Saturday, 25 April 2015

Wood duck nesting box update

I figured it out! It's a major design flaw, methinks. There are three pre-drilled holes across the top, b
It's an interesting pond!
ut my trees are NOT flat, and it must have been designed for a human-made support.

My other box was  built on a flat piece with a hole top and bottom for placement. I inserted a brace under #2, which isn't pretty, but with the dearth of natural nesting spots in trees, I'm sure they will be happy with it.

I peeked into the first box to check on progress. Shortly after I installed #1 last year, we hosted a momma and 5 ducklings hatched.

The nesting boxes are supposed to be on a dead tree, and I should chop off the top, as critters can climb down into the box this way. I had a spare piece of metal that I wrapped around the bottom. This prevent critters from climbing up.

#1 secured top
and bottom
You can see my photos of the downy feathers in the nest, preparing for the eggs.

Once all the eggs are laid, one per day, they have 24 hours before they all jump for joy and take off for the marsh.
The cool thing about the ducklings is that they climb up the ladder and hop out of the hole onto the ground. This is what wood duck ducklings do!

This is a long shot of our frog pond
Wood duck box #2
Box #1 has nesting feathers inside!
Daisy was looking for mice friends.
I have dead elms I need taken down
The perfect place for eggs!
See the ladder for the
ducklings to climb up!

My tool bag
Finally, #2 is done

Friday, 24 April 2015

Trips to the city and outdoors

Busy few weeks around here. Between a dead computer needing surgery (fixed and done!), visiting an aunt, an Ottawa Hospital visit, and getting the winter tires off, we were into Ottawa a lot.

I heard, on CBC, of a study that 1 in 7 healthcare visits are wasted when test results do not arrive.
So far, we've not had that problem in 33 visits. It happened this time. The colonoscopy report wasn't in, a failed fax (who knows where THAT report went?!) was the cause. Also, the biopsy report of the removed polyps was missing. It's a good thing that hubby took notes in his recovery room with the doctor. I wasn't there, and couldn't take said notes. Our urologist had none of these notes. His office tracked them down that day, however.


9:30 Left the house, took the North Gower route. Such a peaceful drive with Gillian GPS, along the backroads. 
11:09 In the waiting room, fooled around with the iPad camera to pass the time. Then, I worked on my embroidery. Another patient's wife walked by and complimented me. She told me she did cross stitch, as well.
I can't read, since it's very distracting in the waiting room. Here's why:

1. One guy walked by, his Smartphone on speaker, speaking loudly into his phone as he strolled down the hallway.  2. Another woman complained to reception that it was 12:15 and when would she be seen. Five minutes later they called her name, but she'd wandered over to the window and couldn't hear them. The receptionist spotted her and yelled 'Madam!'

It's important to have something to do... love the iPad apps.

11:45 closed the office reception, which was worrisome!
closed for lunch!
12:20 (For an 11:45 appointment!) We were ushered into the exam room by an intern. He took our most recent information. Next, our doctor came in, he decided more tests: MRI and another biopsy would be ordered. Back to  the receptionist to give her the papers, and we were home free.

Off to validate the parking pass: $13.00. As we approached one set of elevators, we spotted a man in hand cuffs, in that familiar orange suit, escorted by two Ottawa police officers. We hustled ourselves off to the parking lot!

new bridge in Ottawa
1:25 made it to the parking lot and headed for home. We hadn't planned where to have lunch. We usually want to get out of the city by the afternoon. Hubby had taken a granola bar for a snack.

2:45 Made it to our newly renovated pub, Fort Hemlock, in Smiths Falls and had a nice, quiet lunch. There aren't many people eating lunch at this time, we get a lot of attention! We like the view of the water.

4:30 Home again, home again, jiggety jig. What a long day. 

I went outside to try and place the new Wood duck box I'd ordered last week. Hubby had a nap. It took me until 6:00 and I'm not satisfied with my work. It has a design flaw in that there are three screw hole across the top, insufficient contact with the tree to attach them. There needs to be something with which to affix the bottom. Any thoughts?! The old box has a hole top and bottom.

The old box at the other end of the pond has some downy feathers inside, in prep for nesting. I opened it up to check on it. This is good news!

You should have seen me, backwards on the step ladder, cold, big rain boots. I wrapped a rope around the tree to hold on to. The next day I'd pulled a few back muscles. Jeepers this old age sucks!

Last year's box.
Can you see the
feather in the opening?!
In 2014 we had 10 eggs, 5 ducklings!

Thursday, 23 April 2015

It's gotta be spring...Butch raccoon is awake!

Those opposable thumbs get them into trouble! Or fun, depending upon one's point of view! I spotted Butch March 20th. They keep showing up on my motion-sensor trailcam!

Butch #2 from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.
They keep following the Trailcam through the forest!

"Butch" who was lactating!
We know about Migration. Hibernation, that long winter's nap that bears do.
Brumation is the hibernation-like state that cold-blooded (ectothermic) animals use during very cold weather to conserve energy. Estivators have a sleepy time, depending upon the weather and will wake to eat.

Hubby has this habit of naming the animals, and then ascribing conversations. He began with 'Butch', and then we found it he was a she, as you can see in this photo. She was a character.
They go after anything edible!