Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wing Pairs

Below are a few pairs of images, each sporting a pair of wings. They were all taken up at the cottage earlier in September. I hope you enjoy them.

mr blue5
One morning, we glanced out the window to see a large figure sailing through the air, just above the surface of the lake. Mr. Blue landed on the dock. He squawked a few times and had a good look around.

mr blue by the boat2
Thankfully, he waited around while I made my way outside to snap a few photos. He obliged me with a few glances my way, while he walked along the dock and took off just before he made his way to the shoreline.

blue jay wind
Another blue beauty, this blue jay found the bird seed on this fairly windy day. I liked the way his feathers were all ruffled by the wind.

blue jay
Another blue jay at a different feeding post.

dragonfly golden
A lovely dragonfly with gold-tipped wings and a red body, which isn't visible in this image.

dragonfly shoulder
But it is in this one. This magical winged creature was resting on Frank's cozy shoulder. Having rested my own head in that same, general vicinity, I can't say that I blame him one bit.

For a few days, we were hearing and spotting a Kingfisher around the cottage. They're quite elusive though, and it seemed that every time it realized I was aware of it, it would take off before I could snap a photo. Except for this time. He flew into the bay to the right of the dock. I never saw where it landed and I used my camera as binoculars to scan the trees on the opposite side of the bay. A few seconds later he was filling up my viewfinder, giving me just enough time to snap this shot.

kingfisher taking off
And then one more as he took off once again.

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Last but not least, a solitary image of a sky which appeared to sprout wings of its own as the sun took flight for the night.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Keeping You Hanging - No Posts of the Week

Sorry, folks. I'm going to have to pass on the Posts of the Week again this time. Yesterday, I decided to head to Frank's for a few days, kind of at the last minute. I remembered to grab a few photos onto my flash drive but forgot all about the oollected POTW links. On the plus side, this means that I should have more than usual for you next time.

I hate to lure you over here and then offer you nothing at all, so in keeping with the previous cottage post, I've included a couple of images taken on an overcast day.

I'm not sure if I'm the only one amused by an empty clothesline but for what it's worth, I snapped a couple of shots of the idle clothespins, and one more on a different evening when the clothesline was respectfully employed. I hope you like them.

I should have a regular post for you tomorrow.

A swirl of empty clothespins adorn the otherwise naked line. All but two are in a colourful, windy blur.

It's kind of silly how they so often catch my eye but they do. I have posted images of empty clothespins before, and even turned one of those images into the current icon for the Posts of the Week.

Towels and clothes spent another day drying on the line. They may have still been hanging there when the sunset was done.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fishin' and Scopin'

As often, I find myself behind the season - photographically, that is. I have an awful lot of photos taken throughout the end of August and into September. I think it might be winter by the time they're all posted at my usual rate of twice a week, so please bear with me as I allow summer to linger just a little bit longer.

Frank and I spent some time up at his family cottage earlier this month. We enjoyed some warm, sunny weather along with a few cool, rainy days. The former suits me just fine because that's exactly how I love it to be when I'm at the cottage. The latter worked best for Frank, as that weather is generally conducive to better fishing. Of course, it was one of those warm, sunny days when I caught the biggest fish in my short angling history.

Let's back up a bit. On one of those overcast days, Frank came back to the cottage from one of his solo fishing adventures. He seemed particularly pleased and went on to share that he'd caught a real beauty of a walleye - about 20 inches and so perfect in colouring and vitality, that he chose to release it back into the water after unhooking it. "You want those beauties to reproduce."

A couple of days later, we were out on the lake together, and it was a lovely afternoon and wonderful just to be in a bobbing boat, watching the birds and listening to the sounds of nature. But we weren't having much luck attracting anything to the ends of our rods. We moved over to the area which proved lucky for Frank earlier in the week.

