Monday, March 24, 2008

Woodland Creatures

You might guess that I haven't been doing anything. Haven't been taking a lot of pictures anyway. But thought I would share with you some more pictures of the lovely creatures I enjoyed watching on my retreat. Then I'll post another story to tell what I've been up to. As you can see from above there was a lot, a lot (as my friend Dana would say) of snow. I was happy to see the nice man with the tractor come and make it possible for me to take the car out. But I also enjoyed sitting by the window, watching the woodland creatures who came to visit and to hang out. The deer, of course, were the most lovely - so gentle and timid yet also fun to watch their antics. I never moved fast enough to get a good photo of them leaping down the hill, white tails in the air alerted of danger. But they were not to shy to come several times a day to see if I had put more food in the feeders.

The bird feeder was a busy place and I was also interested to see if I could figure out the different kinds of birds. Some I knew already, of course, but others I learned from looking them up in the bird book. My uncle was a bird-watcher so I should have some kind of ability in this area, wouldn't you think? I'm beginning to understand why he enjoyed it so much. The little one with the rosy colour on its white breast and black markings on its wings is called a 'Common Redpoll' but I don't think there's anything common about it at all!!

I never knew before what a Grosbeak was. I think this one - with the red head and chest - is called the pine grosbeak. This one, I think, is the male of the species.
Then, of course, you have your frequently seen chickadee, with it's chicka - dee-dee trill.

I know this is a woodpecker, but it was hard to figure out from the book exactly which kind. Is it a ladderback, or a pilated, or a yellow-bellied sapsucker? If anybody knows, I would love to hear from you.
Those of you from Canada are no doubt familiar with the raucous blue jay and people from Toronto are especially familiar as our baseball team is named after them. They are a beautiful bird whose thieving, aggressive personality doesn't match its pretty colours.

I also had a visit from a very cute little red squirrel, as well as a 3 mischievous black squirrels who I named Huey, Dewey, and Louie. The red squirrel reminded me of my Nova Scotia background as that's the kind I knew in childhood. I was surprised when I saw big gray squirrels in Fredericton, and later, in Toronto - big black squirrels. In Moldova the squirrels are red but have very funny, almost rabbit-like ears. I haven't been able to get a good picture of one yet. I'll keep trying, once I return.

It was always kind of a sad thing to see the deer go back into the woods. They seemed reluctant to leave, too - and would often stop and look back up at the house as if to say goodbye.

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