Thursday, May 10, 2012

More Colour At The Vermilon River. A Post to SWF.

We're on the River today, and you can see the green in back of the photo along the ridge. Not summer, but a beginning anyway. CLICK ANY PHOTO TO ENLARGE AND WATCH THE SLIDE SHOW.
 This view faces southwest the direction we're heading in.
 Same direction different view.
 The Vermilon is a meandering river and this is one of its widest areas before the rapids. The red brush, below the trees,are likely pin cherries,which produce an edible fruit for wildlife of all types.
 Just a close up of the same area. I had better warn you that this post is extra long as the forest wildflowers are in bloom, not completely but some. This gives me a great opportunity to try and identify wildflowers, and make a fool of myself, but mostly to photograph them. I'll name them by caption.
Pin Cherry Blossoms

 Pin cherry Blossoms with an unidentifiable insect. Pin Cherry trees produce a red edible berry,which along with some of my friends we make into a jam. The bark on these trees is red, and the leaves turn red in the fall. We have some maple but we get our red from these trees in the fall. Fall colours here are mostly golden.
 This is a Choke Cherry bud. They're not in bloom yet. We make jam out of these red berries also. But you have to be a little more careful as the pits and bark contain prussic acid which is poisonous, especially to pets. I use the jam, both pin and choke cherry, as a filler in the tarts that I bake, so always ask if I'm in a good mood when you accept bake goods from me.


More Buds.

 All the next photos are of Woolly Violets that grow along the edge of the wetlands. They're really small but are quite hardy.
Close Up

 They grow in clumps as this photo shows.
These are, I think, Bunch Berries. They're growing in a decaying birch tree. They produce a small white flower, and red berries which are edible also.
 These are fern fronds called in eastern North America fiddle-heads. They're eaten extensively in Atlantic Canada, and the U.S seaboard states. They're a great source of omega 3 & 4. They're not cultivated , but are usually handpicked. See Wikipedia for a good discussion and how to cook.

 And........,of course, the ubiquitous Dandelion, the hardiest of them all.  Again it can be used in salad as greens and made into wine.
 The first series of birds are all female purple finch.

 Now the males. We seem to have a lot of purple finch this year.

 The Goldfinch, some of whom over winter here, are in their breeding plumage. The first is a female followed by males.

 The next series are Male Red-winged Blackbirds.

 This robin was in a cedar tree along the river. He's been looking for worms in the mud as shown by the mud stains on his beak.
Common Grackle.

Common White-throated Sparrow.

 This marks another edition to the Sparrow migrants. He's a White Crown Sparrow, and noticeably larger than the others.
This Raven was having a scratch, after which he decided to pose regally.

 The Red squirrels are really active, and either hard to catch, or they pose for you, after they've scolded you.
 See what I mean. A Post to SWF, Camera Critters and Scenic Sunday.


  1. Wonderful captures of your nature walk. :)

  2. Great series, Gary, we open our camp next week, looking forward to seeing how the spring flowers are coming along,
    your pics are getting my anxious to go there.

  3. You have served us quite a menu today! I have always wanted to try dandelion wine.

  4. Excellent shots and commentary. Same birds here but fun to see in other surroundings. Not so many squirrels although we live in the conifer forest. Mostly small Douglas though. MB

  5. Another great hike Gary! The common sparrow actually has beautiful markings.

  6. As much as I love your snow pictures, your flowers are a nice welcome. I guess your winter is finally over?

  7. They are terrific photos, and great travels, Gary! Well done.
    Greetings from Cottage Country!

  8. Lovely to see the buds unfurling.

  9. Terrific birds and squirrels as usual, but I love those shots of the ferns. Just beautiful!

  10. Great post as always.
    Love the Common Sparrow. I didn't know you can make wine of Dandelions.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Have a great weekend.

  11. What fun! Nice to see some new growth and new summer lodgers, as well as the usual suspects.

  12. I must say it's exciting to see new growth and the river landscape is changing with the season.

    Have a wonderful weekend.

  13. Heisann Gary!

    Thank you for your nice comment. Your countryside reminds me of my own the surroundings - in Norway, but we don' t have such beautiful colored birds!

  14. A great serie with a lot of nice photos!

  15. Peaceful, lovely skies, happy birds, and busy squirrels! Spring has definitely come to your part of the world, Gary! Great shots as always.

