Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Huron Woods, Oct.19 2016

 It was going to be a lovely day and we were expecting to get cooler temperatures and rain for the next couple of days so I headed to the woods for a long hike. I spent six hours exploring and enjoying all the wonders that nature has to offer in the fall. There were many people out that day with cameras in hand to capture the beauty that this wonderful woods has to offer. Everywhere I looked there was something wonderful to see. Whether it was the bursts of colour on the trees, the fungus growing on decaying logs or the presence of the wildlife that call this woods home it was heartwarming and exciting to be a part of it all.  I can never seem to get enough of what these wonder areas of nature have to offer. We are so lucky to live in such a wonderful part of this world that offers us so much to see and explore. Be sure to get out and enjoy what mother nature so kindly has to offer us at this time of year.

Follow my into the woods on my adventure

Many colours to enjoy

Reflections on the pond

Grooming and stretching time

Plied-billed Grebe drying its wings

Serenity on the water

Painted turtle out enjoying the warmth of the sun

Trying to get onto its back after sliding off the log
Looking through the trees at the fall colours

Chickadee with a sumac seed

This squirrel is blind in one eye

Barbed wire hugging the tree

Beauty at the edge of the trees

A little windy along this open section

White-breasted nuthatch in the fall canopy

Forest floor ablaze in golden hues

Mr Mallard among the reflections

Plied-billed Grebe paddling on the pond

Natures fencing of webs

Love the fall background

Saturday, October 22, 2016

"Rare" Hike, Oct.12 2016

Out for another hike at Rare at the Langdon Hall end of the trail. It was another wonderful day for a hike in the woods with my Mom's Lunch ladies. We enjoyed a leisurely stroll through the woods and onto some of the Langdon Hall property. The leaves were turning to a golden colour on some of the trees but there was still a lot of green. The milkweed plants that had nourished our monarch butterflies were bursting open and releasing their seeds in hopes of producing new life for the next season. When we left the woods and headed on through the countryside I spotted what I thought were a couple of sandhill cranes so we stopped to get a few photos. I, being an adventuresome person climbed a barb wire fence to try and capture a few closer shots of the cranes. I did manage to get much closer to them before they flew off over the tree line. These are my first photos of Sandhill Cranes so I was excited to see them. We enjoyed a great outing as we always do when we set off on a Mom's Lunch Adventure.

Langdon Hall

Seeds for next years monarchs

I always think of them as angels for the butterflies

Sandhill Cranes in the field

She is getting to close, time to leave

Friday, October 21, 2016

Awenda, Oct.7-10 2016

 Spending time out in nature does my soul a world of good and this weekend was no exception. Since it has been a few weeks since we had been out on an adventure I really was looking forward to replenishing my body with all the wonders of nature. We arrived at the park to 28 degree temperatures and very little fall colours. This was the first time that we had been to Awenda for Thanksgiving weekend where the trees were still in their summer green. It was lovely to see all the trees with their canopy still attached but I was looking forward to their magnificent array of fall colours. As we explored the park we were amazed by the amount of mushrooms and fungi that were growing everywhere in the park. I had never seen so many varieties in so many areas as there were this weekend. One day we spotted a few large puff balls but by later that same day they were gone. I guess someone had a good feast with them. We enjoyed a wonderful campfire that evening as it was  still quite warm.
 Saturday the weather changed and we had more seasonable temperatures We did a bit of exploring before heading into Midland to meet Mike and Wendy for lunch and do a bit of exploring around the area. We enjoyed a turkey lunch with all the trimmings at the Riverhouse Restaurant right on the river in Severn Falls. Wendy and I shared a delicious desert of warm lava cake with ice cream, whip cream and topped off with a cherry.  I can still taste how good it was!! A special thanks to Mike and Wendy for treating us to a late birthday lunch. That evening we spent relaxing and watching the movie The Polar Express. What an awesome movie! If you have not watched this I recommend you take the time and enjoy a wonderful story.
 Sunday was a wee bit chilly and windy but that did not stop us from enjoying a few hikes in the park. We sat by Kettle Lake in the sun and out of the wind and it was beautiful. It was hard to believe how much warmer it was there compared to being down by Georgian Bay. Later in the afternoon I went for a walk through Turtle Campground which was closed for the season. It is a nice area with pine trees in one section and the ground is covered in pine needles at this time of year. It is always nice to hike where there is no one else around. I was almost finished the loop when I noticed a large bird fly from one side of the road to the other. The forest then became rather noisy as the jays, chipmunks, squirrels and other birds began to send out distress calls. As I walked along looking for what bird this was I spotted it in a small tree. It was an OWL!!! A barred owl. I snapped a few photos before it flew a short distance to a larger tree. I followed it and was able to spend almost an hour watching it. It was quite thrilling to observe it as it went about preening itself, having a few scratches and even pooping. It kept a very close eye on me but was not bothered by my presence. It was my first time observing an owl out in nature so close to me as well as having the opportunity to get some wonderful photos. I thanked the owl for allowing me to spend time with it before I headed by to our site with an extra bounce in my step. Awenda always offers me a surprise encounter of some sort that brings such joy. That evening we enjoyed another wonderful campfire as we listened to the Jays game on the radio.
 Monday morning I spent time with the birds and chipmunks at our site before we did our last tour of the park. We enjoyed a wonderful brunch and packed up for the ride home. It was wonderful spending time at this beautiful park and I look forward to our next adventure at Awenda.

My first photo of the Barred Owl

Busy preening under its wings

Someone enjoyed this puffball mushroom

Still not much colour in the trees at Kettle Lake

Even the mushrooms have faces

Morning sun rays through the trees

Hermit Thrush at our campsite

Fallen but caught in the morning sun

Shaggy Mane growing down by the beach (edible)

Sunset over the bay at the park

Flowers in full bloom at the Midland Dock

Yellow-crowned Kinglet (a first for me)

Coral fungi by our campsite in the woods

Close-up of the reds on a maple tree

Chippy enjoying an acorn during our hike
Scarlet Hood Mushrooms

Keeping an eye on me

Winter Wren (another first)

Reflections with a tinge of red

Peeking out of it burrow

Mushrooms aplenty on a decaying birch log

Wow, look at those talons

A hike in Turtle Campground

Keeping it eyes on me. Just had a poop and tail is up

Overloaded, I will make this fit