Winter Sparrows

Sparrows are perhaps my/our favourite birds. From the point of view of nostalgia I would say especially the House Sparrows that I grew up with but otherwise one of the great things about living in Canada is the number of other sparrow species (most of them more strictly Buntings, but we won't go [...]

2019-11-28T14:18:00-05:00Sunday, December 1, 2019|

Making Maps of Tracks

Interactive Trail Maps Ever since I was six or seven years old and went out "hiking" with my father, I have been fascinated by maps. I was never so proud as the day I could navigate for us with the aid of a compass and Ordinance Survey "inch to the mile" map without [...]

2019-06-04T11:12:11-04:00Sunday, June 9, 2019|

Close Encounters

The Third Man ... ? This is Place Jacques-Cartier in Montreal with the town hall at the top of the hill. It was strangely calm and quiet after the alien mothership had beamed up all the tourists and buskers. There were only two people in the whole square, sitting on that bench to the [...]

2018-11-09T16:41:18-05:00Friday, November 9, 2018|

Summer Morning in the Arboretum

Birds, flowers, butterflies and photographs High summer is one of the very best times to go wandering in the arboretum because for the most part you have it to yourself and that means the wildlife is much closer and more easily observed. We saw birds close up today that usually stay well away from [...]

2018-07-12T16:02:50-04:00Thursday, July 12, 2018|

2017 – A Year in the Wildlife Garden

A Good Year Thus we come to the end of another year of wildlife gardening in our small suburban "nature reserve". We have enjoyed telling you, week by week, what we have done and seen and enjoyed and we know from comments received that many readers of the journal have found something to interest [...]

2017-12-30T17:09:55-05:00Saturday, December 30, 2017|

A Grand Day Out

The sun shone today and we decided to have a cultural day downtown and visit the Montreal Musée des Beaux Arts (https://www.mbam.qc.ca/en/)to see the wonderful exhibition currently showing there under the title of "Marvels and Mirages of Orientalism: From Spain to Morocco, Benjamin-Constant in His Time" ... and well worth the effort it was too. Click here [...]

2015-04-30T17:22:47-04:00Thursday, April 30, 2015|

Garden birds – why gardens need a pond

Had a busy twenty minutes today in the garden this morning with birds flapping all over the place including Yellow-rumped Warblers (about twenty) and a nice Blackburnian amongst the regulars. Almost every bird was there because of the presence of the pond and waterfall - worth all the effort of installing because they certainly attract [...]

2013-05-19T12:24:09-04:00Sunday, May 19, 2013|

Trilliums and Owls

This is a bizarre week - outdoors the sunshine and the temperatures are more like late June than the first week of May and we are already watering less than drought tolerant plants in the garden.  Right on time though, the Devil's spawn dandelions are springing up all over the lawn and claiming hours [...]

2017-11-21T15:31:58-05:00Saturday, May 4, 2013|

NOT a Great Gray Owl

All week there have been reports of a very cooperative Great Gray Owl in the arboretum while I was stuck behind my microscope at work.  Naturally this was frustrating, especially so as it seems to have stayed pretty much in the same place all the time and plenty of people have seen it.  We didn't [...]

2013-02-11T17:57:38-05:00Sunday, February 10, 2013|

Montreal truths

A friend just posted this on FB and I wanted to keep a copy, so ...   YOU KNOW YOU ARE FROM MONTREAL WHEN : • You pronounce it "Muntreal", not "Mahntreal". • You have ever said anything like "I have to stop at the guichet before we get to the dep." • Your only [...]

2013-01-18T20:53:54-05:00Friday, January 18, 2013|