The Homestone

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2015 drawing to a close

 A Winter Walk about . . . 

And I want to share two of David's recent creations;
the first, a Hawaiian Koa Wood Ring with an inlaid cross of Maple, and a figured Bethlehem Olive Wood Ring with a gentle taper.

It's wonderland time on the meadow again.

 And we are so very thankful.
For our solstice celebration, Vincent built a beautiful bonfire and the three of us and all our spirit friends enjoyed it's warmth and welcomed back the light.

Wishing all our family and friends (and friends not yet met) 
a peaceful and joyful transition into 2016.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The short dark days of mid December.

Winter has come to the meadow.  
We are almost at the shortest day of the year. I'm very thankful we work at home.  I was chatting with a woman at the post office in town yesterday and she was saying how she goes to work in the dark and arrives home when it's dark and only sees her yard on weekends. 
We are so fortunate to be working at home during these short December days.  If there is a sunny break today I will gather up my camera and my iPod, don my warm woollies and head out to take some photographs. Though it's already 1 pm so it's unlikely we'll see sunshine today.
In the meantime, here are some pics from the last 10 days around the meadow.

A couple of pics of David's green thumb at work.  Our first amaryllis bloom with more on the way.

See you again soon. The sun WILL shine.  The days WILL get longer.  
Till then, much love and many merries. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Mid November on the Meadow

 Some mid-November Meadow moments.  Welcome! 
Our dear Whiskey Jacks looking a little bedraggled today.  First real snowfall of the year. Hopefully the treats at the feeders warm them up a little.

Just before today's Whiskey Jack snow fall, David and I took a wander round the meadow and got some pics of our almost winter white world ~ that transition day when fall is almost a memory under the first brush strokes of winter.

  Looking up ~ way up.

   The days are short now.  Sunsets sneak up on us.
   Welcome to Winter on the meadow. It's a beautiful time of year!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Whiskey Jack on the meadow ~ a post from David

The Canada Jay lives here all year round, and like the Raven, Pine Siskin, Chickadees and Juncos, his cheery company can be counted on even in the coldest weather. At this time of year he is busy stashing food spruce trees mostly from what we have observed. Larger spruce have naturally peeling bark that provides shingled crevices, perfect places to protect and hide the stash.

They eat and stash a wide variety of food ... meat, eggs, insects, fruit, sunflower seeds, suet, (left over turkey chopped fine saturated with bacon fat ...) and etc. We have to wait till the bears hibernate before we put suet or bacon fat in our feeders or we will have unwelcome guests ...

Grey Jays are adaptive and intelligent, naturally curious and friendly. A bit of patience will get one feeding from your hand and coming back daily for more. They do have natural predators and so they are very alert, keeping one eye on the sky. Most hawks eventually migrate, so the winter skies are much safer.

Their vocabulary varies from chatter to whistles, and they can imitate other birds. They are territorial and monogamous, and yes they do find a new mate if an accident befalls their partner. They nest in April, which is a cold and barren time of year here, so they depend on this food stash to feed their fledglings.

All offspring from the current year except the dominant male are pushed out of the territory before winter, and the remaining young male joins Mom and Dad for a year till he matures, helping feed the young by retrieving caches. He eventually pairs with a female pushed out of another territory and the gene pool is protected.

The name "Whiskey Jack" is the oldest name we have for this widespread North American bird. It is a derivative of the Cree and Inuit ...Wee-sah-ka-shat (many spellings). Wee-sha-ka-shat, along with the beaver, otter and muskrat, is responsible for the order of things.

The Canada Jay or Grey Jay by modern definition....

well feathered everywhere, this bird is equipped to handle forty below ....

Sometimes called Camp Robber, the Canada Jay is omnivorous and an opportunist.

He is curious and interactive and will come to your voice.

His rounded tail and wings provide a silent and stealthy flight despite his steady wingbeats ...

He keeps one eye on the sky watching for hawks or the shrike.

He can carry a tremendous amount of booty away from the feeders, reminding me of a chipmunk as he stuffs his crop.

That tail acts as a flag to signal when the mouth is too full to talk.... lol.

The winter would be a lot quieter and less cheery without this little bird. They are such good company.

by David Finch