  16. nice to see your world turning green. :)

  17. Especially love the fiddleheads, and all those birds. Great shots.
    Found you through a comment you left at another blog.

  18. Spring is certainly starting in your neck of the woods. I love the first signs of spring and enjoyed these shots so much.

  19. Another lovely walk, the sky is pretty and the violets are beautiful. And of course I love all the birds. Wonderful photos, thanks for sharing.

  20. Might be a long post, but it is interesting! I love the fiddleheads - different from the ones here - these look more like a dragon's claw, clenched...
    I managed to capture a couple of red squirrels this week, too! They are MUCH harder to focus on than flowers!!

  21. Pin-cherry blossoms are sweet and to be able to make jam from their berries is an extra treat. Violets have me reminiscing into yesteryear/childhood days when I'd see them growing in gardens. I enjoyed each of your beautiful bird photographs too

  22. It's so exciting to finally see buds and leaves - you look a couple of weeks ahead of us in Alberta. Yay to colour!

  23. What an unusual squirrel - the last images.

  24. Wonderful shots. I have not seen a sparrow with hint of yellow before.

  25. Your pictures are beautiful, the squirrel is so cute.

  26. Wonderful place to visit.

    Nice to get to know plants and trees too!

    Fantastic to get as many pictures of bird life at The Vermilon River.

    Thanks for sharing

  27. Yes..I see the green, the reflections, the flowers (lovely) , the birds (amazing) and the squirrels...(cute)
    GREAT set of photos. Hugs

  28. Thank you for all of your 42 pictures. For a moment I thought you'b been in my garden and takene pictures of one og my squirrels, he's calle Odin and the boss og that little gang of rascals.
    Have a wonderful day.
    Best wishes from Mormor Norway

  29. Wow!Abundance of wildlife here.

  30. Wow!Abundance of wildlife here.
    My SWF

  31. You are quite the naturalist. I'm constantly amazed at the photos you take of birds.

  32. i enjoy your nature and wildlife photos. the squirrel is especially too adorable for words.

  33. My mother (daughter of a Newfoundland fisherman) always talked of fiddleheads and dandelion greens. Your post made me think of her. I am so impressed that you not only spend so much time outdoors but have cooking/baking talents as well! Loved the bird and squirrel shots and enjoy following your travels.

  34. What a great outing! I love fiddle heads, they're one of the highlights of Spring for me!

  35. Gorgeous! Have a wonderful weekend!

    Sky Shots in Disney World, please come and see.

  36. Spring looks like it's arriving Gary... enjoyed seeing the fern fronds. Another lovely set of images.

  37. That little bug on the pin cherry blossom is really cute (when I did the slide show I could see him quite well). Nice to see signs of spring up there! I found out recently that dandelions don't grow in Florida. Can't say I miss them as much as I do some of the other Spring flowers that we don't have, but I thought it was interesting.

  38. Beautiful landscape you got. Great series of the spring. The birds photos was so nice.
    Wish you a nice weekend.

  39. I've never seen Fiddle-heads or Grackie before, thank you! Marvelous slideshow!

  40. This is a wonderful pictorial collection of the scenery, flora and fauna of Northern Ontario. Here in the foothills of northern California, we also have goldfinches, red-winged blackbirds and sparrows. Wonderful photos!

  41. Wonderful series!
    Love the birds and the squirrel!
    Thanks for sharing. And thanks for visiting and taking the time to comment;o)

    Have a nice weekend****

  42. What a marvelous collection of nature scenery and subjects. Thank you for sharing.

  43. I must confess that I abhor cold but your photos are wonderful! Thanks for letting me enjoy it without the nippy temperatures!

  44. hmmmm....
    The character in the last three images has a more than passing resemblance to «Louis'» former father-in-law....

  45. From skies to birds to flowers - a lovely post Gary!
    I wasn't aware you could eat fiddle ferns. Hmmm...dandelion wine and fiddle ferns.
    That last shot of the little squirrel is so cute - I have mentioned I love squirrels. :)

  46. Hi there - great set of pictures, really like the plants.

    Stewart M - Australia

    PS: my thought may be a little "heavy" - but the loss of a family member to cancer brings on such thoughts.

  47. Wonderful photos! I especially like the squirrels :-)

    Visiting via Camera Critters