Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday Morning

a towhee calls
followed by
three robins and a woodpecker
one bluejay
will not be ignored

back on ground level
a spider web waits

only yesterday
a snakeroot seed photo
was altered
in play

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Last Saturday in September

Foggy morning

14 km run

3 hr yard work

Tired !

Friday, September 27, 2013

Carpenter's Square


        Carpenter's Square or Figwort is the name of a rather strange plant. It has a very square stem which apparently gave it one of its names. The Latin and French names are similar with the Latin being Scrophularia marilandica and the French being Scofulaire du Maryland. I have been puzzled over the name of this plant for years and found more information this evening at the following site:

        Given that it is 15 pages long, I am not going to quote from it but simply give the address above so you may look if you wish. (I also found that I had blogged about it before, quite some time ago.)

        Here is today's photo looking strange as I took it from a "head-on" angle and difficult to understand but interesting to look at in my opinion.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Frost Aster

        What I call a "Frost Aster,"  like most flowers, has many common names. Some of them are Awl Aster, Frostweed, Hairy White Old Field Aster, Hairy Aster, and White Heath Aster. The accepted name currently is "Old Field Aster" in English and Aster poilu in French. The Latin too has changes recently. The correct name is now Symphyotrichum pilosum.

        Whatever one calls it, it is blooming now. I think it is a bit late this year but perhaps it will bloom later too, to make up for the slow start.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

September Days Grow Shorter

        Finally, today, the night is longer than the day. I used to think that happened at the autumn equinox, but found out a few years ago that it is not exactly the case at our latitude. We lag a few days behind the sun's apparent crossing of the equator.[]

        As the days get shorter, many flowers start moving on toward their seed stage but there are always a few holdouts that try to extend the season. Most of our Elecampane plants (Inule aulnée in French and Inula helenium in Latin) finished blooming  a couple of weeks ago but we have one still in bloom even though neighbours have stopped blooming and even let their leaves change colours by now.

        Meanwhile, back in the barn, I just managed to clean out the chicken coop and put in fresh bedding so later this evening I will collect our remaining two chickens and move them from the summer coop to the winter location where there is a light on a timer to keep them on a steady schedule for laying eggs.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Feeling a bit Tired and Sore

        I tried to do a "normal" Monday routine yesterday. I went to a Spin Class at 6:45, came home to feed the animals and myself, went back to the gym to work with weights and then did a Pilates class. Needless to say, I was a bit tired after all of that but when I got home I discovered that I had had 75 bales of hay delivered to a spot near the barn.

        Because the delivery truck got stuck in our yard several years ago, they no longer go all the way to the barn so I had to move the bales from the yard down into the barn and then stack them up inside. It was a 2 hour and 20 minutes workout that I was not expecting. It went well for 73 bales, then with the 74th bale, I tripped and fell . . . on my back . . . on the cement floor . . . with the bale on top of me.  

        Today, Tuesday, I worked at the Plan B Organic Farm. I stood outside on a cement slab washing food boxes for 4 hours. It is my usual Tuesday morning volunteer job but it did not feel quite as good this morning. My back is sore for some reason. I can hardly wait for my regular Tuesday night run this evening.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Brantford Waterworks 10 Kilometre Race

        Yesterday I finished the 4th 10 km race of this year with each being a bit faster than the one before. Today's time was 59:42 and was the first time I have been under 60 minutes since October of 1995. I am sure I missed recording a couple of races back in the 90's before I had the injury that kept me away from running for six years but still I am very pleased to be able to run at 70 and actually be doing better. I doubt that that will continue but am very pleased with my races this year. Hoping for a good half-marathon run in November. Thanks to all the people who have been supporting me and urging me on this past year!

Notes from Facebook:

Liz Cameron Your a great inspiration Dean, good going on today's race.

Cindy Robb Way to go Dean you are such an inspiration.

Spencefitness Brantford Congrats to you Dean! Well done!

Catherine Proulx Way to go Dean!!! Must've been that great massage you

Dean Gugler Yes, Catherine Proulx, your massages are a huge part in my running life. Thanks so 
much for all your work!!!

Pamela J Heller-Mulvaney Congrats Dean!!!!!

Wendy McIntosh Prowse Great job today!

David Galbraith Fantastic Dean! Well done. You're very inspiring.

Mortimer Hercules Awesome, Dean! Way to go, "Beardie"!

Jean Lefler very inspiring!

Krista DuChene  Setting personal bests at 70..Dean Gugler, you are an inspiration. Glad to see you drinking your Emend Eload after! See you back at the gym this week!

