Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Go away we're busy!

This time of year when I go out on my usual walk I am not welcomed in the woods or at the pond. It is nesting season and I am buzzed by the hummingbirds, hissed at by the geese, dive bombed and heckled by the redwing blackbirds and the wrens just plain ignored others.

This Canada Goose had just finished hissing when I took this picture.

 
..and here is a goose doing its best Ogopogo impression while chasing away the ducks.



 
...here you can see the ducks beating a hasty retreat.



The heron is concentrating on a meal and has no time to glance around to have its picture taken.



...and looks as if it was successful and in mid swallow in this next picture.

 
The turtles are busy warming up in the afternoon sunshine and not at all interested in passersby but watchful in case anyone/thing gets too close.
 
 



 
 ...and the redwing blackbirds are on alert as soon as I approach, she...
 

 
...he...


Scolding here:


..daring me to get close here.... 

 
 

This male marched right up to within a coupe of feet away. 



Once I moved away it perched in a tree just daring me to try again. 

 
I am not taking it personally because it isn't just me that is not welcome, every one and his dog (especially the dogs) aren't welcome either.
 
Lots of bird song and lots of activity, a favourite time for me.
 
 
 
I saw "The Good Lovelies" live recently, what a great show. Here is one of my favourite songs from the concert, "The Best of Me":
 
 
 
And a painting, this week a painting of a rabbit inspired by last week's post; it is a watercolour called "Hoppy?"
 
 
 
 
Thank you for stopping by, Happy Whimsy Wednesday, until next time...
 
 
Gillian
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Hoppy Easter

This is the second time I have done this post, the first time about 90% in it disappeared!

I thought I would share some rabbit pictures with you since this is Easter week I thought bunnies might be popular. There is quite a thriving population of rabbits in a nearby park. The original  rabbits either escaped captivity or were "dropped off'" at the park by their former owners.

 
I also thought it might be interesting to explore the origins of the "Easter Bunny".

"The Easter Bunny (also called the Easter Rabbit or Easter Hare) is a fantasy character depicted as a rabbit bringing Easter eggs. Originating among German Lutherans, the Easter Hare originally played the role of a judge, evaluating whether children were good or disobedient in behaviour at the start of the season of Eastertide." (Wikipedia)



 "The Easter Bunny is sometimes depicted with clothes. In legend, the creature carries colored eggs in his basket, candy and sometimes also toys to the homes of children, and as such shows similarities to Santa Claus, as they both bring gifts to children on the night before their respective holiday." (Wikipedia)
 


"The custom was first mentioned in Georg Franck von Franckenau's De ovis paschalibus (About Easter Eggs) in 1682 referring to a German tradition of an Easter Hare bringing Easter Eggs for the children." (Wikipedia)
 


"The precise origin of the ancient custom of decorating eggs is not known, although evidently the blooming of many flowers in spring coincides with the use of the fertility symbol of eggs—and eggs boiled with some flowers change their color, bringing the spring into the homes." (Wikipedia)




 "Many Christians of the Eastern Orthodox Church to this day typically dye their Easter eggs red, the color of blood, in recognition of the blood of the sacrificed Christ (and, of the renewal of life in springtime). Some also use the color green, in honor of the new foliage emerging after the long dead time of winter." (Wikipedia)



"The Ukrainian art of decorating eggs for Easter, known as pysanky, dates to ancient, pre-Christian times. Similar variants of this form of artwork is seen amongst other eastern European cultures." (Wikipedia)



"German Protestants wanted to retain the Catholic custom of eating colored eggs for Easter, but did not want to introduce their children to the Catholic rite of fasting. Eggs were forbidden to Catholics during the fast of Lent, which was the reason for the abundance of eggs at Easter time."   (Wikipedia)
 

 
 This rabbit seems to be molting its winter coat. 

 


 
 
The rabbit below seems to have lost its tail (next two pictures). I noticed it for the first time last year and here it is recently so despite the lack to a tail it seems to be doing well. 
 

 


 
Here they are getting along with a little help from friends during a snowy spell this winter:





I liked this action shot of a rabbit hopping off with a piece of celery.


 
Some of the rabbits are quite well camouflaged, but not all.
 
 

Some have to stay close to cover.


 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 
This is a mama rabbit watching over...
 
 
....her brood..... 
 
 
 
I apologize if this is a bit of an overdose of rabbits.
 
 
My favorite, the milk chocolate bunny!

 
 
This week I attended a painting workshop titled "Negative Painting, a Positive Approach" and this is what I did:
 

 
 
 
Thank you for stopping by, Happy Whimsy Wednesday and Hoppy Easter, until next time...
 
 
Gillian
 
 
 


Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Attention seeking behavoir!


When I was out for a walk last week I heard a loud tapping noise. It took me some time but I finally spotted the source, a Flicker:

 
Why didn't I see it at first? Well here's what my eyes saw:
 
 
 
Then again through the camera:



Why is the woodpecker hammering on a vent? Well to attract attention of course, although it was not for my benefit, he was actually after a female flicker.
 

 
...and after tapping and watching....

...and tapping and watching...

 
..and, well you get the picture...

 
...who could resist? Well I think he must have spotted a female because...

 
...he started displaying his finery.

 
..what do you think?

 


 
..aren't I gorgeous...

 
...well this has got to impress the little woman...

 
...what are you waiting for?...

 
...here it is, my best pose...
 
If this series was accompanied by music, what would it be; maybe O Sole Mio, or I'm looking for a hard headed woman or maybe a bit of bump and grind???  Maybe you have some ideas.
 
 It was the middle of the afternoon, but I have heard many stories of people being wakened very early in the morning to a loud tapping, coming from, you guessed it, a woodpecker, hammering on a light standard or on a piece of metal flashing.
 
One can be excused for thinking that they have mistaken it for food; no it is absolutely intentional and meant to attract as much attention as possible.
 
The Flicker version of friending on Facebook? If it were a personal ad it might go something like this:
 
Handsome SFM (Single Flicker Male), NS (non-smoker), ND (non-drinker) seeks female:
 
I am a tall (14"), good looking Red Shafted Flicker but I've been banging my head in frustration looking for my own true love. I love the outdoors and want someone to join me at my favorite restaurant in the forest (Rotten Log), to share a romantic meal, to sing a few duets and to watch the sun go down. My object is matrimony, I am seeking someone that is not afraid of commitment, to settle down with me, share my life and love nest and raise a family. No triflers please, tweet your particulars at #hollowlog.
 
 
Speaking of woodpeckers, do you remember the "Woody Woodpecker" laugh: 

 
 
 
"I'm looking for a hard headed woman" by Cat Stevens
 
 
 
OK enough of that foolishness! I did actually do some painting this week. It is a painting of daffodils, which my husband gets for me at the farmers market this time of year; so beautiful and so fragrant.
 
A watercolour that I call "Spring Blooms":
 
Details on this painting at GillianOlsonArt.BlogSpot.com
 
 
I got good news yesterday from my surgeon; the tumour (adrenal) he removed from me was benign and except for following up with a specialist to make sure my remaining adrenal function is sufficient I am finished with this health bump.
 
 
Thank you for stopping by, Happy Whimsy Wednesday, until next time...
 
 
Gillian