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coolbaby

Cool Baby

 

Here’s 4-month-old granddaughter Coralie, looking very cool in her shades, ready for a stroll outdoors. Even well-wrapped against the cold, she can enjoy the blue sky, bird song, and other tastes of the natural world. With two parents who are deeply committed naturalists and ecologists, she is sure to be a Wild Child.

Studies show that in the space of a generation, children have nearly ceased all outdoor activity, with the average American boy or girl spending just 4 to 7 minutes a day outdoors, a drop of 90% from their parents’ childhood days. In an interview with radio host Tom Ashbrook entitled Hey Kids! Go Outside, Already! author and TV host Dr. Scott Sampson argues for the benefits of raising a wild child. The interview with Sampson, author of How to Raise a Wild Child: The Art and Science of Falling in Love with Nature is linked here.

coralieanddogs

Red-wings 2015

redwing

The red-winged blackbirds are back! Finally. I’ve been waiting and watching and waiting, and last Friday I was finally rewarded when the distictive ‘oak-a-lee’ call reached my ears.

The blackbirds are late this year. I thought the 15th was late last year but it was still nearly a week earlier than this year’s date.

2015: March 21st
2014: March 15th
2013: March 10th
2012: March 3rd
2011: March 10th
2010: March 10th
2009: March 7th

Our long, cold, snowy winter has been holding on, holding on. We had a few teaser days a week ago, when the temperature rose above freezing, but there is still plenty of snow on the ground. Still, the sun gains strength every day, and the snow is slowly melting away, even as a cold wind makes us keep our coats buttoned up tight. Winter can’t hold on forever. Today I saw my first robin!

garden

stream

Cusp of Spring

 

branches

Spring Branches

 

pink

Pink Amaryllis

 

afghan2

In addition to sitting by the fire, keeping warm and reading, I’ve passed winter hours with a few crochet projects. I started the granny square afghan, above, while riding on the train during out September trip to Vancouver. That’s Arthur, admiring the finished product.

rainbow2

This rainbow afghan was a gift for the newest addition to our family, granddaughter Coralie. The primary-colour rainbow pattern is a favorite of her mom.

rainbow1

Coralie seems to approve too. Here she is, giving it the baby taste-test.

And finally, here’s another patchwork-style afghan, which I just finished this weekend. That’s Buddy relaxing and enjoying a little wash in the afternoon sun.

afghan

snowbuntings

Snow Buntings

 

We think of migratory birds flying south to Florida or Central America, but for some birds, this is the south they migrate to for the winter. Snow Buntings (Plectrophenax nivalis) breed in the far north on rocky tundra, but winter across central North America. As I drive along country roads, it’s not uncommon to see flocks of Snow Buntings fly up in a rush from the roadside as the car approaches. This flock was foraging farther into a field and when they didn’t take flight, I had the opportunity to record them with this photograph. These birds are sporting their winter plumage, with buff and black points. You’ll find more information about Snow Buntings linked here.

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