Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Back to Nature
October 2nd, 2017

Thanks to a buddy of mine, I finally returned to nature. Just walking through the trees in the woods, seeing chipmunks skitter about, hearing geese honk and ducks quack, and to see raccoons acting in their inquisitive and mischievous manner show up for human-provided treats... it all adds up to a welcome escape from the goings-on in the world. Las Vegas is on the news in the background.

I can understand why some choose to minimize their attention to the world news, in an attempt to try to enjoy life. It's an escape to be sure but one I understand completely. I do it too at times. We are so privileged. Those of us who have food every day, clean water, a roof over our heads, computers, etc. etc.

Sorry, but I can't help but ponder our privilege now & then. Life is so unfair to so many. Don't get me wrong. I'm no Albert Schweitzer. I enjoy my privilege as much as anyone, and I don't want to give it up, but I live with a certain degree of guilt. Maybe I should start a blog where I can rant about the world situation.

If I haven't taken you to a dark place, please escape with me, for a visit in nature...

We went to Lynde Shores CA... close to home. Despite living close to Toronto, with a population of a couple million, there are many natural areas we can enjoy. Ironically, many more than were near Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan where I grew up. Moose Jaw and area is beautiful in its own way. In many ways, much better than here. Mainly because of the smaller population. 

I'm babbling again. Do some of you just look at my pictures? If you do, that's cool too.

If you follow my blog, you've seen similar shots before. The cattails are crazy high now at Lynde Shores.















I love coons. There was a time when I'd put a shot like this in Photoshop to take out or minimize the blown out areas. Not today. Maybe next time, but I doubt it. Damn, they're cute.


















It's been a hard day. These humans can be chintzy at times.














Reaching for the seeds from under the bridge. 















He provided some shots that were different from the usual... when you find them in the woods.














How can you not think their 'bandit masks' are cool? He thinks he's Zorro.












A crappy shot, but a Heron is always a welcome sight for me.














Anyone know what this is? I 'm curious but I haven't a clue. My best guess is that it's for a bird, but what kind?













I'm waiting for pictures from your end.

Take care, 
Bob 
_______



 

Friday, 22 September 2017

From My Niece Aletha

Aletha and her husband are in Saskatchewan... not far from Moose Jaw. Mortlach to be exact. They raise cattle & bison. I think the bison are so cool. They have a good-sized herd.





In Aletha's own words:

“Yes, they are quite neat. Ours are fairly quiet, so it is nice to just sit and watch them. Ray's cattle (her brother) are even quieter and you can walk amongst them with less worry."

"Where our cattle are, we have bison there too, so you are cautious there too. We have one heifer that is quiet and a Holstein that was pail fed... so there are a couple you can pet." lol













Aletha's words again:

“We were raising them, then butchered them, but the price selling live is quite good. He (husband Bill) has been butchering very few. We haven't even been able to eat it because we can’t afford it." lol







Ray's cattle are Texas longhorns... another sight not very common on the prairies.






Aletha's words:

“These are some pics taken at Raymond's pasture. Two bulls & some of the calves, then the brindle cow, the one I like the best.”

Did you bring us something to eat, or just that stupid camera again?

 

 




I thought some of you might enjoy these. My next visit to Moose Jaw will definitely include a visit to Aletha & Bill's to see the bison. Then to Ray's pasture to see his longhorns.

Take care,
Bob & Jane
_____________

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

A Variety from August
August 29th, 2017

It's been a while. Time to dust off my blog and put something new on it. I haven't been out with a camera in nature for awhile so this is a mix of garden shots, a few from the path, and a few miscellaneous.

Two young bunnies have joined our backyard zoo... cute as buttons.
 














One of them posing with our stone duck.

















Late summer colour.





I just love these guys. True entertainers.
















Our garden boy has been part of garden 'forever'. Huck Finn? Tom Sawyer?
















Subtle colors on  Sedum.














