Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

It’s been an overcast and humid day here, but at least it didn’t get overly hot. Still, neither Jack nor I like the humidity so we went out early to avoid the warmest part of the day. We just went to our familiar forest, but a pack of 4 shaggy, black and white springer spaniels livened things up a bit. They bounded up at us from behind, ran a few circles around Jack – all going in different directions and then bounded off down the path without stopping to take a breath. It all happened so fast that Jack didn’t get a chance to say Hi or Bye and he loves to say both. I think he felt cheated so I gave him an extra milk-bone and soon enough the world was right again and off we went.

Purple Iris

Mondays are always better with flowers and Avalus has sent us some gorgeous Iris to help us start the week.

There was a beautiful patch of irises that attracted many visitors.

©Avalus, all rights reserved

©Avalus, all rights reserved

Like this bumblebee,  just caught while taking off…

©Avalus, all rights reserved

And this leaf bug.

©Avalus, all rights reserved

 

Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

©voyager, all rights reserved

I was off helping a friend today, so Jack and his daddy had a boys day without me. They are well-trained scouts, though, and upon my return I was told that the poppies are blooming at the end of the street. I grabbed my camera and set out to take a few shots. There are about a dozen flowers in total, but today only one was fully blooming. The rest look set to open tomorrow and I’ll definitely be back to take another look. I can’t resist those blood orange petals or their pompons of purple chenille.

©voyager, all rights reserved

Jack’s Walk

The peonies next door. ©voyager, all rights reserved

Jack and I got a late start today because of rain. I wasn’t really feeling all that energetic either, so we stuck close to home and walked around the neighbourhood. Jack likes to do that every few days so he can keep up with the P-mail. When we’re on a trail I don’t notice that Jack is slow, but in town on a leash Jack dawdles and dithers and takes forever to get all the way around.  It’s his nose. It takes him in all sorts of odd directions, even backwards. He inches along inhaling deeply, seldom looking up and stopping often for an in-depth nosing. Sometimes he licks this or that particular blade of grass and sometimes he lifts his head to sniff the air around him, usually with his mouth open like a cat. He carefully leaves his own news in rationed dribbles on important posts and seldom leaves more than a few drops in any one place, believing that brevity is the soul of wit.

Lab Spider

It’s a perfectly posed arachnid from Avalus who says,

This spider found herself caught in glassware one morning in our lab. I contained it with a glass funnel to take the photo and released it.

I’ll bet that spider tells the story of this adventure at all the spider gatherings. Not everyone will believe her.

The photo is below the fold

[Read more…]

Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

I’ve been waiting weeks for the first and only flower on my new purple peony bush to open. It sat there for the longest time just being a big, plump bud that didn’t change and I’ve been getting impatient. Well, finally, yesterday it started to unfurl and by late afternoon its petals were getting ready to spread themselves open to the sun. I was getting excited… and then the wind started to blow. And then the rain came and then my beautiful purple peony blew open and apart. Well, damn. At least the bees don’t mind. They’ve been busily gathering pollen all day so it hasn’t been a total loss.

©voyager, all rights reserved

Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

The forest is slowly passing into summer. The trilliums have vanished from the landscape and the Jack-in-the-pulpits are fading out, but the false Solomon’s seal is exploding into bloom all over the forest floor. I think their star-shaped flowers look like fireworks and I love the gentle curve of their leaves. Their flowers should last for another week or so and then the white will fade to green and the forest will turn itself to the business of growing the trees another season bigger.

Tree Tuesday

I’ve had the Monkey Puzzle Tree on my list of trees to share with you so I was delighted to receive these photos in our mail this week. It comes from Lofty and it’s a splendid specimen.

An interesting tree that was planted in a local park over 100 years ago, a South American “Monkey Puzzle” tree.

©Lofty, all rights reserved

©Lofty, all rights reserved

©Lofty, all rights reserved

The tree was given the name “Monkey Puzzle” in about 1850 by a British Barrister named Charles Austin who remarked upon seeing the tree in an English garden “It would puzzle a monkey to climb that.” The tree had no common name at the time and so monkey puzzle stuck. The tree is a long-lived conifer and is now cultivated in temperate zones world-wide. Unfortunately, in its home range of South America the tree is on the Endangered list because of logging and fires. – source: Wikipedia

Thanks Lofty. Your timing was spot on.

Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

Jack and I came across a bit of forest cute today; a baby chipmunk.  Well, I say Jack and I, but Jack was too busy sniffing and snuffling to even notice the creature. The chippy looked to be fairly young and it sat for a few seconds checking us out before dashing away on some important business.

Sunsets

This morning we have some gorgeous photos sent in by Springa73 to help us start the week off with lots of rich, glorious colour.

I get some nice post-sunset color sometimes and thought people might enjoy a few photos.  Sorry about the utility lines going through the photos, but I can’t really get a good view from my yard without them in the way!

 

©Springa73, all rights reserved

©Springa73, all rights reserved

©Springa73, all rights reserved

©Springa73, all rights reserved

The Return of the Mocking Kites

I mentioned this before, and it bears repeating. These birds have a wicked sense of humor.
This time, two of them have shown up, and when I came out with the camera, one of them started to drift closer and closer and lower and lower, until it was circling right above me. But at the time it was right above me, it was so close, that its angular speed was too high for me to be able to keep track of it. So I only have a few blurry pictures from afar. As usual.

©Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

©Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

©Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

©Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

Jack’s Walk

Keeping me waiting ©voyager, all rights reserved

My pink peonies have come and gone in a blaze of fuchsia glory, but the purple peony that lives beside it has just been sitting there with one great big bud that still hasn’t opened. Both plants are the same size and age, both plants live in identical conditions and both plants budded at the same time, yet something is obviously different. This is the first flower this plant has ever put out and I’m getting more and more anxious to see it. There wasn’t a label on the plant when we bought it last year so I’m not even sure what shade of purple to expect. I swear I’m trying to be patient, but please my pretty peony, won’t you please open your big purple eye and look at me.