Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Shine on, shine on harvest moon....

The moon was just rising over the bay as Shiloh and I took our evening walk, flooding the waters with its deep orange light.  I didn't have the camera with me, so walked back to the house as quickly as is possible with a sixteen year old sheltie out for a sniffy stroll. I knew as it rose, the colour would fade.

[Shiloh:  You dragged me back to the house, mom. You dragged me!]

I grabbed both cameras, hopped in the car, raced the short distance to the beach, and began shooting.  There was a steady stream of other people arriving with the same thought in mind - to watch the moon and/or to photograph it - and the headlights of their vehicles made the lighting inconsistent.  I've never had any luck with moon shots - they are either blurry or look like a pinpoint a zillion miles away.  So I just kept changing settings, hoping to get something worth posting.  I have no idea which settings did the trick, but I'm pretty happy with the results - especially as I forgot to grab the tripod.  Enjoy!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Come On-A My Pad

Come on-a my pad, my pad a come on,
Come on-a my pad, my pad a come on,
Come on-a my pad, my pad, I'm gonna give you tasty bugs,
Come on-a my pad, my pad, I'm gonna give you everything.
(with apologies to Ross Bagdassarian and William Saroyan, writers of
'Come on-a my house', 1939, made famous by Rosemary Clooney, 1961) 

Eddie and I hiked up to Crofton Lake early yesterday morning with our friends Liz and Sasha. A couple of months ago the lake was full of exceptionally large bullfrog tadpoles - an invasive species here - madly swimming everywhere.

Today, the shore and lily pads and reeds were covered with what I assume were baby bullfrogs.  Frogs everywhere!  When Sasha waded into the water for a drink, dozens hopped and splashed their way to safety, but within seconds began clambering back out onto their lily pads.

I only had my little pocket camera with a tired battery, so the photos aren't the best, but the combination of the yellow green of lily pads in fall, the newly refreshed reeds and flowers, and the beautiful blues and greens of the lake, made the area difficult to leave.

Frog among the reeds

Crofton Lake looking north west

Leaf us alone!

Frog on a log

Eddie declined to go in the water, but Sasha enjoyed a wade and a drink:

Across the lake, we could just see the four or five purple martin boxes that have been placed on the trees in the water by the Western Purple Martin Recovery Program, in an attempt to help revive this at-risk species.  Happily,  a pair raised four young here this year, and in the nest boxes on the marine pilings along the Crofton shoreline five more pairs successfully raised 21 young, all of which are now banded.
Purple Martin Boxes

A few more shots of frogs and scenery .... 

More aphids than frogs!

Crofton Lake looking west

Pink or Douglas Spiraea, I think, aka hardhack

Are you finished?

....and it was time to head home.  Enroute, we stopped to look at this beautiful yellow and black caterpillar - a lophocampa maculata, which will hibernate for the winter and next spring turn into a less beautiful Spotted Tussock moth .

Fuzzy lemon and black caterpillar

It was a beautiful morning for a walk to the lake - sunny but cool, a perfect fall day. 
Crofton Lake, south end.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

So You Think You Can Dance?

This weekend, our friend Deb (whose wonderful collie Riley spent time with us before passing away earlier this year) was on the island.  She brought with her the latest addition to her family - Lily, a four month old cocker spaniel.  Eddie and I met up with them at Transfer Beach Park in Ladysmith.  I wasn't sure how eleven year old Eddie would do with a puppy, but Lily and Eddie were quite taken with each other.  In fact, Eddie decided to teach Lily to dance - at least, that's what it looks like in the photos Deb sent me (because yours truly forgot her camera!!!  Duh!):

So, what're we gonna do?

Lily:  Do you think you could teach me to dance?

Sure!  I'm the boy and yer the girl.
So I get to lead.
Lily:  WHAT? !!! 

Or we could do some line dancing
or a jig side by side.  Put yer paws like this...

Right paw forward, step step step

Move to the left, step step step

Oops - other left!  

There!  Now we got it!

I'm pooped.
Take a bow.  

(All photos by Deb Strong.  Used with permission).