A day in the Life of a Vixen (not me, a Fox Mom)

Three of the four, watching for their Dad coming towards them

Clint and I were fortunate enough to spend some time photographing a fox family. (Click link for more info on foxes) We have not seen them for about 12 days now so they may have moved to another den, sometimes they will do that. They move dens to get away from danger and sometimes for no apparent reason. Foxes do not live in dens year round, only while the kits are young.

Sibling Love

I love foxes and especially the little ones, called kits or pups. Although I did watch a video one day and the lady kept referring to them as cubs which I had never heard before.

More Sibling Love

We stayed quite a distance from them, my husband was a few feet away from me. We both have big lenses so we don’t need to be close to them at all. They were pretty cute to watch, 4 young ones and mom and at one point, the Dad (known as a dog, tod, or reynard) came but he did not stay long. The young ones were so happy to see him. We also got a good laugh as we watched one of the kits get his mom’s tail and he wouldn’t let go, I guess at one point she had enough and she turned so quickly he flew off and landed in the entrance to the den! He didn’t stop there though, in one photo I took you can see her tail in the den, he’s pulling on it, and she’s still trying to get away! Pretty cute.

Tail Grab Commences in below photo

He has the tail now !

She has had enough, he gets flung off the tail!

And flung into the entrance but he hasn’t given up

He reaches from below and grabs it again!

Finally, she breaks free!

We also saw the Mom bring a Robin back for them and a Vole. Yum, dinner!

Mom with a Robin in her mouth
Young kit with a Vole (I think) in his mouth

Fox parents are very loving, always playing with the kits and ensuring they are well protected and well fed. When the Dad came to see them, they went crazy trying to literally hug him and play with him.

Hug Me !
Parental Love, although I feel like the biting is hurting a bit! lol

So that’s that, a day in the life……..

Stay safe everyone!

A Hiking Kind of Day – Cordova Rapids, Cordova Falls, Gut Conservation Area and High Falls Algonquin Park

A small cascades

Good Friday was a beautiful day and we decided to head up north and do some hiking. We thought there was a better chance of less people being out and about. It was about -5 Celsius when we started out and by the afternoon I think it got up to about 10 Celsius. Our travels started off at Cordova Rapids and Cordova Falls which is north of Marmora and then we kept going to Cordova Mines and a tad north of there. We stopped at the Rapids first and walked along the shore, it is a nice spot and there was no snow but there was some cool ice formations along the shore. One guy was fishing, he showed up after we got there. I don’t know if he caught anything. And no we did not get up at o’dark thirty this morning! I think we left about 6:54 a.m. and we were home about 10 hours later.

Lots of water this time of year
Along the shore, pretty spot and we walked quite a ways down the shoreline

I like ice formations but they always look better in person. Some look so great but I don’t get the same look in my photos. I need to research and see if I can do better next winter.

These remind me a little of the Lens Ball we have that we rarely use!
Some ice just hanging aroun
Part of the trail

We left there and off to Cordova Falls!

The top of the Falls
So much water, it was quite something and noisy too
A view looking towards the dam
So much water
Trum sitting on some cool ice formations by the dam

Below are some photos I took of some ice formations that caught my eye. I really like the way ice can form into so many different shapes. I did the photos below in B&W. I liked the look better than in colour.

Some ice hanging from a tree branch over the water
These reminded me of ice flowers or berries
Ice Starburst

After the Falls, we were going to head straight to High Falls north of Harcourt which is north of Bancroft. On the way though, we passed the Gut Conservation Area, which we have been to before. We decided to stop for an hour or so and hike down to the water. It’s a nice spot and the weather was fantastic. If you have a car I would not suggest going here for awhile. You can park out on the main dirt road and walk down this dirt road though. The winter did not treat this road kindly. There was one rut across the road that must have been about 12 inches deep and a few feet across. Even with our off road vehicle we sat and thought about it for a bit. Then we went anyways. My husband always says JUST DO IT that’s why we bought this truck. And there are lots of ruts, quite deep. This road is never in great shape but it’s a lot worse right now.

Road to Gut Conservation Area

It’s hard to tell on the photo below but there are lots of ruts and they aren’t shallow.

