Saturday, May 23, 2009

Pink Trilliums, Purple Dwarf Irises, Mallard Duck at Sunset ~ Random Port Credit Pictures

On this Memorial Day weekend (USA) and Bank Holiday (England), and plain old spring weekend here in Canada, I offer a few random pictures taken in Port Credit, Ontario : Trilliums, Irises and a lone Mallard duck.

Trilliums ~ Ontario Provincial Flower

A few days ago, when I was weeding at Brueckner Rhododendron Gardens, I came across this clump of trilliums as I was heading home for the night. I took one photo without the flash, and this one, above, with the flash: This photo turned out a bit better.

While there are abundant trilliums growing at nearby Rattray Marsh, as well as in local private gardens, these are the first trilliums I have seen in the BR Gardens. Hopefully, they will multiply, and be joined by new plantings.

Because trilliums are the designated provincial floral emblem of the Province of Ontario, they are not to be picked or dug up. If you'd like some for your own garden, head to a local nursery or proper garden center.

Dwarf Purple Iris

Also at the BRG, earlier that evening, the setting sun caught these dwarf purple irises in a golden light. Not the best of photos, I admit, and I will try to get a better shot at a time of day when my shadow is easier to keep out of the shot. :-) As it was, I was half-lying in the dirt, which made it hard to focus the shot.

Mallard Duck at Sunset - Saddington Park

The evening before, at the end of a very warm day (29C / 84F), I walked home from the shops in Port Credit through Saddington Park. Just entering the park on the west side of the Credit River, south of the lighthouse, there is a short footbridge over a small creek.

A shaft of the setting sunlight shone through the leafy underbrush to put a spotlight on this Mallard, who appeared to be basking in its warmth. Had the sunlight not illuminated his bright green feathers, I doubt I'd have noticed him. As it was, he was some distance from me.

Only wish I'd had my good camera with 300mm telephoto : This is such a pretty scene, and my little digital camera doesn't do it justice.

And no jokes about 'poor workman' and laying blame :-)

If you're in Port Credit, Etobicoke, Missisisauga or any of the area towns, drop by Bruekcner Gardens for the rhodo tour tomorrow (Details, map)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Morels in Mississauga? Who Can ID them?

Are these true morels?
The other evening on a walk in the woods along the Lake in Mississauga, I spotted what I believe are morels, a 'mushroom' if you will, but really an edible fungus.

From my description, my mom thinks they are morels, but she hasn't seen them in the flesh. The time of year (late May), the location where I found them (woods, near pine trees, rich soil), plus their general appearance (picture) leads me to believe they are true morels: They are hollow, the cap and stem are one unit, and the color seems correct.

They have no 'mushroom' smell, though mom says that is usually more pronounced when they are cooking. The only other morel I have ever seen 'in the flesh' is a large black one I picked years ago near Nelson, in the Kootenays, in British Columbia.

But without a good morel picker to positively ID these fungi, I am hesitant to cook them up. I'm posting their picture here, in hopes that someone knows, or knows someone who knows morels, and can give me the okay to eat them. I stored them in a paper bag in the fridge, but I don't think they will keep very long.

Usually with wild mushrooms, you cook them ASAP. But if I can get a positive ID on these, I will know where to look for them next year.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Swans, Mother Goose, Goslings on Lake Ontario ~ A Perfect Day in the Park!

These swans, mother goose and goslings were having a lovely afternoon on Lake Ontario today. I'd stopped by Brueckner Rhododendron Gardens in Port Credit (Ontario) with a friend visiting from Australia, to see if the rhodos were coming into bloom. They are, and I posted pictures on that blog (link at bottom of this page).

Three Swans A'Swimming ~ Lake Ontario, Port Credit

After admiring the rhodos, which were positively alive with busy bees delirious for their sweet, sweet pollen, we walked over the hill and down to the lake (Ontario), where a calm lake made for wonderful swan and geese pics, including this mama below, with her half-dozen goslings.

Mother (Canada) Goose with Goslings ~ Mississauga Ontario

In the pic above, you can see how clear the water is, testament to the calm weather of the past few days. The mommy goose was a lot calmer, too, as the goslings are getting bigger and must not be quite the worry for her that they were a few weeks ago.

Canada Goose and Babies ~ Swimming and Feeding

Though the mommy seemed a lot less en garde than before, her neck kept craning like a periscope, always on the look out for any threat to her babies. Satisfied there was none, she'd dip her beak into the waves and find something to nibble on.

