HUMMINGBIRDS

We don’t typically feed the birds at our place because of the cats. I have also put out a hummingbird feeder in the front though as the cats don’t really hang out there and well, I highly doubt they’d catch one.

As a kid my first encounter with hummingbirds came when my grandparents bought their cottage at Lester Beach. My Grandfather hung a feeder outside the kitchen window and for the longest time everyone would gather around to watch them. In no time he added more feeders to keep up with them. I remember my Grandmother making syrup every Friday when we arrived.

In the past we’ve had some fancy feeders for the birds but I find that they are hard to clean and you have to do it often to get rid of that black mold that grows on the inside so this year I just bought a feeder from the dollar store. I typically chuck them out at the end of the summer. Anyways, we’ve had a lot of action at the feeder between the hummingbirds and the orioles.

This was earlier in the Spring as the birds started to arrive. This bird spent a lot of time resting in the tree between drinks. He also had to wait his turn as the oriole tried to find a way to drink out of the feeder as well. There was also the odd oriole fight over oranges.

ORIOLES

Every year we have hummingbirds. One of the first years we were here we had orioles but they didn’t stay for long as I couldn’t find an oriole friendly feeder and I didn’t take the time to research what else they could eat. Somewhere I have a photo of the oriole hanging upside down off the feeder.

Well this year they are back! Lots of them. Instead of the grape jelly we went with oranges. Well they can eat one a day!

This photo was taken through our living room window.

A PLACE FOR HORSES

This place is right outside my door. Well, not really but its a stone’s throw.

Its been on my to-do list for a very long time and I just sorta took advantage of it being there and something I could get to at any time. So last spring I wandered over there and the current owners were there and said come any time. The only stipulation was that I close the gate and don’t let the horses out.

If you know me you know that I am afraid of dogs. And to me, horses are big dogs. So when I went I decided I would not go inside the gate if I didn’t have to.

It was windy as heck out but the clouds were amazing. To me the sky looks painted. Believe me when I say that there is not filter on this photograph, this is straight out of the camera. The sky is almost too good to be true.

I have tried to get more information on this property and cannot. And given that its been some time since I’ve been out and posted, I’ve given up on the idea that I will be able to solidify any further information so, I’m posting.

I can tell you that the property has been rumored to be owned by a couple of different families whose ancestors still live in the area. I can also tell you that the house was last occupied in 1920.

BUBBLE GUM SKY

Last night as I was trying to weasel into my bed with a book, Colton called me out to check out the sun. Glad he did. He figures he should get photo credits too!

Of course it dropped a lot faster than it usually seems to but that is only because I was struggling with finding the best setting for the shot.

FLYWHEEL CLUB

Our municipality has a local flywheel club that is run on a volunteer basis. Every year the members have a parade and a designated weekend where they can show off all the work they’ve put into the tractors over the year.

The clouds on this day were amazing and so Makenna and I checked out a couple locations that day to take advantage of it. We visited a yard full of old Fords, an old favorite of mine that I visit every year and this place.

This summer I discovered that I really do like shooting the old vehicles and equipment and wish that in previous years I had paid more attention to that old equipment in the yards we visited. Over the winter I may have to go through all my old photos and find the cars, trucks and other goodies that I ignored.

CARS, CARS AND MORE CARS

A couple weeks ago, no more like a month ago, Makenna and I took the side by side down the highway to a little spot where I spotted some cars and stuff.

We found some trucks and cars and cars and lots and lots of lady slippers.  Lady slippers make me think of my Grandpa.

We found this beauty and texted Grandpa to see if he could fix this up for Makenna.  We figured 4 years notice would be lots of time for him to get it going.  He said it was a stretch.

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Anyways, here is a collection of some of the photos I took that day.  You many not notice but the clouds were glorious that day!

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I actually find myself looking for roofs and vehicles now.

 

NEOWISE

C/2020 F3 or Comet Neowise is classified as a long period comet and was discovered on March 27, 2020. At that time, it was located 160 million miles away from Earth.

By July 2020, it was bright enough to be visible to the naked eye and one of the brightest comets since 1997.  It will be visible for most of July and up until approximately July, 23rd.

Visible on the Northwestern horizon, the comet will slowly get higher and smaller as you can see from the photos I took, taken just a couple days apart.

My intention was to photograph it earlier in July but I didn’t get out until the 19th.  I wasn’t sure what my photos would look like and pulled over on the side of the highway, at 1:00 a.m., set up the tripod and took a few shots.  Unfortunately I pulled over on the side of the road and got the hydro lines!   I was more concerned about what sort of creature was going to come out of the ditch to see what I was doing.  And I never thought about the dog at the nearby farm!