After a short while, I felt a strong, but not terribly insistent tug. Actually, it was more resistant than anything, and I thought I had become snagged on something. I reeled in, and though I certainly felt some weight, I didn't feel much fight. It couldn't have been very big. I told Frank that a few times. It kicked up more of a protest as it neared the boat, and Frank spotted it before I did. I kept on saying that it must be small but Frank's smile said otherwise.

walleye catch
He grabbed the net and we hauled in this lovely walleye. We looked it over and Frank mused about the possibility of it being the very same fish he'd caught earlier in the week. He unhooked it (something I've yet to do when it comes to walleye - they have big teeth and sharp fins!) and measured it (just over 20 inches) and wondered again if it might be the same one. I asked if he thought we ought to let it go and he said "No, we'll keep it," and he swiftly and humanely turned it into that night's dinner possibility.

Into the cooler it went, but not until after the obligatory pose with the catch. This photo is courtesy of Frank. Image cropping was my contribution.

Later, when Frank filleted the catch, he examined the contents of its stomach to discover a somewhat intact smallmouth bass. I'll spare you that photo, because it wasn't a pretty sight but that might have been why there wasn't much fight in the walleye. It was already full, and too busy digesting. Or it could have actually been the fish that Frank caught the day or two before and was still tired from the tremendous fight it gave him at that time. What do you think?

walleye filet
In any event, we gratefully enjoyed a delicious dinner of walleye, beans and potatoes. I had fully intended to take a photo of it while it cooked and later, on the plate but I simply forgot about it. But until just now, I never noticed the word "surgery" in the newspaper, along with the blood splattered on it. I'm easily amused.

edgy cedar growth2
As the day turned to evening, we sat and enjoyed our surroundings. Just beside the dock, this little cedar makes a brave effort to grow amid rocks and roots from other trees. They sure are a hearty plant.

late day sun hillside
The sun spills onto the hillside, bathing it with rich, golden hues.

iluminated stump
Let's get a closer look at that tree stump.

The sunset was a beauty, as so many of them are up at the cottage.

starry night4
And the clear sky of nightfall provided us with a good look at the Big Dipper.

I'll have more photos for you in a few days.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cuteness Overload

on squirrel watch
What do you figure Benny is on the lookout for? I'll give you a hint. They're grey (often black, here in Ontario), quick, have bushy tails and are usually seen raiding bird feeders.
Yup, you guessed it. He was hunting squirrels to chase down.

wall scaler
Well, silly Ben. While he was searching long and hard for one cute rodent, he totally missed this bold little guy, making his way down the wall behind him.

chipper in sunlight
He made his way over to the seed station, which was perfectly positioned in a stream of golden late-day sunshine.

Please excuse me while I indulge in just one more photo but I think chipmunks are among the cutest creatures on the planet.

lily cup
Now here's another cutie who is always on the lookout for Benny. Lily may appear to be drinking passively, but her eyes are taking everything in.

lily tongue
Now don't those eyes light up when she spots our four-legged friend?

winston drinking
And here's her brother, Winston enjoying a cold glass of juice on a hot, summer day.

evil bunny
Bunnies are another one of those cutest critters on the planet - except at night when the camera flash reflects in their enormous eyes and they look absolutely demonic.

I guess there's only so much cuteness that can be packed into one post.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Take Five and Posts of the Week

A few weeks back, we had our nearly-annual street sale and street party. A few homes participated in the morning sale, and still more came out to the potluck dinner in the court of our dead-end street.

After dinner, we sat around chatting and singing. There are usually one or two neighbours who bring out their guitars, and this year was no exception. I took this shot while one of the guitarists took a short break from strumming. In case you're interested, the music sitting face up on the stool is Sylvia's Mother.


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.

A Good Read:

Conversation With Willie
by Elizabeth
at Magical Moments

Just Plain Good:

by Louciau
at Décolleté Glimpses

One Old Grump
by Jill
at Jillsy Girl Studio

Photographic Gems:

by Laura
at Shine the Divine

Shades of Yellow
by Scott
at Just Used Pixels

A Silver Chain of Evening Rain
by Kate
at Chornicles of a Country Girl

Some Of My Favourite Things
by Ruth
at Ruth's Photoblog

Funny Stuff:

Of Course, It's Possible the Mirror is Broken
by Pearl
at Why, You Little...

