Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Frogs, Maritime Garter, Damsel (20160826) Taking the dog for a walk on a very cloudy day

The weather here this summer has been quite warm, so when a cool overcast day came along the puppy and I were anxious to get back to the woods. The wind had the birds well hidden, but we did not come up empty handed. Down at the double stone trussel we found a couple of cooperative frogs to shoot.
Up the trail a bit is a little water hole that hosts more of these little beauties.
There were several other these small critters in a small space. Here is another.
As we neared the "end of the line" for this stroll I found these little flowers that are called Lady's Thumb (Persicaria maculosa).
On the way home we found this little fella doing his "sit-in" on this very small floating raft in a little pond.
We also had another wonderful surprise, this beautiful Maritime Garter snake.
This is the first Maritimer that I captured with the beautiful "copper" tones on the back and sides. Here is the rest of the snake that was laying on the inside of the rail bed.
As we neared the car, we were happy to find this gorgeous Ebony Jewelwing Damsel fly.
It was a super walk that we will be repeating from now until the end of Snapper egg hatching season. Put some "wild" in your life, it will do you good!

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Goldfinch, Hummer (20160820-21) Mom comes to visit

Well Mom has come out to visit for another weekend and that means that another fishing trip is in order.
I was derelict in my duties on our last fishing trip and didn't bring my short lens so I didn't get any photos of her in "action".
Of course the puppy had to come along, she loves the boat. And, she is always willing to lend a helping hand when someone is bringing in a fish.
We had a great day on the water even though Mom didn't do as well as last time. We had some fun with tangled lines and watching for wildlife. For almost 85 she is doing pretty well. With the fishing done, and when its time to load the boat, I try to make certain that she's comfortable.
The next morning I spent a little time on the deck and was rewarded with this ittle sweetheart grabbing a drink from our bird bath. It was Mom's but she wanted something she could lift and clean herself. This concrete model wasn't meeting that requirement.
I think that turned out pretty well considering I was shooting through the glass panel of the deck. This next image is poor due to the distance it was shot at. I caught this Osprey and Bald Eagle having a little mid-air conversation.
Hummers are always tough, but this youngster was very close, and I wasn't really prepared for the conditions. I didn't even notice the ants until I was processing the photo.
Here is another angle that I found to be interesting. Not the best images but it is always great when you can get them on a flower.
The male Goldfinch also showed up for  a drink later in the day. I took this shot out of the bedroom window.
A little later in the day I was also able to capture this young Nothern Flicker working the yard for food.
While fishing may not be wild enough for some folks, Mom finds it enough of an adventure at her age. That just proves that you are never too old to put a little "wild" in your life!

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Oxen, Horses, Sunset (20160819) A trip to the New Ross Community Fair

Well a trip to my childhood vacation days was in order today. Mom had told me she wanted to go out to the fair grounds and see a few folks. She had won "Best in Show" two years in a row with a Casa Blanca Lily and her Laveterra. So the flower competition was an also "must see". But when we would make the trek from Ontario to Aalderville when I was a child, it was all about the ox pull!
 There are several weight classes and the winners are determined on a "pound for pound" basis. The teamster weight isn't considered when weighing in the team.
The skid is a 1000 pounds of steel, that is pulled on hopefully dry concrete to ensure everyone has the same conditions for pulling. Each of the concrete weights you see here on the skid are 200 pounds each. The oxen are gentle pulling critters that "load up their yoke and slowly start to walk with the load".
So this team is trying to pull 5600 pounds. They have three attempts to move the skid 3 feet. These boys here are all "loaded" up all they have to do is straighten their backs and load will move.

Over the last 15 years though, it is the horses, both single and pairs teams that have captured the attention of me and brother Len. Just check out the "real" shoes on these beauties!
There were 12 teams "pulling off" in this, the 2700-2999 pound weight class.
On the next round of weights, I decided to focus on capturing some portraits of the stars of the show.
It is always great to see the various hair cuts and tack that the teamsters use. There is no fancy/dancy stuff here, other than a couple of trinkets and some bells the collars and reins are working materials.
The horses approach to pulling is very different than the oxen. As soon as the whiffletree hits the sled they are off and pulling.
The teams at this point are hauling 5200 pounds on the skid, and the gravel is flying.
It was time to see how the ladies were doing at Bingo. All was good so we headed home. We had to get Marg home in time for the start of the Blue Jays game. On the ride down the "mountain" we stopped and I grabbed a couple of images of the sun behind the clouds, getting ready to set.
Ands the final image for this post.
Not my typical post, but who can resist a chance to return to their childhood?
Put some "wild" in your life, it will do you good!

