Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Flowers Revisited and Posts of the Week

Since the season is anything but warm and cheery for most of us in the Northern Hemisphere, right now, I thought I'd post a few leftover flower images from last season. I hope you won't mind seeing those colourful reminders of this past summer.

magenta flower
I don't know what this beautiful magenta flower is but it was growing in a neighbour's yard well after the first frost.

surviving flower
This was the last remaining flower up at the property next door to Frank's family cottage. We had a lot of rain when we were up there in October, and these petals glisten with proof.

the finger flower
And this unusual cluster will give you an idea of how I feel about the upcoming winter.

And now, without further delay, here are the Posts of the Week. The icon below is yours for the taking if if your blog post is named as a POTW.


Running for Research
by Lime
at House of Lime


They Shoot Canoes, Don't They?
by Sage
at Musings


La Seine
by Pierre
at Pierre Boyer

A Day of Rest
by Adrian
at Adrian's Images

In the Window
by Daryl
at Through My Eyes


A Gentleman at the Marina
by Dianne
at Do You See What I See?

Salmon Feast Life Cycle
by Glo
at Porcelain Rose

Advent and My Little Tree
by Ruth
at Ruth's Photo Blog


1) Recommended by Lady Fi for Good Photography:

Kagami-ike Pond in Full Spectrum of Colors
by Stardust
at Stardust English Talk

2) Recommended by Dianne for a Good Laugh:

Everyone’s a Critic, or Would Bribery Help?
by Pearl
at Pearl, Why You Little

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, November 27, 2011

Northern Shores, Iconic Stores and My Dear Friend, CA.

We've not had any snow yet in my part of southern Ontario, and November has kindly treated us to a number of unseasonably mild days. This means more walks and more photos to share with you.

As you can probably tell by the title, this is a bit of a scrambled post. Earlier this month, I boarded a commuter train so I could spend the day visiting my friend, Carol Anne. We've known each other for just about 35 years now and I can scarcely remember what my life was like without her in it.

Over the decades, geography and circumstance occasionally dictated various gaps of time between our getting together - sometimes, weeks or months, though I doubt a full year has ever passed without a visit. No matter how much time passes, ours is the kind of friendship that instantly picks up where it left off, with the comfort and laughter that can only be shared with dear friends who have seen each other at their best and at their worst - and love one another in spite of it, and because of it. We've lived as far apart as 565 kilometers (350 miles) and as close as same-floor neighbours in a small, old apartment building.

We met when we both worked at the (then) Montreal-based head office of Canada's largest retail chain, Zeller's. Carol Anne worked in one of their buying departments, and I handled a chunk of their suppliers in the accounts payable office. We had a few mutual friends in other departments and soon we were all hanging out together evenings and weekends.

Zeller's had a pretty good handle on company morale. About every month or so, their Better Relations Committee organized events such as car rallies, sugar shack parties, sample sales, dances and of course their Christmas parties every November. It was a fairly close-knit group of 300 employees and we had a lot of fun together through the years.

Eventually our immediate gang of about 10, each moved in different directions, geographically (some as far as New Zealand), and Carol Anne and I were no exceptions. After working for ten years at Zeller's, I moved from my native Montreal to settle in Ontario. Shortly afterward, Carol Anne and her family did the same and we each took up residences in towns on opposite sides of Toronto. She has recently moved a bit farther away than that, but her home is still less than an hour away from mine by car and just a couple more by bus and train. And as a bonus, she's only about 20 minutes from Frank's place so I get to see her there too.

As for Zeller's, their stores have been around a little longer than I have, but sadly, their time is coming to an end as they have recently been bought out by an incoming American chain - Target. They'll be changing most of the stores over pretty soon and I'm not looking forward to that.

Back to the photos. On this lovely autumn day, early in November, I boarded the GO Transit (GO stands for Government of Ontario) and headed east across the city of Toronto to visit Carol Anne.

Through train window
I took this photo through the train window, as the tracks followed the northern shore of Lake Ontario.

autumn path ajax
Before darkness fell (it does that so early these days), we decided to go for a stroll near her home. There's a lovely walking path which follows the lake's shoreline and in turn, it beckoned us to follow it.

fallen tree on beach
Depending on your vantage point, Lake Ontario can appear small and intimate like like my own local pond..

driftwood and rays
or large and imposing like the ocean.

lake Ontario waves and rays
And always beautiful...

under the fallen tree
.. no matter how you look at it.

