Unfocused crocus

I took a bunch of macro pictures of flowers today that were deliberately not quite in focus (as apposed to the ones that should be and aren’t) and quite liked the results. Here’s one of them; I think I’ll do more.


path through snow

We’ve had rather a lot of it, haven’t we? Today it’s raining and the snow is super-saturated and heavy (this is the Voice of Experience speaking, as I went out and shovelled) and it’s altogether miserable and nasty. And yes, I know that it will melt, but it WILL MELT A LOT FASTER if one shovels. Continue reading “Weather”

January ice

ice on puddle

It’s been more cold than not for a month or so now, and that means ice on puddles. And I love taking pictures of ice. So here’s a start, from recent excursions.

ice on puddle

The ice is pretty thick; this chunk, tossed up previously from a puddle, is a couple of inches thick. (And today I caught Our Dog walking across the ice on the slough—argh.)

ice in water-filled bucket

You find interesting things in the woods sometimes; this bucket was left by someone working on an unofficial trail. As far as I could see the ice in it was solid all the way down.

ice on puddle

And it’s so varied, especially when we start getting a bit of hoarfrost.

ice on puddle

ice on puddle

ice on puddle



trees reflecting in water between ice and rock…on the pond. It hasn’t quite frozen solid, so the open spots and edges have some interesting photographic potential.

rock showing under ice

Time for a walk

frost on windshield

Well, it’s a cold day, that’s for sure.

ice pellets on branches

Ice pellets everywhere! Evidently they didn’t turn into freezing rain last night—and a sheet of ice—as they did where we live.

ice pellets and frozen drops on branch

Quite lovely on the branches: pellets and frozen drops.

ice pellets on dead leaf

ice pellets on snow

Quite lovely everywhere, actually.


Nice crunchy trails in places.

ice on puddle

And the first puddle ice I’ve seen!

Really, one couldn’t ask for a prettier day for a walk.

trail with dog

More fungus

From today’s walk.

Probably spindle-shaped yellow coral
Some kind of yellow coral fungus.
orange mushrooms
Orange mushrooms from the side…
underside of orange mushroom
…and upside down.
underside of small shelf fungus
A turkey-tail type fungus from underneath…
top of small shelf fungus
…and above.
brown mushroom
And finally, your basic boring brown mushroom, but with some elegant frills.

mushroom closeup

Have some mushrooms.

We had some enormous ones this year; these photos are all of the same kind. This was an early stage before it started to flatten out.
mushroom closeup
mushroom closeup
And a bit dewy.
mushroom closeup
And a bit friendly.

Goldenrod crab spider

goldenrod crab spider, misumena vatia, on white tarp

When I was taking down the tarp from the deck party yesterday I found this little spider; she’s a lovely white colour just tinged with the faintest green. She’s a goldenrod crab spider (Misumena vatia).

goldenrod crab spider, misumena vatia, on white tarp

They’re hunters who lurk in flowers and then grab their prey with the two oversized front legs. And they can change colour, at least between white and yellow, how cool is that? What she was doing on the tarp I can’t imagine, unless she just liked the whiteness of it.

DSC_0965 goldenrod crab spider.
I think I might be a little too big for you to grab, sweetie.


Going, going…

two baby robins
July 25th

One of the babies has climbed out of the nest entirely.

one baby robin sitting on edge of nest
July 26th

The older chick has gone; this is the only one left in the nest, and it doesn’t look like it’ll be here much longer. Handsome little thing, isn’t it?

empty nest
July 27th: gone!

The nest was empty when I checked it this morning.

I don’t think it had ever quite sunk in for me just how fast robin chicks grow. Just as a reminder, this was the first photo I took, 12 days ago:

robin chick

I’m not even sure there were two of them at that point. There might have been; but in any case, this one couldn’t have been more than two days old, if it was that.

All I can say is… wow.



lichen tendrils

This is a ground-growing lichen I spotted while we were out having a picnic today. I’m not someone who knows much about lichens, so I can’t tell you which exact one this is, but the rooty-looking things are rhizines, used to anchor the lichen (I assume it had been disturbed from its usual position). I think that the bulbous tan-coloured things at the tips of the lobes are apothecia, fruiting bodies. Beautiful, aren’t they?

Pink and gold

closeup of pink poppy with a bug

We found the most amazing poppies walking today.

The bug is not a bee or wasp, but a hoverfly (family Syrphidae); beyond that identification I won’t venture. They feed on nectar and pollen. And you can see the wee bits of pollen dust all over the petal behind it.

Baby robins at a week

baby robins

And their eyes are opening!

It is astonishing to me how much they’ve grown since I took the first picture last Friday. You can see the difference even a day makes in the fledging between them, too, and how HUGE they are compared to last Saturday. No wonder adult robins look run-down.

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