Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Crazy Little Thing Called Benny

Please indulge me.

I have a dozen or so photos taken within a ten or twenty minute period. They're not good pictures as far as clarity goes. They were all taken from a distance, when I was seated on my front doorstep focused on the kids across the street.

There are two pairs of sisters, who happen to be cousins and all live under the same roof. They are all thoroughly delightful children and Benny loves them. It didn't hurt that they were participating in one of his all time favourite activities - water play.

What caught my eye at first was the colourful scene - brightly-dressed kidlets, vivid toys and that beautiful effect of late-day sunshine. I snapped a few shots, focusing mostly on the children. After a short while I became very aware of Benny and the exuberance and sheer joy he exhibited with every jump in the air and wag of the tail.

I hope you enjoy these adorable little ones and that crazy little thing called Benny.

A coulorful scene just seconds before Benny realized that something fun was happening.

Benny is offered a drink.

Benny realizes the hose is about to come into play.

No further words are needed. Just enjoy that crazy canine and these beautiful girls.







We need a close-up of that one...

Crazy Bennny



Kidlets - last drops
Good to the last drop.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Scenes From The Cottage

Below are a few more images taken up at the cottage on our last visit.

wet noodles
A few colourful swimming noodles just waiting for someone to grab them and make splash.

heron through cottage window2
Early one morning, I woke up with the strong sense that Mr. Blue was outside the living room window. I just knew he had to be there. I stumbled into the front room and this magnificent creature greeted me. He let me snap a couple of photos through the glass before he flew off to thrill someone else. I later found two feathers (and a huge load of poop) on the dock.

clothes pegs3
Just for fun, I snapped a photo of the clothes pegs on the line.

hook in mouth
Frank caught this little guy from off of the dock. He had to perform a bit of surgery to remove the hook which the fish swallowed. You can see the red metal in its mouth. A few seconds later our finned friend was reunited with the lake

peek between trees
This is a peek of the sun-kissed lake water as it appears between two trees.

hammock sunset flash
Between two other trees, you can relax in the hammock to watch the sunset.

sunset flash
And here it is. I hope you love it as much as we did.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Driving at Dusk and Posts of the Week

This was the view from the passenger seat one evening on the drive from my cousin's place to mine. I just thought I'd share it with you.

driving at dusk

And now, without further delay, here are the Posts of the week. The icon below is yours for the taking if if your blog post is named as a Post of the Week - either as top post or as a runner up.

This week's top post goes to:

The Perfect Red Dress
by Sandra
at Add Humor and Faith

Other wonderful posts are categorized below (they may well fit into more than one category but I'm only selecting one for each):

Overheard at the Office
by Michelle
at House of Lime

Oh, Those Teachers....
by Shammickite
at Rook's Nest

Big Dog Mentality
by Slam Dunk
at Slamdunks
Note: The video posted on Slam Dunk's blog is no longer visible but can be viewed here... at least for now.

On the Playground
by Gary
at Follow Your Bliss

by Brian
at WayStationOne

Butterflies Are Free
by Reena
at Missing Moments

In the Pink
by Daryl
at Through My Eyes

Bring on the Hoards
by Mage
at Postcards

by Joan
at The Retirement Chronicles

Big Things and Endings
by Cloudia
at Comfort Spiral

Just Call Me Stalker
by Robin
at Ramblings With a Cantankerous Old Mule

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.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Four Years... It's Time for a Change

Had I been on top of things before posting yesterday, I might have noticed that it was exactly four years since I published my first blog post.

During that time, I have only changed my blog layout once - about two years ago. Similarly, my profile photo went back about three years, and since I don't have that Dorian Gray thing happening for me, I figured it was time to update that too. The image of me is courtesy of Frank (who nudged me into blogging in the first place), taken just last week on the dock, at the cottage. The moment behind the heron header is described in the post below.

Thank you to everyone who so kindly comes by to visit me regularly and leaves such warm and encouraging comments. You folks are nicer than words can express.

Below are a few images taken from the dock.

It's one of the nicest places on the planet to sit and watch nature unfold. Bring a book, if you like. And a camera - that's a must. I'll pour us a few summer drinks. Come join me on the dock.

two loons
A pair of loons, bathing and preening as they slowly made their way past the dock, one evening. The sun was behind them, so their features were mostly in shadow. Still you can see the water droplets splashing out from one of them. They're such beautiful birds.

Great Blue Heron in flight
Occasionally, we are treated to a fly-by from Mr. Blue. Truthfully, I can't tell the males from the females but I always think of these gorgeous herons as Mr. Blue or, when discussing him with Frank, he tends to be "Our Boy." This one just sailed right in front of the dock while I was reading. I looked up just in time to grab my camera and "click."

frank and ben on dock
Of course, Frank and Benny also like the view. Frank likes the view of a fish on the end of his rod with a late day cast. And Benny would like nothing more than to re-catch it as it comes out of the water. Hey, guys! You're blocking our view of the sunset!

clouds lake sun
Ahhh, there it is. Just a few more minutes of this splendour or we'll be eaten alive by mosquitos and deer flies.

golden sunset
One last look at the lake, dock and all as we head back into the cottage.

