Monday, June 30, 2014

Connected and (a few) Posts of the Week

If all the beasts were gone, men would die from a great loneliness of spirit, for whatever happens to the beasts also happens to the man. All things are connected. ~ Chief Seattle of the Suwamish Tribe

Lest I leave blogging behind all summer, I figured I'd better get a post up now and again. This is the now. Before too long, there'll probably be an again.

Below are a few images of creatures I've happened upon in one way or another - at or close to home.

A few weeks back, Frank discovered a large hole near one of our pine trees. He surmised that it could belong to none other than a groundhog.

busy groundhog5Sure enough, a few days later, a glance out the kitchen window, toward some movement in the garden prompted me to grab the camera and capture this little cutie.

busy groundhog4
Nom, nom, nom.

busy groundhog
We're hoping that none of the neighbours see him. Some didn't take kindly to the beaver in our lake - understandably since they have done serious damage to trees on the property. We know that groundhogs aren't generally very popular critters either so stay less visible, little guy!

Early summer is a busy time for egg-laying, if you're a turtle. Unfortunately, very few of them seem to make it to maturity since other creatures, like raccoons are quick to find the unattended eggs. The sides of the road (near the swampy areas) are strewn with small white opened and empty egg shells.

snapping turtle laying eggs2
I was driving along our road when I saw this Common Snapping Turtle busy laying her clutch. She's way bigger than she appears, and gave me a few warning snaps even though I never left the car to photograph her.

painted turtle crossing road
Later that same day, I was driving along a country side road when I saw this little guy sloooooowly making its way across my path.

painted turtle crossing road4
I got out to have a closer look, and found that it was a very pretty Painted Turtle. It was only halfway across the road and I figured it needed a bit of help getting to its destination safely.

painted turtle a bit of help
Of course, I took the obligatory up close photo before sending it on its way. He's a bit shell shocked. ;)

waiting for night visitors
Benny spends a few active hours after dark, looking for and chasing night creatures. Ninety-nine percent of the time, his chase is only in his imagination - although he was observered by our neighbour cavorting with a red fox a couple of weeks ago. He charges, snuffles, barks and then disappears for a few minutes, until call back. Most of the time, he returns all proud of himself for playing the fierce doggie cop - to nothing.

night visitor
But every now and then, there's truly a reason for his guarding duties - like this young raccoon raiding the bird feeders.

night visitor help
He's managed to get himself stuck between the feeder and the lamp. Help! He left soon after Benny came back inside. I love his little foot print on the siding.

wet skitty
Last, but not least, this odd looking creature is a very wet, Skittles. He needed a much-hated bath after a two hour round trip to the vet. He didn't like traveling in the carrier without his brother and had a couple of accidents - there and back. "Smelly cat, oh smelly cat, what are they feeding you?"

Hopefully there'll be more photos coming up soon. Blog visits will happen sporadically. I hope everyone in the northern hemisphere is enjoying this wonderful summer. I know I am, and that's the main reason that I haven't collected too many Posts of the Week, recently. I do have a few photography posts for you to visit, and a couple of our regulars have sent me posts which they have recommended. So please do visit the few offerings that I have for you, and I'll try to have more for you soon-ish.

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



Brian II
by Adrian
at Adrian's Images

Macro With Red Background
by Linda
at The View From Squirrel Ridge

Stormy Beauty
by Fiona
at Lady Fi

Close That Oven Door
by Tabor
at Room WIthout Walls



Recommended by:  Joeh
The Satellites are Laughing
by Murr
at Murrmurrs

Recommended by: Eddie
D-Day Remembrances: 70 Years On
by Hilary Melton-Butcher
at Positive Letters ... Inspirational Stories...


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

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Love the Chase

You love the chase, but hate me for the run around ~ Sara Bareilles

The summer is proving to be one of minimal blogging. I'm snapping photos. I'm even uploading and sorting through them, from time to time. But when it comes time to actually creating a blog post, I am lagging behind. Similarly, I have been slacking off of the blog visits lately. As I type this, I have 386 unread posts in my Feedly list. And I'm not going to get to most of them anytime soon. Summer has a way of keeping me from spending a lot of time in front of the computer.

Here's some of what's keeping my focus, these days.

