Best Laid Plans

One of my most vivid childhood memories is sitting beside my mother where she’d tripped and fallen on the sidewalk while rushing for the bus to go shopping. “More haste, less speed,” she said, through gritted teeth. She had a pithy saying for every occasion, my mum, and most them were/are very true. We never did go shopping that day, or for many days thereafter, as she’d sprained her ankle quite badly.

I had great plans for this festive season. Finish up the local sales events early,  leaving lots of time to update my online shop, go for long walks and catch up on the local crows and maybe even get some snowshoeing (ravens!)  in before Christmas. Leisurely holiday shopping in the local shops, baking,  …

Well, you can see how I was asking for trouble.

Like Icarus flying too close to the sun, here I am this festive season.

It seems to be a family tradition now, the pre-Christmas disaster. The worst was Phillip’s concussion from a bicycle accident a few years back. The most hilarious (although only in retrospect) was 2016 when Lily’s dog got sprayed by a skunk at 11pm on Christmas Eve.

The sore foot I noticed the week before the studio sale turned out to be a stress fracture. What with one thing and another, it took quite a while for the x-ray results and to get fitted for the stylish new boot, with a few days when I really could hardly get about at all.  I was starting to feel pretty sorry for myself.

But, another one of my mother’s favourite sayings was “worse things are happening at sea,” and this seems to fit well into that category. We do have the Christmas tree up, and as long as I can hobble as far as the garden, or even the deck, I have some spectacular company.

It was a bit wet this morning, but Marvin and Mavis were, as always, on hand to say hello.

Moist Marvin

Mavis

I think Mavis holds me partially responsible for the change in weather.

In the garden on the weekend, there was a positive Who’s Who of bird visitors coming by to cheer me up.

The most handsome Spotted Towhee

Towhees are new to the garden this year. Always a thrill to see that oh-so-stylish and dotty colour combination.

The world’s most winsome White Crowned Sparrow.

Sweetest Song Sparrow.

Cheery Chestnut-Backed Chickadee

Jolly Junco

I’m noticing that some of the juncos I’m seeing lately have more chestnut on their hoods than I remember in the past. I always thought they were more uniformly grey or black, so I wonder if there is some sort of avian gene pooling going on there.

Heavenly Hummingbird

For years we’ve had one single Anna’s Hummingbird visit the garden all year round. Recently she has found a friend with whom to squabble about the hummingbird feeder.

Natty Nuthatch

I’d never seen a nuthatch until this one started frequenting the garden a couple of months ago. I can always tell when he’s around by the honking sound. At first I thought it was someone’s car alarm going off!

Rosy House Finch

A couple of weeks ago I noticed a couple of house finches with eye problems in the garden. Internet research revealed that there is a very contagious eye disease that spreads among finches, and advice was to bring the bird feeders in for a week or so, meanwhile cleaning them thoroughly with a bleach solution (rinsing well.) I just put the feeders out again a couple of days ago and the birds are celebrating, but I’m keeping a close watch on the finches — and planning on cleaning the feeders every week from now on.

Fabulous Flicker

Flicker Face Off

Probably a stern Flicker look for her old nest rival, the starling.

And, when my foot is starting to throb and it’s time to head inside for a sit down, there’s even more great company in there.

Can I get you a cup of tea …?

Festive Feline

The human company is pretty good too!

Finally, in late breaking news, Marvin has declared that the City Crow Calendar, 2020 Edition has passed the all important corvid taste test!

Hmm, could use a little ketchup, but otherwise, not bad …

www.junehunter.com

 

 

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7 thoughts on “Best Laid Plans

  1. Your bird images are magnificent. Wishing you well. Next year this will be a another memory. Just this morning before I read this I was counting my blessings remembering earlier in the spring how I thought I was going to die going through two weeks of dehydration and it’s side effects. Then a summer of not walking because of painful cancer on my foot🙄 all that pain is forgotten and I am back doing Pilates! Enjoy your family, friends and the season as you can. I know it is frustrating now but you will be back to your superb creations soon. Merry Christmas to you and your family🎄🐾

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  2. Oh no! I am here with my foot up, still recovering from a bad ankle sprain almost four months ago. At least I’ve got good reading material. You can pretend to be Jimmy Stewart in Rear Window, taking photos of your (avian) neighbours and solving mysteries at the same time. Maybe Grace Kelly will stop by with dinner.

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    • Oh no — I was hoping you’d hVe Bern able to resume your ballroom dancing career by now! I also have some good reading. Almost finished The Overstory by Richard Powers. May need a straight ahead mystery next to calm down. Or maybe I’ll look for Rear Window on Netflix. 😊

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      • The Overstory was the most memorable book I read in 2019.
        Wishing you peaceful holidays and may your new year start out on the right foot😉

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  3. Well June, once again you’ve made me happy to receive your informative and amusing stories and beautiful photographs. I’ve learned more from you about birds than any book, your pictures are amazing pieces of art, and your narrative is beautifully written. I look forward to each post.
    Thank you again, and have a very Merry Christmas surrounded by your feathered and furry friends.
    Lynn

    Liked by 1 person

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