Monday, August 30, 2010

Flowers and Flutters

Yet another scheduled mini-post...

These beautiful coneflowers (or echinacea) grow in the field across the street from Frank's place. They attract butterflies.. which is fortunate because the parks and recreation folks have dubbed this small piece of land The Butterfly Garden.

Yet when I strolled far from the garden, this is where I encountered most of the Monarchs. They sure are lovely to watch.

Back in a few days with another mini-post.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Water, Water

Another scheduled mini-post coming to you while we're still away.

On one of our previous visits up to the cottage, I noticed these colours dancing on the water by the dock. The deep green mirrors nearby trees and grass. The turquoise is a reflection from the underside of a paddle boat - shore bound and on its side. Small things amuse me.

Big things amuse me too - like this large expanse of water, sky and disappearing sunlight. Sunset at the cottage is just magical.

Back in a few days with another scheduled post.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Snacks and Smiles

Another scheduled post while we're away at the cottage...

Much of our time was spent in the company of this little sweetie. Bubbles misses her adopted bother, Bayley (who never returned from an overnight excursion) and has regressed mildly because of it. She's older than he was by about a month and though she now stays out all night, she still comes around the cottage twice a day for her feedings and cuddles....

... and heart-melting smiles.

Another mini-post is scheduled for Thursday.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Take to the Sky

As promised, here is a mini post which I scheduled to appear while I'm back up at the cottage. I'll catch up with you folks sometime after cottage season winds down.

While walking Benny in the fields across from Frank's place, the clouds and sunlight made for a dramatic sky. The helicopter was bonus.

And speaking of flight, this young man is Winston, my neighbour across the street, and big brother to baby Lily who was featured a few posts back. He and his Dad were flying this glider around in the park, one afternoon. I think this boy will be a pilot one day.

Another scheduled mini-post coming up soon!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Night Shot and Mini POTW

As explained in yesterday's post, I'll be mostly away from my computer over the next couple of weeks, and perhaps longer. This will be my last POTW for a short while - until I get back on track. And it's a small one at that. In the meantime, and beyond, be sure to check out Jillsy's blog. She'll be posting her version of the POTW which she calls Blog Hop. I'm sure she'll be happy to have you on board.

Below are the few blog posts I collected for POTW from before my last visit to the cottage, and one since. Others have been recommended as indicated below. I hope you enjoy them and if so, please leave them a comment and let them know.

The icon to the left here is yours for the taking if your blog post has been named as a Post of the Week - today or in past weeks.

An now my mini version of the Posts of the Week in no particular order...

The Unlikely Tenacity of Weeds
by Clowncar
at The Oort Cloud

Always a Choice
by Betty
at Bossy Betty

Watching the Show
by DJan
at DJan-ity

by Dianne
at Forks Off the Moment


Squash Blossoms and Hope
by Teresa
at Teresa Evangeline

Happy Thoughts
at Living in the Land of Nod

Sleepless in Clearwater
by MagnoliaGirl
at Magnolia Girl News

I'll be back at the cottage enjoying the days - and evenings like this one...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Summer Briefs

My good bloggie buddy, Daryl always tells me never to apologize for real life getting in the way of my blogging schedule, so I'll take her fine advice and simply explain instead.

I'm having a fun, busy summer which keeps me away from an internet connection 85% of the time. This gives me little-to-no time to prepare posts, reply to comments and visit your wonderful blogs. It also gives me no real time for preparing the Posts of the Week.

I will get back to my usual blogging schedule eventually but for now, I'm spending a lot of time with Frank up at his cottage and I'll soon have the opportunity to spend some time with my older son, whom I've not seen since early summer.

In the meantime, if you're craving some new blogs to read, please check out Jillsy who has begun her own Thursday posts of the week which she calls Blog Hop. If it's photos you're here to see, I'm hoping to schedule a few light posts of a couple of images each for the next little while.

I will get back to my usual routine of posting, responding to comments and of visiting your blogs once cottage season has settled down again. Until then, I hope you'll understand my semi-absence.

Below are a couple of photos which I hope you'll enjoy. See you in a scheduled post soon.

A tiny, simple bloom captured with my zoomie lens from across the way.

Some of Frank's newest acquisitions which he hopes to introduce to some walleye soon.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Creature Feature

It's always enjoyable to have you folks accompany me on one of my walks. So please, slap on the sunscreen, pour yourself a coffee and shut the door behind you as we head out to visit our surroundings.

