Friday, September 29, 2006

Maxly meets dinner

Last weekend we caught a snake just as we were packing up our campsite. As promised, I let the kids take it home to keep it as a pet and look after it for the next couple of weeks. They named him Maxly.

After a little google search we discovered that garter snakes like frogs and worms. Well what with all the rain we've had lately, finding worms has not been an issue. Here's a shot of us feeding Maxly a big fat juicey worm. Yum.

Oh and don't worry, we're going to let little Maxly go back to the wild soon.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Last camping trip for 2006?

Friday we hooked up with some friends in Charleston Lake Provincial Park for what may possibly have been our last (family) camping trip of the year. That makes it 3 weekends in a row this month, certainly a record. Gotta love fall camping.

The forecast wasn't the greatest but after waking up Friday morning and seeing Saturday downgraded from 80% to 30% chance of rain we decided to go for it. Glad we did too, it was definitely a success all around. Here are some pics that more or less tell the tale...

Walking stick
Walking stick, a very rare find. This may possibly be due to it being so extremely well camouflaged. But that's just a guess.

Shoreline Centennial Trail Crayfish claws Big fat toad

Here's one critter that will sure miss all the campers and the free grub.

Cheers and until next year...


Have a rainbow day.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Murphys Point getaway

Our tent

With an awesome weekend forecast (sunny and 30 degrees with the humidex) we decided to pack up the tent Saturday morning and head off to Murphys Point for some rest and relaxation.

Well I swear these weathermen are getting worse and worse every year at their job. As we neared Perth the entire sky darkened shrouding us under a thick gloomy cloud. It didn't look good but we toughed it out and sure enough it cleared up around 2pm and we headed for the beach to catch some rays.

Kids (and I) spent the better part of the day catching snakes and frogs. Beach activities for the kids consisted mainly of "giving the frogs swimming lessons" as they dove under the water's surface with an unsuspecting frog in their hand. Luckily frogs are quite adept at this sort of thing.

As per usual, here are some photos:

This northern water snake got a little ornery when my daughter plucked him from the rock he was sunning on. He actually bit her and drew blood. Left a small tooth behind in her arm too. Ouch. Later one of the ribbon snakes managed to express his desire to be left alone when he bit me not once but four times. Fast and furious little critters. No worries though, we survived and caught plenty more snakes the next day.

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Spider on a dewy web A bullfrog's view

IMG_2024 Murphys Point beach at dusk
As you can see from these beach shots, we practically had the park to ourselves.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Crisps aka potato chips

Gawd I love potato chips.

More than anything I love trying new flavours of potato chips. Especially the hot ones. My one and only complaint is WHY are they so damn hard to find?

Last spring I was in London, England and decided to take a stroll through the neighborhood grocery store and see what kind of new and neat food I could purchase and bring back home to Ottawa.

Well when I hit that chip aisle my jaw hit the ground. I was mezmorized. They had a whole shelf dedicated to different flavours of crisps. Knowing that there was no way I could jam even one bag of these mouthing watering salty snacks into my suitcase I was left only to stare. And stare. After about 5 or 30 minutes I pried myself away from the display and nearly slipped and fell on the pool of drool that had accumulated at my feet. If I ever make it back to London I know what will be my first stop... after the pub of course.

Now Kettle Chips can be easily found in my neighborhood grocery store BUT where oh where are these flavours?

    Sea Salt with Crushed Black Peppercorns
    Sea Salt and Balsamic Vinegar
    Salsa with Mesquite
    Crème Fraîche, Lemon and Coriander
    Mango Chilli
    Double Gloucester and Red Onion
    Buffalo Mozzarella, Tomato and Basil
    Korma (Coconut,Ginger and Coriander)
    Mild Cheese with Sweet Onion
    Tomato with Basil and Green Peppercorns

And what about Lay's potato chips? Everybody knows Lays', "Bet you can't eat just one." Why is it assumed that Canadian's taste buds are bland and ill-equiped for the festival of flavours that they offer down south in the US? Check this list out:

