Monday, October 31, 2011

What a great contest!

My bloggy friend The Musical Gardener has a great contest on, and the winner will receive an original, commissioned work of his art. He's a talented artist and this is a WONDERFUL prize so get over there and enter the contest:

What are ya waitin' for? Go! He has a great blog that deserves more followers!!

Toast Post

Gordon's been at it again with my morning toast creations. For those who think I have the most boring breakfast routine possible, relax. I'm only half boring. I always eat breakfast in two shifts: tea and whole-grain toast with some kind of nut butter when I get up, then about an hour later I have fruit and whatever else is going that day: oatmeal, cereal, poached egg. The toast is my "Feed me before I bite your arm off" pacifier.

Back to the creations...

Happy face, or is that  a chicken beak I see in the middle?

I love this one. It reminded me of the old air traffic control tower at LAX,  but Gordon said he was thinking more War of the Worlds. I'm thinking either possibility is a bit of a stretch!

And then we have some modern art...

Side view.

 Top view. 
No clue!
Finally, one of my favs...

Is it desert island with palm tree, or beach with umbrella? You decide.
Happy Hallowe'en!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Voyageur, part 2

The rest of the pics from our Voyageur Park adventure. For those wondering what a voyageur is (as opposed to voyeur, which would be a whole other kind of park!), click here.


Gordon made me do it.

All that money spent on a sign, and they can't spell "restaurant" correctly in either of Canada's official languages!!!

Looks like a pond a beaver would love to call home!

I always love the look of silver birches interspersed with fall colours.

Beach at the park. It was a damp, cold, grey day. Reminded me of Nova Scotia!

I can never resist writing in the sand.

Some people store their campers at the park for the winter...

I was thinking that some of these probably smell pretty musty after being closed up for months on end! When I was a kid, our neighbours had one of those pop-up campers. They put it up in their backyard one summer and my friend and I spent the night in it. I still remember the smell!

More fall colours, soon to be replaced by snow and grey.

The last leafy stragglers hang on for the next stiff wind.

I love this little mushroom collection!

And fungi growing on a log.

Everything you ever wanted to know about the fight at Long-Sault but were afraid to ask.

I can't help but wonder how this pair of socks came to be abandoned here.

More fungi!

More leaves.

More berries.

When I saw this glimpse of blue in the woods, I thought we'd stumbled across "Occupy Voyageur" but nope, it was just a tarp covering some firewood.

Splash of red over the creek.

And finally, time to drive home (in the direction of Ottawa!)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The verboten park!

So the other day, we decided to visit Voyageur Provincial Park, which is right near the Quebec/Ontario border. We were all mystified about why the gates were closed on the road in, and why no one was there, because gosh darn it, Gordon read on the internet that the place didn't close until 4:30 pm, and we were there well before that.

Being the naughty hooligans we are, we walked in anyway. It wasn't until we'd come home and I checked the internet again that I saw that the park is actually closed from mid-October to December, when it re-opens for cross-country skiing. Oops! So we were in the verboten park. Naughty, naughty us. On the upside, we had the place to ourselves. And in our defence, I must say it was damn hard to find the hours online! 

I took so many photos, I am going to split this into two posts.

The dying embers of the fall colours were quite beautiful. The trees would have been at their autumn best about two weeks earlier, but it was still very pretty.

There's my favourite criminal trespasser!

Beavers are very active in the park, which sits on the Ottawa River and has several lovely beaches. Here's a beaver lodge we found near the campground.

Guess who?

I do love autumn in Canada, especially around here where there are lots of maple trees.

You see splashes of colour everywhere you look.

Not to mention unusual forest creatures!

And because of the beavers, there are lots of beaver control devices!

That tree in the middle was cut down by a beaver. Click on the photo to enlarge and you can see the typical beaver-gnawing marks!

I am really bad at identifying berries and plants and trees. My friend Ronna would know what these are!

And I do know the name of these red berries, but I'm damned if I can remember it! People love to decorate with boughs of them at Christmas time.

We saw lots of interesting fungi at the park. Hey, did you hear about the mushroom salesman? He was a really fungi (fun guy!) Ar ar ar ar ar!

Mother Nature sure does some spectacular things!

More tomorrow...

PS Gordon just did a blog post on five things you need to know about income tax law in Canada (for the ordinary Canadian mortal.) Check it out!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Quack, quack, cluck...

On Sunday, the ducks and chickens went a free-rangin'!

The chickens headed straight for the piles of litter recently cleaned out of their coop. That's Charlotte on top of the middle pile, and Lord Gaga (white rooster) on the right.

Meanwhile, six of the huge "ducklings" and the four adults left their enclosure. It was the first-ever outing for the youngsters. The other six weren't interested in tagging along. Can you tell the adults from the babies now?  The red "caruncles" around the beaks of the adults are a good clue. THey are more prominent on the males than the females.

From the left, Ronna-duck is the third one in. SHe is really feathering out; must be fluffing up for winter. MacGregor is the big brown boy next to her, then Charlie Sheen, then Eugenia (aka Mama duck) is right behind him. And behind her is Amy Winehouse, facing the wrong way!

Here they are next to the new five-foot fencing around their expanded run. The rest of the duck family is on the other side.

Sophie likes to help me herd the ducks, when she isn't eating duck poo. I think she has some Shepherd in her somewhere.

Soon there will be snow on that ground.

As you can see, Beaker is still a strutting bastion of roosterhood!

The freedom fighters  look in on the inmates, wondering what those skanky chickens are doing in there!

Check out Errol Flynn the rooster looking all nonchalant as drake Charlie Sheen gives him a backwards glance. The roosters do not mess with the drakes, but one of those new red Sex-links hens made Charlie back down twice last Sunday. It was hilarious! Normally the chickens are very deferential to the ducks, but this red hen got her ruff up just like a rooster, and was all in Charlie's face. Charlie backed down both times! He's a lover, not a fighter. He especially loves to love my arm. And leg. And if I'm squatting, he'll throw himself at my back in a fit of passion. Poor guy, it must be hard having the human girl laughing at his courtly efforts!

These two look like twins!

MacGregor giving Amy and Hannibal a prod as Eugenia (Mama) ignores them.

Ronna and Eugenia decided it would be fun to check out the duck run.

MacGregor joined them. Eventually only Eugenia was left, and she couldn't figure her way back out, so I had to herd her back home to her run.

INCOMING! We live near a flight school and get a lot of student pilots over the farm. I find it particularly unnerving when they practice stalls, or occasionally do REALLY low flyovers (so low I wonder if they are about to crash!)

This one just flew over at a relatively normal altitude. I waved at the plane, as I always do!

The sun is moving right over to its winter position, and disappearing earlier every day. I'm not ready for winter this year!