July 26th – Leslie Usher’s 23rd birthday! One of 2 resident tree planters in the family (Jill, her sister, being the other).
Our last trip to Maple Creek before the move – we think! Stayed in our Airstream in the RV park to help with some decisons going forward with the build. We drove both vehicles out: Bill pulling the trailer with the truck; me in the car. I saw a beautiful sight as we turned off onto the #1 Hwy from near Cluny – a field of flax in bloom! How gorgeous to see a blue field. At first I thought it was a lake, then realized what it was! Wow. So sorry I don’t have a photo – had to keep following Bill & was driving!
This is the first view of our house with walls up! We didn’t really have time to stop. Had to drop off the loaded trailer, hook up the Airstream, then get set up in the campground. As evidence of how old we’re getting these days, we were so exhausted (after getting up at 5:30 AM, driving 4 hours to MC, then all of the above) – we fell into bed at 6 PM! Old fogies indeed!
July 27: Did a short drive north of town to see what we could see. We haven’t birded except 1 short walk with our friend Lorne in Calgary this spring. Otherwise it’s been since we were away in the winter. How wonderful to get out to have a look. Tons of baby chicks! For any birders who are interested, this was our list in an hour – a quick 30 species:
Horned Grebe, Eared Grebe, Western Grebe, American White Pelican, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, White-faced Ibis, Mallard, Gadwall, Northern Pinail, American Widgeon, Canvassback, Ruddy Duck, Gray Partridge, American Coot, Greater Yellowlegs, Willet, Marbled Godwit, Forster’s Tern, Mourning Dove, Rock Pigeon, Eastern Kingbird, Barn Swallow, Black-capped Chickadee, American Robin, House Sparow, Vesper Sparrow, Lark Bunting, Western Meadowlark, Red-winged Blackbird
Boy, this is going to be a great area in the spring! Yippee!
Got both the car & truck serviced on Thurs & Fri – then washed them. Great to have that done. Dear cousin Karen sent me a couple of photos.
She’s been busy making pickles
These Tree Swallows were flying around their place & landing on the power lines. Moms, Dads & kids!
July 31/16: Wilf dropped by yesterday afternoon to arrange when we can get together for dinner with he & Penny: Tuesday! He told us the wildflowers are the best he’s ever seen out on his property. The one he mentioned specifically was “those blue bell things”. So this morning we headed off to Cypress Hills to see what we could see.
Sure enough – lots of wildflowers – & here’s Wilf’s bluebells (“harebells” actually).
A wild rose, as well as goldenrod & some white flowers.
A beautiful purple bergamot plus some type of composite.
A happy brown eyed Susan.
There are of course lots of birds around – as well as people. The park is packed with campers & visitors for the August 1st long weekend.
Black Terms were flying over the small lake in the middle of the townsite – both adults & juveniles. Here’s a juvenile on one of the buoys around the endge of the water.
This is an adult & juvenile Western Wood Pewee. The young was just begging from the parent & his mouth was agape showing his bright yellow maw.
Speaking of bright yellow…American Goldfinch!
We also wandered onto a farmer’s private land (unknowingly, since it said “McDougall Reservoir Maintained”). The farmer – Angus McDougall – stopped by while we were watching Mountain Bluebirds with young, feeding along the road, along with Lark Sparrows. He was not at all upset that we were on his land, just wanted to say a friendly “hello” & introduce himself. So we told him we were moving here & were trying to find some good birding places. He told us to feel free to go out to the reservoir. We couldn’t find tha last bit of road so turned back before we got there. It is one of the smallest reservoirs in the area, built by his grandfather in about 1910. But we did add a Baltimore Orioe (juvenile male) to our list. Swainson’s & Red-tailed Hawks were wheeling in the wind. Lots of Eastern Kingbirds, Savannah & Vesper Sparrows. What a nice day to get out, but somewhat cool (around 15-16C).
Monday, Aug. 1: Blaine (our builder) came to take Us for a drive. We at last met his lovely wife, Vonda. He didn’t really rell us where we were going, but suffice to say, it was a reconnaissance trip for future birding! This included an amazing wetland which is on his friends, Kevin & Rhonda’s farm east of here. Their farm is called (Flowing Well Ranch) & it has a most wonderful wroght iron signs. I will take a photo of it sometime in the future so you can see. Will be a great spring birding area!
Tuesday, Aug. 2: Met with Blaine at the building site after breakfast to talk a little more business.
Here’s Bill & Blaine meeting over the computer on top of our hood.
Bill standing at the front of the house, facint the back: in the kitchen. Blaine with plans in hand.
View out our front window, with our car At the curb.
From the kitchen looking out to the back where the double patio doors will lead out onto the deck.
Bill climing down the ladder to the basement (no stairs yet).
View out our bedroom window to the front yard (our car just visible among the trees).
It’s a hot day today, but supposed to rain tomorrow. Looking from the LR/Kitchen straight down this hallway is the powder room & on the left the large bathroom. On the right is our bedroom.
Bill would be standing in front of the piano (in the LR) looking into his office. Jay (Blaine’s son) is standing in front of the double glass patio doors.
Late this afternoon, after i’d done laundry (at Penny’s, since the closest laundromat is at Cypress Hills), I found the above: ROOF TRUSSES ARE HERE! Can you see the front porch also taking shape on the left? The door is set back & there are a few stairs up to it. Enough house stuff for now.
Great pics of the birds and flowers and the house. You guys are going to be so happy there! Love that bird list and am of course am green with envy.
Still pouring rain in the Calgary area. Yet another night of an inch of rain â wild!!
Fat hug â Robyn
Senior Program & Account Manager
ph: 403.407.6369 | cell: 587.215.1212
Vaction Alert â Out of office from August 10th to 18th.