So Much Happening!

First of all, no more bears on my deck! I think there is lots of food for him that is much more interesting than bird seed. I’ll be prepared for him again in the fall, though.

The second brood of Eastern Phoebes is just overflowing the nest platform and will probably leave tomorrow morning. I have cancelled an appointment to try to get them fledging.

I have been guarding a large thistle by my front door, much to the chagrin of my daughter and the delight of my wildflower friend, Gwen. It has been host to a pair of very territorial American Goldfinches a number of times. I have it tied to the house and the various blooms segregated with gardeners plant velcro to give the individual heads room for the birds and clear spots for photography. Tying it back has given me a background of cosmos and black-eyed susans with some purple oregano, depending on how the winds blows.

Yesterday I was late arriving at a friend’s retirement/birthday party as the goldfinches stopped by just as I was leaving.

An EWA Marine bag for my Canon 7D has allowed me to make a start at photographing the Pumpkinseed Sunfish that nest near my shoreline each spring. The bag is meant to be held by a swimmer but the bottom of my lake has a lot of silt so I figured out how to drop the bag down to where I want it to be with the video running.

This required buying 6 – 2 lb diving weights to get the bag and camera to sit on the bottom instead of floating. It needs a few refinements but worked out as well as could be expected for a silty Muskoka lake.

I am working on getting a full length video of a monarch caterpillar molting from fourth to fifth instar. So far, I just have managed parts of the process. Another case of leaving for five minutes and it being half finished when I get back!

One of the fun bits!

You may have to do a copy and paste to see the above video.

The loons have not been in my lake as regularly as they have been in other years but I have managed a few new images.

I discovered that my usual kayak camera set-up can be made much more useful with the addition of a 36 mm extension tube. I used my 7D, the 100-400 and the tube for this image of a Bog Copper butterfly. I have about a 15 ft x 10 ft strip of bog along my shoreline where wild cranberries grow. The Bog Coppers fertilize the flowers. For three mornings I worked on getting images of these butterflies. They are only about 2.5 cm across

There have been 5-6 of these butterflies counted here for the last few years on the Bala Butterfly Count. The third day I was trying for images I saw one fly and a Dragonhunter caught it and ate it! One less! This is one huge dragonfly.

After struggling and beating my head against the wall trying to edit the bits of video I have taken with the 7D I bought a new Dell computer. It has Windows 7, 12 GB RAM, i7 and all of a sudden it takes minutes to edit a piece of video including adding transitions and titles. All that time I thought I was doing something wrong!

Of course, a new computer means lots of things to work out. Like, how to get my email to work. If it receives it won’t send and things like that. I still have to get my Favourites and Address book from the old one – and much more!

My line of greeting cards is doing specially well at Iroquois Artisans in Bala. Carol News is the proprietor and is doing a great job of promoting my work. Several of my prints on canvas are hanging as well.

If you are in Dorset some of my work is in the Trader Bay Art Gallery and is doing well there too.

One morning while out in my kayak a doe came down to eat waterlilies. This will be a new print.

I did my presentation, “The Magic of Monarchs” at both the AGM of the Six Mile Lake Conservationists and the Muskoka Lakes Library in Port Carling. I will be at the library again on August 10th at 11 am.

One of my loon images is on the front cover of the Muskoka Lakes Ratepayers Annual Report. There are a few more in an article.

I hope you are enjoying your summer!

All the images and video are the sole property of Eleanor Kee Wellman and may not be used for any purpose without my written permission

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