Friday, February 29, 2008

Shrew Track

Shrew Track, originally uploaded by Ontario Wanderer.

According to this site:

Small shrews "plow a furrow in soft snow, diving down ground-heat-releasing 'chimney' openings found around the sides of small trees."

Yes, that's what it looks like to me and given that the Sorex cinereus, commonly called the Masked shrew or common shrew, is the most common shrew of North America I suspect it is that species.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Vole Tracks ?

Vole Tracks ?, originally uploaded by Ontario Wanderer.

Because there are both "galloping" and "running" tracks, I am thinking these are tracks from a vole . . . or maybe a shrew. According to Donald Stokes "A Guide to Nature in Winter," vole tracks are more common in the country and shrew tracks are more common in the suburbs so that adds to the idea that these tracks are probably vole tracks. These tracks were found in a small woodlot at the edge of the property that I live on. Does anyone have any other ideas re the maker?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Deer Trail

Deer Trail, originally uploaded by Ontario Wanderer.

When I was out walking the dog yesterday just as the sun was setting, the low light caught the edges of the snow from deer tracks. Try as I might with the camera at various settings, I could not capture the yellow light again the bluing snow. I am hoping that this photo will help me remember how it really was. (No, I did not figure out the hole that was dug through the snow and into the earth not far away.)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Something is Happening Here . . .

. . . but I don't know what! In addition to the hole in snow and ground, Calla and I found tracks of deer, fox, coyote, and a bird of some sort but no real clue as to why this hole was dug.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Skunk Cabbage

Skunk Cabbage, originally uploaded by Ontario Wanderer.

The spathe of the skunk cabbage has enlarged and changed colours and some early leaf shoots are showing in this shallow streambed while the plants on the shore are covered with lots of snow. I did not climb into the stream to look inside the spathe for the tiny flowers on the spadix but I really don't think this plant is blooming yet. It won't be long though! This is always the first real wild flower of spring if you don't count all those that bloom all year long.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Plan B

Plan B, originally uploaded by Ontario Wanderer.

I was recently introduced to a local organic farm group that puts together a box of 1.) local organic food and 2.) the closest organic produce possible i.e. as little travel time and km used as possible. The photo is of what we received in our first box. It is supposed to be fruit and vegetables for one person for one week. Cost $25. Looks good to me. I think we will continue in this group. (Any interest from people in Brant county? I would like to get a closer depot and need more people involved.)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

It's a Dark and Stormy Night

I hope that Witch Hazel has an overcoat for tonight. It is currently -18 with a wind gusting to 57 km/hr giving a wind chill of -34. Burrr! (It was a warmer but still cool -4 in the barn where the goats and our dog are spending the night.)

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Chinese Witch Hazel (Brevipetala)

This cultivar of Chinese Witch Hazel usually starts blooming in February. It is almost always the first new outdoor flower of the year. There are other flowers that bloom throughout the year but this plant starts blooming in February and blooms for several weeks. It is welcome colour in snow times.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Gertrude Checks the Gate Lock

Someone told me that goats were not too intelligent but they forgot to tell Gertrude. She always check to see who is coming into the barn and does her best to slip out of the stall if the gate is ever open.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Too Old for Kids?

Too Old for Kids?, originally uploaded by Ontario Wanderer.

Never too old, besides only one is a kid and the other is the mother. Meet Gertrude and Alice, the two latest additions to our family. (No resemblance to their namesakes Gerturde Stein and Alice B. Toklas.)

Just a Light Approach

Just a Light Approach, originally uploaded by Ontario Wanderer.

More memories of our visit to Malta last March. This street lamp was in Vittoriosa, Malta. Vittoriosa is part of the "Three Cities" which is across the Grand Harbour from Valletta.

Friday, February 01, 2008


Storm, originally uploaded by Ontario Wanderer.

I started out on the road this morning and had second and better thoughts. I watched this from near a fire in the fireplace.