Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge – July 16, 2017

…..thanks to Cee for hosting Odd Ball Photo Challenge

Some of my odd ball photos come from experimenting with my camera and my different lenses. Here are a few at I took at the cottage the last two weeks.

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A Backyard Visitor

an opportunity to pull out the ‘zoom’ lens

As you know from previous posts I’ve inherited a zoom lens that I’ve been dying to use on wildlife. My moon photos were a complete bust but I’ll try again when the weather isn’t quite so frigid.

A few days ago, before the snow storm hit, a squirrel was darting around on my deck looking for water. I grabbed my camera and started shooting through the glass of the patio doors. The first few had too much glare because I was shooting at an angle. Then I was able to get a shot straight on and it made a big difference. I wanted to say ‘huge’ but I’m trying to avoid that word as much as possible.

I was hoping to open the doors so that I could get a shot that didn’t happen through a glass window (a dirty on at that) but as soon as I did that the squirrel took off and look who showed up (3rd photo). If the squirrel hadn’t run away when I opened the door , Frances’ presence would have scared him off for sure.

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When Lucy Met Olive

….it definitely wasn’t love at first “bite”

Puppies and old dogs don’t always mesh. A and J were looking forward to introducing their new dog, Olive to G’s and B’s older dog, Lucy.

The experts say that there’s something about puppies that older dogs recognize as being non-threatening. They instinctively know that these frisky young pups, although somewhat annoying to older dogs, are harmless and in need of nurturing and gentle instruction in the hierarchy of the canine world.

I guess Lucy had not read the chapter on caring for pups. A while back she had been attacked by another dog in the dog park and in her defence she has been wary of all new dogs that she meets. Olive learned very quickly that Lucy was less than pleased to meet her. We ended up keeping both dogs on leashes in the house during dinner time. Food issues between two dogs can be quite unpleasant and since Lucy is about four times bigger than Olive we erred on the side of caution during mealtime. P1020714.JPG

As the day progressed Lucy relaxed a bit, literally, and slept on the couch while Olive pranced around the house and stayed clear of Lucy. Luckily Lucy doesn’t feel the same way about our granddaughter. Winnie can sit on Lucy and dress her up and Lucy reaps the rewards at dinner time when Winnie drops food by her high chair. It’s what I would call a symbiotic relationship.

Winnie is a little unsure of Olive. She’s not used to such an ‘active dog’ but over time I’m sure she will grow to love Olive as the rest of us have. As for Lucy, I think that she will stay out of Olive’s way and be somewhat territorial but time will tell.

The next challenge will come when the girls bring Olive over to our house to meet Frances.img_0556

” Say what??? Who’s coming over for dinner?”

Nature Art at Camp Kawartha

….environmental messages from our grade 5s

Last week I spent 3 days in the Kawarthas with 59 grade 5 students.  The days were filled with great learning opportunities about the environment, survival practices from the past, games played by indigenous peoples and songs sung around the campfire. Most of the activities were outdoors and involved scavenger hunts, archery, night hikes, fire making and a game of survivor amongst herbivores, omnivores and carnivores. During free time the students could continue playing outside or pick up one of many games that were available to them in the lounge.

Every meal, students took turns setting the tables, serving the food and cleaning up, including washing the dishes using the large industrial dish washer. There was lots of food (breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack) and no one needed to go hungry. The kitchen was impressed with how much salad this group ate.

After supper two of us were responsible for organizing hour long activities for the students to participate in before the evening program began. I took on the role of planning an art lesson. During the day I had students pick up things from the ground to use in a nature collage. Days before the trip I cut up about 80 pieces of cardboard to use as our background material and I brought bags of magazines and pieces of assorted papers.

I instructed the students to come up with a piece of art that gave some kind of message about protecting our environment from global warming or saving wildlife from poaching and/or loss of habitat. They were free to use any of the materials that I brought and the things that they found in the forest. The students were completely engaged and came up with some very interesting  works of art. Here is a sampling of their creativity.

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Night Visitor at the Cottage

….most wildlife at the cottage is pretty much unseen

When I arrived at the cottage last week I heard from a couple of my neighbours that a fox and her four kits lived close by. Usually the fox stay back in the woods but this mom and her family have been seen during the day checking out the area around the cottages looking for handouts.

The second night at the cottage I heard a very loud and strange sound. At first I thought it was the young man next door sneezing loudly. When I heard it a second time it sounded more like a woman screaming. The third yelp was clearly closer to the cottage and the sound was a half animal and half human cry. After several strange screams I heard the neighbours start to come out of their cottages.

D from next door was walking up the road with her head lamp on and soon saw that the noise was coming from the mother fox. She continued with her crying for a little while longer but we have no idea why she was so traumatized. Eventually she left and the rest of the evening was relatively quiet. There has been some speculation that the fisher in the neighbourhood may have gotten one of her kits.

Like I said earlier much of the wildlife on the island stays out of site and in the evening when you’re walking along a path you have to be careful not to step on the toads. One evening I went to the water barrel to wash my hands and I heard a rustle in the leaves. When I looked down I saw the biggest toad I’ve ever laid eyes on. With the aid of my lantern I was able to get a couple of shots of him before he jumped away.

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