Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Where the Pond and Industry Meet

Last night my son came home to say he and a friend had gone down a small paved path quite close to our home and found a nice pond. I've lived here for 20 years and never knew the pond was there. While they were walking through a bit of the tiny wooded area, they saw two great horned owls up in the trees! I felt I had to go and see for myself and walked over there this morning. I knew of one of the paths, but there is a new one created below a new housing development, and the new path takes you alongside quite a large wetland area. Here's a panoramic shot of the whole area.

It's difficult to see the details, but on the left is the small wooded area and behind that is a housing development. On the far left is light industrial with a train track running right across this marsh. Directly behind me was the new housing development. Straight ahead you will cross a major highway (Hwy 401), some fields, more train tracks and then Lake Ontario. There are a lot of train tracks in my town.

It was a pleasant surprise to see that this area is being allowed to revitalize naturally. The sign also asks "not to disturb it". But in reality the pond is built up on three sides by housing and light industry, and all of this development has created a lot of garbage all around. That was disappointing. I walked into the woods a little ways to look for the owls, but all I found was a large area covered in discarded water bottles. I know that the Boy Scouts do a litter clean up in various areas in our town, and I'm wondering if a suggestion could be put to them that this natural habitat could use a little help.

I did see lots of water birds today. One lone swan, nesting Canada geese, mallard ducks, a flicker, a blue jay, red-winged blackbirds and a great blue heron. I could hear lots of the birds and I could also hear the peeper frogs! It was just such a nice surprise that I tried to overlook the garbage blown all around. 

industry on the one side of the marsh

can you see the rabbit?

A tiny plant has pushed its way up through the asphalt! 

from a side angle

great blue heron
Canada Goose on its nest. Red-winged blackbird keeping a lookout for the goose
this flicker flew right up beside me and landed on the railing, but as soon as he saw me he flew far across the pond

there goes the train ... this is the other side of the wooded area

beautiful blue jay in the woods :)
I'm sorry I didn't see the owls, but I hope to go back to this spot and have a look around again.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Post Pottery

Yesterday was a lovely sunny day here in my town in southern Ontario, and I set off early in the morning to travel across the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) to meet up with the very funny and entertaining Margie of Tea in the Valley fame.  And here we are (thank you for the photo Margie!) ...

Margie (right), Wendy (left)
Margie invited me to her beautiful town of Dundas (a town I used to call home myself!), and we visited the Hamilton Potters Guild spring sale held in the old Armoury. The sale was just incredible, and we enjoyed wandering along the aisles admiring all the beautiful handmade pottery for sale. There were so many things to choose from! We admired bowls, mugs, casseroles, plates, birdhouses, jewelry and much, much more. Since I have been decluttering my own home, and since Margie is a self-proclaimed minimalist (oh, except for anything tea related ha ha!), we were each very selective about what we decided to purchase.

After a bit of thought back and forth, I decided on this beautiful green faux log pottery birdfeeder. The top flat lid opens up so you can easily fill it with wild birdseed. There are a couple of small openings just above the tray where the seeds come out attracting all sorts of wonderful and rare birds ... well, okay, so I don't have rare birds, but some are wonderful if just to me. 

look at that lovely wood-grain finish!

The instructions say to be careful of this in high winds, and perhaps take it down if it gets really windy. I put it out today ... a rainy dismal day ... and waited patiently all day for some feathered friend to locate the offerings. I was finally rewarded when a pair of red-winged blackbirds stopped by, and the female had quite a feast before she could no longer stand to have her photo snapped with an unattractive beakful of munched seeds spilling down her chin!

The pair (the male was on the niger seed feeder alongside her) finally flew off and that was all that dared the green log

A couple of goldfinches did enjoy a little feast on the old metal feeder though ...

... the male is almost finished moulting his drab olive green jacket for his snappy yellow and black.

The other item I purchased was this small and beautiful leaf-shaped dish (quite tiny) which I assume is for anything you want, and which I want to use as a teabag holder. It's glazed with an attractive raku glaze, which is the coppery, metallic finish. 

After two hours of meandering through the rows and rows of beautiful pottery, Margie and I headed down the main street in Dundas and stopped in a funky eatery for a cup of warmth and a scone each. It was a very busy place, but the food and drink were most welcome after all our strenuous pottery show visit! We chatted up a storm for our entire time together, and I enjoyed the day so much!! It was a real treat to visit Dundas again, and to meet a new friend in Margie was just the best ;) 

After I left Margie, I had planned to visit the local Grove Cemetery (I know that sounds really depressing!) to see the places of rest of my great-grandparents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. But honestly, by the time I got back into my truck I was just too tired and decided to hit the road for home. A long drive ... and finally back home. I'm glad I didn't visit the cemetery after all because I was just wiped.

Thank you so much Margie for a really enjoyable day!!


Friday, April 29, 2016

Five on Friday

Joining up with Amy for Five on Friday today. Two weeks ago my husband and I visited a park over in Ajax along the shores of Lake Ontario. Rotary Park has the Waterfront Trail run through it, and there are lots of people using the trail for cycling, rollerblading and walking. We decided to just walk along as I wanted to take some photos.


This is the reason I wanted to visit this portion of the park ... this magnificent tree! I don't know what type of tree it is (leaves weren't out), but I have admired the silhouette of this tree for many years.

Someone has planted a lot of crocus bulbs around the base of the tree, and these were all blooming when we visited.


The Waterfront Trail ... this is a really well-maintained trail out our way, paved and designated lanes. It passes a water filtration plant where a strange circle of walls has been erected. I think it would be a bit nicer if there was a garden, or at least some benches or tables within these walls. Rather pointless otherwise.


The lake was very calm and still that day, and it turned out to be the only really warm day we've had this spring so far. It was about 9:00 am when we we visited the park, so the wind and waves hadn't started yet.


I found a few wild flowers blooming under the bushes. I took a few photos and stood up to find another lady waiting her turn to photograph the evidence of spring's arrival. Snowdrops and some blue flowers. I don't know the name of the blue flowers, but if you do, please let me know :)


There were some very old willow trees along the path, and I just loved the texture of their craggy bark. There were most likely a lot of willows in this area years ago, but they seem to be dying off now. I'm sorry that the towns are not replanting them because it's a shame to see such beauties disappear from the waterfront altogether. I know their roots are invasive, but this is all parkland and that shouldn't be a concern.

chopped willow :(

Thanks for stopping by today!