A ruffed grouse on the path along the Canadian side of Pigeon River. Isn't this a beautiful example of how a being lives within its natural environment and changes and adapts to changing conditions? I went for a hike with one of my sons on the American and then the Canadian trail that both run along the river at the border between our two countries after picking up my new camera. So, of course, we wanted to try out the camera, and besides, the trails at the border (there are numerous on both sides) are spectacular in the autumn. We saw this grey morph ruffed grouse right by our feet on the path. It wasn't bothered by us, at all. It just kept pecking away at the lichen, eating whatever it was in there that it found delicious. It had a crest and a beautiful deep indigo ruff around its collar.
My son exclaimed, "Too bad I don't have my gun!"
I reminded him, "This is provincial park land and no hunting is allowed! That's probably why this grouse isn't even afraid of us."
So, he went shooting with my new camera instead and caught this photo.
My new camera is a Samsung 12.2 mega pixels 5x zoom and although it cost more than my two older cameras, I think the photos are not as sharp in colour. I may be disappointed. I also noticed there seems to be some fading of distance in the background of landscape shots. But then again, there are more buttons to play with so I may have to work more with this camera. My old cameras both bit the dust; the shutter button fell off of the Sony Cybershot that I got as a hand-me-down from my oldest son, who got it as a hand-me-down from a friend. I googled how to repair it; I read don't bother. And my other camera, the old trusty heavy thick-bodied Sony Cybershot which I started this blog with suddenly stopped taking all photos except close-ups.
The other day when I was raking leaves in my yard and trimming dried up plants, I decided to make a decorative nest. Here is the nest I made in my yard with fall time yard clippings and fallen leaves, into which I placed the Chinese fortune ball I bought downtown Toronto a number of years ago from a shop that was closing down. I saw a similar nest last week on the ground off the Boulevard Lake path that some folks had made to surprise early morning bicyclists like me. It was one of those "live in the moment" interventions.
Fall is a time when thinking about mortality seems to come around quite often, particularly when one hikes through the autumnal northern landscape of sweet-smelling decay and death.
Below is a quotation for Fall musing which I found in an article on creativity and its importance in Native communities by Cherie Dimaline in First Nations House Magazine. I'm always keeping my eye open for well-written interesting short essays that I can use in my writing classes to show how writers construct their argument, and Dimaline's essay is perfect. As part of her support, she brings in advice to emerging writers from writer William Saroyan:
"The most solid advice for a writer is this, I think. Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell, and when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough."