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Wednesday, 7 July 2021

The Child Care Centre in North Waterloo

      It is at this time of year that new life abounds, in every taxon you can imagine. Our backyard has been host to many youngsters, and I am sure it is not yet over. This post covers activities from 1 July through 4 July and the images are posted in the sequence in which they were taken.
     One of our favourite Malbecs is called La Linda so when we spotted a first instar caterpillar of Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes) on our Rue (Ruta graveolens) it seemed natural to call her Linda. And we grew quite fond of Linda, and watched her progress from one instar to another, plump and robust, full of vigour.


     So it was sad one day, when Linda was no longer present. Caterpillars are essential food for so many other organisms of course, and predators abound, from birds to wasps.


     It is possible that Linda became a food item for a young bird and we can take some solace in that.
     But we miss her!
     The legendary fecundity of rabbits is well known to all, and our backyard is host to regular congregations of hopping, jumping, chasing, gambolling kits. 


      They are not Miriam's friends!
      

     They unerringly know which are her favourite flowers and they home in on them like a laser-guided missile. They ignore the weeds and go straight for the flowers. The perversity of it all is that it is not always for food. They gnawed off her Lupines down to the ground, but ate not a bit, leaving wilting stems and flowers lying on the soil. 
     Lagomorphicide could easily become a fact of life in our backyard!
     The stars of the show have unquestionably been a male Hairy Woodpecker (Dryobates villosus) and a very healthy offspring.

Hairy Woodpecker adult ♂

Hairy Woodpecker, juvenile ♂

      Once the young leave the nest, feeding duties are usually divided between the parents and it appears that this young male has the exclusive attention of his father.
     Hairy Woodpecker is an exceedingly handsome bird, and while they do attend our feeders from time to time, this is the first time young have been fed in our yard. 


     They are here every day, usually several times. Every night I take down my feeders, otherwise helpful Raccoons (Procyon lotor) are happy to do it for me, and this morning a little after 06h:00 when I went out to hang them up, father and son were already there.


 
   Quite often they occupy the feeder, one at either side, yet the adult, as though responding to some inner compulsion, will reach around and feed the young bird.



     These birds have entertained us royally, and we feel a great sense of privilege to share our garden with them.



     The final marquis performer is a young male Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) who seems to get more handsome every day.


     Not for him dependence on an adult. He has become totally independent and is fully competent in taking care of himself.


     He is never far from our yard it seems, where there is food, shelter, cover and water. Just about everything a bird could need.
     It is a pleasure for us to share our lives with these creatures and we hope there are others to follow. Well, except for rabbits, that is!

87 comments:

  1. Interesująca odmiana dzięciołów! Cudowne scenki uwiecznione na zdjęciach - młodzież uczy się życia!

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  2. Fantastic series, as usual! :-)

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  3. I haven't seen wild rabbits in a long time. I'm glad you were lucky.

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  4. Hih hih i had to laugh !Miriam do not like the rabbits so much!!they eat her flowers!! :)))

    The Caterpillars are so beautiful..Sad you lost it !But there will be new ones I am pretty sure of

    As always you have so much beauty to show us and I enjoyed your post very much
    Did Raccoons really visit your feeder!!Wow !I have never seen a Racconn..Nasty little cute animals I quess :)))

    Thank you for sharing David!

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    1. Yes, Anita, Raccoons really do visit the feeders. If I don't bring them in at night I find them on the ground the next morning - empty!

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  5. I love your visitors though the rabbits can be frustrating. We have starlings and a flicker which visit sometimes.

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  6. Hello,
    Awesome photos, love the Caterpillar, Rabbit and the woodpeckers.
    Take care, enjoy your day!

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  7. We don't have rabbits in our garden. When we first moved here I did wonder why. The answer being that because we live on oolitic limestone it is impossible for a rabbit to built a burrow. Mind you the same applies to us when trying to plant anything in the garden. It requires us to take a pick axe to the ground, make a deep hole and then fill it with soil.

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  8. So smart to remove your feeders during the night!
    You have much good company. The rabbits are cute but can be destructive like the squirrels--but I still love them both, the little stinkers! ;)

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  9. Awe, wonder and delight.
    I do feel for Miriam though. The sulphur crested vandals wreak similar havoc here. I love them. And I curse them.

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    1. It's the same here too, Sue. We enjoy the rabbits, and the squirrels too for that matter, but they can be destructive.

