Thursday, June 30, 2011
Me, Boomer and The Vermilon River: Canada Day at The Vermilon River. A Post to Sky Wa...: "Clouds I think the weather here has been similar to everywhere else, a mixture of rain and some sun. I've hiked in between the weather b..."
I think the weather here has been similar to everywhere else, a mixture of rain and some sun. I've hiked in between the weather because that's what you do if you want to get out. When I've been in the forest the bugs are heavy and as I said before, you don't get as far in netting, gloves, and heavy clothing. But the birds feed on the insects and migrate here for the protein rich diet. And I spend my time photographing them, the four legged creatures and the wildflowers so I'm dependent on the bugs too. I think it's called the balance of nature or in more up to date terms, biodiversity.
|Cotton Candy Clouds|
I wanted to do a post that was essentially Canadian as I'm very ambivalent to Canada Day, which here is a day for posting plastic flags made in China, getting drunk, and driving, and having a BBQ, which since you're toasted is usually a waste of expensive meat.
The kids follow the parents example, and there will be some traffic, and water deaths this weekend.
|Great Blue Heron In Flight.|
I can think of nothing more Canadian than the Northern Loon, a Great Blue Heron in flight over a wetland or lake , beaver in a pond or lake; and wild as opposed to urbanized Canada Geese.
Blue Flags, or wild iris, if you will, dot the wetlands. This particular grouping are in a boggy stretch just in front of the area where the loon was. Step in to get some, and I will probably need Boomer's help and a rope to get you out.
|A Wetland of Blue Flags|
|Close Up Blue Flag.|
The lupin grow in dryer areas in clearings, but are as prolific as the the Blue Flags. I've only put a few of the wildflowers in this post as some I've shown earlier and some I'll post later.
|Patch of Wild Lupin.|
I just put the Tree Swallow in because I like him, I don't think he is especially Canadian.
My idea of Canada then is an open wilderness that is fascinating in its complexity, and is the major part of our national character. This I think is a disappearing idea at a time that our people need it the most.
I'll bet you thought that I was working up to something else. Well you're right.
The Vermilon which has been in flood because of heavy rains claimed the life of a teenager this week. He went in and drowned, and the police rescue divers recovered his body yesterday.
It's tragic and there is a hue and cry for schools here to teach as part of the curriculum survival in flowing water. I've pointed out in this blog several times that this is not a park, but is a wilderness, and is a dangerous wildness where care is to be used at all times.
But I think this is about responsible parenting. Home is the place to teach about the dangers of the river and the forest, with the schools possibly supporting it. And not just a quick talk, but with hikes, canoe trips, not ATV rides through the forest.
The Vermilon, and Junction Creek, the Vermilon's alter ego, in the City of Valley of Death have accounted for about 22 such deaths over a short period. If you want the schools to teach wilderness and flowing water safety then you're going to have to extend the school day,as well as the year, and have the parents pay for it directly. After all the reason the parents are not doing it, is they're not home, but working to buy more luxury items like ATVs, boats and snowmobiles.
A Post to Sky Watch Friday @ http://skyley.blogspot.com/ to Camera Critters @ http://camera-critters.blogspot.com/ and to Scenic Sunday @ http://scenicsunday.blogspot.com/
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Me, Boomer and The Vermilon River: Redwinged Blackbirds of the Vermilon River. A Post...: "Female Redwinged Blackbird. There is a short cut I use to get to the east track hiking area which is along a narrow path way with a smal..."
|Female Redwinged Blackbird.|
There is a short cut I use to get to the east track hiking area which is along a narrow path way with a small wetland on one side and a chain link fence on the other side. The small wetland has become home to this pair of Redwinged Blackbirds who are quite aggressive about their ownership. But equally so seem to have time to pose once the question of ownership has been solved.
These birds are known for their aggressiveness attacking crows, hawks or ravens to defend their territory and nest.
Again nature has done up the female plumage in beige's and browns, quite effectively so I think. She by the way is just as spunky as the male.
He's equally vain in these poses, although he is a handsome fellow. They will by the way attack humans, but once the camera comes out all is forgiven.
|Female Brewers Blackbird.|
I remember reading somewhere that flocks of blackbirds contain different types e.g., Redwinged, Grackles or Brewers. The other day this young lady showed up for a brief few moments. I think she is a female Brewers Blackbird, which means I'm going to have to watch the flocks more carefully. Before you tell me a bunch of negatives about grackles remember the flocks here are small and even fight for survival. Huegy our Crow has been battling them for a while now, and has certainly driven them off.
A Post to WBW @ http://pineriverrewiew.blogspot.com/
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Me, Boomer and The Vermilon River: A Hike to the Long Lake Wetlands. A Post to My Wor...: "Lower Long Lake Wetlands. I laid this post out exactly as the hike took place except the scenes are the final destination of the hike. ..."
|Lower Long Lake Wetlands.|
I laid this post out exactly as the hike took place except the scenes are the final destination of the hike. It really wasn't too far today for a few reasons. It's Sunday and the first nice day in four or five days of rain. This means the bugs will be bad, and gloves, netting and heavy clothing will be necessary, but it's also hot, and sunny so you really feel it in all the gear. The first nice weekend day will also bring out the ATV morons and I don't feel like even seeing them.
I was really lucky to catch this male Tree Swallow at the start of the hike.
|Female Red-Winged Blackbird.|
|Female Red-Winged Blackbird.|
|Male Red-winged Blackbird.|
I literally bump into this pair of blackbirds when I take a shortcut to start my hike. I'm going to post more photos of these guys on Wednesday to WBW with the full story. As for the crow I'm not sure its mine,but it sure is strange that there is always one around.
|Male Yellow Warbler in Flight|
|Same Yellow Warbler.|
All these fellows were in the same area, and I chased the warbler around a pine tree getting some good shots.
The photo of the Cedar Waxwing is not great but where there is one there will be a whole flock. These guys like their relatives, the Bohemians, are social and hang out in flocks, stripping the trees of berries. This is my first sighting.
Northern Flickers are a ground woodpeckers feeding on ants, but I caught him in the trees so something must have frightened him.
|Male Northern Flicker.|
I always leave the flower photography until the end of the hike as I have to change lens and usually crawl around on the ground.
|The First Tree Berries.|
The Bugloss is another electric colour in the clearings of the forest. Interesting flower isn't it?
With all these blooms the butterflies are pretty busy, and I hope the dragonflies are eating their weight in biting insects. Today I missed shots of Black Swallowtails, and a couple of birds that I had never seen before. Also in the creek where the berries were, there was a four legged creature that I couldn't catch sight of because of the thick bush.
I was trying to give you an impression of a normal if somewhat short hike, because many of you have expressed interest. This is a wilderness,not a park. There are no rangers or guides. You're on your own. The trails are snowmobile trails, RR right of ways, abandoned tracks, or maintenance roads. The hike duration was about three hours and maybe a mile there and back, as I said short. I shot about 350 raw photos, and garbaged about 10 percent, which explains my storage problem.
A Post to My World Tuesday @http://showyourworld.blogspot.com/