White-tailed deer swimming across a channel in Georgian Bay between mainland and Franklin Island. Water temperature would be about 4C. Although this route is heavily used in the winter when the water is iced over, it seems odd that a deer would swim to an island when there appear to be abundant resources nearby. Perhaps coincidentally, this was also the day before the opening of deer hunting season.
Snapping turtle observed crossing the road, possibly to/from nesting area (both sides of the road are marshy). Note leech on carapace. As I got out of the car to take the picture, two more people arrived to remove it from the road. Note gloves.
This person was using an axe handle, but the second person noted he usually carries a kid's hockey stick in the car to remove both turtles and snakes from the road, which is quite heavily travelled by campers and kayakers.
The series of photos shows the turtle's response to efforts to remove it from the road, turning completely around to face the attacker.
A skunk cabbage plant is reflected in a temporary pool along the shore of Mackenzie Beach.
I love crows, but find it tough to get a good photo of a black bird. This one captured its ruffled head feathers and bright eye nicely.
I couldn't resist the red-red of this bit of sea weed against the salt-and-pepper effect of the black rock and white shell beach.
An old western red cedar is covered with moss and ferns in the Rainforest Walk at Long Beach, Vancouver Island (Pacific Rim National Park).
Herring? Eulachon? eggs - between the flies, the crows and the dogs, they won't last long!
Is it just the force of the wave action or are all the intact sand dollars scooped up by beach combers to sell in the tourist shops?
Getting a good river otter pic is on my bucket list - this will have to do for now. I understand that they approach humans quite closely because they are both curious and short-sighted (a trait that helps them see underwater), so I'm hopeful about getting a better pic.
I recorded a short video that shows this one taking two running jumps (bounds), then sliding on its belly across the ice... two bounds, slide ... two bounds, slide. This shows the animal in the slide part of its travels.
In the winter, especially when the snow is thick in the bush, the white-tailed deer make good use of both the gravel roads and ice surfaces along the edge of Georgian Bay.
Definitely an eastern fox snake (Elaphe gloydi /Pantherophis gloydi) - a little over a meter long (three feet) - a small one as these snakes get quite large in this area. ID:yellow body, two rows of prominant alternating black spots.
Blueberries growing wild along the roadside near Parry Sound, Ontario.
Such a beautiful flower - no wonder people refer to weeds as flowers growing in the wrong place!
Mullein - with its distinctive "fuzzy" leaves is not native to Ontario. It is widely distributed along roadsides in the province. Some specimens are five feet tall.
This is Ontario's only lizard and it is considered of Special Concern/Endangered both provincially and nationally. More info at http://www.rom.on.ca/ontario/risk.php?doc_type=fact&id=152.
We only see two or three a year at this location.
With the ban on herbicides in urban Ontario, my lawn has become a flourishing ecosystem of grass, weeds, wildlife and bugs. Even the toads are making a comeback!
This juvenile cottontail is enjoying the white clover that has sprung up.
We weren't expecting to see any snakes out on Easter weekend, 2010, so this little guy caught us by surprise. In all, we saw three snakes between the two of us - two garter snakes and a what we think was a Dekay's brown snake.
Male sockeye salmon, dead at spawning grounds.
Most photographers don't want hydro lines in their photos, but these lines are a part of the story. Shortly after a new hydro pole was installed (not this one), a pair of pileated woodpeckers began chipping away at it, despite an abundance of nearby dead trees. In the nest that summer (2009) were at least two young. In this shot, the male (identified by his red mustache and red crest extending from the forehead) waits on a nearby hydro pole for me to pack up my camera and leave his nesting territory. Since that time, I've observed pileated woodpeckers creating more big nesting holes in nearby telephone poles.
Pileated woodpecker nest in a telephone pole near Snug Harbour (Georgian Bay), Ontario. They've become quite a destructive force in the area, choosing to nest in telephone poles instead of trees, despite an abundance of living and dead trees in the area.
Pickerel weed - observed along the shore of George Lake in Killarney Provincial Park.
Observed while canoeing on George Lake in Killarney Provincial Park.
A blue flag (known locally as a swamp iris), one of the many beautiful early summer flowers on Franklin Island in Georgian Bay, Lake Huron.
Solomon's seal (green with alternating leaves) and wild columbine (red and yellow flowered plant).
These grow wild in a moist soil under a mixed oak/alder/maple canopy.
Wild strawberry plant (aka woodland strawberry). I don't think I've ever beaten the chipmunks and red squirrels to a single berry in five years of visiting this site.
The snow was quite thick in February 2009 (unlike 2012, when we had hardly any snow). A white-tailed deer stops in thick snow to watch us. I'm guessing this is a young doe, but would welcome feedback from someone more knowledgeable on deer.
Small garter snake (about 12 inches) observed in mixed deciduous-conferous bush in mid-October.