another sweltering day when I stepped outside. White tips, the grey
squirrel was sitting in the maple and began to natter when he saw
me. What? Moi? He knows me well enough so I thought a cat must be
among the shrubs led my eyes to a black squirrel. Struggling, it climbed up the
fence and on to the rail. I stood and squinted, wondering why it
was so large and then I realised it was carrying something.
later, after running into the house for the camera, my eyes focused
on its luggage. AHA !
It was moving day ! In its mouth was a baby being gently carried
along the fence top. Every
time it stopped there were squeaks of I don't wanna go! Well, I'm imagining that was the phrase.
watched as it ran, well more like scampering as squirrels tend to do.
Across one side, a tight right onto the chain link fence pipe, then into
the hedge. Another squirrel joined the parade but I believe it was
more of an escort. Onto the neighbours roof and out of sight.
seen this only once before when there was a parade of adults carrying
their young ones to a nest in the front garden. Then as now, it's
amazing how caring they can be. I do hope they haven't moved far as
I've been enjoying watching 5 or 6 youngsters spill out of the nest
at first light, wrestling, chasing and cavorting with each other.
As I watched them scurry across the roof I whispered...don't forget to write.
searched through friends, phone books, the world wide webs for a hero
and finally found him. It came about last week when a neighbour
called to warn me of a porcupine in the apple tree. Sure, ok, why am
I not surprised Ross. An elephant yes, I would be surprised as they
aren't native to this area, but a porcupine, ummm no.
had him on the phone I enquired who his roofer was, having had a new
roof installed the week before. He gave me his name and number with
a great reference. I called the next day and left a message. The
following day he called me back saying he was in the neighbourhood
and could he drop by. YES! I practically screamed.
and reviewed my predicament. The removal of the three old roof vents
to be replaced with heavy metal; and I would not object to them being
electrified. We discussed dollars and time line; and he left saying
I'll let you know. I've heard that before but I had hope in him.
his truck pulled in and I ran out to meet him. Screw the acting cool
and nonchalant, I was desperate. Here was a man with tools and knew
how to use them! I was NOT letting him out of my sight.
guard as the red fecker was in the walnut tree nattering and foot
stomping knowing full well what was taking place. My Hero replaced
all the vents with heavy duty screening over the openings, then
screwing down the metal roof vents.
morning I laid in bed laughing while listening to the red feckers wee
fists beating on the vents and nattering like a sailor. I finally
won and there is no way he can chew through them.
something does happen, my Hero will be here after one call. Life is
weeks I've heard nothing, no call of robins, no chortle of finches;
the bird song has become non-existent. While it saddens me I
understand nature. The young ones have left the nest so there is no
need for their parents to sing them awake to begin their survival
remember the two broods of robins nesting upon the side door light.
The first brood was exciting to watch but when the second began not
three weeks later, I held my breath. They all survived though their
parents were thin and worn.
jays, with three spawn, were a delight to watch. The parents brought
them into The Pond nightly to quench their thrist while they searched
for supper. They are truely clowns when left on their own, and I
took such pleasure in watching their antics.
course the sparrow who has alighted here for years dropped in for his
daily bath. I am unsure if it's the same one but the habits are too
similiar to be another. I could superimpose photos each year and its
schedules are the same. Alighting in the shrubs, pecking about, then
diving into the bird bath for a shower, then flying to the cedar for
prunning. It had to be him!
doves, those mourning doves, with such a sad song. Parents nesting
across the street would drop their two dovelings? at The Pond. For
weeks I watched while the two siblings cuddled til a parent flew in
with a mouth full of food. They both ate well, and I am sure they
are the ones now gleaning the sidewalks for seeds..
never forget the pileated woodpecker. He was huge and bright! His
squawk always announced his arrival as he landed in the old maple
tree every few days to bore into rotten limbs. With a beak full of
worms his lady would alight and they would share the meal.
autumn draws near, their summer voices have been silenced as they
seek comfort in the wild. I wish I could join them...
of Petite La RougePetite McRed
Petite MacFecker continued at least until Sunday past.
