Thursday, August 6, 2015

Rondeau, July 31-Aug.3 2015

 I love to spend time at Rondeau Park and it certainly didn't disappoint us on this trip. We lucked out with all the storms that were passing through southern Ontario this long weekend. We only had rain on Sunday that came just before midnight after we had enjoyed an evening at the campfire. It rained quite hard at times through the night but was dry and sunny in the morning.
 Friday we went out for dinner to celebrate our 33rd wedding anniversary. It is amazing how the years have flown by and all the wonderful memories we have had along the way. The rest of the evening we enjoyed the light of the flickering fire.
 Saturday morning I kept hearing this bird in the woods behind our site and could not figure out what is was until it flew to the top of a tree and I was able to get a photo of it. Turns out it was the elusive Yellow-billed Cuckoo. They are seldom seen and only heard during mating time. How lucky for me to not only hear it but to see at as well. After breakfast we drove to Palmyra to check out the eight sided cafe and gift shop. We have passed it many times on our trips so we decided to check it out. It is a restored eight sided barn and most of the framing is original. After leaving there we stopped at an old cemetery to read a historic plaque and found an amazing carving in the remains of an old tree. Once back at the park we headed out on our bikes to the bay area of the park. We did some exploring of the park on the way back to our site later in the day.
 Sunday was our big adventure day as we biked more than 20 km through the park. We biked the whole south trail. Unfortunately the most southern part has been eroded away by the lake so we had an interesting trek through the bush at the edge of the lake. Lets just say we ended up with a few scrapes and I have a rather large bruise on the inside of my elbow. But, we did have fun out exploring. We enjoyed a delicious ice cream at the end of our ride. It was wonderful to see so many monarch butterflies throughout the park. We had a few chipmunks at our site that had found some bones at the edge of the woods and they were chewing on them. I was surprised to see them doing that. One of the chipmunks was in rough shape. She almost looked like she had maybe been burned in some hot coals of a campfire. She had no fur on her feet, some of her nails were missing and her face was dark and sore looking. Hopefully she will heal and get better. Sunday evening was spent relaxing in front of the campfire.
 Monday, Duncan spotted a fawn in the woods at our site and eventually mom came along as well. I was able to get some good photos as the fawn came right towards me and was about 20 feet away. It looked up at me a few times but continued munching away until it finally turned and went back towards mom who was deeper in the woods. After brunch we packed up did a tour of the park and spent the rest of the afternoon walking the beach and enjoying our time by the water. It was a wonderful weekend and we took advantage of the extra day we had at Rondeau.

Friday evenings blue moon

Yellow-billed Cuckoo

They are slightly bigger than a blue jay

Chippy gnawing on a bone

Crazy Eight Barn

Praying hands carved into an old tree

Hibiscus flowers on the trail to the bay viewing platform

Barn swallow feeding her young
A pair of monarchs on milkweed plant

Sunset over the bay

Blue jay checking out the fire pit

Sassafras trees have three different shaped leaves
Large cluster of Chicken of the Woods fungus
Southern tip of Rondeau looking over lake Erie
Six Spotted Dragonfly

Doe and fawn at our site

I never noticed the striping on the ears before

Checking me out at it approaches closer to me

Close up of the fawns adorable face

Monarch on a Butterfly plant

Such a sad looking chippy :-(

Side view as it sits on a bone it was eating

The wild grapes growing on our site

Male Red-breasted Grossbeak

A juvenile male Downy Woodpecker

Reflections in the heart shaped puddle

E for Emma in a piece of driftwood

Bonaparte's Gull flying ever the lake

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