Monday, May 21, 2012

Little Ones

I went out to check on the llamas and brought back some pictures of the newborns for you. This little boy was born about 5 days ago.

This little boy was born two weeks ago. Compare him to the black cria and you can see how quickly they grow!

This little one (I think it's a girl but I couldn't be sure yet) was just born a few hours ago. Her mom has beautiful long hair like a Suri.

The aunties from last year came to check me out.

This little brown girl has unusual coloring for my herd, a lot like a vicuna. She reached out to say hi.

Here's the baby.

I took the dogs on a separate walk and we checked out the duck pond. I was trying to identify the ducks there.

We caught a glimpse of the owl again.

Here are some of the waterfowl. I identified Soras, ruddy ducks and redheads, but I know there are more by the calls they make.

The air is so fresh and because it is quite dry we have few mosquitoes now, which makes walking around a real pleasure. While I was in the woods I could smell something that reminded me of frankincense, a woody, sweet smell that is very evocative of mystery and antiquity. I remember buying frankincense once at a Greek store on the Danforth, where they sold nuggets of it for incense, in little jars by the cash register.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Evening walk

We just got back from our walk. We headed out and it is Jenny's habit to find the bachelor llamas and herd them into a circle. Here she is flying across the turf to put this boy along with his mates. The boys steel themselves for her herding. They have learned that if they stay still she leaves sooner.

The woods here are full of saskatoon bushes. Sasks are a kind of wild blueberry, a bit more reddish purple than a blueberry, and they have a different, more complex taste. They are delicious in pie. So delicious!! And now their blossoms fill the woods with a light honey and jasmine fragrance.

The foxhole is still empty. We see the fox in our front yard every day. It beheaded one of my roosters about a month ago, but it hasn't invaded since. I know Chewy is wise to its presence and does a lot of Keep Out pee posting.

This Saskatoon bush (they grow about 11 feet tall) was pushed down by a falling tree. I liked the way it sent up new branches and then bloomed into an arc.

The willow pond. There are several kinds of waterfowl there. Their calls are very different, one variety makes a Mya Mya sound, like an old man's voice; another type makes a RRRow sound that sounds exactly like a cat. When you get several ducks in the pond they gabble away and sometimes it sounds like a bunch of old men playing cards and muttering to one another.  It has caught me off guard a few times. Muh muh muh-muh-muh-muh muh. Mmmm Muh muh. I'll have to try to get closer to see what they are. It's impossible to sneak up on anything with the dogs around, the mastiffs especially snuffle like locomotives.

I l iked the way these poplars caught the sun. They are a favorite perch of hawks.

Have a wonderful evening!

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Pardon me for being grotesque. I know people like to read blogs for eye candy sometimes and this doesn't qualify, unless you're a dog. So share it with Chloe & Comet, Otis, Chuma, Echo, and all the rest out there.

Today when I was cleaning up I found this on my sofa. It's the underside of a cow's knee joint that we got in a butcher's bone bag. Daisy was working on it all evening yesterday, having sneaked it into the house while I was outside.

I thought it looked like a head.

A head of what? Maybe it's a saint!! or a Virgin!! or a very small Sasquatch!! Daisy hasn't titled her sculpture yet.  Whatever it is, it doesn't look too happy. A statement on mortality no doubt.

It gave me a surprise anyway. As curator I positioned the installation outside and I see it is being worked on by another artiste.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Swallow housing

I had a productive day out in the shop on Sunday. I made four birdhouses for swallows and put them up on fence posts around my front yard. They are for swallows, who like deep houses in the open. I put these three together. There are already two families in these, and it's only been 12 hours since they've been available.

This little one is nearby and is also already occupied.  The owners are wood swallows. They have a beautiful song, it sounds like water dripping and trickling.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Magic Hour

We love going for walks at twilight.

Night doesn't come until 1030 now. The sounds around this pond are indescribably beautiful. Robins, waterfowl, owls, blackbirds all sing to the night.

The scent of the air is fragrant with the ethereal sweetness of willows.

We were farewelled by this sentinel.

      The camera flash just made him look all the more magical.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Painting and Solenoids

I've been doing a bit of painting lately. Here's an acrylic on canvas of the Ellis house at the Ellis Bird Farm in Lacombe.

I see that photographing a painting is an art in itself which I will have to work on. The canvas is not really crooked, and the colors are a little more vivid.

Other than that, I've been trying to get my garden tractor working. It seems to be the starter/solenoid assembly, which will be a $450 touch. I've ordered a new one, which will come from Indianapolis. I was told that it used to be a little less expensive to fix them, so you could buy them reconditioned, but now that labour has gone from $20 per hour to $100 per hour it's not worth it, and you might as well buy it new.
I paid $1500 for the tractor (it was already "old"), it's a Ford LS45 hydrostatic and has a good Kohler engine. I've had it modified so it will carry a snowthrower so I don't really want to throw it out, just fix it. The mechanic helping me is 15 years old. Yay country boys!