Category Archives: Nature

Feeding Time

I’m up early and on the dock with two cups of coffee and it’s a sunny clear morning with a light south west breeze. After some reading and just sitting enjoying the view I’ve decided to take the kayak and get a closer look at the 7am feeding.

Most days during the summer a small aluminum boat comes out of Smith’s Camp at the end of our bay at around 7am. One of the staff is responsible for disposing of the fish remains from the filleting shack from the previous day’s catch. They have a plastic garbage pail on board that is dumped on an rock out cropping around the corner from the camp.

Prior to this at about 6:30am a flock of pelicans congregate at this spot awaiting their breakfast delivery. They are joined by dozens of seagulls that circle overhead in anticipation. Bald eagles are also perched high in the trees awaiting this event. Today I spot 5-6 of them. Some are easily spotted, others are tucked away in the branches and others fly back and forth along the shore line.

All of a sudden all the pecans take off and fly around the corner to Smith’s. Sitting in my kayak I can bairly hear the faint sound of the outboard motor of the “delivery” boat. Sure enough, a few moments later the boat rounds the corner and comes into view with all the pelicans following in formation.

As the staffer pulls ashore and dumps out the fish guts the pelicans eagerly land and then edge ever closer to their breakfast. They can hardly wait until the staffer gets back in the boat and backs away before they attack the fish remains.

Today, the eagles remain in the trees for some reason, perhaps it’s because I’m there. On other days I’ve seen them swoop in and the pelicans and seagulls scatter as they take over at the top of the pecking order.

After watching for a while it’s time to paddle back and rejoin the family for breakfast.

Rainy Day

A rainy day at the lake is still a great day.

I woke up to the sound of gentle rain and a light breeze rustling through the trees. It had been calm all night and as I drifted in and out of a dreamy sleep, I drank in the nature sounds.

Shortly, there was thunder in the distance and then closer as the wind picked up and a small storm rolled through our location. I went upstairs to check on the windows and then just sat watching the raindrops on the patio door form rivulets running down to the deck.

Time for that 1st cup of coffee and more gazing out at the magnificents of creation. It seemed like I was trying to lock it all into my memory, to preserve the feeling for as long as possible.

After a breakfast of corned beef hash with poached eggs on top, it was time to get busy with a small maintenance project.

So thankful to have this place to relax, rejuvenate and let the cares of life drift away for a time.

Winter Walk

BirchWell, it seems to have happened suddenly, it’s winter. We’ve had a little snow, and the temperatures have dropped enough that we’re feeling the chill of the season.

We took a late afternoon walk at St. Vital Park just as the sun was going down. There were very few people around this normally popular weekend destination. Could it be the coolness of the day? 

It seems strange that we’re complaining about how cold it is at -12°C and in a few months, we’ll think this is a warm and balmy day and spring must just be around the corner. Unfortunately, at this point, it’s going to get worse before it gets better.  

 

Dog Beach

Dog Beach

I was on a hike with Shirley and some friends on the Tunnel Island trails which is a beautiful hiking area between Keewatin and Kenora. The trails are well used, especially by folks walking their dogs. It’s been a while since we’ve been out on the trails, and now they are very well signed with directions, distances, and including a full trail head route map. A short distance into the trail and we come across the sign makers sense of humor. It’s interesting that most of the dogs we encountered on our hike were off leash, which seems to be the main benefit of bringing your dog here, given the fact that the trails are virtually downtown, yet surprisingly remote after only hiking few minutes from the parking area.

This shot was an excellent opportunity to try out my 1/3 owned, new Canon EFS 10-22mm lens. I like the way the wide angle puts the sign in the foreground while still showing the full expanse of this section of the Winnipeg River system as it leaves Lake of the Woods. (Full size photo)

The Eagle has Landed

The Eagle has Landed by Big Dadoo
The Eagle has Landed, a photo by Big Dadoo on Flickr.

Well, more correctly, the eagles have landed. I was surprised this morning on my walk to the end of the road to see two heads in the eagle nest. They say that eagles mate for life and this pair has been returning to this nest for many years. Once endangered, we now see multiple eagles almost every day when we’re at the lake.

Speaking of the lake, we’re out for the first time in 2011 and in spite of all the changes in the forecast, Saturday turned out to be a beautiful sunny and warm (+10) day. The ice is still very thick in the 20″-24″ range, and I’m so glad I bought that ice auger a couple of years ago. Hacking through the ice with a pick axe, the way I used to do it, is a killer workout.. Cars & trucks are still driving on the ice roads, and ice fishing shacks dot the lake.

We enjoyed some time on the side deck in the sun with just tee shirts on. There is almost no wind and it was lovely and warm in the shelter of the cottage.

Early Snowfall

This was the scene in our driveway at about 10am. We'd just stepped out side to try and photograph a beautiful rainbow, but it faded very rapidly. In the one shot I got off, it's barely visible. This was the first time I'd seen a rainbow where there hadn't been any rain, or snow for that matter, for some time and it was a generally clear sky. But, as you can see, there was snow on the ground from Friday afternoon, and over night into Saturday. I skipped the FOG ride. I don't mind cold, but cold & wet is just a little too much. Perhaps there will be a ride on the holiday Monday, but I think Eric & I will be heading out to Sandilands for a little mountain biking instead. Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I know I've got lots to be thankful for.

Will winter ever end?

This is no April Fools joke, unless you consider Mother Nature a joker. Even though we Winnipeger’s should know better, we still expect it to be warmer, and to have is stop snowing sooner, and of course it would be nice if it didn’t flood everywhere, but such is not the case.

Out the front window this morning.