Saturday, December 27, 2014

Silent Lake

Perhaps the truth depends on a walk around the lake. ~Wallace Stevens

So now that winter is officially here, I'm going to draw you back into Autumn with a few photos from this past October. My dear friend Carol Anne and I met up halfway between (one of) her place(s) and mine. After lunch we found a lovely spot for a hike - Silent Lake Provincial Park.

It was indeed particularly silent, being off-season and all. Due to a bit of flooding, we weren't able to make the full circuit and had to turn around and retrace our return path, making for a longer than expected walk. Still it was a beautiful day with good company and beautiful sights to see. Here are just a few of them.

Silent lake
Our first view of this pretty body of water provided us with this peaceful little island sight.

silent lake 2
Some of the walking areas were swampy and awkward. There was plenty of room to get around this log though.

silent lake 4
Another peek at Silent Lake through the trees.

silent lake 5
It was becoming more dense with trees. Which path do we take?

silent lake 7
On our left, a moss-covered tree stump showing off its textures and colours in the sunlight.

Silent lake 11
Not to be outdone, a cluster of fungi vies for our attention.

Silent lake 13
But we opted to take the path on our right - the one that follows the lake. See how she sparkles like diamonds in the afternoon sun?

Silent lake 14
Here's what the path looked like behind us. Or rather, ahead of us because by now, we had reached an impasse and had turned around to retrace our steps.

Silent lake 16
The lake is now off to our left.

Silent lake10 oak on the water
Oak leaves had collected in a mini bay along the shore. They were still in the height of autumn gold.

Silent lake 20
At the end of our walk, we still had time before we had to go our separate ways, once again. We sat alongside this babbling brook for a while and I played with the shutter speed setting of my camera, trying to get a bit of a creamy effect from the water.

In all, it was a perfect day.

Like many of you, my visiting and posting schedule has slowed down some during the holidays but I do hope to stop by your blogs before too much longer. See you soon!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Royal Cat Castle

The following photos were taken earlier in the year when my son's cat, Hunter was still visiting.

Welcome to The Royal Cat Castle!

Benny watching
Ummm.. excuse me, Ben. What part of Cat Castle did you not understand?

Skitty sunbathing
Skitty (Prince Purrsalot) reclaims his throne.

sleeping Zephyr
Zephyr (The King of Relaxation) would prefer the royal boudoir.

hunter up
And Hunter (The Prince of Pounce).. he just wants everyone to know that he's king of the castle.

sleepy Zephyr3
Unimpressed, Zephyr opts to doze, once again.

hunter down
The Prince of Pounce readies himself to leap from the tower - evoking fear in the kingdom.

hunter jump
But he's just young and restless and bold and beautiful (soaps, anyone?), and there is no need to usher him to the dungeon (this time).

The sun pours through the castle oriel, and all is well, as Prince Purrsalot and The King of Relaxation lounge about the courtyard.

skitty boy
Day is done.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

We All Shine On

Yeah we all shine on, like the moon, and the stars, and the sun.
~ John Lennon

So, I'm sure you've figured out by now that I can not resist snapping photos of our sunrises. Those I don't sleep through, that is. I have far more sunrise and moonrise images than I could ever show at the start and end of a blog post so why not find some good quotes and just post a bunch of them here? Kind of get it over with all at once. So I'll do just that. I hope you enjoy those great orbs in our beautiful sky. All of them were taken long before the cold weather settled in.

sunrise foggy morning6
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don't go back to sleep.
~ Rumi

red moon rising3
The moon is friend for the lonesome to talk to.
~ Carl Sandburg

foggy sunrise with bird and boat
Nothing is more beautiful than the loveliness of the woods before sunrise.
~ George Washington Carver

red moon rising2
The moon rested right above the mountains, a place I call home.
~ Daniel Wallock

foggy sunrise through the screen
The Sun will rise and set regardless. What we choose to do with the light while it's here is up to us. Journey wisely.
~ Alexandra Elle
(Taken through the window screen)

orange moon2
The moon is at her full, and riding high, Floods the calm fields with light. The airs that hover in the summer sky Are all asleep tonight.
~William C. Bryant

