Monday, June 16, 2008

Another big rainstorm

Before the storm - well this really was at the start of it. You can see the rain has started to come down fairly heavily, but the hail hasn't arrived yet. Some people were swimming by the beach on the opposite side of the lake, and were on the finger island. They stayed there for a minute or two, but when the rain and the wind increased in intensity, they obviously thought it was too much and decided to get out of the water and stood under the small clump of trees.

During the storm - the rain and hail was pelting down like you wouldn't believe. Fortunately the hail stones were small so not too much damage was done to Freda's rosebushes.

After the storm - the hail. It was roundish and a bit lumpy.

I think American Goldfinches are one of the prettiest birds I have seen around here. After the storm, they all came out around the feeder. You can count 8 of them in this photo (the bright yellow ones are the males, and the muted colour birds are the females). Yesterday, I counted 12 of them on and around this feeder!

Big storm - the aftermath

Another view of the storm - showing the heavy rain and hail and the

The aftermath of the storm - severe erosion to the road.

When the storm blew the pot off the steps, it broke the Martha Washington geranium off at the roots. That was very disappointing as that geranium had a whole bunch of buds on it, and the leaves are so interesting.

You might think this photo is to show that the flower bed that was the groundhog's dinner is recovering after that gastronomical meeting. But it isn't really. Look at the pot on the top of the stairs. Can you see how much it is bulging? Those post didn't have drainage holes in them and the pot was so full of water that it made the pot bulge. We went out there and put a few nail holes in the bottom of the pots. It will take a while for the saturated water to drip out of the pot.
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Big storm

It has been hot and humid lately, so we expected we would get a storm to break it up. However, the storm was much bigger and more intense that we had expected. This photo shows the hail on the deck. The rain was coming down so heavily that it was splashing up.

The rain barrell overflowed in about 1 minute!

The road became a river of water...

The high winds blew this big pot off the step, and the dirt blew all over the house, which is why the stucco looks a bit dirty here. After the rain stopped we hosed the doors, windows, and walls down.
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More roses

I forget what this one is called.

Every rose has dozens of blooms.

Adelaide Hoodless

Morden Blush - this is Freda's favourite rose because of the colour and the very numerous blooms.
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Preparing for the new sugar maple tree

We burned the stumps again this year - it was far more successful than last year!

This is where the new tree will go, right behind where that blue tub is located.

Another one of the $2 peonies from Canadian Tire... Beautiful!

It was a hot day, so Tawny likes to lay under the chaise longue, and Taz wants to show off his IV-drip-bag-come-bootie.

Dogs and critters

Most of the leaves on Freda's new flowerbed have been munched - we think it was this groundhog.

Tawny was very tired.

Taz cut a blood vessel on his paw, and we had to take him into the vet for some minor surgery. They had to cut his paw open a bit more and suture the blood vessel. He has a pretty red bandage.

This picture is quite fuzzy - this is a beaver. Who knew that they did such long portages?!?!?!
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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

First roses of 2008

These hardy roses were all developed by Agriculture Canada in Ottawa, Ontario (Explorer series) or Morden, Manitoba (Morden Parkland series). Yesterday we had buds, today we have blooms!

Alexander MacKenzie

Morden Blush - a pale pink rose but this flower looks almost white!

Morden Centennial

A peony! This is the first flower on this peony in three years, and it survived two moves since the initial planting. So not only is this flower pretty, it's hardy too!

back yard panorama

Our backyard. This is a panorama. You can tell because the fence on the left side doesn't quite meet except in a blur at one section.

Denizens of the air

These two birds have been coming around this feeder lately. I think they are female brown-headed cowbirds, but I don't know for sure. Their big beak looks like a grosbeak but I can't really identify them. The picture is quite blurry, sorry, this is beyond the capabilities of my little P&S camera.

This is the bird that was feeding on the dead catfish we found on the beach. Freda thinks it may be a turkey vulture. Since it was feeding on carrion, this is a distinct possibility, and it was a large bird as you can see...

Another shot of the turkey vulture.

This dragonfly happened into the frame when I was taking a photo of the back yard.

More lake inhabitants

I posted a few photos of a turtle on May 30th, we have seen that turtle swimming in the water several times since. It's amazing how fast it can go underwater!

Beaver feeding station - note the trees that the beavers have stuffed into a hole by the entrance to their den.

I tried to take a photo of juvenile Great Blue Heron, but my camera takes too long to turn on and by the time I took this photo it had flown around the stand of trees in the centre of the photo. A juvenile Great Blue Heron is light brown in colour.

We have thousands of these little fellas in the lake. I saw an unfortunate one that had died, and could see that their legs were starting to form, but I don't think you can call them froglets yet.

This is a dead catfish that was being muched on by a bird. There are dozens of dead catfish all around the lake. It appears that it may be a bacterial disease, but it is not clear.