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I like this photograph because off to the right you can see the TLA West elevator in the distance.

I wanted to head out the next night and well, it rained and was cloudy.  I figured yesterday it was to late and it would be to small and hard to find in the sky.  Well it was but you can spot it if you look hard enough.  And it was easier to find when you were in the dark and away from any yard lights.  When I finally did spot it I wasn’t sure if I would be able to capture it correctly or that it would be bright enough.

neowise July 22 2020

While I wasn’t happy with the first photo, it is surely better than my second attempt.  That being said, the stars the last two times I’ve been out are something else.  Time to get myself out for some abandoned night shooting.

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Comet Neowise will disappear in the next couple days and will not be visible again for another 6,800 years.

 

 

 

 

 

KEEP GOING BACK

This is one of the first houses I photographed and one of the first houses I actually went inside of.

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I love this house.  So at least once a year I go back to visit it and see what’s changed.  I can’t believe how much its grown over since my last visit.

When I started taking photos of the old houses, I didn’t really focus much on the barns and other out buildings so because the skies were amazing that day, I did.

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This yard is still used for storage and there is a path leading out to a field.  The current landowner frequents this location often.

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According to my research, this yard that was known for its stunning flower gardens.  On our way out, we spotted a lone pink peony growing in the tall grass.  I had put all of my stuff away as we were traveling by side by side down the dirt roads so I didn’t want anything getting dusty.

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My daughter was very interested in this van and what happened to it.  I’ll have to do some asking around and find out for her.  I wonder if she would believe me if I told her that the accident was a result of texting and driving.

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And you may recall this little blue truck, from previous posts, although Mother Nature is really taking it over.

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I would LOVE to see a photograph of this house when it was in its prime.

MORE PELICANS

I’m just going to leave these here.

These two started off at the other side of the bay, minding their own business, clearly trying to catch their own supper.

When they realized Colton was fishing, one screwed off and carried on minding its own business, while this one came towards us and was focused on Colton’s bobber.

I would imagine the pelicans will start to leave Killarney now and head off to Ninette or Pelican Lake.

CANADA GEESE

Every year, for as long as we have lived here, geese settle in the back field to nest in the Spring.  When we first got Bauer he was absolutely terrified of the geese when they returned during his first Fall and would lay on the ground when they flew over.  This Spring, he decided he was going to chase them out of the back field.  Regardless, they are here to stay as the Long River that runs along the side of the development to the lake is a hot spot for migratory birds, regardless of what Bauer thinks about their presence.

One day Colton texted from the park near the public access to the lake to let me know that the geese had their gooslings out.

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Once I started to creep in on them, they got into the lake and swam off.

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PELICANS

You may recall a couple years ago when I got “the” pelican shot and figured my pelican photography days were over.  The photograph was a hit with my family and ended up getting blown up quite large and is in my front entrance.

Last summer before our BC trip I bought myself a lens that was going to force me to photograph a new, not so dangerous and easier to find subject, birds and wildlife.  While I have taken a couple photos with that lens, namely the owls and the blue heron, I am not overly happy with the lens and just posted it for sale a couple days ago.  I am on the fence about this because everything I read and everyone I talk to tells me to give it more time, read more, watch more videos.  So I’ll try but patience is not my virtue.

Anyways, I wanted to share this photograph I took the other night while fishing with Colton down at the beach.  I took the lens with to play with, without having done any reading or watching.  While its not a great photo, its different and okay.  I certainly like the colors it picked up in the sky.

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THIS OLD CAR

I have driven down this road numerous times.  I have never before seen this car.  And its not like you can miss it.

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This photo wasn’t a great angle but I had somewhere to be and didn’t want to turn around.  Besides, its close to home and easy to get to.

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What a great place for this old car.  And I’m just noticing this now but doesn’t it look like there is someone sitting in the driver’s seat?

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#thefrontstepproject

For the last week or so I have been seeing posts from other photographers who have offered to take photographs of families during this period of social distancing in our country in an attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19.  I saw small neighbouring towns participating in this activity and even though I don’t typically take photographs of people I thought, hey, its free, its fun, its history and its just a couple of photographs.  No posing, no direct contact.  So I posted on Facebook that I would be willing to do this in our community.

