Saturday, November 23, 2013

Friday Flowers

       My Friday flower search is becoming more difficult each week now with the numbers rapidly shrinking. Soon it will be down to the all winter flowers that seem to carry on anytime they can get their heads above the snow. I did find 19 species in bloom Friday compared to just over 30 by the end of last week.

        This is a tiny plant with a flower smaller than this photo, unless you are looking on a phone screen. It is called Henbit, Lamier amplexicaule in French or Lamium amplexicaule in Latin. According to notes on the internet ( people can eat it but not sheep, horses, or cattle.

Thursday, November 21, 2013


        The colours of November are mostly in the sky. Here is another example. This was the sunset yesterday.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Winds of November

        The wind storm that came through last night gave us more firewood. There is a small dead elm down over the trail near our east Willow Pond, two Ash-leaf Maples down on the west side of the property and probably at least 30 or 40 smaller limbs down here and there around the property. It is always interesting to walk the trails after a wind storm.

        It is more and more difficult for me to find things of interest to photograph as we get into November. I do like colour and many of the colours are fading. This morning it was shape that caught my attention and, after I took the photo, I noticed that there were interesting colours in the background too.  I have centred out one pod on an Evening Primrose plant to put the photo emphasis on. I enhanced the single pod a bit by blurring the background with both the camera and then Photoshop. Just for the record, if anyone is interested, I also made the pod pop a bit more by using about 10% shading with the complementary colour in the background. I enjoy the art of photo enhancement  by using different setting on the camera and then adding a bit more to the effect with Photoshop.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Down Memory Lane

        I was looking at some old photos today. This is my oldest daughter back in October of 1975.

        The good news is that she has her daughter out in the fields and woods these days as much as we had her out way back then. It makes great memories for all of us.

        Today, November 17, 2013, there is at least one Spring Peeper calling from down in the ravine while the Canadian Geese fly and call on their way south way overhead. The grey of November is broken up by the browns and bronzes of the many goldenrod and aster fall stems and leaves.

Saturday, November 16, 2013


        I have been looking closer at Dandelions for the last few years. On Friday I took a closeup photo of a Red-seeded Dandelion and today I took a photo of a Common Dandelion. Here is a composite of the two photos:

        The Red-seeded Dandelion flower is on the left and the Common Dandelion is on the right. There appears to be a remarkable difference in the sizes of the stigmas. I am not sure if this is always the case or just what I happened to photograph in these instances. More study and observation will be necessary.

        Meanwhile, for more information on the Dandelion, have a look at this website:

Friday, November 15, 2013


        Queen Anne's Lace (aka Wild Carrot or Carotte savage or Daucus carota) is not a spectacular plant but today it was special. It was getting late in the day. The sun was both hiding behind the clouds and setting below the horizon so it was getting dark and I had only seen 29 wild flowers and really wanted to have an even 30. Then I found the Queen Anne's Lace. Yea! 

        We have had several frosts and one light snow so finding 30 wild flowers on one afternoon's walk in the middle of November is special.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Medal and Toque

        The Hamilton Road2Hope sent me my second place medal and toque through the mail. It arrived yesterday. I think I need to set up some way of displaying my medals now that I have something other than a participation medal.

Monday, November 11, 2013

November Weather

        November Days
        Are NOT
        my favourites.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Japanese Beautyberry

                Last Friday I saw 41 species of wild flowers in bloom; however, the very brightest botanical sight I had was of a Japanese beautyberry (Callicarpa japonicathat was located in the Royal Botanical Garden's Arboretum. I don't remember seeing these berries before, but they certainly were evident on Friday. They looked almost fluorescent against the mostly grey background of the trees and shrubs that are rapidly losing their leaves.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Looking for Attention

        It appears that our goose, Peep, is feeling left out of the action lately. That being the case, she came up to our kitchen porch to let us know that she too needs attention. Got it!

        Oh yes, that skunk that was in the barn a couple of days ago is still in the area. She/He was eating from the cat's bowl this evening when I went down to the barn. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Nervous Animals

        All of the animals in the barn seemed a bit nervous and on edge this evening when I went into the barn for their evening feeding and bedding down. The dog became edgy and whined and barked and tried to pull away from the lead.

        It took me a while to find out what the problem was but I was successful. I looked behind the open barn door on the wall side and found an extra animal that was not as popular as the rest for some reason.

        I encouraged it, gently, to leave but the spot seemed to agree with it and it was not  coming out. Finally, I left it where it was and did some other chores away from the barn and then went back to see if it had changed its mind. It had. It was no where to be seen.

        I have seen this little animal a few times during the early morning but have not been able to get a photo. This time I was more lucky as I had my headlamp with me.

Striped Skunk - Mephitis mephitis

Monday, November 04, 2013


         It's been a while since I have posted a photo of our donkey, Leroy. I had several photos of frosty flowers and leaves that I took this morning but decided to put up Leroy instead. Hee haw!

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Road2Hope Half Marathon

        It was very cool running today with temperatures just below and then just above freezing with a 15 to 19 km north wind. If i could run a race like I say I plan to, i.e. run for fun and to finish, I would have more enjoyment out of the races; however, I tend to get caught up in "racing." Today it was when I passed the 2:30 race bunny at the 10 k mark that I started wondering if I could get my half marathon time to below 2:30 again. So, I tried in spite of a knot in my left calf that had started at the 4 k mark. By the last two k's I was in a lot of pain with my left hamstring and left ankle competing for pain supremacy. I ran through it with a couple of extra short walks, and made it over the line at 2:24:49 which was a bit faster than the last two years when it was over 2:30. I was a bit disappointed when I saw that I was 16 out of 19 in my age group and then, when I got home and looked more closely, I found that they made an error in my age. If they did not make any other age errors, I was 2nd out of 3 in the 70-74 men's group. I wrote to complain and am hoping for the 2nd place metal.

On the way down the escarpment towards Lake Ontario on the Red Hill Parkway.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

New Rooster

        Fleur-Ange made a connection to get this new rooster for us. He will look even better when we get him outside in the sun for a photo with a proper camera instead this one taken in the dark barn with the iPhone camera.

Friday, November 01, 2013

November Friday Flowers

        I did not see many blooming flowers today as I had some errands to run and did not have time to visit the Waterfront Trail. At this time of the year most of the flowers that I find are not far from the Hamilton Harbour on the Waterfront Trail. I spent about an hour in the Royal  Botanical Gardens Arboretum and found 21 flowers in bloom. I guess that's not too bad for November 1st but I expect to find more flowers tomorrow on the wildflower walk that Fleur-Ange and I are leading on the Waterfront Trail.

       Meanwhile, here is one of the flowers that I found today. It is Herb Robert, GĂ©ranium de Robert in French and Geranium robertianum in Latin.