The Suet Feeder is a Success!

Varied Thrush

a curious Varied Thrush

Our far-from-glamorous but homemade feeder (which has fruit-and-nut suet crammed in every one of its twelve nooks, and grooves cut into it for birds to perch as they fed) had its “soft opening” two days ago. Today was the grand opening (and to think that it only took a couple days of fairly heavy snow to attract them to the free food and drink that has been out for at least three days).

Although a Song Sparrow, a Spotted Towhee, and more than a few Dark-Eyed Oregon Juncos discovered the merits of suet, only the starlings, who put in a rare appearance today, discovered the bowl of well-washed wild bird seed. Or maybe said seed is not to the liking (or diet) of the smaller birds. Actually, we don’t know if these birds are engaging Continue reading

Christmas Dreams, Courtesy of the Sears Wish Book

1968 Sears Wish Book 595

Photo credit: 1950s Unlimited via flickr CC-BY-4.0

As a child, I looked forward to receiving the hefty Sears Wish Book in the mail every autumn. It was an extra special delivery, because it was the only seasonal catalogue of this trendy department store (which was the one to visit, back in the day) to feature a section–often the very last one–devoted to children’s toys–a veritable Noah’s Ark of them. If I wanted to make a wishlist, I started there.

I remember handling the pages of that catalogue in the same way as a philatelist might handle stamps–very gingerly–and poring over every toy on every page with infinite patience and in excruciating detail. How I longed to have a toy (or four) from that Wish Book: Play Doh, Easy Bake Ovens, Fisher Price toys, and Hasbro/Parker Brothers board games like Operation, came alive for me in those oh-so-thin but glossy, full-colour pages.

It’s hard to believe that vintage Sears Christmas WishBook catalogues from the Continue reading

Of Butterflies and Botanicals

Isn’t it surprising how something as freaky looking as a caterpillar can end up looking as beautiful as a butterfly? It’s quite the beast-into-beauty transformation. Here are some more photos of butterflies and botanicals from my visit to the Ontario Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory in the summer of 2008. As someone for whom the Monarch butterfly is the only Continue reading