There should be more photos coming up soon.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Cottage Delights

Last week, were were back at Frank's family cottage, enjoying sunshine, fishing, swimming and lovely sunsets. However, the photos below go back to our June visit to the cottage. We hope to head back up there semi-soon so I'm continuing my "summer hours" of scheduled posts and sporadic visits to your fine blogs. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy whichever photos I manage to post.

after rain scene
It rained one of the first days we were up there but toward evening, the sun came out to brighten our beautiful surroundings. The hammock looked especially vibrant in the late day glow.

dragonfly on hammock3
When there's rain, there's mosquitoes. And when they're out in full force, thankfully so are the dragonflies. This beauty took a rest atop the colourful stripes of the same hammock seen in the previous photo.

dragonfly on leg
Another lovely dragonfly landed on my jeans and proceeded to climb up the outside of my leg. I managed to snap a pic just before he was to close to get into focus.

Late in the day, the saturated sunlight streams through the back porch windows. Frank's fishing rods were all lined up and ready to go.

sun set2
So ends another lovely day.

More cottage photos coming up soon.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

For the Birds

Sorry, folks - still no Posts of the Week as I'm still away. I hope it won't be too long after my return before I can catch up and present a few.

I've used most of these quotes for bird photos before. They make me laugh so I'm using them again with some new pics in this scheduled post.

robin lunch
“When birds burp, it must taste like bugs.” ~ Bill Watterson
A robin showing off how the early bird catches the worm.

“I don't like small birds. They hop around so merrily outside my window, looking so innocent. but I know that secretly, they're watching my every move and plotting to beat me over the head with a large steel pipe and take my shoe.” ~ Jack Handy
A Catbird - I hear them all the time but they're elusive and I find them difficult to see. Frank spotted this one.

baby grackle
“Did St. Francis preach to the birds? Whatever for? If he really liked birds he would have done better to preach to the cats.”
~ Rebecca West

A young Grackle

rwbb on fence"What is it about a beautiful sunny afternoon, with the birds singing and the wind rustling through the leaves, that makes you want to get drunk?" ~ Jack Handy
I liked the diagonal line created by the angle of the fence. A male Red-winged blackbird poses nicely.

fishing heron4
“The bird thinks it a favor to give the fish a lift in the air” ~ Rabindranath Tagore
That wonderful fishing bird, the Great Blue Heron with a catch. I'm not sure what - perhaps a frog or a crayfish.

fishing heron8
"If I could come back as anything - I'd be a bird, first, but definitely the command key is my second choice." (Control key for you non-Mac users) ~ Nikki Giovanni
Here's Mr. Blue again, trying to regain his balance after stepping in a little too deep.

cardinal on railing
"Growing up, my Mom always claimed to feel bad when a bird would slam head-first into our living room window. If she really felt bad, though, she'd have moved the bird feeder outside." ~ Rich Johnson
A lovely young male Cardinal sits on the dock's railing. Isn't that a handsome crest on his head?

I'm still away from home, enjoying my time up at the cottage. This, along with the previous posts, was scheduled before I left home. This is the last one. Hopefully, I'll be back to catch up in real time before too long.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Away From Nature

Well, of course I'm never really away from nature. It surrounds me every time I take a few steps outside my front door. But for this post, despite being in my usual surroundings, I'm taking a step away from nature and showing you a few of the things that caught my eye, aside from bodies of water, plants, birds and other wild animals.

garbage can
First up, I'm about to talk trash. Our city has collected the parks' plain black trash cans and returned them full of.. not trash, but colour. They were painted by volunteers at a recent lake stewardship meeting.

spruced up garbage
Here's another one - kind of a before and after concept.

This colourful kidlet was strolling along the park path near Frank's place. Her tie-dyed shirt reminded me of a pinwheel. Can you see it?

How about now?

Each year, both Frank's community and mine hold rubber duck races to raise money for charity. Each participant buys a numbered ticket which corresponds to the number on the bottom of a duck. In Frank's town, the ducks are tossed into the creek, where they go with the flow toward nearby Lake Ontario. The first ducks to make it into lake wins. I assume there are prizes in his town as there are in ours. When we set out for our walk a few days after the event, we'd wondered if we'd come upon any of the ducks that never made it all the way, as we had in past years. Sure enough, Frank spotted this little casualty down by the dam - nowhere near the lake.

picnic table bolts
Back to my own neck of the woods, this is just a small portion of a picnic table top. I liked the way the light was illuminating the wood and this tiny leaf. You can also see the rusty red bolts which secures the table top.

picnic table edge
And here's the edge of that same table top. Late-day sunlight makes everything look interesting.

If you haven't seen me around in a while, it's because I'm still away from home, enjoying my time up at the cottage. This, along with the previous posts was scheduled before I left home. I'll be back to catch up before too long.