RIP Old Barn

The Old Barn

There is a Conservation Area near where we live, Potter’s Creek Conservation Area to be precise. There are trails and an off leash dog walking trail; at the entrance by the parking lot, there is a big old barn. I love barns.

Well I just learned this past Saturday that they are tearing it down. So this morning my husband and I went down to take a couple of photos. The barn comes down tomorrow. So sad. They said they might leave the old stone foundation so there’s that…………..

I took this photo and then did the editing in B&W. I love old buildings and landscapes in B&W. Well not ALL but some…
Clint took this photo of me in front of the old barn

This area will sure look different but I’m glad I learned about the demolition ahead of time and was able to take some memory photos.

Stay safe…………..

Canada Geese – The Icon That Everyone Loves To Hate

The water is cold!

I thought I would do something different with my Blog posts because Covid prohibits our traveling and therefore, I do not have a lot of travel/new photos to show or write about.

I have been going through my photos, thousands of them, and I have a lot of favourites. In this Post, I would like to share some Canada Geese photos that I have, I took all of them in Ontario, mostly Algonquin Park or Belleville waterfront.

I do have to say, Canada Geese are everywhere. We were watching a corny movie the other night about these people who went through the Bermuda Triangle and ended up in a prehistoric age. In one scene as they were paddling across a small lake to escape a prehistoric water creature, you could see two Canada Geese swimming along the far shore! I said to my husband I’m sure the director didn’t realize the geese were there. But then I thought Nope they ARE everywhere! And did you know, 50 Canada Geese alone can produce 2 1/2 tons of excrement every year. Holy crap…………………………………

Canada Geese, the birds everyone loves to hate. When you see one, you’ve seen them all. But I like to sit and watch them for a long period of time and you can get some really cute shots. Plus if there are no moose, fox, or bear around, well I need something to photograph.

I hate the taste of grass, get me a drink!

They are the largest goose in the world and usually weigh between 5 and 14 pounds, although females are usually slightly smaller. Their life span is normally between 10-25 years. Of course, anything is possible, some geese grow bigger and some geese have been known to reach 35 or even 40 years of age. Females are known as goose and males are known as ganders, the little ones, who I love to photograph, are known as goslings.

Me and my Mom

Man I have big feet……………
Look at me go

Getting tired, this is hard work

Lunch Time

A warm place to nap

Heading for a swim

They can be a nasty bird, I have been hissed at more than once. We were golfing in Banff, Alberta a few years ago and as we approached a tee block, there were a good dozen or more standing on it. They would not let us on, we had to tee off in front of the tee block. Even though we gained a couple of yards, it frankly did not help my score on that hole.

The family that drinks together…………hey that’s my family!

They mate for life and usually stay in large flocks. Now mating for life means that if their mate dies, they will find another mate. Some people think that means they have one mate only, that would be kind of sad. In the spring, the geese couples break off from the other geese and find a nesting site which they defend vigorously, usually the same site or area as the previous year. However, if there is a large population, they may have their nesting sites in view of another family. The male will guard the nest for the female as she incubates the eggs which takes about 25- 28 days. The nest is built on the ground and is made up of dry grasses, moss, other plants and lined with their own down and feathers. The nest will hold between 2-11 eggs which are laid one at a time every day or two. She will leave the nest once or twice a day to eat, drink and bathe but once all the eggs are laid, she will not leave the nest at all until the eggs are hatched. Why? Well apparently any feces will attract predators and could also cause bacteria in the nest which is not good for the eggs. 

Had enough swimming for one day

The goslings will stay with their parents for a year. Sometimes you will see more than one family traveling together, safety in numbers I guess! I think goslings are adorable and they learn to swim the day they are born. Flying is learned when they are a couple of months old.

Geese will remain throughout the winter if there are areas with lots of food resources and open water. They like to eat grasses, grains, aquatic plants and berries and seeds. You will often see them in farmer’s fields eating grains and they will eat corn off the cobs.

They can travel more than 1000 km in one day flying in a V formation because of the drafting effect.  The geese following the leader benefit from air currents passing the leader which means expending less energy when flying and also for communication purposes when coordinating the movement of the flock. 

