Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Trent-Severn Waterway

For your viewing pleasure today, I offer up a parade of Canada Geese. The Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) is a wild goose with a black head and neck, white patches on the face, and a brownish-gray body. Native to arctic and temperate regions of North America, it is occasionally found in northern Europe, and has been introduced to other temperate regions.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Trent-Severn Waterway

Here is a Loon for a looney Monday.  More specifically a Common Loon (Gavia immer). The Canadian 1 dollar coin (commonly called Loonie) is a gold-coloured one-dollar coin introduced in 1987. It bears images of a Common Loon which is common and well known in Canada.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Trent-Severn Waterway

When they take a little break the Lock-Keepers get to play catch with the local birds.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Trent-Severn Waterway

When traversing the locks on the Trent-Severn Waterway the Lock-Keeper had many duties, including manually operating the gates.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Trent-Severn Waterway

Passing near Canadian Forces Base Trenton I saw this CC-130 Hercules. It is a four-engine fixed-wing turboprop aircraft that can carry up to 78 combat troops. It is used for a wide range of missions, including troop transport, tactical airlift (both palletized and vehicular cargo), search and rescue (SAR), air-to-air refuelling (AAR), and aircrew training. It can carry more than 17, 000 kilograms (about 38, 000 pounds) of fuel for tactical AAR. In the tactical AAR role, the Hercules can transfer 450 to 900 kilograms (about 1, 000 to 2, 000 pounds or 450 to 900 litres) of fuel per minute, and refuels the CF-18 Hornet fighter aircraft in less than five minutes. The Hercules has a maximum range of 7, 222 kilometres (4, 488 miles) and a cruising speed of 556 kilometres per hour (345 miles per hour). Capable of short takeoffs and landings (STOL) on unprepared runways, it can respond to SAR emergencies on almost any terrain and under the most challenging weather conditions. It can also transport troops and equipment in support of humanitarian aid operations conducted by the CF Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART). It also takes a neat photo.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Trent-Severn Waterway

It was not Groundhog Day but I did find this fellow. The groundhog (Marmota monax), also known as a woodchuck, whistle-pig, or in some areas as a land-beaver, is a rodent of the family Sciuridae, belonging to the group of large ground squirrels known as  marmots. Other marmots, such as the yellow-bellied and hoary marmots, live in rocky and mountainous areas, but the woodchuck is a lowland creature. It is widely distributed in North America and common in the northeastern and central United States. (in this case Canada).

Monday, July 23, 2012

Trent-Severn Waterway

Here is a Mute Swan Cynus olor overseeing his/her Cygnets. This large swan is wholly white in plumage with an orange bill bordered with black. It is recognizable by its pronounced knob atop the bill. The name 'mute' derives from it being less vocal than other swan species.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Trent-Severn Waterway

I guess these Canada Geese don't know how to read?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Trent-Severn Waterway

During the War of 1812 (200th Anniversary this year) Kingston was the base for the Lake Ontario division of the Great Lakes British naval fleet which engaged in a vigorous arms race with the American fleet based at Sackett's Harbor, New York for control of Lake Ontario. After the war, Britain built Fort Henry and a series of distinctive Martello towers to guard the entrance to the Rideau Canal.  All still exist, and here is an (old) Martello tower in the foreground with a (new) wind farm in the background.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Trent-Severn Waterway

Now here is someone with a very small carbon footprint out for a morning row.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Trent-Severn Waterway

The first day we cruised through The Thousand Islands which is the name of an archipelago of islands that straddle the Canada-U.S. border in the Saint Lawrence River as it emerges from the northeast corner of Lake Ontario. They stretch for about 50 miles  downstream from Kingston, Ontario. The Canadian islands are in the province of Ontario, the U.S. islands in the state of New York. The islands, which number 1,864 in all, range in size from over 40 square miles to smaller islands occupied by a single residence, to even smaller uninhabited outcroppings of rocks that are home to migratory waterfowl. The number of islands was determined using the criteria that any island must be above water level all year round, have an area greater than 1 square foot, and support at least one living tree. Here is a picture of one of the smallest that I saw.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Trent-Severn Waterway

For ten days in June we explored the Trent-Severn Waterway  where we experienced the friendly, casual atmosphere aboard the 45 passenger Kawartha Voyageur riverboat "akin to that of a floating country inn".
The Trent–Severn Waterway is a canal route traversing Southern Ontario cottage country, and a linear National Historic Site of Canada administered by Parks Canada.  It was formerly used for industrial and transportation purposes, and is maintained for recreational boating and tourism. The Waterway connects two of the Great Lakes - Ontario and Huron —with an eastern terminus at Trenton and a western terminus at Port Severn. Its major natural waterways include the Trent River, Otonabee River, the Kawartha Lakes, Lake Simcoe, Lake Couchiching and the Severn River.
The total length of the waterway is 240 miles, beginning at Trenton, Ontario, with roughly 20 miles of man-made channels. There are 45 locks, including 36 conventional locks, two sets of flight locks, hydraulic lift locks at Peterborough and Kirkfield, and a marine railway at Big Chute which transports boats between the upper and lower sections of the Severn. The system also includes 39 swing bridges and 160 dams and control structures that manage the water levels for flood control and navigation on lakes and rivers that drain approximately 7,182 square miles of central Ontario's cottage country region, across four counties and three single-tier cities, an area that is home to more than a million Canadians. It reaches its highest point of 840 feet 11 inches at Balsam Lake, the highest point to which a vessel can be navigated from sea level in the Great Lakes-Saint Lawrence River drainage basin.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Eastern Caribbean Underwater

For my last image of the Caribbean undersea world here is a fish swimming off to Canada where my next image journey will begin next week.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Eastern Caribbean Underwater

Coral reefs are in bad shape around the world including in the Caribbean. It was sad to see the reefs looking as bad as this.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Eastern Caribbean Underwater

Here is a Parrot fish in its intermediate phase very well camouflaged against the reef. The development of parrotfish is complex and accompanied by a series of changes in color termed polychromatism. Almost all species are sequential hermaphrodites, starting as females (known as the initial phase) and then changing to males (the terminal phase) with (intermediate phase) in between.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Eastern Caribbean Underwater

Here we have a fine example of a Gorgonia flabellum, also known as purple Gorgonian seafan. It is one of many soft corals. This one is waving at me.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Eastern Caribbean Underwater

Here is a healthy Diploria labyrinthiformis (Grooved brain coral). Brain coral is a common name given to corals in the family Faviidae so called due to their generally spheroid shape and grooved surface which resembles a brain. Each head of coral is formed by a colony of genetically identical polyps which secrete a hard skeleton of calcium carbonate; this makes them important coral reef builders like other stony corals in the order Scleractina. It looks like the Sea Urchin is trying to tickle it.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Eastern Caribbean Underwater

It has been a number of years since I have been snorkeling but that is one of the reasons for this trip. Starting with today's images is the Black Sea Urchin. Do not touch or step on these or you will be sorry. Sea urchins are small, spiny, globular animals which, with their close kin, such as the sand dollars, constitute the class Echinoidea of the echinoderm phylum. They inhabit all oceans. Their shell, or "test", is round and spiny, typically from 3 to 10 centimetres (1.2 to 3.9 in) across. Common colors include black and dull shades of green, olive, brown, purple, and red. They move slowly, feeding mostly on algae.