Bumpy old road!

The photo below shows the big rut, it looks worse in person than in this photo, but you get the idea.

I would not take a car on this road
Parking Lot at the Gut Conservation Area
The nice part of the road which is at the end lol

The trail was nice and no snow or ice. There was a bit of snow down further but nothing to interfere with a hike.

Trail
A fence surrounding the Gorge , it’s quite a drop
Trum !

This is what you see when you look over the fence, lots of water today.

The cascading water down to the river
The river

Our last stop is High Falls, now this is part of Algonquin Park so you have to display a Parks pass in your vehicle. We bought an annual pass so we don’t have to worry about paying for each visit. The parking lot and beginning of the trail looked great! And then we got a little further on and the trail was nothing but snow and ice, quite a lot of ice. We had to skirt around the edges of the trail so we wouldn’t slip on the ice. Every once in awhile we had a small stretch of no snow and no ice but that didn’t last long. We walked for about an hour, maybe a bit longer and we still weren’t at the Falls yet. The trail then was nothing but a sheet of ice and there was no skirting around anything. Clint said he would try to go a bit further and I said Bye Clint! I’ll sit on this rock and relax by the water. So I sat and got to thinking, what if he drops off the edge? what if he doesn’t come back? I worried about that but then thought … next time I am bringing another set of keys. lol He wasn’t gone long and he came back and said he did not make it to the Falls either. The Falls are a fair size and the spray of water from them was coating everything in ice, he decided to play it safe and come back. He said it takes to long to heal at his age if he were to fall.

Icy trail so we walked the edges

The trail would probably be great when the snow and ice leave. There are some parts that are clear of snow but chock full of rocks! But still a great trail as you can see from below photo.

More trail

Part of the trail follows this river which lead to the falls. You can see a small rapids in this photo, from a distance.

Rapids
You need good trail boots/shoes to travers this kind of trail, lots of water and mud.
Another part of the river
More snow and ice, the snow was okay, it was the icy parts I didn’t like
Well look who did the trail! He did not have to worry about slipping!

Just down the road a bit was the dirt road to the Kingscote Canoe Access, also part of Algonquin Park, but the road was still snow and ice covered. Even with our truck we thought it smart to forgo this drive. Maybe we’ll come back later in the spring and give ‘er a go.

So that’s that, we had a great day being outdoors, with lots of driving thrown in!

Stay safe.

Belleville Waterfront – 27 March

Female Mallard or Hen

So apparently there have been Wood Ducks down at our waterfront. I love Wood Ducks. People I know have been posting photos of them for the last week. Clint and I drove to the waterfront Saturday afternoon to take a look-see.

Reminiscent of our trip to Algonquin last Tuesday, nothing! No Wood Ducks, apparently they headed west about 90 minutes before we got there.

We did see some cute mallard ducks, swans and pigeons! lol

Here are a few of my favourites from yesterday. Oh and lest I forget, seagulls were all over the place. Seagulls in Belleville are like the Red Squirrels in Algonquin Park, numerous and plentiful.

I do like doing Seagulls in B&W for some reason.
Taking a drink
Scratching an itch
Male Mallard or Drake
Pigeon Attack!
Pensive

Not too exciting but we will try again to find the elusive Wood Ducks. Here is a photo of one that I saw in Algonquin Park last fall when we were camping there. They are a beautiful duck.

Hopefully we will get out again soon, stay safe !

So Who doesn’t Love a Great Brewery? Prince Eddy’s Brewery

You know I post mostly wildlife photos/adventures and landscapes, flowers etc but I also love Beer. I can’t help it, it’s my thing. A friend of mine Lesley B. told me that she knows me well because on Instagram I would only post wildlife photos and photos of Craft breweries! That pretty much describes me and my life.

So here is a token wildlife photo, and then on to one of my favourite breweries, right here in my area where I live.

Did someone say BEER? Yuck………………

We took a drive to Prince Edward County last Friday, or as we in the area call it, The County. I know I have mentioned this place a zillion times before but it’s a pretty awesome island. There are approximately 40 wineries, 10 craft breweries, (that might be higher) cider places, a distillery, one of the best beaches in Canada, at Sandbanks Provincial Park (Formed on the world’s largest baymouth dune barrier formation) (whatever that means, but it sounds impressive).

