Turkeys up Hidden Trail!
Wednesday 1 November 2023

Autumn trees with a tree covered hill in the background

Blow up Jack-o-lantern

Well, this one is scary! But look at the adorable dragon gargoyle!

Halloween Decorations, Blow up Skull Spider

Halloween Decorations, skeletons and a hurse

Okay! Up the hill!

I saw the deers first, but the camera was not being agreeable...


And then the deers were being skittish. I assumed someone was walking a dog, around the corner. But actually it was these guys! haha!

Two turkeys walking by, Deers hiding behind a bush

Hiking trail thru the trees, over a small bridge

Mourning Doves! So nice to see our native doves for once!

Doves standing on dead branches of a snag

But I'm actually up here to visit the Acorn Woodpeckers.

They are too far away again. SIGHS!

Woodpecker at the top of a far away snag


Blurry Acorn Woodpecker standing on a dead branch

Well. That's not a woodpecker! haha.

Blurry Varied Thrush standing on a pine tree branch

Varied Thrush. There is such a great diversity of native birds up here. They are doing construction, further up the hill and dang, I hope they don't cut these trees down.

Acorn Woodpecker at the top of a broken snag

That's all I get today. That's okay, I'll keep coming up here and they'll come closer eventually!

Back down the hill, and there's a whole flock of female Turkeys... Over a dozen! And they were just walking on past me!

Wild Turkeys walking on the ground

And checking out the patios!

Turkeys standing on patio furnature

So Cool!

Wild Turkey walking on the ground

Garden Work
Thursday 2 November 2023

oh, poor mangy dearheart... barely has any fur.

Eastern Fox Squirrel standing on the steps

I don't know. Do squirrels get the mange? I bet she's terribly cold. And just another continuation of The Year of Sick and Injured Wildlife. Sighs.

I wish I could magically throw some medicine at her and make her better!

Eastern Fox Squirrel standing on the steps

Trees along the bike path

Autumn trees with a hill in the background

Okay. Here I am at the Community Garden, with another, healthier squirrel. She's got a small sunflower head... They like to cut the heads off and just take them with them, to munch on at their leisure!

Eastern Fox Squirrel standing on a wood post, holding a small sunflower head in her hands

Here's a sunflower head in my plot that the squirrels didn't take! It's empty of seeds... it provided food to many birds!

Empty sunflower head

This is the section I'm going to work on today.


You can see all the Early Girl tomatoes, from where I pulled up that plant the other day. Today I'm going to untangle the two SunGolds from their tomato cages, and the Striped German.


And wow, those SunGolds had some roots! It was really hard to pull them out of the ground! And, of course, they were sprawling all over the place, so getting them out of the tomato cages wasn't easy either!

I really need to think about doing something with the soybeans!


Someone else's kale.

close up of kale

American Robin standing on a stick

Gathering Soybeans... and Crime
Friday 3 November 2023

Hello Young Fellow!

Eastern Fox Squirrel standing on the side of a tree trunk

Eastern Fox Squirrel standing on the side of a tree trunk

There was some excitement on the way to the Community Garden.

On the bike path, barely a block away from the Garden, it's probably 9:40ish am. There are two cops, woman and man, on the path talking to a homeless guy on the other side of the creek. I couldn't see him at all, thru the trees.

Woman Cop: okay. Thank you.
Man Cop: (Indistinct but asking a question)
Homeless guy: ahhhh. (Long pause) No.

(I don't even know what's going on... but that very long pause jumped out at me. That guy is SO guilty!) I'm within hearing disance now, walking on by.

Cop: So you didn’t shoot a pistol or something like that?
Homeless guy: I was just listening to my music. (Indistinct)
Cop: Because it was reported in this area. (Pause) Exactly where you are.

So that's just great. Shots fired at the bike path.

And now I’m kinda freaked because somebody's shooting their stupid gun... and are they even paying attention to where they are pointing that thing?!


And then I get to the garden and I'm starting to futz around in my plot when I notice there's a woman, on the inside of the Garden fence walking past all the gates. She stops at the gate I had just come in and rattles the chain. I always spin the lock well.

She walks back the way she came... and climbs up on a chair...

Woman climbing over the Community Garden fence

I have so many questions. Like how the heck did she get in? And what did she do, while she was in here? She obviously didn't take anything.

Well. Some things you just have to let go. I keep an eye on her, but I've got stuff to do today!

Gathering Soybeans

I started out the season with about 30 soybean plants. Not all of them grew up to normal size, but most of them did.

