Saturday 30 June 2012

Bambi, Shirley and crew

Bambi was in the backyard Thursday,
flicking her ears madly to keep the deerflies away.
I've been having fun decorating for Canada Day. I was standing on the front lawn, trying to tie Bear's tie. Tricky, as its a little too high for me, and my arms were losing circulation.
Now those who are familiar with deer, know that they snort when they are trying to scare you away. Hubby was working on the veggie garden fence, painting. I could hear Bambi snorting. It's more like a loud blowing out of breath through pinched mouths. It got my attention!

Anyway, suddenly, who bounded out of the forest, but our wee fawn, barreling across the lawn, with Momma in hot pursuit. I think I was the one in their path. Rather than standing and enjoying the sight, I ran to get my camera, which was sitting in a bag nearby. I bitterly regret that.
Cherries last year - few this year with the mid-May frost
I should, instead, have simply enjoyed their quick run because they were gone by the time I was ready to 'shoot'. Lesson learned.

With the lack of rain, and our wetland being more of a dryland, water levels in Lanark County are at mid-August lows. This is not good.

We had an early Spring, but then temperatures dropped. My Rhododendron lost its leaves, and my rose bush canes, some as high as 4' tall, all died. It has come back, but I've had to prune it.
I lost most of my cherry blossoms, and have only a handful of fruit on the tree. I'm so sad. Our birds depend upon them. There are reports that bird species are declining in Canada. Habitat loss, food sources, all are contributing factors for the decline in insectivores. I'm happy to have seen the warblers and the vireos on our Murphys Point Bird Count! I captured their songs in my videos, you can listen to the 6:00 a.m. bird songs without rising at that hour! It was a challenge identifying birds in my S. E. locale!

In the meantime, our 6 goldfish are doing well.
Water Boatman

Eat those bugs!!!

We still have 6 goldfish,
innumerable Water Striders, Water Boatmen,
plus 2 Leopard Frogs!
Shirley 2 (with white stripes) leads the pack
 - she is the least afraid of me.
The others seem to chase her!

Water Strider
Water Strider -
surface tension keeps it afloat I've been feeding them, which might be a mistake. There must be more than a dozen water striders, and several water boatmen in the pond.

Do you know the expression, "salad isn't food, it's what food eats?"

The insects are supposed to be the food.

They're eating the Goldfish food!

Camera-Critters #221

Happy Canada Day - July 1st!

I am ready for Canada Day!

Friday 29 June 2012

Defensive driving - look around you!

Hinton Dodge has not responded to my e-mail complaint.
I'd like to know who this driver is. He tailed me, trying to check out the contents of my trunk for about 4 km.

I'm so tired of aggressive drivers...

On the way home from volunteering in long-term care. I was passed in a 70km zone, just beside Ian Millar's farm.

Lake life, heron, water lilies

Water hyacinth
 With great delight, I took off for my first canoe paddle. I was in a Voyageur Canoe last Sunday, but this is different. Solitude, a quiet lake, a weekday morning with no tourists!

This was bliss.

Many thanks to Tressa and David, my neighbours, who are delightful, generous people.
Didn't mean to scare her!

She eyes me intently

Off she flew
Tricky to photograph, as the camera cannot automatically focus as quickly as she flies! I have a video of a heron squawking. The sound isn't pretty!
She left behind a feather in the bay.
It is longer than my hand-span.

 I thought this an interesting shot, even though she is out of focus!
Gentle breezes

Owners tore down an old cottage,
hammered down for a basement (trust me - we heard them),
and have built a new 'cottage'!

Pretty sights

The lakes are different here in Lanark County

You can see how shallow the lake. At its deepest point, it is only 60'. Our wee lake in Bala, Central Ontario, was 400m x 2km, and was 200' deep. The topography and geology is very different in south eastern Ontario.

A beautiful day on the water

The dratted helicopter - read all about him here.


water lilies

I tried, in vain, to capture a photo of a Bluefin Sunfish!

Waterlilies are blooming

Thursday 28 June 2012

Citiots, Canada Day, school is out, sigh...

veggie garden fence
The highway has been busy, and the tourists are up at the cottage in droves. Traffic is relentless.
I decorate my fence, hoping people will slow down.
Not the case.
I love working outside, but the traffic noise is terrible.

