Saturday, January 16, 2010

Lake Erie: January 16, 2010

Port Stanley: East side – 10:20 AM. Cleo, excellent photographer's assistant that she is, suggests a possible shot. This location is one of the highest along the cliffs of the South Coast.

Port Stanley: East side – 10:20 AM.

Port Stanley: East side – 10:20 AM. A closer view of the swallow colony. The birds will have a great deal of work to do when they return in the spring. Some of the holes will be lost due to the continual freeze-thaw action all winter. This causes the cliff face to flake off, sometimes in large chunks.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Lake Erie: January 15, 2010

Port Stanley: East side – 11:10 AM.

South End of Iona Road: 3:13 PM.

South End of Iona Road: 3:13 PM. The whole day was quiet and heavy. While it looked like it could snow or even rain at any moment, nothing happened. It was as if it just wasn't worth the effort.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Lake Erie: January 14, 2010

Port Stanley: East side – 10:45 AM. A mild, sunny morning. You can see (lower left) where Bank Swallows, have taken advantage of the clay cliff face to establish a colony. The shoreline is a rich source of mosquitoes and what we call fish flys. It's a sure sign of spring when these lovely birds return to claim their homes.

Port Stanley: East side – 10:45 AM.

Port Stanley: East side at lake level - 3:10 PM. I wish you could hear the hissing, swishing sound if these ice islands brushing together in the gentle swells.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Lake Erie: January 13, 2010

Port Stanley: East side – 10:30 AM. A bit warmer this morning - just a touch below freezing. The lake is rolling in sluggish swells. The structure in the distance is part of the Elgin Area Water System.

Port Stanley: Just east of the Harbour – 12:25 PM. The wind has strengthened and is driving the waves onto the beach.

Port Bruce: East side of the pier – 4:45 PM. One King-sized chocolate slushie.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

 Lake Erie: January 12, 2010

Port Stanley: East side – 10:45 AM.  Still cold but the wind has died down and it seems much more comfortable. 

Port Stanley: East side – 10:15 AM. The Lake has given up the struggle - for now.

South End of Iona Road: 2:15 PM. The clouds gradually closed in and left everything very quiet and still.

Not The Lake:

Cleo after our walk this morning: Blogs make you tired!

About Cleo: Thanks to Frances for asking. Cleo is a 60lb. mostly German Shepherd who came to me 2 years ago in June. She was just over a year old then and was a rescue dog through Animalert, in London. ON. She had been abandoned in the basement of a farm house and had very nearly starved to death before she was found. After a period of recuperation - there was serious doubt as to her chances of survival but she managed it - she went to a wonderful foster home and then to me. While she is one of the toughest dogs I’ve ever had to deal with – a trait that no doubt kept her alive, she is also one of the smartest and loveliest. She came to me with the name Cleopatra, so-named because of the dark line around her eyes, much like those found on Egyptian tomb paintings. She was already responding to the name so I kept it in its shorter version.

As I said, she was tough. Dealing with her was quite a challenge and unbelievably frustrating by times. She’s the first dog I’ve had that CAN NOT be bribed with food. Doesn’t matter what it is – even yummy (gross) homemade liver treats – if she thinks I want something – and she always knows - she’ll just spit it out and stubbornly sits there. Treats of all kinds freely given, with no stings, are eagerly devoured. In spite of the ups and downs, she has learned pretty much everything I wanted her to and lots more. (My dad always said “If you want to teach a dog something, you have to know more than the dog”. You can see my problem). We’re still working on a few things. She had never been socialized with other dogs and can get herself into trouble pretty fast. She has the most difficulty with older female dogs – they just won’t tolerate her crap and I can’t say I blame them – her approach always seems to be head-on and full bore. She has better luck with the boys – Shadow and Hawk are her pals. She had the same trouble with people, especially men, but she quickly got well past that. The neighbours are as amazed as I am at how far she’s come.

The most important thing is that she adores my Grandchildren. She is utterly attentive to and patient with the older one as she would be with the younger if she had the chance. It isn’t that Cleo doesn’t like her it’s that she will have nothing to do with Cleo and the poor dog just can’t figure it out. We’re taking it very slowly and getting there bit by bit.

Dogs – like kids, are a work in progress but it’s some of the most rewarding work you’ll ever do. If you like animals at all, check out your local rescue group. I’m not saying rush out and adopt something – that’s a huge step that needs very deep, hard thought. If you’re up to it, go for it but there are so many other ways to help. There’s always cash, of course, but give them a call and see what they can use. That nearly new cat carrier for $2.00 at a yard sale, or the pile of blankets in the closet that are decent but you’ll never use again, may be exactly what they are looking for. Like so many things in life, it often doesn’t take much to make a difference.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Lake Erie: January 11, 2010

A note about the locations: Most of the images are taken at the same few places. These spots have been chosen because they are very easy to get to, either on foot (usually with my dog in tow - or more likely towing me), or with a drive of two or three minutes away. Some might wonder at the repetition of scenes but that is one of the points of this exercise. I can plant my feet in exactly the same spot from one day to the next, or one hour to the next and get a very different result each time. I sometimes wonder how I could possibly be on the same planet things have changed so much. It’s part of the magic of living here. Lately the weather has been such that I’m loath to leave the house and if it wasn’t for Cleo’s pleading brown eyes and waggy tail and my commitment to this blog - in that order, I probably wouldn’t. Convenience seems to be everything when the wind is raw enough to freeze my glasses to my nose but there are many other beautiful places and interesting things I want to show you about this Lake and I promise I’ll get to them in time.

Port Stanley: East side – 11:30 AM. To see what I mean, compare this to the two shots from yesterday. Same location but worlds apart.

Port Stanley: East side – 11:30 AM.  The water has chilled down to the point where it seems to be almost viscous. Moving in huge, lumbering ripples, the Lake heaves against the shore, already nearly covering the posts that were fully visible just days ago.

Port Stanley: East side – 11:30 AM. Planet Earth? Perhaps.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Lake Erie: January 10, 2010

Port Stanley: East side – 11:30 AM. The sun shone through thin clouds for most of the day but it was very cold. The mild breeze in the morning strengthened throughout the day, churning the Lake up and dropping the wind-chill to -15C.

Port Stanley: East side – 4:45 PM. The waves were booming on the shore below when I shot this.

Port Stanley Harbour:  5:00 PM.