20150823 Hartley Bay Road and Highway 522

We went for a drive to Hartley Bay on the French River where we saw this abandoned dwelling with a productive highbush cranberry in front …


This beekeeper protects his honey from bears with a solar-powered electrified fence.


I am not sure what is happening here.  Providing water for the bees?


Another Viburnum trilobum:


Lead-in lines supporting the shadows? …


Andrew Wyeth style …. “Christina Olson’s barn without Christina“??


Yet another female Monarch, this time on a goldenrod …


South side of “Halfway Snowmobile Trail”  on Hwy 522.


Small Cabbage White at Portage Lake:


Another beautiful day in paradise!

20150820-21 Local Scenery

Here, without comment,are some nice pictures taken late last week.

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( Yes, as an experiment, I did use a circular polarizing filter on the above.  In addition to the obvious softening of the reflections and the contrast of the blue sky, I think it helped the texture (microcontrast?), when shooting downsun.   You need to enlarge the image, by clicking on it, to see that effect, though.)

20150819 Trip to Killarney where I saw a unique American Crow

We enjoyed the sights at the Killarney Red Rock Lighthouse.


Nice cool splashing water…


Uh!  Oh!  The photographer has been spotted.


(There is another nice picture of the above scene, taken almost 5 years ago, at this site.)

See the white streaking?   White crows! 

It hopped out of sight without flying so I didn’t get a chance to photo it in the air.   : (


On the way back we detoured to Burwash and saw these ripening crabapples near where the main prison block was located. It will be interesting to see if they do ripen.

Lots of high-speed trucks hauling loads of ground-up asphalt into the site so one needs to be careful in the area.


Always a nice drive to Killarney.

20150818 Local blooms and rail gang

While I was recording the end-of-summer blossoms a CPR tie replacement gang came though, providing a good lesson in mechanization backbreaking labour.

First, some blossoms:

Evening Primrose with visitor …


Virgin’s Bower, a wild Clematis, ending it blossom stage …


… and entering its “windflower” fluffy stage:


The last of the Fireweed blossoms …



Meanwhile the Black Cherries are ripening.


Here is one of the first mechanized devices in the tie gang:


The operators use little hydraulic/pneumatic “pullers” to pull the spikes out of the rail plate.  3 for each plate.  Following along behind are some younger (lower seniority?) workers who are picking up the spikes and loading that trailer.   A railside electromagnet on a backhoe reloads the spikes into a carrier which is used to reload them into magazines where they are re-used.  It was quite neat to see the machinery pull old ties out to the side, put new ties in under the rail and then respike them.   This sort of thing seemed to be inevitable though:


Worker is adjusting rail plate on two new ties the old fashioned way.

20150717 Local Sights

Some random shots taken in the neighbourhood:

Visitor on juniper bush …


Last of the summer daylilies along the Still River …


Tansy is now very common along the roadsides ….


Nice colours.  …. and truncated triangles!


Broadwinged hawk on Forest Access Road


Some Highbush Cranberries are ripening…


CNR crossing north of Mowat Siding (Forest Access Rd)




Ripe!  But hard to find as the bears are feeding on them ravenously.


This is the 500,000 Volt transmission line bringing power from the 350 MW  ABITIBI CANYON GS to Southern Ontario (Including Sudbury and Parry Sound).  It is the line that the proposed Henvy Inlet Wind farm would hook into. Currently the plan is to hook the wind farm output into the line at the Parry Sound Transformer Station, although many locals, including me, prefer “Option A” which means a new Transformer Station in the vicinity of this photo (south of Hwy 522).


Near Lost Channel …


Nice country.

20150814 Trip to Moose Lake …. some bugs and blossoms …. LINK

Edit on 20170817:   The page in the title block  has been removed and the link to the original article has been repaired.  Lesson: Do it right the first time!

For some reason this post ended up in the title block.   I know not why … and I don’t know how to fix it … except to put this link in:

20150814 Trip to Moose Lake …. some bugs and blossoms …. LINK

I hope that this works!

A fix put in on 20160619:

20150814 Trip to Moose Lake via Hwy 529 …. some bugs and blossoms

We saw a lot of late summer activity.  Here are the highlights.

This grasshopper’s flight resembles a high speed butterfly.  Study grasshoppers.


Keeping track of the photographer…


Last of the milkweed blossoms attracting bees and butterflies in need of nectar …


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Pods are forming quickly ..


Yet another nectar source for the last of the Monarchs.