foggy sunrise with jay and loon
This far north the sun was up, although very low, riding through the mountains as if looking for something it lost on the ground.
~ Craig Childs

orange moon
It is a beautiful and delightful sight to behold the body of the Moon.
~ Galileo Galilei

sunrise foggy morning5
The Sage's Wish: Like Sun, from the East, may you continue to rise, smile and shine.
~ Ogwo David Emenike

orange moon5
The moon in her chariot of pearl.
~ Oscar Wilde

foggy sunrise with boat4
Universe is the Sun watching its own self.
~ Dejan Stojanovic

red moon rising8
Go slowly, my lovely moon, go slowly.
~ Khaled Hosseini

sunlight crashes
All this time
The Sun never says to the Earth,

"You owe me."

What happens
With a love like that,
It lights the whole sky.
~Hafiz of Shiraz

red moon3
The peaceful splendour of the night healed again. The moon was now past the meridian and traveling down the west. It was at its full, and very bright, riding through the empty blue sky.
~ H.G. Wells

I'll have more photos ready to rise and shine before you know it.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Wolves and Posts of the Week

About word verification... it's baaaack! I even see it when I attempt to leave a comment on my own blog. But I learned this trick from the very clever and always entertaining TexWisGirl. You can just ignore it and post your comment without it. It worked on her blog and a few others which I visited afterword, and I tested it on my own blog and had the same success. I imagine it only works in instances where the blogger does not wish to have word verification on his or her blog and not for those who have specifically requested it in their settings. Rest assured, my settings indicate that I do not want it and at least for now, it appears that you can simply ignore it and comment as usual. Thanks, Tex! Now on with the post.


"May wolf ever walk beside you, and grant you rest in his shadow. May his paws ever guide your path, and your howls be heard by all."
- Native American prayer

A couple of mornings ago, my neighbour from two houses down phoned me. "Hilary, did you see the wolves? They just crossed the bay. They're out of view right now but maybe you should get your camera and keep an eye out."

I thanked him and went to the window in search of wolves.


The previous evening, Frank heard a pack of wolves howling somewhere off to the left. We had just seen a lone wolf earlier that day but it was dull out and he was on the opposite shore, making for really poor images. This day was sunnier and more conducive to better shots.

Still nothing.

I fed the cats and made coffee. I also decided since the wolves were probably still in the neighbourhood, it was best not to let Benny out just yet.

Good call!

wolf on lake2
A glance outside my window landed on this beauty - still far off (about a third of the way across the bay) but much closer than I'd ever seen one before. Unfortunately, all photos needed to be taken through glass since opening the door would have resulted in Benny getting all territorial with the wolf and he just wouldn't come out ahead in that confrontation. So, considering the wolf was a fair distance across the bay, and he was photographed through glass, the images are not as clear as I would have liked them to be but still, I was pretty pleased with the lupine visit.

wolf trotting by
Isn't he or she a beauty?

wolf howling3
Before too long, I had to open the door just a tiny crack. Benny thought I should let him out but all I wanted was to hear the sounds of the wolf's howls and yips.

wolf howling4
He was calling to the rest of his pack.

wolf howling5
I'm certain that he could neither hear nor see me, considering his distance, and that he had no clue that I was enjoying his presence so much.

wolf exploring2
After a little while he wandered further out into the bay to wait for the rest of his pack.

wolf running to pack5
And it wasn't long before they came running - one or two at a time.

wolves catching up with pack
There were seven in total. What a treat!

wolf and moon
And just for fun, I (very poorly) Photoshopped one of the wolf images onto a moonrise photo from a while back. It's wrong in many ways. Among them - you can still see some of the light snowy background outlining the wolf. The light (actually from the sun) lands behind him rather than in front as it would if he was truly standing in moonlight. He's actually balanced on treetops in the distance, rather than sturdy land. And the moon was pulled down closer to the horizon than it was in the actual photo, and lost some of its smooth outline in the process. Most of all, it's simply not true that wolves howl at the moon but I had fun playing with it anyway and still wanted to share.


And now, without further delay, here are the Posts of the Week. The icon below is yours for the taking if your blog post is named as a POTW.