They do have predators, among them are humans. I remember once, on another golf course, we came up to the green and there were about a dozen geese laying dead around the green. It was pretty obvious they had been poisoned so I mean you be the judge……………..It was very upsetting to see. They have other predators which include foxes, coyotes, wolves, owls, eagles, raccoons and a few others.

I wish he’d come eat the dandelions in my front yard!
I feel like today is the day I fly!

Are you looking at me?

How cute am I?

So that’s that for today. I am working on a Post on “Perspective in Photography” and I have more wildlife photos to share. I have been working on posts similar to this one but highlighting other wildlife i.e. moose, bears, loons, foxes……….well you get the picture!

The province of Ontario, where I live, is under new stay-at-home orders even though we thought we were under the old stay-at-home orders and both sets of orders are virtually the same………..we think.

Anyways, stay home and stay safe Everyone!

The Moose that Followed Us

I mentioned on another Post that I have been going through photos and reliving memories. I have some great stories of wildlife that I have posted here before. However, some of the stories were posted anywhere from 1 to 3-4 years ago. I thought I would revisit some of my favourite memories, complete with my photos.

This particular story occurred in October 2018. Clint and I were in Algonquin Provincial Park, our favourite place to be in the autumn. We love to hike and canoe but this story revolves around a hike. Algonquin Park has a lot of published trails for people to hike, we have done them all, more than once, but usually we like to head out on our own. This day we began hiking and after about 45-50 minutes we hadn’t seen anything so decided to turn back, get in our truck and try another spot.

The trail, part of the old railroad line that went through the Park
Clint walking ahead of me

We turned back on the trail and a few minutes later, we stopped dead in our tracks as there was a bull moose (albeit a young one) heading towards us on the trail. He didn’t look too happy and as it was rutting season we thought we would play it careful and take cover behind some trees. I got a couple of shots before we went into hiding. Clint videotaped him going slowly past us as we cowered quietly. Keeping in mind that Clint strategically placed me between himself and the moose lol. He denies it but we have video! The video is a little further down past some photos.

He is watching us
I feel like he is thinking what to do

Stopping and assessing, much like we were doing

Video below, you may have to doubleclick on it.

Here he is passing us, very, very slowly. I wanted him to go faster lol

Finally he went past us.

I looked behind me as we got back on the trail. He was watching.

He continued on down the trail and we let him get a fair bit away and we went back on the trail to continue.

After a few minutes we could hear the moose calling and moving through the marshy area to our right. If you have never heard a moose, it’s quite something. I was ahead of Clint and he kept saying walk faster! I was walking as fast as possible without running.

Hiding in the marsh parallel to where we were walking

Shortly afterwards, I heard my husband say “He’s running down the trail after us” I turned to look and yup sure enough, here he was running on his big gangly legs. I told Clint he was probably attracted to him! Clint said keep walking and don’t stop. The moose slowed down behind us but still following. I kept going until I got to the road and our truck and Clint was not behind me. I thought to myself that I would wait 10 minutes and if he didn’t come out, I would get a Park Ranger and we would drag Clint’s dead body out of the bush. lol Where my mind goes, you have no idea………….

Anyways a couple of minutes later my husband emerged from the trees. He said what happened was, he would stop and look back at the moose and the moose would stop and then he would continue walking and the moose would start walking again. He and the moose played this game for a bit all the while getting some nice pictures. And by that I mean, Clint got some nice pictures, not the moose. As he got closer to the road, the moose decided to wander off into the woods. Phew! What a relief. Note: I do not have photos of him running down the trail after us.

Over the years, we have spent a lot of time outdoors and I have always said I am more nervous about moose than bears. Bears, in Ontario, are fairly predictable. They see you, they run. OR they see you, they want your Pringles and you run. JUST KIDDING, never run from wildlife. That is the worse thing to do. But as I was saying, moose can be very aggressive, particularly in the fall when they are in rut. So we are always watchful.

He was a good looking young Bull for sure

We have had many encounters with moose, and bears, so more stories and photos to follow……..

Stay Safe

Social Media – Killing It! or Killing Us?

