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Monthly Archives: March 2012

TODAY’S THEME………………MY FAVORITE SPOT

I hope everyone has a favorite spot where they feel comfortable.

I found this one many years ago when we first bought this property.

You would think with 80 odd acres to choose from I would have found something FAR away from my house yet this spot, although well camouflaged is not more than a 1/4 mile from my house.

Not on my bush road I found it one day while ‘exploring’ my then new property.

The rock is my ‘thinking’ place and it has served me well over the years.

I ALWAYS go there alone…..or with the dogs but never with people….that would defeat the purpose of it…..for me at any rate.

All the madness and stress of life melts away when you sit on the rock….and listen to ONLY the birds call and the rustle of critters around you going about their business.

No cell phones,,,,no traffic noise…….no nattering people wanting your attention for something or other.

If I stay long enough the animals….small ones anyway, ignore me and seem to venture closer to find out what this new ‘creature’ is.

This year….a few days ago I saw signs of a new ‘adventurer’ from my rock……and I realized I was the intruder in HIS world…not the other way round.

I know they are afraid of us so I don’t usually fear them but this time of year one has to be cautious as when they are with their young….and kids are ALWAYS curious….they are VERY dangerous.

I would NEVER think of venturing back there without my dogs…..they are sufficiently noisy and active that no Bear would venture very close….not even a cub.

The tree, by the way, shows a typical marking of a mature Bear which ‘claws’ or marks the tree as a way of both sharpening their claws….much as a housecat does AND defining it’s territory….NO PROBLEM….I got that part.

These marks are VERY fresh and I would estimate they were done within the last few days,,,,not much longer as the bark hasn’t had a chance to even begin to curl.

It’s a little scary but I can assure you…..you DEFINITELY feel ALIVE!

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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TODAY’S THEME………………DEBRIS

Today i have selected a very simple image I took a few days ago.

Unlike Ron…..we don’t get a lot of sea shells and such…..what we have is logging trucks and typically most roadside debris is from them.

Usually some kind of steel or iron and this is no exception.

It’s not, as I said a very complex image but I think that in it’s simplicity there lies something special….with no ‘special’ atributes to distract you ALL you have is the iron and gravel and how they interplay.

Not for everyone I guess but it sure tickled me.

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

TODAY’S THEME……………….BUILDING

This first picture is just a teaser for the lovely one I tracked down 2 days ago.

This little beauty is a Downy Woodpacker…I believe I have posted pictures of them before and I only include this because they are so CUTE and absolutely unafraid.

They come to our feeders and while they won’t eat the regular seeds they LOVE the suet blocks.

This is on a dead tree on the edge of our front yard.

Now to the main attraction.

For the past 2 or 3 weeks I have heard the LOUD and persistent hammering of a woodpecker on a distant tree.

Several years ago we had one who tapped away on our steel mast for our then used T.V. antenna tower.

Since there were obviously no bugs to be had we figured out he was using the reverberations of the hollow metal tower to announce his presence….maybe for mating…maybe as a warning to other males….I don’t know.

Finally my curiosity got the better of me 2 days ago and I decided to track down the NEW culprit.

After quite a long hike in the woods, every minute hoping you are getting closer, I heard him again.

Now I hear him loudly tapping only for about 3 seconds every 5 minutes or so and although I could have moved more quickly IF I chanced upon him too quickly he might either fly away or be quiet and not let me know where he was.

About an hour later I knew I was close and yard by yard I moved closer until I could see him.

They’re QUITE shy and the sight of a human will usually make they leave for a long time so I had to move up on him ONLY when he tapped…a foot or so at a time until I figured I wouldn’t be able to get any closer without jepordizing my chances for a decent shot.

The first shot shows him at an old hollow dead tree which he was using I believe as a megaphone to make himself heard.

It was, by the way, EASILY heard several miles away.

As I crept closer he moved to another tree very close by and I thought I might have frightened him away but no….he was not at a purpose-built hole for his/her young…..in other words a nest.

They create one in a nearly-dead tree and hollow it out JUST big enough for them, line it with wood chips they have created and it’s all done.

The next three show him in profile and as I got closer I saw him insert nearly his whole body in the cavity and a second later he’s outside…making it bigger.

