“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?

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 Common Terns of Long Point Provincial Park

We were in Lake Erie; off the beautiful beach in Long Point Provincial Park; in the precious and unique biosphere of the Long Point sandspit; recognized by UNESCO; enjoying the water and the waves.

I looked up over the lake to see a group of birds, crying and dipping and diving over the water.

At first I thought they were seagulls, with their grey and white bodies, but they had black heads and they didn’t sound or behave like seagulls.

I later found out that they were common terns; but they weren’t a common sighting for me and I was happy to see them.

Pre-Sunset Glow

The rarified ambience of an early summer evening.

The cumulus clouds that slowly move in the light blue sky.

The sun that sits in a corner of the sky like a dying campfire.

The special quality of the pre-sunset sunlight that illuminates the top of the trees.

The muted respectful staccato of the American robin and the low peaceful flute of the mourning dove.

The gentle breeze that blows the leaves and introduces a cooling air.

The sweet peas; the sweet peace; the sweet peas!