Friday, July 30, 2010

Transformations on TV - take 5!

The theme of todays "weather photos" was transformations. These are the caterpillars of the monarch butterflies. They only eat milkweed, which is why I don't pull out the milkweed. I actually haven't seen any monarch caterpillars this year, and have only seen two monarch butterflies.

My photo of the almost complete tadpole transformation into a frog was also shown.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Freda and I were out, and when we were driving we spotted this dear. So I grabbed the old camera I happened to have in the car to snap off a few photos.

Deer are a beautiful shade of reddish brown at this time of the year. They turn more greyish in the winter.

We watched the deer for a few minutes, until she took off.

We also drove by cornfields that were as high as an elephant's eye.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Flowers, beautiful flowers!

Okay, this isn't flowers - this is an approaching storm coming over the lake after a hot Hot HOT summer day.

Two bees in a portulaca flower. You can see pollen all over the bees (click photo to see larger version).

Beautiful Explorer rose!

This is a Huchera plant - not sure if I spelled it properly (sorry!).

Friday, July 16, 2010

A nice day for a swim

These crowd of Canada Geese were on the shore on the opposite side of the lake. As the dogs and I watched, they lazily got up, waddled into the water and started swimming.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Taz the Rock Collector

Taz still goes hunting when we go down to the lake. But the tadpoles have all gone now because they have turned into little frogs.

So Taz has found something else to hunt. And the subject of his endeavour? Rocks! Yes, Rocks!!!

Taz sticks his head in the water to look for a particularly appetizing rock, or so I'm guessing. He keeps his head under water for a very long time, sometimes even blowing bubbles. I timed him several times and he usually kept his head under water for about 10-12 seconds, although the longest I timed him was 15 seconds. That's a long time -- try it yourself!

While he was under water, Taz would be pawing at a rock with his front paws, to pull a rock backwards toward the shore.

When he pulls his head out of the lake, the water pours off him like Niagara Falls!

Taz is all excited here as he has managed to get the rock very close to shore. Sorry this photo is a little blurry.

Surveying the spoils.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Submarine Dog

July 14, 2010

A gorgeous day!

I include this photo that I took in our back lawn only because the photos of the electric blue dragonfly that I took down by the water didn't turn out well.

This is a small frog sitting on the sand.

Freda's Bee Balm. I was going to spell it Bee Bomb for fun, but figured everyone who know I was just trying to be funny.... (not!)

Submarine Dog. Cruising along very inconspicuously along the Green Lawn Ocean! hahah

A frog... and birds, and the chipmunk again

I think this is a really neat photo of a frog that has almost completed its metamorphosis from a tadpole (or polliwog) into a frog. The tail is almost gone, but is still there. I have submitted this one to CBC too.

This crazy Downy Woodpecker still thinks the holes on the finch feeder are holes from bugs. Poor confused bird!

This photo was taken a few days ago, just after I took the bird feeder down and there were still some seeds etc on the ground in the area. The birds have cleaned it all up, and must realize that the grocery store is closed because they aren't around very much. I snapped this Blue Jay photo when he was watching some brown headed cowbirds on the ground, I think they chased him off.

In the meantime, this little chipmunk was trying to scold the birds. Haha little chipmunk, the birds are bigger than you and have a big weapon (beak) so you better be quiet!

Can you see the frog in this picture?

Yesss, it's there!

Do you see the bubble in the weeds, just off centre?

Look down and to the left.

Good camouflage!

A horse fly bit Freda so she whacked it a good one, and it ended up in the water. No tears for you, buddy!

Another frog photo. This guy has completed his transformation as his tail is completely gone.

The throw toys eventually start leaking, and if you don't squeeze the water out then they will eventually sink when you throw them in the lake. Here Freda is squeezing the water out of the Kong and Tawny is frantic with excitement at the prospect of jumping into the lake again. I think there is a deer fly on Tawny's nose in this photo. :(

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Heavy rain and Loon conflict

The high temperatures that we have had recently have built up oppressive humidity in the air. It started to let loose on Monday evening, but we had some torrential downpours on Tuesday.

Wow! Look at the rain splashing on the sidewalk!

The rain had stopped by the time of the dogs' afternoon walk. We saw some unusual loon activity. There is a nesting pair of loons on the lake, and a third loon had stopped by. One of the pair was flapping its wings and making loud calling noises as it paddled across the surface of the lake, as if it were running on the water. It made a big wake as you can see in this photo.

Loons are actually very territorial and the agitated loon was making it clear to the third loon that it was an interloper. Sorry I didn't get a photo of the territorial behaviour. I only had the old camera with me because it looked like it might rain some more...

Berries and Bunnies

After I saw the wild blackberries growing, I thought I would go and pick some because they were so plentiful. Hah! They are plentiful but they are not all RIPE!! And they are small berries, quite small. I managed to pick about 3/4 of a cup in 20 minutes. Did I mention they were small?

Tawny saw the rabbit, and sat patiently watching for it to emerge again. Not surprisingly, the bunny stayed away.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Berries and Birds

I found some blackberries growing wild. They were tasty. I might go back tomorrow and pick some.

This is our big elm in the front yard. At the top, just to the left of centre, there are some yellow and dying leaves. Oh no! Does this mean this big tree going to succumb to the dreaded Dutch Elm Disease too???

After supper and the news, we sat outside and enjoyed the beautiful evening. Strangely, there were no birds around except for two robins that mostly just sat on the fence.

Here they are sitting on the fence (one at far right and the other ar far left).

A close-up. We think this one is the female of the pair.

And this is the male bird (we think).

Later in the evening, the sky got very dark and we could hear the rumble of thunder. We were hoping for rain. The dark cloud passed over us and then the sky started getting brighter and we though, how disappointing, no rain. But then it started, and it rained for about an hour and sometimes quite heavily too. As you can see from the brown patches in the lawn, we really needed it!

My photo on TV, take four!

My Mama feeding the baby robins photo made it to the CBC weather photos with Ian Black.

Ian has started doing some goofy comedic things during the photo segment. It's very amusing sometimes. Here he is trying to mimic a baby robin... :)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Bunnies and Bugs and Beautiful Day

This little rabbit came over in the morning to the fence. Not sure if he was looking to see if there was anything yummy to eat in the yard, or if he was checking if there were any sunflower seeds left. This is where the sunflower seed feeder for the birds had been located.

The morning sun is lighting up his ears.

And then he hops away into the bush.

My sister's favourite bug.

Beautiful Sunday afternoon. Sitting back. Enjoying the scenery. Drinking Iced Tea. Loving it!

A Red-Winged Blackbird in an elm tree.

This is Freda's Black Walnut tree. We though Taz had killed it last year because he kept peeing on it, but it seems to be doing well this year. It's getting close to 2 feet tall.

Our tomato plants are really doing well. Can you see all the cherry tomatoes growing on this plant, and all the other blossoms getting ready to turn into fruit? Very shortly, we won't have to buy tomatoes.

Our beafsteak tomato plant is doing very well also.

And the sweet peas are brilliant and fragrant. Very nice!