According to my bird book these birds get to an astounding size of 41-48 cm…..about 17-23 inches…..that’s pretty big.

I reckon this was in the smaller range although all these pics were taken at 200 mm as he got twitchy as I moved closer so judging size was pretty difficult..

Quite an adventure for me…lasting well over 2 hours in all and I think WELL SPENT!

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

TODAY’S THEME…………….MISTY

The first picture was taken I think 2 days ago and the second one yesterday.

Remember the song “Those Lazy,Hazy, Crazy days of Summer” ?….Well welcome to MY world!

Even though it’s still March and we COULD get 12 inches of snow any day……….

Because there are SO MANY lakes around this area we do, occasionally have high humidity….especially this time of year when the snow is gone and there is LOTS of surface water and much of the land is still frozen so it doesn’t drain away.

Great for fishing and hunting but as you can see in the pictures there is a MARKED difference in the ‘look’ of things.

Both pictures were taken at more or less the same location although I had not intended the first as anything but a ‘maybe’ shot so the match is less than exact.

Both had very mild Topazing and were cropped and resized but no ‘photo-haze’ is added for effect…..it is honest in that respect as the colour of the trees etc.

My house is about 1/2 way down on the left…..AND there are NO houses on the right hand side for about 6 miles …so you can see we’re fairly private.  LOL

I realize it’s not the most exciting post but I personally like pictures of people IN THEIR ENVIRONMENT…..and not many of this group have shown us where they REALLY live.

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

TODAY’S THEME………………….RECREATION

Today’s theme….recreation is most adequately met by this series of pictures.

I apologize for the sheer # of them but it was ALL such a blast that I had a great deal of trouble containing my enthusiasm!

This first picture shows my bush road still has a tiny bit of snow on it……NO MATTER.

There aren’t many places this bad boy won’t go and I didn’t find ANY of them today in my season opener on my quad.

Picture 2 shows me only up to the axles in this tiny puddle because UNFORTUNATELY I was unable to find anything deeper as much of the ground is still frozen and not all the snow has melted.

This next picture is just a demo of what kind of stuff I regularly go over and a good rule of thumb with THIS particular quad is if you could step over it….I’ll be able to drive over it.

One notch above many of the ‘also-ran’ brands, this particular model made by Yamaha has 3 different settings of wheel drive control.

Normal 2 wheel drive ( rear only )…four wheel drive which drives BOTH the rear tires but only 1 of the front ones…. the differential normally favoring the wheel with LESS traction unfortunately and FULL 4 WHEEL LOCK in which ALL 4 wheels drive….no matter what!

Despite these features I’ve been stuck ( happily I might add ) MANY times!
Then it’s time for the factory installed winch!

This next picture is Wally showing HE can keep up with a quad, even if he was puffing a bit ….Jack is off in the bush somewhere else I guess.

The last picture shows a pile of northern delicacies….Moose Berries…..NOT for human consumption.

BTW for your interest they are about large marble sized….what we called ‘threesies’ when I was a kid.

This is NOT a usual sized bunch…usually there are hundreds of them.

I’m pretty sure the guys will ALL drool with envy if they imagine it MUST be a lot of fun screaming around or gently climbing stumps, logs and rocks to get to a place you would barely be able to hike to…..AND YOU’D BE RIGHT!

But fear not ladies…..LOTS of females up here share their husband’s passion for these things and own one and LUCKILY lenient….VERY lenient laws ( compared to what I hear about Southern Canada and MOST of the rest of the civilized world ) allow me, if I have the proper safety equipment and insurance to EVEN drive on public roads….albeit only roads NOT considered major highways AND only on the shoulder…or verge I guess it’s called in other places.

Notwithstanding those MINOR limitations it is FANTASTIC to be able to go virtually where I want to go WHEN I want to do it.

What a country!!

What a machine!

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

TODAY’S THEME…………………..REFLECTIONS

These pictures were taken today….with my ‘almost’ new SD card…..from my other camera and I really DON’T like playing “musical cards”.

Not wanting to put ALL my eggs in 1 basket I ordered a 3 X 8 gig QUALITY SD cards from Amazon.ca……couldn’t believe the great price AND free shipping.

