Excited Pup retrieves ball with a Push from her Nose10s

Excited Pup retrieves ball with a Push from her Nose

Dia is a young miniature labradoodle that is a ball of energy when she is in the retrieving mode. Her and her sibling brother Jaxx spend a lot of time in the summer at Diamond Lake, a beautiful little lake situated east of Sault Ste Marie, Ontario. These pups were from a litter of 11 pups that resulted from the union of their mother, a 60 pound black lab and their father, a 15 pound miniature chocolate poodle. The majority of the litter were mainly one colored dogs but a few of them were unique, blue merle colored pups, with combination of grey and black with small spots of chocolate here and there. In this video, in the background you can see Jaxx, a sturdy 55 pound male retriever type dog with kind of a wire haired coat, In the foreground is Dia, who possesses more of the poodle characteristics and a slighter build at 33 pounds, and also with a softer, silkier coat. What these two dogs do have in common, however, is that retriever gene to fetch a stick or ball endlessly. The owner, sitting on top of the boathouse roof is their present source of entertainment. Curiously, these 2 dogs also have a fairly consistent retrieving pattern in place. When the owner fires the ball well out into the lake both dogs race from the boathouse roof, across a ramp to a deck, down the stairs to the dock below and then leap off the end of the dock in a race to get to that ball. If Jaxx beats Dia to the ball, she will meet him upon return to shore and he will drop it for her. She will then return the ball directly to whoever the thrower may be. Once she gets to this person she sets the ball down and then uses her nose to push the ball to that person for the next throw. Oddly enough this nose push technique was not taught to her she simply figured it out for herself. Jaxx, on the other hand has no such technique, mainly, I suppose, due to the fact that Dia rarely gives him the opportunity to make the whole retrieve. Once the owner becomes arm weary, Dia is quite content to make a game out of very short retrieves to the feet of her owner. As you can see in this video she virtually trembles with excitement for the opportunity to engage in this entertaining activity. Her great exuberance is not shared by her sibling Jaxx. He contentedly watches the game unwind until such time as that ball is launched once again far out into the lake.

Night Time Wolves followed by Spooky Eyes at Video End 31s

Night Time Wolves followed by Spooky Eyes at Video End

It is a very challenging and rare event when one is able to capture any video of wild timber wolves moving about in their natural environment. This capture occurred near Diamond Lake, east of Sault Ste Marie, Ontario. An area that has a healthy population of deer usually has a healthy population of timber wolves and this area has just that. Trying to get a picture or a video of them is a true challenge as they are mostly nocturnal and are always on the hunt for their next bloody feast of venison. Very territorial, a wolf pack establishes their private hunting grounds and will ferociously defend their turf should any other pack trespass. The pack that hunts this particular area comprises of just five animals, a very large and lean Alpha male, an Alpha female and just three of their offspring. A typical travel corridor for all wolf packs are the frozen waterways at this point of time and where there is very little snow accumulation which makes travel very easy. Any body of water that may have beaver houses on it is a virtual magnet for these stealthy carnivores. It seems that they can just not resist sniffing around the beaver houses, tantalized over the beaver smell emanating from active beaver houses. The beaver are safely tucked away for the winter but the wolves heavily prey upon them during the spring, summer and fall. A trail camera is set up at the base of a small pine tree situated on the point of an island that has a beaver house on either side of it. In their travels, if the pack is on this ice surface, chances are they will pass by this point. Oddly enough, wolves tend to spook away badly from the camera flash, but in this instance these two young pups do not seem to be bothered by it. If you watch the video to it's conclusion you will see at least one more wolf, possibly two, moving left to right and staying well back from the camera flash. Highly likely that the spooky pair of eyes that we see are those of the two Alpha leaders of the pack who are much more cautious. A real and rare treat, a glimpse at a wild pack of wolves.

