Saturday, October 31, 2015

More Photos From RBG

            There were lots of beautiful views of landscape and flowers in the Royal Botanical Gardens Arboretum wild areas yesterday.

Cootes Paradise from Capt. Coote's Trail

One Beech tree by Hemlock grove

One Calico Aster flower

Heart-leaved Aster

Sulphur Butterfly



Fall Leaves at Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton

Thursday, October 29, 2015

November Flowers

It's again be a while since I added to my blog. Time passes.

Just for the record, the following is a newsletter that I just sent out to a group of people that follow Fleur-Ange and me on occasion on wild flower walks.


Hello from Dean and Fleur-Ange,

We have one wild flower walk coming up this weekend. We will meet at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 31st at the Princess Point parking lot and walk part of the Waterfront Trail. We have been doing this hike for a few years now at this location. 

If I remember correctly, this is Dean’s 34th wild flower walk on the weekend closest to the October/November month change. In 1981 we saw 9 wild flowers in bloom on the hike and I saw another 10 species as I walked a few kilometres to and from the hike for a total of 19 for that day. I wonder how many we can find this year.

Following is the list of species I have found blooming during November between 1981 and 2015. The list is currently 209 species long:

Alfalfa *
Alkanet *
Alyssum, Hoary *
Aster, Amethyst
Aster, Arrow-Leaved
Aster, Azure (Sky Blue)
Aster, Calico (Starved)
Aster, Flat-Topped
Aster, Frost
Aster, Heart-Leaved
Aster, Heath
Aster, Large-Leaved
Aster, New England
Aster, Panicled
Aster, Smooth
Avens, Catling's *
Avens, White
Avens, Wood *
Avens, Yellow
Balsam, Himalayan *
Basil, Wild
Bedstraw, Sweet Scented
Beggar Tick
Beggar Tick, Tall
Bellflower, Creeping *
Bindweed, Black *
Bindweed, Hedge
Bittercress, Hairy *
Black-Eyed Susan
Bouncing Bet *
Buckwheat, Climbing False
Bugleweed, Northern
Bugleweed, Rough
Bugloss, Viper's *
Bur-Marigold, Nodding
Burdock, Common *
Burdock, Great *
Butter-And-Eggs *
Buttercup, Tall *
Campion, Bladder *
Campion, Red *
Campion, White (Evening Lychis) *
Catchfly, Night Flowering *
Catnip *
Celandine *
Chamomile, Scentless *
Charlock *
Chickweed, Common * 
Chickweed, Mouse-Ear *
Chicory *
Cinquefoil, Common
Cinquefoil, Dwarf
Cinquefoil, Rough
Cinquefoil, Rough-Fruited *
Cinquefoil, Silvery *
Clotbur, Common
Clover, Alsike *
Clover, Hop *
Clover, Red *
Clover, White *
Clover, White Sweet *
Clover, Yellow Sweet *
Comfrey, Common *
Coneflower, Tall
Coneflower, Thin-Leaved * 
Cress, Marsh Yellow
Crowfoot, Cursed
Crown-vetch, Purple (Crown Vetch) *
Cucumber, Wild
Daisy, Oxeye *
Dandelion, Common *
Dandelion, Red-Seeded *
Dead-Nettle, Purple *
Dead-Nettle, Spotted *
Dogwood, Red-Osier (S)
Dogwood, Silky (Pale)(S)
Elderberry, Red
Evening Primrose, Common
Feverfew *
Flax, Common *
Fleabane, Daisy
Fleabane, Lesser Daisy
Forget-Me-Not, Smaller
Forget-Me-Not, True *
Galinsoga *
Galinsoga, Small-Flowered
Goatsbeard, Yellow *
Goldenrod, Blue-Stemmed
Goldenrod, Canada
Goldenrod, Gray
Goldenrod, Lance-Leaved
Goldenrod, Tall
Goldenrod, Zigzag
Ground Ivy *
Groundsel, Common * 
Groundsel, Sticky * (S.Ragwort)
Hawkweed, Field *
Hawkweed, Smooth*
Hemlock, Poison *
Henbit *
Herb Robert *
Honeysuckle, Northern Bush (S)
Horehound, Black
Horehound, European *
Horehound, Water
Hyssop, Yellow Giant (Catnip, G.H.)
Johnny Jump-Up *
Knapweed, Brown *
Knapweed, Spotted *
Knapweed, Tyrol
Knotgrass, Common *
Knotweed, Japanese *
Knotweed, Pink
Lady's Thumb *
Leafcup, Small-Flowered
Lettuce, Wild
Mallow, Common(Cheeses) *
Mallow, Indian * (Velvetleaf) *
Mallow, Musk *
Marjoram, Wild *
Mayweed *
Medick, Black *
Medick, Hyrid *(Yellow Alfalfa)
Mint, (Unidentified)
Mint, Wild
Motherwort *
Mountain Mint, Virginia
Mugwort, Common * 
Mullein, Common *
Mullein, Dark *
Mullein, Moth *
Mustard, Black *
Mustard, Dog *
Mustard, Field *
Mustard, Garlic *
Mustard, Hedge *
Mustard, Tumble *
Mustard, Wormseed *
Nettle, Tall
Nightshade, Bittersweet *
Nightshade, Eastern Black
Nipplewort *
Pennycress, Field *
Peppergrass, Wild
Periwinkle *
Pigweed *
Pineapple Weed *
Pink, Deptford *
Plantain, Common *
Plantain, English *
Queen Anne's Lace *
Ragweed, Common
Raspberry, Wild Red (S)
Rocket, Dame's *
Rocket, Sea
Rocket, Yellow *
Rose, Rugosa *
Saint Johnswort, Common *
Scorpion-Grass, Blue *
Shepherd's Purse *
Smartweed, Nodding
Smartweed, Water
Snakeroot, White
Snapdragon, Dwarf *
Snow-On-The-Mountain *
Sow Thistle, Common *
Sow Thistle, Field *
Sow Thistle, Spiny-Leaved *
Speedwell, Persian *
Speedwell, Slender *
Speedwell, Thyme-Leaved *
Spurge, Leafy *
Spurge, Petty *
Storksbill *
Strawberry, Field
Summer-Cypress *
Sunflower, Common *
Sunflower, Tall (Giant)
Tansey *
Tearthumb, Arrow-Leaved
Teasel *
Thistle, Bull *
Thistle, Canada *
Thistle, Nodding *
Touch-Me-Not, Pale
Touch-Me-Not, Spotted
Trefoil, Birdsfoot *
Valerian, Garden *
Vervain, White
Vetch, Cow * (Tufted V.)
Vetch, Narrow-leaved *
Violet, Canada
Violet, Common
Wall-Rocket, Narrow-Leaved * 
Wallrocket *
Watercress *
Witch Hazel
Wood Sorrel, Creeping
Wood Sorrel, Yellow
Wormwood, Sweet *