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Jewelweed is a well known soother for poison ivy.


Joe pie weed flower head is an uncommon place for a grasshopper.


Joe pie weed just starting to bloom….


On of my favorite summer (and winter indoor) flowers …  Pearly everlasting.

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A source of nectar for this butterfly (duskywing skipper?)


Stowing proboscis prior to flight ….


Bumble bee visiting purple loosestrife


This shows why purple loosestrife is considered to be an invasive specie in our wetlands:


After stopping for a “moose tracks” ice cream cone at Moose Lake Trading Post, I headed back to Britt and saw some towering clouds on the northern horizon…..  the subject of yet another post to this blog.

One thought on “20150814 Trip to Moose Lake via Hwy 529 …. some bugs and blossoms”

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20150814 Stormy weather on Hwy 522

On my trip home after the stop for an ice cream cone I noticed some towering clouds on the northern horizon.  So I phoned my go-to meteorologist, Andrew, for some information.  He reported the presence of some thunderheads in the vicinity and found one passing to the north east of Britt.  I had planned to refuel in Britt but thought that I had enough gas for a short “storm chase”.

This is one of the images that he sent me, (which I got after arriving home).


It looked like these convective CBs were being stimulated by a weak cold front moving from NW to SE.

So I hurried north of Britthome and turned east on Hwy 522, where I caught up to one cell east of ESS Narrows.  There I turned the truck around and took the following images looking south while returning to Hwy 69 (and gasoline!).

Although it was the angry clouds that caught my eye, the streaking (that can be seen in the enlarged version (click on the image) is also very interesting.  The boundary between rain and non-rain can’t be that sharp!  It’s the angle of the  sunlight reflecting off of the raindrops that is causing those bright streaks.  I’ve never noticed that before!


The dramatic light in these shots can be seen when clicking on the images….


See that bird riding the updrafts in the far part of the “V” above?  (click twice.)

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Uh, oh! ……



Storms are always invigorating, especially when chasing them with the fuel quantity indicator on “E”.

20150813 Teddy Bear’s Picnic

The severe late frost this spring destroyed the crops of low bush cranberries, huckleberries and blueberries in this part of Ontario.  Blueberries are an important food for black bears.  So they are not in good shape and are visiting us, sometimes causing problems.  In addition to the usual raids on garbage and bird/pet foods we’ve had two attacks on dogs recently.  And we have an eyewitness account of a bear killing and eating a mature Canada Goose a week ago.

Fortunately the choke cherries and black cherries are ripening, taking the edge off of their hunger.

Yesterday I came across a momma bear and her two cubs enjoying a morning snack along Riverside Road near Marcotte’s.  I stayed in the truck and managed to keep the doggies lying down on their seats.

First, one of the cubs checking out the photog from a patch of juniper (shintangle) bushes:


Mama peeking out from a choke cherry bush.


My only shot (ever) with a shaft of light illuminating a bear’s iris.


yum yum!


Time to move on….


15 minutes later, on my return trip, Momma bear surveyed the old Lachance Mill …


Then snuck off into the junipers with her family.


We hope that she’ll find enough food to keep away from humans.

2015085-7 Trip to Loring, Monarch cats,

Stopped along the way on our visit to Roxy’s in Port Loring:

Pond, just East of Grundy Lake Provincial Park:


Hallie B. viewing his fields from his classic MF tractor while mowing the boundary of his parents farm.  He stopped the tractor and visited with us in the truck.  We have mutual friends, it turns out.  Eddie (the fisherman) and he used to work for BOT Construction.


A little detour up the North Road yielded these views of an threatening sky:



Meanwhile,  back in Britt, a morning view of Byng Inlet.



A new bunch of Monarch “Cats” are devouring the milkweeds.  I have been searching for the chrysalises to no avail.

Now I have a plan and hope to find some over the next week or so as I think that this is the generation that will make the southern migration.



20150803 Monarch factory?

We checked out the milkweed patch and found a big crop of Monarch Caterpillars reaching maturity:


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A couple of km away this Monarch was collecting nectar from this plant named after Joe Pie:

It was very close to the big patch of milkweed across the road from W’s Marina so we might see some larvae there this year.  Good!!


I included this photo because it gets the variation in maturity of the flower head of this  spirea.:


Over the last week I have noticed that the warblers are no longer singing.  And I haven’t seen any.  I suspect that the  yellow warbler families have fledged and have started their southbound journey.