A Black Bear with her three young cubs at Carden Alvar

A Black Bear with her three young cubs at Carden Alvar

black bear mom standup at cameron alvar, ontario, 2

Bob and I have learned so much through different groups on Facebook, and one of the areas that was brought to our attention was the Carden Alvar here in Ontario.  Our second visit in mid-June was a bit late and too hot for much activity where migrating birds were concerned, but our list of sightings was still long and included this female Black Bear and her three cubs. Read more

Dog-day Cicadas mating in the heat of summer

Dog-day Cicadas Mating in the heat of summer
mating cicadas in toronto, ontario

On a recent sultry summer day here in Toronto, Ontario, I went out to the garden to tend to some chores.  Imagine my surprise, as I bent to the task of deadheading my Gaillardia, when something clipped the side of my head.  Seconds later, I noticed a pair of Dog-Day Cicadas mating where they lay on the pavement of the street. Read more

Our Stay at a Vineyard Retreat near Gaiole in Tuscany

Our stay at a vineyard retreat near Gaiole in Tuscany
laneway to the Cottage at Il Colombaio di Cencio, Gaiole, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy, 10

Bob’s and my sense of adventure was high the day we set off from Rome into the rural region of Tuscany.  After picking up our rental vehicle at the airport, beneath damp, grey skies, we negotiated the ring road out of Rome and soon found ourselves scooting along narrow country roads that would lead us to our farmhouse retreat at a winery near Gaiole. Read more

7 Trumpeter Swan Cygnets at Milliken Park, Toronto

7 Trumpeter Swan Cygnets at Milliken Park
Trumpeter swans with seven cygnets at Milliken Park in Toronto, Ontario

For the second year in a row, the mated pair of Trumpeter Swans that have taken up residence at Milliken Park in Toronto gave birth to a new set of cygnets…7 in all this past spring!  Within a couple of days, Ashton and Tango, as they are fondly known, lost one cygnet to unknown causes, but the other six are thriving. Read more

Mink Frogs Along The Mizzy Lake Trail

  Mink Frogs Along Algonquin Park’s Mizzy Lake Trail

Mink frog sittting on a log in a wetlands along the Mizzy Lake Trail in Algonquin Park, Ontario

Along the back half of the Mizzy Lake Trail in Algonquin Provincial Park, if you hike in a counterclockwise direction as suggested, you will eventually arrive at Dizzy Lake.   That is where Bob and I found dozens of frogs including several Mink Frogs.  It was late in the afternoon when we crossed that particular section of wetland adjacent to the lake, and a good many frogs seemed to be contentedly basking in the sunshine while soaking in the water. Read more

Piping Plover Chicks at Darlington Provincial Park

Piping Plover Chicks at Darlington Provincial Park

Piping Plover at darlington provincial park, ontario

What a thrill to learn that, this year, not one but two pairs of Piping Plovers have nested on the beach at Darlington Provincial Park here in Ontario.  This is really noteworthy for three reasons. Read more

Our Unforgettable Birding Trip In the Mangrove Swamp near San Blas

Our Unforgettable Birding Trip In the Mangrove Swamp near San Blas

In the depths of the mangrove swamp near San Blas, Nayarit, Mexico

In our quest to see and photograph as many different species of tropical birds as possible while visiting San Blas, one of the best locations in all of Mexico for birding, a boat tour into the mangrove swamps was a must-do activity for Bob and me.  And what could be more perfect than a languid birding boat trip through La Tovara National Park, a federally protected ecological preserve? Read more

Osprey enjoys flight above Carden Alvar, Ontario

Osprey in flight at Carden Alvar, City of Kawartha Lakes in Ontario

After spending all day at the Carden Alvar in Ontario, basically patrolling along Wylie Road north to the T intersection and back again to McNamee Road,  Bob decided that we should continue to check out some other areas of that protected habitat before we made for home.  Cameron Ranch and Canal Lake both deserved a short visit, and near the causeway that crosses the lake we discovered one pair of Osprey already occupying a nesting platform. Read more

Red Foxes enjoy spring in Algonquin Park

Red fox vixen grooms one of her kits in Algonquin Park, Ontario

It was almost exactly a year earlier that Bob and I had occasion to observe a family of Red Foxes in Algonquin Provincial Park, and here we were, once again, in the company of the same vixen with a brand new litter of kits. Read more

A Hummingbird Clearwing Moth at Oxtongue Lake

A Hummingbird Clearwing Moth at Oxtongue Lake

Image of a clearwing hummingbird moth at lilac bush at oxtongue lake, in ontario.

If ever you have seen a Hummingbird Clearwing Moth, you were probably mesmerized as we were by the sheer look of its see-through wings and the way it hovers like a hummingbird.  In fact, you might have mistaken it for one of those teeny birds.  Bob and I have seen Hummingbird Clearwing Moths on a couple of occasions, once in Algonquin Park and this one above in my mom’s garden at Oxtongue Lake, Ontario. Read more

A Northern Flicker Flashes Some Yellow

A Northern Flicker Flashes some Yellow
Image of a Northern flicker in flight near Algonquin Park, Ontario

Bob and I were surprised when we visited my mom’s place at Oxtongue Lake, Ontario, in late April to see so many Northern Flickers, or Yellow-shafted Flickers as they are also known.  On the first day alone, we saw no less than 8 Northern Flickers, 6 at one time in a leafless deciduous tree.  The same can be said for a day trip into Algonquin Park where these handsome woodpeckers were seen frequently and their rattling calls heard more often than that. Read more

The Courtship Ritual of Cedar Waxwings

The Courtship Ritual of Cedar Waxwings

Cedar waxwings courting in trees at Oxtongue Lake in Ontario

My childhood home at Oxtongue Lake holds a very special place in my heart, and we visit there often.  Every season has something special to offer and to excite Bob and me.  In early June, it was the nesting pair of returning Eastern Bluebirds that first captured our attention, but with expansive views from mom’s sunroom windows, we saw at least a dozen other species of birds including four pairs of Cedar Waxwings. Read more

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