Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday

Photo: fountain and raft in lake. It looks warm, doesn't it?



Well, it rained all night and it is still raining.

Temperature is 52F / 11C. A tad chilly.

I turned my furnace off 4 days ago... perhaps it was a mistake? :-)

I see a lot of people outside with coats on. May 27... I thought 'they' said it was going to be an exceptionally warm summer? I never listen to 'they'. ;-)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thursday

What a lousy week!! It has been raining all week... and COLD.

Tuesday night the temperature went down to 38F / 3C. Three of my plants had many leaves that were frozen. Boo hoo. Too early to put them out even though 'the weather people' said it was okay. Maybe they will buy me new plants? Eh? :-)

Last night the temperature was around 48F. Still cold.

Photo: Green frog in the front pond.



The pool is open!!! Last time I heard, it was 84F / 29C. That's warm. The solar panels are on.

Photo: Apple tree in blossom in the front yard. Volleyball court is to the left.



It's difficult to keep up with the growing grass in the Park as IT HASN'T STOPPED RAINING. There was another thunderstorm last night for about an hour.

The mini-putt is being built.

Photo: Some of the hazards are primed and ready to be painted.



Photo: Two dudes (Paul, left. Stony, right.) working on the mini-putt. (I have permission to print their names.) Background on right is the pool.



Photo: More holes on the mini-putt. Background on left is part of the kid's playground.



Someone needs to weed one of the petanque courts... :-)

The outside water has been off in Helios for the week. I guess if you need outside water you will have to hook up to the front water system.

There are still potholes on the roads so drive slowly.

There is nothing on the event calendar for this weekend... so... have a few bonfires but bring a ski jacket :-) Actually I haven't seen the weather report for this weekend but it may be nice. At the moment, my thermometer says 72F / 22C.

One of the trailers in Helios was sold and there is a new trailer on site... beside the walkway. I had a photo of the empty spot but it was somehow delete by my camera. That's my story... I'm sure not blaming the operator. :-)

Question of the week... why isn't anyone swimming in the lake?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Saturday

What a day!! Hot hot hot. Okay, the temperature was in the high 80's / high 20's.

Naked people everywhere. It took me about an hour to get pink and then ... on went the t-shirt. There are people who should have put on t-shirts... but didn't. I hope they have soothing lotion for tonight :-)

It rained at about 8pm for half an hour. That cooled everything off and the temperature is now 67F / 20C.

The aerator and fountain were started today. If you wish to have some quiet time to walk around the lake and listen to the frogs and birds... you can do it between 6pm and 9pm as the aerator will be off for 3 hours. This 3 hour silence did not happen today as the timer is not set correctly on the aerator (a few of us checked). According to the timer, the aerator will go off from 2am to 5am. Hey, who gets up at that hour!! :-)

The water was off in Helios Circle for the day (around 11am to around 6pm). It was off at the clubhouse for about half that time as they have a tendency to shut off Helios Circle early if the water is getting low, in order to keep the clubhouse on for a longer period. The water was on at the seasonal lots (Beckett) for the entire day.

As I drove in today, I noticed people on the volleyball courts.

The Bistro is open, so wander in and have some food or beverage.

Time to plant your plants!! The tomatoes and cayenne peppers will be going in tomorrow. The squash is in!! One plant fried today due to the hot sun and heat but it may recover.

The hummingbirds are here and very hungry. If you feed birds on the weekend and need your feeder topped up during the week when you are not here... let me know and I'll do it for you.

Photo: Remember winter?



Photo: This was today on my deck.



Hopefully tomorrow will be nice and sunny too!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Summer is finally here!

It's hot out...yesterday my deck was 100F / 37.7C... today it is 80F / 26C.

Tanning weather!! Wear sunscreen.

Photo: The Black Creek had a lot of water in it this week but it has gone down. Thanks Judy M. for the photos!



Today is the start of the Long Weekend. A few trailers are moving in. No rain today. The black flies are out though... and a few mosquitos. They are biting today.

