Thursday, 24 September 2015

Settling Back

As one settles back after being away for some time, one starts to notice the changes which have taken place, in this case in the two weeks we've been away.  The weather has been fairly good in our absence, but today has brought a stiff southwesterly with autumnal showers, and a distinct drop in temperature, reflected in the leaves on the trees which are already starting to turn.

The blackberries are very late but, like the raspberries in our back garden, are making up for a poor early showing by being big and juicy and very attractive to blackbirds and various flies. This picture should serve as a health warning to anyone who walks along the hedgerows eating the fruit straight off the brambles.

Our small birds have been very well looked after in our absence but they're very jittery. As we walked home this afternoon, we watched a sparrowhawk flying low along the road in front of us, heading directly for our house.

This seed feeder, already famous through an article in the Oban Times, was in demand in Canada, so....

....we took the Mark III version out with us, seen here at bottom right. Canada has chickadees, a type of tit, but they're not as bright as our blue tits so, when we left, they still hadn't discovered how to work the feeder.  We were also asked to take out our latest squirrel-proof peanut feeder, which was a great success, but our new daughter-in-law then felt sorry for the squirrel, so we found a design for a blue-jay-proof squirrel feeder on the internet - nothing more than a large jar - in which the squirrel was given his own, personal peanut supply.

The joys of a holiday usually begin to pale when the credit card bill catches up, which it did today, but our mood brightened when we saw the cost of the 'gas' for the Churchill tank sized 'small SUV' we drove from Edmonton airport to Jasper, a distance of around 400km, 250 miles - £19.60.

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