Monday, May 31, 2010

Walks

I have decided that the walks at Whiting Road are going to be my exercise. Some of my friends do the "athletic walk" thing, round and round on a track. That's just not my cuppa. Too boring for me, though, they love it. So, to start at least, I am going to go on a trail walk every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. With the walking I do at the track on Saturday, that should help strengthen me up.

Last Wednesday, I did the Blue and Yellow Trails. There was lots of stuff to stop and take pictures of.

Fleabane



Elderberry



Canada Mayflower



Blackberry



I found where somebody had dined on fresh greens.



And saw a mass of baby spiders, getting ready to set out into the world.



The Blue and Yellow trails are probably the most popular of the trails there. They're the easiest, and go through different terrains. When you see vistas like this, I can see why people love to walk this trail.



Friday, I did the Orange trail. This is the trail that goes through the Great Meadow for a good part of its path. Bikers like this trail because it is quite long, and it has some grades. It doesn't seem to be so popular with walkers, maybe because you're out in the sun for a good portion of the time that you are walking.

The Hawkweed was out in force.

Yellow Hawkweed



Orange Hawkweed -- Not as common as the Yellow, and I only found a couple of patches.



Many Yellow Hawkweed.



There were flowers everywhere.

Creeping Buttercup



Multiflora Rose



Nightshade



And, this weird thing. I'm not even sure it's a flower. Every plant of its kind had this thing on top of it. It's not leafy feeling, but, rather, hard. So it's either a flower, or some kind of disease. If it is a flower, poor thing, to always have people wonder if you are a disease.



Here is a video of the Great Meadow itself



video

The Great Meadow used to be an orchard, and, along the perimeter, I found this remnant, still valiantly putting forth apples. I bet the deer love this tree in the fall.



The meadow is threatened by this plant -- Black Swallowwort. It's a plant that used to be planted in gardens at the turn of the 20th century. It escaped, and now represents a real problem. Unfortunately, it's practically impossible to eradicate.



Oh, and the spitbugs are flourishing.



Whiting Road is in an area that, long ago, was part of Lake Ontario, when it was much larger. So, the soil is very sandy. I'm including this picture because you can see that it can look exactly like beach sand.



I thought that this was kind of neat. These bushes only produce leaves at the top. Underneath, the horsetails have found just the shelter they need to survive in the Great Meadow.




But, the Orange trail isn't all through the meadow. It transitions quite abrubtly into woods. It's like walking from one world to another.


video

So, the last part of the journey is through cool, dark woods. Up and down a bit, also.




The Orange Trail is very long and I was pooped at the end. But, now really, isn't this better than walking around in circles?

Today, the Red Trail -- all deep woods.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Out of My Rear Window 5/30/10



It's a gorgeous day, and I plan on enjoying it to the hilt. Nothing special, just plenty of outside time. This next picture is still out of my rear window, just a little different view, of my pot garden, which is coming along nicely.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Red Wiegela

A couple of days ago, I mentioned that the red wiegela wasn't putting on the display that it usually does, because it was too hot and the flowers were wilting as soon as they bloomed. The weather cooled down yesterday, and, after only one day, this is the result.




Off to the track today to see what other gorgeous beasties are ready for their second career.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Odds and Ends

I'm taking so many trail walks these days, that I'm not putting up pictures of them all, for fear of boring. These are from a walk I took a few days ago. I just wanted to share.

Baltimore Oriole



Red Admiral Butterflies



Strangled Tree



I'm walking that same trail today, and can't wait to see what I shall see.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Around the Yard

All through these hot days, it has been a delight to walk around my yard and enjoy. Yesterday was no exception. Even before I went outside, I spotted this turkey hen sunning herself.



And, when I did go outside, Mr. and Mrs Mallard were waiting for me. I now have only this pair visiting the feeder, and they have grown quite tame. They will tolerate me working in the yard (big of them, whose yard is it anyways?) and they know that I am the human who feeds, so they come running when they see me with the feed bucket in hand.



