Friday, January 31, 2014


 1. Imaginary entry into tree trunk

February 1 is City Daily Photo Theme Day. The theme is ENTRY.

This month I couldn't stop at just one.

 2. Entry into wind turbine

3. An entry that hasn't been used for awhile

I am linking to City Daily Photo Theme Days  HERE

Beaverton Boathouse

Reflection on ice, Beaverton Harbour (Lake Simcoe)

To enjoy reflections from around the world, visit James at Weekend Reflections HERE

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Sunset Over Farmer's Field

Irrigation system in front of barn in front of sunset

Last Thursday - a magical winter sunset

Random 5 Friday

1. Time is fleeting.
    Don't hold back.
    Appreciate this precious life.
    ~ Ezra Bayda

2. Every fall I look forward to January and February because I know it's then that  I can find time to go through my book stash and read, read, read.

3. Recently I've been catching up with a few books I ought to have read years ago: two books about the settling of Canada's Prairies by Pierre Berton and three books by French Canadian author Gabrielle Roy.

4. I've been updating my garden club's handbook, 50 pages. It's done annually in January and think this is the eighth time I've done it.  When a change is made on one of the first few pages, the words can shift significantly on the following pages. Quite a few pages or sections of pages are "locked down" so that missing words can escape to places unknown.  I'm in the process of changing the cover, which is page 1. I should have done that first, right?

5. Earlier this month, my husband and I drove to Algonquin Provincial Park to enjoy the fresh air,  to see wildlife and, of course, to bird. One bird I had hoped to see was a ruffed grouse, which my husband saw by the side of the road but I did not. I was a bit annoyed with myself for being so slow. A couple of days later, we were driving down an East Gwillimbury country road when two ruffed grouse walked out in front of us. I saw those. And right here in my own town!

I am linking to Sky Watch Friday HERE.
I am joining  Random 5 Friday Here

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


 Control knobs on an antique stream train

K is for Knob,  a rounded device on the end of something that turns when you twist it.

I was exploring an old stream train, when I discovered these bright red knobs inside the engine. I'm not sure what they do though.

Antique door handle or knob

If you turn the knob on the above door, you will open a closet. But some houses no longer have door knobs, they have levers because they are easier for everyone to manoeuvre.


Recently, the city of Vancouver amended its building code so that as of March 2014 it will be illegal  to install door knobs in new buildings (including homes)in that city.  To find out more, you can read a Toronto Star article by clicking HERE. 

I am linking to Jenny Matlock at Alphabe-Thursday HERE 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Cooper's Hawk

 Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) hunting rock pigeons

This hawk is sitting in a tall tree overlooking a barn inhabited by pigeons. It was pretty well hidden in the tree branches and so engrossed watching its prey that it let me creep in quite close.  Unfortunately, there were so many branches in the way I had trouble getting a clear view until...

A bit miffed

it flew to another branch, where it landed for a few seconds and then flew away. This hawk haunts this area often finding it a great fast food joint.

I am connecting to Stewart M's Wild Bird Wednesday HERE

Monday, January 27, 2014

Talbot Lock

 Talbot Lock on the Trent-Severn Waterway

The Trent-Seven Waterway connects Lake Ontario with Georgian Bay (Lake Huron). passing through central Ontario including Lake Simcoe.

The locks are closed for the winter and won't be in operation until next May.

 Dam at Talbot Lock

As you can see, water was still flowing in mid December when I took these photos and...

Lock on left, dam on right

the open water made more than a few Canada geese very happy.

More photos from Our World can be seen by clicking HERE.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sunlight and Shadows

 Gingerbread trim and shadow #1

Hooray for sunshine! And I'm a big fan of shadows too.

 Gingerbread trim and shadow #2

Skates and shadow

I am linking to Sunlit Sunday Here.

Saturday, January 25, 2014



Some of us would enjoy being on a warm, sunny beach, right?  The next best thing, I guess, is to imagine that that's where we are. To help you, I'm showing you samples of my sister-in-law's shell collection.


Blue coral

I am linking to I Heart Macro HERE.


Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)

One of my favourite visitors! Truly they are sweet birds to have visit feeders, especially since they clean up after so many of their avian relatives - eating the seeds rejected by their cousins.

Dark-eyed juncos live in southern Ontario year-round, but I see them mostly in winter hopping about underneath feeders or flying up to a feeder perch to join various other sparrows - yes, they are sparrows.

Swallowing a mouthful

During the breeding season, they live in coniferous or  mixed coniferous woods.  I think a few are spending the winter in several of our spruce trees.

I am linking with Saturday Critters HERE.
I am linking to I'd Rather B Birdin'  HERE.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Porcelain Figurine

 Porcelain figurine in store window, mirror behind

Seen in a Newmarket (Ontario) Main Street window.

Longer view

Even longer view

To enjoy reflections from around the world, visit James at Weekend Reflections HERE

Thursday, January 23, 2014

On Guard

Official greeter or trying to scare me away?

This doggie was clearly watching me but never barked.

Cows and protector?

I'm pretty sure it thought it was protecting the cows. Or maybe not.  It was very friendly, eventually squeezing under the wire fence to silently check me out.

Friday Random 5
1. Friday the 24th is my birthday and I am proud to admit I am 19...AGAIN! Just how many times I have celebrated my 19th is difficult to say since it's definitely more times than I can count on my fingers and toes.

2. Perhaps one reason I like January is because it includes fond birthday memories: pretty wrappings, colourful ribbons, cake, ice cream and, of course, presents gotten at after-Christmas sales. I think "sales" were really sales back then.

3. I've never had a birthday party. Well, I'm an introvert so - to be perfectly fair - I have never asked for one.  When I was a kid, we usually had a family gathering, since my family had four January birthdays between the 24th and the 29th.

4. The only birthday presents I remember right now were from my grandparents. One was a sky-blue dress my grandfather chose for me when my grandparents were in Florida. I didn't get the dress until February or March but that was OK. The second was a little suitcase which had inside a skein of variegated blue yarn and included a promise from my grandmother to teach me how to knit.

5. Total change of topic: I don't like to shop (so please pardon my bad attitude), but last weekend I visited two large chain stores looking for ice grippers for my boots. Our January thaw did NOT melt the ice on a few of my favorite paths and I NEED to feel more secure to walk on them. It is January right? Even inside the stores? Then where is all the winter merchandise?  No I did not find what I wanted. I'm guessing the were sold out last August.

I am joining  Random 5 Friday Here

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


 Junkyard taxi

J is for Junkyard, Junk food  and Junk mail

An auto junkyard is great for rusty photo ops, methinks. Sadly, this taxi had no rust that I could see, which makes me wonder why it was there. This is the kind of car you need to know how to fix yourself. I'm not qualified.

 Junk food

As you know, not all junk rusts. Some satisfy our "sweet teeth." Are you suddenly feeling famished?

I took this camera with my "spy camera." OK, this candy display was at the front of the store and anyone passing by could see what I was doing.  I call it my spy camera because I can slip it into my pocket. Luckily I live in a village and the owners, cashiers and deli workers know who I am.  Either they they are afraid of me or they think I'm totally harmless.

Normally, I would consider this photo a junk photo, but not today!

Fun fire engine mailbox and a container for Junk mail

And what would modern life be without junk mail? Sadly, I cannot remember a time before junk mail in either my real or virtual mailboxes.

Just plain junk

Do you suppose workers were sleeping on the job here?

I am linking to Jenny Matlock at Alphabe-Thursday HERE 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Great Grey Owl

 Great Grey Owl (Strix nebulosa) in a field

Last Sunday I got to see this handsome Great Grey Owl out in a field.  It had probably been hunting voles, it's favourite food. But by the time I got there, it was watching a small group of birders that was watching it. 

On a fence post

Curious, the owl moved in closer to check us all out. After a couple of minutes, it flew into a tree and turned its back on us. I guess we were boring!
I am connecting to Stewart M's Wild Bird Wednesday HERE

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Mid January

More than just overcast skies!

Well, it's true the sky is often overcast here in January...but not ALWAYS. This week has seen a mixture of snow, rain, wind, cold and "January Thaw."

