Rain or Shine II

Yesterday was one of those incredible days where the weather was changing every second. One minute the sun was shining, the next was a thunderstorm and then at times there were both at once. I tried to capture it in photos as well as possible.

Apologies for the repeat in photos, I am just trying out a new layout.

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First Gosling! And a Duck Who Thought She Was The Mom?

Aside

Yesterday I saw the first gosling of the year! Right when I noticed it and was snapping away with my camera, I noticed something interesting happening…

…so, there is the little gosling (soooo cute).


 Along came a curious Ring Necked Duck followed by some males vying for her attention. 

The little duck gets chased by a parent goose who is rightfully protecting it’s only baby.

The duck does not give up. She chases away her male pursuers and continues to follow the gosling, quite smitten by it.  

Finally, she catches up and the parent geese decide she is not really much of a threat so allow her to hang out with them. The duck kept swimming around the little gosling who was curious about the duck.

For a short while, she managed to have the gosling all to herself while the parents watched from not to far away.

Eventually the parents decided to step in again and shoo away the duck after they let her have her fun.

I really have not idea why this duck was so interested in the gosling. It seemed to me she wanted to be it’s mother, but of course being a mother myself, I am only speculating from my own perspective! Perhaps she was just curious, or wanted to play. Whatever the situation, it was fun to watch 🙂

Windsurfing

We have had a number of windy days lately and although it is bitterly cold, it has made me dream of when windsurfing used to be a big part of my life. Since having kids, I have gotten out of shape and all my time has been focused on house, kids, jobs, etc.. Every now and then I have windsurfing dreams which, for me, are always the ultimate in happy dreams. There is no feeling like flying over the water with nothing but the wind as your wings and feeling the board dancing under your feet. So (sigh), I have vowed to get back in shape so I am able to once again live this experience.

My husband also windsurfs and this was one of the factors that brought us together in the first place. We both grew up on the Great Lakes where big winds and open waters abound, so the little lake we live on takes some getting used to. Unfortunately a good day windsurfing on the lake is a very rare occurrence. Here are some pictures of my husband a few years ago and some of me at the end.

The girls helping daddy prepare.

And he is off.

Wet hugs for a job well done.

And finally some pics of me a few years back. Not nearly as impressive but when I look at them they inspire me and remind me of what I used to do and strive to do again. 
Carpe Diem!

Most Spectacular Clouds on the Lake so Far

Came across these photos I took a few years ago of storm clouds one evening. In our  7 years of living on the lake, we have seen some incredible storms and jaw-dropping skies but this one definitely stands out as one of the best. The sunset shining under the storm front made for an eerie and stunning spectacle as the leading edge dropped down like the fingers of a giant hand. Beauty and the Beast, with beautiful sunset colours combined with an ominous and brooding sky.

Photos to follow are not retouched at all.

Note the intense and sudden wind ripples on the water.

Last Night’s Sunset and This Morning’s Snowstorm

“Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky in morning, sailors take warning”.
After growing up with lots of sailing in my life, I can attest that this saying is usually true. However, after last evening’s stunning sunset, I certainly would not want to be sailing in the snow that was flying this morning!

Photo below is of same tree as photo above. Ah, the difference a day can make.

This tree you may recognize from this post.

You may recall on my very first post back in March (here), I was kind of bragging about how warm it was and how we were skipping spring this year and going straight for summer. Well, joke is on me now! :-/

Osprey Hunting

Of all the birds and wildlife I see every day, I am always breathless when I watch the Osprey hunting for fish. They are truly spectacular birds. With their expansive wings, they hover when they see a fish, then tuck them in and dive right underwater from great heights. Somehow they effortlessly go from complete submersion to high flight in a matter of moments, shaking the water off their wings mid-flight upon ascent. I have tried to capture the spectacle but feel my photos do not do justice to what is witnessed by the eye.

Hunting
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Hovering
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Keeping an eye on the fish
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Beginning the descent
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The plunge
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A closer look
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Hunting again
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Coyote bait

So back in October we had an “incident” which made me question living in the country. At moments I am still somewhat shaken by what happened many months later so I thought I would share my experience.

