The prompts from last week were: Starts with Y, Tree, and Shadows.
The prompts from this week are: Starts with Z, Reflection, and The End.
Starts with Y
Yard starts with y. This is our front yard. As you can see, we do have some snow, although not a lot, yet. I like the setting of our house with all the trees around it, although I like it even more in the more pleasant seasons of the year.
Starts with Z
This is Whisp, one of our silkie hens. She is sitting on some zygotes.
A zygote is a biological term for a fertilized egg cell. When I was away the week before last, the eggs didn't get collected and I came home to a broody silkie (i.e. a hen sitting on a clutch of eggs that she was incubating). Not having the heart to separate her from the eggs and throw them out, I brought her inside with her eggs. It appears that 4 of the 5 are fertile and showing signs of development. She is really quite young - only about 8 months old at most, but she seems quite dedicated to her egg sitting duties and hopefully she will be a good mom to her little ones if they hatch successfully.
The week before last, I was in Ottawa with another consultant to run a workshop for Agriculture Canada. I took the train for that trip, giving myself some time to work on the train and avoiding the stress that flying causes for me. At the Montreal train station, the holiday displays included this rather dazzling tree decorated in pink - not exactly traditional, but very effective in my opinion.
For my train trip, I booked a sleeper cabin for the portion of the journey from Moncton to Montreal. It's about 18 hours long, through the night, so a good sleep is necessary when one needs to work the next day. This is my little sleeper cabin window, with a reflection of me taking the picture in it. You can see a pillow at the other end of the seat area on the left side of the reflection. On the right side of the reflection, you can just see the door to the bathroom that is part of the cabin. The seat folds down and becomes a bed for the night. It was very comfortable and cozy.
Here's a slightly better picture with less reflection, showing the seating area and my ever-present knitting bag.
At the conference location, which was one of the buildings of the Agricultural Museum in Ottawa, there were some interesting bee-themed decorations being installed in the hallway. They look like stained glass, although they are actually a kind of plexiglass or similar substance. I presume real stained glass would be too costly, too heavy, and too dangerous for a public space in case it broke. It was tricky to get good pictures of the panels due to the shadows on the panels. Here is an installed panel with shadow on it, and you can also see the shadow of the ladder.
Here's a yet-to-be-installed panel to show more of the detail.
I've enjoyed participating in Friday's Hunt for the past 3 rounds. It helped me blog once a week in times when I didn't feel like blogging or didn't have anything to blog about. Sometimes I feel that it is what kept my blog going. Since Friday's Hunt is coming to an end, I'm hoping that in 2018, I will try to make time to keep up with the blog in other ways.
As the saying goes, when one door closes, another one opens. Maybe the end of Friday's Hunt will open the door for other blog opportunities. I will try to keep writing. Things are so busy for me these days. Although I've tried to take some time off in the past week, work is breathing down my neck like a dragon with halitosis, and the first few weeks of January are already super booked and busy. I'm hoping to learn to do a better job of balancing work and home life this coming year. We'll see how well I manage with that. I'm also trying to improve my fitness level this year. My new sit-stand desk should arrive in early January, and I have plans to sign up for an online yoga site that will allow me to choose from various beginner level lessons that I can incorporate into my day. I am also getting new orthotics soon, which will go into my shoes and hopefully alleviate some foot pain that I have been experiencing when walking. So, perhaps I will have some things to write about, if I can just make myself take the time to do so.
To illustrate this concept of endings being beginnings, here is a pinecone in the snow. It fell off the tree, and is thus the "end" of one phase of the tree's development, but the pinecone has seeds inside that will feed squirrels and possibly find their way into the soil and start a new tree. For me, this also says that even when things are bleak and cold and kind of depressing, spring will return and with it, the joy of green leaves and sunshine.