My "old" flowers are both in bloom. I don't know if it was my Grandmother or my Mother who planted these, but I do know that they have been here for as long as I can remember. I did get rid of a lot of this iris a few years ago, but I was hoping that this group would flourish, there at the end of the downspout. They have and, this year, there have so far been no winds to knock them over, so I can really enjoy them.



That's the same reason that the peonies haven't flopped yet, either.




The varigated wiegela is doing quite well.




But, in spite of the fact that I have been watering it faithfully, I think it's just too hot for the red weigela in front that gets a lot more sun. The flowers are coming out, and fading almost immediately. It's a pity, because this bush is usually my outstanding performer.




I have some of the flowers that I bought last week planted. I'm waiting on others until it cools down, because I have to dig a new garden for them, and right now it's just too hot for me to work that hard in the sun.

Begonias



Geraniums



I forget the name of this little flower, but I just had to buy it, because it is so gaudily cheerful.



I decided to let the sheep sorrel grow around my pine tree, and I quite like the way it looks.



But the greatest joy of the day was seeing that, with great suddenness, one of the day lilies had shot up flower stalks, and, a lot of them. This is my "wild" day lily, the orange one that grows by the side of the road, all over the place. It's always the first to bloom and is a harbinger of things to come, with the fancier varieties.



It's going to be another hot one today, but I can always take a walk around my yard, and cool down.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Beautiful Award, and News About Boggy



I got this award from Inga, whose blog, Desert Canyon Living, is one that I eagerly look forward to visiting. Make sure that you stop by to take a look. http://desertcanyonliving.blogspot.com/ I'm very honored to have received this award, and thank Inga very much.

Plus, I was very surprised and pleased to hear from the woman who bought Boggy Creek Dancer. Her husband found my blog about him, and she responded on it. Through that, we have exchanged email correspondence. Let me tell you, Boggy has landed in clover. He will be loved and cherished for the rest of his life. And, in a wonderful coincidence, this woman actually works for one of the largest Thoroughbred rescues in the country. Here's a picture of Boggy in his new home, with his new companions. He's settled right in, obviously. And, what a beautiful place he has to live in.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Webster Park

I went to a different place yesterday to do my walking. Webster Park is a very old, and very lovely park next to Lake Ontario. The computer blurb about it shows some lovely trails, so I decided to walk one of those.

Apparently, the trails aren't the focal point of the maintenance crew there. They are overgrown, with huge mudholes that make you stop and go back, and there are no trail markers. I got good and lost. I wasn't worried, because I knew that the Lake was on the northern border of the park, so I just kept heading in that direction, and, finally, reached it and got my bearings. The big grump was that I then had to road walk all the way back to where I had parked my car. My poor puppies were hurting by the time I reached it. No more trail walking at Webster Park for me.

In spite of this, I did see loads of interesting things. I found these flowers.

Viper's Bugloss



English Daisies everywhere




Dame's Rockets, too



Horse Chestnuts



And, these tiny, but pretty little blue flowers that were also everywhere. So far, I have not been able to identify them, but, I'll keep trying.

Edited to add that, if I go by Newcomb's Wildflower Guide, this flower is Persian Speedwell. Some pictures I have found of that look distinctly different, but Newcomb's is supposed to the the go to source so I think I'll go with that.




When I got to the lake, I stayed there for a while. It was lovely yesterday, all blue and majestic. It made me want to put my feet in. Some kids did.





Lake Ontario was really at its best yesterday. The water was so clear that you could see all the way to the bottom.



After I rested by the water for a while, I walked back to my car. I took short cuts through the park as much as I could. In spite of my crankiness about getting lost, it really is a lovely place, full of lovely picnic areas, and magnificent trees, from mighty beeches to one valiant old apple tree that I found gamely hanging on.





So, in spite of getting lost, I had a lovely afternoon. Then, I came home and soaked my feet, something which is becoming a bit of a ritual after a long walk, these days.