28 March 2008

Mole and Pheasant

Here are a couple of videos of a mole, very uncommonly seen above ground and another pheasant video. The Male Pheasnt was back again and very tame. I managed to get him with my video camera without going through dirty windows.

Mole Video

Pheasant video

21 March 2008

New Birds in the Garden

Here is a video of a new addition to the garden, a Greenfinch. The one in this video is a male, much nicer than the drab female - unfortunately the bird world is so similar to our own!


Male Chaffinch - very hard to get standing still - a very feisty little fellow who fights with the robin



Male Greenfinch


Female Greenfinch


Collared Turtle dove - Now common in the garden and a huge consumer of food - also very randy at the moment.

6 March 2008

Ring-Necked Pheasant

This morning we woke up to find a ring necked pheasant eating seed in our backyard. It was pretty cool as we have not really seen a wild one up close. He was about 2 metres from our kitchen window and seemed quite relaxed, hopefully he will come back, maybe with his women if he has any.

1 March 2008

More Cottage pics

Here are some more cottage pics


Discussing ice and beer on the Lake


My Ice fishing hole in the lake - about 40cm deep, strong enough to drive a big car on. You can here it groaning and cracking at night - very eery.


A big lake covered in ice and snow


Liv, kay and corinne on the lake with the rink and the boat house in the back ground


The canadian boys playing ice hockey


Bonfire on the ice - it does not melt the ice more than about 5cm.


Corinne and kay pretending that they are good at ice skating - soooo much better than me and downy and liv.

Indian Lake Cottage

After Montreal we had a big drive back down past Ottawa to the thousand Lake region of Ontario. If you look at the map there is actually a lot more water than land around, it is really cool with locks and lakes and rivers and little cottages along the edges of the lakes. Our friends from Uni, Jeff and Lauren, were living at their parents cottage while looking to buy a house. Jeff is a vet and works in the area in an unpronounceable town. Lauren looks after the bets baby in the world, seen earlier in the florida blogs for Matt and Kays Wedding.

The cottage is more of a house and sits about 5 metres from the edge of Indian lake. They have a lot of cool toys and beaver houses and a frozen lake as well as a lot of snow. While we were there we helped jeff build a hockey ring on the ice, went ice fishing and caught nothing, did some drunk curling, a lot of drinking, drove a car on the frozen lake and drank some more. Matt and Kay came up from Ithaca in New York state and hung out too. While we were there it snowed about 50cm in 48hrs and we went driving on the now completely white rds, indistinguishable from the fields. Our 4WD luckily had no problems but we had to pull matt and kay out when they arrived because their little volvo couldn’t make it through the 40 cm of snow on the rd or jeff’s driveway. Jeff also took us visiting some dairies in the area and they bought a house while we were there, just for the hell of it.


Jeff putting the whole ice hockey outfit on me - you feel untouchable and very heavy afterwards



Jeff teaching me to fight hockey style, i did not do very well


Liv in front of one of the locks that joins the various lakes


Our car parked on the left at one of the dairies we visited


An indoor dairy, the cows live inside all year round


Joe’s liquid preferences are similar to Jeff’s and Lauren Spoils him.


Gotta be warm when you are small


Downy in a snow mobile suit, he always wanted to be a power ranger


There is always a time for shorts and gumboots


Helping matty and kay out, it didn’t help that matt had the hand brake on for a while.


starting to clear the 45 cm of snow from the rink we had made, it takes a long time and a lot of beers to do that.

Quebec City

After Montreal we drove north to Quebec City. It is quite old and is more quaint, we stayed in the old town which is very nice and has a lot of good restaurants. They are super french here to the point of being a bit weird and rude about it. Considering they are part of an english speaking country they really like to push the french and ignore the English - They have not forgotten there colonial beginnings obviously. We went to a history of Quebec museum and found out they really do have a chip on thier shoulders in quebec city and are still pissed about stuff that happened 200 years ago, apparently everyone is confused as to wether they are canadian, french canadian, quebecoise, french canadian native indian or just whinging gumbies. It was a lovely place to visit though, more interesting than montreal. We went to a nice french canadian restaurant one night and i had calves sweet breads (pancreas) and corinne had carribou medaliions, both very nice.


Chateau Frontenac, a large historical hotel in the centre of the old town. Snooty and expensive.


A nice part with lots of restaurants and shops, the name of which escapes me. Our french restaurant was down here.


It snowed heavily on the second day we were there, a novelty for a while until we were really covered.



After Whistler we spent one night in a Vancouver airport hotel. We were too tired to bother going into the city and we had to leave early the next morning. We did have another spa at this place and good restaurant with very healthy looking Canadian waitresses. Next we flew to Ottawa and hired another 4WD and drove up to Montreal. Ontario and Quebec provinces were really cold and there was snow everywhere, the rivers were partially or fully frozen and there was not much but white, a real change from Australia and England.

Montreal was a nice city but mainly just a city. We visited Mont Royal park which gave us a good view of the city and the St Laurence river. We also visited the biodome zoo/nature park which has different environments in an indoor dome. It was weird t go into the tropical part when it was -15 outside.


Near the Banks of the St Laurence


The entrance to the Ice house building festival that had just finished


Corinne in front of an ice rink built on part of a harbour.


The partially frozen St Laurence with ice bergs in it.


Liv in the lower part of Mont Royal park.


The view from the top of the Mont Royal Park


Porcupines in the Biodome, they sleep in trees, very strange


More Whistler finally

Here are some more pics of whistler, a fantastic place. Most days it was -10 in the village and similar up on the peaks. we had great weather the whole time which is very lucky at the snow and at whistler. All the runs are beautifully groomed and there is lots of off piste through the trees action too if you want it..