The only event on this weekend (from the Bare Oaks calendar) is 'Getting Ready for the Ports of Call Progressive Pot Luck Luncheon'. Description: If you are interested in participating on a team in this year's Ports of Call Luncheon, please contact Heather at potluck@bareoaks.ca or drop by Foxy Haven, lot 236 to indicate your interest. Deadline for commitment to participate is May 28th, 2011. The actual Progressive Ports of Call Luncheon is on June 25 from 12:30 - 4:30.

That isn't really an event so... I guess we are left with getting a tan all weekend.

There will probably be a few bonfires at the back.

Photo: Stawberry fields was a tad underwater... the creek was up to the bridge. This is taken on the bridge looking towards the Outback.



The potholes are really bad (or were last night) so drive slowly when you come into the park.

The lake is warmish... time for the raft people to start. Lots and lots of little fishies this year. The frogs are spawning and are very noisy at night. Also, we have ONE bullfrog. If you see him, please leave him alone. There are fewer and fewer around these years and it is nice to hear him at night.

All the lawns have been cut.

Photo: Rainbow!



IT'S SUNNY OUT.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Monday

Well... I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it. Last night at around 11pm... it SNOWED for 10 minutes. That means it is cold.

The temperature has been around 50F / 10C all day. At the moment it is 46F / 8C... brrrrr. I had a ski jacket on today.

Don't plant your outdoor plants yet or you may regret it. The hardy stuff like pansies are okay but not the young seedlings.

Photo: the edge of the lake. There is a bit of green popping up, hopefully more will come within the next few weeks. Thanks Judy M. for the photos!! More to come tomorrow or Wednesday.



Photo: One of the couples at the park has had babies!! This is a red wing blackbird nest with eggs.



Photo: a leopard frog... good picture! He is sooo cute. Leopard frogs spend most of the time in the grasses and brush. Mostly nocturnal creatures, these guys tend to take cover in the water when startled. Your lesson for the day.



Skip the rest of today's blog if you don't want to know about frogs, toads and protected species. :-D I thought I'd post something that might interest a few people... about the wildlife around the park.

One of the most common questions is, "What is the difference between Frogs and Toads?" I have been asked this recently. All Toads actually are Frogs! So, an 'American Toad' is a frog. (Google it yourself, I'm not making this up).

Generally speaking, when we think of frogs, we picture what are called "True Frogs".... members of the family Ranidae, containing more than 400 species.
These frogs have the characteristics of:

two bulging eyes; strong, long, webbed hind feet that are adapted for leaping and swimming; smooth or slimy skin (generally, frogs tend to like moister environments);
Frogs tend to lay eggs in clusters.

Frogs from this family can be found on every continent except Antarctica. They are referred to as the "true frogs" because of their generalized body form and life history: the so-called generic frog. Members of this family include the bullfrog, common frog, green frog, leopard frog, marsh frog, pickerel frog, and wood frog.

At the park we have: green frog, leopard frog, wood frog, spring peeper and gray tree frog, american toad (so far).
-----------------------------

The term toads tends to refer to "True Toads"....
members of the family Bufonidae, containing more than 300 species.
These types of frogs have are characterized by:

stubby bodies with short hind legs (for walking instead of hopping), warty and dry skin (usually preferring dryer climates), paratoid (or poison) glands behind the eyes, The chest cartilage of toads is different also, Toads tend to lay eggs in long chains. (There are some toads (genera Nectophrynoides), however, that are the only types of anurans to bear live young!)

True Toads can be found worldwide except in Australasia, polar regions, Madagascar, and Polynesia, though Bufo marinus has been artificially introduced into Australia and some South Pacific islands. Besides Bufo, the family includes 25 genera, all of which, like the frogs, are anura! (Definition of anura: Anura is the clade of living frogs and their close fossil relatives. The name Anura refers to the lack of a tail.)

Did you know that it is illegal to take bullfrogs, northern leopard frogs, green frogs or snapping turtles from provincial parks.

It is illegal to catch/kill bullfrogs in certain counties too. They are declining at a rapid rate. So if you see one, please leave it alone. We had ONE in the lake last year.

This is a list of SPECIALLY PROTECTED WILDLIFE. That means... you can't catch or harm the creatures below.

