Thursday, September 30, 2010

Lakeside Creatures

One more scheduled post for now while I'm in transit. I'll be back to my regular routine before too long. Thanks always for your visits. I shall be sure to return those real soon.

Below are just a few of the very many creatures seen at the cottage through the course of a week. Some are beautiful to most eyes. Others are less so. All are fascinating.

Right on the shoreline beside the dock, there are hundreds of snails. The raccoons can sometimes be seen with their "hands" in the water, fishing for them. They'll crunch them, shell and all. Apologies to Frank's sisters Theresa and Lisa - snails creep them out.

These guys creep ME out. Hundreds - probably thousands of busy red ants crawling all over the trees, rocks and earth out by the boathouse. I don't think they're always there, but they sure were in abundance that day. Shudder.

Lets get on with the beautiful creatures, shall we? A distant fly-by of the majestic bald eagle. This was the sharpest shot I could get from a long way off and from inside a bobbing boat.

Here's one of the young eaglets, flying lower and over land. It's a beautiful bird, isn't it?

Speaking of beautiful birds, this female hummingbird was tasting the sweetened water left for her in the feeder. You can see her tongue sticking out from the end of her beak. This tiny wonder is only about 3 inches (7 cm) in size and its wings beat about 50 times per second.

Here she is having a good sip. They drink up to twice their body weight daily, and will have to double their weight before returning to Mexico for the winter, flying non-stop over the Gulf of Mexico.

More coming up in a few days.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cottage Collection

Below are some miscellaneous images taken up at the cottage this past summer. If I haven't visited your blog recently, it most likely means that we're still up there for a few days. I'll return visits and respond to comments sometime after I return. Until then I hope you enjoy this scheduled post.

Early morning fog sure changes the appearance of the lake. It adds an air of mystery when you can scarcely see across the water. But the sun was quick to burn it off and we soon started our day.

There's a lodge a few miles down and across the lake, where we get gasoline for the boat. On this day we motored over and docked the boat but had a bit of a wait for the store to open. We sat by their pond and admired the plant life until we were ready to be on our way. I love the colours in this leaf.

This rusty wheelbarrow worked its magic for transporting gathered firewood. September nights are perfect for campfires.

Early evening sunlight pours through the front door on the other side of the boathouse, and escapes through the side door, illuminating a couple of colourful kayaks in its path.

The day is almost done. A neighbour's model lighthouse may not have a true light of its own, but the golden sunset helps make up for that, don't you think?

More photos to come in a few days.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Crazy Little Thing Called Benny

This is another scheduled post brought to you through the magic of the internet while we're away at the cottage.

Wanna see a crazy little dog? I thought so. In each of the photos below, Benny is springing to action (hence the blur in some) by 1) trying to kill the water sprayed at him from a water bottle, 2)
attempting to climb a tree to chase a squirrel or 3) biting bubbles which were floating around Frank's back yard. The images speak for themselves but I hope you'll enjoy the quotes which accompany them.

The most affectionate creature in the world is a wet dog. ~Ambrose Bierce

Let's examine the dog mind: Every time you come home, he thinks it's amazing. He can't believe that you've accomplished this again. You walk in the door. The joy of it almost kills him. "He's back again! It's that guy! It's that guy!" ~ Jerry Seinfeld

It sometimes takes days, even weeks, before a dog's nerves tire. In the case of terriers it can run into months. ~E.B. White

Dogs laugh, but they laugh with their tails. ~Max Eastman

I wonder what goes through his mind when he sees us peeing in his water bowl. ~Penny Ward Moser

They say the dog is man's best friend. I don't believe that. How many of your friends have you neutered? ~Larry Reeb

A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of. ~Ogden Nash

Dogs act exactly the way we would act if we had no shame. ~Cynthia Heimel

Back in a few days with some more photos.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Kindness of Ellen and Posts of the Week

This is another scheduled post as I'll be away again for a few days starting today. I'll be back early next week to reply to comments and visit your blogs.

One day last month, a parcel arrived in my mail box. I immediately recognized the sender's name and knew what was in the box. I opened the package, easily assembled the three pieces and admired this lovely item.

So do you know what it might be?

Don't worry, I don't think I'd have figured it out either had it not been for the discussion that Ellen and I had in email a while back.

It began with this post on Ellen's blog. I commented to her about the fact that Frank got me started collecting feathers a couple of years ago. The two of us pick up feathers - just about any feather that we find unless they're in ridiculously large quantities (like at the duck pond or spilling out of a down-filled pillow) and we save them in various containers. Frank keeps the smaller ones in the lining of his hats. You might say that he's a bit of a birdbrain. I, of course would never say that.

A brief email exchange ensued and before I knew it, Ellen was so kindly offering to send me one of her beautiful handmade feather keepers. I felt honoured to be the recipient of such a wonderful gift.

If you've never visited Ellen's blog before, please do yourself a favour and check it out. She's a wonderful writer and an amazing artist who works with glass primarily, and her crafted pieces are stunning. Her art studio website showcases her incredible work, and takes you through the arduous process of glass etchings from drawing board to finished product.

