Thursday, May 26, 2016

Awenda, May 20-23 2016

 I can't believe that the May 24 weekend weather is going to be dry, warm and sunny. Last year we had Emma with us for the long weekend and it was cool and a wee bit wet at times but we enjoyed our first trip with her. She is now saying "Emma go to the beach in motorhome". She will certainly have more fun this year since she is loving her time outside so much. We haven't planned a date yet but we are looking forward to having her join us for an adventure.
 We arrived and were set up just after 2p.m. on Friday. We headed out to do some exploring and it was breathtaking to see the beauty of all the trillium's at Awenda. The forest floor was a carpet of trillium's in parts of the park. Down by the beach we spotted a Red-tailed Hawk sitting low on a branch. I was able to get a few photos. The park assistant superintendent said that it has been in the park for a while and that it is unusual for them to live in the forest as they usually live near open fields. We saw it a few times as we traveled the park.We enjoyed a hike before supper and an evening by the campfire,
 Saturday morning we had a visitor. One of the many chipmunks that call Awenda home came looking for a treat so I had to share a few nuts with her. She was very protective of her territory and kept the others from any of the goodies. We met up with Mike and Wendy in Midland and went for lunch in Severn Falls and a tour of the area for the afternoon. We had a great afternoon outing and it was nice to get together. When we arrived back at camp we spent some time at Kettle Lake and headed to the beach to get sunset pictures but the clouds moved in so we just enjoyed some time by the water. We had a bite to eat when we arrived back at camp and enjoyed another quiet evening by the fire.
 Sunday we spent the day in the park exploring and taking in all the wonderful sights that Awenda has to offer. There were 3 male Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers that were vying for a females attention most of the weekend. It was amusing to watch all there interaction and the calling they did all weekend long. I was able to get some interesting photos of them. We enjoyed a delicious bbq'd dinner and time by the campfire.
 Monday was another gorgeous day. We enjoyed the sights and sounds at camp before heading to Kettle Lake for one last view. We had brunch and packed up for our trip home. We always look forward to our time in this park as there is always lots to see and enjoy.
  We will be heading off to Inverhuron Park this weekend.

Red-tailed Hawk soaking up some sun

Forest floor covered in trillium's

Lovely colours and patterns on this big rock
Enjoying every bit of this scratch

I loved the lighting on these trillium's

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker leaving his mark on this tree

Not often do I see them down on a log

Sapsucker working on a nest in a tree

He's giving this tree a good hug

Sapsuckers artwork on this piece of birch bark

Soft pink trillium in the shadows

Face left in a tree by a busy Pileated Woodpecker

Mr. & Mrs. Mallard out for an evening swim

Surfs up at the lake on Sunday

View from the trail at Kettle Lake

Amazing blooms on this tree on the Beaver Trail

Close up of the flowers in the center of the bloom

White-crowned Sparrow by the lake

Sunday evenings supper was so yummy

You can always find a happy face somewhere

There were some red trilliums

Chippy found a snack to enjoy on this log

Crab Spider patiently waits for food

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Point Farms, May 13-15 2016

Donut town here we come. We arrived to sunny skies but cool winds blowing off the lake. We set up camp and headed into Goderich to place our donut order for Saturday morning pick-up. It has been much too long since we have enjoyed these tasty morsels of goodness! We toured the town and stopped at the pond just north of the park. The Blue Heron was quick to depart but I was able to see the muscrat, the Belted Kingfishers and a few Warblers. After arriving back at camp I went for a stoll before supper. The Wood Thrush was singing its beautiful flutie song and continued to to do so most of the weekend. It was a pleasure to be able to listen to it. We enjoyed bbq'd hamburgers and salads for dinner and spent the evening by the fire. It rained most of the night and into early Saturday morning and the temperatures took a drastic dip.
 Saturday we met up with Duncan's brother Rod and Birgit and went to Culbert's Bakery to get our donuts and some other treats before doing some shopping in the square. We then went to Flippin Eggs for a late lunch before driving to Bayfield for the rest of the afternoon. Rod and Birgit had not been to Bayfield before and plan on making another trip as they enjoyed the town and we didn't get to all of the nice shops. We headed back to camp and enjoyed a delicious dinner and spent the evening together. Our dessert of donuts and cookies were truly scrumptious. Thanks for making the trip down from Inverhuron to see us and we look forward to spending more time with the both of you in the near future.
 Sunday morning I was up early and went for a three hour walk through the park. It was a little chilly and there was the occasional shower of ice pellets but it didn't deter me. All that exercise made me hungry for the yummy brunch Duncan had made for us. We enjoyed some more time watching and listening to the warblers that were migrating through the park before heading home. It was an enjoyable weekend despite the cold temperatures.

So many trees are in blossom

Chestnut-sided Warbler, another first

This Chickadee was building a nest

This male Redstart was singing for the ladies

Gone to seed already

Male Ruby-crowned Kinglet foraging for insects

Decaying artwork in the forest

Another first photo of the Cape May Warbler

Still standing tall after the winter

Male Common Yellowthroat Warbler

Vacancy, well constructed nest available

Female Grosbeak working to open a sunflower seed

Nuthatch doing some preening in a tree at our site

Resting his eyes after finishing his preening

Lake Huron was showing many colours on Sunday morning

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Rondeau, May 6-8 2016

 Wow! It was 27c when we arrived at the park. It was wonderful to feel that heat and it didn't take Duncan long to put on his shorts for the first time this year. The Baltimore Orioles could be heard singing throughout the park. We enjoyed some time touring in the park and watching some of the migrating birds. We watched the male Killdeer as he tried to entice a female with his mating ritual. It was quite amazing to watch. We enjoyed some quiet time at camp before settling down to a delicious dinner and an evening by the campfire. 
 Saturday I went for a long hike in the early morning before a late breakfast. It's so peaceful. Most of what I heard was the birds singing. I found a raccoon sound asleep way up in a tree, It spent the whole day up there and would move once in a while to get more comfortable. We had a bit of rain midday but not enough to interfere with our plans. We walked the Spicebush Trail and enjoyed time just relaxing at the campsite. Dinner was a roast with potato's, carrots and turnip which we had put in the crock pot in the morning. It was sooooooo good that we both ate too much but enjoyed every bite of it. 
 Sunday we went for a bike ride to the marsh area, I had a little accident and fell off my bike but wasn't hurt thank goodness. There were a lot of ruts in the dirt road and my tire got caught in one. That is the first time I ever remember falling off my bike. It is amazing how things seem to move in slow motion as you are falling. When we returned to camp we enjoyed brunch, and relaxed for a while before we packed up to move off our site. We headed to the visitor center and went for a hike on the Tulip Trail before one last tour before heading home. It was a great weekend even if there we not many migrating birds at the park yet. I guess they are waiting for warmer weather that is going to stay before braving our shores. 

Having a restful sleep

Male Killdeer trying to entice the girlfriend...

Forsythia blossoms

Male White-throated Sparrow

Not what I would call a cute bird

Large snapping turtle crossing the park road

Baltimore Oriole enjoying the orange

We found a Killdeer nest
Nothing more relaxing that a hot chocolate and a campfire
Chippy wanted some vitamin C.......

Butterfly feeding on a dandelion 

So many trees in blossom

My first photos of a Solitary Sandpiper

It closed its eyes every time it put its beak in the water
Doing a little preening on its tail
Red Trillium With webs

Male Grosbeaks sharing a branch

This male Palm Warbler walked right up to our feet

The ponds were alive with yellow flowers

The Catbird flew in for some orange