SPECIALLY PROTECTED AMPHIBIANS:
Northern cricket frog, blue-spotted salamander, eastern tiger salamander, four-toed salamander, Jefferson salamander, northern dusky salamander, northern two-lined salamander, redback salamander, small-mouthed salamander, spotted salamander, Fowler’s toad and gray treefrog.

SPECIALLY PROTECTED BIRDS (Raptors):
Bald eagle, golden eagle, peregrine falcon, northern goshawk, gyrfalcon, northern harrier, broad-winged hawk, Cooper’s hawk, red-shouldered hawk, red-tailed hawk, rough-legged hawk, sharp-shinned hawk, American kestrel, American swallow-tailed kite, merlin, osprey, barred owl, boreal owl, burrowing owl, barn owl, eastern screech owl, great gray owl, great horned owl, long-eared owl, northern hawk owl, northern saw-whet owl, short-eared owl, snowy owl and turkey vulture.

SPECIALLY PROTECTED BIRDS (other than Raptors):
Brewer’s blackbird, rusty blackbird, yellow-headed blackbird, blue jay, gray jay, belted kingfisher, American white pelican and common raven.

SPECIALLY PROTECTED INVERTEBRATES:
Karner blue, monarch, West Virginia white, mottled dusky wing, bog elfin, frosted elfin, black swallowtail, giant swallowtail, Old World swallowtail, pipevine swallowtail, spicebush swallowtail, Canadian tiger swallowtail, eastern tiger swallowtail and zebra swallowtail.

SPECIALLY PROTECTED MAMMALS:
Big brown bat, eastern pipistrelle bat, hoary bat, small footed bat, little brown bat, northern long-eared bat, red bat, silver-haired bat, eastern chipmunk, least chipmunk, northern flying squirrel, southern flying squirrel, arctic shrew, masked shrew, least shrew, northern short-tailed shrew, pygmy shrew, smoky shrew and water shrew.

SPECIALLY PROTECTED REPTILES:
Eastern foxsnake, Butler’s gartersnake, smooth greensnake, massasauga, milksnake, queensnake, blue racer, gray ratsnake, common five-lined skink, eastern hog-nosed snake, spiny softshell, Blanding’s turtle, eastern musk turtle, midland painted turtle, northern map turtle, spotted turtle, western painted turtle, wood turtle, Lake Erie watersnake and northern watersnake.

I tell ya, if I see a snake, I'm not going to stop and check the species... :-)

The last thing I'd like to say is... please leave the frogs alone, their chorus is beautiful to listen to at night.

I hope you liked your lessons for today... there will be a test :-)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Blog has been down...

Well, I would have told you this earlier but the blog site has been down. You could read the blogs but not post.

The Volunteer day at the Park has been CANCELLED. That is tomorrow. So if you were coming up to volunteer tomorrow ... well... you can still come up and enjoy the rain... or sun. Not sure what the weather will be like tomorrow.

Also tomorrow is World Naked Gardening Day. Thanks Bruce for letting me know... I had no idea. I will pull some weeds.

Hot weather today. It was 100F / 38C on my front deck today... phew. The sun came out off and on. There were a bunch of people in the lake today !!!

There were thunderstorms predicted for last night... that didn't happen. There was rain predicted for today... that didn't happen. My guess is... it may rain tomorrow ... or it may not :-)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Summer is here!

Well it has been a week since I did the last blog. A lot has happened... the most important thing is... it has finally gotten WARM !!

Today it was around 80F / 27C. Right now it is 52F / 11C. It is still too early to plant new plants outside. It only takes one night to freeze everything.

I started my plants early this year as I have a mini-greenhouse set up inside. My moonflower plants are a FOOT long (they are vines). I really have to get them planted before they take over my house. I have about 20 of them. The speghetti squash and melon vines are doing well also :-) But, enough about gardening... I'm sure I'm boring you.

The Park rented a wood chipper and all the piles of sticks and such are now gone. Everything is being cleaned up nicely. The lawns are all mowed. There are still potholes in the roads but they are not as big as they were a few weeks ago.