Protecting his tiny bird.

















Our happy elf has been part of our garden forever too.























Limelight Hydrangea



















  

Some of our favourite places.















The chipmunks and squirrels do leave some seed for the birds, but they definitely get their share.















Obedient Plant. Obedient to what I have no idea.



















Deep, rich pink Phlox.
















Have tried many feeders over the years. These are one of only a few that have proven to be squirrel-proof. When a squirrel sits on the ring-perch, its weight closes the feed holes. The smaller chipmunks manage to grab a bite or two.



















Outside a building in Oshawa... a bench specifically made from phones I guess. Good to see.













Haven't seen this kind of thing since I was a kid. Thousands of ants gathering. RJ spotted them across the street from our place. They were on the curb. Not sure what it was all about. I thought maybe some pop or something was spilled but couldn't see anything.
























My kind of humour. I love this.













Hopscotch in the driveway.












After getting the garden shots, we went for a walk on the path. Not doing that very often lately either. The Himalayan Balsam has been out for awhile so it's fading quickly. An invasive, but a pretty one. Like Jane said, 'Most of the invasives are pretty.' 

BTW, the following shots were taken with my phone. It doesn't have a fancy camera like so many do today.














Dryad's Saddle
















A poor shot... it was windy but it gives you an idea of what a Japanese Beetle looks like.
















And this is the damage they do to leaves... called skeletonizing.
















Another invasive. There seems to be more and more Dog-strangling Vine every year. And the 1000s of pods mean more is coming.















 

Haven't shot a tree tunnel for awhile. They always look inviting.













Japanese Knotweed... yet another invasive. But again, a pretty one, with its blossoms perched above its leaves.

Tar Spot on leaves. Harmless, but ugly. Maples are especially susceptible to it.













Black Walnut trees have been spreading along the path for years now. They've become one of the most common trees on the path. They don't bear fruit for 4 or 5 years but more and more of them are reaching that age. The squirrels couldn't be happier. I even bring a few home for our squirrels, but Jane is discouraging me. :-( They do exude juglone which is poisonous to some plants. Not a concern for humans they say.















Take care all. Please send us some pics from your end.

Bob & Jane
_______________________




Thursday, 6 July 2017

A Day with RJ
July 5th, 2017

Our first day with RJ for the summer was a busy one. We went to Chickadee Trail in the morning. No Chickadees... they manage on their own in summer, but a few ducks, a few squirrels, and dozens of chipmunks. 

I give RJ a bag with a pocket full of sunflower seeds and another pocket full of kernel corn.

















Volunteers had a display set up showing the life cycle of the Monarch butterfly. They told the kids a Monarch can only eat one food--Milkweed--so she asked what food they'd pick if they had to eat one food all the time.















One said 'cake'. RJ said 'pickles'. He loves them... dills, olives, gherkins, pearl onions. You name it.















A work crew was in the woods cutting down Ash trees that were infested with the Emerald Ash Borer. Many millions of Ash have been cut down in North America. We watched as these ones came down with a thunderous crash.

With their chain saws and the crashing trees, it's no wonder wildlife was somewhat quiet. Chipmunks were fine with it all though.























Water-rocket time in the backyard. It attaches to a garden hose. Hand on the controller... 3-2-1, launch.


















It's cool. Wish I had one when I was a kid. :-)























The secret to get it high is 'slow & easy' on the controller.























Water is a joy for kids. Rockets are cool, but so are your hands.
















In my last post our garden was green. Color has burst onto the scene since.















Day-Lily. RJ was asking why they only bloom for a day. I suggested he ask Jane. He suggested setting up a video camera to see when they close up.  
















Artificial color, but color nonetheless.















Sundrops.
















I've asked Jane what these are many times. And I forget what they are many times. Astilbe maybe?















White ones of 'whatever they are'.















Daisies with their bright faces.
































Best to all,
Bob & Jane



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