Saturday, July 25, 2009

FEED THE SQUIRRELS

I had a fun time visiting with my in-laws Ron and Fran last week at their cottage on Georgian Bay. When I arrived one of the first things I noticed was that Ron had rigged up a make shift scarecrow to keep a few big black birds away from his bird feeder. Determined to keep the bird feeder safe and enjoyable for the pretty local finches Ron had also sprayed the metal post holding the feeder with WD40 as a couple of squirrels had been scurrying up the pole and devouring all the seeds. Ron talked with delight about how the squirrel's attempts to climb the newly greased pole usually ended in a comical thud. I watched as a big black squirrel attempted to raid the feeder only to be humiliated in front of the chipmunks below as he crashed to the ground. Mr. Squirrel then took out his defeat on the chipmunks by chasing them away from where they had been feasting on all of the dropped seeds.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sunsets on The Bay




Every evening was a beautiful sunset on Georgian Bay this past week. It seemed that no matter what the days weather had been like that the skies cleared and the waters stilled just before 9 pm for us to enjoy another sunset on the Bay. We all stopped whatever we were doing for the short time it took for the sun to drop below the horizon. Each sunset was so different from the days before in the way that the suns fading light illuminated the sky and the clouds above.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Silent Stillness


Oh would you go meandering,
Upon this trail beside this lake,
To feel the silent stillness break,
As jumping fish cause rippled wakes?



Oh would you go meandering,
Meandering, meandering,
Oh would you go meandering,

Meandering with me?

an excerpt from my poem "The Meandering Trail"

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Nature Can Be Sooo Cruel- Head & Tail


Aren't Bears Cute???
I have a friend who has a deathly fear of snakes. Big snakes, small snakes all snakes. If it slithers then she is afraid of it, jumps 6 ft in the air and runs blindly at record breaking speeds in the opposite direction. Why all the running I ask her, does she really think the snake is in hot pursuit??? I would call her fear of snakes a phobia because for the most part it is irrational. I on the other hand have a completely rational fear of bears. Bears are BIG with BIG TEETH and CLAWS and may decide to claw at you or bite your head if you tick them off enough. With all that said I was sad the other day when a Policeman made the decision to shoot a bear who had followed his nose down the lake and into town for a snack. The snack he was after was garbage and not human or canine or feline or Mr. and Mrs. Heron so why did the Officer need to shoot him with a bullet? It is my best guess that the Officer decided to error on the side of safety as in , "Better Safe then Sorry". However living so close to nature I really think we need to have a better plan then that. I am pretty sure that Officer didn't go home bragging about how he killed a bear today. Perhaps that Officer also had a fear of bears the way I do. Human fears usually result in a "fight or flight" response and can make us do the darndest things. My friend's natural response was "Flight", the Officer's was "Fight". Yes, bears are scary creatures but so are Policemen shooting guns with bullets practically in my front yard. Of course the hunters in my back yard are another story.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Meandering Heron?

Mr. Heron posed for some pictures today. He seems less shy over by the waterfalls where there is much more activity IE. car traffic, kids playing in the park, dogs and cats running around and me sitting quietly on the hill with my camera. BTW, just for the record I rarely bring my camera with me while out meandering. I would say I bring my camera approx. 2 times out of 10. Like the other day, I was out for an easy run after a long day at the computer screen. Always having in mind that The Heron's may be around I looked for them in their usual spots and wouldn't you know it but Mr. Heron walked right up the hill out of the pond. His legs were so thin and knobby and he appeared awkward as he strutted across the trail and down to the lakes edge. Of course the first thing I thought to myself was "Darn, I wish I had my camera with me". However if I did have my camera I would have seen the surreal sight of a heron walking down "The Meandering Trail" through an LCD display. I would have been fumbling with buttons and zoom lenses and missing out on enjoying the moment just so I could have photographic evidence that the unbelievable story about a heron meandering down the trail is true. So I am glad that I did not have my camera that day. Instead what I do have is a lasting memory that may have been lost if I did and I am sure you all believe me without the photo evidence anyways, don't you?

P.S.
Isn't Mr. Heron a handsome fellow? I never realized how fluffy his brown feathers on the top of his legs are.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Roger Tory Peterson


A few years ago I bought the Peterson Field Guide Birds of Eastern and Central North America. At the time I bought the book because my Grandmother always kept an edition of the Guide on her windowsill. As a child I remember looking through her window at the birds in her garden. I also remember being a bit disappointed that I never saw as many birds through that window as were shown in the book. It was not until recently that I came to appreciated the fact that everyone of those pretty pictures was a detailed work of art. I made this revelation as I was reading the Foreword to the Guide. The Foreword was written by Canadian wildlife artist Robert Bateman. Bateman tells of how he received his first Peterson Bird Guide when he was 12 and how it's author, Roger Tory Peterson greatly influenced his life. Bateman talks about the discipline one must have to render such works when he says, "You cannot get loose and sloppy even once. You must always pay attention, not only to the detail, but to the general shape and form". He then goes on to praise Peterson further, ""Every species has been sweated over, brushstroke by brush stroke". Roger Tory Peterson documented the species he loved through his art, however art was never his goal. I believe he expressed his true goal when he said, "We must reach all mentors of children, their teachers and those who teach teachers. We must give them the tools and instill in them a responsibility for creating in their young charges a knowledge and love of nature". So it turns out that my Grandmother's Field Guide was more then a book with pretty pictures. It was the vessel used by Roger Tory Peterson to instill in us a knowledge and love of nature.