Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Early Bloom

Early Bloom, originally uploaded by Ontario Wanderer.

Last season this plant started blooming in February and bloomed until April.

In 2007 I found it blooming on January 7th.

I think this is the earliest that I have ever found this plant blooming. I don't know if it will continue now that it's cold again.

I also found 4 other species blooming during the warm days of the weekend: Hairy Bittercress, Common Chickweed, Common Groundsel and the native Witch Hazel. The weather is doing strange things to plants.

Coming to an End

Coming to an End, originally uploaded by Ontario Wanderer.

Sometimes one just has to run outside at sunset to capture another bit of colour. I really should cut down those dead trees but they make such a nice foreground.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Woolly Crossing

Woolly Crossing, originally uploaded by Ontario Wanderer.

The place where this Woolly Bear was crossing the dry, sunny sidewalk today was buried in over 60 cm of snow just a few days ago. The warm weather, rain, and high winds made most of the snow disappear in two days and not only did I find this caterpillar wandering about but I also found 5 species of wild flowers in bloom this morning.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

First Car

First Car, originally uploaded by Ontario Wanderer.

I've been looking for weeks and months for the photo of my first car and finally found it today while looking for something else. (Well, OK, it was my dad's first car but I got to drive it when I was young too.) Meanwhile, some of the other old, old, old photos of my grandfather are still missing.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

This Might Help With Snow Removal

This Might Help With Snow Removal, originally uploaded on Flickr by Ontario Wanderer.

. . . but I need a blade for the front and a super efficient muffler so I can still hear the birds. (OK, the photo really belonged to my grandfather.)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Wonder, originally uploaded to Flickr by Ontario Wanderer.

I wonder why my legs, back and arms are so sore. I have only shoveled this lane way twice in the last three days . . . and what is that white stuff coming down outside? (Yes, we could pay for a snow plow truck to come through but as long as I am able and still kind of enjoying it, I shall shovel. It means I can eat more for supper.)

Flowers Are Getting Hard to Find

Flowers Are Getting Hard to Find, originally uploaded on Flickr by Ontario Wanderer.

Deep snow makes flower hunting difficult. I hope to find at least one species today in some bush but meanwhile, here are the remains of seeds and stalks of the White Avens. I put some in my pocket for a macro at home but forgot and put my mittens in too and ruined the specimen. Maybe later I can try again. They grow in several places on our property but not close to the house.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Winter Solstice - December 21, 2008 7:04 a.m. EST

Winter Solstice - December 21, 2008 7:04 a.m. EST, originally uploaded by Ontario Wanderer.

My view to the east at 7:04 this morning.

For those of you in or near Canada, the special CBC2 "Joy to the World" Christmas music program in on from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. today. It plays not so traditional Christmas music from various locations. If you can't get CBC2 on your radio try the internet. Here is a brief description of where the music is coming from this year from the CBC blog:

"There are fourteen concerts broadcast in total, from the following places: Reykjavik (Iceland), St-Pölten (Austria), Lisbon (Portugal), Sofia (Bulgaria), Helsinki (Finland), Palo Alto (California, United States), Græsted (Denmark), Prague (Czech Republic), Oslo (Norway), Pécs (Hungary), Stockholm (Sweden), Warsaw (Poland), St-Arnual (Sarrebruck, Germany) and Quebec (Canada)."

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Boot's View of Snowshoe Trail

Boot's View of Snowshoe Trail, and the second photo originally uploaded in Flickr by Ontario Wanderer.

Took the dog out for a walk today wearing my snowshoes for the first time this late fall. (Yay! Winter tomorrow !!!)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Seeds Will Be Blowing in Snow Today

Seeds Will Be Blowing in Snow Today, originally uploaded by Ontario Wanderer.

The wind is gusting to 52 k/h outside with billions of tiny snowflakes and millions of goldenrod seeds blowing by the windows.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Looking for Winter Colours

Looking for Winter Colours, originally uploaded by Ontario Wanderer.

Our European Spindle Tree still has some colour if one looks close enough. There is only 1 of 4 seeds still left in the pod. I had a photo of the tree up earlier on Flickr but I don't remember if I put on on the blog or not.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


What?, originally uploaded by Ontario Wanderer.

