Thursday, 6 July 2017

A Day with RJ
July 5th, 2017

Our first day with RJ for the summer was a busy one. We went to Chickadee Trail in the morning. No Chickadees... they manage on their own in summer, but a few ducks, a few squirrels, and dozens of chipmunks. 

I give RJ a bag with a pocket full of sunflower seeds and another pocket full of kernel corn.

Volunteers had a display set up showing the life cycle of the Monarch butterfly. They told the kids a Monarch can only eat one food--Milkweed--so she asked what food they'd pick if they had to eat one food all the time.

One said 'cake'. RJ said 'pickles'. He loves them... dills, olives, gherkins, pearl onions. You name it.

A work crew was in the woods cutting down Ash trees that were infested with the Emerald Ash Borer. Many millions of Ash have been cut down in North America. We watched as these ones came down with a thunderous crash.

With their chain saws and the crashing trees, it's no wonder wildlife was somewhat quiet. Chipmunks were fine with it all though.

Water-rocket time in the backyard. It attaches to a garden hose. Hand on the controller... 3-2-1, launch.

It's cool. Wish I had one when I was a kid. :-)

The secret to get it high is 'slow & easy' on the controller.

Water is a joy for kids. Rockets are cool, but so are your hands.

In my last post our garden was green. Color has burst onto the scene since.

Day-Lily. RJ was asking why they only bloom for a day. I suggested he ask Jane. He suggested setting up a video camera to see when they close up.  

Artificial color, but color nonetheless.


I've asked Jane what these are many times. And I forget what they are many times. Astilbe maybe?

White ones of 'whatever they are'.

Daisies with their bright faces.

Best to all,
Bob & Jane

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Our Back Garden - June 1st, 2017

In the interest of keeping my blog alive, I took some shots of our garden today... before the color really bursts upon us. Jane always does a great job. My contributions are minimal.


This is 'The Boss' according to the name on his chest. My younger brother, Ross, suffered from Down's Syndrome. He called himself 'Boss'. Despite his problems, he was precious to us all.

Our 'garden boy' always reminds me of Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, and the bunch.

Handy in the garden. Why look at your watch?

On the patio.

A neighbor grows and sells garden plants. The variety of Hostas is staggering. She has about 300.

We get a real variety of birds in our yard. Sparrows don't get much press, but they're cool too.

'The Boss' prevails. His smile is contagious.

Green now... the best is yet to come.

I've always felt a garden needs some sculptures to look over it. I think Jane agrees with me... sort of, anyway. :-)

We love our garden visitors... a variety of birds, chipmunks, squirrels, rabbits, butterflies... even a few cool bugs. Life wouldn't be the same without them. Free entertainment. Well... not exactly free... we go through a lot of birdseed. But it's worth every penny to us.

We're looking forward to the splash of color that comes in the garden as spring fades into summer. Official summer is only a few weeks away. Tempis fugit.

Take care,
Bob & Jane

Monday, 24 April 2017


It's been a while. Not getting out with the camera much so thought I'd introduce you to Lola. She was a mannequin in Niagara-on-the-Lake... the shopkeepers named her. 

We went to NOTL often with Jane's Mum when she was alive. Lola was next door to a British shop that sold jams, chocolate, etc. that Jane's Mum didn't want to live without. Brits are like that aren't they? Aah, we all are.

This was how she looked when I first met her... 2007. I called the image 'Kiss Me'.

Over the years she changed. The original was always my favourite though.

She eventually evolved to this wilder thing... keeping up with the times I guess.

She's a 'sweetie'. 

How you all doing? Well, I hope.

My best,

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

An Outing with RJ... Lynde Shores CA
March 22nd, 2017

My last post disappeared. I know it was up for a while because a few of you commented on it. I haven't been able to resurrect it. I think it's in a black hole somewhere between here and the Andromeda Galaxy. So goes technology.

I finally got out with my camera again... in nature, with my 7-yr old grandson RJ. It doesn't get much better than that for me. We went to Chickadee Trail to feed the Chickadees. RJ loves it, so do I. Turned out only one Chickadee showed up. The rest had been well fed by others before us, so most had full bellies and were off in the woods having a snooze I expect.

This is the one and only Chickadee. But one is better than none.

But the overfed Chickadees were more than made for by the ducks & geese. Many adults have qualms about feeding the geese from their hands, but RJ is ok with it.

There were dozens there. RJ found a walking stick early in our visit and occasionally handed it to me to care for it. He kept checking to make sure I had it.

Now & then you see a racoon at Lynde Shores. Blue eyes? No flash. Reflection of the bright blue sky?

'Joe  Cool'... without trying to be. I just caught him relaxing.

He carved his initials with his walking stick, and added a smiley.

Climbable trees & young boys seem to be a natural. I climbed my share in my younger days. RJ liked the natural curve in his walking stick.

This modern age. We called Nan to let her know what we were up to.

RJ spotted the turkeys before I did. Always nice to see. They hang out here all the time. There are a couple dozen of them in the flock. Numbers vary depending on the day. I love the coloring of their feathers when the light strikes them.


RJ likes forts & huts. This was a hut. Not sure why. He added one post to the fence and it became his hut.

Then we came across this huge one constructed by who knows who. 

There were a couple smaller ones in the area so he wanted to build one of his own.

I sat on a log nearby for a half-hour or so while he built it. He just loved it.

This larger log was a cannon he said. To protect his hut?

He then suggested it could be a bazooka. I try not to rush him. I did eventually suggest we move on, otherwise he may have been there until dark. We're going to check on our next visit to see if his hut is still there.

More ducks & geese were waiting for us.

He said the duck tickled him.

He tried petting the ducks.

A goose 'bit' him he said. It didn't deter him though. He said they were like his pets. I explained to him that they don't mean to bite... it's partly how you hold your hand as you feed them.

He's done this before with Chickadees and had them feed from his stomach. The ducks & geese were too nervous to though.

It was a wonderful day. I love that RJ enjoys nature. As much as I hate to ask him to 'come along', eventually I 'have to'. We were there a good 2 hours, and the Chickadee Trail is only a few 100 yards long. He loved it. I loved it too, all the moreso because I was able to share it with him. 

Two of my greatest loves are nature and my grandson. I feel very privileged & lucky to be able to share nature with RJ.

Take care,


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