This is just a quick gallery of the pictures I have taken since early February, mostly birds with some ice, lichen and a snowdrop.
I have posted over half of these pictures on Twitter but, since I do a print version of this blog for a few people who don’t use the Internet, I thought I’d better get caught up. I haven’t been doing as many pictures over the winter as things don’t change much in the garden, although this year has been weird, with not much snow and very wild temperature swings from -20ºC to +15 in a single week. Not having the snow makes it worse as the snow insulation takes the edge of the swings. We’re having May weather in March.
On one of the -20ºs swings it got cold enough for fur hats, but only for one day. It’s from Russia, thanks to my sister-in-law, Lily; warm at -40º.
It’s Charlie’s birthday party in mid-February, so we went to Toronto. He seems to know almost everyone in Toronto, there was at least one floor of the bar full of his friends.
Next are some of the birds that stay around for the winter,
One day, we had a huge flock of American Goldfinches, around 200. All our trees and bushes were full of them.
Mourning doves are regulars, but we hadn’t seen quite this many in the one tree at once, they’re usually only a few. These are not peace doves, they’re quite aggressive with other birds. Even the blue jays keep a careful eye on them when they’re within beak range.
We had an ice storm and lost power for a few hours. It came back just as the house was getting cold and I was downstairs getting ready to light the wood stove which we keep for emergencies and to start the generator for a few lights and recharge batteries. We should look into getting it set up to run the furnace fan.
Next are the same trees, slightly out of focus so you can see the rainbows. I can’t capture how they were with the naked eye, because it took a little bit of motion to make them sparkle. I should have shot some video.
The next wasn’t the one that took our power out because ours was back on by the time we ventured out.
The sharp-shinned hawk sat here spreading its wings and shaking them. It was still hunting through the ice rain falling.
The next one is from my home brewing. The sanitizing fluid made large bubbles in the carboy I use for fermenting .
These pixie cup lichen are very pretty. Almost a garden by themselves. On my high-resolution original, you can zoom in to see tiny cups within these larger ones. Fractal.
The next is a tree branch that had fallen but not touched the ground, so these fungi look like they’re cascading off the end. The green is from algae that live within the fungus. I don’t know if the fungus gets energy from the photosynthesis or not. Since lichen are fungus with algal partners, these are part way there but not with the same species.
Finally, a much-magnified (4mm=0.15″) flower from summer savory, which I had growing this winter in my plant case. But didn’t get enough leaves to use as herbs.