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!

Dragonflies, Bees and Bugs

I don’t normally photograph any kind of insect because I am not fond of bugs to be blunt. However, sometimes when we are sitting in our canoe for a very long time (maybe a couple of hours) we do see some great photo opportunities. Now I don’t have a macro lens so I just use what I have, usually my 200mm or my 300mm. A macro lens would be better but we only have one of those lenses between us so we both can’t use it at the same time!

As well as photos of butterflies, bees and others, I also have photos of dragonflies and damselflies. I always these two were one and the same but there are differences. The dragonfly has a bigger body and the wings are to the side when sitting. The damselflies are more slender and their eyes are large and somewhat on the side of their head. I spent more time than I should have trying to figure these guys out and was just getting discouraged. If anyone can tell what types they are please feel free to let me know. Knowledge is a great thing! It was very difficult to try and match up my photos with photos on the web.

I took this in marsh area outside of New Orleans, I like the look of the photo.
Bald Faced Hornet and apparently these guys are miserable!
A little bee, I believe he is a honey bee
I could not find this guy, he might be a Saddlebag or some form of Jewelwing?

This is the infamous Brown Dragonfly! Okay I have no idea…….
Bees getting nectar
Some form of caterpillar
Butterfly on the Moira River
another nameless flying creature……..
I really liked the colouring of this guy/gal

I believe the blue Dragonfly below is called the Canada Darner and the other is a female Canada Darner….. or not

Okay so this is the Porn shot lol

So those are some of my unidentified insect photos.

Stay safe !

Bears – My Photos and Stories

Alberta Bear

How can you not love bears? From Theodore Roosevelt’s Teddy Bears to Winnie the Poo to Gentle Ben, all warm and cuddly….or not.

Everyone who knows me knows that I love Moose…but then there are BEARS and I also dearly love bears. We have had a lot of encounters with bears but surprisingly I do not have a lot of photos. I think sometimes I am too shocked to take the picture lol. Plus they are very fast, they usually run away pretty quick. Couple of quick facts: Black bears are about the size of humans; approximately 100-180 pounds. They are solitary and have few predators and are basically just awesome.

We have been followed by a bear on a bike path, had them in our trailer campsites, our back country campsites and had the pleasure of seeing some super cute little cubs over the years.

Below is the young bear, maybe 2 years old who followed us on a bike trail in Algonquin Park. We got off our bikes and walked our bikes and he followed. We did not ride our bikes away, he may have given chase, you never run from a bear… although sometimes the urge is strong lol. Anyways after a few minutes, we made a lot of noise and he took off.

Another time, we had been out paddling our canoe all day and came home for a beer and a rest. We were sitting in our chairs reading, and drinking, and I happened to look up and there he was! So close, that is another pretty good story.

Coming for dinner?

How handsome is this young bear?

We used to do a lot of back country camping or interior camping whichever you prefer. We had one trip that we called the Summer of the Bears. We were with my sister and her husband and we canoed/portaged into Pen Lake in Algonquin Park. There was a mom bear and two cubs and they were making the rounds around that lake. We had them in our site every day and I talked about this summer in another Blog Post. https://trumstravels.com/2017/05/30/bear-stories/ Pretty interesting trip I’d say! So below are the photos of the mom bear in one of our camps and also how we hang our food barrel, (we call it a food bucket). And another photo showing her teaching the young cubs to climb trees. It is not a great photo but it was darkish and we were scared lol

If you aren’t sure what back country or interior camping is you can check out some of my other posts. https://trumstravels.com/2019/10/07/back-country-canoe-trips-part-11-2011/

https://trumstravels.com/2019/09/16/back-country-canoe-trips-part-9-2009/

Get away from our stuff
Stop staring at us please
Our Food Bucket tucked away for the night…and day…

