Fire in the Sky

The eastern December sky caught fire this morning. As my boots were in the snow, I raised my hands to warm myself for the exigencies of the day.

The snow-track clouds were bathed in pink and red and were reflected in the still waters of the Welland Canal.

While a crow, perched on the very top of the tree loudly announced, “Today is the first of December!”

“There’s a Horse in My Backyard!”

There was a very weird noise coming from the backyard last night–about an hour after sunset. I thought the aliens had landed or the neighbours were fooling around.

I called my husband to listen with me in the kitchen. I asked him, “What is that sound?”

He said, “It’s a horse!”

We went out the back door to take a look; which was probably a mistake, because the noise then ceased.

He went to bed and I googled, “nocturnal animal or bird that sounds like a horse.”

I then discovered that my equine friend was in fact an eastern screech owl.

It’s a wonderful new bird I can add to my birding list. But maybe some more experienced birders can tell me; can I add it to my list if I only heard it?

An Ode to Rice Lake

If we lost heaven because it fell from the sky, I would say that I found it on the shores of Rice Lake.

The ethereal beauty of the glistening waters, setting off lovely islands here and there, encapsulates a quintessentially Canadian cottager’s dream.

I was greeted by a turkey vulture hanging in a tree, and a red squirrel, holding a pine cone several sizes too big for its mouth.

The gentle lapping of the water on the shore was a tranquil, soothing lullaby.

The lake was so thick with fish that they leaped out of the water to announce their presence.

My farewell was a surprise visit from a long lost love. The loon laughed comically as dusk approached; promising a longer song as darkness fell.

I wish I could hold that view forever in front of my eyes.

And respectfully remembering the Indigenous People who collected wild rice once-upon-a-time, along its shores.

My New Bouncy Friend

I was studying in the back garden; getting ready to help run the local polling station for the upcoming federal election. I was learning how to get people ready to vote and enable democracy while not taking any sides.

Out of nowhere, on the back fence I heard the loveliest warbling and trilling and looked around to see the house wren bouncing up and down. I had never seen one before and I thought he looked like a sparrow, but certainly did not act or sound like one.

His song was very beautiful and I found his bouncy behaviour very amusing. I will always be grateful to Elections Canada for inadvertently introducing me to the house wren.

The Pizza Thief

My son ordered a pizza for delivery–small size. I wondered what the shuffling noise was coming from the porch.

I opened the front door and I was so surprised and secretly delighted to have the privilege of seeing a beautiful big racoon with a loaded pizza hanging from her mouth. She looked at me and then dashed off; probably taking it home to share with her family.

Photo by Chalo Garcia on Unsplash