Friday, March 30, 2012

eyes of a hawk

On Wednesday I was puttering in the backyard, looking at the hopeful signs of spring in the garden. I heard a strange bird sound that I had never heard before. I looked towards the sound, which was coming from our "rock island" (a huge pile of rocks in the centre of the field, picked by hand and moved by oxen team by the "old timers"...according to our neighbour). The sound was coming from a hawk. Another hawk swooped in, landed in the tree next to the first hawk, and flapped his wings while the first hawk continued to make this strange call. I assumed it was some kind of mating ritual and I was thrilled, and of course, dashed into the house for the camera (all set up on the tripod with the new lens just waiting for a moment like this).
And, of course, by the time I got back outside one of the hawks was flying away. The first photo is the hawk that flew away. The bottom 2 photos are the other hawk, who had stayed put but moved when it saw me out and about with the camera. More proof of why I love living in the country!



Thursday, March 29, 2012

dozens of finches

Our birds are back a little earlier this year. Or maybe we're just seeing more earlier because we loaded up the feeders earlier than usual. We have dozens of finches...just a small sample shown here. The purple finches have arrived too, but I haven't caught one yet.
notice the 2 birds towards the top of the tree sharing a treat
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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Oh deer, foxy lady

I have the best husband in the world. For two days last week, we fought about whether I should buy a new lens for my camera or not. He was insisting that we buy the lens, I was thinking it wasn't the right time (visions of dollar signs dancing in my head). He won the battle, and we headed into Halifax on Saturday to purchase a new lens. 

How many husbands encourage their wives to spend money on a hobby? My new baby is a Sigma OS 150-500mm. And....nature has been kind to me in the past few days, and has given me opportunity to try out the lens! 

It's going to be a great spring and summer with my new toy thanks to my husband. (did I mention that he makes all the lunches and most of the dinners too?)
female fox - photo taken through our living room window


pileated woodpecker


they are so cute when they're not eating the garden!

where the expression "high tail it out of here" came from

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Flat Stanely Project - On The Farm

We spent our first day with Ms. Flat, Flat Stella, Flat Luke and Flat Chris at home on the farm. First, we introduced them to our dog Riley and our kitten Myrtle. Myrtle loves Riley and they play and sleep together. Our other dog Mulligan was busy sleeping.
Our flat visitors meet Riley and Myrtle
We decided to go outside to take a look around. Ms.Flat, Flat Stella, Flat Luke and Flat Chris sat on the swing and looked at the BIG backyard. Sometimes we can see fox and deer and hawks in the backyard, but not today.
Our flat visitors take a swing in the big back yard
Most homes in the country use a laundry line instead of a dryer to dry their clothes. Our flat visitors hung out on the line for a little while, blowing in the wind. Mmmmm....those clothes sure smell nice when they come back inside!
hanging out on the clothes line
Our flat visitors took a turn on the apple tree swing. In the spring time, there are lots of blossoms on the apple trees and you can hear all the bees buzzing when they are collecting the pollen from the blossoms. In the fall, you can look up when you're swinging and see all the red apples. When you're done swinging, you can reach up and pick an apple right from the tree. Crunch, crunch...yum, yum. The apples are very good, and we can make applesauce with them too.
swinging in the apple tree
But the most exciting adventure in the yard was when Ms. Flat, Flat Luke, Flat Chris, and Flat Stella visited the guinea coop. In the summer time, the guineas are not cooped up and they walk around the yard eating bugs. Baby guineas are called "keets" and they need to stay inside until they are six weeks old, in a place that is dry and warm.
meeting the guineas at the coop
Guinea fowl originally came from Africa. Lots of people who live in the country in Nova Scotia have guineas to eat ticks and other bugs.
Guineas can be loud and they make lots of noise when something new is going on, or if they are frightened. Some people say they are like watch dogs.
We try to get the guineas back inside their house before dark. Sometimes they don't want to go inside, so they sleep way up high in the trees.
We took a little video so you can hear the guineas. They are being very quiet right now. video
It was a very exciting day on the farm. Our next trip will be to the beach!

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Flat Stanley Project

If you are a parent, or a grandparent, of an elementary school child you probably know the story about Flat Stanley. From the Flat Stanley website: Flat Stanley was first flattened by a bulletin board in his original adventure over forty-five years ago, enabling him to fly like a kite, slip under doors, and travel by mail. The same Stanley has inspired countless children to make their own flat character cutouts to send through the mail.

