Sunday, July 27, 2008

Flowers, Insects and the Warmth of the Sun

A few photos left on my camera from the past month were waiting to be shared. Please remember to click on them to enlarge.

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From the bottom of a slight incline, the early morning sun twinkled from behind this common chicory flower (thanks to TSannie for pointing out that this was indeed chicory and not a Bachelor Button as I first believed).

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Here's a full sunlight view of the same plant - different blooms.

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A very heavy rain shower drew me out of the house to photograph this clematis. The partially closed flower seemed to protect its face from the torrential rain, while the back of its petals took on the onslaught of water.

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This little yellow Marigold caught my eye when I saw movement. The bee posed nicely for this shot, taken from across a garden.

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Ooops, sorry for the intrusion. Carry on..

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This little blue dragonfly was flitting about the pond, giving me a hard time trying to capture him until he landed on this twig.

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As the day grows longer, the late afternoon sun begins to settle behind the tree branches.

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A couple of wood planks lean against the fence casting interesting shadows. This shot was suggested by Frank. Yes, he has a good eye!

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The sun sends its rays high into the sky as it sparkles and shines from behind the clouds.

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Just before night falls, golden flames bathe the sky with its fiery warmth.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

One Year After

I had hoped to make a few changes to the layout of my blog for today, which marks one full year of blogging. Unfortunately, something came up on the weekend that's keeping me away from home for a few days. I should be back to my regular undetermined schedule early next week. Till then, I'll see you in your respective comments sections.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Late Day Sun

This isn't the first, and probably won't be the last time I've posted photos which were taken late in the afternoon. It's my favourite time of day. Leaves, petals wings and feathers appear richer when saturated with the golden colours of the late afternoon sunlight. The following images were taken on a few different days either at Frank's place or my own neck of the woods. Please remember to click to enlarge them.

A walk along the creek near Frank's home is always a treat. At every twist and turn, a new crop of flowers emerge. (Click to enlarge)

The colours which painted the shoreline a week earlier, have often faded out to make way for a new pallet. (Click to enlarge)

A lone daisy grows by the shoreline of the creek. (Click to enlarge)

Glancing to our left, we saw this family of ducks swimming off to find a more secluded spot. (Click to enlarge)

Sunlight found its way through the shadows to illuminate this rock, which filters through from behind the fronds of this fern. (Click to enlarge)

This Bachelor Button soaks up the colours of the late afternoon. (Click to enlarge)

A small red beetle basks in the last of the sun's rays. (Click to enlarge)

A bit later in the day, this back yard rose comes alive with its scent after soaking up the day's sunshine. (Click to enlarge)

Back near my place, this grasshopper posed nicely while I zoomed in for a shot. (Click to enlarge)

A seagull contemplates its fishing possibilities along the dam at my neighbourhood pond. (Click to enlarge)

After an afternoon shower cleared the air, the sun peeked out from between the clouds, creating the vivid oranges and greens of these droplet-laden Tiger Lilies. (Click to enlarge)

Viewed from above, this Heron landed on the dam while I was taking my evening stroll. He watched me with a wary eye as I took several shots. (Click to enlarge)

Once his fishing expedition was over, he flew off into the setting sun. (Click to enlarge)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Rain, the Park and Other Things

The post title is also the name of a Cowsills song from the 1960's. My neighbours and I have recently gathered to plan our upcoming annual street party next month, and this year, we've decided that the theme will be the 60's. Below are a few photos which evoked various lyrics from that time. Please remember to click on the photos to enlarge them.

Now the Green Leaves of Summer are calling me home [The Brothers Four]:
After a rainfall, colours appear more saturated. This green plant can be found in Frank's front yard.

Today while the blossoms still cling to the vine.. [New Christy Minstrels]:
Clematis are profuse in his front and back yards.

I'm going to pick that rose and watch her as she grows in my garden (Spanish Harlem) [Ben E. King]:
Lovely roses grow in his back yard.

Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head.. [B.J. Thomas]:
These were both taken from above, shortly after a rainfall.

The answer, my friend, is Blowing in the Wind [Peter, Paul & Mary]:
On the back deck, close to the barbecue, this ornament hangs below the wind chimes, which can be seen in shadow only.

Sitting here on the bench with my back against the fence (Sitting in the Park): [Billy Stewart]
Back at the park near my place, someone's artwork caught my eye.