Yarrow, Common *

The * means that the plant is not native.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Tiny Spiders and Tiny Webs

            I have no idea how many tiny spider webs I have noticed in the grasses and low plants over the years. They seem to be most numerous in the fall or I seem to notice them more in the fall. 

            Anyway, this morning I had a closer look. There seem to be tiny spiders  under the webs. How could I have not noticed until this morning. I took several photos. This one seemed to be the best.

            I believe it is one of the "Sheetweb Weavers," and   possibly the spider called the Filmy Dome Spider (Neriene radiata).

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Three-Generations-Run

            I have been waiting, and hoping, for years for a three-generation-run. Sunday, September 20, 2015 was the day. Fleur-Ange and I drove up to Kingston, where my daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter live last Friday in preparation for the Sunday run. Sunday was the Terry Fox Run in Canada and we had, as I remember, 5 different Terry Fox Runs in the Kingston area to choose from with distances of 2,3,5, and 10 kilometres to choose from. Rosalee, my granddaughter, made the choice of a 5 kilometre run. That run was on Howe Island.

            Howe Island is the fourth largest of the "Thousand Islands" group that is at the end of Lake Ontario and the beginning of the St. Lawrence River. The island is almost 13 km long and 5 km wide.  At the western end of the island is Spithead Road with a loop at the  end. It is almost exactly 5 km to run to the end of the loop and back to the start. (It's in yellow on the map below.)