Sorry…..not intended to be am Amazon ad there but PRETTY excited.

These were both taken with the 60 D and at the little creek that crosses my property.

I think the different coloration in them is due mostly to the background enviornment as I did no colour modification aside from crop, reduce size and sharpen a tad.

Each has it’s own appeal and the second one looks as if it is clouds in the sky reflecting on the water…..in fact it was a PURE blue sky and what you see is residual ice under the water….made much more clear in the upper picture.

Just a few feet apart they are, I think radically different and I really like the ‘watercolourish’ rippling of the reed reflections of the lower one…..wish I had had the skill to do them that well when I was painting watercolours…..sigh.

 

I hope you enjoy them both and if you have a preference….SHOUT out!

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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TODAY’S THEME………………….WATER

The theme today is water but I would have preferred if if there had been “MIRACLE” as one of the themes because I think I witnessed one today.

To be fair you’ll have to be the true judge yourselves but I think you’ll have to agree it certainly is pretty special.

There has only ever been 1 major occurance of walking on water and without naming any names I THINK I may well have seen the second!

Inpossible you say and I’d agree if I had not had the trusty 60 D with me and captured it for the world to see.

Sadly I missed a few postings because BOTH my 16 gig sd cards went DOA and left me with none as I had long ago given away the smaller ones.

FOOLISH ME!

Well anyway….without further adieu let me present you with perhaps the only truly modern miracle.

 

NO!!….it is not a Photoshop trick……and here to prove it is the next shot….taken SECONDS later when his “power’ failed him ( and he stepped on a thinner piece of ice. )

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

TODAY’S THEME…………………..SEE-SHORE

Spring has sprung….the grass has riz….I wonder where the birdies is?

Now I’m SURE this will make some of you positively groan but IF you look carefully….you will ALMOST         see-shore at the top of the picture.

Ron taught me that one and despite protests that it is cheating or near-cheating he ASSURES me it is nothing more than  bad spelling, theme groping/grasping/bending/molding/twisting…..take whichever you please.

This is a little pond/stream that crosses my property and now that the ice has all but gone Jack loves to spend some time in the icy water….what a show-off!

The textures created by the thin and melting ice have left an almost ‘jaw’ like look to the remaining mini ice floes.

As well the shadows underneath are clearly visible as the ice is so thin the light goes through it and reflects back off the water lighting up the underside of the projecting tongues of ice.

Now why they are bent upwards at the tips I don’t know and you don’t always see it but often you do.

In any case I really liked the look and textures of this little ice projection and thought it worthy of a little ‘theme-stretching’.

I think it might be worth looking at the larger size as well.

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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TODAY’S THEME…………………PRIVATE

Private is what this bird thought he was but with a telephoto he lost his privacy for a second.

The upside for him is he’s now been blogged so surely that’s something he can “crow” about to the others.

The tin roof is pretty tarnished and rusted but a quickie shot from quite a distance left him skittish and he flew away seconds later.

 

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

TODAY’S THEME…………………….BEST FRIEND

I think one look at the picture will convince you how comfortable these 2 are with each other.

Arriving a few months ago Wally ( the Black & White one ) was initially very cowed by Jack and Jack took full advantage of his seniority.

He didn’t exactly ‘bully’ Wally but he made sure he went out the door first, he ate first, he got the more comfortable place to sleep end so on.

Wally, for his part kept his distance but ever so slowly made inroads into Jack’s world.

A nibble from Jack’s bowl…..a quick dash out the door…just beating jack by a nose…..and it wasn’t long before his superior speed and agility made their mark.

For his part however, Jack still had more wisdom and experience and when it came down to a Rabbit hunt…Wally was off like greased lightning while Jack sauntered casually along into the bush.

A lot of panting and 20 minutes later saw Wally with his tongue out drooling at the sight of Jack….casually munching his FRESHLY caught Rabbit.

Age and experience wins against those YOUNG legs…..most times.

This is a RARE moment when they were both in and tired from a long walk and each wanted a piece of Jack’s favorite rug……and both got a piece!

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2012 in Uncategorized

 
 
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