Foolish young Raven


Early this summer, as I was driving home and passing through the community of Buckley settlement, I spotted a Raven beside the road. As I slowly passed, it didn’t move away. I stopped, got out of the car and with camera in hand I slowly approached the bird, it still stood there! I took several photo’s. The young Raven then decided to walk up the road , I walked beside the young bird just in case a car came along. At this point the Raven hadn’t demonstrated that it could fly.
He could certainly vocalize, as he kept calling to his family. I could hear the family returning his calls,they were possibly two to three Kilometers away and up in the hills.
I told him to fly to them, but he paid no attention to me. After several minutes of calling he turned to walk back to where I first met him. As we walked back together I told him he had to get off the road or he might get hit by a car! When we got back to the car I decided I should pick him up and toss him in the air. I guess he read my mind, he launched himself in the air and flew toward the power lines. After two failed attempts at landing on the wires he finally perched.
I was now confident of his safety, seeing that he had learned how to perch on the wires,but I was still puzzled as to why the young Raven wouldn’t fly to his family.
Foolish young Raven
Young Raven
There is a tragic end to this story, as I was traveling the same route the next day and upon arriving at the location of our encounter, I found his body on the road side.
After all my warnings he went back on the road.

A Newfounfland Hike

This summer I did a tour of Newfoundland by motorcycle. This was a very nice summer filled with warmth and little rain. I have a small trailer for my bike which enables me to carry a tent and camping supplies.

I can very conveniently pull over and set up camp at a suitable location.
One of the great attractions for me, besides the scenery and people, is the great hiking opportunities.
One of my favorite hikes is near Cornerbrook and known as the “Old Man in the Mountain”.

The image in the rock face is naturally formed and resembles the face of a man.
The hike takes you up a steep slope to the top of the rock face. It is about 5 to 6 hours return.

This is the view from the first look off point of the trail.

This is the first of two lakes on this hike, as you can see there is still quite a climb left.

This is all that remains of the tattered flags that mark the summit!

Here I am standing directly above the “Old Man”, looking straight down at the Humber river and Trans Canada highway.
Now to climb back down, then Tea and Codfish supper.

My photo blind

I was inspired to construct my photo blind because a family of Beaver came to my Ducks Unlimited ponds.
The blind is made from slab wood and recycled materials. The slab wood was a by product of some logs I had milled this spring.
The blind allows me to watch wild life while being undetected,

This spring two lovely Great Egrets arrived in the Knightville valley! They graced our valley with their presence for nearly a month. They spent quite a bit of time in and around my ponds, which gave me ample opportunity to get some good photo’s from the blind.

A male Red winged Black Bird proclaims his territory!

One of the Beavers enjoy a nice snack of tender leaves.

Beaver swims through magenta colored water! Amazing how color is changed by the angle of light and other atmospheric conditions!
This lovely little song sparrow struck an attentive pose as it listened to my call! The Song Sparrow is one of the early singers of spring!

I watched from the blind as these Tree Swallows engage in mating activity!
The King Bird is a constant and very vocal bird at the pond. They are fly catchers and will aggressivly defend their territory.

Another view of my very inexpensive photo blind. Thank you for sharing my blind!

Trixie and the Antler

This is Trixie, 14 months ago Trixie was homeless, wandering up and down our road searching for a friend.
With the help of a neighbor I was able to catch him and take him home.
That’s right Trixie is really a Trix-he! I tried every dog name I could think of and he responded to Trixie!
The irony is, my other dog, a female is called Jack!
I tried for several weeks to find Trixie’s owners, but without success.
He is now as much a part of the home as Jack is.

Early this winter on one of my trips to the wood lot to haul fire wood, I took the dogs along for a run.
Within a few minute’s of our arrival Trixie sniffed out and retrieved this Deer Antler.
The Antler had been recently shed by a Buck.
Deer antler’s have one thing in common with most hard wood trees, they are deciduous.
In the late fall or early winter Deer shed their antlers, and like the trees new ones bud out in the spring.
I showed the antler to my neighbor who has photographed many Bucks with his trail camera.
To my surprise he said” I know this Deer”. He had photographed it while the antlers were in velvet and after they were rubbed clean.

This photo of the buck in velvet was taken by Jason Carll.
Note the antler on the right is the one Trixie found.