Dean Gugler How special is this? A hug from one of Canada's top athletes and one of the world's best marathoners. Thanks Krista DuChene, you made a special day even more special!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Is Someone Watching?

        Yesterday, when I was walking in the wilderness area of the Royal Botanical Gardens's Arboretum, I had the feeling of being watched. Then a movement caught my eye and I saw a deer and another deer and another. In the next minute I saw 4 deer in the area within about 20 metres. While I was standing taking photos two women and a dog came by. The deer quickly melted into the background and became invisible but I told the women about them anyway. As they went down the path, the dog suddenly stopped and looked to the side. The women looked briefly but then hurried on in spite of the dog's obvious interest in what was next to the trail. I followed and looked to see what had attracted the dog and saw 2 more deer that the women had obviously not seen. The deer, however,  was keen to look at me so I got another photo or two. Below is the best one.

Friday, September 20, 2013

One of Over 70

        These Beechdrop flowers, Épifage de Virginie in French or Epifagus virginiana in Latin, were one of just over 70 wild flowers that I found this afternoon while walking about the Royal Botanical Gardens wilderness areas. They have almost finished blooming but I was glad to see them as I have not seen any for several years. It's not so much that they are rare but more easily overlooked than many flowers as they have little colour and no green leaves at all. They grow as a parasite on the roots of Beech Trees so are only found under beech trees and they do not show up until late August. They may be found, with luck, from late August until early October.

        Thanks to Natalie at the Herbarium for pointing out the general area where I needed to look for these plants. Without her, I never would have found them!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Harvest Moon

        The moon was full and very bright last night. I had to take several photos and combine two of them to get this effect.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Waterlily Abstract

        We spent a lot of time along the shores of Canoe Lake on our first day in Algonquin last week. The water was clear and offered many beautiful sights. This waterlily leaf caught our attention with it's patterns of deconstruction.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

From Last Week's Algonquin Trip

        Somehow I just cannot get enough of Loons. Sound and sights are beautiful!

        The old tree stumps that are along the sides of some of the lakes are very sculptural at times too.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sunrise and a Busy Day

        We had a beautiful sunrise yesterday!

        Then the day became very busy. Fleur-Ange and I went to Brantford to participate in the Terry Fox Run. Fleur-Ange biked, as one of the options available. She could have run, biked, walked, or rollerbladed but chose the bike. I did the run. It was supposed to be 10 k but due to an error by the people at the half way  point it was only 8.3 k according to my Garmin's GPS. I had a fairly good run going and felt strong at the finish so I think I could have finished 10 k in a bit over 64 minutes according to my math. As it was, I finished the 8.3 k in 52 minutes and 40 seconds.
        After the run, we drove to Eden Mills for a writer's festival where various authors read from some of their works and that was followed by a pot luck there in the home of one of our artist friends.  By the time we got home, with Fleur-Ange driving, I was totally exhausted. 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

More Flowers

        I found four new species of flowers in bloom this morning. We have a couple of "native" sunflowers that I have not really seen in the wild but a friend gave us some a few years ago from his native garden and we put them into a section of our labyrinth. They seem to be spreading on their own and we saw this one in bloom for the first time this morning. It is the "Tall or Giant Sunflower." The French is hélianthe géant and the Latin is Helianthus giganteus.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Home Again - Kind of . . .

        Yes, we are home again . . . in our usual way, i.e. I left after 20 minutes for an evening run and Fleur-Ange left a bit later for the Thursday night movie. Today I was in Burlington and Hamilton all day for volunteer work at the Royal Botanical Garden's Herbarium and for a 4 hour walk looking for blooming wild flowers. I found 89 in bloom.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

On the Road Again

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

On the Portage

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Staying Quiet

@ Canoe Lake in Algonquin Park & thanking next door neighbours for care & feeding of our animals & house watching.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Looking Up

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Wild Cucumber

        Near this time of year in the Hamilton/Brantford area many shrubs and trees are often covered with vines with many, many white flowers. Some trees and shrubs totally disappear beneath this covering.

        The vine in the photo above has finished blooming and is beginning to set its fruit. The Wild Cucumber, Échinocystis lobé in French or Echinocystis lobata [ak-in-oh-SIS-tiss   low-BAH-tuh], has a fruit that appears a bit like cucumber on the outside. 

        The photo is of the male or staminate flowers. The female or pistillate flowers are smaller, more inconspicuous and fewer at the base of the male flowering stalk.

        Here is a photo of the fruit. Until a few minutes ago I thought it was mostly full of air and empty space as that is how it looks later in the fall. However, I just went out with a scalpel and the camera and found that the inside is full of a very loose, foamy like material that surrounds the four large seeds.

