Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Photo Play

This morning I took 15 photos of and around a tree and 1 of a leaf. On my computer, I put them all together. Here is the result.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

November 28 Colours

Although much of the day was gray today, the sun broke through just after sunrise this morning.

One of the Manitoba Maples (aka Ashleaf Maple, Box-elder, Acer negundo) had a shelf fungus growing on it. I put the camera under it and shot up toward the sky to get this photo.

The same tree had moss and lichens growing on it.

Monday, November 28, 2005

More Snow Photos

I took a few more snow photos, quickly; quickly because our strange weather patterns are melting the snow. The temperatures have been going up since yesterday morning and kept going up last night. They are to continue going up all day and rains are to fall today too.

I had a better Queen Anne's Lace in my view finder just before Calla, our dog, ran by. After I took her back to her pen, I got this second best snow capped QAL photo.

Here are some tracks that I can identify. Calla was walking just ahead of me. We also saw older fox tracks, deer tracks, and lots of rabbit tracks but they were not clear enough for a good photo. Maybe later.

As the snow melts off the shrubs and trees, one can sometimes capture the odd drop.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Snow Views

Early yesterday morning the snow was balanced on tree, weed, and sculpture.

Yes, the sculpture is of my making. It is about two years old and will soon need repainting but it looks great, to me at least, in the snow.

Our east pond had this strange orangeish/brownish stain on it. I have no idea what the stain is from but the pond is surrounded by Willows so perhaps it is something from them.

This was the morning view as I walked along our east trail looking to the south.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

3 Views of Thursday

OK, I am a day late with this post but yesterday was busy and I did not want to miss putting up these three photos from Thursday. It was a cold, windy, snowy day. We woke up to frost on our windows and during breakfast just a hint of sunlight.

When Calla, our dog, and I were out walking we were facing a strong wind from the west. We were almost at the western end of the property when suddenly a deer sprang up from beside the trail and hurtled itself away through the brush. Calla was beside herself with the wish to chase but I managed to stop her by tying her up to a tree and then I checked the area next to the trail where the deer had suddenly appeared. Below is a photo of the "deer bed," which was only 5 steps from our walking trail.

Since the winds were high and the wind chill was -23 C (-9 F), I chose to not stay outside too long. Given the weather conditions, I was very surprised to find a mosquito in our house when I returned. It was doing pushups on our bathroom mirror. Where did it come from? I don't know of any standing water in the house and it certainly did not come in from outside.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Two Birds

Inspired by I and the Bird, I checked out our bird feeder this morning during the snow.

Above is an American Goldfinch.

And, this time, there is a White-breasted Nuthatch with a sunflower seed in its beak. The out-of-focus bird that you can almost see is a Black-capped Chickadee.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Frosty Morning

Frost on the window...

Frost in the field.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

November Findings

I just finished putting up my weekly list of wild flower still in bloom. See my Wild Flower web site if you are interested in what can bloom even after several frosts and a snow cover.

Below are two items I found while I walked the dog at noon today. The first is a mushroom gowing on the ground in a very damp area. Sorry, I don't know what species it is and as it was by itself, I did not pick it to check out the spore colours.

Next is the skeleton of a Wild Cucumber (Echinocystis lobata).

Monday, November 21, 2005

More Plant Photos

Below is a photo of an Arrow-leaved Aster (Aster urophyllus)rosette that is braving the frost in order to gather some energy for next years growth.

Retreating from the cold outside, I took the next photo inside. It's a bud from a geranium.

And finally there is a set of spines from a cactus on the study window ledge.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Snow is Gone For Now

Temperatures were well above freezing yesterday and almost all the snow has disappeared. My cross-country skis remain dusty. Sigh!

Last spring I cut a new trail through some apple trees on the property. I have no idea how many apples are ususal for these trees but there seem to be many left for the deer. Our dog, Calla, and I ate apples from these trees almost every day for a couple of months as we walked under them but we did not really make a dent in the crop. I think we should have picked more to bring in the house for later but we left them for the deer and other animals instead. I am sure they will enjoy them.

I was out with the camera before the sun was down yesterday and caught the late sun kissing the west field of wild flowers remnants.

And just after sunset, I caught the western sky with my camera.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Flowers in the Snow

For some reason I did not see anyone else out looking for flowers yesterday. Something about the snow and below freezing temperatures seemed to put some people off. I couldn't figure it out at first then I realized that shaking the snow off of every plant that I wanted to check was a bit frustrating and ....

Canada Goldenrod <Solidago canadensis)

Azure Aster (Aster oolentangiense)

Cow Vetch (Vicia cracca)

Friday, November 18, 2005

Cool Morning

Here is a photo of our first sunrise over snow for the season. I hear there is no snow just a few km east and west of our place so we were the lucky ones I guess.

It was a cool - 8 C (+ 18 F) this morning so I took all my morning photos inside. Below is a close up of one of the Geraniums that we brought inside a couple of weeks ago.

And following is a photo of down on a feather that we found outside quite some time ago that was catching the morning sun in the window in an interesting way.

One last photo...just look what happened when Églantine held a small bottle up to the sun and the camera in her other hand!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

First Snow ! ! !

Early this morning there were snowflakes in the air. Later in the day the flakes started to get larger.

The photo above was taken at 1:15 in the afternoon and the photo below was taken at 3:45 in the afternoon. It's too soon to get out the cross-country skis but it sure is great to see snow again!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Rainy Days

OK, we've just been through two rainy days with temperatures going up and down and up and down and there are flurries in the forecast for tonight. Who knows what will will happen? Here was the picture from our library room window this morning.

The tree with the yellow needles is a European Larch (Larix decidua) which often goes erroneously under the name of Tamarack. The Tamarack is the native larch (Larix laricina). The two species look quite similar from a distance. One needs to check the cones to make sure. Below is a slightly closer look, still through our rain covered window.

The larches below are on the next propety to the south. Chances are that they too are the European variety as L. decidua grows wild in our area.

Here is a closer look at the needles of a young tree on our property.

All of the larches loose their needles in the fall and grow new ones in the spring. They also have cones so they are conifers. There are at least 5 other larches in Canada in addition to the two mentioned above.

Monday, November 14, 2005

From Small to Tall

Here are some fungi that we found under a tree on our property.

Here is a White Pine tree that is growing on the grounds of the Glenhyrst Art Gallery in Brantford.

Not far from the fungi was a milkweed pod that had lost all of its seeds. Inside the pod it looked like this:

Here is another view of the pines at Glenhyrst.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

November 12 Views

We had an amazing November 12 day yesterday. It was much warmer than a usual November day and sunny for an additional treat. While out walking Églantine photographed a fungus and strawberry leaf.

At long last, I got around to digging the rest of the potatoes out of the garden.

I planted three short rows of potatoes in the spring, hoed them about once during the summer and in general ignored them and let them be surrounded by weeds and still I dug up over 34 kg (75 lbs) of potatoes. That does not count the potatoes that we have been digging since late August for the occasional meal.

While I was digging potatoes, Églantine was taking photos including this great one of a Chickadee on one of our Sunflower plants!

While supper was cooking I looked outside and noticed the late afternoon sun lighting up one of our tall garden grasses.

The sun was setting so I walked to the edge of the yard and got this photo.

And with the wide angle lens of the camera, this is what I saw.

Not being one to leave something beautiful alone, I played with the image with Photoshop and got this result.