Thursday, October 30, 2014

Rondeau, Oct. 24-26 2014

I would say we had our Indian Summer weekend at Rondeau this year. The weather was amazingly warm and the sun was shining bright. The winds were a little strong so if you were not sheltered from them it was a tad cooler but still wonderful to feel the warmth of the sun. I was hoping to see some blue herons as Rondeau is usually a good spot to get photos of them but they we hiding or have left for the south and warmer temperatures. We enjoyed Friday evening by the glow of the fire. It was warm at times as the air was quite warm that evening. Saturday we spent the morning at camp enjoying all the birds that were flying in and out. There was a red-bellied woodpecker in the woods by our site most of the weekend but it was being shy so I didn't get a good photo of it. We hiked the Red Oak Trail and Duncan spotted a few garter snakes along the way. I guess they were enjoying the warm weather as we all were. We walked on the beach and enjoyed the sounds of the rolling waves as they crashed along the shore. After supper we had three deer come out of the woods at our campsite so I was able to get a few pictures and we enjoyed watching them as they had an evening snack. We then went to the visitors centre for an owl program and went out to try and hear or find them. Rondeau's two owls are the Eastern Screech Owl and the Great Horned Owl. Unfortunately it was too windy and we were not able to hear any call back to us. We did learn some interesting things about them and there habits so it was well worth it to attend. On the way back to camp we saw a few deer along the roads. We enjoyed the rest of the evening by the fire and I used my birding app to try and get some owls to reply to me but was not successful. Sunday we enjoyed a wonderful breakfast and I hiked the Tulip Trail before we headed home. I think this will be the last really warm weekend of the fall as they are now calling for the possibility of some snow for this weekend. We are going to take our chances and head to MacGregor for this weekend. I have always wanted to do some winter camping but not this weekend, so please keep the snow to just flakes or at least melt during the day!!

Duncan driving through the park.

This blue jay dropped his acorn for a peanut

A pair of blue jays from both angles

My first photo of a Hermit Thrush

A downy woodpecker that was a frequent visitor

The hairy woodpeckers beak is much longer

Fungus that blends with the fall colours

Male downy woodpecker that landed beside me

Part of a tire on the beach

Dragonflies were out enjoying the sun

Yellow-rumped warbler with a berry in its beak

There are many oak trees and lots of acorns

Looking for nuts to eat

The first deer to come out of the woods

Checking us out as we sit at our site

This is the other two that appeared from the woods

A Greater-Yellowleg at the marsh area
Milkweed along the shore at the marsh

Pretty colours in the sunlight

Shadows on a fallen maple leaf

The fall colours were gorgeous in the park

The sunset on our drive home

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Pinery, Oct. 17-19 2014

What a beautiful park. We arrived to sunny skies and warmer temperatures to start our weekend retreat. The park was full of fall colours and leaves that were gently drifting from the trees to there winter home on the ground. There are many oak trees in the park so there were many shades of reds and golden browns and many sizes of acorns resting on the ground. The winds were strong so the waves on the lake were quite high and the white caps were as far out as you could see. I planned a walk on the beach but there wasn't one as the surf was so high. We drove into town and checked out the surf by the main beach and picked up some wood on the way back. After dinner we enjoyed a long campfire but eventually the rain rolled in so we had to enjoy the remainder of it from under the awning. Still a wonderful view but not quite as warm. Saturday we drove to Rock Glen Falls to see the waterfalls that I had heard about. It was a strange day weather wise as one minute the sun was shining and the next it was misting rain. We were lucky,  just after arriving the rain stopped and the sun came out. We toured the museum and went for a walk to the bottom of the falls. It was gorgeous with all the fall colours as a backdrop. I was able to find a few fossils in the water. Most of the fossils are more that 350 million years old. On our drive back to the park we stopped at the Lambton Museum which was having a big craft sale. We toured the park for a while before heading back to our cottage for a yummy dinner of turkey leftovers and an evening by the fire. Sunday was spent relaxing at our site before heading to the visitors center where we enjoyed some of the birds that come to the feeders. We arrived home just before dark so we could get parked. We heard on the news that evening that a Native Indian has parked at the park and was protesting. I hope we will be able to spend more time at the Pinery without any problems.

Look who's coming out of her home on our site

Pretty in blue

One of many grape vines within the park

Please, may I have some nuts?

The dark-eyed junkos are back for the winter

Rock Glen Falls
Shot from the base of the falls

Part of the mill wall built in the 1800's
Looking down at the falls from the top edge
Amazing fall colours along the trails

Sights from within the Park
Chippy having a look around

Downy woodpecker working for food

Milkweed blowing in the wind

Young wild turkeys that survived Thanksgiving

White-breasted nuthatch posing for his picture

Black squirrel soaking up the warm sun

The roadway in the park with all its colours

 Downy woodpecker surveying her next move
Adult white-crowned sparrow

Juvenile white-crowned sparrow

This milkweed has narrow pods

Fox sparrow, a first for me

Side view of the fox sparrow

Reflections in the Ausable channel

Friday, October 17, 2014

Our Next Adventures

We have booked the next two weekends of adventures. Since we will be getting into cooler weather we will then be booking our trips one week at a time depending on the weather. I will keep you updated as to where we will be traveling.
 Happy Fall to All
October 17-19   Pinery 
October 24-26   Rondeau

Awenda, Oct. 9-13 2014

We had a wonderful 4 day adventure. We headed out by mid afternoon on Thursday and were able to get set up just as darkness was arriving. We had a wonderful big secluded site so it will be added to our list of favourites. We enjoyed adventures in the park as well as around the area. One day we traveled into Penetanguishene, Midland and then up to Six Mile Lake Park to see what it was like. It looks like a great park if you are tenting or have a small trailer as many sites are right on the water or up on the ridge of rocks.  On our trip back we took the scenic route along Big Chute Rd. We enjoyed three evenings sitting at the campfire until almost midnight and sleeping til later in the mornings. It was a very relaxing time. I was a little disappointed with the fall colours as many of the trees in the area were still green or just getting yellow. The park was much more colourful last year. We finally found the cottage that you can rent at the park. It is a lovely stone building with its own private beach. We hiked a few of the trails and spent time at the lake and walked along the beach. We both always enjoy our adventures at Awenda as it is such a lovely park.

View from a high point along Airport Rd

Our site in the woods taken from the road

Our view from our chairs at our campsite

Tooth Fungus with a acorn resting on it (edible)
Looking across Kettle lake at the fall colours
Top side of a purple mushroom
Underside of the same mushroom
Chippy out collecting acorns for winter
Chipping sparrow collecting dried grass

Fall colours along the back roads

View along the Big Chute Rd.

I love this sign in the window at Flynn's Pub

One of three common mergansers at the marina
A female hairy woodpecker that visited at our site

Clear waters over the rocks at the shoreline

The cottage you can rent at Awenda

Lichen in bloom on a large rock

Let's go for a walk in the woods....

A clump of brown-spored mushrooms that are edible

A younger form of tooth fungi that is edible

A pileated woodpecker at our campsite
Reflections at sunset on Kettle Lake

The Canada Geese are heading south