Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Pinery, May 22-24 2015

HI ho, hi ho, its off to the Pinery we go....... I bet I have you singing that tune
We had a wonderful weekend away on the shores of Lake Huron. It was a little cool on Friday but the rest of the weekend was hot and humid. We enjoyed two evenings by the campfire. It was so relaxing. We explored lots of the park and I did a few hikes on my own as Duncan is still fighting a sore throat and cough. He didn't get much sleep Friday night so I let him sleep in on Sunday for as long as he wanted. We were able to check out the bald eagles nest and we saw an eagle up on it. It is so well covered by leaves that we couldn't tell if there were young ones or not but someone told us that there were two young ones in the nest. The chipmunk that was at our site last year is still there and using the some hole to hide its stash of nuts. While driving back from getting sunset pictures at the beach on Saturday evening we had to stop as there was a 2 foot snake crossing the road. I asked at the visitors center on Sunday what kind it was as I had taken a few photos of it. They said it was a mature Hog Nose Snake and that they are at risk in the park so I had to fill in a report of where we saw it, what time and in which direction it was traveling along with my name etc. I was also asked to send them the photos I had taken. I'm glad we were able to spot it and let it cross successfully. On Sunday I watched a racoon swim across the channel. I didn't know that racoons could swim. I am always learning new things on our adventures. Sunday when we pulled up at the dumping station there was a Scarlet Tanager sitting on the roadway so I was able to get a few pic's before it flew away. I was wondering if it was collecting mud from the damp area at the filling station or just getting a drink. Was nice to see it out in the open like that. We had a great weekend and will return to the Pinery in the fall as it is really busy in the summer months.

The blossoms are beautiful in the evening sun

The tent caterpillars are emerging from their tents

They are devouring the new leaves.

Red-eyed Vireo singing his heart out

If you look very closely in the middle of 
this photo you will see the bald eagles nest

Large snapping turtle at the channel

Yellow Warbler singing his song

Dwight the racoon reaches the far shore

Canada goose family out for a swim

Mr. & Mrs. red-eyed vireo collecting nest material

A box turtle out exercising and soaking up some sun

There were still a few trillium's in bloom

Working hard to fit the peanut into its cheek

I found a patch of wild lupins

Bumble bee on the lupins

Natures art work on the Ausible Channel

Female Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

This tree is keeping an eye on me as I hike past

Hognose snake slithering into the leaves

Lots of dunes erosion damage all along the beach

Amazing Saturday sunset over the lake

I was so excited to get photos of this pair of downy 
woodpeckers together on our peanut feeder at camp

What a beautiful song this male eastern towhee was singing

Purple beauty in the woods

Male Scarlet Tanager

Chippy coming out of its home on our site

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Inverhuron, May 15-18 2015


 We were looking forward to the time when we could take Emma on an adventure with us but we sure didn't think it would happen this early. Lucky for us, but unfortunate for her parents. Ian and Brittany both came down with severe strep throats, high fevers as well as Brittany having an eye infection. So we took Emma with us so that they could try and fight this off and get the rest they both desperately needed. It was Emma's first outing away from them and she did amazingly well. It was the grandparents who were running out of gas as the end of the weekend came. I am so looking forward to having her again as she was lots of fun!!!
 We left later than usual on Friday so we arrived and set up camp and had our supper and spent the evening playing with Emma. She went down about 9 and we headed to bed at 10 as it was going to be a early morning.
 Saturday we enjoyed a wonderful breakfast that included fresh asparagus and headed into Inverhuron to pick up Duncan's brother Rod and head to Teeswater to buy cheese at the Gay Lea factory. We then went back to Rod's cottage for a visit. We were all going out for supper with John, Joanne, Kristin and Kevin so we went back to camp by 2 so Emma and the two of us could have a nap before our evening adventure to Southampton. We enjoyed the company and the food. Emma sat through supper and then wanted down to go to the front door at the restaurant so she could wave at the people walking by. The people were gracious and some waved back to her. She really loves to watch people. We went for a visit back at the house and headed home by 9 as Emma was getting tired. Back at camp she got a second wind for a while but was sound asleep by 10.
 Sunday we hung out in the park and hiked on the waterfront trail. We enjoyed a delicious bbq'd dinner. Emma was quite happy hanging out on the steps of the motorhome. Either the inside or outside ones. We also had a 2 step stool that she spent lots of time playing at. 
Monday we played outside for a while before we packed up and headed home just before noon. She slept for about 1/2 an hour and the rest of the ride she entertained herself or looked out the window and watched the world go by. She was happy to be back at our house and glad to see Uncle Drew. We had a wonderful weekend away even though it is tiring looking after such a precious wee one again. I am sure Emma will be glad to join us again on another adventure.
P.S. Please note there was not much time for bird watching this weekend. We had a great Emma watching weekend which was even better!!!

