Tuesday, 16 September 2014

On the Path
September 16th, 2014

It's been a while since I took a camera along on the path. In fact, it's been a while since I walked the path. I find all kinds of excuses why "not to walk today". But having just returned from Moose Jaw to visit family and it being a cooler fall day, I looked forward to it.

There were only 'ordinary' things to see today but ordinary can sometimes be special to me. Today it was. Probably because it had been a while, so I could expect some changes from my last walk.

The tree tunnels are still green... other than a few leaves here and there.

Light at the end of the tunnel. There's a break in the trees.

Looking back from the light.
The Touch-Me-Nots now have small seed pods. They're only about a half-inch long but the puffier ones already pop when you squeeze them gently. They'll soon be much more entertaining.

Not sure what this is but the nodules have tiny burs in them--about the size of a BB--if you know what that is.

In the woods, part of the hillside has collapsed, taking some trees with it. The creek is 70 feet or so away but it must be the cause. What may look like water in this shot is actually grey gumbo--very mucky, sticky mud.

The meadow at the top of the path isn't as pretty as it has been in other years but it has some nice color nonetheless .

I think of this time of year as "yellow, purple & white time". Before I knew the names of the common weeds & wildflowers, that was the best that I could come up with. 

Some escapee asparagus amongst the maple leaves.
More asparagus below.

This squirrel had a walnut (I think) in his mouth as he scurried back to enjoy it, or maybe hide it for later.

This one was just a bit further down the path, displaying his bushy tail. Their tails sure are bushy.
Wild Carrot (Queen Anne's Lace) in various stages. A busy shot to be sure. But a 2-dimensional image is a very poor representation of the world. And a camera captures such a small part of any scene. Standing in front of these, under a sunny blue sky, feeling the air, seeing the variety & the colors and the entire scene makes a huge difference. There's no comparison really.

Many of them are in the 'bird's nest' stage.

If you haven't already, next time you see some, look closely and enjoy the intricate beauty.

This one has the bird's nest, but for now it's a "snail's nest". You never know what you're going to see when you look closely at things in nature.


A touch of fall--some early color change.

Himalayan Balsam was only at one spot on the path a few years back, but it's spreading to new areas each year. It's seed pods pop too, when gently squeezed.


Black Locust tree thorns. They can only be described as deadly... they're rock hard and needle sharp. They even look deadly... protruding like a pair of horns.

This creamy white thistle always stands out this time of year, amongst the mostly green.

Tarspot on maple leaves. Looks like black amoeba. It's a fungal infection, common to maples. By this time of year, thousands of leaves have it. Ugly, but apparently it's harmless to the tree. However, horses have died after eating too many of the leaves.
Ordinary stuff today... but indicators of the relentless march of the seasons.

I'll post some images from Moose Jaw once I get them sorted out--if you're interested.

- fini -

Friday, 29 August 2014

Autofest Car Show -- 2014

I was down at the lakefront to check out Autofest. I'm not a hard-core car buff but I was there an hour or two.

Red is always a popular colour.

A bit too much red in this case?

There was a tent with some small creatures in aquarium tanks for the kids to enjoy. Mind you, the adults were enjoying them too. Myself included.

A bulbous frog.

This African tortoise was a hit.

It was allowed to wander about under the attendant's eye.

A Caddy from the tail-fin days, with a deadly looking bumper. Were they standard or is this a custom job?

A couple hundred of the cars were under the trees by the lake. It was a nice setting to wander through.

An interesting trailer.

These hard-top convertibles didn't sell well did they? No trunk space.

T-Birds on the other hand, were a big seller.

The owner added a cute touch. It brings back the A&W days of window trays and car-hops.

We used to see these on the road didn't we? Is it an Edsel? 

This is now common at car shows they tell me. They use air bags instead of springs so that the vehicles can be lowered to the ground for shows. Looks a bit odd. Note the license plate.

A work in progress?

                               - fini -

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Lynde Shores CA
August 19th, 2014

Before I went to Lynde Shores, I dropped by Cranberry Marsh. It's next to Lynde Shores. Didn't see a lot, but this family of Mute Swans was there, amongst the lily pads.

And a raft of Mutes was out on Lake Ontario. When I see waterfowl offshore on such a large lake, it emphasizes to me their wildness and freedom

It's less than a 5 minute drive to Lynde Shores. With the explosive growth this year, the cattails along the boardwalk block the view you'd otherwise have of the area.

Three camera-shy Wild Turkey hens. As soon as they saw me they slipped into the woods.

Mom and her kids.

Even the water lilies are bigger this year.

With more of them curled and flopping in the wind.
Lynde Shores is without doubt the best local nature area to take children to so that they can experience a bit of wildlife. There are dozens of chipmunks running around on Chickadee Trail.

Young kids love to feed them of course and at Lynde Shores they'll almost eat out of your hands. Some will I'm sure. I almost stepped on this one.

There's a path called Chickadee Trail. It's short enough that young kids can manage it and they'll encounter chickadees, chipmunks, ducks, wild turkeys, etc. depending on the day and their timing.

Today there were three racoon kits on the trail. The parents were more cautious and not obviously present, though they could easily have been nearby.

Though not welcomed in most neighborhoods, they're cute little bandits... especially when seen in their own element.

It's easy to argue that people shouldn't feed wildlife, but in this case, in this area, I think it's ok. Others will disagree.

But with the media constantly reminding us that kids today spend too much time with electronics, I think it's great to see them enjoying nature... and discovering what is 'out there'.

The look on their faces, and giggles of delight, as they watch and feed the birds & animals is priceless. Let them enjoy.

- fini -

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