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  10. Les lapins adorent couper tout ce qui se trouve sur leur chemin.
    Le petit pic est tout mignon.
    La chenille est jolie, j'en ai eu des comme ça quand je plantai du fenouil, ces chenilles aiment beaucoup cette plante. Bonne soirée

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  11. Your home must be a very popular place for these creatures to stop by and visit. :)

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  12. I understand Miriam very well David. Around here we don't have rabitts at all. They can destroy very much. I would have hated them if they came to my garden.

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  13. Querido David tu patio es un lugar maravilloso para las aves y veo que también para la preciosa oruga, en cuanto a los conejos no me extraña que no le gusten si se comen sus plantas, a mi me pasaría lo mismo. Preciosas fotos. Un fuerte abrazo para ti y para Miriam, besos.

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  14. Hi David,
    such an abundant wildlife in your garden. But I understand Miriam isn't really fond of these visiting rabbits.

    Best regards, Corrie

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  15. Hari OM
    Oh such joy in these juveniles! Thanks, both of you. YAM xx

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  16. It's always a pleasure to see the young ones around the yard at this time of year. For a while, my fennel was host to a whole congregation (or whatever the collective noun for caterpillars is) of Black Swallowtail caterpillars. I'm sure some of them ended up on someone's menu but evidently several survived as evidenced by the butterflies I see around the yard now.

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  17. I understand all my old feeders are in the basement, and when I move back to 61 they all go up again. I am so excited. It will be as nice as reading your adventures.

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  18. Wascally wabbits!

    I have the acquaintance of a raccoon I sometimes see at night. I'll speak to her and she'll look at me like I'm nuts.

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  19. Good evening friend, how are you!
    This post is very cute, and the caterpillar is also beautiful, yes! i must admit that it is striking and pleasant. Those flowereating rabbits, how naughty they are! but, they are so pretty ... adorable ... can we give them a little forgiveness? they look like cotton pompoms !!
    and loved very much the adult bird that feeds his son who is already big too,
    very loving everything, dear David!

    PS: I will take your suggestion into account,
    i am presenting Canadian artists these days,
    so thank you very much and let's toast La Linda!
    Saludos desde Buenos Aires 🐰🌷🐇🌞🌺

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  20. Your woodpeckers are beautiful, and despite it all, who doesn't love a bunny? Just today I spotted a juvenile cardinal at my feeders. I watched a male and female all through our freeze -- perhaps this is one of their progency, living a very much more comfortable life than his parents experienced for a time!

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  21. They are all beautiful.

    Love,
    Janie

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  22. Lindo lugar bellos animales te mando un beso

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  23. David - fabulous series of photos, especially the caterpillar since it is a bit of a departure from your normal fare. Interesting that you take your feeders down every night ... and I understand why!

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  24. Great photos! Even the rabbit.

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  25. Thanks for another fun and interesting post, David. Love all the bird visitors, and that caterpillar is a real beauty, I've never seen one like that. And those naughty rabbits, ruining Miriam's flowers, shame on their sweet little heads! I have slugs on my balcony, I wonder how they get up here? i hope the birds will make a meal of them! Have a great day with your juveniles! Hugs, Valerie

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  26. Good to see the next generation making their way in the world.

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  27. Oh yes that Cardinal is become rather handsome. The others are also lovely and you are blessed to have them come into your backyard. We did once when there was bush behind us and next door to us - ah! progress.

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  28. Buenos días querido amigo, tienes un patio que es una maravilla para disfrutar en cualquier momento. Entiendo que a Mirian no le gusten los conejos, sus plantas las destrozan y es una pena.
    Un fuerte abrazo amigo mío desde el levante español de vuestro siempre amigo Juan y cuidaros que esto vuelve a ponerse serio otra vez.

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  29. Oh those pesky rabbits! Many plants have I lost over the years to their nibbling predations :)

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  30. I really enjoy your beautiful pictures. They are sharp, clear and full of colour. Sorry to hear about Linda, she was one beautiful catty. That's what my daughter called them when she was little. We took them of the plants and fed them in containers indoors until they morp into butterflies. The laser guided missel looks like it has a straw! Hairy and son with the red patch on thire heads look quite happy at your feeders.

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  31. Hi David.

    Beautiful caterpillar, too bad it's gone.
    The Woodpecker is great the way that little one is fed.

