Nature Walk

….on the weekend I took a stroll to the naturalized park close to home

It’s not often that our dog, Frances wants to go for long walks anymore. She’s almost 13 and she sleeps most of the day. On occasion, however, when she does want to go for a walk she’s seems to find the energy to make her way to Col. Sam Smith Park. On warm days she likes to go for a swim from one of the three beaches in the park but last weekend the water was a little too green for my liking so I didn’t tempt fate and kept her on her leash.

I love this time of year with the colours changing. Plants are producing berries and seed heads and the grasses are turning brown with lovely seed tops swaying in the wind. The bees are very active these days and the birds are getting ready to migrate. Here are a few of my favourite sightings from my walk last weekend.IMG-3880
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Fan of…..#32 – Big Sand Bay

….thanks to Jez Braithwaite for hosting Fan of…..

I’m a big fan of the beach down from my cottage on Georgian Bay. Last weekend the beach was quiet. It was a beautiful weekend but most people stayed in the city. I’m not complaining because I loved the solitude and spending time with my dog, Frances.P1080194
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Happy Victoria Day

….to all my fellow Canadians

As far as long weekends go this one was pretty uneventful. Daughter number two went up to the camp to continue cleaning out their cabin that they’ll be living in this summer but they only stayed one night. The black flies are pretty bad this time of year and it was cold.

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On Saturday I got some gardening down and cleaned out part of a flower bed and trimmed back the Rose of Sharon and the ornamental grass. Even though it was warm enough to garden without a jacket it wasn’t warm enough to sit outside without a jacket to enjoy a cup of coffee.

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On Sunday daughter number one and our daughter-in-law came over to drop off their dog, Olive so that they could camping in a yurt up in Tobermory. While they were there my husband felt well enough to make a fabulous dinner that he had seen on Jamie Oliver’s show, Dinner in 30 Minutes. This is a photo of the salad he made with fresh mozzarella, prosciutto, roasted peaches, olives and salad greens.IMG-2326

Olive seemed to settle in quite nicely and she certainly made herself right at home when her mommies left. Unfortunately night time was a bit rough and I ended up sleeping on the couch with her until 4:30 in the morning and then my husband took over.

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Today started out promising but the winds picked up and the temperatures  were well below normal. Later in the day I bundled up and took the dogs for two separate walks. Frances would only let me take her around the block but Olive went five times as far. We ended up in Col. Sam Smith Park. The water levels are still high and one of the pathways was completely under water.IMG-2346

No sunburn or tanning this long weekend but the good news is that I walked over 13000 steps today. How was everyone else’s weekend.?

A Surprise Visitor(s)

…this time last year we discovered a similar visitor in our backyard

Some of you may remember the racoon we found in our deck box last year. We managed to get a couple of photos before it scurried off and never returned. All spring we’ve had a heavy metal pan sitting on top of the box so we figured that would be enough of a deterrent to keep the racoons out of the box.

When our dog Frances started to get excited and agitated around the outside of the box this week my husband suspected that the racoon had returned. We took the dog back into the house and quickly the racoon escaped. When we opened the box we found another surprise.IMG-1981
The mama returned shortly after but she wasn’t sure what to do.IMG-1982
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We called Animal Control and they told us to make the area very uncomfortable by playing loud music, especially at night, and throwing in some dog fur into the box. The one thing not to do is add moth balls because they are too toxic for the babies. Apparently racoons have more than one den site so the theory is that the mother will take her babies somewhere else.

We were all set to do that but my husband didn’t want to wait until nightfall so he started by opening the box all the way. Again the mama racoon scurried away. It didn’t take long before she returned and one by one she removed her babies and waddled across the deck and the backyard, up the chain link fence and into the neighbours yard. We were afraid she was going to move into our old garage or crawl under our deck but I guess one of her other den sites is in someone else’s backyard.fullsizeoutput-7737
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