Cataraqui Reflections

Friday, June 30, 2017

Blue Heron Patience

It was a rainy day yesterday here in Kingston Ontario. I happened to look out my front window and thought I saw a rather large bird on the edge of the Cataraqui sitting on a branch. So I went outside to investigate.

Sure enough, I could see that it was a blue heron, just sitting here patiently, perhaps waiting to spot a fish in the water.

I cannot say this is normal behaviour for herons, to sit so long in one place with many people nearby.

It is possible the heron was injured as it seemed quite lethargic just sitting there.

It was notable enough that I am writing this post about the sighting.

Having wrested myself out of my comfy chair, I decided it was time to feed the birds along the woods trail, despite the rain.

I am glad I did because I discovered three more wild flowers that had bloomed since my last trek in the woods a few days ago.

This is the flower of the milkweed plant. So beautiful.

This flower is one of the only blue wild flowers I have seen.

It looked happy in the rain.

This mauve flower is a new one for me.

That's it for this post, just wanted to share what I saw yesterday.

Tomorrow is Canada's 150th birthday. I wish every Canadian a happy birthday and please stay safe!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

CJAI 92.1 Amherst Island Radio Broadcast Day

Wednesday 21 June 2017 dawned like most recent days, humid and cool. The weather forecast held the promise of sunshine and a low risk of rain. It sounded like a great day for a ferry ride adventure to Amherst Island.

My sister and I left a few minutes early just in case we needed them, but we had no difficulty in locating Millhaven on Highway 33, where we were to catch the ferry. It was very close to Kingston Ontario, where we live, about 19 kilometers. We were to meet our hosts at the Bath Legion, so that's where we headed.

Here we met up with Ellis Wolfreys and his wife Mary Lou, as well as Anne and Gord, who were to accompany me musically on the broadcast. Anne plays piano and guitar and had brought both with her. Gord plays bass. I apologize that I did not think to take pictures of this meeting. I will do better in the future.

We had breakfast and headed out to catch the ferry, the Frontenac II.

That's my car in the middle.

The ferry ride lasted about 20 minutes. Disembarking was handled easily and efficiently by the ferry workers.

A very short distance later, we arrived at the barn that is home to CJAI 92.1 Amherst Island Radio.

It appears to be a working barn, of which only this part is occupied by the radio station.

Inside, Ellis set up the room with microphones. I got a headset to listen through.

I had brought along the songbook that was lovingly created by my mother, Pauline Decker. She began writing it about 1950 and it has been used many times for many occasions. It just seemed appropriate that the songs I sang on this day should come from this book.

Here is a picture of my mother, Pauline Decker, with her beloved Hawaiian guitar, circa 1953.

And here is a picture of the Decker women: Pauline, Shirley and Nancy, circa 1974.

My mother would be proud of my performance on this day.

What can I say? The afternoon went by with much singing and playing. Ellis joined us with his guitar and played lead when he could. My sister harmonized with Anne on a few songs and we all sounded great, in my humble opinion.

I have listened to the broadcast and it does sound good to my ears. If anyone else would like to hear the broadcast, they need only follow this link that I have supplied. Look for the track dated 22 June 2017.

The Wolf's Den CJAI 92.1

You might have to copy and paste into a browser. For some reason, I cannot do it today. :">)

After the broadcast, there were a few minutes to explore before we had to return to the mainland. I found this old preserved building that I thought interesting.

And then, it was time to go.

Thank you Ellis Wolfreys for inviting me to sing and play with you and your friends on this day. I really loved it. ♥

Friday, June 16, 2017

Morning Glory

Kingston has experienced more rain in May and early June of 2017 than it has in recent arid years. I mention this because my walk in the little woods is verdant with the abundance of moisture, making this mini ecosystem healthy and robust.

The bushes are crowding the path.

I am not sure what the name of this flower is, but it is plentiful.

Bonus! I found an immature raspberry patch along the trail.

Sometime next month, raspberries will go very well with the wild strawberries that now appear to be in several locales along the trail.

