Wings and things

No, not BBQ chicken wings but new young robin’s wings.

Our brood of robins are growing fast and we expect them to be gone shortly. They are still young though and are still being attended to by their parents. We still can’t tell which parent is still feeding them the most but I’m leaning toward Dad. Apparently, Mum leaves about now and starts a new nest.

The latest video.

We notice that every day they get bigger. We saw them stretching their wings for the first time today.


Baby Robins

Although we aren’t bird watchers we love to watch birds. I do mean the feathered variety as well. The ones we are watching are, of course, the North American Robin.

In the last few days, we’ve watched the little ones get bigger and bigger. It’s amazing how fast they grow.  It’s hard to see them but we notice that they stretch more for food each day. Or perhaps the greedy one is standing on its sibling’s head, who knows?

We thought that there were only two for a while but I definitely saw three today. Perhaps the third one was the one being used as a step stool.

Check out the video.

Mum is trying to stuff a berry down the babies neck but the silly little blighter keeps spitting it out.

I have been trying to get some good video to pass on but when I zoom it gets too shaky. I told Rosalie that I needed a tripod and it just so happened that mine was close at hand. So I set it up. Although the location is not the best so tomorrow we try again.

50 years party

I had to celebrate my 50 years in Canada and because we are who we are, we had to have a party. We sent the invites out and eventually had 22 friends who were able to attend.

A card made for me by Mike of the famous Mike and Faye team. It’s hard to see as my scanner refused to work so I took a picture. It shows England to Canada. Awesome!

We checked the weather and sure enough, there was an eighty percent chance of rain. While we were in Nanaimo for Beer Day we bought a honking great tarp and I strung it up. The problem was that we couldn’t squeeze all the people in. Up went another smaller tarp I had lying around and we were all set.

On the morning of the party, I was up at 6 am and lit the Big Green Egg. It had been raining a little so the tarps were a good idea. We had decided to barbeque turkey plus two pork roasts. We couldn’t get them all on the egg together so we decided to do the turkey first; now the fireworks started. I wanted to cook by temperature and Rosalie wanted to cook by time. Fortunately, we get along because the joshing got fierce. I reminded her of the Grizwalds Christmas turkey. She was right, of course, and I now have to ask permission next time we do a turkey.

Peter and Suzie had come up early, so at noon, when the turkey was done we had a nice turkey bun lunch. I checked the charcoal and decided we had enough to do the roasts. WRONG! Halfway through the temperature started to drop so I had to haul them out and add more.

Mike drew this for me. I was so thrilled. As it’s an original it is probably priceless; well, it is to me.

I wanted an internal temperature of 160 degrees for the pork but at about 140 the egg temperature started to drop again. Rosalie asked me to wait it out but the temperature kept dropping so I made the executive decision to haul it out to see how it looked. Rosalie may know turkey but I am the king of pork. It was perfect so we let it and I, rest a while before serving it up. Man what a meal.

After we ate we had to have some sort of entertainment to keep people around so I set up the Jenga game. I played in the first round and as it is my game I get to make the rules. One rule is that you can only use one hand to pull a block. We had to change that when I got caught using two hands. I didn’t think anyone would notice but my friends are obviously very observant regardless of the booze. Anyway, I eventually lost for our team by making a brave but foolish move known as ‘The Chris Wells Stupid Maneuver’.

It was a great afternoon and evening and I really enjoyed having a lot of my friends around to celebrate with me.

Oh! and the weather was great; I didn’t rain.


Robins, hatched!

We have noticed that Dad has been around the nest more frequently lately. One time we saw him bringing food for Mum. They were both there this evening and when they left to get some Chinese I took a quick photo and discovered three little balls of fur.

It’s really neat, but we have to watch out for squirrels getting to the nest. We trust Alan but are not sure of the new teenagers around here. They have no fear. we try not to feed them and hope they go away and leave the robins alone.

More to follow.

50 years???

Just where did the time go.

In 1956 I was eleven, my oldest brother Kit and wife Bridget came to Canada.  on their honeymoon and decided to stay. They would send home Canadian scenic calendars and after seeing them I wanted to be here.

We arrived in Montreal 2nd July 1969 and haven’t looked back. My former wife, my oldest daughter Lisa, who was 18 months old at the time, and I came by ship. We were probably one of the last immigrants to come this way.

My first sight of Canada was Bell Island peeking out through the fog in the mouth of the St Lawrance river. Shortly after I saw my first sign of Canadian life; a cop car driving up a hill with it’s blue and reds going. Two sights that I will never forget.