Plan C or Maybe D
by Terrie
at Kappa No He

Work As Fun
by Pauline
at Writing Down the Words

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 18, 2011

Summer's End

I'm back from our time up at the cottage and boy, do I have a lot of catching up to do. It seems that none of you stop blogging just because I'm away, and I have hundreds of posts to visit. Eventually.

None of these photos were posted before but you may find some of the items familiar, as they were photographed from different angles and used in previous posts.

To me, they represent some of the best of the summer season, as it now passes so quickly into autumn. Take a deep breath and enjoy some of the colourful summer offerings.

koosh ball seed
I have no idea what this pink, spiky pod is but it reminded me of a Koosh ball. It was a windy day, so the image isn't in great focus but I still liked the look.

rainier cherries
I can't help but think of the late, great Erma Bombeck whenever I see a bowl of cherries. One of her humourous books was titled "If Life is a Bowl of Cherries, What am I Doing in the Pits?"

blackeyed susan2
Black-eyed Susans are always cheery to see on a late August stroll.

wet maple leaf
A maple leaf, glistens after a summer rain.

A coneflower, with it's beautiful deep pink petals

milkweed pod
Another pod - milkweed this time.

And a bright yellow sunflower turns its shy face away from the camera.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Odds and Ends

Below are a few random summer images which I scraped up from the edges of my hard drive. I hope you enjoy them.

buckets of colour
Our local liquor store sells these buckets as party pails. You can fill them with ice to chill bottles of beer, vodka coolers or pop, or if feeling generous, fill one with items from the liquor store, wrap it and give it as a gift. In either event, I thought they made a colourful picture, all stacked up in the store window.

wind chimes
Whenever anything stronger than a gentle breeze blows through, my wind chimes delight us with beautiful soft tones. It was a most thoughtful birthday gift from my younger son, earlier this summer.

a front step
Outside another front door in the neighbourhood, rain boots were at the ready for a muddy walk around the pond, or perhaps some yard work.

Mismatched shoe laces on dark sneakers adorn a young pair of feet. My next door neighbour, Alex posed unknowingly.

Frank found a tiny slug and held him out for me to photograph. A good subject for the macro lens.

A simple twig caught my eye. I liked its bumpy texture against the smooth wood rail upon which it sat.

pretty sky 10
A dramatic sky reveals itself as sunlight sets fire to puffy clouds late in the day.

More photos coming up soon.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

For the Birds and Remembering

mourning feathers3
What's dumb and pretty and struts around with a feather on its nose? Only a mourning dove could be this lovely and this dopey. After her preening session, she carried that feather around with her for the next half hour - possibly longer but she flew away. For all I know she has it still.

Now this is a very smart bird. Her name is Lucy and she belongs to Frank. I've never seen her walk around with a feather on her nose. She does however walk around with a question in her voice. That question is "Wanna peanut?"

lucy peanut
Now don't be fooled. Lucy isn't really offering a peanut. She's hoping upon hope that her repeated offers will convince one of us to get one for her. As you can tell by the victorious look in her eye, she's usually successful.

goldfinch in tree
One afternoon, while sitting on my front deck, I noticed the goldfinch high atop a tree branch a couple of houses away. Frank's nifty 100-400 lens allowed me to take this shot from where I sat.

Much closer to me, but in Frank's back yard this time, this lovely little chickadee flew in to dine at the birdie café. Frank sets seed out every evening for them to enjoy and she's about to fly down to partake. I like the way her feathers are backlit by the sun.

zen mallard
One evening, at my local pond, this mallard struck a lovely pose, bowing its head as if in silent remembrance. I didn't realize it until I noticed the date upon scheduling this post, but I find this to be a fitting image with which to end this post on September 11 - ten years after.

This was a scheduled post.