Fingers, eyes and toes crossed.
friend dropped by to clean out the eaves troughs and while he was up
on the roof he asked if I had chicken wire and heavy wire and don't
forget cutters. I'm on it! The vent was twice wrapped with
chicken wire and tied off with the heavier wire. Ahhhh, it looks
bootiful I exclaimed.
afternoon the wee fecker returned from his neighbourhood patrol. I
could hear clawing and squealing while inside the house and so I snuck out
to the patio. There he was scratching and pulling at the wire. He
heard my giggles, turned and ran to a branch above me. Was he pizzed
off! He stood thumping his feet all the while nattering and
threatening me. I returned to safety inside for my camera.
he went to lay waste to the barricade. He managed to sneak half way
in under the first layer but backed out. Around and over he went,
snarling the entire time. He was not a happy camper, but I was and
rubbed it in with laughter and remarks such as “told ya sooner or
later I would win” and “I asked politely to cease the 1 a.m.
games of walnut basketball but you wouldn't listen”.
supper I went out one last time. His poor meI am
homeless now human stance didn't
fool me one bit. It was a
ploy. I knew that, and he knew I wasn't about to be sucked in no
matter how cute he was. He's been a shite disturber for a year and
now it was payback time.
night fell I looked out and saw him silhouetted on the eaves. I did
have a pang, just an itty bitty pang of guilt but what I've been
through the past year, feck him! Find another home, another red to harass and life will be peaceful once more. Well almost.
I came home to the garden and patio littered with walnut fronds. I
guess the pile is his way of saying, I may be out of your home, but
I'm near, very near. If only
one of the umpteen contractors, roofers, handy persons would return
my call to have ALL the vents replaced and electrically wired I
wouldn't feel the need to sleep with one eye open.
the earliest frogs with a personality was named Sir Lawrence of Long
Toes. He was a cutie, if frogs can be cute, with his white belly and
extra long toes. He quickly made The Pond his home and I enjoyed his
day I would find him sitting in the pot of ivy next to the bench. His head hung over the edge as I read passages from what I believe
were a few of his fave books. Wind in the Willows and the Frog
Prince, come to mind.
never one to hop away when I was out and about. He sat calmly,
watching me, waiting for the odd worm I would dig up that was tossed
his way. Maybe that was the attraction. But whatever it was he has
remained a fond memory of frogs I have known.
a story behind this, of course. The sump pump came on and I watched
to make sure it was clear. I watched the water pour into the
depression in the garden and saw doves had congregated. As the depth
of water rose the doves jumped in for a bath. Mind you it was -15C
and I as a watcher could only shudder.
futtered about, rejoicing in fresh clean water to bathe in. Soon the
flow from the hose ceased and I watched as they stood, searching and
wandering why there was no more flowing water. Their posture was
“what!, where did the water go!” as I laughed. It was one of
second installment of frogs I have known during
The Ponds 15th
year celebration, Ishallwrite about Jerry. He
was a large lad and rather protective of his territory. He was also
one of the first odd ones. Odd in his habits that even today I do
wasn't content with sitting in the water or on floating plants. He
had to sit on a patio chair. All day, every day for weeks. In the
evening he would make his way to a planter box to spend the night.
At first light, out he would hop, and yep, up onto HIS chair where he
kept watch over his realm.
one particular sweltering day I became concerned he was dehydrating.
I need not have worried as I watched in amazement as he used his
front legs to smear himself with secretion from his mouth. Using
ancient secrets of frog yoga he was able to completely cover his body
with a film that I guess, cooled and moisturized in one application.
fine summer day I had company for lunch. We set the table and began
the feast. One person, who was a 30 year veteran park ranger in
Algonquin Park noticed Jerry in his chair. An eyebrow was raised. I
mouthed silly me and moved the chair over to the table, with
Jerry in it. He sat silently during the meal even though the
conversation was boisterous. My friend would peer over the table,
see Jerry sitting still watching us, look at me and shake his head
saying “Cheryl, I thought I had seen everything in the wild, but
this, I, I,....”. I shrugged and smiled.
a time like this when I just shake my head and ask “why me?”
the last snowfall, the patio needed clearing. When that task was
done I walked into the garden to check the roof as over a foot of
white shite had fallen. I stood blinking, unbelieving, and sighed.
was the path of a very industrious squirrel. Petit Mc#$^@* the 2nd
took it upon himself to dig a way out of his spacious and warm home.
He wasn't waiting for me to do it.
night searching for family. Wasted. It's getting harder and harder
to find information online or is it that I've exhausted every site?
