Thursday 31 May 2012

Skywatch Friday - what a sunrise

Worth getting up at 6 a.m. to see a sight like this. This was the calm before Tuesday's storm, May 29, 6:27 a.m. Tornado damage in many places.

Montreal streets flooded after flash storm

Terrible time for many with heavy winds and rain. All we needed was rain!

Season 5: Episode 47

Bird videos

Mystery birds - the ones I needed to identify!

Hermit Thrush
I find it easier to place photos of the birds I am trying to identify in this file. After my great bird count event, at Murphy's Point Park, I am noticing more and more 'new' birds!
Moving to Lanark County, about 5 degrees warmer than Ottawa or Muskoka, I'm finding new birds, as well as new birder friends to help me identify these birds.
It started with one, and led to another! The big clue is their song. 

Scarlet Tanager
Falcon - wicked hunter working
on the roof of a Perth building

Maybe a female Red-winged Blackbird?
American Bittern - listen to its weird sound!
It landed on the road. Stood their, as we stopped, with three cars behind us.
One guy tried to drive around us on our right, on the gravel, to get by.

Juvenile European Starling
American Redstart - male juvenile

Adult Male American Redstart

Wednesday 30 May 2012

Spring seems to go by so quickly

This is why I'm glad I can take a photograph to gaze fondly at it, on those white, frozen days of January!

 First the iris. The colour is amazing. The petunias make me wish we had smellovision. They smell wonderful.

The purples and the yellows.

Somebody could tell me why yellow Indian Paintbrush is taller than the red!

Last year the deer ate it up! weigelia bush
With an early spring, they had food in the forest!


Bleeding Heart

Tuesday 29 May 2012

Smiths Falls Fire Department and Police Department

I had a long day on the road, yesterday. A 6-hour trip into the city hospital with a client. After arriving back in Smiths Falls, there was some commotion.
Both Smiths Falls Fire Department, an ambulance, and Police Department were called to a traffic incident yesterday.

What was interesting was to see both a female volunteer firefighter, and a female police officer.

Monday 28 May 2012

How many critters can one plant hold?

This is the plant!
Common Mullein
Buster relaxes after showing me the bugs!
I took the day off yesterday. I didn't shovel any topsoil. I did a series of small chores, that no one but me would notice.
Hubby went to the ball game, for some relaxation. I relaxed by puttering, and got brown paint under my fingernails.
Buster was sitting on the edge of the septic bed.
It scared me, as I heard rustling and didn't know what was there.

Felix preferred stealth mode!
But as serendipity goes, my boys often lead me to new sights and sounds.

First was the large spider with the stripe down its back. Research is an interesting thing in this day and age. Any fool can name something, and any fool can believe him! I have many resources I go to to identify my mystery birds. Wiki sources are not reliable, I prefer to go to the university sites, which reputable authors.
There are many hits for this topic of 'spider with stripe down its back'. I first checked my insect book, then realized that they are not 'insects', as they have 8 legs. SIGH. Arachnids.

What further amazed me is that there were two, of the same size and same species on the same plant. Apparently boy scout spiders; sharing, sharing, sharing.
Ants, of course!

Could have been 50 of these Stink Bugs!
Ants eating caterpillar turd?

Can you see the spider at the bottom right?
I went out to the front yard, and began to photograph my white irises, with Bleeding Hearts nestled in and around them. I found another spider I had to look up. 
She was fascinating. With PINK stripes! I went back later and found her munching happily on a Flower Fly (Syrphidae), which is a Yellowjacket mimic. The larva eats aphids. The adults pollinate flowers.
This one isn't going to pollinate anything anymore. It's a dog eat dog world.

Stilt bugs (Neides muticus)
Then there was this, I think, pair. Sigh. I think they were happy. "Hugging" as we told our 4-year-old granddaughter one time, spotting a miniature horse mounting his friend!
There were insects everywhere!

Can you spot the wee red spider?

Wild Aster and friend

This macrophotography is harder than it looks!

Stink Bug
Its belly bright green.

What a cooperative dragonfly