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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Hummingbird

Little Calliope

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Tree Bark

May 09/08
This solid, enduring Spruce tree,
has tufts of lichen attached
to its rough bark and a small friend
peering out at me. In the background
a slender Poplar stands with its smoother
bark and characteristic markings.

May 12/08
I pass by these "Painted" Poplars
almost every day

May 16/08
New leaves emerge
from this Cottonwood's trunk
expressing continued growth

May 25/08
Deeply furrowed bark
of a grandfather Cottonwood tree

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Bug Fest

I'm far from being a bug expert. I guess you could say I'm horrible at knowing which bug is which. Today when I went outside to take photos of the flowers, many had something sitting on them. It was a very warm afternoon, and the first insects I noticed, aside from the mosquitoes, were the dragonflies. I think they are dragonflies and not damselflies because (and this is what I found out later) dragonflies hold their wings horizontally when at rest, while damselflies hold their wings closer to their bodies. I'll have to try and take some better pictures as they are beautiful insects, and they eat mosquitoes. The insect on the dandelion looks like a bee, but my husband reminded me that when our children were young, they used to catch these little flying insects in their hands and didn't worry about being stung. There are quite a lot of them about as well.

Dragonfly in grass

What is this on the dandelion?

Insect on Arnica

Dragonfly on Saskatoon Berry Shrub or Serviceberry


Monday, May 26, 2008

A Drive to the Beach

Yesterday was so warm and pleasant that, on the spur of the moment, we decided to go to the beach.


Our drive took us north on Highway 27 to Fort St. James, a former fur trading post at the southeast end of Stuart Lake. It has always been a favourite spot for camping and fishing, and we like to bring our visitors here to see the National Historic Park and lake. The highway itself has very little traffic on it. Our destination was Cottonwood Park. The lake and distant hills shimmered in the morning sun, and we couldn't take our eyes off the view before us. The gulls were entertaining, and all in all we had a very relaxing time.

Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis
(pale eyes, yellow bill with black ring, yellowish legs, white spots on black primaries)

A stroll along the shore

An historic church overlooking Stuart Lake

I'm not sure what these crows were doing,
having a bath, getting a drink or just being crows

Cottonwood Trees lining the waterfront

Boats on the water
This large lake is 75 km (47 miles) long

Found: One bright red fishing float


Sunday, May 25, 2008

One Day a Tall Tree

A Seed

See how a Seed, which Autumn flung down,
And through the Winter neglected lay,
Uncoils two little green leaves and two brown,
With tiny root taking hold on the clay
As, lifting and strengthening day by day,
It pushes red branchless, sprouts new leaves,
And cell after cell, the Power in it weaves
Out of the storehouse of soil and clime,
To fashion a Tree in due course of time;
Tree with rough bark and boughs' expansion,
Where the Crow can build his mansion,
Or a Man, in some new May,
Lie under whispering leaves and say,
"Are the ills of one's life so very bad
When a Green Tree makes me deliciously glad?"
As I do now. But where shall I be
When this little Seed is a tall green Tree?



~William Allingham (1824-1889) 
Irish Poet

Friday, May 23, 2008

No Words

"Among all these things there is real meaning,
Yet when I try to express it,
I become lost in no-words.
"

~T'ao Ch'ien (365-427AD)



"I gather chrysanthemums at the eastern hedgerow,
And silently gaze at the southern mountains.
The mountain is beautiful in the sunset,
And the birds flocking together return home.
Among all these things there is real meaning,
Yet when I try to express it,
I become lost in no-words.
"

~T'ao Ch'ien (365-427AD)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Woodland Flowers

"Flowers are beautiful hieroglyphics of nature,
with which she indicates how much she loves us.
"

~Wolfgang von Goethe

Arnica in the sun by the roadside.

In between rain showers, the sun came out, and
this solitary Bumble Bee was seen foraging
for nectar and pollen.