All ready to go camping

Waiting to have breakfast

The lake is very calm and foggy

 Heavy fog Saturday morning

Emma visiting with great uncle Rod

Emma's favourite seat outside. 
Time to take the shoes off to go inside

Checking out the garden at John and Joannes

Emma loved to play with her stacking toy

Seeing how much she can carry

Cape May Warbler on our walk
A first for me!!

Heavy dew on the trees

Out on the trails

Looking out over the water on our hike

Wild strawberry columbine along the trail

Emma and I came back to a yummy supper after a walk

Pressing her face upon the screen

Blue jays came for their peanuts

Emma's reading material for on the ride
A funny pic we sent to mom and dad to cheer them up.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Wheatley, May 8-10 2015

Yahoo!! We are out exploring again. It was a wonderful weekend for our first adventure and we had a great time on the southern tip of the province. I was surprised to see that most of the trees in the area are just starting to bud  because the trees at home are all leafing out. That was unusual as they are often ahead of ours. The temperatures were in the high 20's and with the humidity we had low 30's. We set up camp and went for a trip around the park to check out the sights. It was quiet at the marsh except for the Koi fish that were jumping and swimming all around. This was the first time we saw this type of fish at Wheatley. I wonder if someone dumped them in there to get rid of them. On our way back to camp we saw a couple of deer by the road. This is the first time we had seen deer at Wheatley. We enjoyed a bbq'd dinner and a relaxing evening by the campfire.
Saturday we headed to Point Pelee for the day. We were surprised at how few birds there were on the point. We heard that there were large numbers of them on Wednesday after they had had 2 days of heavy rain. I was able to get my first photos of the male Orchard Oriole and a female Scarlet Tanager so that was exciting. We headed to the marsh area but were not there long when a thunderstorm rolled in so we headed back to Wheatley. The rain followed us and we had a heavy rain for about an hour. We enjoyed a wonderful late dinner that had been cooking most of the day in the crock pot. The rest of the evening we spent relaxing.
Sunday morning we headed off to explore some of the park and to see if we could find the pair of baby Great Horned owls that we heard were in the park. I was so excited when I spotted one of them way up in a tree along the path. I was able to take a number of pictures while watching and listening to it. After about half an hour I was able to find the other one and this one was much more active. I watched  it stretch its wings and travel from one tree to another. The wing span was huge compared to it body size. I was lucky and got some photos as it flew from one branch on the tree to a lower branch on another. We were not able to find either of the parents but other visitors to the park had seen them. After brunch we packed up and headed to Rondeau Park for a few hours on our way home. We hiked the Tulip Trail and came across a male Prothonotary Warbler. These birds are very rare in Ontario and nest in swampy habitats that are inaccessible to birders. You can usually only see them when they are foraging for insects if you are at the right place at the right time. This was my lucky day as I was able to get a few photos of it to show that I really did see him. The stop at Rondeau was well worth it this day. At 5:30 we headed out for the final 2 hour journey home. Our first weekend away was exciting and relaxing even though we spent most of Saturday hiking around Point Pelee. Can hardly wait for this weekends trip as it will be a 3 day adventure.

Lake Erie was very calm and hazy

Chipping Sparrow enjoying the morning sun

Yellow beauty of the trout lillies

Gray Catbird protecting its territory

Juvenile Red Tailed Hawk

Red Admiral butterfly at the point

Red Admiral with wings open

Chestnut Sided Warbler

Prothonotary Warbler at Rondeau Park

Prothonotary Warbler in the sunlight

Wild Violets basking in the sun

Baby Great Horned Owl 

Lots of downy feathers

Yellow Warbler drying off after a bath

Last years remains on the oak tree

Downy Woodpecker making wood chips

Koi fish at the marsh

Female Scarlet Tanager at Point Pelee

Red Headed Woodpecker
This bird was scared off by a Barn Swallow

Male Orchard Oriole

Male Baltimore Oriole singing for a lady
This Trillium was very large

Male Common Yellowthroat Warbler at Pelee

Sassafras tree budding

Second baby Great Horned looks like a fur ball
Great Horned stretching its wing
Baby owl showing off its wings feathers
 Getting ready to fly to a lower branch