What Created these Beautiful Tracks in the Snow, PART 2 16s

What Created these Beautiful Tracks in the Snow, PART 2

In early January of 2019 a discovery of some beautiful feather tracks in the snow was discovered by a man and his dogs on a brisk winter wonderland walkabout. The location of the tracks was near Diamond Lake, east of sault Ste Marie, Ontario. Walking on his own snowshoe trail, the specific location was where the snowshoe trail exited from the mixed coniferous and deciduous forest and went out onto a small pond, close to a beaver dam. The natural tendency of the various animals at this location is to follow established pathways so as to avoid the deep snow and the resultant expenditure of precious energy. At this location a trail camera was set up as the location was proven to be a successful spot to capture the natural wanderings of wolves, coyotes, fox and deer. The discovery of the birds tracks in the snow was not an anticipated result, it was merely a nice surprise. Due to previous sightings near this location the thought was that the tracks were probably made by birds of prey as a large number of bald eagles had been seen in the area. Fortunately the birds that landed here, virtually flew directly in towards the camera that was affixed to the base of a hemlock tree situated beside an old beaver house. The SD card was retrieved from the camera and transported home and to a computer. What was revealed had not been anticipated. The tracks were made by a small group of turkeys which were somewhat uncommon to this area and a very nice surprise. The coniferous trees nearby provided an excellent roosting area for this small group of turkeys and then when night gradually turned to daybreak, out of the roosts the turkeys came, gliding gracefully down into a soft landing zone, which coincidentally was right where the camera was located. Mystery solved, Mother nature's artwork much appreciated.

Another Big Snowfall Frustrates Man 28s

Another Big Snowfall Frustrates Man

The winter of 2018/2019 will definitely be remembered by those folks living in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario. Initially it was the record stretch of could temperatures they were prevalent in late December and early January. The oddity associated with this pattern, however, was the amount of snow that was accompanying the cold snap. Sault Ste Marie is located right at the intersecting point where the mighty Lake Superior flows into Lake Huron. A lot of the weather patterns are directly associated to this "lake effect" that is generated by the big lake. On entirely too many occasions this winter this community has been impacted . by significant overnight snowfalls. Compounded by too many vehicles in this particular driveway this continual snow removal chore has become very tiresome. The first couple of big snowfalls every year is initially a kind of a source of entertainment, however as more and more such events take place the novelty quickly wanes. The impactful snowfall we see here has occurred this winter 5 or 6 times and closures of schools, businesses, transit along with a couple of building collapses has made things interesting. Looking at this situation, the vehicles in the driveway could feasibly be shovelled off instead of swept off. The snow blower has to be strategically stored at the front of the garage and always be topped up on fuel. If the over worked plow operator has passed by your driveway during the night there will be no vehicles departing until access to the roadway has been cleared. The difficulty right now is that the snowbanks have gotten so high that it is often difficult to blow the snow over the top. Some of the roads are virtually down to one lane. The end is in sight. Yesterday the forecast was for temperatures of 6 degrees and potential for heavy rain. This did occur and the result was messy, messy roadways. Today we are back to normal, with more blowing snow in the forecast. The good news is that the lawn mower may not have to be fired up until some time in June.

What Created these Beautiful Tracks in the Snow, PART 1 25s

What Created these Beautiful Tracks in the Snow, PART 1

On a winter walkabout on a frozen pond close to Diamond Lake just east of Sault Ste Marie, Ontario there is always some form of art work to see, with Mother Nature being the artist. Walking on snowshoes on the freshly fallen snow on a bitterly cold day with his two faithful labradoodles, this hiker encounters a rare glimpse of snowy art work. The intricate pattern left on the snowy surface was intriguing. What was to be determined was just what paint brush made this pretty painting. Upon discovery, the first order of business was to control the two pups that had much energy and were full of mischief in order to capture a short video of the wing imprints left in the snow. Having somewhat controlled the pups direction of travel it was now time to analyze the scene in order to determine how it had been created. The birds that were most likely to be at this location were ravens, crows, eagles, owls and possibly wild turkeys. Due to the size of the apparent wing span and the depth of the imprints the initial thought was that it must have been created by a heavier bird of prey. By pure coincidence the landing zone was situated directly in front of a trail camera that was affixed to the base of a nearby tree. It was at this location to hopefully capture the movement of wolves, coyotes, fox and possibly deer in moving from a packed down snowshoe trail to the ice surface at the start of this pond. As many bald eagles had been seen in this area, that was the bet, although the track pattern at the end of the landing zone did not look quite right ? The next part of the challenge to determine the origin of the pattern was whether or not the trail camera was working at the point that the bird landed. With the bitter cold that had been prevalent in the area for the past week there was much speculation as to whether the batteries were working. At this point there was only one thing to do and that was to switch out the SD cards in the camera and continue on with the winter wonderland walkabout until the return to home and computer when the mystery could be solved.

