Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Ecomuseum -2

 The Ecomuseum has a really nice set-up for the water birds. A flowing stream and lots of native plants and rocks makes the birds feel really at home. The area is fenced in and has netting about 20' overhead, but you are able to access it through a doorway, and so you can wander around near the birds. This kingfisher didn't mind us at all.  He was just intend on the water below, hoping for a minnow, I suppose.

I think this is a turkey vulture.  He just came strutting up the stairs and marched by, turning right along the walkway. He had the funniest goose-stepping walk.  He was out of sight before I could get a good picture of him.

 Inside the main building of the zoo, aquariums housed some of the reptiles.  This is a blue-spotted salamander that grows to about 8 -10 " long.  We see them occasionally near our home.  He is really a dark blue even though the photo shows him as black.
More ducks next time.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Little Bunny

 This morning I noticed some weeds near the house moving even though the wind was calm.  On closer inspection, I discovered a little rabbit. I haven't had a summer bunny at the house in years.

 I didn't get too close so that I wouldn't scare it away. I think I was probably downwind of him which helped.

 I left him to his breakfast, and I hope I see him again.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Ecomuseum - Part 1

 We went to the Ecomuseum in St. Anne de Bellevue which is not far from home.  It only has animals native to this area.  The animals are ones that were injured or orphaned or otherwise unable to be in the wild. This adorable porcupine thought a rock would make a cozy place for a nap. He was so still all you could see moving was his little back going up and down as he was breathing. His nose looked like velvet.
 Later he roused himself a bit. The bottom of his back foot looked soft just like the sole of a teddy bear's foot.
 A couple of lynx were well camouflaged. In fact, many of the animals were hard to see at first glance, and a lot of them were sleeping making them even less visible.
Aren't they handsome?
I have more photos but they were taken with my phone.  I was hoping that the latest Windows 10 updates, which were substantial, would solve the uploading problem, but, alas, I still can't upload straight from my phone.  So I e-mail them to myself and transfer them from the e-mail to the photo file. It's a bit tedious so I am posting the Ecomuseum photos in parts.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Happy Summer

 Happy summer! Hope you are enjoying the great outdoors.
Here's a dependable Knock-out rose.
 This hosta is getting creative, sort of like a harlequin costume.
 Some cheery flowers.
A mock orange that took many years to bloom, but now it blooms every year. It makes a nice tall (6 ') shrub with dense foliage if it's pruned.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Wild Things

 I guess this rose isn't technically wild, rather it has naturalized. Nobody has done anything to it for years and yet it still blooms beautifully.
 Click on photo for full width. The late lilac, another ignored plant, looks very Victorian with the pink roses.
 The wild grasses are so pretty.  The township hasn't mowed the side of the road yet so I get to enjoy the weeds and grasses a little while longer.
The Canada anemone is a bright little flower .
"For the beauty of the earth
For the beauty of the skies
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies:
Christ, our God, to thee we raise
This our sacrifice of praise."
  F. S. Pierpoint

Thursday, June 15, 2017

June Flowers

It's poppy time. The usual red-orange poppies are nice but I like this frilly pink one better.

They are tough plants that seem to tolerate any kind of weather.

The white rugosa rose has a lovely scent. Most years the leaves are chewed by various insects but this year the leaves are untouched. Strange but nice.

Perennial cornflower. The blooms don't last very long but the bees like it and it is also very hardy.  I have a couple of plants that have self-sowed but it is certainly not popping up all over the place. I like the unusual colour and shape of the flower.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Merrickville Locks

Click on photo for full width.
We were in the Kawartha Lakes region(about 2hrs. north-east of Toronto) for a family gathering. On our way back, we stopped in Merrickville to stretch our legs and enjoy the locks. I find it fascinating how one person can crank open the lock gates and manage the water levels. It was a perfect summer day and the water looked lovely.
I didn't take any pictures in the Kawartha area. It is an attractive area of rolling wooded hills and some farms, but the traffic was quite busy and the roads didn't have a good shoulder to pull over on. It is close enough to Toronto to be a popular recreation spot so lots of weekend visitors.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Tree Peony

 The tree peony (paeonia suffruticosa) made it through another winter and is giving me a couple of gorgeous blooms. The flowers are at least 7" across.
This one is not quite open yet. I am in zone 4, which is pushing it for tree peonies,but this plant always has a good covering of snow in the winter. I think an ideal situation for a tree peony would be one that gets morning sun and dappled shade later in the day. The flowers don't like the hot sun. The plants need protection from the wind in the winter so some shrubs nearby to shelter it would help . Like any peony, they like  heavy fertile soil and average water. Unlike a herbaceous peony, this one has no scent and the flowers don't last very long.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

For the Hummingbird

 I heard a hummingbird whizz by the other day so I thought I would buy some flowers specifically for it. Red salvia is a favourite for hummingbirds and the nicotiana is also something they will feed from.
The regular impatiens are still not being widely sold but the New Guinea ones with their big blooms are available. We'll see if the hummingbird likes it.
This  collection of plants  includes calabrachoa and purple petunias both of which are hummingbird friendly.
Finally, I bought Prairie Dusk Penstemon.  It hasn't opened yet but the tubular flowers will keep going most of the summer.  It is a perennial and I hope it will survive the winter.
So hopefully I will see the little hummer again and it will enjoy some of the flowers.