Largest square: proof that I was not the only crazy person out taking photos this afternoon.

Moving clockwise: icicles on rocks, snow on spruce trees, farm with pink sunset as backdrop, ice created by spray from HUGE waves (Lake Ontario) and a snow plow (need I say more?).

I am Linking to Mosaic Monday HERE.

Please visit Michelle at Rambling Woods for more NATURE NOTES.

Spruce Bog Sun

 Sunlight on young black spruce tree

During the morning of a recent trip to Algonquin Provincial Park (two hours north of where I live), the sun shone for several hours, lighting up a popular trail through the Spruce Bog.

 Packed to go camping

Would you believe we met two campers? Yep, they were about to spend a couple of nights deeper inside the park. Brrr.

 Near entrance to trail

Clearly a few people had already ventured down this path to enjoy the fresh air and view northern wildlife such as the Spruce Grouse. I confess that I have walked this trail a few times and NEVER seen a Spruce Grouse though!

Light in field beyond trees

I am linking to Sunlit Sunday Here.

More photos from Our World can be seen by clicking HERE.

Saturday, January 18, 2014


 Goldfinch fluffed up in the cold

Goldfinches are frequent visitors to our yard and also to the feeders behind the visitors centre in Algonquin Provincial Park where these photos were taken.

Posing for a profile view

I am linking with Saturday Critters HERE.
I am linking to I'd Rather B Birdin'  HERE.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Blowing in the Wind

Onion skin
Five random thoughts:

1. On a back road in the Holland Marsh (an area north of Toronto where vegetables  are grown on large farms), a truck whizzed past with something blowing out the open back - light like confetti but much larger. Onion skins. And a photo op!

2. Coffee: the first cup every morning is heavenly. The second cup, not so much. After that, it's time to switch to tea - green or herbal.

3. Memories: When I was a kid, the noise of a snowplow before dawn was the sound of hope. Paired with the local fire hall's blowing horn at 7a.m., it meant NO SCHOOL! I still like being awakened by a snowplow.
4. For me, winter mornings (when it's still dark outside) are best started with a cup of fresh-brewed coffee, a good book, and a cozy blanket.

5. Winter sunrises can sometimes be the only colour I see on a winter day.

I am joining  Random 5 Friday Here
I am linking to I Heart Macro HERE.

Liquid Gold

Sun setting in puddle

During our recent "January Thaw" (said tongue in cheek as we still have a lot of ice and snow), I spotted this puddle on the edge of a farmer's field. No rainbows and no pots, but there was definitely gold there.

Liquid gold in a ditch

On some winter days when the sun is nearly obscured by clouds and haze, gold appears magically in a farmer's ditch.

To enjoy reflections from around the world, visit James at Weekend Reflections HERE

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Wood and Wire

Paddock fencing, East Gwillimbury

Hazy sunshine and pristine snow are for me treasures.  Yes, it IS cold...but hey!  It's also January in Canada.

 Needs some TLC

Further down the road, this fencing surrounds another horse farm - or maybe it's actually the same farm as above - I can't remember at the moment.

Longer View

I am linking to Friday Fences here.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


 Bubbles under ICE

I is for ICE, ICICLES, and ICING

I do enjoy looking for patterns in and under ice.

 Sideways ICICLES

Look what the wind created! Kinda weird, I think.

ICING on the cake

My sister-in-law served this cake on Christmas Eve.

I am linking to Jenny Matlock at Alphabe-Thursday HERE 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Hairy Woodpecker

 Male hairy woodpecker (Picoides villosus)

As you can see here, this cute guy likes peanuts.   He also has a passion for suet and sunflower seeds.

Hammering a peanut shell to get the nut out

They usually forage along tree trunks and branches, but here someone has placed peanuts in the shell on a tree stump.

Wondering if he heard something click - a shutter perhaps?

I am connecting to Stewart M's Wild Bird Wednesday HERE

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East Gwillimbury is a rural town less than an hour north of Toronto, Canada's largest city. My family calls me CameraGirl because I take my camera with me wherever I go.