Monday, May 18, 2009

Escape to Nature

Happy Victoria Day everyone! After a ridiculously long and work-stress week, Andrew and I blew the Haligonian popsicle stand and headed for the country. Three hours of driving later on Saturday and we had arrived at my parents cottage in Yarmouth County. Deep breath, fresh air, birds, water, tweet tweets (or Peawinkers as dad calls them) and... SWARMS of black flies. Despite the black flies preventing most outdoor activities, it was so wonderful to be away from cement and buildings for a few days. (View from the front deck. Squint to see the anti-goose fence my dad built along the shore. Part of it is "reclaimed" badminton netting! Go Eco-Dad!).

These "city-panic attacks" also occurred regularly when I lived in Montreal. After three months or so I'd start to feel claustrophobic, all the sounds and noise would annoy the heck out of me. I guess, although I love the city, I will always be that mud trompin', four wheeler driving country girl at heart. (A red-bellied woodpecker that was enjoying the bird feed and bugs around the cottage. We also get some 2 feet large pilated woodpeckers! They have been known to make a LOT of noise on the side of the cottage).

A few of the birds we managed to capture on film. The first is a tree swallow perched on their new summer home. Tree swallows are extremely graceful and love to munch on flies, a very natural option for fly control. They prefer houses without perches. The next picture is of a male purple finch, mowing down on niger seed- Yum! Niger seed is an easy way to attrack beautiful, colourful finches. My favourite being the American Goldfinch.

Growing up my parents have given me a love of birds. There were always binoculars to be found, pictures taken of new birds and the Birds of Atlantic Canada book has been well worn. On Saturday and Sunday Andrew and I saw; junco's, redbreasted nuthatch, chickadees, american goldfinches, purple finches, blue jays, the woodpecker, robins, tree swallows, ruby-throated hummingbirds (my parents have about four feeders) and morning doves. If our balcony didn't have an awesome* netting we'd have birdfeeders at the apartment too! (Our friend "stripey". Dad has a theory that chipmunks don't cause the same amount of damage as squirrels.. so they tend to fair better around the cottage! lol).

Finally one of the very friendly squirrels that had been chewing little holes into dad's shed. He wasn't very pleased about that, but let us feed this one.
The weekend has done it's trick- I am ready to face the exhaust spewing city for another month or so, and was able to ground myself after such a long, difficult week. Soon soon I will be back with a post on "eco" shower options :)


  1. Sounds like a lovely weekend..nothing like a bit of nature therapy to soothe the city-worn soul....

  2. Yarmouth County... you were very close to where I am. Pictures are great. And yes, coming back to the country once in a while must ease your mind of all that cement and city noise. I am so grateful that I live in the country.

  3. It is so great to have a place to escape to! This weekend I'm going to my dad's ranch and I'm so excited to get away.

  4. Sorry you've been having a hard time! But I'm glad you were able to get away. I am the same way - I get so claustrophobic in the city... Beautiful pictures!


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