Monday, September 28, 2009
On a morning walk around my pond, I was watching other creatures when a mallard skidded to a stop in front of me. You can tell that he'd been moulting, since the usually-prominent green head feathers are scarcely visible. (please click to enlarge)
A couple of weeks later you can see the emerald touches on his head. It won't be long before their colouring is back to normal. This drake struggles to remove a feather from his beak. (please click to enlarge)
A young robin struts happily across the back of a bench. To him, summer might have seemed never-ending. (please click to enlarge)
One of Frank's neighbours has planted raspberry and blackberry bushes in the field across from his house and they're just coming into season now. We help ourselves to a few of them (with his permission) each afternoon on our way to the cedar grove and creek. (please click to enlarge)
Along the path in the field, there are wild fruit trees. Early in August, we discovered that a nest had been built upon the branches of one of them. On one of our walks, we happened upon this *Eastern Kingbird sitting on her eggs.
*Thank you to Randy Emmit in the comments below for correctly identifying this bird as an Eastern Kingbird and not the Mockingbird which I first believed it to be. (please click to enlarge)
A couple of weeks later, the mother was absent from her nest but perched on a nearby tree. She watched as my camera lens peered up at the nest. If you enlarge this photo, you'll see two downy nestlings peering right back at me, over the edge of the nest. (please click to enlarge)
Shortly afterward, this adult flew to a nearby branch with food in its mouth. It waited until I moved away from the babies before bringing the insect to them for feeding time. This is probably the father, as both parents are responsible for feedings. We watched for a bit them moved on. (please click to enlarge)
Another fruit tree along the edge of the creek. Although somewhat weighted down by apples, the tree is actually growing out from the edge of the shoreline. Considering the rapid erosion rate, I wonder how long it will be until that tree is lost to a windy, rainy day. (please click to enlarge)
Further along the shore, a sandpiper explores a floating log. (please click to enlarge)
We don't visit the cedar grove too often in the summer because of overgrowth and mosquitoes. Mostly the latter. But we did wander around and beneath its magnificent trees on this day. It's a lovely area filled with magic and beauty. Has anyone seen where Benny went? (please click to enlarge)
Oh, here he comes tearing out of the overgrowth like his tail is on fire. (please click to enlarge)
True to his style, he's hoping we'll throw a stick into the creek so he can chase after it. Maybe next time, Ben. (please click to enlarge)
Leaving the grove and creek behind us, the late afternoon sunlight breathes colour and life into the aging wildflowers of the field. If you look closely you'll see Queen Anne's Lace, Chicory, Goldenrod, Asters, Snapdragons and a few leaves changing colour. (please click to enlarge)
One final photo taken at night, at what Frank calls his UFO spot. You can't see them, but people were salmon fishing in the dark. Only the stars up above and the occasional lantern lit their way. (please click to enlarge)
Looks like this day is over. Thanks for joining me on my walk.
This is a scheduled post. Despite my opening line in this post, if all has worked out as planned, we're about to head up to the cottage one more time. The week promises to be wet, cold and unpleasant - not likely to provide photo opportunities. But you never know. Please stay tuned and I'll be back next weekend to reply to comments and try to catch up on your blogs.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
I hear it in the deep heart's core.
W. B. Yeats
Her big, beautiful sheep dog, Duncan was there. And so were 6 baby squirrels which Theresa is raising to maturity. Add Benny to that mix and we had quite the activity level at times.
One drive-by with the boat proved worthwhile when we saw one of the adults perched proudly atop its nest.
Another time we noticed him on a branch which topped a tree within clear, but distant view of the cottage.
This bass was one of them. It was released back into the lake immediately after the photo was taken.
That same day, I also caught this walleye which became our lunch the next afternoon. Yum!
Benny was happy to just lounge around nearby, but kept a watchful eye to to be sure we didn't make moves to get into the boat.
Occasionally, he'd wander over to the edge of the dock to check out that twin JRT in the water. And yes, he fell in once or twice while going after it.
He's been referred to as the Fish Whisperer, Dog Whisperer, Tree Whisperer and probably more, but after three or four nights of perfect campfires, he is also most definitely the Flame Whisperer.
A last glance or two out on the water just before all colour disappeared from the sky. Weakening ripples gently lapped the shore.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
"Earth laughs in flowers."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
"I've always thought my flowers had souls."
"I love to smell flowers in the dark," she said. "You get hold of their soul then."
~ Lucy Maud Montgomery
"If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change." ~ Buddha
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Still, I took my time.
As the storm blew through, the trees outside my window were swaying violently. Lightning flashed almost non-stop and the thunder which followed was frighteningly loud. I saw how dramatic the lightning appeared and tried to capture a photograph of it through my bedroom window. I slowed my shutter speed way down, thinking I could snap one of those nifty shots that you often see - of several impressive forks of lightning. I leaned the camera right into the glass, and pressed the shutter as soon as I saw the first flash. The immediate crash of thunder vibrated through the glass and made me jump. Perhaps I should make my way down at least to the main floor of the house.
I never did get one of those super-impressive lightning shots. All I got was rain.
It turned out that a tornado touched down in Vaughan, north of Toronto, and about 33 kilometers (20 miles) from here.
The rest of the evening remained calm but news reports were full of stories of destruction and devastation. My area got off easy, but still there was damage.
The following day, a walk revealed broken branches and brush throughout the park.
It could have been so much worse. It was for others. The wrath of Nature shows no mercy.
This was a scheduled post. I'm up at the cottage with Frank for a few days. I'll be back soon to reply to your always-kind comments, and to visit your blogs.