Sunday, 30 August 2009

Blue-tinted Ritual

At the beginning of summer, we bought a bird bath and put it in a corner of our backyard. I was hoping to attract a few birds so I could watch them in the comfort of my home, while helping them by providing a regular source of fresh water.

Not only did my little bath appeal to birds, but it became the main attraction in my backyard. I discovered that each species of birds have their own schedule, and sure as a clock, they show up in groups at the same hour every day. The most common visitors in my yard are Black-capped Chickadees and Blue Jays, the latter being the easiest to photograph as they are bigger and more colorful. I haven't yet found the way to make good pictures of dark colored chickadees with my new camera, but I am working on it.

I picked a few pictures to illustrate the ritual of my dear blue jays:

Watching from the nearby trees to make sure all is safe;

Perching on the bath, double-checking for safety. One false movement from the photographer and off he goes;

Quickly taking one big sip;

Rising high to swallow;

When we're lucky, birdie will hop in the bath;

And splash water everywhere;

Just out of the bath, getting back his composure;

And off he goes, back in the trees to get dry and plan the next visit.

Happy bird-watching!


Friday, 7 August 2009

Simple Treat

It's funny how I collect tons of fancy cookie recipes, thinking that somewhere out there is the ultimate treat and hoping that I may come across it. What is even funnier is that whenever I feel like baking cookies, although I consider trying new and promising recipes, I always come back to the same old, comfortable ones, like these peanut butter cookies above. They've become a classic at home, and the pleasure of seeing my boyfriend's eyes sparkle, when he walks in and sees his favorites on the cooling rack, is worth all the fancy recipes in the world.

Enjoy the weekend!


Monday, 3 August 2009

A Walk Around my Yard

Its sunny and hot this afternoon, why don't you come for a little walk around my backyard with me?

Nasturtiums always make me smile, year after year. These flowers really mean summer to me;

Staghorn Sumac may have strange and uninteresting flowers, but its leaves turning bright orange in the fall are a real show;

This tree is a little mystery to me, I do not know what it is called. However, I never cease to admire it, from its abundant pink blooms in the spring to its scarlet berries in late summer;

And this is one of the reasons why I have so many birds in my backyard, food for all those little fruit lovers;

And some for me too, like these wild raspberries growing under the cedars;

Apples in my neighbour's yard. These won't be any good to eat, but they make a great splash of colour in the fall, and the flowers were such a treat for the eyes and the nose earlier this year;

Look who I found, hiding under the apple tree!

And this little Blue Jay might be the reason for the cat's presence...

This little guy is a real cutie, I found him hiding under the stock flowers;

And last, but not least, this is my little miracle: lupins that I started from seeds in the spring are giving me late blooms while I did not expect any before next year.