                                Danielle, Eric, Rosalee, Dean before the run.

            My granddaughter, Rosalee, and I left Danielle and Eric behind early in the run but Danielle was determined to catch up.

            Danielle caught up with us just where Fleur-Ange was taking photos at about the 3.5 km point in the run. Danielle stayed with us for about a kilometre but dropped back as Rosalee put on a burst of speed at the end of the run. I was just able to keep up with Rosalee until the last ten metres when she put on a final spurt that left me a bit behind her. (Actually, we had passed the 5 km point according to my Garmin but she did not know that.) My Garmin sports watch recorded us as finishing the 5 km at 35:37.0 in a pace of 7:07/km. I think that is an excellent run for a 7 year old and not too bad for a 72 year old either. Danielle came in about 45 seconds behind us. 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Two Evening Photos

            We had two interesting evenings over the past two days. On both days there was a lot of cloud until almost sunset then the clouds parted in the west to let the sun through.

            This first photo is from our west field, looking east across the meadow. Right now the "meadow" is full of goldenrods and was mostly caught in the shade of trees on the west side of our property but the trees near the house and barn were catching the late evening sun and really standing out due to the clouds in the east.

            The second photo is from the Waterfront Trail in Hamilton looking east across part of the Hamilton Harbour. We were lucky enough to get two parts of a rainbow, north and south sides, without getting caught in the rain.

Saturday, September 12, 2015


            I have been enjoying the colours of some of the fall wild flowers during the past couple of days. In this first photo, from our east field, one can see goldenrods in the far ground that are often blamed for allergies in this fall season. In the foreground are some green spikes that are the flowers of  Common Ragweed. The pollen from those flowers are the real cause of many allergic reactions. According to the literature, the pollen can travel up to 160 km (100 miles) so pulling it out of  your yard will not make much difference to your allergies.

            This second photo is a very close up photo of a Moth Mullein. It can start blooming as early as the middle of June but sometimes continues until October with the odd flower still showing into November and December if the late fall and early winter are warmer than usual.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Early Morning Photos

        Although I seldom use anything but "manual" for my photos, the Nikon Coolpix P7800 has a great night photo automatic setting. I used it this morning for two photos:

Moon and Venus


Tuesday, September 08, 2015

It Started With a Grapevine

(Hello Pablo!)

Monday, September 07, 2015

Lost Flickr Account

        Today, on a whim, I thought I would put a photo up on my long ignored Flickr account. It appears that I cannot get into my account any more. When I tried to get a new password, Flickr also gave me a new, unwanted, name. I heard, earlier this year, that I had paid for another year of Pro account and went in and deleted that pro account but was told it was good for another year and so I did not get my money back. So now I have an account that I cannot access. Given that I did not like what Flickr had done to my account and now that I cannot get in, I guess it is officially all over.

        Following is the photo I was going to put up on  Flickr and which I have already put up on my  Facebook page. (Wonder if I should look at the other photo account that I started and then ignored. What was it called? Instagram maybe?)

        The photo is of a Katydid that I found in our east meadow this morning. I don't know what kind of Katydid it is and am not sure if it is in full adult form yet. It was found on a Tall Goldenrod and I tried to photograph it there but it kept moving so I collected it on my hand to see if it would stay there. It did and I took several photos before putting it back on the goldenrod.

        Will I be putting up more photos on this blog? Will I write more? Time will tell. I do mentally put up blogs everyday but somehow the mental and the physical don't often happen together as is obvious as there has been nothing on the blog since April.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Early Morning Sounds and Spring Flowers

5:30 a.m.
Filled with sounds
Spring Peepers
Wood Frogs
Leopard Frogs
American Toads
Wild Turkeys
And our Rooster

Round-Lobed Hepatica
Anémone d'Amérique
Anemone americana

Beaked Hazel
Noisetier à long bec
Corylus cornuta

Sanguinaire du Canada
Sanguinaria canadensis

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Flowers and Butterflies At Last

            On Friday, I found 23 species of plants in bloom. Thirteen of them were cultivated and growing at various locations in the Royal Botanical  Gardens in Hamilton/Burlington. The others were growing either as wild or as cultivated species that have become naturalized. Today, Saturday the 11th of  April, I found our Silver Maple in bloom and, as the dog and I walked in the early afternoon sunlight, I also saw two butterflies. Both butterflies were quickly on the move and i did not get a good look at either of them but just enough to be fairly sure that they were the Mourning Cloak and the Question Mark as both are usually found early in the spring in our area as overwintering species. I also heard and saw an Eastern Phoebe in our yard today. They have been in the area for a week or more but just not on our property.

