Small garter snake (about 12 inches) observed in mixed deciduous-conferous bush in mid-October.
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.
Mature male yellow-legged meadowhawk dragonfly observed soaking up the sun's rays in mid-October.
Twelve-spotted skimmer observed in early August.
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.
Swamp milkweed - cultivated specimen for monarch butterflies.
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.
A blue jay (Cyanocitta cristata) waits for me to leave so it can get back at the bird feeder (November 2010).
Growing wild in wood litter, Georgian Bay shores, Ontario.
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.
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.
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.
This deer came out earlier in the day with an older animal. The little one walked out onto the ice - which was starting to show areas of open water - but turned back when the bigger one hesitated. A little while later, it set out by itself from the mainland to a point on Franklin Island. I got a picture of it returning by itself later in the day.
Water lily in freshwater on Franklin Island, Georgian Bay.
A garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis) chows down on a leopard frog (Rana pipiens). The whole process took less than ten minutes.
When I was told that there wouldn't be any raspberries for me to pick because the chipmunks would eat them all, I didn't believe it. Then I caught the competition on camera!
A white-tailed deer stretches to feed on tender shoots.
A northern water snake (Nerodia sipedon) soaks up the sunshine on a late spring day.
Sunshine illuminates a pink lady's slipper growing wild near Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada.
Cultivated specimen. This gorgeous flower is a member of the rose family . It stands at least 5 feet tall, and blooms briefly in July. It appears to have thrived for years in a damp, highly organic spot sheltered from the winds off Georgian Bay near Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada. It is unscented, and seems to rely on bees and flies for pollination. It is considered an exotic in Ontario.
From white to pink: a trillium in its final days of bloom. The white trillium has been the official provincial flower of Ontario since 1937. It flowers in the spring, gradually turning pink before it dies. Although it is widely believed that it is illegal to pick the flower, that's an urban legend. According to Wikipedia, picking is discouraged because it damages the leaf-like bracts at the base of the plant and prevents it from producing food for the next year.
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.
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.
The dog treed three raccoons at 6:30 am. They spent the rest of the day in the tree napping in various precarious positions while I took photos.
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.