Also – I’m not done…..North Beach Provincial Park, Lake on the Mountain Provincial Park and assorted Conservation areas. And…..some of the best restaurants I have ever had the pleasure to visit. (Shout out particularly to Maran’s Dinebar) The County isn’t so much a place but a way of living or life style. Awesome festivals and shopping, I could go on but I won’t. We’re here to talk about beer.

Now I think I will do the local breweries in separate posts. I am doing this for two reasons, the first being that this post would be super long and who wants to read a super long Blog post? Not me…. And also because we aren’t traveling, I don’t have a lot of new wildlife photos to share. Which is sad…. mostly sad for me. In the meantime, enjoy reading about local breweries.

So on to the breweries …… man I get distracted easily! Or as we say in Canada….Squirrel! (that’s another story)

Prince Eddy’s Brewing Company, one of my favourites and my husband’s also.

The Man, The Myth, The Legend……. My Husband!

They are located in Picton (Ontario, Canada) in the Industrial Park. Prince Eddy’s has a great outdoor area including a beach volleyball court, outdoor kitchen and a stage for live music. On their website they state they have a 2 storey tasting room which I did not know and we go there A LOT. They do have a seating area in the main part where the bar is so I will have to be more observant when I go back. It doesn’t mention food on their website but I know in the past they have had Food Trucks there.

I remember the first time we went there, a few years ago now. We decided to share a taster tray, or sampler tray, whatever you call it. They put all these cute little glasses of beer on a skateboard, that was their tray. Problem was, they didn’t take the wheels off the skateboard! I recall sitting at the table and Clint and I batted this thing back and forth so it wouldn’t roll over the edge. Pretty funny. We haven’t sat there to have a beer since the Apocalypse began so now we normally go in, grab some to go beer and head home to drink it.

Me, wanting to drive this cool car….

They have a varied beer selection. Now I love IPA’s, the hoppier the better. Hoppy makes me Happy. My husband prefers Stouts and Porters, preferably barrel aged. He loves their Dark Side BBA (Bourbon Barreled Aged) Imperial Stout made with Coffee, Chocolate & Vanilla. That’s only one of a few Stouts that they have and he likes ’em all. I sent this one – Coco Dojo Imperial Stout with Banana, Coconut, Coffee and Vanilla – to my son in Toronto. He is very excited to try this, I mean come on, Banana? It sounds cool. I love their Hazy Brigade IPA and I like So Many Friends Session NEIPA. They have Blonde ales, Black Lagers, Lagers and their Cream Ale is great and I could go on but I won’t. Suffice to say, hit this one up if you get over there.

They also have Sour beers. My husband’s theory is that a few years ago someone, somewhere, screwed up their vat of beer and decided to market and sell it as something “unique” rather than dump it and lose money. So from that you can gather that we do not like Sour Beer, I mean is it even beer? But that’s my opinion only…….it appears to sell mostly to the young’uns not experienced beer drinkers like us.

We met the owner, Aaron (Erin?) last summer when we were camping at Bon Echo Provincial Park. He and his buddy from Midtown Brewing Company asked if they could walk through our site as a shortcut to their site. We said sure and as they were carrying/drinking cans of beer and we were sitting drinking beer, we struck up a conversation. Now what d’ya suppose we talked about? lol

At Prince Eddy’s the staff are great and the prices reasonable. So check them out!

And as they say on their website, Stay Safe, and Stay Frothy!

Amherst Island – 9 March Day Trip

This past Tuesday we got up really early, too early for humans, and were in the truck and on our way before 6 a.m. Why? I dunno to be honest. We wanted an early start to go to Amherst Island and we wanted to catch the ferry from the Millhaven Ferry Dock which leaves on the half hour. So we got to the ferry terminal at 650 and yup had to wait until 730 to get across ! It only took us about 45 minutes to drive to the ferry but we did have to stop for gas. Oh well, we bonded while sitting in our truck.