As I pulled pods off the stalks, I counted what I was getting from each plant... there were 60 to 70 pods on an average plant. They were in clusters of 1 to 5 pods every 6 or 8 inches going up each stalk, and a plant had at least a couple branches of stalks.

Gathering Soybeans

I had brought three small ziplocks with me... but those filled up quickly! ha! I pulled out one of the gallon ziplocks that I always carry with me, and got it mostly filled as well!

Ziplocks filled with soybean pods


On the way home... there were different cops, and a couple of Parks employees poking around the bike path, their trucks parked on the grass nearby.

I checked the police dispatch log when I got home. And sure enough...

Call time: 09:09:33 AM
Dispatch time: 09:29:30 AM
Incident Desc: Shot(s) Fired
Disposition: PATROL CHECK


Autumn trees and a hill in the background

Back at home, I spread out the soybean pods and put a fan on them. Most of the soybeans were on stalks that were standing up and those were ovbiously good and dry, they rattled in their pod. But some stalks had fallen over and were on the ground and wet. This should help!

Drying soybean pods

And, wow, that's a lot of pods I'm gonna need to shell out!

Trees in the Rain
Saturday 4 November 2023

It's been mid-60s (18°C), and even the nights have been warmer, in the mid-50s (13°C). And yesterday afternoon, it got so warm I was able to open up my bedroom window again.

I got to listen to the rain all night, and that's the best thing ever!

Today, still it rains!

Autumn yellow tree on the other side of the creek, rain drops in the water

So I'm just walking in the neighborhood today. The rain means I probably won't see much wildlife, and the camera will remain tucked under the rain jacket.

But the trees are so lovely, I just can't resist a little bit of photography!

Autumn Red Maple over the bike path

Autumn trees, a hill in the distance

Autumn trees, a hill in the distance

Cackling Geese
Sunday 5 November 2023

Good Morning, Friend!

Eastern Fox Squirrel standing on the ground, surrounded by fallen autumn leaves

Henrietta is busy hunting. (Nov9... Yep, this is Henrietta!)

Great Blue Heron standing in the water, staring at the bank

Last night got too chilly and I had to close my bedroom window again. I guess I need to get used to the fact that winter is coming!

Clouds over the bike path

Blazey's Guy, running errands on his bike, passes me twice! When he goes by the second time, he tells me there are geese, way out at the school. I wasn't going to walk that far today... but I can't turn down the first flock of Cackling Geese of the season!

Cackling Geese standing on the grass

Cackling Geese are the smallest cousins of Canada Geese. We have both species this time of year, but the Cacklings... uh, Cacklers? heh. Tend to gather together in huge flocks.

Cackling Geese standing on the grass

The clouds are starting to break up.

Red Maples, showing their autumn colour, on the bike path

Autumn trees

On my way back, I noticed a spider web, glistening in the sunlight...

Looking at the creek, some ducks in silhouette

Wow, her anchor lines are at least 12feet long! And she's caught lots of food.

Spider in her web

Up Hidden Trail to visit the Acorn Woodpecker Family
Monday 6 November 2023

Oh, hey! It's that youngster I saw in the park the other day with the shortened tail!

Western Grey Squirrel standing in a tree eating a peanut

I've seen him three times now - I also saw him out my bedroom window a couple days ago. And that's the point where I usually give someone a name. But... I don't know. I get the feeling that he's still wandering and doesn't have an actual territory yet.

I'll hold off on the name until I see him again.

Autumn trees over a street

Autumn leaves in front of grey sky

Hiking trail steps next to a small creek

Water coming over mossy rocks

I get to the top of the trail and walk up to the Acorn Woodpeckers home. The sun is coming out... and can you see? There's the faintest of rainbows leading right to my woodpecker friend!

Faint rainbow in the sky with some pine trees and a snag

Acorn Woodpecker standing onthe side of the trunk of a snag

Acorn Woodpecker standing on the side of a snag

Acorn Woodpekcer standing on the side of a snag

They are just SO interesting!

Granary tree with many holes filled with acorns

They've managed to jam two acorns into some of the holes!

Acorns in granary tree holes

Artsy ferns

Right Past the Garden
Tuesday 7 November 2023

I thought I was going to work at the garden today. But it started sprinkling before I got there... and I walked right on past!

I do regret the backpack, tho. It's got the hand tools in it: spade, shears and dandelion tool, along with other odds and ends like garden gloves and such. It's not terribly heavy, but my back was hurting a lot by the time I got home, having walked around 5 miles with it!


Tree covered hill in the distance

American Robin standing on a branch, surrounded by autumn leaves

Ha! We are almost the same colour as the leaves and branches!

