Friday, August 03, 2012
Last Saturday morning very early I heard some raucous and repeated bird calls which were new to me. I searched the sky outside and noticed a pair of hawk-like birds roosting at the top of a tall tree with some bare branches. They are a little smaller than a crow, larger than a bluejay, and fly very rapidly. They have vertically streaked breasts and horizontally barred tails. Their hooked beaks made it clear they are birds of prey, hawk-like, but they do not soar like the buteos (red tail hawks) or turkey vultures I'm familiar with.
I got out the binoculars and the bird book, began searching various websites, and have identified them as a pair of peregrine falcons. I've been observing them all week. They are most active in the early morning and before dusk, apparently catching bats and birds on the wing and calling constantly while on the hunt. On Thursday morning there were no falcons, but a robin was innocently occupying the roost, which has been a favourite of robins, jays and cardinals for years. With a sudden divebombing attack at incredible speed, one of the peregrines ousted the robin which let out an absolutely terrified cry. I don't know if it escaped or not . . . . Nature red in tooth and claw indeed.
This morning I was thrilled to see the two peregrines joined by a third and then a fourth, all jostling with wings outspread on the dead branches. It's clear there is a breeding pair with two adult offspring. I've no idea where the nest was -- perhaps on the flat roof of an adjacent building.
I'm not good at taking pictures, but the National Geographic image in the link looks most like the birds I'm seeing. There are lots of images on the internet and quite a bit of variation in colouring. This National Geographic link has an audio recording too and if you like, you can hear their characteristic call.
Peregrines were rendered just about extinct by DDT by the 1970s, but now DDT is banned they've become a bit of a "cult bird" with their slow resurgence. Webcams are posted in various nesting sites at tall buildings and bridge spans. There is a Canadian Peregrine Foundation, for example, that reports sightings.
I've never seen even one peregrine before, so this has been pretty exciting for me!
Here's another link that shows just how fast they can fly: over 200 miles an hour!
Monday, July 30, 2012
Wow, that's right!
And huge thanks to all of you who congratulated me: otherwise, the anniversary date might have slipped me by.
Not that I take it for granted: no way. Maintaining requires eternal vigilance! Tracking, weighing, adjusting as soon as weight move up or waistbands feel a bit tight.
Thanks especially to our wonderful team leader at At Goal and Maintaining, 4A-HEALTHY-BMI, who set up this system of recognizing maintenance anniversaries.
Losing it is tough: keeping it off, waaaaay tougher.
We're doing it. Together.
Sunday, July 29, 2012
I AM grumpy (don't ask, I'll get over it. This year. Next year. Or sooner, likely.)
But still, if I were looking for things to make me grumpy (I'm not, really I'm not) or to justify my being grumpy (I'm not, or at least I'm trying not to, really I am) one of these might be the new cunningly placed "SparkPeople Deals" etc. etc.
It's very difficult not to click on the icon inadvertently when I'm just trying to put in my nutrition or my exercise.
And if I DO click on it, then of course I'm taken to another spot -- an advertisement for something I don't want, don't need, and something for which I resent having my time usurped to deal with.
I want to log my nutrition, log my exercise and be done. Fast.
Arrrrrgh. Stop it already.
I get that this is a "free" site and it's funded by advertising. I'm grateful for Spark People. Really I am.
But you've pulled this kind of stunt before. I didn't like it then, I don't like it now. My time is not free. Don't annoy me. Get rid of this intrusion on "my" page pronto please.
And in the meantime, ("mean" time, yeah) I'm working on the general grumps, really I am, with my usual remedies: sunshine, exercise, bird watching, flowers.
There is a huge bouquet of glorious red roses on my kitchen table (completely unexpected gift from someone to whom I gave a little help over the phone).
I had coffee on the verandah with the newspaper and Charlie this morning early early as the sun rose and got warmer.
There are new birds in my neighbourhood, noisy prey types, not soaring buteos, different flight pattern, smaller than a crow: probably a species of falcon. Pigeon hawk? I've been out with the bird book and my binoculars!
Golf scheduled for later today. Fresh peach and raspberries and blueberries and yogourt: mmmmmmmm.
There: I'm feeling better already!!
Thursday, July 26, 2012
OK, 4A-HEALTHY-BMI's done it again: followed up her inspiring video with a truly amazing blog on maintenance.
It's full of links to various resources and information. Because we all know . . . taking it all off is just the beginning of the story.
And keeping it all off is the work of a lifetime, every day.
Is it worth it? You bet.
Is it easy? Not so much.
Here's what we need to know to make it possible!!
Monday, July 23, 2012
Wow! Here's our very own Spark People "At Goal and Maintaining" leader showing us just how it was done --- and how it continues to be done!
Looking gorgeous, full of joy, strong and HEALTHY!!!
What an inspiration. We are going to keep it off, 4EVER!!
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