Goofy dog walks around with box on head39s

Goofy dog walks around with box on head

Labradoodles are obviously part retriever and this lab obviously has some of those retrieving genes working. These sibling miniature labradoodles live in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, Canada and although they are very similar in color they do have very different personalities and traits. The old, retro image we have from the past of a faithful dog bringing the newspaper to his owner seems to be clearly embedded in Jaxx's personality. He does have a fetish for anything to do with paper and curiously he has to demonstrate this virtually every morning of his existence. He will search about the house until he finds any type of paper product and then proudly strut about the house showing off his clever behavior. How this ever came to be is an absolute mystery ? He will pick up Kleenex (used or not, it is of no concern), paper receipts, magazines, photocopy paper, actual newspapers and in this instance some type of empty box. Rarely does he chew them to pieces, rather he is very content to to simply strut his stuff. His sibling sister, Dia, does not seem to see any sensibility in his activities, she is an absolute ball-driven retriever. On this particular morning Jaxx showed up from the basement with this small box clamped in his mouth. From all appearances the positioning of the box seemed to greatly inhibit his line of sight but after some observation it was perhaps not the case. The top of the box was definitely over the top of his eyes and the sides of the box also seemed to extend well outside of the sides of his head. With his eyes positioned to the sides of his head I guess that his peripheral vision was being used at maximum capacity. Just when it seemed he might bump into something he easily avoided any obstructions. Morning entertainment with coffee and great companionship, in our household it would be hard to imagine living in a home without a dog or two.

Out for an ATV Rip in Punta Cana 18s

Out for an ATV Rip in Punta Cana

While on vacation in Punta Cana there are many excursions available for those seeking a little bit of adventure. A word of caution, however, is that when heading out on these excursions the safety measures that are in place are really not up to speed with those that are probably in place in Canada of in the United States. On this particular vacation a group of vacationers decided to go on an ATV tour in the Dominican Republic country side. As there are many folks that may be experiencing a ride in a powerful side by side all terrain vehicle, one cannot simply just be turned loose and be expected to competently function in such an adventure. Prior to heading out a "Safety First" classroom session was mandatory. First and foremost at this session was having all participants sign a liability waiver indicating that they were aware of the risks involved and were willing to assume their own responsibility for these potential risks. The next part of the seminar was advise given that the course would involve a lot of sand, mud and dust and that a bandanna ought to be purchased for respiratory purposes. A quick run down of how to start the vehicle, how to put on the safety harness, where the gas pedal was and where the brake pedal was and the group was now ready to set about. The pace of the group was simply dependant upon the character of the assigned tour guide. For this ride it was shortly determined that our guide fell one hundred percent into the category of aggressive and fast. For the couple in this video the man was just fine with this guides approach and his female passenger a little less so. Ever the considerate driver the man at the wheel raced along at pace, capturing a bit of video and enquiring with his passenger as to her level of comfort. Safety first in Punta Cana ???

Old Guy tries Surfing for First Time and it Ends Badly 46s

Old Guy tries Surfing for First Time and it Ends Badly

After enduring the majority of a brutal winter in Northern Ontario, an escape to Punta Cana seemed like the ideal remedy to recharge the batteries. Finding himself at the brand new Royalton Bavaro resort, this older traveller quickly sized up all of the entertaining options that were available on the resort. One can only spend so much time walking the beach, lounging in the sun, swimming in the vicinity of the pool bar, sweating it out on the mini-putt golf course and floating about the lazy river. A somewhat rare option at this Punta Cana resort was the Flow Rider, a machine that offered the opportunity for a simulated surfing or wake boarding experience. Why not give it a whirl was the thought in mind of this late 50's aged vacationer. Perhaps there ought to have been a lot more consideration given to this ill advised decision. This resort attraction received a steady lineup of individuals from 9 in the morning until 5 in the evening. The majority of the participants throughout the day were young, fit and agile, with teenage boys definitely being of the majority. The average rider was probably about 16 years old and weighing in at 125 pounds. Even at that, many riders were struggling with any success at staying upright for an extended period of time. The problem was that there were a few surfers that seemed to effortlessly and gracefully surf from side to side and up and down this fun filled blue paradise. How difficult could it really be ? At 6 feet 4 inches and 225 pounds, this rider was exerting a lot of downward pressure on that fast moving water. Once on the course and having been shoved into the fast flowing stream of water, there was no turning back. With a bit of direction from the helpful host, the ride began. The first exposure to the jets created a lot of shaky wobble and then some small level of comfort ensued. With a slight wave of the hand indicating that he was good to go, the man was set free. The ride was short and the resulting plunge onto his face and shoulder was surprisingly fast. As the old guy slid ungracefully back down the attraction to his starting place, it entered his mind that a second attempt may not be a prudent idea.