    Greetings from Patricia.

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  32. Great assortment of photos. I can relate to Miriam's feelings toward the rabbits, when it comes to the deer in my yard: they eat the "gourmet" items and skip the grass and weeds. I didn't know raccoons ransacked bird feeders. Here, they usually knock over my garbage cans, and the squirrels raid the bird feeder. Those woodpeckers are very handsome.

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  33. I especially enjoyed your descriptions of the young ones and the marvelous relationships there seem to be instinctively between the parents and them. One of our hostas here is a favourite with the deer and the rabbits. I would be so disappointed about those lupines. I've tried without success to grow them here in Ontario. Have fond memories of them growing wild, fields and fields of them at home in Newfoundland.

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  34. You show very nice pictures again David.
    Beautiful all those woodpeckers.
    And what a beautiful caterpillar, I'm curious about the butterfly when the time comes.
    Greetings Tinie

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  35. It is good to see life carrying on and regenerating in your yard, David, especially when the characters involved are so special. Last year we had Orange-tip butterfly larvae in our garden and I was observing them grow when they all suddenly disappeared - taken by Blue Tits, I believe. This year we had Orange-tip larvae again. We had eleven spread around the garden, and I ordered some rearing cages so that I could save them from the Blue Tits. The cages arrived and literally, as I was unpacking the cages, I looked out of the window to see nine Blue Tits arrive which knew exactly where to look for the larvae. Such is nature! I ended up with just one left and, I'm pleased to say, that has now pupated.

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    1. Watch out for orange tips on those Blue Tits' wings, Richard!

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  36. And thanks to you, they have entertained us royally too!

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  37. Another lovely post with such a good variety of photographs.
    Thank you.

    All the best Jan

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  38. I love your visitors!

    I enjoyed your beautiful medley of photos as always.

    Have a great day!

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  39. Hi David!! so cute the bunny... Nice shots... Cheers

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  40. 👍👍👍👍👍❤️

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  41. Your father-son woodpecker photos are fabulous!
    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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  42. Things are hoppin’ in your backyard! We’ve seen many babies come and go in ours, too. This week it is tufted titmice and chickadee families with a couple mourning doves young und that take up position in the tray feeder for hours at a time. I love that you named your caterpillar!

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  43. Thanks David for showing all the young-uns visiting your yard. The hairy woodpeckers and young cardinal were my favorites and admittedly so too was the rabbit. There seems to be an over abundance of them in areas around here, much to the displeasure of a neighbor who tends a flower garden in the nearby pocket park. She and Miriam would be allies in helping them find other grazing areas. It's unfortunate that "Linda" may have fallen prey to an insect or bird, but as my husband always tells me "everything is someone's dinner" which is of little consolation.

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  44. These are such stunning photos ... So lovely to see these birds.

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  45. There were two caterpillars like that, similar stripes, chomping on my parsley.....grrrr. I relocated them.

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  46. Wonderful photos David! These visitors would be very welcome in my back yard. I love that you named this beautiful caterpillar Linda. I would be sad to see her gone also.

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  47. Wonderful photos from your garden David ! I love the story with th father and son :)) I can really understand that they amuse you a lot !!

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  48. The caterpillar is a beauty. I enjoyed your post.

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  49. Siempre disfruto viendo tus reportajes. Los conejos no me gustarían en mi jardín, ellos me gustan pero más me gustan mis flores. Abrazos.

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  50. Hi David, good evening!
    what do you think of this?
    were you aware of this hilarious movement?

    BIRDS AREN'T REAL https://birdsarentreal.com/ 🐥 :D

    Greetings, happy friday night

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    1. And I am quite sure some people will believe it.

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  51. Que suerte tenéis de ver tanta variedad desde vuestro patio amigo. Y gracias por compattirlo asó tambien los vemos nosotros :))
    Buen fin de semana David. Cuidaros.
    Un abrazo.

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  52. Hello David,
    Great series of photos. I really enjoyed the Woodpecker images. The caterpillar is beautiful and so colorful. Awesome post as always! Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, enjoy your weekend! PS, thank you for your comment today and on all past visits.

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  53. Fantastic series! Enjoyed seeing all of these critters. The caterpillar is awesome.

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  54. I love your joy at all aspects of nature. Very inspiring.

