Happy 2024 to one and all! May good health and good times be with you throughout the coming year. By the time you may read this article, you may or may not be keeping any resolutions made for the New Year. Congratulations if you are still on track.
The Galway Hall’s renovations are receiving the finishing touches. The Hall is available for bookings now for events and meetings. Please visit www.galwayhall.ca
At the writing of this article, the official start of winter is still one week away. Aside from the 10+ cm of snow that came overnight on Monday, November 27th, and the 5+ cm of snow that fell overnight on Tuesday, December 12th, driving conditions have been not too bad so far in our area. Our temperatures, both daytime and nighttime have also been, for most days, above normal. At this moment in time, natural ice rinks are just a thought, not a reality.
The two immature loons on Clear Bay are still here. Both were seen together for awhile on December 13th. Hopefully, they know what they are doing and know that their take-off time must be fast approaching. One immature loon was recently observed trying to swallow a rather large perch that it had just caught.
In the past two weeks, there have been a few sightings of Bald Eagles on Clear Bay. Some reports have seen just one, while other observers have seen two. These birds are very majestic to watch, whether they are soaring or they are perched near the tops of towering trees.
Our birdfeeders mystery continues. Yes, we still have our group of 6 to 10 blue jays regularly. 3 mourning doves are hanging around more often as is one hairy woodpecker. In the past week, there was a sighting of 3 chickadees briefly and 1 junco for two days. That’s all. Other people that have birdfeeders have observed similar patterns.
There have been frequent sightings of otters, frolicking and fishing in Clear Bay. Some reports count 3 otters are a few have seen 4. Otters are curious creatures and fun to watch.
Several flocks of pine siskins were witnessed by a motorist travelling along the Galway Road recently. They were probably taking advantage of the sand and salt that had been spread on the road by the Municipality trucks. Another motorist witnessed 4 deer cross the Galway Road closer to the junction with Highway 121.
The end of 2023 brings many reflections and thoughts about the year’s end. One of the categories is the “Word of the Year”. Oxford dictionary chose “Rizz”. Rizz is a derivative of ‘charisma’ meaning someone’s ability to attract or seduce another person. “Swiftie”, “prompt”, and “situationship” rounded out the top four words of 2023. Merriam-Webster chose for their “Word of the Year” “Authentic”. Authentic is the term for something we’re thinking about, writing about, aspiring to, and judging more than ever. Dictionary.com chose “Hallucinate” as their 2023’s “Word of the Year”. In the context of machine learning programs, the second definition characterizes it as generating false-information contrary to the user’s intent and presenting it as true and factual. Finally, Collins Dictionary’s “Word of the Year” was “AI or artificial intelligence”.
Looking upwards into the night skies this January 3/4, the Quadrantids Meteor Shower will occur with the best viewing just after midnight. This is an above average shower with 40 meteors per hour possible. On January 12th, Mercury will be at its highest point. Look for it low in the eastern sky just before sunrise. The Full Moon that happens on January 25th was known by our Indigenous Peoples as the Wolf Moon. It is also called the Old Moon and the Moon After Yule. Still looking upwards but looking ahead, February 2024 only has one notable event, the Full Moon on the 24th.
As we continue our life journeys into the year 2024, remember:
“Love what you have before life teaches you to love what you lost”.