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May 17

Spring colours - a passing parade

It’s been a grey couple of days leading into the long weekend, enlivened by extremely colourful birds.
The Goldfinches, of course, bright little yellow lanterns in the rain. A pack of Baltimore Orioles, attracted by some cut oranges, their colour eclipsing that of the fruit. A House Finch, richly red. And a pair of male Indigo Buntings in deep blue, shimmering, absolutely shimmering in the setting sun that decided to brighten up the end of the day.
I want to know where my hummingbirds are. Read more
Apr 16

Spring sparrows, spring peregrines, spring bears

There were much better pickings elsewhere in the thawing garden, so many of my avian familiars had disappeared. But yesterday the landscape turned white again, the snow was blustering and they were back in force – aided and abetted by newly arrived, extremely boisterous American Tree Sparrows in greater numbers than I have seen here before.

Juncos, Goldfinches and Chickadees mingled with the newcomers – which included female Brownheaded Cowbirds. The latter huddled together on the feeder ledges, looking miserable and ignoring the advances of the males that have been here for a week.

Across the county, people took note of a feeding frenzy outside their windows. Some logged on to the Simcoe Nature Board to report Fox Sparrows, Song Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows, Purple Finches, Cardinals, Evening Grosbeaks, and many more.Read more
Mar 31

Beauty flourishes in dry shade

The redwing blackbirds are back, the grass is greening where the snow has begun to melt off and it's time to think about gardening in tricky situations. Let us consider shade.

The truth is, there are plants for every spot on the planet and some of our great garden performers don't care for sun and rich humusy soil. So shade can be wonderful.

Let's assume your shade, like that of most of us, comes with dry ordinary soil and has some dappled light. Read more