        This last photo is of the tendrils which are many and really hang onto what ever tree or shrub the vine chooses to climb and stick to.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Wild Flower Walk

        I had a good walk yesterday afternoon in the RBG's Hendrie Valley and Hamilton's Waterfront Trail. I found 107 species of wild flowers in bloom. The Asters and Goldenrods are almost in full bloom with only a few that I have not seen this season. It is just in time for the RBG Herbarium Aster and Goldernrod workshop which will be next week. I am betting they will find even more of those two groups.

        That being said, I found a White Lettuce, Prenanthe blanche in French and Prenanthes alba in Latin in the Hendrie Valley that caught my eye. Below is a photo of the plant with some of the flowers in an insert:

        Meanwhile, back at home, there are lots and lots of Goldenrods of several species in our west meadow. Here is a view from the west side of our property looking to the east toward the house. The house is still out of sight at this time of year due to the trees.

Friday, September 06, 2013

First Frost

        Where does the time go? Lots of things to say but it's late already.

        What I saw this morning on our east meadow path was the first frost of the season. It was only in one low spot close to the ground but grass and several other plants had ice on them that did not disappear when I brushed my hand against them. Earlier on the path, what looked like frost fell off when my hand touched it. That was not the case for this leaf and lots of other leaves in this little spot.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Blackbirds and Mystery Object

        Just for the record, the blackbirds (Redwings, Grackles, Rusty Blackbirds, etc.) are starting to gather for their fall migration. We had a good sized group in our front woodlot yesterday evening.

        Meanwhile, back under a bench, I found a mystery object. I do know know if is it from an animal, a plant, or a fungus. My guess is fungus but if anyone knows, please pass the information along. It is just over 1 cm in height and about the same in diameter. It is under one of our outdoor benches.  Any ideas?


Wednesday, September 04, 2013

A Flower Pod and a Dragonfly

        According to the google stats, my blog site has been viewed 47 times already but not one comment. I wonder who is doing all the looking. . .

        It was a great morning for photos on the dog walk. Wish I had time to post more of them but I like to crop and tidy up images before putting them up so two will have to do.

        This first photo is of the seed pod from Indian Tobacco or Lobélie gonflée in French. Lobelia inflata is the Latin name.

        Just before I finished my walk I saw this dragonfly. According to my dragonfly book this is a male Common Green Darner (Anax junius). 

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

In the Pink

I am a bit slow getting this photo up but better late than never, I hope. It is a Deptford Pink, Oeillet arméria in French or Dianthus armeria in Latin. It was growing in the Hendrie Valley wilderness area of the Royal Botanical Gardens. This part of the RBG is within the city limits of Burlington, Ontario. With the help of some others who came out on wild flower walks with Fleur-Ange and I, we found over 160 species of wild or naturalized flowers blooming in the last 10 days.

Below is a photo that I had on Facebook a few days ago. I took it off today to put up here as I am choosing to  put fewer photo there but still want to share some photos. This is a Crowned Slug Moth caterpillar that I found in our east pasture area.

Monday, September 02, 2013

Sheet Lightning and a Slug

OK, the sheet lightning and the slug did not happen on the same day and I did not get a photo or video of the sheet lightning. The sheet lightning was this morning. When I checked to see if my memory of the term was correct I found that it is correct but also called heat lightning. In either case, it is just lightning that is so far away that it only light the clouds and no thunder is heard so it's like a sheet of light crossing the sky in silence. There was a lot this morning and it seemed to be coming from several directions but mostly in the west so I suspect we might get some of the regular lightning, thunder and rain sometime in the near future.

The slug? I found it last Thursday on a One-seeded Bur Cucumber down by the Grand River. It was eating it's way across a leaf and just happened to be thinking about taking a short cut across an open space when I saw it.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Another New Start?

OK, I am dusting this blog off again. I stopped putting photo on Flickr a couple of months ago as they changed their format and started jamming all the photos together with hardly any white space in between them. It offends my sense of how to look at photos and photos often jar each other when they are that close. Now Facebook has decided to share all the photos and act as if they are their property instead of mine so I think I am going to return to doing more work on this blog. I realize that photos can be stolen from here just as easily but the public exposure will be a lot less and I shall not be using words to describe my photos in the uploads but only in the text of the blog. I am hoping that will reduce the number of hits by unwanted people. I suspect that bots can still search the text of blogs but maybe less here than on Facebook. We'll see what happens . . .

Here is a photo of a Preying Mantis that I had up the other day on FB.