July 25, 2014

Sunset Country

We are home again from our getaway about 500 miles north. 
A ways beyond the most northerly community in Ontario accessible year-round by road, we landed our boat and headed to the little cabin that awaits us.
The area is described as follows:
Vast virgin Boreal forests, never touched by a logger's axe, stretch for hundreds of miles beyond the horizon.  This huge wilderness is only 300 miles from the coast of Hudson Bay, Ontario's subarctic. Countless lakes, rocky shore, jutting islands, & natural sandy beaches.  Exceptional fishing, moose, woodland caribou, timber wolf, black bear, game birds, bald eagles, the ever-present song birds, and migratory birds such as ducks and geese. 
This region is also known as "Sunset Country."   

Sunsets.  Fish.  Campfires.  Swimming.  Books.  Paddling.  More fish (lots & lots of fish).  Loons calling.  Quality Family Time.  We had a good trip.
We apparently missed a big storm and temporary power outage while we were gone.  It was a big deal, filling my social media when we arrived back home, the hours that everyone's electricity was out.    
Funny, we didn't have power any of the days where we were, & didn't miss it a bit.  Nor running water nor cell phones.   :)

You can see more about this faraway place and our favorite things about it over previous years HERE.

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July 16, 2014

Pink Peonies

I am feeling grateful for the kind wishes & healing thoughts that have come my way after my medical "patching up" last week.  I've felt better each day and greatly improved overall, almost back to normal (getting there.)  Mostly, I'm amazed at the remarkable difference physically and wish I'd had this taken care of years ago!  

I'm eager to get out paddling on summer waters here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. 
And in northern Ontario, too.. we'll be slipping off the grid some random time soon.

Lilly's pink peonies bloomed a couple of weeks ago.  They're so beautiful, yet I always find them difficult to photograph in a way that pleases me.  Before the blooms were spent (we had strong winds that didn't let them linger long), I got one shot I liked and indulged in some photo editing .

Peace, wonder, & pretty petals,

July 15, 2014

Northern Flicker

I spied a Flicker in the backyard the other day.  I find them strikingly beautiful.
Notice there's lots of white clover flowering in our yard right now too.  The bumblebees are reveling in it.
While Flickers live in hollow trees in woodland areas, the bulk of their diet consists of ants, which brings them to the yard.  They dig for ants with their nifty curved bill, hammering at the soil the way other woodpeckers drill into wood.
The insect diet of Flickers plays an important role in the control of insects pests.  They eat more ants than any other bird species in North America.
I'm happy to see them feasting on anthills.  Less ants raiding our strawberries nearby!

Ours' are the yellow shafted variety, very flashy in flight.  
Off he goes.

They're only here in Minnesota for the summer.  (Unlike other woodpeckers, who winter with us, too.)
Flickers are common, widespread across the continent, but I read that their populations have been steadily declining for several years.    
Are there Flickers where you are?

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