A small but vocal frog thinks he's well hidden in the shallow shoreline of the pond. Think again, little croaker.

Not too far away this 12-Spotted skimmer lights briefly upon a blade of tall grass.

Another winged beauty poses for us on an upper cedar branch.

Not even attempting to hide, the spider has woven a splendid web overnight.

Almost every day this summer, a Painted turtle basks in the sunlight of my local pond.

A hungry chipmunk greedily fills its cheeks from a pet food bowl which was left on a front deck.

That loud cry you hear is that of the Blue jay - snapped through a pane of glass. He eagerly awaits the peanuts which are left for the squirrels. He's often the first on the scene, forcing the bushy-tailed cuties to find something else...

Like apples. It's a good thing our park is filled with apple trees.

On our way home, a last glimpse of the pond. A Dad and his young son have stopped to chat with the ducks.

Thanks for joining me on my walk around the park. The company, as usual, was just grand.

This was a scheduled post. If all goes according to plans, we're probably back up at the cottage for a few days. I'll be around to read comments and catch up with your blog posts shortly after I return.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Eye Catchers

Almost anywhere I wander, I'm lucky enough to be surrounded with wonderful things which catch my eye. Scroll down and I'll share a few of them with you.

After a rainfall on a windy day, this simple oak leaf, with all of its water droplets, looked so pretty to me.

Once the rain ended, the sky slowly cleared. This was how the sun looked when it found a hazy break in the clouds above. I thought it looked a bit like a full moon but it was early afternoon. And I wasn't drinking.

While walking one evening, I glanced down to see these green leaves and an older rusty leaf laying in such a way that reminded me of a cartoon carrot. This time, I'd only had a bit to drink. Can you see it?

All around my pond, the wild chicory is in bloom. It's such a simple, yet lovely flower.

Earlier in July, we had a few rainy days followed by some lush vegetation growth - including these mushrooms.

The early morning sunlight creates long shadows when it dances on this row of trees standing tall like sentinels to the pond below.

On a hot, humid day, there's nothing like a bit of ice to cool you down.

Like looking into a crystal ball, you can see much of my surroundings in this bubble. It only lasted a few seconds before Benny jumped and took a bite out of it.

Late day sunlight illuminated this otherwise darkened berry branch. Gotta love the colours of summer.

Thanks for joining me. I hope my eye-catchers were pleasing to you too.

This was a scheduled post. If all goes according to plans, we're probably back up at the cottage for a few days. I'll be around to read comments and catch up with your blog posts shortly after I return.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Birds of a Feather

All images were shot around my beautiful park pond, just a few steps from my front door. Come walk with me, will you?

On this very hot day, three Mallards took shelter in the brush of an old fallen tree. The dappled sunlight danced on their moulting feathers.

This young robin was singing a cheery song. I interpreted its music as "Come take my picture!"

A pretty female cardinal hopped along the path, close enough to wander into camera range. There's a family or two of those residing at our park.

Like most bodies of water, ours has the ubiquitous sea gull. This one was just shooed off by the newcomers to our lake...

The Caspian tern. There's a family of them which we've seen daily for the past few weeks. The parents seem to be teaching the young to fish. They're a noisy lot, and very difficult for me to capture in flight.

But I did. Hopefully it won't be the best shot I'll ever get but for now, I wanted to share this elegant, streamlined bird.

This feather was floating in the water close to the dock - just not close enough to reach. It might belong to a gull or a tern.

Along with gulls and terns, we have several species of fishing birds. Among them, is this magnificent beauty - the Great Blue heron. He's a regular visitor each spring through autumn.

Earlier in the week I was gifted with seeing two of them in flight together. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get a really clear shot of them but I was so thrilled about seeing the pair, that I wanted to share anyway.

This is a related bird - smaller but every bit as lovely. He's the Green heron. I've only seen him once before at this pond but this year, he's a regular visitor.

Another fishing bird is the beautiful Belted Kingfisher. You can hear his rattle-like cry which announces his presence.

I suppose the fishing is decent at our little pond. This is a relief to know after last spring's infuriating oil spill which killed a few of our beautiful Canada geese. It's been wonderful to see life thriving at my little oasis. Thanks for joining me on my walk.

This was a scheduled post. If all goes according to plans, we're probably back up at the cottage for a few days. I'll be around to read comments and catch up with your blog posts shortly after I return.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Hieroglyphics and Posts of the Week

So we were driving back from the cottage last month, and this water bottle was resting on its side in the little compartment between the car's two front seats. The sunlight was hitting it in such a way that it created little blue hieroglyphics in the waterless gap created by an air pocket. The truth is that I was just bored and snapping photo of silly stuff but I did notice these designs in each of the three separate sections of the bottle when I uploaded the image.

