Tuesday, April 8, 2008

It Has Sprung

Spring has finally sprung around here. Today's temperature reached a sunny 16C (61F) and snow piles have almost entirely disappeared. It's been lovely for walking and snapping photos.

Just a quick update about the repairs that were necessitated by mamma raccoon. The roof has been repaired by an outside contractor. It rained heavily the following day and I heard nary a drop. The interior work has been on hold while the insurance company's contractor got their act together and presented an estimate. They're booked to come in next Monday to start doing the rest of the job which includes repairing my ceiling and wall, painting both and cleaning the carpet. The insurance company has agreed to pay all of my bills in full. That includes the interior and exterior work, the bill from the animal removal service, a bill from my neighbour Lloyd for his emergency repairs, the replacement cost of lamps, shades and venetian blinds, and a fair compensation for a water-damaged night table. Lombard Canada, Ltd. was cooperative, helpful, supportive and reliable in every way that I had hoped, and I highly recommend them.

I've heard the raccoon kits under the deck as recent as yesterday. My cat Skittles, Frank's dog Benny and my neighbour Caroline's dog Raven can all smell them. They head over to that corner of the deck to sniff around as soon as they are outside. I'm concerned that one of them might try to corner them sometime when they venture out, particularly Benny who seems to be hardwired to chase. I'll be happy when the kits are old enough to leave their nest behind so that we can seal up their point of access. Aside from my concerns, I'm happy to know they're still around, and hope that all four babies are still thriving.

Please enjoy some random shots taken over the past week. Please remember to click on them to enlarge.

Other birds are just as representative of the season, but get shortchanged by the popularity of the robin as the first sign of spring.

This mourning dove was busy gathering nesting materials.

This little guy watched me closely and suspiciously until I lowered my camera and moved on.

A walk along a nearby shallow creek offered this view.

Frank almost always finds something when he's out walking. This time, much to Benny's delight, it was a frisbee.

Here's a view of the willow tree that appeared in the last foggy image, two posts ago.

The setting sun always warms the lake with its golden light.

An out of focus shot of a duck taking off, rendered this image a suitable Photoshop experiment.


Frank Baron said...

"Seems" hardwired to chase?


Ha! You should have seen that poor jogger this evening. He made the mistake of picking up speed as Ben came to say hello....

Lovely shots, as always. I especially like the mourning dove ones - the pine makes for a very nice frame. :)

the Bag Lady said...

You have robins?! Spring must really be there! Haven't seen any here, yet, but have lots of geese, so the robins won't be far behind.
We don't get mourning doves here, so the Bag Lady really liked those photos!
Great post, Hilary! Thanks for sharing.

the Bag Lady said...

Sheesh, it would be nice if we could edit our comments...forgot to say I'm glad to hear your house repairs are coming along!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I love the nesting mourning dove-that soft brown is one of my favorite colors.

I'm glad the insurance is coming through for you. What a pain!

Hilary said...

• Thanks, Frank. If I recall correctly, you pointed her out to me. :)

• Thank you, Baggie. Some of our geese stick around all winter. The mourning doves do too but the robins do indeed mean spring. Thanks for the good house thoughts. :)

• Thank, Jenn. The inconvenience sure is a pain but it should all soon resolve. I'm glad you liked the dove images. Thanks for stopping by. :)

Leah J. Utas said...

Ah, Robins. We've heard them here--or starlings imitating them--but haven't seen any yet.
I love that gorgeous shot of sun on water.
Glad the repairs are coming along and I'm glad the insurance company is holding up its end of the bargain.

Jo said...

What a relief the insurance co. is picking up the tab on everything without a fuss!

We don't get robins here & I miss them...in the house I grew up in they always nested in our pear tree. We do get doves but I've never seen that variety, so pretty, like a blush!

It looks a little like Frank had a frisbee & instead found a Benny :)

John-Michael said...

My Darling Friend, please forgive this intrusion … but knowing your compassionate Heart, I am compelled to send this to you. Please read it, and follow your Heart’s leading. I have unwavering trust in that. I Love You, Your Servant, John-Michael

Oh my darlings, you sure know how to make a girl cry. I have just come home briefly to check in, there are too many messages to answer but I appreciate each and everyone one of then so very much.

Unfortunately, I have been given a bit of a bum steer in terms of Jack being able to stay in Hospice with me. That is actually not the case, apart from a night here and there, so the woman that told me it was possible has really got a lot to answer for as I pinned all my hopes on this. Anyway, Jacks Dad came down and can stay at my place this week at least but that's it. After that who knows and yet they are saying I need to be in Hospice for a lot longer yet.

