Friday, October 31, 2014

A Trip Into Town

Aside from french fries (chips), I'm not overly fond of deep fried foods. But Frank is. And so is his son, Francis who was visiting us in September. I do like fish though and a fair compromise was a meal of deep fried halibut and fries, served at the local fish and chips restaurant. Frank had been there a few times before and said that theirs were the closest he's had to authentic fare since he'd been to England several decades ago. And that their fries were top notch. So we left home with that destination in mind.

The town of Bancroft is just a few minutes from home - about twenty -give or take a few - depending on who's driving.

from driveway
This was the view of our dock, boat and surroundings as seen from the driveway on our way out.

by the dump
It takes about ten minutes to get out to the highway which is coming up shortly after that turn. This is the view that greets us after dropping some trash off at the dump. Just keep in mind that this was in September and all of those colours are now bare branches.

south on 62
Once on the highway, the scenery kind of goes out of its way to greet us. It's not very difficult to get used to seeing this each day.

overlooking beautiful bancroft5
Just before arriving at our destination, we decided to take a quick detour up to Eagle's Nest, to the lookout over town. The fish and chips place is just a little farther along that road - the same one we took to get here.

soaring over bancroft2
A soaring bird keeps watch over the town of Bancroft.

rock face in town2
Up there, is pretty much where we were in the previous photo - maybe just a minute or so up the road from there - but close enough.

for the halibut
Here's where we were headed - For the Halibut.

for the halibut2
I wandered around snapping a couple of photos. I have no idea why I opted for this odd-looking character and vacuum instead of actually photographing the fish and chips on our plates. It's unfortunate that I forgot because despite not caring all that much for this sort of meal, I found it quite tasty. At least the guy is in keeping with Hallowe'en.

for the halibut kitchen2
While paying our bill, we could easily see the fryers just behind the counter. I wasn't busy stuffing my face at that time, so I did think to get a photo of it. I liked the way the light fell - I thought it would make an interesting picture but that might well just be me.

autumn across the bay2
We were back home in time to sit outside and enjoy the late-day sunlight across the bay.

More photos coming up soon. Happy Hallowe'en, everyone!

Monday, October 27, 2014

A Light in Dark Places and Posts of the Week

Just a quick word to some Google+ bloggers in general, and specifically to a new reader. 
Hi Marie! You leave such lovely comments when you "flutterby" and I very much want to return the favour when I stop by to visit your fine blog. But alas, Google+ will not permit me to leave a comment unless I switch over to a Google+ profile, and as long as I can avoid maintaining two profiles, I will not be acquiring a Google+ profile anytime soon.

I follow quite a few bloggers who use Google+ but whose blogs do allow me to add my comments. But every now and then, there's one or two who prompt me to create the Google+ account in order to comment. And I don't. I'm guessing that there is something in the settings which will either allow or disallow regular Blogger profiles to make a comment. Perhaps it's just a small tweak to your settings?

I have tried to find some contact information on your page but was unable to come up with an email address so that I could let you know my dilemma. If you could please email me at thesmittenimage at gmail dot com, I could perhaps share my comments with you in email, if you prefer to keep your blog open to Google+ comments only. I'm just not at all anxious to create a second account to appease the Google+ gods.

If anyone who has a Google+ account, and who allows Blogger profiles to comment can tell me how that's done, I'd sure appreciate it.


Now on with the blog post...

Oh and for those who asked about my last post - if I thought the search and rescue which I documented might have been a training exercise.. possibly. But I don't think it was. It took place on a holiday Monday. Though it wasn't a national holiday, I think the Canadian Forces might keep their Search and Rescue team available for what was a very busy weekend in our neck of the woods.  Still, I can't know for sure.

Okay, NOW on with the blog post...

May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.
~ J.R.R. Tolkien

The full moons around here are beautiful. They defy description so I won't even try. Just sit back and listen to sounds of the loons, and enjoy this moonrise from early September.

moon rising

moon rising 4

moon loon and chairs

moon rising6

moon rising3

moon rising5



See you soon. And I'll have more photos, of course.

❀    ❀    ❀

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.



Making Sense of That Which Makes No Sense
by Carmi
at Written Inc.