Squirrel and Little Buck Share Supper 6s

Squirrel and Little Buck Share Supper

Sometimes nature gives us a very satisfying look at what actual goes on in the Northern Ontario backwoods. And every now and again we see something that seems quite unusual and unique. Up on this hardwood ridge situated near Diamond Lake, east of Sault Ste Marie, Ontario a trailcam was stealthily attached to a towering oak tree and a small amount of whole kernel corn was spread about on the ground in front of the camera. This set up is very effective in attracting all types of song birds, red and black squirrel, raccoon and whitetail deer. As these animals are all competing for the same food source, it is not uncommon to see a bit of aggressive competition amongst the various species. The 2 types of squirrels often chase one another off of the food, with the red squirrel, although much smaller than the black, usually dominating the rivalry. Blue jays, in turn will actively divebomb the squirrels, in their efforts to drive these hungry rodents off. Whitetail deer will get very aggressive with any raccoons that may invade their space and will try to land a sharp kick to any careless masked bandit. Whitetail deer will kick and chase one another as well. In this particular instance, there seems to be a calm familiarity between these 2 food rivals. The red squirrel confidently sits on the decreasing pile of corn, happily filling it's mouth to capacity until it has a full load to carry away and deposit in it's winter cache. The little whitetail buck stares at his small, unusual friend with simple curiosity. Is there some type of bond between these two or is this just a one-time circumstance. Perhaps there is a connection they have developed in response to the requirement to be ever diligent and cautious about predators that inhabit their same territory. Whatever the answer may be, they provide a small glimpse into the unusual interactions that we are privileged to witness every now and then in the wild out of doors.

Fearless wild porcupine doesn't throw his quills1m03s

Fearless wild porcupine doesn't throw his quills

Is there any animal in the Northern Ontario forest that is more intimidating than a porcupine? Whether you are man or beast the thought of having a bad encounter with a porcupine is actually scary. The thought of having a number of needle sharp quills smacked into your body is terrifying. The thought of your dog, whimpering back to you with its tail between its legs and a face and mouth full of quills is just as bad. A porcupine is one of the slowest animals that roams about our bush country. Most any predator can easily catch up to this slow-moving omnivore, but very few are foolish enough to prey upon it. As such a slow-moving animal it does need some sort of defense mechanism in order to avoid extinction. Its coat of armor of hundreds of quills is one effective repellent. There are only a couple of predators known to consistently take on a porcupine, the cougar and the fisher with their lightning fast offenses will readily prey upon the porcupine. The technique the rely upon is to flip the porky onto its back and quickly dispatch via a lethal attack on its unprotected belly. Not a foolproof method, a high percentage of fishers are known to have a quill or more festering within its body. This porcupine was located east of sault Ste Marie, Ontario, where a pair of labradoodles alerted their owner to it. Thankfully the dogs were controlled before things went south. Upon approach, the porcupine was found to be calmly stripping the tender bark off of a small maple tree. As it was approached, it began to chatter its teeth and stare at the approaching human. It made no effort to move away from or climb away from a possible approaching threat. Some caution was used as there was some uncertainty as to how fast a porky could exit a tree and move on the ground, however all seemed calm. The most offensive aspect of this encounter was the stench emanating off of this critter. Day in and day out of crawling out of their den tree, while walking over their sizable accumulation of porky poo and urine, tends to give them this powerful odor. Approaching to within approximately a foot and a half, one thing was certain to the dog owner. The biggest risk of acquiring a painful number of quills was from a swat of an offending porcupine tail. A common belief among the uninformed is that there is a risk to this close approach via porky quills being launched at a threat. Truth of the matter is that porcupines don't throw quills.