I have four Flat Stanleys from Toronto, Ontario visiting me in Nova Scotia for a couple of weeks. My flat friends are:
Flat Chris, from Chris (age 6, first grade)
Flat Chris

Flat Stella, from Celina (age 7, second grade)
Flat Stella


Ms. Flat, from Rebecca (age 6, first grade)
Ms. Flat


and Flat Luke, from Luca (age 6, first grade) 
Flat Luke

We'll be going on some adventures over the next week or so, and it will all be recorded on the blog. Get ready! Ms. Flat, Flat Stella, Flat Luke, Flat Chris and I are going to have some fun!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Cape Sable Island

Friday was our anniversary, so we decided to take the day to do what we like best...go for a drive! The weather cooperated...nice and sunny, but not too warm.
I've always wanted a clothesline photo, and had the chance to take lots on this trip. It was laundry day on the coast.
Old fishing sheds are always a favourite.

Love the name on these barrels!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Inspirational Postcards #2

I've been working on a second set of inspirational postcards (you can see my first set here)....and here they are:
Inspirational Postcards - set #2


My "Give A Little Joy" cards are completely blank on the back. These cards are for you to give out....either signed or unsigned by you....to give a little joy to people. These cards are the anti-thesis of some cards I've seen on the internet to leave on windshields when you're ticked off at someone...basically to wreck someone's day. 
My cards are to spread the joy, spread a little happiness. 
See someone do something nice? give a little joy 
See someone who needs a pick me up? give a little joy 
See a nice garden somewhere? Write them a note, pop it in their mailbox...give a little joy

Difficult to see on the monitor, but the cards have a rooster weather vane pointing towards a glowing moon. "Choose your direction... ...and reach for the moon."

Who doesn't like to receive flowers? "find beauty in the world around you"

This little purple finch scored big at our local photo club. "take a leap of faith" 

The cards are perfect for inspiring yourself or others:
- pop them in a frame and give an inexpensive hostess gift that looks great!
- keep them on your inspiration board
- send them to a friend for a little pick me up (everyone likes getting things in the mail!)
- use them for postcrossing
 
You'll receive 8 postcards shipped to you (in Canada or the US) for $7.50...your choice...a mixed set of 2 each, or 8 of the same card. Click on the paypal link below or send me an email.

 

Card Options

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

2012 Paws For Charity

I've mentioned before that I was working on a fundraising project for our local animal shelter (shaid.ca). I was concerned that it might be difficult to find enough artists who were willing to contribute to the project since I'm raising funds for a small, local charity (the past Paws For Charity projects have raised funds for large, national charities). 66 artists from 9 countries participated in this year's project. I am very proud of the book, and very thankful that there are so many generous people around!

Here is a preview of the book:


And look, look, look!


Our book is on the bestseller list at Blurb Books!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

an afternoon walk

When we need to recharge....get ourselves centred...re-focus on what's important...we head to the shore.Yesterday we headed to Rissers Beach, and I took along the little pocket point and shoot. Come take a walk....

Thursday, March 15, 2012

There's No Place Like Nova Scotia

I belong to a photography club, and every year there is a "Sight and Sound" competition. In a nutshell, you take a bunch of your photographs and add some music. In reality, it's tons of work. Every year, I wonder what music to use. Way back....last summer...I heard a song on Stan Carew's weekend morning show on CBC. I contacted Stan by email to find out the name of the group that sang the song, and he emailed back telling me it was sung by The G3s.

I did a search online, found a contact and sent off an email with fingers crossed. Geof Turner from the G3s was fabulous, and agreed to let me use their music, and even arranged for his mother in law to deliver it to me on cd!

The song "Farewell to Nova Scotia" is very well known around here. The G3s revised the song lyrics to make it a more uplifting tune, and the result is "There's No Place Like Nova Scotia".

This is the result of my photographs set to There's No Place Like Nova Scotia by The G3s. Thanks Geof!


 If you'd like to watch it on Youtube, here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4weZLjC5cQ

A little plug for the G3s...if you'd like to purchase their song, it's available here.: http://www.reverbnation.com/store/index/artist_1750062

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Here are a few photos from the past few days. The weather is up and down...warm one day...cold the next.
frozen paw prints from early morning walks

early morning sun over the house...brrrr....looks cold

play time for Myrtle and Riley

DIL and I went to an auction on Saturday. The first part was outdoors, on location....and what a location! Here is the view looking from the house across to Lunenburg. The second part was indoors at the Lunenburg Fire Hall. We bought some big items at the outdoor auction so we made a phone call to "the boys", who were requested to bring the trailer to pick up our treasures.
Lunenburg harbour

Yesterday was absolutely beautiful, which led to our first BBQ of the year. It wasn't quite so warm when we got around to actually BBQing, so I am bundled up while John is busy cooking our steaks. Yum!
basking in the warm (?) late day sun with Mulligan

this is how I make dinner...drink wine while John cooks