Monday, August 12, 2019

FARM SITTING

Farm sitting is like house sitting but more to keep an eye on.  One cow had calved several weeks ago and another was expected but didn't seem to getting with the program.  I checked her yesterday before we went for a drive and she was in the field with the others.  When we got home last evening and I went to give them a few flakes of hay, she was missing.  I finally found her in the bush alongside the barn with a new little red calf.  Since it was pretty rough and getting darker by the minute, I took her some hay and a few buckets of water.  She was very thirsty.  This morning I was able to push and lift the calf over the low fence and Momma followed.  As soon as the calf got into the softer grass of the field, she took off bounding and wobbling across the meadow.  It was interesting to watch the other animals meet the new one.  There was great excitement and curiosity with the new Mom being very protective of her baby.  Things settled down after a bit and all went back to chomping grass.
Yesterday we went to Campbell River to visit our friends, Gay and Doug.  We hadn't seen them since Bill's funeral and there were a lot of people there so not much time.  It was nice to sit and catch up on things.  Gay also reminded me that I hadn't put a blog post out for nearly two weeks.  Now it is two weeks.  I remain impressed by those bloggers who manage to post every day.
We have been doing a bit of geocaching on our evening walks as well as finding some good blackberry patches.  There are gardens to water and once in a while lawns to cut.  I hauled in the winter's firewood as well.  We've also been gathering food for the rally meal that Aileen is in charge of preparing.  We don't have any problem keeping busy.
Our summer and time on the Island is rapidly winding down.  When Charlie and Sheila return, we will go back to Duncan for a few days as we have more things we want to do down that way.  Richard and Georgia were to have come up last week but they came down with colds and cancelled.  They are planning to come tomorrow and Georgia will stay with us for a few days.
We will be moving up to Seal Bay for the fall RV rally September 2 -7 then we will probably chill out somewhere for a few days before leaving the Island and going to Salmon Arm for a while.

Immature Chipping Sparrow.  I took this out the window from my computer seat.

I'm thinking this belongs in the fungus family.  It is a short growing, bright yellow slimy creation that is quite common further up island.  This was here in the dry belt at Little Qualicum Park.

Little Qualicum River, hand held, but braced on a fence, with my Canon SX60, fully manual exposure

Little Qualicum River, hand held, but braced on a fence, with my Canon SX60, fully manual exposure

Little Qualicum River, hand held, but braced on a fence, with my Canon SX60, fully manual exposure

Hairy Woodpecker taken through the motor home windshield

When he started in on the new paint job, I honked the horn to stop that.  Just part of the job protecting the property!

While we were walking a shady forest path the other evening, I noticed this Bull Fern illuminated by a tiny ray of sunlight.

While checking the gardens one morning I noticed this spider so went and got my camera, which is where the rest of today's images came from.

Inside a rose blossom



Gladiola


Lily


Roses

Roses

Lily

Lily

And Lily

Taken with our i-phone, the calf is less than a day old

Monday, July 29, 2019

OH BOY, MORE ATVING

Yes, I got to go riding Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday this week.  We were in the same valley but three different areas approached from two different directions.  On two of the trips I got to do a fair bit of hiking as well so that was a real bonus.  By hiking up to the higher elevations we were exposed to different climatic zones so different wild flowers and we also got beyond the logging clear cuts and into more pristine scenery and habitat.  You have to realize though that without the logging roads, there would be no easy access to the high country.

Don't forget to click on the first image then click through at the bottom so you see all at full size

Woodland Penstemon

Harebells

Hellebore out in a logging slash

A little alpine pond

Same pond

Same pond

Aster that is past it

Cotton Grass

Aster

Hemlock tree reflection

Another alpine pond

Coral Mushroom

Columbia Lewisia

Stonecrop, these were on top of a low mountain

Yet another alpine pond

Twisted Sisters

And another alpine pond


On our way down on the ATVs looking out to the east coast of Vancouver Island down Cook Creek Valley.  The above photos were taken last Wednesday when I was out riding with brother in law John R and friend Ernie.

On Saturday night, Aileen and I took the RZR and our supper and headed up to this beautiful viewpoint.  Anticipating a peaceful view and meal, we were disconcerted to find a noisy group of seven side by sides already there.  The beer and profanity were flowing, sounding like we were at a pub.  They were a friendly group so it was hard to get angry and one of the girls insisted we needed our photo taken.  We did find a sort of quiet corner where we ate admiring the view but we didn't stay long.

Our supper view.   Deep Bay on Vancouver Island then Denman Island and Chrome Island lighthouse with Hornby Island in the back.

A peek a boo shot of Chrome Island on our way down the logging road

Yesterday, my brother Charlie and I went exploring an ATV trail and after a rugged couple of KMs, we took off walking the hiking trail.  We gained 1050 feet in about a mile and got up to a nice viewpoint.  This male grouse was showing off for the girls.

Moss Campion, an alpine flower

Looking over Denman and Hornby Islands from a thousand feet higher than where Aileen and I were Saturday.

One section of the trail.  It was cut out by quad riders because even though my RZR is 50 inches wide, I kept getting hooked on trees with the roll cage.  If I was to go back, I would not take the RZR up this section.

Last night, Aileen and I went back to Little Qualicum Park with my Canon 5D Mk2 full frame camera with the 100-400 lens to see if we could spot the immature owl again.  The big camera will shoot fairly decent photos at 6400 ISO which I used last night in addition to shooting the fastest I could at f-5.6 and this was taken at just 1/125 second hand held.

This is a young Barred Owl who kept moving around and calling for a parent to bring food

One of the times it flew

Red-breasted Sapsucker

I think this was a parent that had some food it was gobbling down

It would appear to be a fairly large Crayfish that he was dining on.  I saw the owl swoop down on the river bank, where I guess he grabbed it, then right back up to the perch.  After eating, he flew across the river to where we could hear the young one demanding supper.