Happy Valentine’s Day

Sunday, 14 February 2021

A number of things to look forward to this week: Ottawa may be loosening it’s lockdown restrictions…(Lowe’s and Richie’s, here I come!) and the promise of a snow storm (storm chips anyone?)

I woke up to a winter wonderland. Didn’t know it was going to snow during the night.

This morning I sliced the soap bar I made last night. It’s my second attempt at re-creating the lye soap from Sherbrooke Village. Close but no cigar. I have another recipe to try, maybe tomorrow during my lunch break.

Cold process soap. ©WQuinn 2021

I’ve been procrastinating putting the new bird decals on our windows…waiting for warmer days. Unfortunately, another bird crashed into the patio door. Sometimes they hit and keep flying. But sometimes, like today, they hit hard and fall.

I heard the hit, followed by Dukes jumping off his chair to get a closer look. That’s when I knew a bird was in trouble. Sure enough, a rose-breasted nuthatch was on the veranda, a few inches from the glass, dazed and glazed. I donned my coat, stepped outside beside it and very gently picked it up, cradling it between my hands. It sat in my left hand while my right cupped from above. I immediately started sending it energy healing and prayers.

Rose-breasted nuthatch ©WQuinn 2021

We stayed like that for awhile until I became cognizant of our surroundings, once again. It was then I noticed two other nuthatches fluttering nearby. I removed my hand that was cupping from the top, slowly turned towards the others so they could see each other. They flew off. I could feel the bird’s energy increase and knew it was getting stronger and would soon be ready to follow. A few minutes more and it flew from my outstretched hand to the branch with the suet feeder.

An incredible beautiful and humbling experience that I enjoy but would prefer to never do again…I love being close to animals but would prefer they didn’t require healing.

Immediately afterwards, I put the window decals on the windows. Then I sat and watched the birds – it’s count day – and kept an eye out for three nuthatches.

Woodpeckers and Nuthatches

Sunday, 11 October 2020

Woodpecker has been visiting a lot this week. This month, actually, now that I think about it. And today, while visiting with my brother and Mom on the veranda (social distancing of course) a pileated woodpecker flew overhead, landing on the old clothesline post, then flew to the pine tree. It is so spectacular seeing this bird in flight, a flash of red flying by and a body that is larger than what I’m used to seeing.

I took this photo of a pileated woodpecker in March 2020. ©WQuinn

Earlier today, as I was enjoying breakfast on the veranda, a Downey woodpecker stopped by for some suet. Not at all shy to be around us. Later, I’m not sure if it was Downey or Hairy, but a woodpecker was drumming on the south side of the house, again.

Just now, I stepped outside to retrieve my lap blanket. Stopping in mid-step as two nuthatches were on the veranda. One flew towards me, a foot away from me, resting on the bird feeder my brother made for me. I could reach out and touch him, he was that close. The other was about four feet away, pecking at the pine cones I have stored in a box. I couldn’t hold the position for long and once I moved, they both flew away. This is the first time I have seen two nuthatches at the same time, also the first time they got so close to me. Of course, I looked up Nuthatch in my Animal Speak book and read that nuthatch is the traveling companion to the woodpecker.

“As new rhythms are sounded out (woodpecker), the nuthatch works to bring them down out of the ethereal realms and ground them into physical life. Anyone with a nuthatch as a totem should also study the woodpecker, and vice versa.”

Nuthatch, Dictionary of Bird Totems p. 169, Animal Speak by Ted Andrews
This photo of a nuthatch was taken May 2019. ©WQuinn

So, what does all of this mean? Honestly, I have no idea. LOL! Sometimes when I read the spiritual meanings behind certain signs, the meaning resonates with me and I totally get it and understand it. Other times it’s like I read the words, they float through my brain and out the backside. Those times I tend to file it all away and trust that whatever I’m meant to know I will know when I need to know it. I mean, sometimes signs are just sign posts on the journey letting you know where you are, or that you’re not alone or that you’re on the right path.

But when do you sit up and take notice that it’s more than a sign post? When it happens over and over and over. So much so it becomes ridiculous. Or it’s right in your face. Like this evening with the nuthatch. He was right in my face. There was no denying that was something more than a bird looking for sunflower seeds. Same as the pileated woodpecker. He flew three feet in front of my face, twice! Then today, he flew right over my head and stayed long enough for all three of us to see him and acknowledge his presence. The daily woodpeckers, the almost daily drumming on the house.

As I write this, I get the sense the meaning of these signs, for me, is to move to the beat of my own inner drum. I am, and have always been, the type of person to wait for someone else to lead, to show me how to do things, how to build, paint, write… But lately, I’ve been getting the messages that I need to lead, to do my own thing, to break out of the mold, to be my individual self, to accept gifts, that it’s ok to be different, to do things differently.

Ha, it’s funny I’m writing this tonight because this afternoon my brother spoke about this very thing. See George, you’re wiser and more intuitive than you give yourself credit for! 😉

So…instead of scouring Pinterest for ideas on what to do with the pine cones, and instead of browsing Etsy for ideas on how to sell the pine cones, I’m going to go within and reflect on what’s best for me and these pine cones.

It’s exciting and terrifying at the same time.

Stay tuned!

Today’s photos

Sun rays beam over the backyard
Sun rays this morning. Photo of the day, 11 Oct 2020 ©WQuinn

Planted daffodil and tulip bulbs this afternoon; view of the backyard; morning view from the veranda; yellow petunias still going strong; geese coming in for lunch.


Thursday, 27 February 2020

Happy birthday to my beautiful niece Alex!!!

Well wasn’t that a snowstorm! It started out a little slow but made up for it this afternoon. Wowsers!

Lots of activity at the feeders. I had a hard time keeping the black squirrels away from the platform feeder. Everytime I chased them away, I’d turn around and they’d come right back! Eventually they found the pile I left them on the veranda, out of the snow, and that kept then occupied the rest of the day, which allowed the birds to use the platform!

58/366 Leaf shaped snowflake, Photo of the day, 27 February 2020 © WQuinn

Was overjoyed when the Cardinals showed up and stayed for photos!

I went out twice to clear the snow off the feeders and will need to go out again tomorrow. That’s alot of snow! So very grateful to be able to telework on days like today.


Monday, 20 May 2019

Cereal and camera in hand this morning, I sat on the veranda watching the birds. The west wind was cool, and it wasn’t long before I was donning a sweater. Not long after, the sun broke through the clouds and the temperature and humidity soared!

Blue sky behind large white clouds

I like writing about my day as it’s nice to reflect but also a great way to remember. But for the life of me I can’t remember what I did today! It’s all a blur. I remember sleeping in – I was up late…having breakfast on the veranda… oh yes, now I remember. I did a lot of small things like fill up the bird feeders, washed the cats litter boxes and old containers for sugar water for the bees and butterflies and Baltimore orioles. In the afternoon I made a couple of meals for this week…and the day is gone!

I did spend a lot of time taking pictures too!

Tonight’s painting was going to be pansies but the water enveloped the paint and something else emerged. Reminded me of a forget-me-not. I couldn’t quite remember how to paint a forget-me-not, decided to just play a little and then I recognized the flower…a lilac! So I kept with it until it was finished.


140/365 Photo of the day, 20 May 2019 ©WQuinn

Watercolour painting lilacs
140/365 Painting of the day, 19 May 2019 ©WQuinn