The pain last night, defied description I have never felt such pain in my life including child birth, I was a sobbing mess, eventually they had to knock me out and I finally got some rest. Anyway they are comparing scans and trying very hard to work out what is best to do. I know I desperately need chemo, the longer I go without it, the bigger the tumour is growing and pressing further on the nerves. So now not only do I have megga pain that is not responding to treatment, I have a child not welcome at Hospice and my life is completely screwed.

I spent the night in tears and most of the day too, I don't have think I have any left but who knows, I will let you know how tonight goes. I am a broken woman.

There is talk about Jack having to move up with David to Warragul and change schools and everything. I said NO WAY I am not giving him up when I am not ready to die and I am not giving him up twice. I will work something out. There is no way he needs to go to another school, he needs the security of his local school here and his friends and having close contact with me.

Anyway my friends, it is a lot to contemplate tonight, I will do my best and I will not be letting my son go away from me no matter what. Please keep praying and sending me your love and care, I need you all so desperately right now. I hate to have to go, but I must leave now to go back to Hospice as they need to medicate me there, it is too dangerous to be on the medication I need to be on at home.

I will be thinking of you and I will post again either tomorrow or the next day, I promise.

Love to you all, my heart is full of you love and hugs to each and every one of you. Xxxx

posted by Jen Ballantyne at 18:40 on 9/04/2008

Reb said...

Hilary, fabulous photos as always! The mourning doves are very pretty and I like how you photo shopped the last one!

Chica, Cienna, and Cali said...

your neck of woods is lovely, Hilary. the dove with the twig in his beak is a dear!!!! and glad to hear spring's there...it's been a teaser here....after a 67 degrees weekend we are back to chilly days!!!! but i know it's gonna be here soon..i think i can smell it in the air :)

photowannabe said...

Terrific shots of Spring around your place.
You have good insurance to pay things in full. That was a lot of damage you sustained. Happy to hear the kits are ok.

Hilary said...

* Thanks, Leah. I never knew, until this past weekend that starlings can imitate so well.. and can speak like parrots. They're a very cool bird. :)

* Thank you, Jo. That's cool about the robins. When my kids were little, for two years in a row, robins nested over our outdoor lamp. Both times her eggs hatched on Mother's Day. We felt so honoured. :)

* I'm sorry for your friend's pain, John-Michael... sending best thoughts her way, and yours.

Thanks, Reb. I'll contact you when I get back home in a couple of days, and explain what I did with Photoshop. :)

* Keep thinking positively, Moi. It'll get there any day now. Thanks for your kind words. :)

* Thanks Photowannabe. I'm grateful for how everything turned out. :)

Cath said...

Oh they are lovely shots. The dove is beautiful. Benny looks playful!

And your 'experiment' is very very effective.

Brilliant. As always.

Kerri Farley said...

Oh I LOVE THESE!! That last shot of the goose in take off is FABULOUS! It is so FUN to take something you have and CREATE from it! In my other blog http://www.kreationsbykerri.blogspot.com/ my very first post was two ducks coming in for a landing!

I also really LOVE the Dove with the nesting material! When my hubby sees a bird with nesting material he always comments "there he goes with new living room furniture" :)

Kappa no He said...

So glad it is warming up there. I was wondering how the racoon babes were doing. Doubly glad to hear they are doing well.

Dianne said...

love all your photos!

the photoshop piece was wonderful. I play around a little with Kodak (not so) Easy Shareware and I love when something comes out close to what I imagine.

happy to hear the baby racs are OK

and thrilled to hear that the insurance company is doing what insurance is supposed to do.

Cath said...

Hi Hilary - there's an award over at mine for you! Come over and pick it up.

Seamus said...

Hilary - thank you so much for stopping by our dog house!
I'm glad to see that spring is arriving for you, seems it was a long and snowy winter for you!

Hilary said...

* Thanks so much for your kind words, Cath and for the award. Much appreciated. :)

* Thank you Kerri. I'm glad you're enjoying the pic and playing around with them can be a lot of fun. That's really cute how your husband comments on nest-building birds. Thanks for stopping by. :)

* Hi Kappa! I'm glad they're doing well too. Thanks for the visit. :)

* Thanks for all your kind words, Dianne. I had no idea what I was going to end up with while playing with Photoshop, but sure had fun anyway. :)

* Hi Seamus. It sure was a long winter.. especially in dog years. ;) Thanks for visiting and I hope you'll be back again soon. :)

Anonymous said...

That's great that your insurance company came through. What an experience you have had. Our raccoon family in the chimney is nothing compared to your visitor.

I love the picture of the Mourning Dove. When I was little I would lay in my bed next to the window and listen to their song. Sometimes I would repeat it just loud enough for them to hear. It was fun to think they were listening, and would then reply.

Hilary said...

Thanks Gawilli. I have no doubt your Mourning Doves were listening and responding. You should hear Frank when he CAWs at the crows. ;)

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