Thursday, May 31, 2012

Taking it Easy/Rural Thursday

Great way to end the month of May

I wonder what he's having for dinner tonight.

I am linking with
Rural Thursday

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


 Eastern black swallowtail


So far it has been a fantastic year for photographing butterflies in Ontario. Butterflies are abundant and everywhere - at least everywhere I go.

I suspect the black swallowtail above was laying eggs - or thinking about laying eggs - on the  leaves of the Queen Anne's lace it is sitting on, as Queen Anne's lace is a member of the carrot family and a favourite food of black swallowtail caterpillars.

Comma butterfly

The comma is happy in the land of dandelions because it's fond of that plant's nectar.

Red admiral

Red admirals are also fans of  dandelion nectar,

I am linking to Jenny Matlock at Alphabe-Thursday HERE

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Red-headed Woody/World Birds

 Red-headed woodpecker

This woody had been working on a hole a little further down the tree, perhaps this year's nesting place.  It scuttled up the tree so I wouldn't know where it had been working.

Sitting on a branch wondering when CameraGirl would go away

This tree will be a great spot in a deciduous woods close to a swamp where the woody can find plenty of insects, berries, fruit, seeds, mice, bird eggs...all the goodies it loves to eat.
I am linking to World Bird Wednesday.

May 29/Nature Notes

Birds and buds - spring is busting out all over

A starling parent has just delivered yummy treats to babies clamoring for more. Working clockwise: chokecherry (Prunus viginiana) blossoms, yellow flag (Iris pseudacorus),  high bush cranberry (Viburnham trilobum), dames rocket (Hesperis matronalis), and a yellow garden iris.

Please visit Michelle at Rambling Woods for more

Monday, May 28, 2012

 Fort Niagara, Youngstown, New York, seen from across the river in Canada

Last week on our way back home from a visit with family in Upstate New York, my husband and I took a mini-tour along the Niagara River, part of the border between Canada and the United States.

A bit of history: the years 1812 to 1815 was a period of conflict between the British Empire and the United States - the LAST war between them. For the next three years (2012 to 2015) Ontario is celebrating two centuries of peace with our neighboors to the south.

 Fort Niagara in relation to the Canada/U.S. boundary on the Great Lakes

During the American Revolution (1775 to 1783), the British held Fort Niagara but ceded it to the United States in 1796. However the British recaptured it in 1813...only to cede it back to the U.S. in 1815 at the end of the War of 1812.

Niagara River emptying into Lake Ontario

Today the fort is open to tourists and a year and-a-half ago I was one of them, which I posted about HERE and HERE.

Red-roofed Coast Guard building

Now the U.S. Coast Guard is the only military presence.

Click  HERE to see tons more photos about Our World.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Iris/Sunday Best

Beautiful iris

I love the colours, which range from blue to purple and red...not to mention the yellow, orange and green. Hey, isn't that the rainbow?
I am linking to Your Sunday Best at A Rural Journal

Saturday, May 26, 2012

What's for Dinner?/Critters

 Gull enjoying a quick bite

The gull swooped down right in front of me and picked this fish out of the water. It was fast!

Dipping the fish

It looked like the gull dipped the fish into the water to clean it off...but I don't really think that's what it was doing.

To see many more critters, visit Misty Dawn at CAMERA CRITTERS 

Friday, May 25, 2012

New York River/Reflections

River somewhere on the south side of Lake Ontario

My husband and I are just back from a short break - a trip to see relatives in Upstate New York. Along the route we took many side trips and, unfortunately, I cannot remember exactly where this photo was taken. Not only was the reflection delicious there, but a mute swan flew in to make it more interesting.

To enjoy reflections from around the world, visit James at Weekend Reflections HERE

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Shady Ladies/Rural Thursday

Resting in the shade

It sure feels hot for May, at least the cows seem to think so.

I am linking with
Rural Thursday

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


 Abandoned tractor


For sure, North AMERICANS live in a throw-AWAY society. As an example. it's not hard to spot old machinery left to rust beside farmers' fields. I suspect this old tractor has been retired for quite a while. Hmmm. I wonder what my neighbours would think if I moved this to my front lawn.

 Abandoned house

Abandoned homes are rare in these parts, though. Land is very expensive, so usually such an eyesore is quickly torn down and replaced with a zillion-room mansion.  Toronto is moving north, east and west so it won't be long.