If you're not already a fan of Ellen's and I know that many of you are, you will probably become one after "meeting" her today. Her art, blog or both will win you over for sure.

Here's a look at the feather keeper adorned with some plummage from my collection.

Thank you so much, Ellen. This was a generous and thoughtful gift which I'll cherish always.

And now without further delay, here are the...

Posts of the Week

The icon to the left here is yours for the taking if your blog post has been named as a Post of the Week - either as top post or as a runner up, today or in past weeks.

This week's top post goes to:

The Final Ride-along
by Sandra
at Add Humor and Faith

Other wonderful posts in no particular order are:

Memories of Home
by Kathryn
at Crystal Jigsaw

Y'cant Make This Stuff Up
by June
at Aging Gratefully

Things Are Looking Up!
by Bonnie
at Original Art Studio

Little Miss Smarty Pants
by Lori
at My Life Interrupted

Maui Wowie
by Tom
at A Pacific View

My Gramma Title
by Steviewren
at A Little Birdie Told Me So

Lake Papaiannia - The Storm
by MaggieGem
at This Life Through the Lens

Autumn Equinox
by Tammie Lee
at Spirit Helpers

Time in a Garden
by Brenda
at A Fairy in My Garden

Readers' Choice

Recommended by: Maggie Gem

If Not Now, When?

by Kat
at The Kat Eye View of the World

Please drop by their blogs for a visit and leave a kind comment if you have the time. Also, please feel free to add your own choices (for any blog except this one) for a specific blog post in the comments section below, where others can see them.

Thank you.

I'll be back tomorrow with another scheduled post

Sunday, September 19, 2010

If A Tree Falls...

A few posts back, I hinted at our witnessing a summer storm which was worse than the one I had illustrated with a few photos at that time. This is the story of that storm. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon at the cottage, and Frank and I had returned from a couple of hours of fishing for walleye.

I had caught this beauty which Frank measured at just about 22 inches. This photo credit belongs to him. We were considering a second go-round at this lovely lake when the wind suddenly began to pick up. It would seem that some dramatic weather was imminent.

Windblown Benny agreed.

Clouds blew in and trees swayed and bowed down with the force of the wind. Lightning, thunder and heavy rain accompanied this show of Nature's force. I picked up my camera to photograph what I could, when Frank, who was watching the show through the kitchen window was heard to utter "Oh, crap!" just seconds after I heard a relatively subtle cracking sound.

A glance outside that window showed one tree shouldering the upper body of a fallen pine. It wasn't uprooted as you might be able to see by the angle, but snapped in two, about three feet above ground level.

We knew that the other tree wouldn't hold its weight for much longer and just as it dawned on us that it could fall on the cottage, it completed its descent.
We never heard the crash, bang, shatter or thump. All we heard was a slight scratching sound and then nothing.

When we regained consciousness...

No, I'm kidding of course. We were very lucky as we were spared any further damage. The scratching sound we heard was the very tip of the tree gently brushing against the living room window as it landed on the deck just outside. It fell across the steps, precisely between the rails. It couldn't have been directed to a better spot if we'd tried.

Here's a view the tree through the living room window, where it landed on the deck while the storm raged on.

It was a short-lived disturbance and the skies soon cleared. Something needed to be done about the tree as it blocked our access past the front of the house, though we could still get around it by exiting through the back door.

Frank got to work sawing off the top of the tree.

His nephew and friend dragged it off behind the cottage.

This is a view of the trunk at the break.

The deck needed sweeping and the rest of the tree needed to be turned into next year's firewood. The clothesline and hammock which had been attached to it needed a new home on another trunk.

All of that was done eventually but not before photographing the beautiful colours of the lichen which was growing on its bark.

Needless to say, we were very fortunate. Years earlier, I'm told, a similar storm blew through which dropped another, larger tree. It too, missed the cottage by just a smidge. After this summer's storm, I happened to glance up at the photograph of the smiling faces of Frank's late parents. It would seem that they were still looking out for their family and summer home. For this, I'm very grateful.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Another scheduled post brought to you by this mostly-absent blogger. I'm home for now and should be back to my regular blogging habits soon - though probably only for a short while. Thank you everyone for stopping by and commenting. You folks are the best!

Close to home, or maybe closer to Frank's place, this cluster of purple bell-shaped flowers caught my eye. I'm sure someone out here knows what these are called but I don't.

I believe that this cluster of orange berries was growing on a Mountain Ash. This tree was on the front lawn of the bait shop on our way to the cottage. We stopped by to pick up some worms.

They had bins of fishing lures, hooks and other devices to entice the walleye toward our rods.

But the most interesting cluster I saw on this day was a group of ten Turkey vultures soaring above the highway. This photo was snapped through the windshield.

Back with more in a few days.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

One Good Thing... and the Posts of the Week

When enjoying your time in cottage country, please remember...

