day. It started with
a pair of crow in a tree being circled  by a
third. this went on for a minute or two finally
the two crows moved so they were sitting
side by side while the third continued to
circle closer

This seems to excite a magpie who appears.
hops up the truck and then finally launches
itself at the crows. Eventually everyone leaves.

"What if
the mockingbird came into the house with you and
became your advisor?"

                              How Would You Live Then
                                              Mary Oliver

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Last week before the rain

Leaving for work.

The jackrabbits like to sit with their backs
against the spruce trees in our front yard with
their backs to the street. This renders them
invisible. I like to reassure them by saying
"I can't see you" as I go by.

At lunch I meet a much more assertive robin.

"To pay attention, this is our endless
and proper work."

                      Yes! No!
                                    Mary Oliver

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Friday morning about 7:30 I ran into a small flock
of Chipping Sparrows.  I was surprised they had not
paired off yet.

"No method nor discipline can supersede the
necessity of being forever on the alert,"

                       Henry David Thoreau

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Friday I went back to the pond to see if the more
"exotic" ducks were still around the Gadwell pair was
gone but the American Widgeon pair was there.

They were preening and washing for all they were worth.

A Mallard got too close to the male which led to a display
of I'm bigger than you when I stand on tippee toe. By this
point the female has gone to join the Canadian Geese and
other Mallards to see if the lunch crowd could spare a
sandwich. The Mallard seemed unimpressed.

" he would share the feelings and adventures of
the part of him that was universal and curious.
The part that was travelling, experiencing,
knowing the lives of things. Things like wheels,
like swings. One more bustling soul out there
looking for what to do next."

A Wheel in the Desert, the Moon on Some Swings
                           Jonathan Carroll

Saturday, May 21, 2011

After a trip to the garden centre to get
plants for the pots. Shaun inspects the haul.

"Perfection caught in the amber of our days
Jewels the life; on the offended thread
We hang the instants of the soul's surprise"

                           As Flowers Are
                                            Stanley Kunitz

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I went down to my local park yesterday
expecting my usual Mallards and
Canadian geese. But I also found
a pair of Gadwall.

And a pair of American Wigeon

I also went back to the shrubs for some more
wasps and bees.

The insect in the shots below
appears to be a Hover Fly.

"Tiny antennae and flattened abdomen."
Bugs of Alberta

"Hoverflies are harmless to most other animals
despite their mimicry of the black and yellow
stripes of wasps, which serves to ward off predators."


The larva eat aphids and other pests so they are
used as a biocontrol.

"The insect world appealed to Fabre.
I find the insect world macabre.
In every hill of ants I see
A governed glimpse of what shall be"

                                     Creeps and Crawls                                 
               Ogen Nash

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I went down to the park on Tuesday and there they
were finally, insects, a selection of bees and wasps.
Despite having most of  the books of J.H. Fabre and
Edwin Way Teale and spending part of my youth
with a jam jar ( catch and release only )
I am still not great with names, I am still looking
through Sibley for the tree as well. (hints welcome)
The first is a small bee or small wasp.

The next two photos are of a Western Yellow Jacket?

I have always just called these Bumble Bees

"Dear insects, my study of you has sustained
me and continues to sustain me in my heaviest
trials; I must take leave of you for to-day.
The ranks are thinning around me and the
long hopes have fled. Shall I be able to speak
of you again ? "

Bramble-Bees & Others
                        J.H. Fabre

The footnote mentions that after this passage
he wrote another seven volumes on insects.

I have been travelling a bit again. On May 9th we
had some very welcome visitors a small group of
White-Crowned Sparrows.

"They catch your eye early, those rising black
Out of the water oaks at dusk or those skimmimg
The grey lakes at dawn. You know you must learn
Them by name,"

                                          For Stephen Drawing Birds
                                                        Pattiann Rogers

Sunday, May 15, 2011

"Let us hope

it will always be like this
each of us going on
in our inexplicable ways
building a universe."

                   Song of the Builders
                             Mary Oliver