Jul 29, 2019

Malariology Monday

malariology ~ study of malaria

It’s been a busy couple of weeks, I tell you what! Summer is well under way with the weather alternating sunny and hot with damp and hotter. I think the hubby has only missed one day of swimming in the pool so far. But for me the best part of summer is road trips.

Last week we took the grandbaby to Reptile World, which is about an hour north of us. This zoo is famous not only for the variety of snakes, turtles and lizards (not to mention the crocodiles and alligators) but for the fact they’re all rescues. One enclosure had 10 -15 alligators, all rescued from some guy’s basement. Seriously! Who in their right mind would keep a congregation of alligators (and yes, that’s the name for a group of them – I looked it up) in their basement?

It’s not a large zoo, but there was a lot to see. The reptile house had the snakes, lizards, and turtles, there was a separate building for the crocodiles and alligators, and scattered throughout the property were enclosures for various tortoises.

While Ellie loved all the creatures she saw and was particularly fascinated by the crocodiles and alligators, her favourites were the turtles.

My favourite, however, were the green snakes. I think there were only two of them in the enclosure, but they were super long and were constantly in motion so it was a little hard to tell.

The other big attraction for kids at this zoo are the dinosaurs:

These dinosaurs are all animated, complete with sound. You can’t really tell from the picture, but in this one the grandbaby is roaring back at the dinosaur. LOL

We also went for a hike on a nature trail inside the park and I do mean hike! The path started on a gentle slope into the woods, then got steeper, and steeper, and steeper. Just when we were starting to wonder if it was going to be uphill both ways, it levelled out for a few yards before coming to a very sketchy looking pile of rocks masquerading as a staircase leading downwards.

According to the map, the trail went down, along the edge of a pond, and then looped back up again. We couldn’t really see very far down, and we were in sandals, so discretion being the better part of valour we turned back.

All in all, it was a fun day. It’s no wonder both the hubby and the grandbaby dozed on the drive home. I would have too if I hadn’t been driving. ;-)

Jul 19, 2019

Something Fishy

There are two very good reasons this picture isn't exactly the best one I've ever taken. One, I shot it through the plastic of the fish tank, and two, the water itself is a little on the murky side.

However, I really wanted a picture of this for posterity. This is Tiddler the Beta. Tiddler, as far as I can tell, is asleep on one of the leaves of the plastic plant in his tank. Tiddler has taken to sleeping here every day lately. I have no idea why - I'm not sure that I want to.

Jul 15, 2019

Milvine Monday

milvine ~ of, like or pertaining to kites and similar birds

Mary, Mary, quite contrary
How does your garden grow?

It’s growing very well, thank you very much. I may not have accomplished the writing I’d planned on doing last week, but I did get some work done on the gardens. Actually, I can’t take all of the credit. Hubby did a lot of work too.

These are green beans – that whole row at the front. And I was able to pick enough of them for the granddaughter to have with supper last night. Behind the beans, almost hidden, are cabbages and broccoli on the left and pumpkins on the right. There are only three pumpkin plants, but there are a lot of blooms on them. Good thing we like pumpkin pie. There are also a few pepper plants hidden in there – whether or not they survive is still anyone’s guess.

This garden plot is a bit of a mess. Starting at the back on the left, we have dill and brandywine tomatoes. Left front are the pea plants that are already producing, a hodge podge of carrots (not my fault! The rain washed the seeds around), and some cherry tomatoes on the right.

The pond garden is finally starting to come together.

I’m not going to tell you how much money we laid out for plants, but at least we were smart enough to spend it on shrubs and perennials. The shrubs went along the back fence, and the perennials went into the pond garden. Even back when we had the smaller pond garden the idea had been to have all permanent plants in there. Let’s face it, it’s a pain in the butt to have to plant annuals every year.

The Moai heads were our gifts to each other for our anniversary. We actually got them a while back. The hubby attached them to cement pads so the wildlife can’t knock them over.

I don’t know how much more ornamentation we’ll be getting for the garden, I think it looks pretty good the way it is now. And we’ll have to wait until next spring to see which plants survive. I suspect this will be an ongoing project.

