Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sugar & Spike - Raccoon Baby Update

This is an update about the baby raccoons which were found orphaned under my front deck this spring. You can read all about it in this blog post which has a link to the continued story. They are living with Frank's sister Theresa until they are ready for their planned released into an animal reserve north of our city.

Noting CrazyCris' good point in the comments below, I'm adding this to address her very real concern about people thinking they should have raccoons as pets. Please keep in mind that Sugar and Spike are not intended to be kept as pets. Raccoons do not make good pets as they become more aggressive and difficult to handle when they reach sexual maturity. Theresa is kindly providing foster care until these orphans are ready to face a more natural environment.

Sugar and Spike are doing well with their loving human and canine foster family. They were an estimated 5 weeks old when we found them on April 22, which makes them approximately 10 weeks old now, though these photos were taken a couple of weeks ago.

The two of them are very affectionate, curious and amusing. If left to their own devices, they'd get into all sorts of trouble.. like falling behind sofas, climbing lamps, arguing with that other raccoon in the mirror, making puppy dogs jealous, stealing from pockets and stealing your heart. All are illustrated below. Please remember to click each photo to enlarge.

Playing hide 'n' seek behind the sofa. Shhh, don't tell anyone where I am!

I thought I saw another raccoon in that window..

Come on out and face me!

High five! You look just like me!

OK so I'm easily distracted.. what's this?

If I can just get one foot over....

And ease myself up ....


Lavender.. gimmie!

Got it!

Better than catnip

Guess who?

Whatcha hiding in here?

Protect me from those creatures.

And they lived happily ever after.. the end.


Monday, May 25, 2009

Shades of Spring

Below are a few random photos taken over the last couple of weeks. I hope you enjoy them.

Now every field is clothed with grass, and every tree with leaves; now the woods put forth their blossoms, and the year assumes its gay attire. ~ Virgil
Crab Apple trees are in full bloom at my neighbourhood park. (please click to enlarge)

"There'll be trains of blossoms.
There'll be trains of music.
There'll be trains of trust, trains of golden dust.
Come along and surry on sweet trains of thought.
Surry down to a stoned soul picnic."
~ Laura Nyro (The 5th Dimension)
A picnic table, bathed in late afternoon sunlight, sits under a canopy of blossoms. (please click to enlarge)

"There is pleasure in the pathless woods, there is rapture in the lonely shore, there is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar; I love not Man the less, but Nature more." ~ George Byron
One of the many pretty sights along the shoreline of my local pond. (please click to enlarge)

"The blue and bright-eyed floweret of the brook,
Hope's gentle gem, the sweet Forget-me-not." ~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge
The Forget-me-not -tiny, blue wild flowers with memories. (please click to enlarge)

"A barrel full of certainties won't roll very far." ~ Gerd de Ley
We looked around at a vintage market situated in an old mill. At least one dozen large rooms housed collectibles, antiques, jewelery and crafts. (please click to enlarge)

"Just an old stone house by a river, and the door without any key.
Just a friendly place for a friendly face. Just an old stone house and me."
~ Alec Wilder
I liked the colours of this weathered boat in front of the blue window frames of the old stone mill. (please click to enlarge)

"And then, looking down into reflection, I would see my own round face and frizzled hair against a featureless blue sweep, and think instead that the puddle was the entrance to another sky. If I stepped in there, I would drop at once, and keep on falling, on and on, into blue space." ~ Diana Gabaldon (Voyager)
Looking down into a puddle, the trees were growing tall and deep. (please click to enlarge)

“Cedars are terribly sensitive to change of time and light - sometimes they are bluish cold-green, then they turn yellow warm-green - sometimes their boughs flop heavy and sometimes float, then they are fairy as ferns and then they droop, heavy as heartaches.” ~ Emily Carr
Just one week earlier, this greenery gave us Fiddleheads as a side dish for dinner one night. It didn't take them long to unfurl and grow tall beside the cedars. (please click to enlarge)

“I knew, of course, that trees and plants had roots, stems, bark, branches and foliage that reached up toward the light. But I was coming to realize that the real magician was light itself.” ~ Edward Steichen
Take a closer look at how beautiful they are in the late day sunshine. (please click to enlarge)