This isn’t my normal type of post, I usually post photos of furry creatures and photos of our travels but this is a topic that has been on my mind for 2-3 years to be honest. Can you say Procastinator? I guess that would be me on this topic. But I have noticed, to my dismay, an upward trend of addiction to technology. So here goes………

Communication is a big part of our society.   Chatting with friends, writing letters to relatives, talking on the phone are just some of the ways we communicate. We are exchanging our thoughts, information, ideas, conveying emotions and of course our opinions.  Because everyone wants our opinions, am I right? lol

Back in the “old days” , you know pre-Facebook, Twitter, Instagram blah blah blah…………… It used to be exciting to get a phone call, (from a phone hooked to a wall no less,) or  chat in real time about real life and things that were familiar and part of your life.   Or maybe you checked your mailbox, (you know the one that is out front of your house and now only houses flyers,) and found a card or letter from a loved one or a dear friend.  Taking the time to sit down with a cup of coffee to read and enjoy what the other person had taken the time to write.  I personally LOVE getting cards and I always look forward to checking the mail even though there is rarely anything there these days. I’m let down quite regularly with the mail lol.

It was fun to sit in a cafe or bar and have a heated debate or discussion with friends, or strangers, about politics, religion, whatever topic came up…….and knowing you would listen and more importantly HEAR what the other person was saying and perhaps accept that everyone has a different opinion.  And maybe even accept that your own opinion might not necessarily be the right one.  You can still hold on to your viewpoint due to your upbringing, your religious views or out of just plain stubbornness. But it was all good, everyone had a vent or a laugh, one more drink and then headed home. Getting gossip and information and feeling closer to that person in small ways could be fun and healthy.  Now everyone sits in restaurants, cafes, bars and stares at their phones.

Twitter, in particular, has taken on a vicious, no nonsense undertone that belies any verbal back and forth or compromise. I post my wildlife photos on Twitter. I never, until a few weeks ago, put any comments on Twitter relating to politics, Covid or any other topic. But a few weeks ago a fellow was ranting about all of Canada being on lockdown and what good was it doing? Nothing is locked down where I live so I simply said “where I live, nothing is locked down, restaurants, bars, stores are all open, there are live bands/concerts going on at certain venues etc”. Well this guy from Calgary, which is a long, very long, way from where I live, called me a liar. And said he didn’t believe me, cause you know apparently what happens in Calgary is happening everywhere. So I sent him a link to a particular theatre we have in our city stating live bands and selling tickets.

But he didn’t read it, he looked at the first page that said online viewing and called me out again. I told him to read the article, it was online AND in person and that I was done with him. So this is why I don’t put comments on social media, I am not going to prove myself to strangers who can’t take the time to research outside their own little world and furthermore, they can’t seem to read and comprehend; they just see one or two words and rant about it. Long story short, I am done with commenting! If you see me commenting, tell me to stop lol……….unless it’s your birthday …or anniversary…… or you post a cute dog pic.

But seriously, how many people do you know make statements or comments and you realize Wait a minute, they haven’t even read the whole article or the comments? I guess they are in a hurry to get to the next topic so they can rant some more.

Social media has been around for decades, give or take.  Facebook, one of the most used and most popular, started in 2004.  It was great ! People from all walks of life and all around the Globe were able to communicate.  Show photos, chat, keep in touch, make new friends AND  state their opinions  And boy people have really stated their opinions.  Common courtesy and consideration and to some extent, common sense,  has went right out the window.  So  now………………people can freely say what they want, no repercussion, no consequences.  No face to face interaction where you could look into the other persons eyes and maybe, just maybe, see their side.  OR, hesitate before making cruel, rude or inane comments. Maybe still not agreeing perhaps but possibly understand it and move on to another topic.  Now, people who don’t even  know each other are rude and forceful in their comments.  They vent and rage and if you don’t agree with them and the name calling starts………., you are a Snowflake, or a Liberal or a Dummy or a Bot. It took me a long time to figure out what a bot was.  Okay honestly, I’m still not sure.

