Wednesday, May 31, 2006

More Insects

This Ladybird Beetle (aka Ladybug) only had spots on the back part of its elytron (front wing).

I thought it was early for Monarchs to be back here in Ontario, but we have been seeing them for over a week now.

Églantine caught this Spreadwing Damselfly by our pond. I'm not sure if its a Common or a Slender Spreadwing. Any ideas?

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Record Heat

We had record high temperatures yesterday and look how the sun came up today.

It looks better than it feels!

The plants are liking it however. See my Wildflower Watch web site for a list of 93 plants in bloom in or near Hamilton, Ontario, Canada last week and a photo of a surprise flower that showed up where we live.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Little Things

Following are a few little things that Églantine and I have seen in the last couple of days.

Saturday, May 27, 2006


All of my photos are a bit fuzzy or out of focus today. There are three different reasons. This first photo is of the Field Sparrow nest. I only took one photo and then got out of the way as I have been watching this nest for about two weeks. All that has happened so far is that two eggs have disappeared. I expect young birds any day and did not want to disturb the nest any more than necessary. Perhaps it's been too much already?

The next nest is one of a different sort. It is fuzzy because that is the nature of the subject. It's a nest of baby rabbits:

This last photo is fuzzy because I was shooting with the telephoto lens, while holding an umbrella in light rain. The only reason I offer it here is because I have only seen Wood Ducks in trees about four times in my life and never have I had a camera in my hand at the time. I know that Wood Ducks nest in tree cavities, but still, seeing a duck in a tree is an odd experience. Catching both the male and female in the same tree was a stroke of real luck in my opinion.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Early Morning Photos

Having a digital camera certainly has changed the way I take photos. We had another great sunrise this morning and I celebrated by taking 45 photos in 25 minutes.

The first photo was black as I was in too much of a rush, some of the others are over exposed, some under exposed, and some are very blurry. Sometimes the exposure and/or blur was accidental and sometimes it was on purpose. I took a few at slow shutter speed and moved my camera when the shutter was open to get some interesting effects. I usually post my "art" shots on Flickr so have a look there in a couple of days if you are interested in seeing them. Meanwhile, here are two of the sunrise shots. This one is looking to the east-northeast:

And for this one I was pointing the camera east-southeast. (I have photos from every direction this morning as there was colour everywhere.)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Dog, Moth, & Flower

There were many possibilities for this post but I like to stay down to three photos for my slow dial up. (We had someone on the roof checking to see if we could get wireless yesterday. We can't. Sigh!) Anyway, our dog, Calla, thought she should have equal time with the cat and gave me this pose.

And then, a few minutes later, this tiny moth begged for some photo attention.

And lastly, here is the result of my playing with the shutter speed while trying to get a good shot of a buttercup. It was way underexposed but I liked the results anyway.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Setting of the Sun

I was out just before sunset on Saturday and caught one of our cats sitting among the Dandelion fluffs.

Actually the Dandelion looked quite good with the low sun behind it too.

And then, a few minutes later, we did have a beautiful sunset. It's nice to have the time to enjoy the colours that nature provides.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

How Does She Do It?

You may have asked yourself, "Self, how does Églantine take those wonderful close up photos?"

Here is the answer. Églantine gets down and crawls through the bushes on her belly like a snake. Fortunately, we have no poisonous snakes around to worry about.

Being down close to her subject, Églantine brings the camera in close and takes many, many photos. What you see here is usually one of anywhere from 20 to 120 attempts at a good photo. (And what do you do with your spare time?)

Friday, May 19, 2006

Dark & Stormy Night

It was a dark and stormy looking evening but we did not get much rain. I liked how the Hawthorn tree blossoms showed up even in the dark of the evening.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Around the Yard

Rain, rain, rain. Between drops, this is what I found:

a dandelion in bloom,

an ant on a white trillium,

and a damp spiderweb.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Dryad's Saddle

For almost a week now, we have been watching the growth of a Dryad's Saddle mushroom. They grow quickly.

Églantine looked under the Dryad's Saddle one morning and found water droplets.

Ontario Wanderer looked on top of the Dryad's Saddle and found a small puddle with the sun reflected.

Sunday, May 14, 2006


The first Hawthorn tree blossom of the season . . . .

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Visiting the Conifers

I visited some of the conifers on our property today. Below is new growth on a small Red Pine.

And next is some sap running down a White Spruce trunk.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Sunrise and Sycamores

The day started with another beautiful sunrise.

And continued with my first look at a Sycamore tree flower. How could I have lived so long without seeing these flowers? Am I the only one who has missed this beauty?

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Bug on the Barn Wall

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


Clues: - Nest on the ground
- Made of grass
- 5 eggs
- eggs were "greenish, bluish white, marked with brown

- bird fairly small with long tail
- plain face
- white eye ring
- pink bill (BINGO!)

Field Sparrow (Spizella pusilla)

Monday, May 08, 2006

Looking Down

I had difficulty with the Sunday posting. Blogger just did not want to make the photo-text as large as I wanted. One can click on the text or coloured background to get a slightly larger version on its own.

Meanwhile, when I wasn't looking up for birds, I was looking down for flower, butterflies, and bugs. Below was one of my rewards.

And a little closer. . .

Sunday, May 7, 2006

(The Blog and I had slightly different ideas on how big the text was supposed to be. It is a bit larger if you click on the text or coloured background.)

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Friday Photos

Yesterday was a good day for photos but I don't know what to post. Perhaps the sunrise?

Or maybe the tiny, tiny spider that I found on a dandelion stem is what I should show?

Then again, perhaps I could put up the Northern Cardinal that posed for me.

Maybe the cup fungus that I found along a path might interest someone else.

Sorry, I just cannot decide what to put up.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Spring Wild Flowers

I told my blog friend at Rurality that I would post a photo of our Cypress Spurge (Euphorbia cyparissias). It is a plant that grows wild on our property and in the ditches by the road that goes by our house.

On our wild flower walk on Monday evening one of the participants commented that sometimes she saw only one Red Trillium in the spring but that she had seen four already on our walk. That started a bit of a count and by the end of the walk, we had see forty-four Red Trilliums (Trillium erectum).

Following are two more species that we saw last Monday evening:

Large-flowering Bellwort (Uvularia grandiflora)

Long-spurred Violet (Viola rostrata)