After our lovely nature walk, we headed over to Frank's place for a yummy dinner. Carol Anne returned home after the meal and I stayed at Frank's for a few days.

fish skeleton
This wasn't dinner leftovers, but rather a migrating salmon picked clean by the local birds. I snapped this shot on my walk a few days later, along the creek shoreline.

creek meadow
And just in case you wanted to get a look at the area just before sunset, here it is. This is right outside and across the street from Frank's front door.

Thanks for joining me on my walks. Carol Anne, Frank and all of you are such great company.

"A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked." ~ Bernard Meltzer

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Feeling Chipper

There aren't many faces that are cuter than that of a chipmunk, so you can hardly blame me if I go a little overboard taking photos of their adorableness, can you? They're rather abundant around Frank's place and the cottage. Coaxing them into photo range is easy - all it takes is a little seed and they're out sharing their endearing little selves with us, and in turn, with you.

A - You're adorable...

B - You're so beautiful...

C - You're a cutie full of charms.
~ Buddy Kaye and Fred Wise

Why can't I be the adorable one? ~ Dorothy Kilgallen

chipper complaining
I'm tired of all this nonsense about beauty being skin deep. That's deep enough. What do you want, an adorable pancreas? ~ Jean Kerr

I'm cute, yes it's true
I really can't help it
But what can I do?...

When you're cute
It just shows
With these two darling eyes
and a cute little nose
~ Animaniacs

And I couldn't resist adding a couple captions which are typical of LOLCats.

chipper angry
I has a angry.

And thank you for the noms..

And thank you for allowing me to indulge in all this cuteness. Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Gimmie a Sign and Posts of the Week

Wishing all my American friends a very Happy Thanksgiving!

While walking with Benny, one day last month I came upon this sign at the edge of the park, near a parking lot.

It's a clever and timely placement since it was during the peak of the salmon run in the creek, which means a number of salmon carcasses along the banks. Not much is more inviting to a dog like Benny than following his nose to a rotting salmon and sharing its scent by rolling in it. Clever dog wash people. And good boy Benny for not doing the doggie stop, drop and roll so far, this year.

Another sign, seen on the highway between Frank's place and mine.

dont hit me
A weathered sticker on the back of a truck offered a reasonable suggestion.

Also seen on the highway a bit closer to home.

1 still
This is actually a piece of artwork which only makes a bit more sense when you pass it by.

Although stationary the word changes as you drive along.

A bit of a play on words to find artwork which simply states "still life." You can read more about it here.

And now, without further delay, here are the Posts of the Week. The icon below is yours for the taking if if your blog post is named as a POTW.


Oh, the Things You Can Blog!
by Mami

at Unknown Mami


S is for... (Sex)
by Ellen
at Stuff
from Ellen's Head

Beware What the Cook Won't Eat
by Pauline

at Writing Down the Words


Lanner Falcon
by Bob
at Birds and Nature in the Forest of Dean

Tree Varmint
by TexWisGirl
at The Run-A-Rounds Ranch Report


Enter at Own Risk
by The Bag Lady
at Bag Lady's Blather


It's the Little Things

by Dawn
at Just One Life

Mother Nature is My Muse
by Christine
at Have a Beauty Filled Day


Because It's Worth It...
by Beth

at Be Yourself


I'm Not A Torke! And Other Terms from the Word Verification Dictionary
by Lisa
at Two Bears Farm

Recommended by: TexWisGirl

The Babysitters Flub #1
by Kady
at A Lady Reveals Nothing

Recommended by: Kerry

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, November 20, 2011

Fine Feathered Friends

I'm very lucky to have an interesting variety of feathered friends in the area. Some are year-round residents and others stop by for a short visit while on their migration elsewhere. All are intriguing and very enjoyable to watch and photograph. I have a number of bird images to share, all of which were taken over the last month.

We have Mallards on our local pond which hang around all year. This handsome fellow was finding something to eat beneath the water's surface. Isn't he beautiful with all those sparkling water droplets adorning his radiant green head?

This guy drops by for at least a few weeks every year. He's the Double-crested Cormorant, and he works hard at depleting the pond's fish population.