"Wish that I were a yellow bird.
I'd fly away with you.
But I am not a yellow bird.
So here I sit, nothin' else to do."
~ Marilyn (Keith) Bergman
A little Goldfinch watches us from the branches of a tree. (please click to enlarge)

“It gives one a sudden start in going down a barren, stony street, to see upon a narrow strip of grass, just within the iron fence, the radiant dandelion, shining in the grass, like a spark dropped from the sun” ~ Henry Ward Beecher
Dandelions are much more attractive when they're not taking over our lawns. (please click to enlarge)

"Light up your face with gladness.
Hide every trace of sadness,
Although a tear maybe ever so near.
That's the time you must keep on trying.
Smile - what's the use of crying?
You'll find that life is still worthwhile,
If you'll just smile.
~ Charlie Chaplin
The last time we went fishing, the sun shone brightly in my eyes, so Frank bought this hat for me to wear this time. I couldn't help but notice that it had a really happy face. (please click to enlarge)

We weren't the only one's fishing either. Click on this very short video and you'll see this Common Tern take a nosedive upon sighting a fish. It wasn't his only catch for the day. After all, one good tern deserves another...

“We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not yet learned the simple art of living together as brothers.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
And here's this lovely bird with its catch. (please click to enlarge)

"That golden sky, which was the doubly blessed symbol of advancing day and of approaching rest." ~ George Eliot (pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans Cross)
A lovely golden sky to end a perfect day. (please click to enlarge)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Come Walk With Me

It's no surprise to most of you that I enjoy walking, particularly when I have my camera along. With or without company, I usually find something or other that I deem photo-worthy. I'd prefer the company though, so won't you please join me as I wander around the park? I'll be right with you. I just need to shut the patio door first.

Wait! Come see. There's a tiny bunny out in the back yard, eating grass. It's been a regular visitor for the past month or so. He's grown quite a lot, but still rather small as you can tell by the hand-sized rubber balls behind him. I'm glad to see he's continuing to survive - seemingly on his own. (please click to enlarge)

Since we've stepped into the back yard, let me show you the lovely blossoms on my plum tree. Hopefully we'll get to the fruit before the raccoons do this year. (please click to enlarge)

Watch your step as we head back inside. There a small green insect walking along the track of the sliding door. Google tells me that it's a Six-spotted Green Tiger Beetle. His colours sure look beautiful in the sunlight. Hey! I heard that comment about my eclipsing the sun when I bent over to take its picture! (please click to enlarge)

Stepping out the front door, these Grape Hyacinths catch my eye. I hope you don't mind if I stop to take a picture of them. (please click to enlarge)

Look up. There's a beautiful Robin singing in that tree. I wonder if this lovely tune is for her mate. (please click to enlarge)

Or is she letting her unhatched young know that she'll be back to her nest soon? (please click to enlarge)

The Crab Apple trees are in full bloom. In the autumn, some of the fruit will be quite tasty. (please click to enlarge)

The sun is low in the sky, and shadows are growing. (please click to enlarge)

Let's leave a peanut for some lucky squirrel to find. (please click to enlarge)

As night falls, the lamp post shed enough light along the path for us to make our way back home. (please click to enlarge)

Looking up, we can see new spring leaves illuminated by the amber glow. (please click to enlarge)

The branches make interesting shadows on the wooden dock below. (please click to enlarge)

Lit only by the street lights, a neighbour's tulips brighten up the darker tones of night. (please click to enlarge)

The night is getting chilly. Come on in and I'll make some Chai. (please click to enlarge)

I hope you enjoyed our walk.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Gone Fishin'

Thank you to everyone who left such kind comments for my son, Jeffrey on my last blog post. Your good wishes, kind words and prayers are all very much appreciated.

Below are a few random photos taken over the past couple of weeks. They're accompanied by lyrics to which I thought they were suited.
Please remember to click on each photo to enlarge.

A couple of weeks ago, Frank and I went fishing, not too far from his home. We drove along lovely, hilly roads to get there.

