That’s Nature

Attila was puttering in his garden. I was sitting in the sun on the back porch. We were chatting beneath a clear blue sky. There was no wind, which was unusual. A small bird landed on the fence near Attila, then flew onto the ground in the outer garden. I asked Attila what kind of bird he thought it was, he leaned on the fence to study the bird. And then it hit. A Merlin appeared from out of nowhere, dipped to the ground, struggled briefly to grab the smaller bird in its beak, then rose quickly and few away with it to the forest nearby. It was a shocking event. I have never witnessed anything quite like it. The quiet peaceful afternoon in our back yard was no longer peaceful.

Apparently Merlins migrate through our part of the world, and are considered uncommon here. I do hope the Merlin moves on to new hunting grounds.

I have had some results from my tests, and am relieved that it seems unlikely that I have Pancreatic Cancer, which was a possibility. However, finding out what I don’t have, however wonderful that turned out to be, does not explain the pain and nausea I have been experiencing since Christmas. More tests are coming up, and I am following up on some suggestions made by the emergency department during my last visit. Of course all these tests have been thorough enough to find other health issues I didn’t know I had, but so far, none of them are life threatening, but may indicate a few more tweaks in diet and lifestyle. Grey hair and wrinkles are the sunny side of old age. So, still no diagnosis with this ongoing issue.

Last weekend Attila and I made another batch of sausage patties. My oh my, these are so good! We don’t add salt or chemical additives, but of course they are not cholesterol free, so we won’t be eating them more than a few times a month. Which reminds me I need to make a batch of salmon patties for the freezer. Fast approaching is the season where we are busy with the garden and food preservation. Then we will appreciate the quick meals offered by these patties.

After I spent days cutting the dead ash branches into small pieces with loppers, we enjoyed burning them in a camp fire last night. It was so much fun, that we had another camp fire tonight. We stayed outside until it got very chilly, as it is going below freezing tonight. What fun camp fires are, we love them. There are still more branches to burn, so we will probably have another camp fire tomorrow night too. The burn ban was lifted on Thursday, a few weeks earlier than we anticipated, and our permit is still in good order.



Updated on Fri, Apr 29, 9:25 PM
7 °C
Wind 8 N km/h
Humidity 42 %
Visibility 46 km
Sunrise 6:00 AM
Wind gust 12 km/h
Pressure 102.1 kPa
Ceiling 9100 m
Sunset 8:10 PM


“It is pretty hard to tell what does bring happiness; poverty and wealth have both failed.”
Kin Hubbard
1868 – 1930

We have found that just enough through hard work keeps us pretty happy.

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Steve-Paul (SP) Simms

Your life together is unique, and it is a gift to be able to describe it as well as you do.
Dramatic scene of the birds. Powerfully visual.
Glad your medical findings seem not to be the worst. Keep living and get well!


I sure hope you soon find what’s causing the pain and nausea. Could it be food allergies? Gluten? I’ve learned that as we age, a lot of the things we could eat when we were young aren’t so friendly anymore. Prayers you soon find the cause, (grateful it’s not cancer) and you can enjoy your quiet days there.


I’m relieved they’ve eliminated pancreatic cancer. But I wish they could give you a definitive diagnosis. Still praying for an easy treatment option for you. I love birds and am so sorry about the the Merlin. Years ago we had several red-tailed hawks in our area. A neighbor said he saw one dive and snatch up a squirrel that he flew away with. This was very upsetting. I like squirrels too. We lost many squirrels that year and have only returned to a normal population in the last 3 years or so. I wish all birds were vegetarians 🙁 Hugs to you and Attila.

Stubblejumpers Cafe

We have merlins here all summer — all around this area. They swoop through our yard once in a while, looking for a meal. One summer they nested in a spruce in our yard. Noisy buggers. -Kate


We had that happen to us maybe 5 years ago. DH and I were walking up the hill by our old house. A bird landed in the street and before we could take a breath some kind of hawk swooped down and carried it off! I’ve never seen anything like it, before or since. And I had very mixed emotions for the rest of the walk, from sorrow for the bird to awe at the speed and strength of the hawk.

Very glad to hear they’ve ruled out pancreatic cancer! Something to be thankful for, even as you continue to wait for a diagnosis.