This photo also by Jason shows the same buck but not in velvet.

Just so Jack wouldn’t feel left out I included this shot of her in the post!

Abstract from nature

I was on a short hike on the Rennie river trail. This is an urban hiking trail in Saint Johns Newfoundland.
There wasn’t a lot of wild life evident this day. I came across a broken Gray birch which seemed to have a lot of character in the bark and the grain.
It wasn’t until I downloaded the image that I noticed the face in the upper right corner. It appears as a small owl with sleeping eyes.
What can you see in this photo?

The Majestic Bald Eagle

Early this month I attended the 20th. annual Eagle watch. Each winter the community of Sheffield Mills hosts hundreds of Bald Eagles.
Sheffield Mills is a small agricultural community situated in Nova Scotia’s beautiful Annapolis Valley.
There are many poultry farms in the area. There is always a certain amount of mortality in high density housing of hens. This is a good source of food for the Eagles , hence the high population of these avian predators during the winter months in this area.

Each day during the weeks of the Eagle watch a fresh supply of dead poultry is placed at the observation area. The Eagles arrive and in greater numbers than than usual.
There are as many observers and Photographers as Eagles, patiently waiting for the birds to approach the feeding site.

Tghis one is mine!!

Just how precious is our water!!

When ever I see a beautiful body of flowing water I am reminded just how essential water is to us. We are so fortunate here in the Maritimes to have ample water supplies. Unfortunately , globally we are not so lucky. I have read that one billion of the worlds population are without safe drinking water! With the recent announcement that the human population is now 7 billion and climbing the situation could get worse.

The Natural gas industry is now poised to do extensive exploration in our beautiful province. I read some statistics on Hydraulic Fracturing of the deep well formations . Over the life of a natural gas well it could consume five million gallons of water! This is five million gallons of water with toxic chemicals added ! Much of it will stay under ground. The contaminated water that comes to the surface could threaten our environment.

Five million gallons of water legally contaminated by industry, with the blessings of our elected officials! I did this calculation, at one gallon of water per day for 10 people, would support those lives for 27 years and 5 months. The water consumed by one average gas well could sustain 10 human lives for 27 years and 5 months!! This is one average well! There could be thousands more.

The question is, just how moral is this waste of water. Remember the one billion people without safe drinking water!


Mom’s apple pie!

I am sure most of us think our mother made the best apple pie and nothing else compares. Well our Mother did make the the best apple pie I ever tasted.
I still recall the Sunday morning, nearly fifty years ago, my sister and I stood beside the big Alexander apple tree. Mom had her Brownie box camera focused on us, we were all dressed up for church. I have fond memories of climbing and playing beneath that great old tree. I think the Alexander tree instilled in me the love for nature I have experienced as an adult.
The Alexander is a very old and wonderful apple.I have read it originated in Russia some time prior to 1817. The fruit is unique in flavor and large in size. Four or five apples are enough to make a 10 inch pie!
Today the tree is still healthy and produces an abundance of apples. It is showing signs of age though, the trunk is now hollow! The resident Chipmunks are now using this feature as a den, they gain access through a knot hole.
Over fifty years ago I first tasted Moms apple pie, today I am making my own pies. The Alexanders, I found gave Moms pie that extra special flavour! That I can  duplicate.
The one ingredient that will always be missing is a Mothers Love.

Jakes frozen mud.

Thirty two years ago I met Jake! A well driller by trade, Jake was an Irish descendent who was raised on a farm in Gaspe Quebec.

Thirty two years ago i was a young welder with a portable welding business . Photography was my hobby even back then. I always carried my 35mm. Yashica when I went out on a job.

Jake had recently moved to New Brunswick with his family. He became my neighbour and eventually my friend. Jake would sometimes hire me to do some of the more difficult  casing welds for him.  One cool Autumn morning while I was waiting for Jake to set up a casing, I noticed that the fine mud that had been deposited on the ground, had been transformed by the nights frost. I was looking at a work of art much like the work of Jack Frost  the well known window artist.

That morning my camera was loaded with black and white film. I screwed a close up adapter to my 50mm. lens.  I Knelt on the cold ground and released the shutter. now Jake”s mud is immortalized !   I am now in the Autumn of my life and Jake is in the winter of his.