 Hubby says I channel his grandmother. She was happier working in the veggie garden than cleaning house. What is his point?

He's been happily repainting the picket fence. It is complete!

My late parents loved the garden, too.
Today, I was slowed down by critters. The Monarch was dancing happily by. Couldn't snap a good shot!
Can you see Labbit flying?
It wasn't my fault, getting slowed down. Even Felix gets caught up in the chase!

New birds, new insects, and nary a clue what some of them are.
I can narrow it down, but it's hard.
I adore being retire and being able to research at will, not being assigned a 10,000 word essay.

I've been decorating for Canada Day. I've also been slowed down by tourists.
 It all began when person number umpteen proceeded to drive up our driveway, to take a picture of my chair.

Some ask permission and come by to chat, most do not. This isn't a public thruway!
First I placed a sign on my chair, $20 for a photo!
It didn't work. One person last Sunday,
two the Sunday before drive up, turn around, drive away.

I'm trying signage...

Next, a sign on the driveway

Golden goose is dressed up

Then a Mohawk flag on the back of my sign!
This is a war with Citiots!

Frosty has a hat, flag and a fancy tie!
Bear is dressed.

Wednesday 27 June 2012

Touch-me-not saga, Cottage Friends, Cosmic Joker

Touch-me-not or Jewelweed: 
Impatiens capensis
Back in 2007, after my father died, I was looking for work. This was before I had healed enough to channel my energies into hospice volunteering.

JB waiting for my shift to end!
I signed up to work for a lovely woman, an artist/designer, who has a successful shop in Bala, wanted to open up another Cottage Friends shop in Port Carling.

I tried my hand at it.
I retired 'early' with a penalty, and could use some more income.

I wasn't great at it. Unlike teaching, which I loved, I either didn't work fast enough, or forgot how to operate the cash, or the bank machine failed, had a snotty customer proceed to teach me how to wrap her parcel. I adored researching and planning curriculum. You can't plan for a line-up of several customers.
'Vanna' models some of Carolyn's works

There were lulls in the day; having cleaned shelves, I would sit on the porch. I began watching the plants, and bugs that thrived there.
The front porch!

Beyond the railing were a number of plants, called Touch-me-nots. I loved them! They are delightful. Lovely flowers, they can be orange, pinks, that form seed pods. When they dry out, if you touch them, the seeds pop out and scatter!

 I always have my camera, and I captured photos of these plants. They were near and dear to my heart.

Spider in Touch-me-not
You see, we had quite a number of these plants in our old house, left behind in Nepean, ON. Sheltered under a big evergreen, they thrived.

We sold our lovely home, with skylights, and a big backyard, and garden, in order to move to Muskoka and care for my dying parents. Mom had cancer, and Dad a brain tumour. It was unsettling, to say the least.

'Emily' sits on the grave
When we moved here to Lanark County (Fall, 2010), I brought many seeds with me. Thing is, I planted them in full sun, and they didn't thrive. I transplanted the two that were growing into the shade. I was hopeful. Then, we had our back deck repaired. The workers had no idea, and they accidentally trampled them. I was so sad.
Where Mom & Dad's urns lie

Well, back we went to Muskoka in 2011, to check out Mom and Dad's gravesites. I went back to the place where the store had been, and knocked on the door. The former store was being rented as a home. No one was home. I scarfed some of the seed pods, hoping for the best.
Planting them in the backyard, in the perfect shaded spot, I waited for spring. But, wandering down by out 'point', I spotted the plants. It was heart-warming.

I watched eagerly, this year. The seeds did not seem to take. Nada. Nothing.
I was sad. We visited mom and dad, again this year, but the flowers would not have created seed pods yet. I was ambling around the backyard, walking the cats. Watching the chipmunk tease them on the rain barrel under the great pine tree.
Chipmunk teases the cats!
See the rain barrel where s/he perches.

I walked closer, and lo and behold... there is a Touch-me-not growing in the rain barrel. What a mystery. I have no idea where the seed would have come from. I just hope Bambi or Labbit don't find it tasty! They've been eagerly munching on my sumac (deer) and hostas (rabbits).

I look at it as a gift from above, or Above!
Maybe my parents, who taught me to love my  gardening, sent me a gift, or the Cosmic Joker thought it a fine joke, or it is a reward for working with my various hospice clients!
I shall have to make sure I water it!