    Cheddar & Sour Cream Artificially Flavored Potato Chips
    Limon Flavored Potato Chips
    Dill Pickle Flavored Potato Chips
    FLAMIN' HOT® Flavored Potato Chips
    Hot'n Spicy KC Masterpiece BBQ Flavored Potato Chips
    KC MASTERPIECE® BBQ Flavored Potato Chips
    Kettle Cooked Jalapeno Potato Chips
    Kettle Cooked Mesquite BBQ Potato Chips
    Kettle Cooked Sea Salt & Vinegar Potato Chips
    Light KC Masterpiece® Barbeque Flavored Potato Chips
    Limon Tangy Lime Flavored Potato Chips
    Natural Classic Sea Salted Potato Chips
    Natural Country BBQ Thick Cut Potato Chips
    Sensations Kettle Cooked Lime & Cracked Black Pepper Potato Chips
    Sensations Kettle Cooked Sweet Chili & Sour Cream Potato Chips
    LAY'S STAX® Cheddar Flavored Potato Crisps
    LAY'S STAX® Dill Pickle Flavored Potato Crisps
    LAY'S STAX® Hidden Valley Ranch Flavored Potato Crisps
    LAY'S STAX® Hot'n Spicy Barbecue Flavored Potato Crisps
    LAY'S STAX® Jalapeno Cheddar Flavored Potato Crisps
    LAY'S STAX® KC Masterpiece BBQ Flavored Potato Crisps
    LAY'S STAX® Pizza Flavored Potato Crisps
    LAY'S STAX® Spicy Buffalo Wings Flavored Potato Crisps
    LAY'S Wavy Au Gratin Flavored Potato Chips
    LAY'S Wavy Hickory BBQ Flavored Potato Chips
    LAY'S Wavy Hidden Valley Ranch® Flavored Potato Chips

Not to mention all the different brands that we CAN'T get here in Canada.


    BBQ Rib
    Chicken Tikka Masala
    Cheddar Cheese
    Cheese & Onion
    Heinz Tomato Ketchup
    Lamb & Mint
    Marmite Yeast Extract
    Pickled Onion
    Prawn Cocktail
    Ready Salted
    Roast Chicken
    Salt & Vinegar
    Smoky Bacon
    Spicy Chilli
    Steak & Onion


    Asparagus & Crushed Black Pepper
    Summer Barbecue
    Smoked Salmon with Horseradish & Capers
    Jalapeno Chilli and Lemon
    Thai Curry and Coriander
    Ludlow Sausage with Wholegrain Mustard

Anyhow if anybody out there knows where I can find me some speciality chips let me know.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Dragons, wasps, porcupines, and "pigs" in the mud

This weekend was quite eventful. Friday night I finally took the kids to see Lucy's bearded dragon. Actually she now has two of the little monsters.

Bearded dragon Bearded dragon

All in all we had a great time playing with them and watching the male get all worked up over the female whom he was forbidden to touch. Personally I don't blame him, she was pretty hot.

Saturday we did some hiking in the morning and then back at it in the afternoon. Unfortunately the afternoon proved to be a bit of a write off after we were stung by wasps and steered away from the trail by a porcupine and delayed by an accident (don't worry, it wasn't us and nobody appeared to be seriously hurt).

Mr. Prickles Accident

Sunday I took the kids biking down the mud filled trails of the Marlboro Forrest. We were about 1/2 km down the trail when a cruiser passed us with its lights flashing. Luckily I chose not to make a break for it leaving the kids behind and decided to ask him what was up. He said that his partner had managed to get himself stuck and he was going in to have a laugh at him. I found out later that his partner was actually on duty in his own police cruiser.

"Pigs" in the mud. What a scene. After helping them out we traded a few stuck in the mud stories and had a few laughs. I offered them a beer and a doobie but they declined.

Marlboro Man

All in all another fun and exciting weekend.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Algonquin Park (Sand Lake gate)

This weekend we headed up to Algonquin via Sand Lake Gate on the far east side for some end of season hiking, canoeing, swimming, and general summer fun. And that we had in abundance complete with warm weather and sunshine. Here are few pics...

Hike to High Falls:

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Hike along the Barron Canyon:

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The two specs are canoes down on the Barron River.


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Snakes and frogs:

We believe this is an Eastern Milk snake but I suppose it could be a young Northern Water snake. If you think you know for sure drop us a line.

This bullfrog was kind enough to remain perfectly motionless while I snapped a couple of pictures. Wish I could say the same for the rest of the gang in my canoe.

This adult Northern Water snake was nearly 4 feet long. Again I'm guessing that's what he was as I don't believe the Black Rat snake lives in and around water. Regardless he had me gagging when he decided to let off his defensive stink all over my shirt.

We'll be back again next year, Algonquin.