Saturday, 26 December 2015

Looking Back
December 26th, 2015

A topic of conversation around here for the last couple of Christmases has been recounting the ice storm at this time, a couple years ago. Even I remember that. As for Christmas last year, I'm not sure. Seems it wasn't bad if I remember right. We were in St. Catharines then though, which is known for its milder winters anyway.

I went for a walk today on my usual path but didn't take any pictures at all, so instead of coming directly home, I went to the park across the street first. It brought back memories. This was what the park looked like in 2013 after the ice storm. 


And this is what it looked like today. Nice green grass. This spot is pretty close to where I took the shot above. I couldn't even get to this spot after the storm. There were just too many fallen trees—some were huge—note the stumps. It took the city weeks to get the area cleaned up—other areas of the city were of a higher priority.
This stump is over 2 feet across.

The black on the stumps must be some type of fungus. There sure wasn't a fire here. Anything but.

Not many trees seem to escape wood borer attacks. You only see evidence of them if the bark peels.

They can make interesting patterns.

A couple quick snaps before I went in the house. Colour in the garden on December 26th. These are under our crabapple tree. Jane has told me the name of this one at least a half-dozen times—and I still don't remember what it's called. 

Update: Jane reminded me that it's a type of Geranium that has small pink blossoms.

And this is Helleborus, budding in December—a first for us. Jane picked a couple blossoms from it a few days back.

We were without power for 42 hours during the ice storm. To be on the safe side, we ended up throwing out all kinds of food from the freezer. We kept some but not much. 

We'd checked into a hotel since we weren't sure when the power would be restored. Turned out we didn't need it. We went for a drive after we booked the room, then went home to pack and the power came on. One of life's little adventures that we'll always remember.

Our record-breaking temperatures are slowly slipping towards normal, though there's no snow to speak of in the forecast. That's fine with me.

- fini -

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Lynde Shores Conservation Area
December 6th, 2015

"Nature rejuvenates so quickly, so completely.  Though we often view ourselves otherwise, we are nature. " ~ Jeb Dickerson

I needed a nature fix today so I went to Lynde Shores. 

While I was in the parking lot I heard a young kid tell his buddy "There are a million dozen ducks & geese on the trail." His estimate was a little high but there were quite a few.

"Here's lookin' at you, kid." He was expecting a handout. I didn't take anything today but most people do, so I'm sure he made out ok.

There was only one wild turkey there today—at least that I saw. There's a flock of a dozen or more that hang out in or near Lynde Shores.

Both males & females have the wattles... hanging from their necks. I'd guess this is a female but I'm not positive. Can anyone help me?

They show interesting patterns when their wings are folded.

This little guy was either sleeping with his eyes open or about to doze off. He was dead still.

Sometimes fungus will almost cover a fallen log.

These neat rows of holes were probably made by a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (woodpecker family).

A favourite of all. I think there were more adults than kids feeding them from their hands today... or chucking the seed on the ground.

Near the end of its life but I like the mottled pattern on it.

Some white pigeons showed up for a visit. Obviously escapees, but a pretty sight.

They were definitely used to people. Nothing fazed them. There were four of them.

A shot I've taken many times—usually without people in it.

V's in the water.

Ring-billed Gull

There was a single Cormorant fishing for dinner. He was successful—as others told me. I missed it. Maybe next time. Look right.

Look left.

Some fungus high on a Birch tree.

Lynde Shores is by far the favourite nature area around here for families. You're pretty well guaranteed that you'll see some wildlife... and most of it is very approachable too, so kids & adults alike love it.

- fini -

Search my Blog...