Summer Evening Paddling Trip

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A call of a loon;

Quiet splashing, rhythmic sounds,

Kayak glides along.

 

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Yesterday’s warm temperatures and sunshine beckoned.

So, following the family supper, some of us embarked on an evening’s paddle.  Well, as many as could fit into two canoes and a single-person kayak.  😀

We launched our craft onto Taylor Lake and eventually made it to the channel leading to adjacent Clayton Lake….and ultimately the village of Clayton where we finished just as it was getting dark.

It’s a lovely paddling excursion….usually taking about two hours.

There are quite a few cottages along the shores of Taylor Lake, with avid boaters and fishing enthusiasts sharing the water….and everyone respecting the speeds near other boaters.  By contrast, Clayton Lake is quieter.

We were lucky and were treated to multiple loon calls, the sighting of a loon family of three, and a pretty sunset.

Here are some more photos…

 

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A juvenile loon…

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Sunset on Taylor Lake

From the time the sun was just touching the top of the trees to my extracting my iPhone from the protective plastic box tucked inside my life vest and then going for a photo, as you can see the sun went into hiding – moved so fast! Anyway….still looks pretty over the water like that.

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Kayaking is a lot of fun!

(Good time to add in a selfie….)  😀

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On Clayton Lake

I took a photo of the view behind me with the pretty clouds and the pinks and purples…..getting darker fast.

 

 

 

 

 

Last night’s little visitors

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Lightly effortless,

Suspended in calm stillness,

Nocturnal visit.

 

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There were a few tiny cute visitors congregated outside the front door and along the window yesterday evening.

What a wonderful surprise greeting us!

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These three were gathered higher up at the entrance, while one frog remained independently alone near the bottom….also attached to the window glass.

 

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About 2 centimetres in length….and I enjoy marveling at their amazingly strong legs and their well-adapted tiny fingers and toes.

 

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Upside-down…..and

 

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…..right side up.

 

 

A Lily a Day….or Daylily

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Tiny dancing girls

Swaying, with long golden hair

In petal curtains.

 

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Ever since that day when I first noticed a massive clutch of orange daylilies growing by the side of a country road – with their vibrant colour and abundance of blooms – I’ve had a soft spot for daylilies, or Hemerocallis as they are also called.

So naturally, when it came time to add some new perennials to my starting-anew-garden over 20 years ago, I had daylilies on my wishlist.  First though, I managed to find some of those orange ones that were growing “wild” along a little used road and not belonging to anyone…..and dug up a clump of them, just a small portion, for transplanting into my garden.  After all, I wanted them to feel included with the daylilies I was planning on getting from a nearby garden nursery.

When I went to the nursery, I ended up getting a more reddish coloured kind, an apricot-coloured one, as well as a pale peachy kind.  In that way all four look distinctly different even though similar in flower style.  I used to know their cultivar names, but over the years I have forgotten them.

The close-up photo above is of the peach-coloured daylily.  And below shows how it looks before the flower buds open up….with two more smaller ones growing in size to have their one day of blooming.

 

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The buds on this next one are from the apricot-coloured one.  Notice how the buds are more elongated and “pointy,” compared to the peach one.

 

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The six stamens on this one look like six graceful long feet wearing black ballet slippers, and the white pistil seemingly doing its own thing is ever so long!

 

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Here is the peach daylily again….with a second flower to the right on the verge of opening up….and another smaller bud in behind.

 

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And finally, the one that started it all in my garden, the Tawny Daylily….collected from a “wild” clutch down a gravelly country road.

 

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For this post, I did some research and found out that those orange ones, that have a tendency to naturalize over time, are called Tawny Daylily or Hemerocallis Fulva.

And in case you’re wondering, as their name implies, each flower blooms for only a day.

 

 

Snowballs in Summer

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Dotted among greens

Perched on many sturdy stalks;

Bountiful white balls.

 

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When I walked out the front door yesterday, my attention was immediately drawn to this one particular snowball head that stood up….quite high above the others.  And I smiled admiringly and said to it, “You want your picture taken, don’t you?”  😊  That’s the one in the first photo.

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The Snowball Viburnum in the front garden bed has been steadily growing and thriving over the past several years, producing more and more beautiful spheres of white flower clusters.