Ferry leaving for Amherst Island

So the ferry to Amherst Island is $9 for our truck, return. It holds a surprising amount of vehicles. We were not allowed to get out of our truck because of Covid but it’s only about a 20 minute run so not bad at all except for some photos I took which are not great. I would like to have gotten better photos of the ferry and the trip because taking photos out a truck window is not ideal.

Us driving on to the ferry, I took this out of our front window

Amherst Island is in Lake Ontario and just west of Kingston, Ontario. There is a small village named Stella. Every time I hear or see the name Stella I immediately yell it out like Marlon Brando did in the movie Streetcar Named Desire to Kim Hunter’s character. Stellllllaaaaa !

Anyways, moving on…….

I guess Harrowsmith magazine named Stella as one of the prettiest towns in Canada. Yeah I don’t think so, it’s quaint and cute but far from the prettiest.

So after our cool ferry ride, breaking through the ice, we landed on the Island, at the Stella Ferry Dock. This island is chock full of windmills, hawks, deer, wild turkeys and sometimes owls. But we did not see any owls this day.

We saw so many of the above mentioned wildlife and yet most were always so far away.

We also spotted a fox with either a duck or Mourning Dove in his mouth. He ran from the shore of Lake Ontario, across the road in front of our truck and was gone just that quick. I did manage to snap two quick shots out of the truck front window while the truck was still moving. Needless to say they did not make the cut, pretty bad photos but still so cool to see.

So many deer on the island

There are lots of farms on the island and SHEEP ! I love sheep, they are just so cute.

Scratching an itch

This little deer was by a farmers barn, maybe he wanted to get in with the sheep.

Young one

We drove by a cemetery and sitting by the fence was a cute little deer and two others were behind the fence of the cemetery. Of course he couldn’t stay down, he had to get up and flee. We didn’t even leave our truck.

There are a lot of windmills on the island. I like windmills, a lot of people do not, they find them intrusive. Construction on these ones began late in 2016 and there are about 26 Turbines. I like the look of them and I do not find them noisy. However I do have to say I am not well versed in the pros/cons of having windmills so I will not say anymore on this topic (although I do have some opinions) Are there windmills where you live? How do you feel about them?

As we were leaving to go back to catch the ferry, we were stopped at a Stop sign and I looked to the right and there was a hawk sitting right outside my window on a fence post. So how do ya like that? I was able to get a few shots that turned out okay

Off he goes
Crazy Landing in the field

Below is us leaving Amherst Island on the ferry, see all the ice on the water. We just went on through it! And the ferry leaves the island every hour on the hour.

Ferry leaving Amherst Island

After we got off the ferry,we drove about 30 minutes down the road and caught the FREE Glenora ferry over to Prince Edward County. I have written about the County before so I won’t speak again about it here. But …. it’s an island and this ferry is free because they consider this an extension of the Ontario Provincial Highway from Kingston area to The County.

Below is the Glenora Ferry as we are arriving in The County at the docks, we did not go through any ice, the passageway was clear water.

Coming into the docks in The County on the Glenora Ferry

Again we could not leave our vehicles and the ride was maybe 20 minutes. After we got off the ferry we drove maybe 2 minutes up the road to a brewery. The Lake on the Mountains brewery to be exact so we stopped in there to buy some craft beer to take home.

That was it, that was our day on Tuesday.

Stay safe Everyone.

Prince Edward County Drive – 21 February

Lake Ontario at North Beach Provincial Park

So last Sunday we headed out to Prince Edward County, it was a beautiful day and we wanted to leave early to get the sunrise. But we were running late so we just moseyed down the road to Bain Park in Trenton for a short time. I wanted to try to capture some photos of the sunrise and to drive to another location would have meant missing it.

Sunrise from Bain Park overlooking Bay of Quinte
Bain Park

After that we headed to North Beach Provincial Park for a walk along Lake Ontario. The park was closed so we parked outside the gate and walked in. We were the only ones there, probably because it was so early!

Main Gate at North Beach Provincial Park
Walking along the beach
Lake Ontario

We walked for quite a while along the beach and we didn’t even see a bird. It was very quiet.

