Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Garden in August

Wandered around the garden.  Watched the robin families enjoy the mountain ash berries.

The black-eyed Susans are one of only a few flowers that survived this summer.
 Some kind of rot has destroyed my mother's iris.  Too sad for words.  It also destroyed my favourite balloon flower.

The mossy stump is thriving with all the rain we've had.

I've resorted to buying a couple of tiny boxes of annuals.
Although pretty, they make everything else that is dying look even worse.

This is the replacement miniature rose for the one killed in the hard winter.
 It seems like our summer never really kicked in this year. 
The weather has turned bleak today, cold and very windy. 
The clouds have that dark grey silvery brightness that tells of autumn.
I've decided to take a break from blogging.
I hope you all enjoy the rest of summer.

Monday, August 11, 2014


We did some different things in Algonquin Park this summer.  One of the interesting paddles we had was on Rock Lake.  There's a lot of visual interest on Rock Lake with its rocky shores, high cliffs and a wide river at the end that connects to another lake.  It's a fairly large lake too, so the winds kick up quickly.  We've been caught a few times in high waves here and have aborted our plans because of it.
This summer we decided to paddle around the lake as it was a nice calm day.  The water was like glass at times, and although it was hot, you can always dip feet and arms into the icy waters to cool down as you paddle along.
We wanted to see the pictographs painted on a rocky cliff alongside this lake.  We've seen similar images at Bon Echo campground, and although we knew the pictographs were here on Rock Lake, we'd never paddled over to see them.  The images have been painted on the rock cliffs by aboriginal peoples in the winter time when the lake is frozen .  I'd read that the images were difficult to see now, so we were quite happy to be able to find two fairly clear images when we arrived in our canoe and kayak.  The image is of a god-type creature with human form, but with rabbit-like ears.  The same image has been painted on the rocks at Bon Echo park.

Can you see it there?  Painted in red ...

The second best image was of three lines, almost like claw marks on the rock.  I don't know what they symbolize, and perhaps part of the image has been erased by time.

The pictographs at Bon Echo park are far more extensive, and there are small tours on a steady boat from the park that will take you over to look at them and the guide tells you more history of the paintings.  Sadly the images at Bon Echo are subject to damaging higher waves caused by motor boats.  Outboard motors are limited in size in Algonquin Park, but the images will one day be lost completely here too.
Thanks for stopping by!
Linking up with Judith's Mosaic Mondays
Mosaic Monday

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Big Beasties ... Bears & Moose!

A lot of people commented on the bear photo I posted while in Algonquin Park a couple of weeks ago.  We were actually driving along Hwy 60 which runs through the park, and I happened to see the bear on top of a rocky outcropping above the highway.  We turned the truck around and got out to take the photos.  I'm not claiming any sort of bravery here.  There wasn't much danger since our truck was close at hand.  I would not want to meet a bear on the trail, and thankfully that has never happened. 

We first just saw the mama bear snuffling through the rocks for grubs.  You can see her sharp claws against the rock.  And you can see she sees me, and is already wary.  It gives you a slight tingle up your spine when a black bear is watching you with those ears pricked up at every click of the camera.

But then out of the brush came the little romping cubbie bears!  So cute ;)  and there were two!  Can you see the cubs at the top of the hill?
I wish the photos had turned out a little more clearly.  I'm starting to wonder if there was some dust and smudges on my lens.  Anyway, here's a closer shot of one of the cubs.  They bounced more than ran with their floppy gambling legs.

It's not so often that we see bears in the park, so it was a real treat to see them this year.  We think we saw this same family a day or two earlier (again along the highway), but they were too far into the trees to get a good shot.  We've had a few bears in our campground, but usually nothing dangerous and the park warden is there lickety split to scare the bear back into the woods and to safety.  Seeing the bears in the campsite only means trouble for the bears.  Although the park tries to relocate them once they become "nuisance" bears, the bears often return to the same area again and the park is forced to destroy them.  It really is so important to store all your food and things a bear would enjoy out of their reach.  But so many people ignore the warnings and bears have a great sense of smell and find all sorts of food and garbage in campgrounds.

But this sighting was special, and I was happy to finally get a few good shots of the bear.

This is the big critter we usually see at the park ...

I love seeing moose!  We don't have them down where I live, and I'm in awe of their size, their long legs and huge velvety noses.  I would love to be able to pet one, and have sometimes been close enough to do it, but wouldn't dare.  I didn't actually see these two (above & below photos) and the photos were taken by my husband.  My husband and son had driven to the park store, and I decided to stay back at the trailer and relax alone for a half hour instead.  So I completely missed out on the viewing.  All week I waited to see another moose, but it came to our last day in the park, and still none had honoured me with a visit.

As we were leaving the campground with the trailer hitched up and boats strapped on top of the truck, what should we come upon but a "moose jam".  There were people all over the road and cars stopped in the road.  We couldn't move at all, so I quickly hopped out of the truck with camera in hand and happily snapped photos of this big young bull moose quietly lying down in the woods just off from the road.

The crowd of people became too much for him eventually, and he slowly and gracefully got those stilt legs underneath him and calmly walked out to a clearing for a late morning snack.

I was so happy to have been able to see this big beastie before we left ... it made the drive home a little less painful.  We won't be back in Algonquin Park until the fall now.  I could spend my entire summer up there, and maybe when I retire I'll just have to do that one time ;)

I hope you're all enjoying this last month of summer.  I've had house guests this past week and they're with me this next week too, but I've been trying to keep up with visiting most of you in stolen moments throughout the days.  Welcome to my new followers!  I'll swing by to see your blogs soon too.
Thanks for stopping by!
The smallest critter we saw in the park :)
Linking up with lovely Eileen's Saturday Critters
Saturday's Critters