Oh, it sounds like they're throwing every weapon in the arsenal at this thing! A good thing too, but heartbreaking all the same.
and Ms. Cardinal are now expectant parents! I know this because he is
collecting sticks and leaves and presenting them to her to help build
the nest in the cedar hedge next door. Unfortunately, she doesn't seem
to be impressed with his choice of building materials! She keeps
dropping them over the edge of the nest. It could be that they have
finished the structural part and are on to interior decorating...and
that she doesn't like his choice of colours for the nursery! Of course,
it's very difficult to find leaves that are any colour other than brown,
Freya is taking a keen interest in the activities of
all the birds - those delicious juncos are hopping about in a most
endearing way in the leaf litter at the end of the yard. The cat is
confined to the house, except under supervision, while the birds are all
so busy. Too bad, but she is not to be trusted as I wrote about before.
Don and I drove past the nearby town of Cardinal just the other day. It
is, like where we live in Morrisburg, on the St. Lawrence River.
Cardinal (the town) has a large white water tower with a picture of
Cardinal (the bird) on it! The town is small, but it has a waterfront
park which was made from the old canal. Many years ago the St. Lawrence
River was very wild and rough with many dangerous rapids. In the 1800's
people built a series of locks and short canals to bypass the rapids so
that boats could go from Montreal to Kingston on Lake Ontario. In the
1950's (about the time that I was born) it was decided that there needed
to be a way for wider and deeper boats to travel with their cargoes on
this route. So the St. Lawrence Seaway was built. It took many years but
it was finally opened in 1959 by Queen Elizabeth who traveled on her
royal yacht through part of the new canal.
The old canals and
their locks were abandoned. Today, there are many parks and play areas
around the old locks near Cardinal, and lots of places to walk the dog!
There are the wrecks of old boats in some places, which are interesting
to divers, so sometimes we see scuba divers there as well.
day, we drove down to the Legion Hall which is in the park on the
riverside in Cardinal. From the road above (Highway 2), we had seen a
great mass of white objects floating on the water and we wanted to
investigate. When we got closer, we realized that these were the snow
geese taking a break from their annual migration between Mexico to the
Arctic! There must have been 10,000 birds all sitting on the water all
across the river! They looked like they were sitting still, but they
must have been paddling like crazy because the water runs fast just
We met a man who had binoculars that he let us look
through. We were all amazed by the sight of the shining birds in the
setting sun. From his car the man then got a big telescope on a tripod.
When he had set it up he gave us a look. Each bird which looked tiny in
the distance could now be observed just as if it were in my back yard!
It turns out the man was a serious bird watcher...he told us that this
flock had spent the previous night in some nearby fields. He thought
that they were waiting for the high winds to stop before they few on. He
didn't know why they were on the river like that as there was ice all
around, and no food for them, but he suggested that they had been
frightened by something and were waiting for that danger to pass.
Eventually we said goodbye - Don's stomach was rumbling - it was
The next day we saw that immense flock flying over
our house, beautiful white strings of birds were shining in the
sunlight, making their strange honking noises. We called our next door
neighbour, Richard, who was raised on a farm in the area, and he said
with satisfaction, "Now the Spring is here!"
This is not a blog. So sue me!
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