Mrs. Cole
by June
at Aging Gratefully

Sunday Mornings: Coffee, Reflections and Music
by A Cuban in London
at Un Cubano en Londres

Bus Lessons: Despite What You May Have Been Told, You're Not All That Special
by Pearl
at Pearl, Why You Little...

Dancing at the Wedding
by Betty
at Bossy Betty

by Ellen
at Stuff From Ellen's Head


Such Sweetness
by Serenity Seeking
at Ditching the Black Dog



Let it Shine, Let it Shine, Let it Shine...
by Sally
at Welcome. You are Here



Fighting Hunger
by Steve
at Out on the Prairie

Happy Thanksgiving
by EG Camera Girl
at East Gwillimbury Camera Girl

I Love Shopping on Thanksgiving
by Rick
at Life Changes

Toilet for Babli
by Indrani
at i Share


Recommended by: TexWisGirl
About Leaves: A Science Lesson
by Kerry
at Ed and Reub

Recommended by: Lady Fi
Barley Loves Autumn
by Connie
at Ozark Grace

Recommended by: Tabor
This Morning
by Pauline
at Writing Down the Words
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

Friday, December 5, 2014

Such Agreeable Friends

Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions - they pass no criticisms.
~ George Eliot

we want out
This is my son Jeffrey's cat, Hunter, sitting with Benny. The photo was taken from outside looking in through the sliding doors at them looking out at the various birds, chipmunks and squirrels which were busy snapping up seed on our deck. Benny wanted to be outside chasing squirrels and Hunter wanted to be outside catching whatever he could. In order to give the outdoor critters some peace, that door remained closed. Hunter is now staying with Jeffrey's dad in order to restore some peace in my older cats' lives.

autumn across the bay
At just about any given time, you can look outside and see at least one bird flying through your line of vision, so it's not much of a surprise when one flies into a camera shot. It might be a surprise to see all of these autumn colours since we're well into snow season. But these photos were taken quite a few weeks ago so that explains that.

This one was a little more expected. I watched it soaring for a while before snapping an image.

bye bye birdie4
This one was very unexpected. It flew a little too close to the house and probably thought that the lake and sky in the glass reflection was just more open space. Sadly, or thankfully, it died instantly. We're thinking it was a juvenile Pine Warbler.

little yellow bird in gentle rain
Here's an adult perched on our hanging basket a few days later. Hopefully it wasn't the mama missing her baby.

A couple of days later, we had another collision incident. Frank's son Francis was visiting and he was all the way down into the bowels of the basement watching television. I was at my desk a few rooms away from the living room. And Frank was napping a little bit closer to the source but his door was closed and his fan was running for white noise.


stunned kingfisher2
I got to the deck first and saw a large feathered body lying quietly but clearly breathing. Francis, who had heard it from his distant location came up to have a look at what happened, as did Frank.

stunned kingfisher4
The bird was the generally very shy and elusive Belted Kingfisher, and he was recovering from the blow by resting on the deck with his mouth agape. Not five minutes later he tested his wings and found them to be reliable. He flew off toward the lake. I hope that all is well in his kingdom.

Flight is amazing. Although their means of getting around doesn't qualify as true flight, these adorable visitors to our feeders every night are Northern and/or Southern Flying Squirrels. I've learned that the latter have made their way up north and might well be breeding with our Northerns. They don't fly but actually jump and glide, and they do it so incredibly quickly, that you'd think they were every bit as capable of flying as the birds.

They're also incredibly friendly (although the smaller ones are skittish) and will take peanuts from our hands. I had the camera lens (without flash) about six or eight inches from this little face. At last count Frank has seen up to seven of them at one time. They're a joy to watch and be watched by.

eat your heart out
And back to a couple of our domestic creatures. I couldn't help but notice that Hunter was showing his love for us by eating and removing his food from the bowl in the shape of a heart. We love you too, Hunter. And miss you (Except maybe for Skitty and Zephyr).

skitty box pounce
And Skitty, like any self-respecting cat enjoys being in a box. I can't remember if I was scratching on the cardboard or if I had the laser pointer but he was going full speed ahead with those sweet little front paws.

And that's it for this creature feature. I'll have more images for you coming up soon.