God Forbid we each have our own thoughts and opinions.  Or maybe you got your information from Fake News. That’s always a favourite of mine, when I read a comment to which someone takes offence and NOW it’s fake news, so they say.  What makes them the keeper of the truth?  Do you not think a lot of news is fake news?  I sure do.  No one fact checks anymore particularly if they know that their fact checking may lead to evidence that their opinion is not supported. We can’t have that; once we form an opinion, no one is changing it. Right? They believe what they want to believe and anyone can say anything and state that it’s the truth. Even people who write newspaper columns (are they still around anymore?) or commentate on the radio can, and will,  word things a certain way or have a certain opinion that comes through in ways that can be taken in all different ways.  Whew that was a mouthful. Take it all with a grain of salt I say !

I remember when I was a kid, just past the dinosaurs and just before computers, we relied on the Encyclopedia Britannica, (first published in 1768 consisting of 21 books.) FYI – In 2010 the last printed version consisting of 32 volumes was printed. Anyways to continue, this set of books ensured that everyone was getting the exact same information but now anyone can set up a website or make a comment and be the “expert”. It can be confusing and frustrating trying to find out what exactly the truth is. I research a lot of different topics for my Blog, our travels and other items and I spend a lot of time dredging through articles and websites to find the information I need and to make sure it’s correct. Or as correct as it can be in this day and age.

And dictionaries! I live by my dictionary, some people today totally rely on spell check. And you shouldn’t; I do not. I read my Blogs over and over and my husband proof reads them and then I read them again…. and again, before I post them. Watch, now that I said that there will be umpteen spelling/grammar mistakes in this Post………..

Common courtesy and consideration for others has taken a backseat to “My way or the highway” type mentality.  If you agree with an aggressive individual well then, you are their best friend, they will support you and cheer you on.  You could be a convicted murderer, but no matter! – if  you agree with the leader of the herd you are now a treasured member of the herd!

Complete strangers calling each other names, threatening to hurt them, or their families, or just being dismissive is the name of the game today.

What happened to respect?  What happened with keeping an open mind?  What happened to us?  Some will disagree and say Social Media is terrific!  Look what we can do! We can chat with people all over the world, talk about our private lives as though we are in the confessional booth at church AND plaster our opinions online, all the while being in our Pajamas!  How cool is that.   

Not very cool IN MY OPINON.  We are losing our socialization skills.  Chatting on line, shopping on line, playing games on line.  Let’s go back to going to the park, wandering through the mall or just sitting with a friend and having a coffee and a really good visit. Okay well maybe not NOW but you know when the apocalypse (aka Covid) is over. 

I miss the old days when people weren’t glued to their  devices and living through their social media.  Let’s go for a coffee or a drink has been replaced with people sitting alone in front of a screen and typing away as though demons are after them.  I can’t do it.  People who sit and chat on Facebook with a few people at a time, all the while doing emails and playing games.  Maybe I’m jealous because I can’t even handle two Bingo cards at once……………although I’m pretty sure they even do Bingo online now.

So many people rely so much on their iPhones, computers, tablets etc and spend far to much time on their devices. I prefer to be out in the woods doing photography, or maybe I’m out for a coffee with my husband, or maybe I just want to sit on my couch and read my new novel.  Electronic gadgets and social media venues, and all that comes with those things, has a place in our society for sure but it’s a PLACE, not REPLACEMENT

Yes, the internet and all it’s associated outlets can be rewarding and can be fulfilling if you want to keep in touch with people long distance or get information but let’s use it wisely.

I also think we need to get back to “being social” with our actual voices and faces out in the real world.

JUST MY OPINION.

Please feel free to share your opinions, comments, I would love to hear them

Yep I’m a Liberal Snowflake and signing off…………….

Stay safe everyone.

Some Feathered Friends

I have been going through my photos, trying to clear up my folders. I enjoy looking at my photos and reliving memories of some great trips and great day trips. I haven’t been out much lately doing any photography so I thought I’d do a short post on some feathered friends I photographed in Algonquin Park this past September/October.

Enjoy!

Red Breasted Nuthatch

Chickadee

White Crowned Sparrow

Spruce Grouse

Ruffed Grouse

Canada Goose

Wood Duck

Raven – I love Ravens, they are so intelligent and friendly.

A couple of ducks, having fun

Stay Safe and Happy New Year!