Sunday, April 28, 2013

Arista's 2013 Ramblings

We're heading out next week-end to start our 2013 season with Arista. This will be our 3rd full season out discovering the wonders of nature and all the beauty our parks have to offer. It has been a long winter and I am excited about getting back to our week-end adventures. If you are in the area of any of our week-end travels we would love to spend some time exploring nature and visiting with you. I will be taking photos and enjoying the sights and sounds each trip and I will try to keep you posted on our fun with weekly blog updates. I'll update the fall schedule when we have decided where our journeys will take us to view the autumn beauty.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Hot and Cold

Monday was a great day out with my "Mom's Lunch" group. The temperatures were rising and we spent a nice day together. We had lunch in the village of Conestogo and then went exploring through the town of Elora. On our way back we stopped at Snyder's Flats in Bloomingdale and walked the trail around the pond.

Looking north at the Grand River in Elora

This is looking south.
With all the rain we have had the river is very high.

The force of the water last week must have 
been incredible to move this log over the dam

Signs of spring are starting to show

The bugs are mating.......

Don't come any closer or I will have to jump into the Gorge

Looking down into Elora Gorge

My first caterpillar sighting this year

Beaver's destroying tree's at Snyder's Flats

Wednesday I walked to a local small pond in our neighbourhood and spent a few hours enjoying the sights and sounds on a warm sunny day. Little did I know that the suns reflection off the water was going to leave me with a red face. It was so nice to just be out enjoying the warmth of the day.

Mr. & Mrs. Mallard enjoy a swim together

A muskrat having a snack in the reeds

Mrs. Goose working on the next generation

Mr. Canada Goose enjoying a drink of water

Red-winged Blackbird hanging onto a bulrush stalk

Female Red-winged Blackbird

Singing his best to impress the girls

Thursday I was woken up early and this robin spent the next few hours singing his heart out in the pear tree in the backyard. Maybe he was just happy to feel the warmth that was moving in for the day. The first day this year that the temperature went above 20 celcius and we had a humidity reading of 28 degrees.

By Friday we were back in the rain and the mercury was on the decline. Saturday we arose to a coating of snow and very cold winds. It snowed off and on most of the day. Will we ever get our season of camping underway if the weather keeps taking these roller coaster rides? Here's wishing for a warmer week ahead.

I'd offer a seat but it's covered in snow


American Tree Sparrow

Female White-Throated Sparrow

Male White-Throated Sparrow

Juvenile Yellow Bellied Sapsucker

I'm not sure what happened to this poor Dark-eyed Junco 
but she is missing all of her long tail feathers. Poor thing!!

Looks more like a chick that a bird

She should look like this. 
She still flies well with out them.

Sunday, April 14, 2013


What a week it has been. It started off with an 11km hike on Tuesday with a nice day and a great walk in the surrounding neighbourhood and slowly deteriorated from there. Wednesday we had torrential rain and by Thursday it had changed to freezing rain. We awoke to everything covered in significant ice by Friday morning and shortly after that we were without power for the morning. By mid afternoon the temperature had risen enough for the ice to melt but the damage had been done. Many were without power and the tree damage was significant in the area. Saturday we went to Anna Mae's for lunch with the family and there were many trees down along the way. Hydro crews were busy working to repair broken hydro poles and the sound of the generators running in Millbank was prevalent. Today, I woke to the brightness of the sun and the sound of a robin singing. Lets hope this is the beginning of warmth and sunny days ahead.

Memories Of The Week
Mallard Duck at at one of the neighbourhood ponds

Red-winged blackbird at the pond

Mr. & Mrs. Mallard out for a walk just like us!!!

Ice on the cedar tree

Dark-eyed Junco hanging on tightly to the slippery branch

Ice encrusted branches

Bad hair day for Grey Squirrel......
Downy Woodpecker having to work extra 
hard to get through the ice to find some food

Much easier work at the suet feeder

Ice art in the garden

Braving the weather for some lunch

Waiting for the Mr. to deliver a treat

Sunday, April 7, 2013


A hiking I will go....... it was a long hike this week. Just over 3 hours but well worth it. We hiked over 13 kms through a snow storm that blew in on Wednesday morning. At times the sun shown but for most of the time it was snowing. We made a brief stop at Tim's to enjoy a warm drink. By the time we were hiking our last bit on the way home most of the snow was melting and it was sunny and warm. What a great morning to be out enjoying what may be the last of this winter.

Snowy start to the day

My macro lens at work

Snowflakes on the back door window

Amazing to see all the detail
Each one is different and unique
The green in the forest is starting to appear

I even found some fungus...........

This Killdeer didn't want his picture taken

Mr. Mallard in the fresh snow

His beak looks like plastic to me

A great place to build a nest

Winters beauty

After arriving home Downy was in the pear tree

Hanging on tight in the strong winds

Puffed up and trying to snooze

I'm sure this fella will be heading north soon

Sure signs that spring is in the air
Arrival of the Grackles
The Goldfinch are getting there bright yellow colours

Love is in the air
The males are busy sharing food with there gals