Wednesday, July 26, 2017

SQUIRREL COMPETITION

      Now let me get one thing off my chest . I hate squirrels. In particular I hate Red squirrels. With these two sentences I've just lost some friends or else I'll hear about things.

      Where was I? Red squirrels are nasty little beggars. I've had resident squirrels for around ten years. Mother Red squirrel establishes a territory in July and has a litter the next April. Mother squirrel leaves the territory once the litter has become independent. One of her daughters takes over the territory. In other words , every year I get a new female squirrel.

      So for the year I have my female squirrel she makes life miserable for me. She helps herself to my bird seed. That's the worst. She drops spruce cones all over the place. Some get very territorial and think that they should chase me away from my house. Some chew holes in things on my yard.

      I keep covers in a wooden shed to cover plants when there's danger of frost. One fall I kept seeing bits of blanket spread around. I was too dumb to figure out that the squirrel was entering the shed and taking material to make a nest. To top it off the same squirrel made a nest in the blankets in the shed to have and raise her litter. I accidentally discovered the nest when I went in that part of the shed and a nasty squirrel came out of nowhere and made a fast exit from the shed.

     So last week I observed two red squirrels competing for territory. I noticed two squirrels keeping on opposite sides of a tree and then they would chase around the yard. Back to the tree. Same game. Out in the yard and chase some more. Finally one squirrel made it up the tree and out tho the end of a branch. Dumb move! Second squirrel raced to the end of the branch and there was a lightning speed fight. One squirrel fell out of the branch . (15 ft.) At that point the chase ended.

    So two females were competing for territory.

     Sorry , no photos of this fight.

    Now Red squirrels may be cute and interesting to watch but I still hate them. Does anybody want a free Red Squirrel? Do I have any followers left?

No automatic alt text available.

Photo by Angela McLean Cormier

Sunday, July 23, 2017

HOW INTERESTING CAN MY WEATHER GET?



     We've had a very interesting summer as far as weather is concerned. We've had two wind storms that did major damage. It's been dry and it's been hot. Oh yes, did I tell you we had damaging hail about 10 days ago?

     Today was a hot muggy (25 C) ( 80 F)  day. About 3:00PM there were shower clouds forming  in the west. There was a thunder storm warning. The clouds developed and there was lots of thunder by 5:00PM.

     I stayed outside to watch the thunder and lightning. I came in the house and foolishly predicted that I didn't think we'd get any rain.

     Well, it did rain. 8/10 of an inch in 30 min. But there was hail and lots of hail. Most of it was marble size. As you can see my garden is trashed. Some of it will come back.

     We have a storm sewer problem and the water backs up in our street. Terry Willoughby , my neighbor, has supplied photos or the truth is I stole them from Terry!!! Don't tell him.





       My house is on the left.
Image may contain: outdoor
  
    My house is the brick house on the right. The storm sewer cannot handle the volume of water so it backs up and forms a lake. So you see I have a lake front house! Almost a house in the lake.
Image may contain: tree, sky, outdoor and nature

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

WILD FIRES

      At the present time there are many wildfires in British Columbia, the province to the west of us. At one time they said there were 176 fires burning. It's been hot, dry and windy... so perfect  conditions for wildfires.

      About 40000 people have been ordered out of their homes and 15000 more are on standby. Some homes and property have been burned.

      The area ranges from heavy bush to open range land and then there are farming areas in the river valleys. 

      So it's challenging for firefighter and residents. There's no relief in sight at the present time.

      Now I live about  600 km from the fires. We've had westerly winds so the smoke has blown into Alberta. Air quality rates from 3 -10. Now the smoke is quite high.

      I live midway between Edmonton and Calgary.


Affected area map



     I took these photos from my yard just a few minutes before 7:00 PM. The sky is not cloudy. The dullness is caused by smoke. I was just lucky to get the sun in my photo as you couldn't see it on the viewfinder.