... one thing often leads to...

... another.

Posts of the Week

The icon to the left here is yours for the taking if your blog post has been named as a Post of the Week - either as top post or as a runner up, today or in past weeks.

This week's top post goes to:

Hummingbird Poop - Naturally
by Frank
at Baron It All

Other wonderful posts in no particular order are:

Beyond Our Sight
by Christopher
at Christopher's Views

Batman Speaks of Ramadan
by Sandy
at Writing in Faith

by Nick
at Along These Lines

The Other 364 Days
by Dianne
at Forks Off the Moment

Good Dog
by Don
at ffocuss

A Communion
by Saz
at Fab, Feisty & Fifty

An Unlikely Guide
by Nancy
at Life in the Second Half

The World's Smallest Gas Pump Attendant
by VM Sehy
at VM Sehy Photography

Holy Mackerel
by Lady Fi
at On A Quirky Quest With Lady Fi

CPR but Not Mouth to Mouth... Eeewww!
by Tabor
at Room Without Walls

by Deb
at Talk at the Table

Blue Tailed Skink
by Kerri
at A Little Piece of Me

Please drop by their blogs for a visit and leave a kind comment if you have the time. Also, please feel free to add your own choices (for any blog except this one) for a specific blog post in the comments section below, where others can see them.

Thank you.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Summer Storm

Another scheduled mini-post. Things should get back to normal semi-soonish. Thanks for your kind comments despite my absence. They're so appreciated. I'll be around to visit as soon as time permits. Here are a few more photos from a previous visit to the cottage.

It was a perfectly beautiful sunny day and Frank and I were about to go out fishing. We looked to our right from where we stood on the dock and wondered if the gray skies were just passing through or if those clouds were building up.

A few minutes later we had our answer. We had enough time to empty the boat of everything which wasn't waterproof and head into the cottage to wait it out.

This photo wasn't in taken in black and white but the weather seemed to turn everything into monochrome. The storm lasted only a few minutes and the sun shone shortly afterward. No damage done. This was not the worst storm we had while up at the cottage. I'll write about that one another time.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Golden Sunlight

I'm still in scheduled mini-post mode and at this moment hopefully up at the cottage with Frank and Benny. I'll be by to visit and respond to comments sometime after we return. Until then, I hope you enjoy these photos which were taken while there a few weeks back.

An evening walk along the country roads revealed trees painted with golden sunlight. It wouldn't be too much longer until only the moon and stars would provide their light. Time to turn back.


Back at the dock, we catch the last rays of this day's sun before it bids us goodnight.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Turquoise Fog and Posts of the Week

We left for the cottage yesterday and should be back again in a few days. I have posts scheduled for my usual Thursdays and Sundays in the meantime. I'll be sure to catch up with you all after I'm back. Thanks always for your visit. Your kind comments mean so much to me.

Across the road from Frank's place, golden sunlight swept across the field to illuminate the ground fog in such a way that it appeared turquoise to me. My camera thought so too.

Below are the Posts of the Week.

The icon to the left here is yours for the taking if your blog post has been named as a Post of the Week - either as top post or as a runner up, today or in past weeks. I've decided to start mixing up the colours each week. Take whichever one appeals to you.

This week's top post goes to:

Pretty Little Angel Eyes
by Nezzy
at Cow Patty Surprise

Other wonderful posts in no particular order are:

Our Paths Crossed Briefly...
by Sandra
at Add Humor and Faith

Tell Me How You're Like That Turtle
by Sandy
at Writing in Faith

The Cross Sound Leaves New London
by Steve
at Take A Look Around

Calling Dr. Parent. Calling Dr. Parent
by Betty
at Bossy Betty

Be sure to read the rebuttal post by HOB (Husband of Betty) too.

by Deb
at Talk at the Table

Sunday Serenity
by TSannie
at The Tombstone Chronicler

The Last Show
by Bonnie
at Original Art Studio

And Then I Flew
by Beth
at Be Yourself..

Please drop by their blogs for a visit and leave a kind comment if you have the time. Also, please feel free to add your own choices (for any blog except this one) for a specific blog post in the comments section below, where others can see them.

Thank you.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Summer Winds Down

Another scheduled mini-post until my blogging returns to normal.. whatever that might be.

It seems that signs of summer ending are everywhere - and rather early too. I snapped this shot of oak leaves and acorns early in August. It's been a most beautiful season.

Also by my local pond, the late-day sun illuminated this fluffy cloud with shades of golden pink. It's seen reflected in the water below.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Wash Day

Another scheduled post while still on summer hours. I'll be back to visit and reply to comments when cottage season winds down. In the meantime, I so appreciate all of your visits and kind comments.

Up at the cottage, late in the day, laundry hangs drying on the line. The setting sun paints the sheets with country golden warmth. They'll smell so wonderful at bedtime.

This loon also took advantage of wash day, splashing around in the tepid waters of the lake and turning its feathers to the sun.

Back soon with another scheduled post.