Last week the water temperature in the lake was 58F / 14C. Today it was 70F / 21C about a foot out in the lake. Whoa. Bruce wants everyone to know he was swimming in the lake. He talked about shrinkage, I'm sure I don't know what that means ;-) He also said: "I think the water was colder at the end of last year than it was today." (which was Monday). I've seen a few people in the lake so... it must be warmer!

Our past gardener is not doing the gardens this year due to a busy schedule... but we now have two new gardeners (husband and wife team - I won't mention their names here as I don't have permission). Soooo, the gardens will look nice again soon. Save up your bottles (wine, beer, etc.) as they will be turning them in and buying garden stuff with the money. I don't know where to leave the bottles yet but when I find out, I'll let you know.

Lots of people are up here now, RVing, camping, cleaning up their sites. It's getting busy!

Photo: marigolds in the Park. These are on the left just after the gate.



Photo: trilliums!! These are on the left when you drive into the Park, after the dumpster.



This Saturday is volunteer day at the Park from 10:00am to 5:00pm. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

A reminder to please DRIVE SLOWLY. A lot of dust is kicked up when you drive fast ... the speed limit is 11.

Lastly and most important. The American Toads are mating and they are very loud! It is really cool to hear and they go on all night.

The raccoons are on the prowl too...

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Rain, rain, and more rain

Well... it has been raining a lot for the past few days.

The temperature goes down to around 40F / 4C at night. At the current time it is 58F / 14C. That's a tad chilly. The wind chill makes it cooler. That said, there are people walking around nakkid. :-)

The grass has been fertilized but not cut yet. It is growing well.

An update on the Wedding Breckie starting at 3am on April 29. There were about 8 people who attended. That's all I know. I didn't get up early. Phew. Although I may have still been awake from the night before :-)

Photo: the new solar lights at night! It makes it much easier to walk along the road and the paths. Thanks Judy for the photo. Thanks Suzi and Marc for the lights!!



The new lights are not charged yet as it has been RAINING.

Volunteer Day is May 14- 10am to 5pm. There are no ground fees if you volunteer (check with the Park first as this is not mentioned on the description). Description from the Bare Oaks website: "We really appreciate the multitude of people willing to give up their time to make Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park a better place. While there are many people volunteering all year, this is the day we set aside for a massive volunteer effort to get things ready for the season. We are told that it is also a fun day that many people look forward to. There will be projects suitable for all abilities and levels of ambition. Lunch and refreshments will be provided to all workers!"

The sun is out now... Oooooo... pretty ! It won't last...

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sunday

It's been raining off and on today. The sun came out for a while this afternoon but the wind came up and... more rain.

Photo: visitors to the lake.



Moose was at the spa yesterday so wasn't here to chase the visitors away... but they didn't last long as Moose's parents took over.

There was a big campfire last night as people were arriving after the winter... lots of socializing yesterday!! Come on up, the water is on.

The water in Helios and at the Clubhouse was off (and on) most of yesterday, mostly off. It was working well today.

A few trailers pulled out today. I think they were just here for the day yesterday.

Thanks to Suzi and Marc for the solar lights along the path by the lake, they are not charged yet but should be ready to go in a few days. Now you can see where you are walking at night. I put solar lights along the road to the back so it would be easier to walk. There are 3 lights with rocks in front of them so people won't mow them down with cars as they are not easy to see in the daylight. They can be moved if they are in the way. There are people here who walk at night, I'm one of them, so it will be nice to be able to see.

If anyone has any solar lights that they aren't using... dump them on my lot. I will put them along the walking pathways.

As I stated this week... I would check the temperature of the water in the lake.

It is a BALMY 60F / 15.5C. Now that is warm enough to swim!

Yesterday (Saturday) was HOT. The temperature on my deck went up to 82F / 28C. Whoa... I got a bit of a tan until I got bored. I don't understand how people can lay out in the sun for hours.

Time to come up and rake your lot.

Catherine... your trilliums are almost blooming!

A reminder... the pathways are there to use!! I have two benches in front of my place, sit down for a while and watch the birds :-)