1 - A comic book or cartoon portrayal of a headressed native chief dancing and playing drums.

2 - An elephant or American buffalo charging.

3 - A cartoon dog wearing a bandit's mask.

What do you see?

If you enjoyed looking for images in the photo above, you'll love Jillsy Girl's post Things That Go Bump in the Night listed below.

This week's issue is also a bit larger than usual. I'll be heading up to Frank's family cottage later today and probably won't be back in time to collect new posts for next week's POTW. I hope these will hold you until the next time.

The icon to the left here is yours for the taking if your blog post has been named as a Post of the Week - either as top post or as a runner up, today or in past weeks.

Without further delay, this week's top post is a tie between:

Things I Have Learned This Week
by June
at Aging Gratefully


by Pauline
at Writing Down the Words

Other wonderful posts in no particular order are:

by Joanna
at The Fifty Factor

Summer Days
by EthelMaePotter
at The Adventures of Fred and Ethel

The Unexpected Package
by Susie
at A Slice of My Life

A B.. C

by Saz
at Fab, Fiesty & Fifty

Photo Finish Friday
by Reb
at Sibu Pegasus Power

Creatile Dysfunction
by Travis
at One Word, One Rung, One Day

Old Havana
by Leah
at The Goat's Lunch Pail

Toilet Talk
by ImBeingHeldHostage
at In the Gutter

Things That Go Bump in the Night
by Jillsy
at Jillsy Girl

by CherylK
at Lake Mary Musings

Nudists in the Quicksand
by Brian
at Waystationone

Some Days are Diamonds!
by Jinsky
at Napple Notes

My Great Grandfather, John Gay
by Jane
at Gaston Studio

Please drop by their blogs for a visit and leave a kind comment if you have the time. Also, please feel free to add your own choices (for any blog except
this one) for a specific blog post in the comments section below, where others can see them.

Thank you.

This was a scheduled post. If all goes according to plans, we're probably back up at the cottage for a few days. I'll be around to read comments and catch up with your blog posts shortly after I return.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

What Benny Wants

Benny doesn't always get what he wants but that never stops him from trying.

Benny is watching baby Lily very intently. What could he possibly want?

He thinks that unopened freezie is some sort of stick and he'd like to fetch it. Never mind that she's already gnawing on it to ease her gums while teething. Benny thinks that it's his turn to chew it to bits.

What could possibly cause Benny to make this ferocious face? I mean, aside from his crazy Jack Russell Terrier brain?

He likes to bite the bubbles. The previous photo was taken in mid bite. The bubble had already disappeared but his mouth was still open.

What do you suppose it is that Benny wants in this photo? He's in the back seat of the car, inside his crate. His eyes are on Frank, who is driving to the cottage.

He wants the drive to be over so that he can get on with his summer activities - like surfing.

What does Benny think he'll get by jumping up at the cottage screen door like that? Look up at the top left corner of the doorway to get an idea.

Never mind, it's come down into full view. Yup, Bayley* the raccoon kit. Benny figures it would be fun to have just a little nip at his tail. By the way, that duct tape you see is not covering a hole made by raccoons. I know you were thinking that but you were wrong. Raccoons have not done any damage to this screen - yet. It was actually caused by a red squirrel. Bayley* just wanted to come in out of the rain and sat there crying for Theresa.

What does Benny believe he's missing out on as he looks into the camera from the dock?

He wanted to come along on this fishing trip but we knew better. Benny spends his time on the boat running back and forth from stern to bow, jumping on laps, biting rods, narrowly escaping hooks and going into manic mode if we catch a fish. So he waits impatiently on the shore until we get back.

And finally, what does this crazy dog think he's doing in this short video (just over a minute)? He actually spent about five minutes working at splashing the water out of the container. There really was a method to his madness though. Watch and find out.

He simply wanted to play with the empty container and it was just too heavy to lift with all that water in it. He's crazy, yes. Crazy like a fox.

* Sadly as of this post, sweet Bayley has been missing for five days. He and Bubbles escaped their overnight crate and though Bubs came home the next evening, Bayley never did. He has the sweetest character and Theresa is quite in love with him (as am I). Best thoughts for wee banana-loving Bayley, please?

Bayley, come home. Your Mama misses you.