I'll go with the exhaustion. That thought doesn't leave me depressed
about the information highway. More and more organizations/societies
want money for access. I get that. After all it costs for web and
servers and maintenance, but really? Memberships and donations cost
me so why not give a little bit back. I don't need certified
documents, a screen shot is good enough for me, besides I know a few
ways around ;)
are sharing people. We are more than happy to separate a plant and
give to other gardeners; sharing the growing demands of a particular
plant; harvesting seed to ensure the lineage continues. Heck, I've
sent plants hundreds of miles just so they continue to live on. But
genealogists are another breed and I'm not so sure I want to join
that herd. Sharing information for some, not all I've met, is like
pulling teeth. Uncomfortable and awkward.
in contact with one “distant relative” giving her all the info I
have and what have I received in kind? Nada! Not a bloody thing.
All I asked for were photographs of a great great grandparent. I
have none, nor does anyone in the family. Another branch has ceased
communication and that is very sad. I feel my blood was drained
providing them with my documentation, and after sending such, I've
been tossed aside.
no one else in either of my families who is interested in our
heritage. None at all. So I continue the search for Cornelious and
Edward; and Joseph and Charles. As I said to one the other night,
they need to be found, to be recognized if nothing else but for their
lives. They came to this country wearing rags, cutting out an
existence in forests, and be damned if I will allow them to go
unnoticed. We are who we are because of them.
time being I need to step away from the Family Forest. The files
have already been sorted and stored. It is time to check on the pots
in the basement, and begin repotting and watering. That gives me
greater joy. To encourage growth and life in the present than to dig
up forgotten lives. This is what I need at the moment. I'm sure
I'll continue the search, after all I am on a mission and
stubbornness be thy name. Life brings memories and I know I'll find
at least a new one even if its name is begonia.
is 15 years old this year. It began as a “I need a project because
the garden has become boring” thought. That thought took on a life
of its own. In two months I located, dug, dug, and dug some more,
researched, moved shrubs, laid liner and laid stones; everything a
novice needed to learn by actually doing.
The Pond has been a life changer is an understatement. It's my Eden,
my sanctuary when life gets too much and I need a reprieve. There's
a serenity about it; calm water with orbs floating around blown by
the summers breeze; bird and frog songs are the only sounds; and
plants every shade of green on this earth.
taught me how to create a safe haven for the wild that take residence
in and around it. Frogs of every shape and shade, and toads. One
summer I was blessed to find a young snapper floating in it. To
think she walked from the river, crossed a busy street, probably
fended off a few cats, and settled in startled me, and humbled me.
She was returned to the river and bid safe journey.
woken sleeping frogs in spring while cleaning it. Who knew they
hibernated in the sand! I didn't. So its also become a teacher and
me its enthusiastic student. It has also taught me to enjoy just
being. With a journal in hand I can sit for hours scribbling my
thoughts, feelings, views, if you wish, my ponderings. It enabled me
to self publish a book during this time. Something I would never
have thought of before.
special anniversary year I intend to post a few of the residents that
never became famous. Starting with this one shot last October, wrapped in leaves warding off autumns chill. Perhaps we'll meet in
spring when it awakes.
ago I purchased a wind chime. I tested the sound in the shop before
I bought it. Yes, I am one of those who stroke chimes in shops. I
need to hear its tones. Are they too sharp, too tinny, too verbose?
I'm sure it drives other shoppers mad but one must listen to the
tones musn't one before deciding just which one brings pleasure to
apprehensive about hanging them in the pergola. Wondering if the too
close neighbours would complain. Then I had an epiphany! They have
no care to others feelings when they run their mowers and whippers at
all hours of the day and night so why should I care for what they
think. Besides they live in climate controlled houses. Their windows
are never open when the fresh air could blow through. They are as
stuffy as their homes.
I listen to these chimes singing in winters wind. Wild, carefree yet
melodic. Its song reminds me of a summers breeze, lilting, singing
to my soul of days soon to be enjoyed. The bedroom window is open,
just a crack, and I shall wander off into dreamland with the song of
summer warming my soul.
Like your favorite flooded cave, your kindness is deep. You have a strong work ethic and are not afraid to hop to it to get the job done. Far from a flaky frog, you don’t jump to conclusions. Ever since you were a tadpole, you’ve been easygoing and likeable and are a good leader without being mossy, so other frogs lean on you without knowing it. Thanks to Michelle at Rambling Woods :)
Tsk tsk tsk
Ponderings From The Pond are from this mind. Photos are views from my lenses unless noted. I retain copyright on my words and my photos and may not be replicated elsewhere without prior written permission. Ponderings from prompts are acknowledged.