American Robin standing on a branch, surrounded by autumn leaves

Oh! Pigeons!

Rock Doves standing on the ground

They are cool, but weren't very interested in getting their portrait taken.

Rock Dove walking in very short grass

Back at home, I decide to do some shelling!

Shelling Soybeans

Well. This is not going very quickly. I glanced at the time while I shelled 100 Soybeans, and it took me over 15minutes. Dang. How long to do all of these??!

Hopefully I will get faster!

Shelling Soybeans

Sweet Potatoes!
Wednesday 8 November 2023

There's more rain in the forecast, so today I'm digging up the sweet potatoes. The vines had died with the below freezing temperatures at the end of October and it's time to see what we've got!

trees along the bike path under a blue sky

Foggy trees

At the garden, I dig!

I am pleased with all the Sweet Potatoes I dig up under the first plant! There are some good sized tubers, tho they all have cracks in them. That's a bummer, I don't know why that happens.

Sweet Potatoes gathered

Under the second plant... there's hardly anything! I dig more and find a couple of potatoes that may have belonged to the first plant. ha. oh well!

The water is still on, which makes this a lot easier! The dirt is mud and I'm glad I get to wash off the sweet potatoes before I haul them home.

Once home, I set a fan on them to get them as dry as possible. I always lose a couple anyway because mold starts growing on some of them right away. And they don't keep, I'll have to eat them quickly!

While in the porch room, I notice the Peace Lily is blooming!

Close up of a Peace Lily bloom

In the evening, I get back to the soybeans.

Shelling Soybeans

I've now shelled 500 soybeans. And my shelling technique is def getting more efficient.

When I started, it took over 15min to shell 100 soybeans. Now it's taking closer to 10mins.

So that's good. And I've made a pretty good dent in the pile.

West and Henrietta Mix-up!
Thursday 9 November 2023

It's a little chilly this morning, 39° tho the wind chill makes it 33°, brr. But the forecast says the rain will hold off until this evening, so I decide to walk west on the bike path today.

I thought this was Henrietta...

Great Blue Heron in the water

But the more I look at all the pics from today, that's def not the same heron I have been seeing! That dark blue patch at her shoulder is quite a bit bigger. huh.

And now I'm looking at previous photos. oh my gosh! There are def two Great Blue Herons at the creek! This one, with the big blue shoulder patch and another one with a very small patch. And I've been calling them both Henrietta! haha!

I need to look into this! *** But first...

I'm going out to the unnamed wetlands again.

Path thru the grass

There's nothing special here.

Or, I should say... I haven't yet discovered what's special here!

Path thru the grass

But I always seem to find some birds on the walk back!

There's a little flock of Bushtits.

Bushtit standing on a twig

As usual, they bounce around too quickly for me and the camera!

And a Spotted Towhee.

Spotted Towhee standing on a stick

Spotted Towhee standing on a stick

And some sparrows.

Golden Crown Sparrow standing on a twig

I turn off the bike path to walk thru Stewart Pond Park... But we still don't have a pond yet. It's still all prairie out here.

grassland with trees in the distance

But there's a flock of Cackling Geese here, anyway. I'm sure they would prefer to have some ponds here too.

Rain! Where are you, Rain?!

Far off Cackling Geese hidden in the grass

Okay. It's time to figure out who this really is!

Great Blue Heron standing on a snag

I go clear back to the beginning...

I named Henrietta on Feb28, and here's her pic from back then...

Great Blue Heron

This is def the same heron that I saw today. Big blue shoulder patches, plus you can see some of the dark blue feathers underneath her wing too.

And here's a pic of the other Great Blue Heron I've been seeing...

Great Blue Heron

We'll call her Not-Henrietta, for the moment! Very small shoulder patch, and you can see some of the cinnamon coloured feathers behind it too.

And it might be the angle or her stance, but I feel like this heron is a bit more petite, and doesn't have as many of those fancy feathers hanging down at her chest.

Not-Henrietta back in July...

Great Blue Heron

So, she's been around... and been mixed up with Henrietta for a good long while! Ha. It's funny! I'm glad I finally noticed! :)

And yes, I will go back thru the old posts and correct them! (Looks like our first sighting of Not-Henrietta was in June.)

And since I've seen her so many times, and can now identify her in the future, I've decided to call her Knotty!

Knotty is in keeping with the not theme of Not-Henrietta. And when you say it out loud, it sounds like Naughty. She didn't trick me on purpose, of course! But she is def messing with me! *laughs*