The Ebola Crisis
by Joe
at Cranky Old Man

Autumn Winds
by Pauline
at Writing Down the Words

Bar Fly
by Amy
at She Writes

Giving Back
by Rick
at Life 101

The Day After
by Jennifer
at Cottage Country Reflections



Sock Kitten Cam
by Sharon
at Sharon's Paws Create



Virginia Farmland
by Kerri
at A Little Piece of Me



by Kerry
at Ed and Reub

In Which I See a FOX
by Cloudia
at Comfort Spiral

The Ones We Lose

by Kamana
at Capturing Joy Everyday



Meet Jack O'Garden
by Crafty Gardener


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

Thursday, October 23, 2014


Support your local search and rescue team - get lost!
~ Bumper Sticker

One fine August afternoon, there was an unmistakable sound of a helicopter nearby. Usually, you might hear its approach and shortly afterward, its departure as it zooms by. This sound was different though. It neither got louder, nor did it diminish. It just.. hovered. I headed out onto the dock and saw that it was a military rescue craft, and it was indeed hovering over Blueberry Island.

None of these photos are all that sharp - partly because it was a hazy day and Blueberry Island is at a fair distance across the bay - and partly because I was sitting on a floating dock - and they tend to bob, especially when boats go by, and they do that fairly often on a fine, August afternoon.

Enough excuses. Here's the rescue as it happened.

5 rescue
The first thing I saw was a Canadian Armed Forces Search and Rescue (SAR) Griffon helicopter (or so my military son tells me) simply hovering in front of the rock face. Then a tiny orange blob appeared. That blob turned out to be a person suited up to be lifted into the craft.

2 rescue
The helicopter immediately pulled away from the area. I figured its mission was over. It came toward me.

3 rescue
Then veered past me.

4 rescue
It flew over the point to the right of our place and disappeared behind the tree line for a few minutes. It never really got any quieter though.

6 rescue
Before I knew it, it was back again, picking up two more people. It must be both frightening and exhilarating to dangle over the treetops and rock face like that.

9 rescue
Moments later, the next person was on his or her way up. This one appeared to be a bit more upright.

11 rescue
A few seconds later, they were being pulled into the craft.

15 rescue
With everyone safely inside, they immediately took off again. Doesn't this view just conjure up the opening theme from M*A*S*H?

14 rescue
Once again, they made their way over the treetops.

17 rescue
They soon disappeared outside of my view - presumably to bring their rescued climbers to safe ground.

It made for an interesting half hour.


My heart goes out to the family and friends of the young Hamilton reservist who was killed in Ottawa on Wednesday, while standing as the honour guard at the National War Memorial.

Rest easy Cpl. Nathan Cirillo.


Canadian Flag


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Quaint Little Sprite

Of all the woodland creatures,
The quaintest little sprite
Is the dainty flying squirrel
In vest of shining white, 
~ Mary E. Burt

This is the cutest creature on the face of the planet.

I'm sure I've said this about a large number of critters. Aside from the obvious cats and dogs, I've given this title to raccoons, chipmunks, red squirrels, rabbits, gophers and deer. Now there's a new bit of adorable fluff to wear the cuteness crown. And we have several flying squirrels visit us each and every night.

Yoo hoo! Anybody home? Anybody got some peanuts?

Oh hi! The feeder appears to be empty of goodies.

I can see the whole flying community from up here.

The big guy over there has a feeder full of seeds.

And the little squirt has a nice spread on that there ledge.

This one here, he snatched up the last peanut.

And me? I got nuthin'.

Oh thanks!

They come by every night as soon as the day creatures are done with their feeding. They flit about from tree branch to ledge, to feeder. They're amazingly docile and curious. The younger ones are more skittish but the larger, older ones who take peanuts from our hands are not afraid to be touched. The other night, I was able to pet one of them while he or she ate from the seed feeder. I think only a kitten has softer fur. They're very entertaining, and one of the best unexpected joys of living up here.

The video below is just one minute long. I had a hard time keeping the little guy in focus under such limited lighting but you'll get a few clear looks at him. Tell me if you don't think he's one of the cutest creatures ever with those big, black eyes!

Thanks, little flyers. You brighten the night with your antics.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Hummer Dance and Posts of the Week

Something a little bit different here.

Back in August, hummingbird activity was bustling. Ruby red throats were at the feeders often - perhaps fortifying their tiny gemstone bodies for the upcoming trip south.

We also began noticing that two hummers would engage in a kind of aerobatic dance - sometimes for up to a few minutes at a time. On once such day, I had my trusty camera by my side. I knew the photos would not turn out well. Although it wasn't exceptionally dull, it was somewhat overcast, and what little sunlight there was, was not shining on the subjects but from behind them instead. So now you know that they're pretty poor images as far as crispness and clarity go but they've still captured some of the hummingbirds' dance routine.