First of all, you should meet our little dog Daisy. We got her about 6 years ago from a family who didn’t want her anymore. She lived in a little house with a little yard which I don’t think she had ever been out of because when we got her, she was covered in her own feces and she didn’t even know she was able to run. We had to teach her how to play as well. Basically she was a depressed little dog with a lot of love in her which was unleashed by our little family and country life.Yup, she is a cutie – but then again I am a little biased 🙂

Daisy knows she is small and vulnerable when it comes to the numerous wild animals and birds who also share her surroundings, so she is pretty careful not to go far and keeps at our side when we are out walking. As you can imagine, we don’t put her out when it is dark and if she really is desperate, we let her out on the water side of the house and make noise first and turn on the flood lights for her to scare any critters away. This time was different though. It was 5 am and still very dark. My husband was getting ready for work and Daisy was doing the tap-dance and her eyeballs were floating so without a second thought, out she went. Moments later, her screams (like none heard before) let us know she was in serious trouble. My husband ran barefoot and in his underwear blindly into the brisk, black morning toward her cries and retrieved her relatively intact (the hubby was also intact in case you were wondering). As I am sure you can guess by the title, she had been attacked by a coyote!  Daisy was in shock and had punctures on both sides as well as in her chest which pulled the skin away from muscle and also tore muscle in her shoulders, but with the help of a neighbour vet/friend as well as some emergency care, IV, heavy painkillers, antibiotics and a hefty vet bill, she has made a full recovery. Mind you her pride is a little hurt since she now requires bodyguards when she is outside.

Here she is waiting to see the vet

Here are all the lovely meds she was on

She spent more than a week not wanting to leave her crate 😦

Note the punctures from the coyote’s teeth

Starting to feel better but chose other “safe” places to hang out  like in the girl’s dollhouse.

Back to normal and getting spoiled as usual and loving it!

Battle scars – such a toughie.

I grew up on a farm in the country and never had to many fears of nature but I suppose ignorance is bliss. Now that I am a mom and trying to be “responsible” I have developed concerns. My main fear when I moved here were the bears. We had a territorial one who, days after we moved in, climbed our 5 ft deck, put its rump against our door and left us a nice little parcel on our doorstep (but that is another story). Yes, bears were my biggest concern and coyotes were not really much of a thought. I have seen them frequently close to our house and take down deer on the lake so I  always knew we had to watch out for our dog, but when something actually happened, it shook me to the core. My first instinct was to find the coyote and shoot it. How could a creature that would do something so violent be allowed to be out there lurking with the potential to attack again? It was when I had to explain to my daughters why a coyote would do this that helped me put things into perspective. I told them the coyote has to eat and coyotes eat meat. The coyote doesn’t know Daisy is a loved pet, it just sees food and maybe it hasn’t eaten for many days and is very hungry. A coyote has to eat just like we do. Nature can sometimes be cruel but it is the natural balance that has to occur in order for life to exist. Actually, I have told them this many times when they see how cruel nature can be, whether it is a snapping turtle eating a gosling, a snake eating a frog, a pack of coyotes cornering a deer. As gruesome and cruel as it seems, it is just, well, natural.

I will end with this photo I took a couple of years ago. Whenever I think of that beast in the dark night that attacked Daisy, I try to think of this image. A beautiful creature who can miraculously thrive independently in the wild.

Dam Busters

It has been a busy weekend with the Easter Bunny’s visit and the chocolate-induced hyperactivity that ensued. To get out some of the beans we decided to go for a walk/bike out the lane and down the road. Our neighbour had called the night before to ask if we could help with clearing some of the culverts which the local beavers have crammed full with all sorts of good stuff and as a result are threatening to flood our lane.

Here we go.

The girls watching their dad at work.
nice
Since my husband decided to wear my work jacket, I had no choice but to let him do all the heavy work while I made sure the girls didn’t fall in the drink and get sucked through the culverts. I also got a little snap-happy. This photo I call “Clump of Lump” (Ok, so I read a little Dr. Seuss this morning).

“Clump of Lump With Surrounding Environs”.

Self portrait.

Yet another dam.

Yet another culvert to clear.

Leading to the lake.

Look at the exploded cattail!

Watch it float!Ella looking at her cattail floating
Finally, I will end with some pics I took of beavers from a year or so ago. This little guy swam by in the rain.
I got quite close to this one and managed to snap this photo until it noticed me and…
…slapped it’s tail on the water both splashing me and scaring me half to death with the noise of the slap! I guess it is poetic justice for dismantling it’s masterpieces.