Let me tell you 'bout The Birds and the Bees and the flowers and the trees.. [Jewel Akens]:
A Mourning dove watches cautiously as I tiptoe in closely for a shot.

Little girls, and boys come out to play. Bring your Dandelions to blow away [The Rolling Stones]:
A robin hops around a dandelion head.

If you're going to San Francisco, Be Sure to Wear Some Flowers in Your Hair [Scott MacKenzie]:
Bachelor Buttons grow all around the park.

Where Have All the Flowers Gone? Long time passing [Peter Seeger]:
Thistles have sharp, prickly stalks but they sure have beautiful flowers.

Pussycat, pussycat, I've got flowers and lots of hours to spend with you (What's New, Pussycat?) [Tom Jones]:
This cat was semi-obscured by plants and fence, watching me but trying not to be seen.

Like a Rubber Ball, I come bouncin' back to you [Bobby Vee]:
Benny's ball tells me that it's time to cut the grass.

Monday, July 7, 2008

A Duck at Rest and a Turtle Nest

A couple of weeks ago, while taking Benny for a walk, we happened upon something which was lying on the nearby creek shore.

It was one of those rare occasions when Frank actually spotted it before Benny, who was preoccupied with drinking water or watching a fish wind its way down the creek.

The town had recently celebrated its 150th anniversary and one of their events was a rubber duck race. Numbers were assigned ticket-buyers, and if it matched the number on the bottom of the winning ducks, the participants could claim their prizes.

Clearly, this was one of those ducks which had never made its way to the finish line. Frank picked it up.

He considered keeping it and adding it to the growing collection of unusual items he finds while walking with Benny. After a bit of thought, he decided that the duck was meant to have a chance to find its way out to nearby Lake Ontario. He leaned back while raising the duck in his hand and pitched it toward the creek, releasing it back into the water. The duck landed with a splash...

.. right on its face.

OK so not only was it not going to proudly float its way down to the lake, eventually finding its way to and along the St. Lawrence River and the Atlantic, to find fortune and fame, it wasn't going to get any further than where it landed because..

Benny heard it touch down and was quickly on his way to retrieve it.

Benny walked most of the way back home holding his prize in his mouth, pretty much the same way that you see it here.

As we neared home, we met up with a man who commented on the duck, indicating that the group responsible for the duck derby loses a number of them each year, and would appreciate having found ducks returned to them. His relative worked for that particular committee, so he offered to return the duck to him for us. Frank and I agreed, but if you've ever tried to persuade a Jack Russell Terrier to give you what he has in his mouth, you'll understand that it took some time and distraction.

A good stick usually does the trick. This photo was taken another time but it's typical of Benny's ADD nature to drop whatever he's doing for the next adventure.

Later that day, we drove to a different part of town, down by the shores of Lake Ontario - without Benny this time.

We stopped to look out over the water for a few minutes.

Wild flowers grow along the shore.

One of the homes had an interesting driftwood ornament adorning their fence.

While driving back home, Frank noticed several of these cages which appeared close to the road in a few spots. We wondered what they were about, so we stopped to investigate.

The signs told the story. They were meant to protect turtle nests from being dug up by raccoons or skunks.

Some were successful but some were not. Here you can see the remains of turtle eggs which had been broken by a predator. Hopefully the rest will remain intact.

Back home in the evening, the sun set beautifully at the end of a lovely day.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Sum Sum Summertime

There isn't much that I don't like about summer. I love the sights, sounds and fragrances which represent my favourite season.

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On those particularly hot days, you might want to relax under the shade of a large umbrella and enjoy the garden.

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Flowers, such as these Bleeding Hearts are in full bloom.

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This stray bell-shaped flower took root in the crack of a patio stone, and grows right beside the step.

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This small yellow blossom, found shortly after a light rainfall brightens its surroundings like the emerging sunshine.

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This little bug seemed to reflect the colour of the surrounding foliage.

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Here's a bit of perspective which shows how tiny it was.

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The early evening sun filters through from behind this tree, casting a long shadow. This is my favourite time of day.

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Late-day sunshine seems to saturate its surroundings with intense colour. The bark of these trees almost appear to be lit from within.

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A short while later, this park bench glistens like gold in the setting sun.

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The rising moon and setting sun provide soft contrasting colours behind this dead tree's silhouette.

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As the day grows dark, two birds bid each other "goodnight" with their song.

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A Canada Day firework set off at the end of our street. With this, I wish a Happy 4th to our Amurikan pals, from your friends north of the border!