Wanderin' Weeta

Just me. No topic whatsoever. Writing about anything at all, at all.

I'm a nature blogger, from Delta, the Lower Fraser Valley, BC, Canada. I'm over 65, a lover of birds, green stuff, multi-legged beasties, and the critters that squirm, slither and scramble on our beaches.
12/15/06

This Blog has Moved

 
I've made the switch to Blogger. Please update your bookmarks. I am now at http://wanderinweeta.blogspot.com/ . Come on over and check it out. Or go to http://wanderinweeta.ca .
 
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12/11/06

Juncos on Blogger (6Ws)

I have posted 3 photos of juncos in the recent snowstorm on the 6Ws blog.

Please go on over there and take a look. Sorry; Delphi Blogs just don't handle photos well, so I am in the process of moving over to Blogger. Do put the new site into your bookmarks.

See you there!

 
12/10/06 | Permalink | Add a comment | TrackBacks ( 0 ) | Email | Print
12/9/06

Good Planets are Hard to Find, Dec. 9

The latest installment of "Good Planets" is up at Journeys with Jood. Beautiful pictures, as always, from around the world. South Africa, Bhutan, Iguacu Falls (where is that?), Washington State, Jasper and of course, mine from BC. And more.

Check us out!

 
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12/7/06

Circus of the Spineless # 15

 

The 15th Circus of the Spineless is now up at Words and Pictures.

Great posts, great photos. Dragonfly eyes, insect brainwashing, spiders, slugs, snails, mussels and more: it's all there. Including my own posts on water bears from here and here. Check it out!

 

 
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12/6/06

Tiny Animals on Fingers

Tiny brown frog

These are wonderful! A must-see.

96 photos in all.

 
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12/6/06

Hood Ornament

Hood Ornament, with raindrops
Hood Ornament, flying mode

Remember hood ornaments? Back in the 40s and 50s? The streamlined decoration at the very front of the engine; remember those? The ram (Dodge), stylized airplanes or trains (Olds and others), wings (Ford), assorted female figures and Art Deco-ish shapes? Long gone, these days, sacrificed to the gods of safety. (Samples here.) 

We had our own custom hood ornament for a few minutes, the other day.

We had driven down to White Rock on a rainy morning to pick up black oil sunflower seeds for the chickadees (another story; later). We ate lunch in a crowded, drafty cafe, headed back to the car. That was it? It was a pity to drive to White Rock and not at least look at the beach, rain or no rain. We drove on down the hill, following our noses.

The tide was at the top of its range, the promenade deserted except for the seagulls sitting along the train tracks. The logs that usually line the beach were now floating, pushing their way inland. MN got out to take photos. I took one look at the whitecaps and the rain on my windshield and opted to stay in the car, keeping the heater going.

A few seagulls came over to investigate; I dug out a bag of seeds, saved for ducks, rolled down the window and tossed out a handful. All down the tracks gulls lifted into the wind, wheeled, dropped down to see what was on offer, turned up their collective noses and wandered off. Sorry, guys; I know you don't like seeds; I should have brought you a sandwich.

MN came back to the car, looking chilled. We sat while he changed the film. And a young seagull plopped himself down on the motor and stood there, looking in, probably hoping for that non-existent sandwich. We took photos; he didn't seem fazed by the flash. I turned on the wipers for a second, and he jumped back a few inches, extending his wings as if to fly off, then changed his mind and settled down to wait.

But we had to go. I backed out of the parking space and down the lane. Our ornament rode with us, unconcerned, all the way back to the main road.

Better than an Art Deco thingamabob, any day.

 
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12/4/06

Snowstorm Photos are Up

Snow at Dawn. Steeple and Trees.

Snowstorm photos are up on the Photo Blog, 6Ws.

Here's a sample; click on it for a full-size photo, on the 6Ws (WWWWww) to see the others.

 
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12/1/06

Cold Weather Photos In 6Ws.

Geese on Fraser River

New photos are up in my photo blog, Wanderin' Weeta With Waterfowl and Weeds. Post # 16, Chilly Weather Photos .