My other brother, Joe, and his wife Jean picked us up from the dock and drove us to Toronto. My first impressions are a bit vague after all this time but I couldn’t get over how far we went without seeing civilization. In England, we’re used to driving a couple of miles and running into another town or village.

Our first weekend was spent camping on an island on one of Ontario’s many lakes. We fished, water skied, swam and I thought this was paradise; and of course, it is.

The adjustment was huge, not only the language but customs as well. We knew about Halloween but trick or treating was a mystery to us. Also, what was Thanksgiving all about? And what the heck were weiners and beans? The cars at that time were huge and we loved them. In England, we call an eraser a rubber which cased a few giggles in the pharmacy.

My favourite stores which we didn’t have in England at the time were K.F.C, Dairy Queen and K Mart. I loved wandering around K Marts huge (to Me) store and just looking at all the stuff.

We settled in and eventually bought a house. As soon as we were able, we got our citizenship.

We spent four years in Ajax and Pickering  Ontario but then decided to move west. That’s when we bought our school bus and headed out. We eventually got to BC  via Wawa, and stayed eleven years before the work ran out. On a visit back to Ontario to see family, I was offered a job with Chubb Security. I accepted and ended up as the Installation Manager.

Eventually, Chubb and I parted ways, which is a whole other story. Anyway, by this time we had three kids. The whole family missed the West Coast so after four years we went back again.

After a few more years my wife and I decided to split. I eventually met Rosalie and have lived on Vancouver Island ever since.

I’m Canadian through and through but sometimes I get hit with something so English I can’t explain it. I  sometimes come out with words or expressions from way back and even I’m not sure what they mean.

I came to Canada mainly to make a living but the main benefit has been for my kids. I think they are smart enough to have done well for themselves in England, but they have had a better chance here.

When I go back to England these days I feel out of place. I suppose fifty years away will do that. For instance, I find it odd being in pubs and not knowing what to order any more. Over there I’m told I speak like a Yank which is very annoying. As you all know I speak just like a Canadian.

My home town of Rochester has seen a lot of changes but it’s still nice to see the old haunts again. Even though I’m only there a short time I miss being home in Canada.



A short update on the suicidal robin.

After she built the nest she laid three beautiful blue eggs. She still attacks the windows but only in the morning now. She’s close to the wood pile so I have to wait until she’s away feeding before rushing over to grab an arm full of wood.

Peter took a few pictures of the eggs as did I, but I didn’t keep asking them to say “cheese.”

Updates to follow.



Suicidal robins and other stuff

A few years back we were awakened at daybreak by a pounding on our bedroom window. I was a robin supposedly attacking his own reflection.

This didn’t happen again for a while but this year they have been relentless. They have been attacking our windows in pairs and I noticed that they also have a go at the neighbour’s windows too.

The last time it happened we put up a picture of a hawk and that ended the problem. This time, however, they are way more persistent. maybe it’s one of those seven-year cycle things. Who knows!

One of them, who has been attacking the back of the trailer, not the window, the trailer, is completely nuts. I left my step ladder leaning on the trailer and the darn thing built a nest on top. I just hope I don’t need to use it for a few weeks.

I promised a friend in Mexico that I would practice my guitar more and have been doing so. I went at it with a different attitude this time and am trying to keep it more simple. It seems to be working so far and I’m improving slowly. I still won’t risk singing though. But perhaps that is what I need to do to keep the robins away. I have to do it now as I have to go for more hand surgery in August and will be out of commission for a while.

Our veggie garden is coming along slowly. It’s the first time though that I have failed to grow radishes. The stupid things went to flower with no bulb on the root. Oh well! there’s always next year. The garlic is looking good! A critter, probably a cat, dug up part of it and seeds got redistributed so now I have stuff coming up all over the place. So now I have surrounded the garden with mesh.

Two o’clock is down tools and wine time when we light the fire in the chiminea and relax. Two o’clock, however, sometimes starts much earlier. Soon though, we won’t be able to light up anymore as the season is getting dryer., so campfires won’t be allowed.

I managed to watch all the hockey playoff games (without the Leafs. Sob!) with our super duper antenna. I even managed to catch the last game of the NBA series. Go Raptors! Even though I don’t follow basketball.

I was happy to see that the NBA commissioner gave credit to Canada for the invention of the game and that finally, it had come full circle. I wish he was the Commissioner of the NHL to give credit to Canada for inventing that game instead of trying to make it an all American game. Okay, Rant over! Go Leafs!