Within a couple hours I got a message from a family who lives in Killarney and runs one of our campgrounds during the summer but winters in a warmer location.  Ron & Cheryl spent their winter in Blythe, California and had every intention of staying there until mid-April until they were notified by their health insurance provider that they needed to be back on Canadian soil before March 23rd.  They headed home and arrived in their motor home, at the campground on March 21st.  They did not stop for groceries, they didn’t pick up their mail.  They went home, set up their home in the deserted campground.  They had a family member deliver their groceries and they began their 14 day self-quarantine.

Cheryl & Ron 2 email

I know that there has been a lot of talk in this small town about who should be out and about.  Being in self-quarantine because you have just come back from another country does NOT mean that you cannot go outside and go for a walk or walk your dog.  So if you plan on calling the snitch hotline, don’t waste your time.

Cheryl & Ron 3 email

Cheryl and I discussed before-hand what kind of photos we wanted to take and I just followed them.

Cheryl & Ron 5 email

And while I look like I’m pretty close, I am not.  I used my 300mm lens for all of these shots.  Hence, some lost clarity and lack of depth of field.  Regardless, I love them.  These are the two most photogenic people I have ever encountered in my life.  I’d love to photograph them after their quarantine.

Cheryl & Ron 6 email

 

Thank you Cheryl & Ron for letting me do this with you today.  I can’t tell you how happy this made me.

SUNNY BANKS

Remember the house who was lived in by the little lady whom never married and would ocassionally get on the school bus and go to town for the day and return home on the school bus?  Well her sister married the gentleman who bought this land in 1939. Her nephew still farms the land.

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It was here that Mr. farmed cattle and hogs on the land until his death in 1977. His Mrs. lived on and passed in the home in 2001, the last time this house was occupied.

Mr.’s grandfather was born on July 13, 1883 and moved to Canada when he was in his 20’s.  Here he met and married his wife and together they raised 4 children.  They farmed in Holmfield for many years and moved to Killarney in 1961.

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When I first posted this photograph on Facebook, my post received a comment advising me that as a child, the poster played in this house with his childhood friend.

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Speaking to the new Mrs. of this land she advised me that years ago they had inquired about repairing the roof and replacing the windows in this old family home.  They were quoted an amount near $20,000.00.  I often read people’s comments “oh, what a beautiful home, why don’t they save it?”  I think we forget how much these sorts of repairs can cost. We are working hard to keep our own homes maintained, let alone a century old home that likely needs a new foundation, windows, upgrades to the heating and water systems and likely a host of other issues due to its age. I can’t imagine it’s easy to watch these old home deteriorate beyond repair, especially for the generations of family still here that have fond memories of the home.

This home has been on my to see list for some time.  This weekend I called and after some hesitation, was granted permission to take a couple photos.  I am happy I was able to find and receive some history.  Thank you Mr. & Mrs.

 

PELECANIFORMES

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To me, pelican’s arriving back on the small lake in my community is a sign that warmer weather is truly on its way.  After our cold winter, they were certainly a welcome sight.  During the winter they are typically found in warm, coastal marine habitats.

They breed in large, dense colonies.  Flocks forage cooperatively by circiling around fish or driving them toward the shore where they are easier to catch.  During breeding season, adults often forage at night.  They eat mainly small, “rough” fish with little commercial value.  They will also eat salamanders and crayfish.

New pairs will nest close to another pair who are at the same stage of the breeding cycle.  Nests are typically located on open, bare soil.  Both sexes build the nest which consists of shallow depression surrounded by a low rim of gravel, soil or plant material.  Both sexes incubate two eggs.  The chicks are dependant on their parents for warmth and food.  Unfortunately, the second-hatched chick usually dies.  When the chick leaves the nest they gather in groups called “creches”.  Chicks are fed by the parents until the leave the colony at 10-11 weeks of age.  In the breeding season, there is a laterally flattened “horn” on the upper bill. The horn is shed after the birds have mated and laid their eggs.

The typical life span of a wild pelican is 10-15 years.

In Ontario, the species is listed as “threatened”.

LONG RIVER

I know I’ve mentioned the Long River many times before, for many reasons.  First off, it runs along behind my house and it runs through many farm yards through this Municipality.

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Well with the lack of rain this summer it got very low and began to stink, bad.  Then we got rain and snow and so it began to turn green.  So green that it reminds me of a Shamrock Shake from McDonald’s.  Its disgusting.  I stood out on the highway and played with my settings to try and capture the actual color of the water.  I gave up and maybe I’ll go back because it really is a sight to see.

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The Long River flows right into Killarney Lake!  Yuck.