Enjoying the Three Rondavels in Mpumalanga

Enjoying the Three Rondavels in Mpumalanga

The Three Rondavels in the Blyde River Canyon in Mpumalanga, South Africa

For our first few days in South Africa, Bob and I were based at Valley View Lodge in Sabie.  Ideally situated enroute to Kruger National Park, the location also allowed us ready access to the sights along the Mpumalanga Panorama Route which takes in all of the Blyde River Canyon.  For us, the most impressive views were had at the lookout overlooking the Three Rondavels.

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An Eastern Garter Snake at Oxtongue Lake

An Eastern Garter Snake at Oxtongue Lake

eastern garter snake, oxtongue lake, ontario, pic 2

Bob and I spend a lot of time at my childhood home at Oxtongue Lake, in Ontario, because my parents still occupy the same house all these 65 years later.  That is where I had my first encounter with a Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis) when I was knee high to a grasshopper.  Seldom since then have we seen any snakes on their property, but this beauty slithered across the beach property recently, and I was so pleased to become reacquainted. Read more

A Northern Whiptail Lizard in the Grand Canyon

A Northern Whiptail Lizard in the Grand Canyon

northern whiptail lizard - grand canyon 6

After we left the oasis of Indian Garden at Grand Canyon National Park, Bob and I wasted no time making headway towards Plateau Point.  The heat was building, the wind was constant, and the sun was torturous.  Still, we forced ourselves to remain vigilant since  other hikers had spotted rattlesnakes on the trail within the past couple of days.  It was when we drew near the water refilling station about 3/4 of the way between the two points that we saw a Northern Whiptail Lizard (Cnemidophorus tigris septentrionalis) taking advantage of the puddles of spilled water in the shade of the water reservoir. Read more

Painted Turtles Near Forks of the Credit Provincial Park

Painted Turtles Near Forks of the Credit Provincial Park

painted turtle - sits in pond near forks of the credit - ontario

On a beautiful sunny day, Bob and I decided to head to the Forks of the Credit Provincial Park in search of birds that are uncommon in our own part of the province.  As we approached Forks of the Credit Provincial Park near Caledon, along a quiet country road called McLaren Road, a vibrant green sludge drew our eyes to a pond at the side of the highway.  When we spotted a turtle poking its head up through the surface of the water, we had to pull over for a look.  The reptile turned out to be an Eastern Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta). Read more

Various Types of Turtles We Have Sighted Across Ontario

Various Types of Turtles We Have Sighted Across Ontario

various types of turtles - milliken park - toronto - ontario

As Bob and I so often do, we walked to Toronto’s Milliken Park one afternoon in early spring.  It was an unusually hot day which explained the assembly of turtles basking in the sun at the side of the park’s largest pond.  I couldn’t help think of the adage, “get your ducks all in a row” because there were the turtles, all lined up in order.  They certainly occupied  every inch of available space on that log. Read more

Eastern Garter Snakes in Whitby’s Thickson’s Woods

Eastern Garter Snakes in Whitby’s Thickson’s Woods

garter snake sits among pine needles and studies me - thicksons woods - whitby

Bob and I went to Thickson’s Woods Nature Reserve, in Whitby, Ontario, one spring, to check on the growth of the Great Horned Owl chicks, but we were treated to wildlife observations of quite a different kind.  As Ontario’s spring weather finally started to include warmer days, it was no surprise to discover a number of Eastern Garter Snakes taking advantage of the warmth where direct sunlight penetrated to the forest floor. Read more