I’ve been letting it have its way for some time; however, I’m thinking about doing some pruning after this season’s flowering is done.

Just a little.

To give the hostas some of the space they’ve lost. 😊

 

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Up close the white flowers look pretty with their particular petal shape and lines.

 

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A Young Robin Says Hello

 

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Flurry of feathers;

Then a hip…hippity-hop.

Why, hello, new friend!

 

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On the way to the cherry farm, we parked near one of those farmer booths along a smaller country road….and ended up buying some fresh-picked peaches and apricots for snacking.

Within seconds of our arrival, I caught the landing of this fine young robin out of the corner of my eye and decided to watch.

Robins are such cheerful birds to see going about their business. 😊

 

 

 

 

The Flip Side

 

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A storm ravages,

With dime-sized hail stones laying

Waste to this year’s crop.

 

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A couple of days ago I was invited over to a friend’s place for a visit, mostly for sharing some food and lots of catching up and fun conversation.

Since it was my first time there, all of us who had gathered went for a walk in the adjacent fields for some exercise and to see for ourselves what devastation had occurred after a recent severe thunderstorm in the area.

My friend’s family have a huge cherry orchard that they have been tending for a couple of generations.  Such a weird fluke of a storm luckily happens infrequently; however, when it does, the effects are essentially a year’s fruit production completely gone to waste.

I was told that the cherries on all the orchard trees were only days away from being fully ripe to be picked and processed.

And then nature stepped in….

In the next photos you will get to see the flip side…..no beautifully formed cherries hanging from the branches, which would usually tempt us to pick them for a treat.

 

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The last two photos show the specialized machinery that is used to shake the cherries from the trees – as the fruit has to be collected regardless – to clear the trees for the remaining growth and recovering phases.

 

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A Future Monarch

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Starting out so small,

Eating its way through milkweed

To grow and transform.

 

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I’m visiting at my parents’ place, and my mother excitedly showed me her little “friends.” Each one in a separate glass loosely filled with a couple of freshly picked milkweed leaves.

Her two friends are still quite small and not easily seen.

My mother is once again fostering a couple of monarch caterpillars in comfy protectiveness with fresh milkweed leaves, until they grow into their full size and make their chrysalis for their metamorphosis stage.

This one of the two is the larger and is about the length of my index fingernail right now. About 1 cm.

See the cool eating pattern it has made in this milkweed leaf. 🙂

 

My mother is all excited at these two new ones, as she has successfully nurtured monarch caterpillars in previous years and set them free as butterflies. 

 

Third one’s the charm

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Quiet and watchful,

Curious, cautious, patient;

A brief encounter.

 

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As I was driving along the back roads yesterday, I was thrilled to see a couple of wild turkeys on the road shoulder and three deer at three other different spots.

As I spied the first two deer, and they me, it was they who decided to leave the scene abruptly.

However, the third deer – the one in the photo – was not as skittish and even let me back up the car, stop, and catch a better glimpse.  We looked at each other for what seemed a few moments.  And then the deer, satisfied, turned away and leaped further into the woods.

Such an encounter always has me feeling so lucky and happy.  

 

 

 

 

Promise of Things to Come!

 

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Hint of pink inside,

Buds holding tight and slowly

Unfolding the show.

 

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Exploring in my garden again today and was caught up in the buds’ progress of this peony plant.

And to think the flowers will eventually be quadruple the size of the buds…..and I wonder how do the buds manage to keep all of that floral splendour inside?

 

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And all those busy ants!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pine Tree Pollen

 

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Rays of green needles,

With squirming pink pollen worms,

And new needle growth.

 

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When I arrived home in the early afternoon today, the sun was shining brightly – perhaps to make up for the last three days of clouds and rain?

I glanced around the yard to see what was different, and my gaze landed upon a large pine tree.  Its growth pattern has intrigued me ever since we first transplanted it as a two-foot tall sapling many years ago.

I noticed some colour dotted in and among its needle-filled branches and went up closer to see.  And it was generously laden with clutches of these pollen “worms.”  And with new light green needle growth visible as well.

It seemed a bit puzzling to me, as in previous years I HAD noticed the new needle growth spurting outwards but never with the pollen in all of its splendour.

Somehow I must have just missed that part?