THE FLOWER

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WHAT IT IS

 

Sapphire insisted we take a side trip to Magdalena Island National Park. She was taking a course to support her masters degree thesis dealing with penguin mating habits in and around Puento Cisnes, Chili.

Our tour guide, Sofia Zuniga, was a sixty- year- old woman who was steeped in local lore and history. This was most fortunate for Sapphire because after she was bitten by a disgruntled spider, Sofia crushed up this plant and applied it to the bite mark. Sapphire took this photo of an identical plant…after she “came to”.

 

WHAT IT IS NOT

 

This delicate spring plant is so poisonous that Kejimkujik National Park supervisor, Mikey J. Jones, has ordered staff to erect small fences around this flora. In addition to the fencing, small solar panels provide an electrical “shock” at the top of the fences if anyone should try to get over the fences. Thus far, students have built sixteen mini white picket fences with some 800 more to go.

THE BEAVER

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WHAT IT IS

 

Cricket and I often take the Amtrak to Washington DC to listen to the annual speech delivered by the head of the National Parks Service. On one such trip, we were delayed in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania.

We wandered around the beautiful town for a couple of hours when we came across a well attended picnic of civic dignitaries.

Cameras in hand, we asked the gathered folks if we could take a photo of all the Beaver Falls officials. After a few pictures, we realized the town mayor was absent from the festivities and were told by the town treasurer that the mayor was rarely seen in public and disliked having his picture taken.

Some weeks later, a plain brown envelope containing this photo arrived at our Wahnapitai home.

 

WHAT IT IS NOT

Parks Canada recently enlisted the services of several Canadian beavers to help in the detection and elimination if invasive species throughout wetland areas in Canada.

After several weeks of intense training at the National Bird and Mammal Institute in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, these beavers are assigned to various areas around the country.

The beaver in this photo is assigned to the Georgian Bay area of Ontario and has a specialty in detecting purple loosestrife and dam building.

 

THE DOGS

 

Mr. Bean and Sinatra on track

 

WHAT IT IS

While on an Amtrak train leaving Beaver Falls and heading to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, these two dogs refused to get off the tracks, bringing the passenger train to a complete stop.  The dogs, Chuckles and Jasper, were especially trained to sniff out cracks in the steel rails and bring to a halt a passing train until required repairs were finished.  While mulling around for repair crews to arrive, Sapphire took this photo of the two serious canines.

WHAT IT IS NOT

Every Friday morning at 7 am, these dogs board a small train known as the Budd Car which Runs through parts of Northern Ontario, Canada. It is believed these dogs, who travel on their own, are heading out to a camp near Amyot, Ontario, Canada, to do a bit of fishing and general relaxation.

Some years ago, this duo missed the train and they now place themselves on the track so this unfortunate situation will not be repeated.  Sapphire took this photo just before the famous “all aboard” was shouted by the conductor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE DUCK

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WHAT IT IS

Cricket and I attended an outdoor concert in Wingfield Park, Reno Nevada. When Canadian roots/blues/rock band “Blackie and the Rodeo Kings” broke into a rousing version of “Swinging from the Chains of Love”, this duck started to really enjoy the music.

 

WHAT IT IS NOT

 

Rumours of a new ballet being performed by the National Ballet of Canada were spreading throughout the waterfowl community. The word on the pond was that the ballet company was hiring two ducks, three geese and five swans. Sapphire took this photo of one of the hopefuls.

THE LANDSCAPE

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WHAT IT IS

On a cold October night, Cricket loaded the wood stove with dry sugar maple. We sat up for an hour watching the fire, then decided to go to bed for the evening. When we woke, the camp was completely engulfed in fire. We barely made it out alive.

The hours passed slowly as we sat in the car waiting for first light. Cricket took this photo of what we once saw from our front deck.

WHAT IT IS NOT

The phone call came at noon.  Cricket’s great uncle, Buddy Gallant had passed away in Rustico Prince Edward Island, Canada. The aging relatives asked Cricket if he could come down to the island and “take care of things”.

Cricket was gone nearly a week. On his last day, he found an oil/canvas painting and took this photo. Cricket still believes it is a long -lost John MacWhirter original.

 

 

 

 

 

THE GOOSE

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WHAT IT IS

This Canada Goose is part of the 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group. The goose is equipped with a GPS and small HD camera and is tasked to patrol the waters near Peawanuck Ontario, Canada.

In its first assignment, this goose was partially responsible for the rescue of two sea kayakers who were floundering in the waters of Hudson Bay.

After being released from hospital, Sapphire took this “thank you” photo and sent it to the Patrol Group.

 

WHAT IT IS NOT

 

While hiking along a mountain trail near Denver Colorado, Cricket lost his eyeglasses. My brother’s eyesight is negligible without his glasses. When we came across a huge sign stating “Why not came to the Denver Rodeo?”, he thought a close-up photo of the question mark would be interesting!!!!

 

THE DEER

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WHAT IT IS

 

After 18 gruelling days in the Australian outback with famous bushman Shucks Founddit, Sapphire and I had all but given up on seeing him. It was 9 am, February 16 – we just broke camp – we saw him:  a North American white-tail deer running with a mob of Australian kangaroos.

 

WHAT IT IS NOT

I can still see Cricket walking Hwy 6. He twisted his ankle on a rock and fell down a 30 foot embankment, his camera firing the whole time.