It snowed again last night, another 4 to 6 inches. I'll have photos for you in a day or two.

 
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11/28/06

Brrrrrr!

Driving in a Winter Wonderland

It stopped snowing sometime in the middle of the night last night. By this morning, everything was clear and bright. My maple tree was bent right down to the hedge with the weight of the snow; I got out the broom and knocked it off. The branches sprung right back up. The arborvitae didn't fare as well. Its nice, trim point is now three straggly bent branches. It may recover, may not.

I put out extra bird seed; most feeding sites, under bushes and in trees, are gone, covered up in a foot of snow that looks like it's going to stay put for some time. MN knocked a foot of snow off the birdbath and I filled it up with hot water, to melt the ice.

The chickadees and the juncos were here early, hard at work gathering and hulling. Later on the fox sparrows came, a pair of them, looking big and fat beside the trim juncos. A few smaller sparrows dropped in for a while and I managed to spot a female red-shafted flicker as she came right up to my glass door. I didn't see her mate, nor the pair of Steller's jays that have been hanging around, but then, I did have other things to do.

MN went out to shovel off the car and dig it out of its slot in the parking lot. It took him the better part of an hour. I put off going out to start the engine and warm up the car until our building manager called everybody out to move the cars to the other side of the lot so that the little Bobcat could scrape it clean. After supper, that was, after dark.

What a job that was! I had to have help opening my car door; it was frozen shut. Several of the neighbours were in the same fix. The building manager was calling for someone to help him push his car out of the bank. One guy, having got his truck out early, ran around with a snow shovel, sometimes helping, sometimes getting in the way. The non-drivers stood around and kibitzed; MN was one of them, having done his share in the morning and still being stiff.

It was a cheerful scene, in spite of the difficult work, chilled noses and fingers. Nobody grumbled; this is a challenge we all have faced before and coped with. And we were all in the same boat, so to speak. A woman I barely knew came over with a good scraper and did my windows; others called out encouragement. Cars fired up, rocked themselves out of their slots and slowly crawled out of the driveway. Everybody smiled. And through and around it all, the Bobcat danced, backward and forward, scraping and pushing and carrying, lights glinting off the piles of snow and the silvery snow shovel.

The air was crisp and cold; it felt like it would be colder later on. Once the car was free and warm and the windows clear, I drove it down to fill the gas tank (to prevent condensation) and top up the engine anti-freeze. Usually here in the Lower Mainland, we don't need more than a minimum -5 degree protection, but they were telling us to expect -10, with a -20 chill factor; best to be prepared. I've had a cracked block once, up north. I don't want another. The gas station was out of windshield anti-freeze, so I had to go next to Home Depot, where they were about to close, but still had a few gallon bottles. Home again, driving slowly on icy roads, by shortly after 10 PM. Whew!

As a columnist in the Vancouver Sun wrote, some 15 years ago, Canadians are so lucky! Where else is it an adventure to get the car out of the parking lot?

 
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11/26/06

Still Snowing

Highway 99, Delta
Abbotsford

10 inches deep on the birdbath ( I measured. ) And still coming down thick and fast.

The light is wonderful; so clean and white. Especially in my bedroom, where the overhang is shallow, all the colours look different. A bit more on the bluish side, but less "muddy". I wouldn't want to live with it, but it makes a nice change.

Luckily for the birds, both feeders are under shelter. Especially for the ground birds, the juncos and towhees, there isn't much forgaging ground left; they're lining up at the feeders.


2:15 PM. Still snowing hard. Great clumps falling off the trees.


3:30 Still snowing. Added webcamphotos of highway intersection, just down the hill from here, and #1 freeway, near Abbotsford, to our east.

Glad I'm not going anywhere today!


7:15 PM. Still snowing. It's 13 inches deep on the birdbath, even though it has sogged down and, at one point, fallen off.


10:30 PM. Snow tapering off. Mounds freezing on the top.

Usual temperature for this period, according to Vancouver Weather Page ; between 3 and 9 degrees Celsius. Tomorrow, we are warned, it will go to -9. Brrrrr!

 
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