"May the trail rise up to meet you. May your heart rejoice in song. May the skies be fair above you as you journey ever on."
(Ever On ~ Dan Fogelberg)

Along the way, we happened upon a small herd of donkeys. We stopped so that I could take a few photos.

"Ill never be your beast of burden. My back is broad but its a hurting"
(Beast of Burden ~ The Rolling Stones)

We caught a few trout and a couple of perch, some of which we kept for dinner. This trout would have ordinarily been deemed too small to keep but it was already injured and bleeding so it became part of that night's dinner.

" Yes, you've been fishin' all the time. I'm a-goin' a-fishin' too. I bet your life, your lovin' wife, catch more fish than you. Any fish bite, got good bait. Here's a little somethin' I would like to relate. Any fish bite, you've got good bait. I'm a-goin' a-fishin', yes, I'm goin' a-fishin', I'm a-goin' a-fishin' too."
(Fishing Blues ~ Henry Thomas)

We stood on a narrow, rocky shore. Occasionally, we waded into the water to steer clear of brush while casting.

"I want to feel myself go under, baby, wWhere the deepest river bleeds. I want to feel it pull me under, darlin' until it drops me to my knees. I want to know that I can find you when there's no more eyes to see. In this cool, clear water runnin' you'll come runnin' to me"
Cool, Clear Water ~ Bonnie Riatt)

As the day wore on, I decided to wander up the road to see what was around. The sun was dropping low in the sky, casting lovely, golden light on all that it touched.

"Like a tree in the meadow wind, she will bend to take you in now. Makes no difference where you been. That's the way she feels about you. That's the way she feels about you."
Sunlight ~ The Youngbloods)

A chorus of honking led me to a flock of geese, which gathered in the sparkling sunlit water.

"When we arrived on Gillis Mountain you could see for miles in the light. The whitecaps on the sea of blue sparkled like diamonds in the night."
(Gillis Mountain ~ The Rankin Family)

A couple of Canada Geese took to flight

"Smell the sea and feel the sky. Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic."
Into the Mystic ~ Van Morrison)

Along the shoreline, where trees meet the water, golden sunlight dazzled my eyes from behind the trees.

"Silent sunlight, welcome in There is work I must now begin."
Silent Sunlight ~ Cat Stevens )

Across the road, I found this fence, charming it its pastoral setting.

"Let me be by myself in the evenin' breeze, and listen to the murmur of the cottonwood trees. Send me off forever but I ask you please, don't fence me in." (Don't Fence Me In ~ Bing Crosby)

Once back home, it was time to take Benny for his second walk of the day. Here he is being his usual, adorable self.

"Obedient and true-loyal through and through. A fuzzy reflection of you. If you are hurt, I will lick it. If you feed me, I won't forget it. If I mess up, just rub my nose in it. You let me out to sniff around, do my business and stretch out, and I always come running for you. I look cute at the end of your leash - your adorable beast." (Your Adorable Beast ~ Bobby Bare Jr.)

The fresh spring water rushes along the rock-strewn creek, babbling and bubbling as it does.

" Like a rock, I was strong as I could be. Like a rock, nothin ever got to me. Like a rock, I was something to see. Like a rock."
(Like A Rock ~ Bob Seger)

Much of our walk hugged the edge of the creek. At that magical hour, when the sun was low in the sky, this tree marked the edge of enchantment.

"And it goes on and on, watching the river run. Further and further from things that we've done, leaving them one by one. And we have just begun watching the river run. Listening, learning and yearning to run, river, run."
Watching the River Run ~ Kenny Loggins"

Taken from beneath the limb of a cedar, these branches appeared to be gnarly figures dancing to the music of the wind.

"There's a world far away from the one we see. There's a dream I will never let go. One thing is certainly true. This moment's for me and for you. So while there's not a thing that we can do, let's dance."
(Chris Rea ~ Let's Dance)

These tiny, yellow Trout Lilies were growing along the pathway. The flower gets its name from the similarity between its mottled leaves and the markings of the Speckled Trout.

"And yesterday I saw you kissing tiny flowers, but all that lives is born to die. And so I say to you that nothing really matters, and all you do is stand and cry." (That's the Way ~ Led Zeppelin)