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.