This yellow flower, on a stem about 3 feet tall, I first thought to be a dandelion, but on closer inspection, it appears to be another flower completely, adding a little yellow to the green surroundings.

I can now walk a little better, what with the new orthotic insoles doing their thing, so I have ventured into the little golf course adjacent to the path. Nature is into recycling too. This decaying stump is providing a nursery for the little plant growing within it.

This stump is providing a home for two large fungi.

The shading of the fungi brings to mind a coiled snake, perhaps as a deterrent for any animal that might find it interesting enough to take a bite.

In the picture below, if you look closely, it looks (to me) like a turtle about to take a big bite out of the fungi.

Fanciful thinking on my part - eat or be eaten.

On my return trip along the path, I saw a dove and a squirrel munching on the seeds that I had strewn on the path on my way in.

It's gratifying to see the birds and animals enjoying the food I leave for them.

On a more personal note, I purchased a new guitar - a Sigma GME, an everyday guitar made by Martin. Below is a picture lifted from a blog on the Sigma guitar.

It gives a brief rundown on the guitar itself. For the full article click the link below.

I just love this guitar. The sound is crisp and it is easy to play. It is also very light. Here are some pictures.

I also purchased a new strap, which I think compliments the colour tone of the guitar.

It is the mahogany wood used on the back that makes this a very interesting guitar.

I hope to get a lot of use out of this guitar in the coming days.

On Sunday, 11 June 2017, my sister and I drove north to the little town of Harrowsmith for a Old Time Fiddlers Open Mic.

When my turn came, I sang my two songs, which were well received.

A man approached me, remarked how much he liked my singing, then asked if I would be interested in being on his radio show, and perhaps playing a few tunes while there.

I thought it was a great idea. Ellis Wolfreys hosts a 3 hour show called The Wolf's Den on Wednesdays at Amherst Radio, on Amherst Island near Millhaven, Ontario.

Here is a link to their web site. The radio station bills itself as Born In A Barn - The Smallest Radio Station In Canada.

I am tentatively scheduled for this upcoming Wednesday, 21 June 2017. I'll know more in the coming days. Check back for more information. I hope anyone in the Kingston/Bath/Napanee corridor reading this will tune in to CJAI 92.1 to listen to hear Nancydee sing a few songs.

I'll take some pictures too. I need to take a ferry to get there. I am looking forward to being out on the water. I have heard that Amherst Island is like going back in time about 50 or so years. I should be able to get some good shots.

One last sunrise shot, taken a few days ago.

That's it for this post. See you soon!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

That Trail In The Woods

Soon as after moving into my new apartment, I noticed a trail nearby leading into a small woods.

I was happy to find a place to walk and explore out of the range of curious eyes but close to home. Tendinitis had cut short any exercise that I might have had over the last few months. With treatment and proper shoes, I was ready to get out and explore this new find.

The first picture I took was looking back on the trail at the apartment building I had just left.

The first thing I saw was a rabbit on the trail.

I was at least 100 meters away but my new camera was able to zoom in close.

The next things I noticed was all the new flowers making the wood come alive with their brilliant colours.

There was other wildlife there as well.
This robin was nearby for most of my walk, occasionally flying down to the ground to search for worms or whatever food it could find.

This squirrel was one of a pair that came to have a look.

The squirrel was nice enough to pose for a picture on my return trip past its home.

Such a cutie. I called out and it looked up and gave me this nice shot. I have been leaving seeds and pieces of dried bread for it and its partner.

It must be a good year for snails as I saw a couple on my walk.

This one was found on the steps leading to a walkway outside the building.

I can only hope they weren't stepped on by people or run over by a bicycle on the trail.

I noticed a strawberry patch as well.

I was thinking I would have fresh wild strawberries to munch on in a few weeks, but the next time I walked in the woods, I had no idea where the patch was, so I guess they are safe from me raiding the patch.

About 300 meters into my walk, I came to the far edge of the little wood at the entrance of Bell Park, which contains a 9 hole golf course.

Across the street was the local legion where I go on Friday nights to sing karaoke.

I have ventured into the golf course grounds and taken more pictures, but they will be in my next post. Check back soon for that!