My older son, Jeffrey has been living in Cold Lake, Alberta (a four day drive) for the last couple of years. For the next few months though, he'll be closer to home as he is on course in Borden, Ontario (a three hour drive. He's figuring that he'll probably end up back in Cold Lake once he is done but from now until November, I'll get to see my boy every couple of weeks or so. He traveled across country with his cat, Hunter, who has joined our menagerie for those few months. That's creating a bit of a challenge for all of us. Hunter got along well with Benny, right off the bat. Zephyr (luke) warmed to him after a few days. Skittles is not impressed with this young (Hunter is 3 and my guys are 15), playful and at times, domineering cat, and he has turned this competition for top cat into a pissing contest - literally. Hunter is a very sweet, loving and gentle cat and I think that for the most part, he's just trying to engage him in play but he's bigger, stronger and far more rambunctious than my guys and it comes across as aggressive. It's a challenge but I think/hope that Skitty will accept him as part of the group before too much longer. Until then, buy stock in cleaning supplies and odour neutralizers.

Caroline and Lloyd are the best neighbours I've ever had. They lived next door to me at my previous home for over twenty years and losing them as next door neighbours was one of the hardest parts about leaving my street. They are up here visiting for a few days and have hit the lake fishing shortly after sunrise. They are out there in search of our lunch as I type. Frank is less of a morning person but we'll probably join them out there a little later on. I figured I could take advantage of some quiet time and get this blog post out.

This one is for all you Benny fans.

I have been keeping a list of the various animals I have seen since moving here. The mammals are many and the birds, even more so - several of which I'd never seen before.

mallard drake
But on this day, it was a pair of simple Mallards which waddled around on the grass near the water's edge. You can easily see the drake but the female is kind of hidden in the grass closer to the water.

mallard pair and trouble
Of course, Benny spotted them too and if there's something that a Jack Russell Terrorist must do, it's chase. Here he is, not so subtly sneaking up on them.

mallard run
Quick as he is, ducks are even faster - particularly when their necks are at risk.

mallard be gone
Plus they can fly.

mallards - Benny job is done
Panicked birds can leave quite the wake. Bored with their easy departure, Benny turns back for home. His job is done.

mallard mama
Benny receives a good scolding from the safety of the water.

More photos coming up... eventually.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Purple Tumblers and Posts of the Week

Twirl on, you and your satin blue.
Be water birds, be air birds.
Be these purple tumblers you are.
~ Carl Sandburg

Mr. Sandburg aptly described these beautiful tumblers called Purple Martins.

A few weeks ago, we had a pair of them scoping out the bird house.

purple martin4
They first noticed the 'house for rent' ad from the dock.

purple martin7
One of them stopped by to check out the view.

purple acrobats4
Another lookie loo made them feel a bit defensive about their potential territory.

purple acrobats5
Go away and leave us alone!

purple acrobats3
And sure enough, he did just that.

purple martin pair
Mr. and Mrs. Martin seemed like they were going to lay claim to the house.

rufus exploring2
But along came trouble.

rufus exploring3
Curious as all get out, Rufous the Red decided to do a bit of exploring of his own.

rufus exploring4
Try as he may, he couldn't figure out what the fuss was all about and he abandoned his post in favour of finding a new stash of seeds left out for him on the deck.

home thief starling
In the end, neither Rufous nor the Martins took residence in the bird house. Instead, a pair of Starlings decided to call it home. We can hear the young ones squawking whenever Darling Starling brings them a new worm to eat. They should be ready to fledge sometime soon.

We're disappointed that the Purple Martins didn't set up shop. They are known to be great consumers of mosquitoes and we sure could have used their fine services. Still, it will be fun to see the wee starlings if they do stick around after they fledge.

