June 29, 2006

Dew covered butterfly weed

Dew covered butterfly weed
Originally uploaded by ricmcarthur.
This grows in the dunes at Rondeau Rrovincial Park. As the name suggests the butterlies and bees love it.

June 28, 2006

A friend in need.

A co-worker found 4 chicks under some large pine trees at the back of her yard.
Two were already dead and two others appeared to be in distress.

The pines were 50-60 feet tall and the bottoms were a cage of dead branches except for the outer layer. There were no indications of adult birds in the area. It seems their nest was destroyed in one of the big storms that have been rolling through the area.

After talking to our Park naturalist, who gave me the name of a rehabilitator, I went over and picked up the two birds.

We had to keep them overnight as the rehabilitator wasn’t available by the time I got to her house; however, they were delivered today and seemed to be alert.

Normally I leave nature to its own devices, but a feathered friend in need, is a friend indeed. I’ll try to keep this updated.

June 27, 2006

I'm not a morning person

I'm not a morning person
Originally uploaded by ricmcarthur.
Barn swallows have nested in the peak of our roof. This chick was waiting for its next meal.
Reminds me of some people on Monday mornings before coffee has taken effect.

June 22, 2006

hair bell flower

hair bell flower
Originally uploaded by ricmcarthur.
Early this morning, after the rain at Rondeau Provincial Park.
Notice the white one in the background.

Do you like my beard?

Do you like my beard?
Originally uploaded by ricmcarthur.
We spotted this map turtle was laying eggs on the beach while out for an evening cruise on the pontoon boat.
Fairly photogenic, don't you think? And she posed so nicely.

June 20, 2006

Blackburnian Warbler

Blackburnian Warbler
Originally uploaded by Langooney.
This is one of the best warbler photos I have ever seen. I don't know the story behing how it was taken or the equipment used.

Photographed on Wahoo Key, FL, USA 5 Oct 03.

June 19, 2006

Summer of 54

Summer of 54
Originally uploaded by ricmcarthur.
Me in the Betty Marie

I think this was the summer of 54. We had a small boat and every Sunday we would go out to the breakwater that protected the entrance to the Welland Canal. There were about 15 families who would meet each week. I didn’t know until I was older that this wasn’t a typical picnic.

Yes, my Dad let me drive the boat once in a while.

June 16, 2006

A movable nest

We launched our pontoon boat in late April this year. As with anything, maintenance is required. The project this year was to replace the bimini top. We had replaced the side panels previously.

It was a very cool day and I had had troubles launching the boat.
I carefully lined the boat up with the launch and slowly backed in. When I got out of the truck the boat would be at a 45 degree angle to the dock.
After four (4) tries I realized I hadn’t undone the stern (back end) hold downs.
Hard to get a boat off a trailer when it is still tied down.

So, once the boat was at the dock and most of the canvas was on I decided not to put the two front panels on. No real reason, I just didn’t do it.

About a week later we decided to go on a boating/birding cruise. When we got there swallows were dive bombing me as I got close to the boat.

Once inside I understood why. They had decided to nest on the inside lip of the top canvas. Normally I don’t disturb bird nests; however, this just wasn’t going to work.
The nest was just started so I removed it.

They really got excited when the boat left the dock and they were waiting when we got back.

I don’t know how it would have worked out if I left the nest. Would they follow the boat when we went for a cruise or would they have abandoned the nest?

I make sure the boat is fully closed to avoid a repeat.

June 15, 2006

who needs a stair master

who needs a stair master
Originally uploaded by ricmcarthur.
Don't like going to the gym. With one of these across the road you won't need to go anywhere else.
Seven, yes seven incredible levels to help tone those thigh and calf muscles.

How much would you pay?

But wait, that's not all. Included in this special Flickr offer you get multiple speeds.

Set your own pace, walk, jog or run up the stairs to get those "buns of steel" sooner.

Now, how much would you pay?

That's not all. As a special time limited offer we have included the option of going DOWN, the ultimate seven, yes seven, level stair set.
Gauranteed to give you stabbing pains in your calf muscles.
No pain, no gain.

Now how much would you pay??

Bur wait, there's more. YES, more.

We are including FRESH AIR!!!

All this for only 3 easy payments of $99.99

June 13, 2006

Swallows are now into basket weaving.

This is the first swallow’s nest I've seen that wasn't mud brown. Looks like this pair has been watching decorating shows through the window with my wife.

I would appreciate feedback on this one. Have you seen this striation in swallow’s nests before?

Uploaded by

June 09, 2006

We have a spotted sandpiper nesting in the dunes near our cottage.

While being careful not to get too close to the nest, I was able to pictures of the eggs and later the hatchlings.

The parent bird did a broken wing routine in an effort to draw me away. I knew killdeers did this but I wasn’t aware other ground nesters did the same thing.

I’ll wait three or four days before going back to the area for more photos. Perhaps I can get photos just before they leave the nest.

June 07, 2006

A common bird

A common bird
Originally uploaded by ricmcarthur.
Even common birds can be interesting. We take the robin for granted as it always in the yard looking for a meal. We hear them from dawn to dusk, a basic background summer sound that fades from consciousness due to its familiarity.

If we bother to stop and look at our common birds we would see different behaviours, plumages and songs.

This young robin has a mottled breast rather than the full orange/red of a mature bird.

Birds are like people, they can have regional dialects and accents.

When my wife and I had just started birding we were in South Carolina on one of the barrier islands.
We saw a bird that seemed familiar but we couldn't place it. The song was tickling our memories but it wasn’t a song we could identify.
After following the bird for 30 minutes we realized it was an immature robin with an accent, y'all.

Nobody takes 30 minutes to id a robin so it became a Black Headed Red Breasted American Thrush which is a totally different matter.

June 05, 2006

The wren and the trhee ton truck

This wren nests in a three ton dump truck each year. It changes which opening it uses, but it always returns.The truck is not used much in the summer, more for snow plowing than anything else.When it is moved it doesn't seem to bother the wren. It finds it were ever it is parked and resumes its activities.The Park staff checks the nest before using the truck and try to put the truck back where it was.Nature will persevere.

June 01, 2006

Singing the sun to bed..

Singing the sun to bed..
Originally uploaded by ricmcarthur.
This house wren is a fine fellow who lives under our eves and greets and ends the day with his song.
Actually he never shuts up, sings all day long and gets on my nerves.
On second thought he's just a noisy little nuisance who won't shut up. Who does he think he is anyway?!