We stopped in Wellington, at Rotary Beach, and sat by the bay drinking our coffee. Then we walked around and took photos of the ducks, Canada geese and Swans. There were so many birds in the water and more kept flying in.

Wellington Bay residents

This one duck was quite busy, most of the waterfowl just floated around but this guy was pretty energetic.

Probably trying to keep warm!

They have a lighthouse which is on the point separating Lake Ontario from Wellington Bay.

Short path to the Lighthouse which overlooks Lake Ontario
Lighthouse which I did in B&W with a touch of green
Looking along the shore to the right of the Lighthouse

The photo below I took while standing in front of the Lighthouse and looking back towards Wellington Bay. Clint and I like to canoe in Wellington Bay in the summer, not so much in Lake Ontario!

Channel going from Lake Ontario to the Bay

After that we headed to Long Point . We stopped at this rock face on the way there, it was covered by ice, kind of cool.

The road to Long Point, below

Road to Long Point

The road was gated off to get to this Lighthouse so I took this from the opposite shore where we stopped for a bit.

On the way home we stopped so I could get a quick shot of The Bluffs at Little Bluffs Conservation Area. This is a 20 metre high limestone bluff overlooking Prince Edward Bay. This Conservation Area is still closed, it has been closed for the last few months. 

So that was our day, lots of being outdoors and great spots to visit.

Stay safe and take care.

5:30 In the Morning and -22 Celsius – Sure Let’s go to the Park…

Clint and I decided last Fall that during this Apocalypse, we would make a point to go out driving/hiking at least two days a week. We still occasionally walk around the block but we wanted to get off our street, with our cameras, and see what was going on in some of our local parks and Conservation Areas, in our area.

Yesterday was supposed to be nice albeit COLD but we decided to get up at o’dark thirty (translation – 5:30 a.m.) , dress, grab our coffee and go… so we did. We were hoping to get to Presquile Provincial Park for the sunrise. It was -22 Celsius when we left. But you know, the guy on the radio said there was no wind chill so there you go, hardly cold at all.

Lake Ontario is still not frozen but there is lots of ice and some very tiny mini volcanoes along the shoreline. One area off shore, there was a lot of frazzle ice and I thought it looked very unique. So other worldly, don’t you think? There is the shore, with snow on it, then open water and then the dark patches are the ice pieces.

Frazzle Ice off the shore

Just another view along the beach, the snow has almost a pink look to it from the sunrise which is over to the left of this photo.

Lake Ontario Shoreline

We did see some turkeys but they are so fast! Before I could get out of the truck, they were gone. We did see a small group of about 6 deer playing the woods but there weren’t cooperating for their photo being taken.

Young fawn

We had a great morning in the Park but time to head over to Chisholm Mills. This is a very picturesque Mill and I love photos of it. They believe this mill was built in 1851 and in 1857 the Chisholm family bought it and it has been in the same family since. That is amazing isn’t it? So below is the whole view, such a scenic spot.

Chisholm MIlls

You know me, or maybe you don’t, but I love to do old buildings in B&W so here it is below.

Chisholm Mills

So that was our outing, social distance was enforced, mostly because we saw NO ONE because it was SO EARLY and SO COLD. lol

Stay safe!

And yes,  Zoewiezoe, Trum was there, he just didn’t want to leave the warmth of the truck!

What to do on Cold Winter Days – Presquile Provincial Park and Goodrich-Loomis Conservation Area

Yesterday we went to Massassauga Point Conservation Area Today we head to Presquile Provincial Park and Goodrich-Loomis Conservation Area.

Two swans, enjoying the cold water?
Shoreline of Lake Ontario, no ice on the water. This is not the year for freezing up I guess
Swans hanging out
Lighthouse

A sign is displayed telling about the loss of the Speedy, a ship that supposedly sunk off this shore. This is a very interesting article detailing how this ship, had it not sunk, could have changed the course of Canadian History. Click above link in the word Speedy to read it.

The Loss of the Speedy sign by the Lighthouse.
Marsh area

Presquile has lots of history and historical tidbits. Below is a sign detailing a cemetery that used to be here where there is buried some of the earliest European settlers, who settled on this point, during the first half of the nineteenth century. You can’t see the spot anymore as they let it grow over.