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



Love Story
by Ursula
at Friko's World

Expletive Deleted
by Michelle
at House of Lime

In Memory Of...
by Stephen
at The Chubby Chatterbox

by Mimi
at MessyMimi's Meanderings

We Are Here Because of D-Day
by Cloudia
at Comfort Spiral



Mute Swan Cygnets
by Bob
at Birds and Nature in the Forest of Dean

Delicate Awareness
by Kerri
at A Little Piece of Me

Photo Essay of Kolkata Streets
by Indrani
at i Share

My Iris
by Tabor
at Room Without Walls

Afternoon at the Swamp
by Gail
at Louisiana Belle

Moonrise Over Syros
by Leah
at The Goat's Lunch Pail



Night Falls
by Linda
at From Roses to Rainbows

A Family Story or 2
by Gary
at Gary's Third Pottery Blog

It Started With a Sunrise
by Di
at Diane Cayton Hakey

A Spring Affair
by Glo
at Porcelain Rose

Viking Surprise
by Fiona
at Lady Fi

by Shammickite
at Rook's Nest 

What's Going On Here?
by Gillian
at PS Whimsey - Behind the Brush



My Godzilla
by Johanna
at The Fifty Factor

The Woodpeckers are Such a Pain
by Jennifer
at Cottage Country Reflections


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

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Shades of Spring

From beautiful sunrise to subtle but lovely sunset, our world has awakened in soft, fragrant shades of spring. I hope you enjoy the photos below, along with the humour of Jarod Kintz, Wallace Stevens and Jack Handey's Deep Thoughts.

baptiste sunrise3
The morning always has a way of creeping up on me and peeking in my bedroom windows. The sunrise is such a pervert.
~ Jarod Kintz
On this May morning, Frank's two wonderful sisters, Lisa and Theresa were sleeping under our roof. It was the first time they came up to visit and we enjoyed their company immensely. I hope they'll return before too long. On that day, I awoke early to see shades of pink spilling into my bedroom. Outside, the sun was rising and a duck was having a peaceful swim alongside the dock.

The grackles crack their throats of bone in the smooth air. Most spiss oh! Yes, most spissantly. They sing right puissantly.
~ Wallace Stevens (taken from two of his quotes)
Despite their cold eye... despite their raucous call.. despite how they appear to be a simple black bird, grackles, when viewed in the right light - are beautiful, colourful birds.

My two favorite colors of the rainbow are gold and leprechaun.
~ Jarod Kintz
Given the right conditions, it's almost impossible for me to resist looking for and photographing a rainbow. They're always such a visual treat. Bring on more sun showers!

I bet the sparrow looks at the parrot and thinks, yes, you can talk, but LISTEN TO YOURSELF
~ Jack Handey
Another little cutie who comes to visit us is the chipping sparrow. Isn't that a sweet little face?

chipping sparrow2
Whenever I hear the sparrow chirping, watch the woodpecker chirp, catch a chirping trout, or listen to the sad howl of the chirp rat, I think: Oh boy! I'm going insane again.
~ Jack Handey
Here's a closer look. Was I wrong?

Consider the daffodil. And while you're doing that, I'll be over here, looking through your stuff.
~ Jack Handey
Daffodils look quite pretty from any angle - especially after a rain.

heron bye bye
We like to praise birds for flying. But how much of it is actually flying, and how much of it is just sort of coasting from the previous flap?
~ Jack Handey
Stepping outside on the deck, I inadvertently spooked a great blue heron. They sure are graceful for such a gangly, awkward-looking bird.

whistling boy cloud
Instead of casting my fishing line into the lake, my hook got caught on a passing cloud. It's OK, because I ended up catching a bird.
~ Jarod Kintz
When I saw this cloud, I immediately thought of the old Irwin Hasen comic strip Dondi. To me it appeared as if he was glancing up to the left and whistling a carefree tune. Can you see it? You probably have to be over forty to remember Dondi.

As I walked through the woods, I looked up and saw a squirrel. I smiled and he smiled. At least I think it was a smile. My teeth were showing and my cheeks were pulled up. That's a smile, isn't it?
 ~ Jack Handey
So now that spring is here, it would appear that this red squirrel probably has some little ones to feed. No more calling her Rufus. She has now been dubbed "Rufette."

dusk on Baptiste
If I could lick the sunset, I'll bet it would taste like Neapolitan ice cream.
~ Jarod Kintz
Aside from its location, there are some days that our dusk is quite similar to our sunrises. We do face east and if anything is going to explode into colour it will be the dawning sun. But occasionally, the reflective sunset gives us some colourful moments, as well. Just imagine how this might have looked on a western waterfront.

evening moon
I want to be the first and second man to dance on the moon. No, I won't moonwalk. But I will Cha Cha-with my clone.
~ Jarod Kintz
The clear evening sky revealed a partial moon. When moonrise happens before sunset, you still get to enjoy some of the blueness in the sky.

More photos coming up before too much longer.