Meanwhile, the garden needs a name. Something containing the phrase “pond of death” I think. So far we’ve (and by we I mean the hubby) fished out two dead birds, a dead mouse, and a dead chipmunk. The mouse and chipmunk I can understand – they could have slipped in while getting a drink and couldn’t get out again. But the birds? That just doesn’t make sense.

The garden of the pond of death. Hortus Mortis or Mors Stagna perhaps.

Jul 8, 2019

Malagma Monday

malagma ~ emollient plaster

Is it just me or are the birds super annoyingly loud this year?

The dawn chorus doesn’t start at dawn, it starts about a half hour before dawn and takes place right outside my bedroom window. Right now I’m listening to some bird – I can’t see it but I know what tree it’s hiding in – and it just won’t shut up.

There is a family of crows that seem to have taken a liking to the trees at the back of the yard. Or maybe the people that live on that property have been feeding them – I don’t know. That’s one of the pitfalls of a six foot high privacy fence, it makes it hard to be a nosy neighbour.

And as I was sitting at the dining room table having breakfast one morning (it looks out over our deck) I heard one of the most annoying birds making its noise and I looked out and there it sat on the deck railing. My first thought was, how can such a tiny bird make such a loud noise??

We also seem to have a much larger variety of birds than we used to. We’ve always had the robins, red winged blackbirds, grackles, and blue jays, maybe the odd cardinal, but this year I’ve seen orioles, goldfinches, grosbeaks, flickers, and a couple of wood peckers. Those aren’t the only ones I’ve seen, of course, but those are the only ones I could identify.

Maybe it’s time to put the feeder back up. The squirrel population was just starting to make a comeback after the coyotes moved on to better feeding grounds, but the foxes are back so the squirrels have thinned out again. In fact, I’ve been sitting here looking out the deck doors for the last hour and haven’t seen one squirrel – not even in the big trees behind the fence.

Go foxes go! The squirrels are the reason I took down my feeder in the first place. The little tree rats may seem cute at first, but they get very aggressive after they get used to you. I once posted a picture of the squirrel who kept climbing the screen of the deck door, looking for the peanuts I put out for the jays. I’ll take foxes any day!

Hmm. Come to think of it, I haven’t noticed any chipmunks or birds in the back yard either. Do they know something we don’t?

Jul 5, 2019

Fireworks For All!

Oops! I forgot it was Friday (it is Friday, right?) which means I also forgot to post a picture of the week. So seeing as we had both the Canadian and American fireworks holidays this week, I'll give you a couple of bonus pictures. It has nothing to do with the fact I 600 pictures of fireworks. Really. :-D

Jul 1, 2019

Mimosa Monday

mimosa ~ a mixed drink consisting of champagne and orange juice

Happy Canada Day to all my fellow Canadians who have the day off today! And to all my American friends – sucks to be you! You have to wait until next weekend for your holiday. LOL

Traditionally this is the true start of the summer, complete with sunscreen and swimming, parades and barbeques. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, our town hosts an annual arts and crafts fair we call the Waterfront Festival, which draws a large number of people to our small town, swelling the population and mucking up the traffic.

A great deal of the beach was still under water, but Thursday they brought in the heavy earth movers and cleaned up as best they could. I have not been down there yet, but I’m assuming they got the job done.

Not to be out done in the barbeque department, we had one on Saturday for some of the husband’s family that came down from Ottawa. It went very well, if I do say so myself. Everyone seemed to enjoy the food and there were no leftovers – be still my heart! Normally I overestimate the food.

The cousins all get along famously, especially the two little ones. Together with Grampy/Uncle Steve they christened the new pool. The granddaughter especially enjoyed the pool – she’s been dying to get in there since they took down the old one. And she’s absolutely fearless in the water – must be the Aquarius in her.

I don't know how well you can see it, but the grandbaby’s face matches the unikitty on her dress.

Now excuse me while I go sit on the deck with my feet up and have a mimosa.