Totally captivated in 2007 by the live camera feed of the Hornby Island nesting Bald Eagles in B.C., I was drawn into birding and have never looked back. Thus begins my account of what I'm fortunate enough to discover each day and perhaps capture with my camera.

Unless otherwise stated, all images were taken by and are the property of Janice Melendez

Species Counts:

2014 Final Year List: 255; 2015 Year List a/o June 5, 2015: 235; Life List: 327

Monday, May 30, 2011

"What happens in the field...."

Dan persuaded me to check out this private lake with him by canoe in the Kawarthas for some possible nesting birds a few weeks ago, so off I went at the crack of dawn to meet him, armed with my PFD, Deet, and a pair of rubber boots.  Looking back on it as I made it out alive, this is another one of those posts that I really don't want my family to see, so hopefully this won't come back to bite me.

We met with the kind landowner before hitting the trails to the lake, and as we were about to leave, he called Dan on the side and I managed to overhear the word "BEAR". Huh. How about that??!! In my usual subtle way, I barged into the conversation as Dan retrieved his bear spray out of the truck. I proudly beamed and told them both that I too had my own pepper spray (wow, how prepared was I, being such a city slicker, I'll show them!), so I rushed back to the car to retrieve it (THANK YOU, JEFF!!!). My pride was short-lived, though, as I was informed that my pepper spray would be hard-pressed to take out a squirrel, let alone a bear :-(  .

Okfine, I was a dork from the city, but at least I was an enthusiastic dork!

Dan and I left for the lake, and along the way heard and saw some good birds, even though I was furtively looking behind me for the better part of that time for those bears. On the tree trunks we saw signs of their claws, so whoever said to climb a tree to escape one is wrong-wrong-wrong:

We arrived at the lake, and a beautiful one it was:

A pair of Common Loons was seen off the shore, along with numerous Red-winged Blackbirds, Swamp Sparrows, a Great Blue Heron, and a few Ring-necked Ducks. We were pumped, I was thrilled, but only for a moment, as I cast my eyes upon our vessel:

Kidding!!! But not by much, in fact, as I patiently watched in horror  awe as Daniel Boone  worked his magic with a roll of duct tape and birch bark:

My only consolation was that the OPP would not be able to access the lake to pull us over for a safety spot check. Then again, nor would they be able to rescue us either....

Our water vessel was now in its final state, whew, that was a close one, I just knew we'd be safe now, especially as I had all of my camera equipment with me so we'd be ready for that National Geographic shot of a lifetime!!!!

So off we set into onto the lake in Dan's "Red Green" special, and we lived to tell the tale. The irony of it all, though, was that we saw no new birds other than what we had already seen from the shore, but if nothing else, it was another interesting misadventure! 

Afterwards, we met up with Susan for lunch and then headed off to a private woodlot to pick wild leeks, Dan went insane with a shovel as Susan and I sifted through the leeks to bring home with us to savour in some gourmet cooking.

How Dan managed to ever find this Wood Frog for me to photograph I'll never know, but look how tiny it is:

The call of this tiny little thing is a rolling quacking sound, not unlike that of a duck!

We also saw a few butterflies, but I'm not quite that desperate yet to get into flutterby mode, as there are still too many birds around to enjoy!

So all in all it was an interesting day, many thanks to Dan for sparing my life out on that lake, I'm still waiting for that duct tape wallet you promised me!

"What happens in the field stays in the field."

Until this post.

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