I know that I gave this sculpture a name when I built it two years ago but I cannot remember it now. I was enjoying seeing it with all of last nights snow puffs on the Queen Anne's Lace seed clumps. We were walking the dog through the east meadow.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Last Light

Last Light, originally uploaded by Ontario Wanderer.

Beginnings of the "other side" of Kansas just a few miles east of my birth place. The Flint Hills are rolling grasslands full of cattle. (Or maybe not so full in some areas.)

Photo was taken in December of 2004.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Just Think What It Would Do To Your Umbrella

Just remembering a 2004 visit to a place near where I was born in Kansas. Actually, where I was born was hilly compared to this. This was taken a few miles west of my birthplace.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Please NO!

Please NO!, originally uploaded by Ontario Wanderer.

Last week Friday, December 5th, after spending at least 10 minutes scraping frost off of my car windows and then starting to drive down the road I saw an insect flying about inside my car. Yes, a mosquito. After doing some internet and book research I found its name: Anopheles punctipennis [anna-fo-leez ...punkt-ee-PENN-iss]. These mosquitoes live all over the U.S. and southern Canada and survive all winter as adults. They are most active in early spring and late fall. Sigh!

Santa Starts on a Diet

Santa Starts on a Diet, originally uploaded by Ontario Wanderer.

I am still waiting for the official results for this race. Meanwhile, this was how the start looked. I was at least 1200 Santa's back from the start as I did not want to get run over. As it turned out, I was too far back and spent a lot of time passing slower walkers and runners. It felt nice to be passing instead of always being passed however.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Running Gear

Running Gear, originally uploaded by Ontario Wanderer.

Tomorrow I get to run, with about 1500 other Santas. This evening I am trying to make the suit fit so I can run in it. (I can just see the problems of pants falling down in the middle of the race.) We all got jingle bells to put on our shoes too. Should be a bit of a giggle.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Before the Snow

Before the Snow, originally uploaded by Ontario Wanderer.

I took this photo last Friday before we had the snow. That being said, this flower will still be blooming today under the snow. i have found this flower blooming late into the winter whenever the snow melts and even under the snow. It is Common Groundsel or Senecio vulgaris.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Snow & Trees

Snow & Trees, originally uploaded by Ontario Wanderer.

Yesterday I aimed the camera east, today west. Reading left to right, the three evergreens are White Spruce, Colorado Blue Spruce, and White Cedar. The snow continues but the temperatures are going up and there is rain in the forecast for tomorrow so we will probably loose our snow. Meanwhile, I am enjoying the snow as it falls this morning.

Sunday, December 07, 2008


Finally, originally uploaded by Ontario Wanderer.

We finally have some snow on the ground. There is not a lot, compared to further north, but at least the ground is covered. This was taken from our upstairs window looking toward our east pond in the willows. In the lower left of the photo one can see our weather rock. White on top = snow !!!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Spurge 3rd Time

Spurge 3rd Time, originally uploaded by Ontario Wanderer.

I don't want to beat this poor spurge to death but it was so beautiful when I looked through the microscope that I wanted to share. Yes, it's the Sun Spurge (Euphorbia helioscopia).

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Tiny Flowers

Tiny Flowers, originally uploaded by Ontario Wanderer.

These are very tiny flowers and hard to photograph. I really need to bring some home to put under the microscope. They are annuals growing only from seeds and bloom very late in the season. They are not native but come from Europe. I am almost certain that I saw them in Tuscany, Italy when I was there a few years ago and, I think, near the Venice airport too.

Saturday, December 6
I brought home part of this plant yesterday and found that I had misidentified it as Petty Spurge (Euphorbia peplus). It is really a Sun Spurge (Euphorbia helioscopia). It appears that I need to do a lot of record changing in my data base. Sigh! The previous comments are still true except I now do not know which spurge I saw in Tuscany, at the Venice airport, and here in southern Ontario. The genus, Euphorbia, is correct but the species name is in question.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A Fly Went By

A Fly Went By, originally uploaded by Ontario Wanderer.

