Thursday, December 01, 2011

Golden-crowned kinglet

This lady-kinglet flew into a window today. She was doing that open-beaked, shocked-and-hurt thing that birds do, so I put her into a shoebox while she recovered her strength. She was such a tiny little thing! She weighed no more than a couple of toothpicks and was about the size of two cotton balls. After about 10 minutes she flew off with no apparent trouble and I heard a chorus of little cheeps coming from the tree that she flew to.

Golden-crowned kinglet I did take a picture of her just before her "release," but I was careful not to stress her and I was really quick with the camera (hence the poor image quality).

Monday, November 14, 2011

Back to the slow crushing

Because to me, thesis writing is more like the garbage compactor scene from the first Star Wars movie than it is a "daily grind." Although "slow crushing" does not really describe my state of mind at the moment, I know that the closer the deadlines get, the more apt it will be. It's the nature of the beast.

In any case, I'm back from PEI, back from Ontario, back from Virginia, so here comes the crushing! It's nice to know I have so much material to use up on procrastination blog posts! But for now, it's back to the compactor. Meerkats at Monticello Thomas Jefferson's estate Monticello was the highlight of the Virginia trip for me. Colonial Williamsburg has a hard time trying to tell the story of such a large, diverse site. Monticello, in contrast, just makes sense, and as a result offers a much more fulfilling experience, "in my humble opinion." The meerkats liked it too.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Back Home Weather

Well it's been nice being back in Ontario for a bit. I visited with a friend in Toronto for a couple of days, and then the rest of my time was researching in the archives or driving around the Ontario countryside, so that was all quite nice. One thing that wasn't nice? Ontario's weather. It was grey, gloomy, dreary, wet, dark, depressing, murky, somber, dim, sunless. I will not be missing forecasts like this:
Nova Scotia's weather isn't stellar, but at least there is a little more variety. I swear, when I woke up Sunday morning it took me 15 seconds to remember the word "sunshine". It had totally fled my mind from lack of use!
And hey, if it's variety I want, there is always Virginia's weather, which I will be experiencing in person by this time next week!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

LMM thesis talk: Leaskdale

I made it up to Leaskdale today, to visit the Manse where Lucy Maud Montgomery wrote 11 books and lived for 15 years. I'm looking forward to sharing some pictures, but I don't have internet access where I am staying, so I'll have to wait on that for a few days. I tend to think of trees as very permanent parts of the landscape, but it seems every couple months I need to be retaught the lesson that 91 years can actually bring about some pretty significant changes. The main example from Leaskdale that I am thinking of is the view from the North-facing kitchen window, but to tide you over (I'm sure the anticipation is deadly) I'll just share this image of the road visible from LMM's front porch, back when she lived there, and then when Google Streetview passed by a few years ago. Just wait til I get to load my pictures from today! I guarantee dump trucks, piles of gravel, and culverts. If LMM were alive today... well let's just say there would be quite the series of irate journal entries.
This is what Lucy Maud saw
This is what the Streetview car saw. It's not an exact match for angle or perspective, but if you squint a little bit you can see bits of the ridge of LMM's hill in gaps between the white cedars. There seem to be way more drainage issues in the ditch along the road now, compared to what there was in LMM's day - just another environmental effect of road construction! But I should stop there before I get distracted from my actual research.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Creepy Fox is Indifferent

Creepy Fox is Indifferent I finished up in Cavendish earlier than I expected to, so I took the last hour to go to Oceanview in Prince Edward Island National Park to make some notes and watch the waves. On the way in to the parking lot, I saw a beautiful red fox (I take it back PEI, you do have pretty vulpes), but she ran into the bushes before I could get a picture. I hoped she would be hanging around when I left the park, but instead, it was our creepy little friend here who was taking a nap rather nonchalantly by the edge of the bicycle path. I guess he was determined to make the most of the sunshine, considering the two days that preceded this one. I admit, I kinda wanted to cuddle him when I saw him.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

I'm in PEI!

It is cold, wet, and blowing a gale out there. I finally made it over to PEI to do some research for my MLA thesis. Even in a gale, PEI is just a beautiful province. It's interesting though seeing just how cohesive it is as a landscape - I don't want to call it uniform or unvarying, but it just feels like the province as a whole shares more in its landscape/environmental form than other provinces do (I'm thinking of Nova Scotia, but I know it's not the only one). Anyway. I wasn't able to do any site visits today because of the storm, but I did manage to see a little of the shore and eat some really good breaded cod. (I think it was cod) And look, internet! Creepy Fox Creepy Fox. Sorry PEI, but Nova Scotia has much prettier foxes. Some storm pictures: Field and Sea Gale Birds I call this one "Gale Birds." Ha! hilarious. But really, the seagulls are having a blast out there. They really make a past time out of aeronautics, you can tell just by watching them play the gusts. storm drift

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Rock fan

My father is a little fanatical about not having any large rocks in a lawn area. Even if a rock or boulder is just barely showing itself above ground, and the grass is growing over it, he still needs to dig it out. After he dug this one out a few years ago and had nowhere to move it, I suggested he shove it over a few feet into the garden on the front bank. Et voila! One of my favourite little garden vignettes - iris foliage, lavender, self-seeded bracken ferns and an exuberant Frans Hals daylily, backlit by the late August sun.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cute Cat.

Livy is absolutely adorable. That cat makes taking a break from thesis research a joy. Also, I love that Joe Pye Weed, which has settled in to it's full light location very enthusiastically. The 'Goldsturm' Rudbeckia is none too shabby either -- it positively glows in the September evening light. And this is the best year we've ever had for the Autumn Joy sedum. I finally see why it's considered a strong autumn plant.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Semester 3 - Model

I made this model last semester to show a portion of the Bullfrog Pond Park design that myself and two other group members designed. The model encompasses a stormwater outlet and the north end of the park. It was the first model I made since the previous year. I like making models - very engrossing work.