Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Rondeau, June 26-28 2015

We had the pleasure of having Emma with us this weekend. Her dad, mom and uncle Drew were going to have an uninterrupted games weekend. We arrived at the park and the weather was hot and humid and the bugs were horrendous. We were quite shocked as we had never been bothered by mosquitoes, midges and fish flies while at Rondeau before. Needless to say we couldn't spend much time outside. By late Friday evening the rain and very strong winds started and they didn't let up until  Sunday morning. It was definitely an indoor adventure. Emma was amazingly good for being unable to get out very much and run around. At one point on Saturday morning while were outside under the pop up tent we heard some cracking noises and then there was a big crash. A very large tree had come down behind our site in the forest. The winds were quite strong at the time so we assumed that the wind was too much for it. Luckily it fell away from us. In the afternoon we went for a drive in the park to get out for awhile. There were branches and leaves all over the roads. In some areas there were large branches down and rather large puddles in other spots. Emma had lots of fun playing with the duplo farm animals, her stacking cups and having books read to her. She loves her books and can point out all of the hiding mice in one of the stories. When she wanted to go out she would either bring us her shoes or she would bring ours to let us know it was time to get out for awhile. She is such a sweetheart and can keep you very entertained with some of the things she does. Sunday was a drier day with just a few rain showers. We went to the visitors center where Emma enjoyed watching the fish and seeing the animals. We went for a short walk before the rain started again. The park workers were busy with chain saws trying to clean up the downed trees and large limbs. Emma really enjoyed the french toast we had for brunch but her hair was a little sticky by the time she finished. The sun made a brief appearance as we packed up to head home. I am sure that Emma will have lots of fun camping with us in the future and we will have to make sure that it is a sunny weekend where we can get out and do lots of things. This was a record breaking weekend for picture taking. There were not many opportunities so the photo section will be very limited. Enjoy!

Emma enjoying the rain with 
 her little pig beside her

The rain was blowing across like a snow storm

You couldn't see across the bay

Keeping our electric cord out of the puddles

Some of the puddling on our site when the rain was heavy.
We had over 50mm of rain

Lots of debris on the roads

There were a few bright things to enjoy

The birds were out on Sunday

This red-winged blackbird was quite vocal

Nice to see the wild lilies

Young catbird waiting for lunch

The nest of barn swallows survived the storm

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

My Litle Friend

 Emma is changing and growing so fast. I took a few photos while I was grandsitting on Monday at their house. When I arrived she did her little shy gesture and then came over and gave me a hug. Nothing can be more heart warming than getting a hug from Emma. She is such a special happy girl.

Emma and her wee pigtails

Curly girly as Pops call her

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Point Farms, June 19-21 2015

 We seem to be heading to the right towns this year to take in the festivities that are going on. Goderich was hosting a Multi Cultural Festival in the town square on Saturday so we enjoyed some of the music and dance that was going on.
 Friday was a little cooler than it had been so it was a pants day for heading up to Point Farms. We arrived to a very wet and muddy park in spots due to all the rain they had been having. Fortunately for us our site was just a little damp in spots. We did a trip into town to make a stop at the bakery to place a Saturday morning pick up order. We must have some fresh donuts to enjoy while we are there. We picked out a dozen cookies to tide us over until our donuts were ready the next day.....lol When we arrived back at the park we drove around to check things out. Duncan mentioned that we had not seen any deer here since our first trip to this park. It wasn't long before we spotted one trying to hide in the thick growth along the road. The tulip tree was in bloom so I finally got some photos of the flowers. I went for a walk along the beach before dinner and we spent the evening at camp enjoying the fire.
 Saturday we hung out in Goderich for most of the midday. We shopped at the market and a few stores and enjoyed listening to a Scottish pipe band, some Gaelic music, a Mexican mariachi band and a native group performing some of their dances. Back at camp I found a nest of Red Starts in the trees behind our site with 2 new babies. I was able to observe mom and dad feeding them and get a few pictures to share. There was also a mom red squirrel doing some renovations to her nest in the pine tree. Her little ones were out and about playing and looking for food. On our trip back to our cottage from town I saw a thrush near the gate so I got out to try and photograph it. They are very hard to get pictures of as they are very elusive birds and are usually in thickets and brush. It happened that there were two of them and they got rather vocal so they must have had a nest near by. I was able to get some photos and enjoy some of the communication between the pair. Our evening was spent relaxing at the fire. It was the warmest evening we have enjoyed so far this year.
 Sunday morning I went for a two hour walk through the park enjoying the sights and sounds. We enjoyed brunch and a relaxing time at camp before heading to the beach in the afternoon. While we were walking along we came across a spotted sandpiper that became very vocal so I figured there was a nest nearby. I didn't find a nest but I did find a wee one out and about. It was a really cute feather ball. While reading about the spotted sandpiper I found out that the males are the ones that sit on the nest and raise the young. They are one of a few birds that do it this way. After a wonderful time at the beach it was time to hook up and say goodbye to Point Farms.
Duncan read that there is going to be a Celtic Festival in August in Goderich and we have lucked out with our booking and will be there to enjoy the music and activities from that. Next week we are off to Rondeau and if everyone is well, Emma will be joining us for the weekend. She will enjoy exploring the park and all it has to offer.