Playing with collaging photos and lines . . .

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

December Driving

December Driving, originally uploaded by Ontario Wanderer.

Driving between Hamilton and Toronto is never a pleasant experience but yesterday was particularly bad! Even being in the passenger seat was unpleasant.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Beast at the Bottom of the Stairs

Another long exposure into the darkness. Who knew there was a ghost dog in the basement?

Actually it was a project for Flickr Utata on photographing stairs in an interesting way.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Standing Tall in the Cold

Yes I wanted the horizon on a tilt.

These Tall Goldenrods are growing and blooming at the edge of the Hamilton Harbour and beside the Waterfront Trail. Special "Thank you," to the city of Hamilton for putting in this wonderful trail beside the harbour!

Photo was taken Friday, November 28, 2008. I also found 14 other late wild flower species while out walking on Friday.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Before the Snow

Before the Snow, originally uploaded by Ontario Wanderer.

I took this yesterday, Friday, Nov. 28, before the snow began to fall again.

These Henbit buds will probably just wait for a sunny day to melt the snow and then, if the sun continues to shine, the buds may open for another late flowering. Meanwhile, I like the colour and details on the flower buds too on this late November day.

This is another alien plant that came over from Europe and western Asia.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Night Again

Night Again, originally uploaded by Ontario Wanderer.

Another night photo. This is a montage of two photos. One was taken at at 1 second exposure and the other at 4 seconds. Both were f 4.0 and ISO 1600. I liked how the two photo melted together.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Ice in Nice

Ice in Nice, originally uploaded by Ontario Wanderer.

While out looking for wild flowers I found some wild ice on a shrub. Actually, the shrub had flowers on it too but I have not been able to identify the shrub to my satisfaction yet.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Minimalism, originally uploaded by Ontario Wanderer.

This sculpture is at the Royal Botanical Gardens. I was lucky to be able to photograph it without too much background clutter. The piece is called Royal Couple and was made by the Canadian Michael Dennis.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Portrait of a Cow

Portrait of a Cow, originally uploaded by Ontario Wanderer.

Cow Vetch actually; this plant was still blooming on November 21 near the Hamilton Harbour. It has long since stopped blooming on our property.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Night Photo

Night Photo, originally uploaded by Ontario Wanderer.

After viewing a photography information video on shooting at night:

Craig Tanner's Light Diary

I had to try it out. (4 seconds at f2.8 ISO 1600)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Another Lesson

Another Lesson, originally uploaded by Ontario Wanderer.

So today I learned that it would be better to order 10 bales of hay and have them delivered in the driveway about 75 metres away from the barn and then carry the bales, or use my little red wagon, to get them to the barn on six occasions rather than order 60 bales of hay and have the truck back down to the barn and get stuck and force about 2 hours of looking for a tractor to pull the truck out and still have 60 bales to carry into the barn to stack.

On the other hand, if we decide to get some ducks I do now have some long narrow ponds almost ready.


QAL, originally uploaded by Ontario Wanderer.

The Queen Anne's Lace captures snow and keeps it for a while off the ground. When the weather is dry, the seedhead is tightly closed with when it is damp it opens up to let the seeds go. This action happens all fall and winter.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Apple Thieves

Apple Thieves, originally uploaded by Ontario Wanderer.

OK, OK! It was my fault. I did not get the goats stall door closed properly and I forgot to shut the door that led into the hay and apple stores so Gerturde and Alice helped themselves to about 6 dozen apples that were supposed to be about a two months supply of Apple-a-day treats for the donkey. Sigh!

Oh yes, it snowed last night so the rest of the windfall apples are out of sight now.

I did manage to find a few apples before the snow got too deep.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Burning Bush?

Burning Bush?, originally uploaded by Ontario Wanderer.

Some people call this Burning Bush. (I wonder why.) It adds a lot of colour to our west meadow in November. It's real name is European Eunonymus or European Spindle Tree (Euonymus europaeus. [Fusain d'Europe in French]

Actually, in November of 2007 it did not have too much colour. I suspect it was because of heavy insect damage in the spring and a very dry summer. This year it is back to normal.