The problem was that the subjects looked poor at my usual large-sized images. And I had so many of them. What else was there to do but make a collage called The Hummer's Dance (not to be confused with The Mummer's Dance but every bit as lovely)?

I played around with a bit of clip art and fired up my old friends Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop - and the humming birds came out to dance.


I hope you enjoyed their show. More photos coming up soon.

❀    ❀    ❀

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.



The Art of Leaving
by Brian
at WayStationOne

A Hunter's Heart
by Kat
at Seeking Sanity



It's Like the Wild Kingdom Out Here Y'all
by Ellen
at Stuff From Ellen's Head



Fireplace Memories Warm the Heart
by Rick
at Life Changes

The Best Haircut in the City
by Daryl
at Out and About in New York City



Never Tear Us Apart
by Gail
at Louisiana Belle

by Kamana
at Capturing Joy Everyday

Prowler, Stalker and Hunter
by Daniel
at The Pixel Collective

Autumn Harvest
by Karen
at Pixel Posts



Let Freedom Ring
by SK Waller
at WallerBlog

The Lure of a New Path
by Rosaria
at SixtyFiveWhatNow



E.T., Home Phone
by Growing Wild
at Growing Wild on Waverly Lane

Fashion is  a Two-faced Bitch
by Chicken
at Chicken's Consigliere

What are the Deer Plotting?
by Linda
at The View From Squirrel Ridge


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, October 12, 2014

Simple Pleasures

Simple pleasures are best.
~ Alan Bradley

Chickadees: everyone laughs at so small a bundle of large enthusiasm.
~ Aldo Leopold
This sweet little feathered friend landed on the base bar of the patio table. She looked so sweet just sitting there, posing for me. Really, she was eyeing the birdseed that was scattered on the deck.

steamed mussels
I have trouble with seafood because it tastes like a dock.
~ Douglas Coupland
Would you believe that I've never cooked mussels before? My son has though, and he decided to cook up a huge pot of them for us, one night. They were delicious. And a lot easier to prepare than I thought they would be. I've since cooked them again. Yum!

Leos fries
Blood may be thicker than water, but it's certainly not as thick as ketchup. Nor does it go as well with French fries. ~ Jarod Kintz
This is representative of a much less healthy meal but it's also a must-do out in cottage country, in the summer. A chip wagon situated about ten minutes from our place serves up some very tasty fries. They stay open on weekends until Thanksgiving (the second Monday in October) and then they'll disappear until next summer.

deck flowers
Deep in their roots, all flowers keep the light.
~ Theodore Roethke
These beauties appeared in both the front and back yards, this summer. Some of them actually grew up between the boards of the deck. Despite being top-heavy, they held on until our first frost, when we reached a temperature of -4 C (25F) overnight.

J kayaking3
A man of wisdom delights in water.
~ Confucius
My sons were here together on the Labour Day weekend. Alex was only able to stay for one night but it was wonderful to spend time with both boys. My next door neighbour is rarely up at their cottage. In the spring, she told me that I was welcome to borrow her kayak anytime - to just come get it from where it's stored under her deck. I never did use it on my own but each of my sons thought they might try it out. First Jeffrey took a spin around the island, across the bay.

A kayaking10
Never tell someone that a kayak is so stable you can stand on your head in it. They will insist that you prove this!!! ~ Dave Lindo
 Then he passed the paddle over to Alex who took the same route - a fifteen or twenty minute tour.

best boathouse ever arrrr
There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island.
~ Walt Disney
Just across the bay, through that channel and around a corner or two, you'll find the best boathouse ever built. Who would imagine that a wonderful pirate ship was lurking in these waters?

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.
~ Helen Keller
Late in August, I spent a few hours visiting my cousin who was renting a cottage with her adult kids and grandkids for a week, less than two hours from my place. These are her daughter's dogs who fetched every tossed stick together like this. Such teamwork.

pick a glass2
Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle.
~ Paulo Coelho
We also attended a wedding in August - Frank's niece. Our drinks for the duration of this celebratory event were to be enjoyed in a wine glass of our choosing. Here is only part of the selection from which we chose our glasses.

It's difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.
~ Lewis Grizzard
What better way to enjoy the fruits of summer than with homegrown tomatoes. They were sweet and wonderful.

That's it for this collection of simple pleasures. There's be more photos coming up soon. It's only a matter of time.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my fellow Canucks.