A Doe in Hand

Brampton Ontario, July 10, 2013; BlackBerry Z10 Photo by © SCPotter

Brampton Ontario, July 10, 2013; BlackBerry Z10 Photo by © SCPotter

Innocence arrived today,
And licked my wrist as if to say,
She welcomed life by rescued hand,
The gentle caring Orkin man.

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Tweet poem for today.

When I posted yesterday’s “Bird in Hand” photo I had no idea of what I would be holding in my hand today! It’s the same hand, and the same camera angle, and another wild creature looking me right in the eye.

I was at work when our pest removal guy came by to show us his latest find: a doe just barely a week old and separated from her mother.

I don’t know all the details of how he came to be the new Mom, but I could sense by the way he cradled her that, if she was going to survive at all, her chances with him were as about as good as it gets.

Orkin is known as an exterminator of invasive insects and catcher of nuisance animals. The kindness of this Orkin employee (sorry I didn’t get his name) seems such a contrast.

I’ve got a few more lines for the poem in my head, so I may post again when they settle down.

…and today’s my birthday. What a wonderful gift.

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A Bird in Hand

Gray Jay (Perisoreus canadensis) in Algonquin Park, July 2012; Nikon D90 © SCPotter

Gray Jay (Perisoreus canadensis) in Algonquin Park, July 2012; Nikon D90 © SCPotter

Algonquin trails so green and deep,
Forest alive, its treasures keep,
Me holding camera ready snare,
For Grey Jay’s happy thankful stare.
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Today’s Tweetpoem.
Grey Jays are omnivorous and store food for the coming winter in bark crevices, under tufts of lichen, or among conifer needles. They quickly learn humans = food, and will take on bold behaviours when tempted. Wikipedia indicates they “cache thousands of food items every day during the summer for use the following winter”.

This particular guy must be a veteran of the Park, given his four leg bands. Perhaps a birder could comment on what the colours mean?

#11 Beaver in Algonquin

We found this happy beaver on the same morning that I took the shot below (both at Mizzy Lake in July 2009). We actually heard him chewing a long time before we got close enough to take a good look. There was a partially submerged tree that he was using as a breakfast chair and I think he probably felt quite safe surrounded by water.

We sat down on the bank about 15 ft from him and watched him for about half an hour, laughing at his methodical chewing pattern; just like typewriters of pre-70s vintage: crunch, crunch, crunch…left to right, then a quick return to start the next line. As you can see from the skinned branch on the right, the method is effective!

Amazing creatures. Their role in shaping the development of Canada is astounding.

Nikon D80; 200mm zoom; 1/250 sec @ f5.6.

(double click the image for a more detailed view)

#10 Mizzy Lake Trail at Dawn

Here’s my wife standing at the head of the Mizzy Lake Trail in Algonquin. We went out just before dawn with hopes of meeting some of the wildlife and were richly rewarded. I remember the mist flowing over the lake; the dense cool air that permeated the entire landscape. It seemed to carry a reminder of ancient daily cycles that started with the dawn of our planet, and will continue (I hope) long after we’re gone.

The beveled top of the tree on the right is actually the trail head marker. I love the way it mirrors my wife’s upward gaze and baseball cap.

Nikon D80; zoomed to a focal length of 34mm; 1/100 sec @ f5.

#5 Moose in Algonquin

I took this photo while hiking in Algonquin last summer. The data from my camera says I was zoomed to a focal length of 112mm, 1/50 sec @ f5.6. I was fortunate to find a stump to stand on about 2o’ from the moose, which conveniently put me at eye level with him. Amazingly beautiful creature. I watched him for about 20 minutes, happily chewing on the sugar maple saplings. Double click the image and you can count the teeth on his lower jaw!

Post #1: Owl at Mountsberg

Yesterday’s walk-about at the Mountsberg Conservation Area (Ontario) was a delight. I was with a small group of illustrators, artists and photographers…everyone of them enthusiastically embracing the beauty of Nature around us. The (tethered) owl photo was my best shot of the day. She had been hit by a car and now has a detached retina, but is well cared for by the Mountsberg staff. More images at www.sonsi.ca