Goslings Come Ashore to Forage for Food

After bobbing in the gentle waters for some minutes, the goose and babies came ashore to waddle across the gravelly beach. These goslings seemed not to notice me, my friends, or the two women who were dropping occasional crumbs onto the pebbles. You can see why a predator would have an easy snack of these carefree darlings!

Close Up Picture Goslings Two

The foraging goslings came up almost to my shoes, and never paid me any mind at all. Had I any bird food to offer them, I am sure they'd have eaten from my hand.

Mauve Rhodos in Bloom ~ BRG

Here is one of the pics I took before going to the lake to see the swans, and geese. The rhodos are just coming into flower, and over the coming weeks, should give a good show. No idea how long our goslings will be with us, but I intend to visit often and keep an eye on all my lovely things here in the park!

More goslings, etc here and rhodos here
and see also the Brueckner Rhododendron Gardens blog.

Update: May 14. 2009

Mother Goose, Goslings 6 at Breuckner Rhodo Gardens

Last night just as the sun was setting, around 8 p.m., I came across the mommy and her babies nibbling on the lush new grass alongside the Waterfront Trail east of the footbridge closest to the Lake. The goslings are growing so fast!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Mother's Day Brunch, Dinner Mississauga and Cinco De Mayo

Here are the Mother's Day brunch and dinner notices for two restaurants in Mississauga: The Waterside Inn and Ten Restaurant and Wine Bar, both in Port Credit. As well, Ten's parent resto -- On The Curve, near Square One -- is celebrating Cinco de Mayo tomorrow (May 5).

First for Mother's Day - if there are any seats still to be had for this busiest of holidays. If you want to take mom out for brunch or dinner, you'd better call now.

The Waterside Inn Mother's Day May 10 Brunch is $43.00 per person, but children under 12 half price, two seatings 11:00 am or 1:30 pm, reservations recommended; Mother's Day dinner runs $48-$57 plus tax and tip. Call 905-891-6225 or see

Ten Restaurant and Wine Bar Mother's Day poster above is self-explanatory. See the site at TEN for details for menu, and for the Cinco De Mayo celebrations at On The Curve south side of Square One.

With H1N1 in Mexico, most of the May 5 Cinco de Mayo parties in Mexico had to be cancelled. This may be the closest we'll get to marking one of the biggest Central America holidays.

And after brunch on Sunday, head west along Lakeshore to Brueckner Rhododendron Gardens, where the azaleas, magnolias and spring bulbs are in flower. And, no, they are not meant to be picked for a Mother's Day bouquet :-) See pics at this blog post.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Magnolias, Mother Goose, Baby Geese (goslings) Lake Ontario Shore,

I've been watching for the magnolias at Brueckner Rhododendron Gardens (BRG) in Port Credit (Ontario, Canada) to come into flower, and today I could see that most of them were in bloom. But what I didn't expect to see were the goslings on the other side of the park. First the magnolias:

Brueckner Memorial Magnolia with Robin
Here's the small magnolia tree just at the entrance to BRG. At it's base is a small plaque honouring the late Dr. Joseph Brueckner, whose rhodos (or what's left of them) grace the park that now carries his name. A robin alighted for a few minutes and I am thrilled I actually got his photo!

Magnolia Tree in Bloom - Close Up
These magnolia blossoms hardly seem real, they are so perfect! They look more like a bridal headpiece, don't they?

Girl with Goslings ~ Lake Ontario Beach
As I walked up the path and over the top of the hill, I could hear voices. Coming closer, I peeked over the edge of the bank that drops off to the beach on Lake Ontario. There, this young girl had gotten closer to the Goose Family than I was able to.

Canada Goose and Goslings Close Up
I did get the picture above, though, and took a short video (below). I cropped the original large image to get this close up view. The goslings' new feathers had a greenish cast, and looked very fluffy. We're a bit surprised to see goslings this old at this time of year -- it is a little early -- but with the random hot spells the past few weeks, I was pretty sure all the birds had been nesting.

Here's the video I took -- just a short one, with my little Canon digital. I was about 20 feet from them, and used the zoom, so it's a little shaky -- sorry! But at the very end, one of the goslings does this little wing flap -- so cute! I stitched the two short videos with iMovie.