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  55. i love your joy at all aspects of nature. Very inspiring.
    Lisbeth

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  56. Thanks for the bee book recommendations. I ordered them off of Amazon for my summer reading. Wonderful photos today too.

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    1. My pleasure. I hope you find them both enjoyable and helpful.

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  57. So, this was Linda. Cute young woodpeckers!

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  58. That was a beautiful caterpillar. Rabbit is cute but I too wouldn't want it to destroy my plants or flowers. Very entertaining to watch the birds helping themselves to the food at the feeder. Have a beautiful weekend.

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  59. ...fabulous captures. If you would like a few more rabbits I may be able to help, the rabbit here are busy eating my garden.

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  60. Hi David, I would like to be in your garden too to spent time.

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  61. Hi David :) I had to laugh at the rabbit photo eating Miriam's garden...it's a great shot, but I can understand how she is not a fan! :) I love the photos of all of the Woodpeckers...yes, my raccoons are very helpful as well!

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  62. Hi David, you have an enviable patio, with so much life and visitors. I liked the woodpeckers and especially the rabbits
    Greetings

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  63. Great photos! Love the Woodpeckers!

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  64. I perfectly understand Miriam!
    In my country, the hare is a unique animal. I haven't seen him in over 10 years. He was killed by numerous hunters.
    Two woodpeckers also visit my garden and feeder. I like to watch them eat their food.
    Hugs and greetings to Miriam and to you, David.

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  65. O jak pięknie i radośnie zrobiło się na twoim podwórku. Szkoda gąsienicy ale tak to bywa, w
    Wszystkie "dzieci" są śliczne. Miłego weekendu:)

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  66. Hi David,
    Lovely Post,again!!
    The Woodpeckers are great and beautiful caterpillar!
    Happy weekend,
    Maria

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  67. Hello David,
    What great photos in your blog.
    I really like the woodpeckers and the caterpillar.
    I love birds I couldn't live without them.
    Greetings Irma

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  68. hello David
    the rabbit only takes the most beautiful flowers ... ;-) but still very cute ...
    Greetings Frank

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  69. ¡Qué bonitos esos jóvenes Cardinales, da gusto verlos!
    La oruga parece de Papilio machaon, no estoy segura, pero lo que es seguro es que se convirtió en merienda.
    Muchos besos.

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  70. Hi David,
    What beautiful colors the La Linda caterpillar has. Although Miriam is not a "friend" with the rabbits they were so cute in your photos.
    Spectacular photos of woodpeckers.
    Hugs and the all the best for you and Miriam

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    1. Despite the fact that they annoy her when they munch on her flowers, Maria, she would not do them any harm.

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  71. This is a lovely post and I so enjoyed it. The only babies we seem to have, have been sparrows and Great Tits. So far the latter have been impossible to to photograph. Far too fast and too distant.

    Keep safe and keep cool. Diane

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  72. What a beautiful selection of wildlife in your world. I'm sorry about Linda, though. I'm sure she would have made a most gorgeous "adult" when fully winged. One of my neighbors has taken to trapping the bunnies and setting them free in a spot far away from his garden. I'm glad he's not Mr. McGregor with a shotgun and that the bunnies can continue to grow -- they are my favorites, but they do like hostas, as Rick has discovered!

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  73. Thank you, David, for sharing such a wonderful collection of nature's neighbors.
    I really liked the Hairy Woodpecker images as they are not common around here at all.

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  74. how sad you could not see Linda become a beautiful buttrfly. But yoy had other pleasure instead. Like rabits and juvenile woodpeckers. :)

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  75. Hello David, do not know what went wrong with my reply on this post but i try again. A post with so much to see and admire. The caterpillar is so coleurful and the butterfly that will come from it is amazing. Sad for the caterpillar but this one must have made it possible that a wonderful chick has benefitted from it. The young birds you show must all have had enough to eat, and a new generation is there.
    How is the heat in Canada affecting your region? I saw on the news that sea life is harmed tremendously at lowtide and was litterly cooked and died. I fear ....
    Regards,
    Roos

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  76. Hi David,
    It must be a continuous pleasure to see so much wildlife in your garden. You don't have to travel far to have a good time in nature. The woodpecker species was unknown to me, but it certainly is a beautiful representitive of the woodwecker family.
    Greetings, Kees

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  77. Hi David - oh how I'd love to spend time in your care centre ... just brilliant photos and tales of child care. Thank you ... cheers Hilary

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