Thursday, April 28, 2011

She's Her Own Worst Enemy

I was sitting in the living room yesterday and kept hearing what I thought was a dripping tap upstairs. Checked the bathroom and all seemed fine, and then I realized it was coming from the office.

This is what I saw...

...a female cardinal batting her wings against the window.

We've had this stained glass picture hanging in the window for years, and although we have always had cardinals sitting in the tree peering in through the window, they have never done this before:

And she kept doing it, over and over again...

What magnificent wings and tail she has!

We assumed she was trying to attract the cardinals hanging in the window, so we took down the picture, and DOTH put up a plain sheet of paper. But still she kept flying into the window:

So we googled "cardinal flying repeatedly into window" and learned that the female cardinal is a fierce defender of her territory, especially if it is mating season and she is nesting nearby. So she was probably attracted both by the picture and the reflection of her own self -- and became her own worst enemy!

We also learned that while she is defending her territory (which went on all day yesterday and throughout today...and even as I type this), the male will come, from time to time, and feed her -- which is exactly what he did!

(we thought they were kissing at first!)

I don't want to tell you how long I stayed nearby, taking photos -- but I got a LOT of shots!

Still struggling with this new camera, though. I am sure my shots could have been much better.

Adding Insult to Injury

Today we received the tail end of the massive tornadoes that demolished huge parts of the southern States. I am so grateful that that there was little damage in our area, and my heart goes out to those people in the south who not only lost their homes but family members also (over 300 people died).

So I am feeling a little like Jonah today, who grieved over the fact that the Juniper tree he was resting under withered up. The Lord chastised him saying, in essence, "You grieve over a tree and not over the thousands who could have perished..."

I am grieving for those who died in Alabama, but I am feeling sad about my lilac tree, too -- it became a victim of the winds today. Most likely it was because of the 'tidying up' my nieghbours did of their garden the other day - left it defenceless against the winds.

This is what it looked like just a few months ago, after a huge snowfall:

a thing of beauty.

This is all that's left of it today:

Funny thing is, DOTH and I were just talking, a couple of weeks ago, about pruning it at the end of the season. Between the neighbours and the wind, it got pruned with a vengeance!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Backing Up My Rant

So here are some photos to follow up on my previous post:


 You will note the attempt at privacy - she is inserting green strips through the holes in the chicken wire fence - it's not  working so well and it has been like this for a couple of weeks now. Personally, I much prefer the trees!





Looking forward to some blooming foliage, and hoping that the mulberry tree and what's left of the lilac tree will do the trick!

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Emperor's Clothes

I wanted to title this post "Bare Naked" but figured I would get a lot of unwelcome visitors - I probably will anyway, but they will be disappointed.

I guess I am feeling the need to rant. Last year, I began to have a phobia of the sound of an electric saw. Everytime I heard one it meant that the neighbours behind us were taking the liberty of cutting down our trees. We didn't realize, at first, that they were OUR trees they were attacking, expecting that no good neighbour would do such a thing. But as spring came, and the usual gaps along the fence were not being filled in with foliage, we went investigating and found that, sure enough, she had reached over the fence and chopped major branches off trees that are on our property -- and not just ones that were hanging over her garden, but those that I guess she had taken a particular dislike to!  Well, being the tactful soul that DOTH (Daughter of The House) is, the next time she saw the neighbour she told her, gently, that her mom (me!) didn't really appreciate her doing that.

Didn't help much, because the neighbour is at it again this year. I guess she didn't realize that chopped tree branches will begin to sprout again, so out came the trusty saw, and away went the branches once more. What to do? One does not want to make an enemy of a neighbour, as before one knows it, one can begin receiving nasty deposits of dog poop or something on one's lawn. So we took a deep breath, and decided to grin and bear it. But we did, last year, put up a section of bamboo fencing (our fences are made of see-through chicken wire) in the most exposed section so that we could at least barbecue without onlookers.

Then, horror of horrors, today we began to hear an electric saw to the RIGHT of us. We have a fairly new neighbour there, and she inherited quite a mess of a garden, so we assumed a tidy-up was taking place. True, it was -- but much more than we could possibly have imagined. This time we had no legitimate complaint as all the trees and bushes that were being chopped down and ripped out were on her property -- but hang beautifully over our garden and we have loved them. Now, talk about bare naked -- that's how very much exposed we are. We and they can now sit on our respective patios and have a wonderful view of each other. We had valued our privacy SO much!

(not my photo - wish it was!)
 Not sure what is going on here - wondering if they plan to put up another fence, but they have removed just about every piece of foliage on all three sides of their lawn. Their back neighbour has a pool - wonder how he is feeling about this. Our greatest grief is the fact that three quarters of the lilac tree outside our office bay window is now gone. It was magnificent in the spring, and always full of yellow butterflies.

Then, as if to add insult to injury -- and it's not that I am a tree hugger or anything, but I do love trees and our neighbourhood has a wonderful plethora of them -- we woke up the other morning to the sound of a large truck outside our front window.

This is the annual de-nuding of city-owned trees that line our street. If you click on the photo you can see where they chopped off the lower branches - not so bad, and tidies things up a bit. Still, I would have been happier if they had left them alone.  BUT, and I can't show you right now as it has been too cold and snowy to take a walk and get photos, many of the trees are chopped right down the middle so that the branches don't interfere with the overhead wires. But they look ridiculous! After being chopped in that way for the last few years, they each have grown into a giant Y. Nothing down the middle, just foliage growing down either side. It spoils the beauty of our neighbourhood.

One last rant - another kind of de-nuding, caused by this creature:

Can you see him hiding?

He's rather lovely - but a real pest. We couldn't figure out who has been digging up the lawn, until we caught him in the act.

                     He flees as soon as he's spotted, but he's back in no time.

Didn't have time to focus, but caught Mrs. Robin with her mouth full -- lovely Styrofoam lining for her nest. Nothing but the best for her babies!

and finally....this is the only colour we have seen in the garden so far. Well, we did catch a glimpse of yellow, but the daffodils died as quickly as they arrived - frozen to death, no doubt!

Aaah...(sigh) that all off my chest - feel much better.