compete unfairly with native songbirds. I say, any bird that hangs around in minus 30 temperatures is welcome. It wasn't -30 today, but it was -27 with a nasty little breeze. These little sparrows just puffed themselves up to trap heat and waited in the sun for the human to fill the feeder.
The other little guy is, of course, a chickadee. He is more than tough. He's smart and quick and unafraid. Bigger birds at the feeder don't usually scare him. He flits quickly in and out, never still for long. I was lucky to catch this shot, I confess, from the warmth of the house. That's why on this bright day, the photos are a little dull.
The bird I didn't get a picture of, is the blue jay. He stays all winter, too. And he is the master of the feeder. Raucous squawks precede his arrival and his weight sets it swinging. Grabbing the shelled peanuts in triumph, he flies off to hide them. He may or may not be back. Every spring, especially if we set out un-shelled peanuts, we find them hidden in planters and anywhere convenient. Who cares? I love the birds brightening a cold day. They have my deep admiration.
Several views through the Bevans Nature Centre.
offer my non-magical but sometimes necessary help. And I'll enjoy it. Did I think of Fairy Grandmother myself? No, I can't claim that much wit. My good friend pointed out that when we help, sometimes we are like Fairy Grandmothers. It's a nice thing.
Maybe I should contact Chef Gordon Ramsay. I'm sure he'd like to include this kitchen tool in his 'advice to the home cook'. Yes, that's a clamp holding the roaster shut. There's an identical device on the opposite side. Inside is a roasting chicken We buy chickens from Joshua who comes around selling them from the local Hutterite Colony. We buy 15 or so for the winter and they are more flavourful than their grocery chain cousins. However, we have to freeze them and when they thaw sometimes their legs stick up and push the lid from the roaster. Then the chicken "dry roasts." Not what we want. Hence, the clamp. These two were bought especially to hold the lid down.
Hubby asks, "Will we be able to get the clamp off? It'll expand once it heats up."
I'm supposed to know this? "I ask him if the metals on the clamp and the 'screw' have the same coefficient of expansion? As in, are they made of the same metal?"
He says, "No." And after thinking adds, "Well, if we let it cool for ten minutes it'll contract; we should be able to undo it."
Notice all the 'yous'. It wasn't my idea to clamp the lid onto the roaster.
You can't make this sh-t up.
This is a picture of the moon from Johnson Canyon in Banff National Park last month. I thought it was cold then. I was wrong; it's cold now. I know it's warmed up but walking the "wind tunnels" in downtown Edmonton, you wouldn't have known it.
It's time to toughen up and bundle up. Out you go. Winter is here and even if we benefit from warmer temperatures when Calgary has chinooks, it's winter. Suck it up, buttercup.
Young kids love their teachers and most of them like school. Computer class is a perennial favourite because math games or language games can transform drill into fun. I chose the image at the left because although there are only four children and there is a dog (not allowed), it gives an impression of the enthusiasm and crowding round that is typical of elementary kids.
The other day I was in the computer room at class change when grade three students were finding computers to work at, logging on (not as easy as you think) and verifying the assignment which had already been explained in detail before arriving. Several children clamoured around their teacher, a veteran of a few years, all vying for her attention. All wanting their issue attended to and solved immediately, if not sooner. Calm in the chaos, she dealt with each problem. I didn't even hear the question that warranted this response but I loved it. Without missing a beat, she answered. "Life is about solving problems."
Kids face problems, teens face problems, /adults face problems. It is so true life is a journey of problems and learning to rely on your own resources early - priceless.
Sure enough, in a couple of minutes, the kids had settled down and were working away. Problems solved.
The picture is a distraction, a feeble excuse to explain why my 100 day writing challenge isn't farther along than it is. A couple of writing friends and I decided to do a 100 day challenge. One of us took the idea and decided to try and write every day. I knew that would just lead to disappointment so I thought I would record my "writerly" activities for 100 days. So far I have written 32 out of a possible 54 days. That makes 59%. If I were to hark back to my teaching career when evaluating students, I would have to say my % is disappointing. I'm not failing but neither am I excelling. It also means that 41% of the time, I didn't write. I have excuses- we were away for a few days, I had my grand kids for a visit, I had to teach that day. Some of the excuses are legit. Others not so much. I'm hoping that revealing myself like this might prod me into action. But it might not. Maybe it'll give you a chuckle.
By the way, the hounds and I are in the Great Sand Hills in Saskatchewan. I often use them as excuses for not getting things done, too.
I've been married a long time and often write about everyday events.