Abandoned barn

A farmer still works the land, but I'm guessing he rents the field and has his own barn.

I am linking to Jenny Matlock at Alphabe-Thursday HERE

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Among the Reeds/World Birds

 Female on her way down to her nest

Local cattails are alive with the sound of music  screeching.  Red-winged blackbirds are among the noisiest of birds but I do admit that I like to watch and photograph them. Usually I'm intrigued by the handsome males, but this lovely drab female posed for my camera so she gets to be first up today.  Besides, look what she made!

Red-wings' nest

Notice how the nest is held up by the reeds.


These guys ALWAYS have something to say, this time making sure everyone for miles around knows that I'm in his territory.

I am linking to World Bird Wednesday.

May 22/Nature Notes

Columbine in my gardens this week

Various columbines have cross fertilized in my gardens and I never know exactly what a new seedling will produce for blossoms.

Please visit Michelle at Rambling Woods for more

Monday, May 21, 2012

Glorious Long Weekend/Our World

 Fishing on Lake Simcoe

Ontario's summer begins and ends unofficially with two long weekends: Victoria Day in May and Labour Day in September. The weather this year has been fantastic!

Most Canadians don't consciously think about it any more, but May 24 was Queen Victoria's birthday. All countries in the British Empire celebrated her special day, and let's face it, it IS a great time of year to have a party!

I guess Canada's Parliament thought so too because after Queen Victoria's death in 1901,  it declared May 24 the official day to celebrate the birthdays of all reigning British monarchs.


Unfortunately, May 24 does not always occur on a weekend! So in 1952, the date was changed to the last Monday before May 25, creating a long May weekend every year.

This weekend many Ontarians are opening their cottages, planting their gardens  (risk of frost is pretty much past for this spring), spending time with family, or escaping routine by doing something special.


Here's a bit of trivia for non-Canadians: Many party-lovers call this holiday May Two-Four, a double entendre that refers to Queen Victoria's actual birthday and to Canadian slang for a case of 24 beers, a popular drink during long weekends.

Glorious start to summer 2012

Click  HERE to see tons more photos about Our World.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Canadian Sunset/Sunday Best

Friday evening over Lake Simcoe

The sunset was incredibly beautiful last Friday, the unofficial beginning of the summer season in Ontario. (It's Victoria Day Weekend here.)

I am linking to Your Sunday Best at A Rural Journal

Snapping Turtle/Critter

Snapping turtle sunning itself

Cute when they are little but not so much when they are adults, snapping turtles can live up to 30 years in the wild. At least one is said to have lived to be 47 in captivity and weigh as much as 35 pounds.

I photographed this one in Algonquin Provincial Park (nearly three hours north of East Gwillimbury).

Snapping turtles live most of their lives in water, leaving it only to sun bathe, find a new home or lay eggs. That being said, females have been known to travel one or two miles to find the perfect spot for laying her eggs.  I wonder how long it takes a snapping turtle to walk a mile!

To see many more critters, visit Misty Dawn at CAMERA CRITTERS 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Outside Huntsville/Reflection

Outside Huntsville, Ontario

Last weekend the canoes were upside down on the shore. I bet they'll be in the water THIS weekend!

To enjoy reflections from around the world, visit James at Weekend Reflections HERE

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Ready for Fun/Rural Thursday

His and her kayaks

How do you like this car's fancy head gear? Here in Ontario, kids are in school until the end of June but already cars are dressed for vacation fun.

Tomorrow is the beginning of a long weekend here in Ontario - Victoria Day Weekend. Informally it is considered by many to mark the beginning of the summer season.

I am linking with
Rural Thursday

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


 Zebra mussels under a bridge on Trent-Severn Waterway

ZEBRA mussels - fresh water mollusks - are invading the five Great Lakes and waterways in between. It's thought that more than two decades ago, zebra mussels hitch-hiked their way to the Lake St. Clair in the ballast of ships.

Because zebra mussels have no natural enemies in the Great Lakes area, they spread and have become a problem. Apparently the mussels filter algae from the water, removing food that larval fish and other invertebrates - now in decline - would have eaten.

