Weather ahead

This could be an interesting day. It is already 15 degrees C and we could hit 20. Strong gusty winds and potentially severe thunderstorms are forecast along with possibly more than 30mm of rain. It is already quite breezy so we stowed the lightweight things in the yard that could blow away. I mulched leaves with the mower yesterday and it appears they will be replaced today.

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Bird watching

Bird watching

This will be the fifth (or sixth) consecutive season I have participated in Project Feeder Watch, a cool citizen science project which is a collaboration between Bird Studies Canada and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

I set up a bird feeder then once weekly record the weather conditions, species and number of birds that visit the backyard. We have the typical songbirds – English sparrows, Black-capped chickadees, cardinals, blue jays and so on. I have also seen a Sharp-shinned hawk, Baltimore oriole, and some other somewhat unusual visitors.

I photographed this American Goldfinch in April 2011. Did not get very many good photos last winter.

I invite you to visit either of these pages to learn more and participate.
For US participants: http://feederwatch.org/

Canadians: http://www.bsc-eoc.org/volunteer/pfw/index.jsp?lang=EN&targetpg=index

Streeeeetch

Streeeeetch

Taken with my PlayBook.

I was working in the backyard this afternoon and Achilles came outside. As he was laying down surveying his world he looked so regal, dignified, calm, attuned. Every time I tried to pose him, Chili Dog confounded me by doing something I did not ask for – getting up, coming towards me. Then he luxuriantly stretched his head and neck up and out, and that unexpected act turned into a good shot.

Ordering ‘Second Chance Dog: A Love Story’

This the title of Jon Katz’ latest book, published last Tuesday. The theme – second chances, redemption, finding love – is deeply appealing so I ordered the book from Battenkill Books, a great small book store in Cambridge NY.

I’ve had the good fortune to browse and buy at Battenkill, which is Mr. Katz’ local bookstore – he lives just outside Cambridge. I deliberately chose to buy there because it’s a great bookstore, it’s a local business (not local to me, true, yet still local.

Called the store a sort time ago to place my order. Mr Katz and is wife Maria are signing all copies ordered at Battenkill. When asked how I wanted it signed I replied ‘However he wishes’ at which point the phone was handed to Jon Katz.

We chatted for a few minutes. He thanked me for ordering the book and doing so through a small bookstore. I never considered otherwise.

Can’t wait to read it.