Monday, November 17, 2008

One of Sixty-three Species

This Storksbill flower was one of sixty-three different species that I found blooming in and along the edges of Hamilton, Ontario last Friday, November 14. I think being in a low area, below an escarpment, and next to Lake Ontario keeps flowers blooming longer in this area. Also, there is a paved trail with street lights that goes next to the harbour. I think the combination of pavement heat, streetlights, and lake water also help keep the area warmer.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Paying 4 Procrastination

Paying 4 Procrastination, originally uploaded by Ontario Wanderer.

Really I had been meaning to finish digging the potatoes but somehow . . . the beginning of a snowfall moved me a bit faster. (Those of you who live in the city probably don't have to worry about this little chore but then do you know where your potatoes come from and what was put on them to make them grow?) This is local food that is really local. It was grown about 30 metres from the kitchen and fed with compost made from kitchen scraps.

Cattails Sculpture by Bob Verschueren

This is the full sculpture that I disguised yesterday by taking a close up from the side. Actually, when I took the detail I did not realize what it would look like turned 90 degrees. I liked the result.

Yesterday's photo was taken from the left side of the sculpture looking behind the bent cattail leaves with shadows showing against the white wall.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Mystery, originally uploaded by Ontario Wanderer.

This is a close up detail of a wonderful piece of earth art. Have you any ideas about what it is from this selection?

I'll put up a photo of the entire work tomorrow along with the name of the artist and the location. Meanwhile . . .

Friday, November 14, 2008

Just Floating

Just Floating, originally uploaded by Ontario Wanderer.

I liked how the one Maple leaf was off on it's own by the edge of Lake Ontario.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fall Falling Falls

Fall Falling Falls, originally uploaded by Ontario Wanderer.

"Logie's Creek tumbles 41 metres [135 ft.] over the escarpment to form Tews Falls, just a few metres less in height than Niagara Falls. "
Information from the following site:

This is on one of my favourite walks in our area. I have been there several times a year for over 40 years now but it was just today that I found out the name of the creek that goes over the falls.

Monday, November 10, 2008

From the Passenger's Side

I don't like driving at night any more. I also don't like driving in, or near, Toronto. This was a modest bit of 8 lane highway. There are places on the 401 highway on the north side of Toronto where I have counted 20 lanes, 10 going each way. I prefer country roads where the grass grows down the middle but not I've not seen any of those for a few years.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Sunset in the City

Sunset in the City, originally uploaded by Ontario Wanderer.

I was helping Eglantine hang her photo art show in Toronto yesterday and it took a lot longer than expected. We got to watch the sunset over the Toronto harbour area as we drove toward home. We drove west on Lakeshore Blvd. to get out of the centre of Toronto before hitting the Queen Elizabeth Way. Traffic was heavy for much of the way home so I got to take some photos from the slow moving car.

Monday, November 03, 2008


Pocan, originally uploaded by Ontario Wanderer.

According to The History and Folklore of North American Wildflowers by Timothy Coffey "Pocan" was an earlier name of American Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana).

I liked the way the sun was making the stems of the fruit such a bright colour.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

We've Been Waiting at This Bus Stop For Hours

Well, OK, waiting in the barn for the next feeding time at the Donkey Sanctuary. These are 3 of 54 donkeys at the sanctuary.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Skim, originally uploaded by Ontario Wanderer.

We had our first skim of snow yesterday, Oct. 29. It did not last long but it was nice to finally see some snow again!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Barn Scene

Barn Scene, originally uploaded by Ontario Wanderer.

I went to visit a donkey sanctuary today. There are currently 54 donkeys living there of all sizes and colours. It was a wonderful farm full of very friendly, happy donkeys plus a few mules, goats, sheep, a dog and a few humans too.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Puff The Not So Magic Puffball

Not as good as a dragon but easier to find. Lycoperdon pyriforme or Pear-shaped Puffball is what it looks like in my Mushrooms of Ontario and Eastern Canada book by George Barron.

They usually come in multiples of 5 to 50 or so. I found this one on its own not far from a group of 8 and a few other singles and doubles.