Old Cemetery
Clint took a photo of me by Lake Ontario, see the swans are behind me!

Off to GOODRICH-LOOMIS CONSERVATION AREA

We left the Park and headed to Goodrich-Loomis Conservation Area, not too far away. This is a nice area with 12 kilometres of trails, picnic areas and a nice river.

Trail Map at the Trail Head
Start of the Trail!
Deep in the Woods…sort of
River View
View of the river from a bridge
I don’t know why these caught my eye, some kind of seed pods?

I spotted this piece of ice in the river on a stick so thought I’d play around in Lightroom with it. Just a little something different.

It was funny when we went back to our truck we saw a lady heading out on the trails and she looked like our friend Jane, but it wasn’t. Jane if you are reading this, you have a doppelganger out there!

It was a long day and we were glad to get home and put our feet up, we aren’t getting any younger. I sound more and more like an old person every day! lol

Stay safe Everyone

What to do on Cold Winter Days – Massassauga Point

View of the Bay and way out in the distance you can barely see little dots which are ice fishing huts

This week has been pretty cold here in Ontario. But we had decided last fall that we were going to try to get out at least twice a week and go somewhere to hike and do our photography, other than walk around our block. We are still under lockdown in Ontario so we stay in our area. Over the past two days we have gone to Massassauga Point Conservation Area, Presquile Provincial Park and Goodrich-Loomis Conservation Area. I will do a separate post on the last two places.

We are truly fortunate to have so many Provincial Parks and Conservation Areas close to us.

On our way to Massassauga Point we passed this sign by the side of the road. I have never heard this expression before and didn’t know quite what to make of it. Some of my friends don’t like and some find it funny. It’s certainly unique! Now if you aren’t sure, because I wasn’t, they are referring to eggs, who knew?

I have no words…

Anyways on to our destination…

Massassauga Point Conservation Area is about 60 acres set on the Bay of Quinte. There are a few trails you can take and a spot for having a picnic. The parking lot is close to the water and we could see one lone ice hut just off the shore. Some portions of the trails follow the shoreline, which is really nice and some go through the forest or past an old quarry.

Clint walking the trail which follows the water
Into the forest
You never know what you’ll find in the bush
I wonder where the other half is !

So one day of winter adventures, tomorrow off to Presquile Provincial Park and Goodrich-Loomis Conservation Area. I think we are supposed to get a lot more colder weather coming next week but so far, hardly any snow. Is that good or bad? I say not so bad but I know skiers would like more!

Stay safe.

Lake Ontario – Throwback to the Winter of 2019…

We have been going pretty regularly to Presquile Provincial Park this winter to walk and do photography. This park is right on Lake Ontario and strangely the Lake has not frozen up this winter. In fact we really do not have a winter to speak of here in Ontario, Canada. We should have winter! We were in the Park a few days ago and the waves were lapping at the shore. No freezing happening.

I got looking back through old photos, well not that old………but I wanted to see what winter USED to be like on Lake Ontario. Now I just sound like an old person………….

Anyways, this Post is showing photos I took in the Park in March 2019. So only two years ago and it was so fun to see the Ice Volcanoes. And we also came across a beaver. What more could you ask for?

Clint standing in front of some of the volcanoes

These ice volcanoes have an actual scientific name, they are called cryovolcanoes. I put a link in the first paragraph, kind of interesting how these things come to be. It’s dangerous to climb on top of these as they are usually hollow. So you could be lucky and come down alive….or not! So be careful.

These seagull has claimed this one as his own. Where’s his little flag?

We barely have any snow and it’s heading to the last week of January. And by any, I mean we have maybe one centimetre. So it’s nice to have photos to look at.

It almost looks otherworldly, like another planet!
Clint walking on the water to get to the island. It was frozen over!

There are thousands of birds on this island, as you can see. Clint startled them all
I feel like he is plotting a world take-over, like Pinky and the Brain
Keep walking humans

It was nice to look back at these photos.

So what’s your winter like where you live?

Stay safe, until next time.