Thursday, February 27, 2014


 Snow is melting. Attention turns to the fence.Everything that moves, flies, purrs, woofs, goes to the fence it seems. Sun is out.It's warm ,warm.
 This scene is no more more. Lasted one day. Then the warm west coast winds and sun melted it into oblivion.  Untouched photo, by the way. It sort of just took itself.  I just stood there and almost didn't take it, thinking it wouldn't come out.
 Back to the fence. There is another cat . Been around for a while. Lives on the street behind. Tuxedo.  Sits on the fence, out of reach of the melting snow.
 The snow that barracaded us in on the hill. No cars. No plows. Just snow.  Imagine trudging up and down this with groceries, bags and bags of garbage, recycling, donations for Sally Ann, including an old ironing board you could have used as a ski....
 Imagine seeing this every snowy morning. Smokey. Usually Spencer is there. Smokey and his gold eyes, pressed up against the kitchen window. "Hallloooooo, hallooooooo....snack?"
 Imagine Currier and Ives type scene in the neighbourhood. Right outside your door. No plow. Again.
 And a distant cousin who came to visit for the afternoon. Didn't stay long. Said she was melting away. We should all look that good.
  And the Varied Thrushes. Skads of them. Hanging from branches. When everything is in leaf, or bloom, they won't be so easy to see...they have great camo.....
  Tuxedo cat has discovered sitting on the fence he/she can stay out of Spencer's way, but still appreciate the birds at a distance. Smart cat.
 But , cats and all,  Thrushes seem to be thriving. So far, no other cat has gone after them. I don't think. Unfortunately, you can't blame the cats. It's instinct.  It's the way it is.
 Oblivious Thrushes  seem to like the fence best. Perched high. Enough to see  dawn over the trees.Dawn comes earlier ever day...hard to catch.
 And the doggie behind, could finally see over the fence to see Smokey.
                 Woof woof. Woof.  WOoooooof. Smokey just laughs at him. Big tease.
 Eventually, Smokey and Spencer came back to the house. One to flop, one to stand on the fence near the kitchen window and peer in.
One who looks like he owns the place. Can't take a step outside without a cat underfoot.....
                                        So, between the Thrushes.........................
                       and the cats..................and the dog....and the fence
                                   and the sunrises..................and the melting snow, it looks like we're just about back to normal.........................

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Saving Thrushes

 I love Varied Thrushes. Beautiful. Gentle. Sweet. Today, I heard one scream. Up until today I had listened to them singing to each other . Little songs. Choruses. Melodic. Today I heard one scream in terror. One thought: Cat.
 Placid and gentle, they just totter around from twig to fence to ground. Searching out food. They come down from the mountains in winter, and eat seeds to supplement their diet.
 Today, Smokey, in early morning, decided to catch one. Even he was surprised by the screams. Sounded like a child . More child than bird. Poor cat was only doing what he does naturally.....
 I ended up capturing the wounded Thrush with a shovel. And some snow along with it.Not knowing what to do at first, I dumped it into a garbage bag just to get it away from Smokey.  In the bag, it calmed down. But then I was left with a goodly sized bird. And it couldn't stay in the plastic bag.
 Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society, based out of Merville , told me that the Campbell River Vet Hospital was a drop off point for injured birds. The Rescue Society gave us instructions as to what to do. Morgan and I transferred the Thrush into a paper garden bag, with a towel for it to cling to. The Vet was open. They took the bird from us. Quite happy that it had been rescued. I was told that birds need to have antibiotics if they have been mauled by cats, or they will die.
 Vet determined that the bird was able to be saved. Mountainaire Rescue  ( out of their Courtenay office)  picked up the Thrush. All that, for one bird. Mountainaire Rescue for this part of Vancouver Island can be reached at 250-337-2021.It's motto is "To conserve, protect and rehabilitate native wildlife."
 Was worth the little bit of effort to save just one Thrush. When we wrapped it in a towel to put into the bag, we held it for a moment. It wasn't screaming anymore. Was just quiet. Had a chance to see this lovely bird up close. My wonderful friends that live in our back yard right now. When winter goes, they will vanish back up into the mountains.  Long long bill, bright colouring,long feet, chubby body. Beautiful , beautiful bird. And he's going to live. That just made my day.....

Monday, February 24, 2014

Fascinating Snow.....

Rest of the country has had it's fill of snow. We've just got  snow. It's still new. Exciting. Fresh.Fascinating. Aren't we strange?  Until it starts to get runny. Until then we can't get enough.
Snow by day is still beautiful. Meringue piled every which way. Makes me want to make a lemon meringue pie.
                                                                                   A fort is a must. Neighbours across the way spent two days  sculpting. Using a recycling bin to pack in the snow. Then dumping it out and wetting it down to make it stick. Oh, Can-a-da.....We find it fascinating.
                  Equally fascinating:  Spencer loves the birdbath,. Not the snow. He doesn't hang around. He toddles off. He gets his treat. Shakes his paws.Looks mournful and off he heads for home. Can't say I blame him.
                                           And the snow packs down. Later on it snowed today, and did not stop.

Varied Thrushes are fascinated by all the seeds under bushes. They are sweet things. The little birds are not afraid of them. They all seem to share. Perching.Stuffing themselves silly.
                                                                                       And the trees hang under the weight...........
                                Backyard is got even more buried a couple of hours later.We only see this kind of snow once every couple of years. It's a novelty. Everything stands still in town. Stores are empty. It's the topic of conversation at the Feed Store..................
  I only went for bird seed. I should have bought a plow. Instead I got 120 Kg of bird seed and some packets of kitty I ask you, is that dedication, or what?
And Smokey was very happy that he got treats. In the snow. He likes the snow. He likes to play tag with you. In the snow. He gets a treat for playing tag. He swishes his tail. I tell him how lovely he is.

And the Thrush keep coming for seeds. Still stuffing themselves as fast as possible. Little balls of orange.

 And we are still fascinated by the snow.We're pretending that we live in the Maritimes. This is pretend snow ( even though it looks real).  Slide. Swoosh. Screech. Crunch. Slither all the way back down the hill towards home. But at night when  lights hit the's looks magical.

Sunday, February 23, 2014


 Everybody has them. Relatives. Distant ones.  They come without warning. They bring their dog.
                  They insist upon standing outside in the snow..........B.C. snow is so elusive. Such wonderful cool air, they say.
                        Better for the complexion , so they say.
                         They won't wear their coats outside...............cause they want to experience the essence of snow. Be at one with the snowflakes.
       Their eyes grow huge at the sight of snowflakes. They insist upon bananas and carrots, for noses.
          Their dog is named "Oreo". Aptly chosen cause his eyes look like oreos. And they are....
 Finally, they put on hats and scarves. For the photo, they insist.
      Their dog barks a lot. He piddles on the snow.
                Finally they want a "before and after" shot..................eyes big, in this brand new world.
           Trees laden with snow. Looks like Christmas. They put on their hats and scarves for a nice family photo. To show their cousins back home.So nice to see the distant relatives enjoy themselves.......till the rain comes and they'll want rain coats...