White Crab Spider on a daisy

She has caught a bee for supper

Flower of the Tulip Tree

Mom Redstart

Dad Redstart

Mom sitting on the nest

One of the babies

Mom feeding one of the 2 chicks

Dad bringing in bug snacks

Busy as a bee....

Upper and lower level accommodations

Goderich Pipe Band

Pond lilies in shades of pink

Saturdays view of the lake

Mom red squirrel

One of the baby red squirrels

Wild rose in full bloom

Brown Thrasher, a first for me
Long tails and beaks

Tadpoles in a pooling area on the beach
View of the beach in Duncan's shades

Dad Spotted Sandpiper

One of the young out adventuring

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Awenda, June 11-14 2015

What an exciting weekend!!! We headed out on Thursday afternoon for an early July long weekend since the holiday falls on a Wednesday this year. We took a new route up this time to try and avoid some of the windy hilly roads. It was a great alternative and we will continue to use this route. There wasn't anyone one at the gate when we arrived so we headed to our site. The mosquitoes were very much alive and biting in the park. After a tour of the park we picked up pizza for dinner and spent the evening at camp.
 We awoke to light rain showers which continued until mid afternoon. When we headed down to the beach area around noon we spotted a doe and her new fawn in the parking lot. I took a few photos through the windshield before getting out to try and get some more. Mom turned and went into a wooded area but the fawn stayed out. It walked a short distance away from me as I walked towards it on the opposite side of the parking lot. After checking out a big rock and a garbage can nearby it turned and spotted me. Without hesitation it walked directly towards me. I couldn't believe that it was standing right at my feet. I said to myself that I really shouldn't pet it but this may be the only time I get to touch a wee fawn in the wild so I went ahead and rubbed its head. What a thrill!!!
I kept an eye out for the doe as I didn't want to get hurt by her. The fawn walked a short distance from me stood there for awhile and then returned to me again. It then walked away again, stood about 10 feet away for a few minutes before going off into the edge of the woods. I was able to get over 100 photos before the fawn started to call out for mom. I thought it was best to leave so that mom would come back and reunite with her fawn. I was so excited and a little wet but this was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I was experiencing and I wanted to enjoy every minute of it. We checked later in the day and the fawn was not around so we felt good that they had reconnected. We enjoyed some more sights of the park before heading back to camp. We had a late supper and a wonderful campfire that evening.
 Saturday the sun came out and it got quite warm. We drove into Midland as we learned that the  Butter Tart Festival was on. I have never seen so many tarts and there were a number of varieties. Last year they sold out of 50,000 tarts by mid afternoon. Wow! The main street was closed and there were vendors selling tarts, cookies, pies and craft items as well as live music. We sampled a few tarts along the way and picked up a selection of different kinds to enjoy over the next few day. They were so yummy and creamy and not overly sweet which I enjoyed. Now it was time to head to Victoria Harbour to have lunch with friends and go for a bit of a tour of the area with them. We had a great time. While driving back into the park I saw a deer in the woods and was able to get a number of photos as she slowly ate her way along a trail. I was about 15 feet from her most of the time. This is the doe that has an antler and is called Unicorn by the park staff. I compared the pictures I took to the ones I got a couple of years ago and I am sure it is the same one by the markings on her. After such a busy day we spent the evening relaxing in front of the fire.
 Sunday was another rainy day but I was able to go for a short hike with the aid of the umbrella. While hiking the Nipissing trail there was a huge tree down over the stair section so it limited me on my hike. It looked like it was a fresh fall so I reported it to park staff who were not aware of it. We had a late breakfast and started to pack up in the pouring rain to head home. Needless to say we both needed a change of clothes before we left the park for home. I had the time of my life this weekend and I will carry those amazing moments with me forever.

A huge moth on our bug light

What an awesome sight!

The fawn has spotted me and is heading my way.
My excitement is building inside of me.

This is just after I have pat her and it
walked away and turned back at me

It came back to me again. I can't believe I am this close 
to such a wee fawn and it trusts me for another visit

Stopping for another look as I was talking to it

Looking at me again as it heads into the trees

One last look around before going off. 
My heart was pounding having had such an amazing encounter

Geometric shapes in the reeds at Kettle Lake

Wild flower called cancer root

Everything is so green and lush in the park

 Lots of wet weather for the fungus to grow

This is the first I have seen someone do this.
What a great way to keep your tent dry.

Rainbow colours in the clouds during lunch
in Victoria Harbour

Turtle swimming by the docks

Blue Heron with an itch to scratch at Big Chute

Snake skin on the rocks

Unicorn doe enjoying her greens

She pauses to look at me

Close up of the start of her antler growth

Daisy floating in the lake

Beautiful moth on the bug light

The light shining through shows the 
amazing green colour on the underside

The flicker of the fire

Heart shape found in natures beauty