I know not the best photo but you can see the dark blobs climbing the tree

Now in the province of Ontario we have lots of Black Bears. We also have Polar Bears way up north, like WAY up north, around Hudson Bay. Now I always thought we did not have Grizzly Bears in Ontario; however, I was lately reading a 2019 research paper that indicated it would not be surprising to see Grizzlies in Northern Ontario, again WAY up in northern Ontario. There are Grizzlies in the province of Manitoba, which borders our province, and there has been indications they may have crossed the border. I mean come on, they are GRIZZLIES, they can go where they want! The only Grizzlies I personally have seen was in Denali National Park . We were in a tour bus, which is the only way you can get into the park, and I spotted a mom and 2 cubs, way off in the distance so I got one or two pics as the bus sped past. Again, they were far away and it was through a window but still…

Mom and cubs

While in Fairbanks, Alaska, we had a mom bear and cubs traipsing around our campground. Well the mom was, the cubs didn’t come out of the bushes.

She was a good looking bear

If you have never seen a bear trap, here is one below. This one was set up about 4 campsites down from our campsite at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. They set it up as there was a “nuisance” bear in the campground. Don’t even get me started on nuisance bears, more like nuisance people.

I write about this in another Blog Post, https://trumstravels.com/2020/12/09/wildlife-photography-do-you-have-a-code-of-ethics/

I write about “getting the shot” vice respecting wildlife. And in my Post, there are stories about different animals and the way their lives end up because they are “nuisances”. Very sad.

Anyways in this particular instance, they did catch the bear in the trap and no more bear.

Bear Trap

We have been to the province of Alberta a few times and you can see lots of bears there, usually alongside the road. They have some good looking bears in Alberta. I cannot wait to go out there again, it’s probably my favourite province, or one of them anyways.

Right by the roadside
Alberta bear eating berries
Heading for the berries
Look at the tongue!

And just in case you are wondering, I did not get out of the truck while taking photos of this Alberta bear.

A couple of years ago we were so fortunate to spot these four cuties and their mom crossing the road in front of us. Then they all climbed a tree.

3 of the 4 cubs
All four of them up the tree, too bad the branches are in the way but I wasn’t about to move them
This guy was adorable and so tiny

So that is that. I have more photos and stories but pretty sure you have had enough of bears this time, hopefully I can see some bears and get some more photos this summer.

Take care.

Flowers

Flowers at Butchart Gardens, Victoria, B.C.

Anyone who knows me knows that I love to photograph animals, usually the four legged kind. Moose, bears, fox, raccoons, coyotes all those guys. I do however, occasionally, break out of my mold and do flowers, insects, birds, landscapes and a slew of other types of photography. I have to say I do not do portraits. Why you may ask? I have absolutely no interest, zero, zilch, none at all to photograph people. Give me a cute squirrel any day to photograph!

But this post I am going to highlight some flowers I have taken over the years. For the most part, the flowers will be from Butchart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia. My birth home. Not the gardens……..Victoria. I love this city. If you ask me where you should visit if you come to Canada, I will give you a list of provinces and/or cities and the city of Victoria will most likely be on the list. And I could probably write out a good list because I have been to every province and one territory more than once. I just have two territories I need to visit.

But I digress…. back to the flowers. Enjoy

Taken in Warkworth , Ontario
Taken at the Warkworth, Ontario Lilac Festival
Butchart Gardens, Victoria, B.C.
Butchart Gardens, Victoria, B.C.
Jasper, Alberta
Butchart Gardens, Victoria B.C.
Butchart Gardens, Victoria B.C.
Our Garden
Butchart Gardens, Victoria B.C
I wanted to do a close up on this flower, I think it looks very interesting
Yellow flower turned B&W
Butchart Gardens, Victoria B.C.
Butchart Gardens, Victoria B.C.
Butchart Gardens, Victoria B.C.
Butchart Gardens, Victoria B.C.
Butchart Gardens, Victoria B.C.
Butchart Gardens, Victoria B.C.
Restoule Provincial Park, Ontario
Millenium Trail, Picton, Ontario

So that’s that, some of my favourite flower 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!