He seemed a bit suspicious of me and my camera. I took one step closer to him after I snapped this image and he decided that was close enough. He was in the water before I could snap another shot.

Our Canada Geese tend to stay for the cold weather too, despite several bloggers considerably south of us who also welcome them for the winter.

This handsome dude is the Belted Kingfisher. There seems to be no rhyme nor reason to his visits. He's been seen in any season that doesn't see the pond frozen over but like the Cormorant, he rarely stays for more than a few weeks at a time. I also find that he's very difficult to photograph. Always on high alert, he seems to take off in flight the instant I look at him, unless it's from across the pond as was the case with this image.

belted kingfisher in flight
On a different day, he was being far less cooperative in the posing department and he kept teasing me by flying across the pond just out of my shooting range. Therefore, this isn't much of a clear image but I appreciate that he flew into a small patch of sunlight just in front of the dock across the pond.

Who says that Robins are the first sign of spring? Ours don't quite stick around all year but they are often seen well into December and seem to return again by early March. They appear quite at home surrounded by the colours of autumn, offering in return, their matching red breast.

autumn chickadee
Is there any bird cuter than a Black-capped Chickadee? There might be but I think these sweeties are adorable with their "dee dee dee" and their hopping and bopping and flitting all over the place.

dee dee dee2
They're curious and friendly, and can be encouraged to land on your shoulder or hand while feeding them. I've not had the thrill of that experience but my friend, Daniel has a brief video on his blog which shows how the Chickadees have come to trust him in the short time that he's lived in his new home. Go on over and have a look. I don't mind waiting.

dee dee dee3
One more Chickadee image - because I just find them hard to resist.

This beauty was spotted by Frank as it flew into his maple tree. The lighting was not its best and it was eying me as I took small steps forward to try to get him into sharper focus. I'm not sure what he is, exactly. A Merlin, perhaps?

That's it for this post. I hope you enjoyed my feathered friends.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Autumn Magic

fiery elm leaves
Autumn wins you best by this its mute appeal to sympathy for its decay. ~ Robert Browning

vibrant maple leaves
Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all. ~ Stanley Horowitz

path at night
All the night's magic seems to whisper and hush ~ Van Morrison

spindle berries
On the motionless branches of some trees, autumn berries hung like clusters of coral beads, as in those fabled orchards where the fruits were jewels. ~ Charles Dickens

rose leaf
Now Autumn's fire burns slowly along the woods. And day by day the dead leaves fall and melt. ~ William Allingham

A few days ago I walked along the edge of the lake and was treated to the crunch and rustle of leaves with each step I made. The acoustics of this season are different and all sounds, no matter how hushed, are as crisp as autumn air. ~ Eric Sloane

night path
They are busy all day, giving shade and support and shelter and food to all. Only when night falls can they find rest for themselves, and then, under quiet dark skies, the spirits that live in them are revealed.
~ Durga Bai

sheltered oak leaf

~ e.e. cummings

Autumn burned brightly, a running flame through the mountains, a torch flung to the trees.
~ Emily Bronte

autumn path
But I remember more dearly autumn afternoons in bottoms that lay intensely silent under old great trees. ~ C.S. Lewis

night magic
falling leaves
hide the path
so quietly
~ John Bailey

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Best Leid Plans and Posts of the Week

One Sunday morning, about a month ago, Frank and I took a drive down to the lake shore near his home. We parked and took a stroll along the water's edge.

getting leid2
We saw what was probably a few leftover items from a Hawaiian Themed beach party the night before.

loo lei
They must have been a bunch of potty animals.

And now, without further delay, here are the Posts of the Week. The icon below is yours for the taking if if your blog post is named as a POTW.


False Heroes
by Dianne
at Forks Off the Moment

Eddie and Shakes
by Cricket
at Cricket and Porcupine

Remembrance Evolves Over a Lifetime
by Red
at Hiawatha House

Talking Loud and Saying Nothing
by Pearl
at Pearl, Why You Little...


Golden Autumn
by Merisi
at Merisi's Vienna for Beginners

Sunset Sunday
by Scott
at Just Used Pixels


Remembering In His Own Words
by Leah
at The Goat's Lunch Pail

You Need More Greens
by Tabor
at One Day at a Time

As If I Were Beside You
by Barbara
at Long Hollow

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.