Closer view of Zebra mussels

On the other hand, many native birds, fish and other animals eat zebra mussels. Some duck populations have changed their migratory routes to take advantage of these tasty morsels.  And fish such as small-mouthed bass, perch, sunfish and lake sturgeon have increased in some areas heavily invaded by zebra mussels.

FYI: I took these photos when the water was low so they had been out of the water for a while.

I am linking to Jenny Matlock at Alphabe-Thursday HERE

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Cedar Waxwing/World Birds

 Cedar waxing foraging highbush cranberries

Cedar waxwings are familiar summer residents here. Few birds will eat highbush cranberries, but waxwings are desperate for berries this time of year so eat these that ripened last fall and are still hanging onto their bushes.

Another view of cedar waxwing

I am linking yo World Bird Wednesday.

May 15/Nature Notes

This week nature has been glorious

Gardens  and roadsides are filling in with a rainbow of colours. Largest square: Butterfly on dandelion - The nectar must be delicious!

Moving clockwise: weeping crabapple (unknown variety as it was given to me as a seedling); seed head of pasque flower (Pulsatilla patens); chocolate vine (Akebia quinata); bugleweed (Ajuga reptans) and flowering onion (Alium hollandicum)

Please visit Michelle at Rambling Woods for more

Monday, May 14, 2012

Moose!/Our World

River in Algonquin Provincial Park

Last Saturday, my husband and I headed for Algonquin Provincial Park,  one of the most beautiful destinations in Ontario.

Rapids further upstream

We traveled along route 60,  which runs east and west through the southern end of the park. Beautiful views of rivers and lakes can be seen from the highway or from campgrounds, trails and lookouts a short distance from it.

Canoe on lake

And along the way we saw canoes and kayaks floating on lakes and rivers, and tied to the top of cars.

Female moose

But the biggest treat was to see moose, apparently often seen here during the months of May and June.

Closeup of female moose

We were lucky enough to see two moose, both females.

Alert female moose

But we could hear the calls of males in the distance. Was this female listening to a male's call...or watching me with my camera?

Click  HERE to see tons more photos about Our World.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Maple Seeds/Sunday Best

These maple keys are a beautiful red

A red maple tree full of red seeds really stands out this time of year. Red maples have gorgeous seeds, sometimes called keys.

I am linking to Your Sunday Best at A Rural Journal

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Red Squirrel/Camera Critters

 Oh, hello there!

(This is a conversation a friendly squirrel had with us a few days ago in a conservation area east of here. It eagerly watched us, hoping we had some tasty tidbits to share.)

 I'm you have any peanuts?

So what do you say, huh? Huh?

To see many more critters, visit Misty Dawn at CAMERA CRITTERS 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Spirit Catcher/Weekend Reflection

Reflection of Spirit Catcher, Barrie, Ontario

Has the water captured the spirit of the Spirit Catcher?

I have posted about the Spirit Catcher before in this post: January 3, 2011. Suffice it to say here that Spirit Catcher is a sculpture by Ron Baird, a well-respected sculptor in this part of the world.

To enjoy reflections from around the world, visit James at Weekend Reflections HERE

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Cattle/Rural Thursday

Cattle at sunset

They were more interested in me than looking at the sunset!

I am linking with
Rural Thursday

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


 Yellowlegs walking in shallow water

I bet you can guess why this bird is called a YELLOWLEGS!

Every spring, greater and lesser yellowlegs migrate north over central Ontario, some to nest on Northern Ontario's tundra. During the last week of April, a flock touched down for a few days in a conservation area near where I live.

 Looking you a yummy treat

For quite a while, I was unable to take a decent photo. Kids and dogs kept the yellowlegs on the far shore. Hmmm. I was tempted to move in closer but the soil was muddy and slippery. Plus, my feet sunk in with every step.

At last the kids and dogs moved on, and after a bit, the yellowlegs decided to hunt for food closer to me and my camera. (Can you see me smile?)

On the shore

Greater, lesser? I find it difficult to distinguish between greater and lesser yellowlegs but I know both were eating crustaceans in the pond because two avid birders with binoculars told me. (I still have much to learn.) Suffice it to say, all the above photos are of yellowlegs.

I am linking to Jenny Matlock at Alphabe-Thursday HERE

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East Gwillimbury is a rural town less than an hour north of Toronto, Canada's largest city. My family calls me CameraGirl because I take my camera with me wherever I go.