            Below are photos of some of the flowers that I have seen in the past two days.

 Slender Speedwell (Veronica filiformis)

 Silver Maple Tree (Acer saccharinum)

Christmas Rose/Red Hellebore (Helleborus atrorubens)

Ruby Glow Witch Hazel (Hamamelis x intermedia 'Ruby Glow')

Monday, April 06, 2015

Friday's Photo

Last Friday, Fleur-Ange and I took a late afternoon walk down by the Grand River. We saw three Turkey Vultures in a tree top just across the pedestrian bridge that is near Hardy Road. At first we did not know what they were. We were hoping for Eagles. We crossed the bridge and had a closer look with the binoculars. Sigh. Just Turkey Vultures.

On the way back across the bridge we saw some Canadian Geese on one of the small islands in the river but while looking at them, Fleur-Ange noticed something brown a couple of metres away from the geese. It was a muskrat that had come out to sun itself. It looked at us briefly then curled up to sleep in the sun some more while I pushed my camera's zoom to the limit. Results are below:

Sunday, April 05, 2015

April 5 Sounds of the Morning

Sounds of the morning:
1 Cardinal
1 Rooster
1 Wild Turkey
1 Car
1 Song Sparrow
1 Woodcock
The clock strikes six

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Birthday Report and a few Photos

        I am not sure why it is so difficult for me to keep blogging and not just think about blogging but it seems to be that way these days. If I had a blog written for everyone thought about, there would be a lot more.

        On with this one:

        I recently had my 72nd birthday and was overwhelmed with birthday wishes from Facebook and from interactions with friends in various places. There were almost 90 well wishers on Facebook and quite a number of personal encounters with the birthday song coming several times. As I said, overwhelming.

        There is a frog exhibit at the Royal Botanical Gardens that started a week ago last Saturday that will go on until April 12th. I stopped by last Friday, when I was in for my regular herbarium volunteer work and managed get a couple of photos. It was difficult as there were many children rushing about with parents or grandparents in tow trying to see everything as quickly as possible. I would almost get a frog in my camera viewfinder only to find the back of some child's head appear. I shall try again next Friday but for now here is a Black and Green Poison Frog (Dendrobates auratus) that is native to Central and South American rainforests.

        Meanwhile, outside in the gardens, I looked for wild flowers that were surviving the cold and snow. There were several Groundsels that were showing colour but none that looked like they were really blooming. On the other hand, down in the Woodland Garden section I did find the Brevipetala Witch Hazel almost in bloom. It is a cultivated shrub that often blooms mid-winter.

        Below are a few other photos that I have processed in the last week or two:

Flower in the RBG Mediterranean Garden

Venus &  Mercury in the evening sky

Another sunset photo

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Mourning Dove

        Fleur-Ange alerted me to the Mourning Doves outside our breakfast window this morning. We both took several photos. This was the best of mine. Nice bit of sunshine on fresh snow as the background and lighting!

Monday, January 05, 2015

Photo or not to Photo

        I have had a couple of requests, from Facebook people, to put some of my photos on one site where they do not disappear like they do on Facebook. So far I am just thinking about it and one possibility would be to do a new blog with just photos or maybe with photos and information about the photos.

        Meanwhile, here are a  couple of photos that I have had on FB during the last few days.

        Comments would be welcome.

Iced Asparagus

From a wild asparagus that I did not eat in the spring
cut down in the fall.

Willows and a Cottonwood

Light catching trees in our east meadow
not too many minutes after sunrise.

Disk Florets

 Found on a New England Aster
still blooming on January 2, 2015.

Male Downy Woodpecker

On our bird feeder just outside our kitchen window.