The Bumble Bee is considered a generalist
and goes to a wide variety of flowers.

She gathers nectar
with a long, tube like tongue
and stores it in her crop.

Wild Clematis Vine
growing in the forest,

Flowers opening soon
to their fullest glory.

"Flowers have a mysterious and subtle
influence upon the feelings,
not unlike some strains of music.
"
~Henry Ward Beecher

((((( )))))

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Fox Sighting

On our walk this morning
we saw this lovely fox
with a white-tipped tail
at the far end of a field.

Then on the walk back
the same fox
with the beautiful brush
crossed the road in front of us.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Spring Melt

Rivers and Lakes are high
at this time of year.

Nechako River

Another view of the Nechako

A small lake near our home

has become very muddy looking.
It has spilled over and caused
some flooding in low lying areas.


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Wooded Island

Interior Lake


The Lake Isle of Innisfree

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all aglimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.


I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.

~William Butler Yeats (1865-1939), The Rose 1893


Photo Credit: Mindaugas Urbonas
granted me permission to use his Linnet photo

Friday, May 16, 2008

Delightful Days

Good morning, Sun. Thank you
for giving me light and life.

Cottonwood

Birch

Saskatoon

Arnica

Rufous

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

WildLife

Temperature Today: 22C (72F)
Very windy with some cloud cover.

Aside from getting the garden ready for planting (pulling weeds, adding nutrients and soil conditioners and generally spending a lot of money at the garden center) I've also been recording as much as I can of the wild things. . .


May 12, 2008
Mule Deer are shedding their winter coats

May 12, 2008
Spring molt

May 12, 2008
Deer hair on trail

I have never in my entire life encountered a Wolverine in the wild. I am constantly looking out the upstairs windows to see if there's any kind of wildlife on the rugged hill below. Most of the time nothing is going on, but occasionally I've seen deer, squirrels and fox - a bear as well. This is during thirty years of living here. So, on this day, I think I see something that resembles a weasel, but that's not right because what I see is larger. I don't have much time to dwell on it as the animal is moving very fast between the trees, and I'm trying to take at least one decent photo. I compared my pictures with some of the ones on the internet, and I think it could be a Wolverine? If anyone has any expertise in this field, I welcome your comments.

Note 17/05/08: Mystery animal is a Fisher.

May 14, 2008
This is when I first saw it

May 14, 2008
Wolverine? on hillside

Now that the remainder of the ice has melted and the lake is open again, the water is very high and some of the low lying grassy areas have begun to flood. This isn't unusual - it happens every year, but the water is getting close to the bridge deck. We'll probably know in a few days whether or not it's going to rise further. Fortunately, there's another route out if the water comes over the bridge.

May 15, 2008
The ducks like their new pond

May 15, 2008
Flooding beside the road


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

May Showers

It rains all morning
and into the afternoon.
A steady drip, drip, dripping,
The rain barrels fill up and overflow.

Later in the day
the showers end,
and clouds give way to blue sky

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"O the green things growing, the green things growing,
The faint sweet smell of the green things growing!
I should like to live whether I smile or grieve,
Just to watch the happy life of my green things growing.
"

~Dinah Maria Mulock Craik (1826-1887)


Wild Strawberry with rain droplet
almost ready to bloom


Our poplars are finally leafing out - I can't wait to hear their rustling leaves in the summer breeze.

Trembling Aspen
Populus tremuloides
very widespread here

Brand new poplar leaves
freshly opened

A few posts ago, I wrote about how the Lodgepole Pine forests in British Columbia have been invaded by the mountain pine beetle. These very young trees tell me that all is not lost though, and one day these forests will recover.

This healthy pine, I'm guessing, is
a strapping 1.5 metres (5ft.)

Already this pine is 61 - 91cm (2 - 3ft.) tall

Tiny green bird
Calliope Hummingbird, male
Smaller than the Rufous by half an inch

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