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Common Yellowthroat, Gladiolas, Pheasants (201608-mid) Some around the house shots.

Well I was looking today and it has been about two weeks since I put anything up here for folks to look at. Its not that I haven't bveen shooting, but getting new stuff is tough this time so year. Here is a Giant Crane fly shot on our bedroom wall. This guy is pretty big 10-15 cm, was successfully released.
Next up were a couple of young Black-throated Green Warblers which were bopping around in the flower bed after some much needed rain.
It was great to be able to shoot these little fellas from right in the house.
We were hurrying around the house to get out to Mom's place for a ballgame. On the ride out to the highway we found Bob hanging in the neighbourhood.
On the sixteenth we were pleased to see Mom Pheasant return to the yard with her 5 chicks.
Here is a shot of the "ever on alert" Mom, keeping her family safe1
Even Bob put in an appearance to ensure the family was doing okay!
Its not hard to see how this youngster will soon be looking "just like dad!"

This next series is due in part to yet another rescue on the deck. This little Juvenile male Common Yellowthroat was spotted by me in the morning. Thanks to Deb for taking the photo.
After a little time in a quiet shoe box, he was ready to leave.
I thought I would take advantage of the light and the blooming of Deb's Glads to throw a couple of images in here.
This is the first year for these beauties, and they are not your typical Gladiola. Here is a look at most of the "patch".
I promise it won't be so long before I put more images up. Take care and try to put a little "wild" in your life, until next time:

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Yellow Crowned Night Heron, Yellow Legs, Common Yellowthroat (20160808) A first trip to Hartlen Point.

Angela G has been wanting me to pop over to her backyard to do a little birding for the past couple of months. With several recent sightings of a bird I have never had the privilige I made arrangements to head over in the morning. With warnings of water and muck I decided that the puppy would be sitting this one out. Angela also arranged for "B" to join us, and she too was a pleasure to spend some time with.  Lots of Song Sparrows accompanied us along the early part of the trial. We walked under this Osprey nest, Mom and the family were sticking around the area.
As always, even if we are birding should anything else show up I am more than happy to take their picture. This pair of Whitetail bucks were curious of us for a a minute or two. Love the reddish coats this time of year, along with a little velvet.
Thanks to Barb (B) for identifying this Alder Flycatcher for us. It was quite a distance off.
I can't resist the chance to capture Dad Osprey bringing home something for the family to eat.
Another bird that didn't provide us a close encounter was this Cedar Waxwing, I took the shot anyway.
Then as we decended down towards the "bay" we started finding young warblers. I am uncertain as to this specific bird, I do love the little green lunch it is about to enjoy.
This young Common Yellowthroat is a little easier to ID. It too provided us a lovely viewing.
I believe this is quite a pale Clouded Sulphur. I don't see any spots on the wing though.
Then we were able to spend a little time with the whole reason for my visit to this beautiful little spot. The Yellow Crowned Night Heron put in an appearance.
We spent some time watching it preen and soak in the sun. This is probably my best portrait image that I shot today.
While we were watching this fella, this Least Sandpiper put in an appearance. So it got its portrait taken as well!
The Ycnh "popped" over to start feeding. Here it is grabbing a small crab from the water.
As we finished up the stroll along the beach this Lesser Yellowlegs posed nicely for us.
We also found this beautiful Willet. It did not stick around long so I only have a "going away" shot.
Our final bird at the "Point" was this male Goldfinch.
Anglea and I extended our stroll a little and went looking for a couple of local Wimbrels. On the walk into the area we found this White Admiral.
While we found the Wimbrels, I was unable to capture a dsecent shot. These skittish birds are difficult to capture, but here an "evidence" only shot. Complete with a little meal.
I'll wrap this post up here, its been a long one due to the great subjects we were able to find. Thanks to Angela G and "B" for super opportunity to put a little "wild" in my life!