Monday, 29 February 2016

Port Hope Beach
February 28th, 2016

Jane & I went down to Port Hope to one of our favourite spots along Lake Ontario. It's a small nature area, with Lake Ontario on one side of a boardwalk, and a small bay on the other. The bay was frozen.
New York state is roughly 30 or 40 miles away, on the other side of the lake.
I think most of us like to do a bit of beachcombing now & then. We spent close to an hour just poking along the beach & bay today, seeing what we could see.

Jane thought this was a good start for a wood carver—a Canada Goose to be?

The bottom piece here looks like an angry snake.

The waves wear away the outer bark of driftwood to reveal some beautiful color. I thought a beaver may have worked on this piece. Or maybe not.

The golden-coppery tones are gorgeous.


Mother of pearl—a rainbow in a shell. The picture only captures a hint of it.

Nature presents us with a lot of jumbles. Most people ignore them I think, but I like to capture some of them—as you see in several shots in this post.
Did someone drop this piece on the shoreline? Nature could have, but it seems unlikely.
It's definitely an odd looking piece.
Interesting ice patterns I thought.

Odd ice crystals—compared to most.

Someone took some time to set these stones up.

Practicing before they try an inukshuk?

At certain spots along the lake shore, 1000s of zebra mussel shells get washed up. The grey in the top-left are just stones.

Just a few feet further from the shore, ones that washed up earlier have been crushed by all the wave action.

This shot may look like it's B&W, but it's color. I didn't process it.

On the bay side, three pair of geese were scouting the territory, spaced a hundred yards or so apart. This pair looks like they already chose their nesting site for the year.

This pair was taking it easy—mama snoozing, papa standing guard—both on one foot on the cold ice.

I like trains. The tracks are just north of the bay. One pair of geese made their feelings known about the intruding train, honking like mad at it. Maybe they thought the train whistle was some monstrous goose coming in.

Lots of oil tankers, but this blue one stood out. Turns out it's gas.

Some kind soul left some seeds for the Chickadees, and peanuts for the squirrels. A red squirrel showed up later and took care of the peanuts.

Someone else out enjoying the day.

If you follow my blog, you know I can't pass fungi without a shot or two.

I see lots of white ones like those above, but this rich chocolate brown one is new to me.

Lichens and the orange under-bark of a Birch tree.

A section of the lake unto themselves.

A bit chilly on the hands, since our gloves were off most of time with our cameras, but it was good to get out. It always is.

- fini - 

Monday, 15 February 2016

Lynde Shores CA
February 15th, 2016

Family Day in Ontario. A long weekend in February that the powers-that-be felt we needed to break up the winter doldrums. I went to Lynde Shores. The parking lot was jammed. Lots of families, lots of kids. The kids love to feed the chickadees, geese, etc. So do the adults for that matter.

Things were relatively quiet. Lots of geese, a few ducks, some squirrels, a cardinal and blue jay & a bunch of chickadees, but no turkeys or deer.

No open water either. After our frigid couple days I would think even the geese are cursing the weather, waiting for spring.

"I've got you covered honey. You can relax."

A youngster talking to his parents through the railing.

Enjoying a stroll on the ice. Others were playing hockey or skating.
Ash trees marked to be cut down. Here we go again. Dutch Elm disease killed most of the elms, Chestnut blight killed chestnut trees, and now the Emerald Ash Borer is killing our Ash trees.

The process has started. They can be saved with chemical treatment, if it's detected early enough, but it costs hundreds of dollars per tree. Municipalities can't afford to save them all. I expect very few will be saved. These are fresh cuts. Tens of millions of ash trees have already been cut down in North America.

These are fresh cuts. 

This article states that about 8% to 10% of trees in our area are Ash. Almost all are probably destined to be cut down. The article is from 2013—which means it's too late for most of our Ash trees anyway.

Interesting patterns & colors on a Birch.

You don't see many fungi in winter but there are some. This one is appropriately colored for the season.
It was about zero today. Not particularly cold but I find that I'm more sensitive to the cold than I used to be. I'm not happy about that but c'est la vie.

Warm or cold though, getting out in nature is always a joy. 

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

 ~Jeb Dickerson

- fini -

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