Rain, this morning, staccato against the skylight. Outside the water puddles in every low spot, overflowing to gurgle into drains. It’s been a week of contrasts and extremes. After the heatwave only a few days earlier, the week began with snow. Daffodils lay flat, and violets were edged with frost like sugar crystals. By Thursday, … More Spring, Week V
I wish I had the tiniest bit of musical intelligence, but I am as tin-eared as they come. I listen and listen: is that a pine warbler? I’m in the right place, the remnant stand of white pines at the north end of Victoria woods. The bird is high in the tree’s dense foliage, and … More Spring, Week IV
Winter birds are still here; spring ones are arriving. Somewhere between thirty and a hundred Bohemian waxwings can be found on the university campus most days, along the laneways between the research glasshouses and the cattle barn and stables, gorging themselves on winter-sweet crab apples. There are cedar waxwings mixed in, and always a few … More Spring, Week III
The world this morning was freshly washed, yesterday’s rain blown away by strong winds, leaving a brilliantly blue sky and air with the clarity of the oceanside. Where yesterday was freezing rain followed by dismal drizzle, temperatures hovering near freezing, everything the grey of concrete, today was birdsong and 8C, and by the time I’d … More Spring, Week II
Spring may be here, but it’s dancing with us: one of those dances where it’s one step forward and one back. We’ve had days of sun and relative warmth, and days of sleet and snow flurries and a temperature hovering around freezing. Blue skies and grey, and on the ponds the ice melts a little, … More The First Week of Spring
We figure we can just about handle birding, new-house-prep, and old-house-cull-and-pack – but nothing more. … More The Moving Diary: the preface.
One casual question, an equally casual response – and our lives changed forever. … More Fall Migration