Published: February 25, 201910 plays$7.57 earned
Running with the Devil16s

Running with the Devil

On a warm day in September 2018 myself and a buddy set out on an adventure. We trailered our ATV's as far as we could until the road we were traveling deteriorated so badly that the trucks were parked, the ATV's were unloaded and packed and the ride began. Almost 50 kilometres up a continually less travelable road that no others like-minded souls seemed to be using. The last couple of kilometres were nothing less than a challenge. With all of our weekend supplies less than strategically strapped onto our bikes and with one bike shouldering our canoe and paddles and fishing equipment, we blazed a trail into my friends simple, remote back country camp. Our journey took up the better part of an entire day and we arrived in the late afternoon and set to work doing chores around the camp to prepare for the weekend. Chopping wood, hauling water from the lake to the camp, refueling lanterns, a general camp cleaning and we were soon out of daylight. This was followed by a nightcap or two and then a terrific snoring competition in the single roomed camp. As the sun rose, so did we and the next part of the adventure followed. A paddle across a pristine Northern Ontario lake, a rough portage through a virtual moose pasture, another paddle across a lily pad engorged lake, another portage up one hill and down the other side, and at last we had reached our destination of a remote speckled trout lake. And yes, the fishing was spectacular. And yes, the return trip was a challenge as well. Tired, thirsty and satisfied we finally arrived back to the beach at the camp. With a pot of rice on the little woodstove and with fresh specks in the frying pan, it was down to the shore to enjoy a couple of cold beers and a rare, warm, late September evening at a roaring beach fire. My buddy, a high tech redneck, even provided some music for our setting. And then I joined Van Halen, singing "Running with the Devil", glanced further to my left and everything just fell into place.

Noisy Bay22s

Noisy Bay

Lake Superior Provincial Park is a spectacular piece of paradise situated between the communities of Sault Ste Marie and Wawa in North Eastern Ontario. There are no motorized vehicles allowed on inland areas of the park, so once you leave the Highway 17 corridor or one of the rare roads or parking lots in the area, you are one with nature. There are many, many hiking trails situated in the park and there is something for everyone. There are extremely challenging trails, highlighted by the coastal trail that stretches for many kilometres along the majestic Lake Superior shoreline, and there are trails that are visibly marked that, although short, are beautiful regardless. This particular trail is situated close to the northern most boundary of the park and is one of the lesser known routes. The trail is somewhat hidden at it's starting point at a lake situated within sight of the highway. As you walk down a well worn mossy pathway at his beginning you are unlikely to come upon any other people. After a short few minutes you will encounter an outflow that contains a logjam of driftwood that awaits a victim of a sprained ankle or worse. Many souls turn around at this point as this logjam must be crossed should you wish to continue. Once across, the trail continues it's descent towards the shoreline of Superior. Following this small creek you next encounter a beautiful little lake sheltered by the forest. This is Noisy Lake. As you begin to skirt the shoreline of this jewel you will begin to hear a rumbling noise and thereafter you will find where the Noisy Lake flows into the Noisy River. Now following the noisy Noisy River you continue your descent until you finally encounter a cobbly rock beach where the Noisy River then empties into a spectacular Noisy Bay. It's as Gordon Lightfoot would sing, the "big lake they call Gitchigumi". Lake Superior, a superior place to enjoy !

Look Right into a Black Bears Eyes 10s

Look Right into a Black Bears Eyes

Have you ever had the opportunity to look directly into the eyes of a black bear ? Most people are quite pleased with the fact that they have not. . Unfortunately, this past summer there were 2 bear attacks within the city and a couple of individuals actually saw this sight for themselves. In Sault Ste Marie, Ontario there is a very healthy population of black bears and encounters are not uncommon. In the majority of instances these encounters are fast and at a considerable distance. How terrifying would it be to look right into the eyes of a black bear in the wild ? Black bears are very alert animals with a various effectiveness of their many senses that they use on many occasions. Their sense of sight, strangely enough is very poor compared to most animals, however their sense of smell is tremendous. When setting up a trail camera in the wilderness it is this bears' sense of smell that will always cause problems when one is concerned about their equipment. In this instance the camera is attached to a coniferous tree. Despite being camouflaged very well with it's background, the bear has detected it, despite it's poor vision. Precaution is taken in bear country by spraying a scent free aerosol on the camera in an attempt to avoid detection by bear. This practice has been proven to be ineffective as time after time the bears have located the cameras by scent alone. And when the camera is found the result is usually a piece of equipment that has been chewed on, bitten through or sometimes devastatingly destroyed. The upside of the scenario, however, is that a unique picture or video is often the result of a bears' curiosity.

Duct Tape Labradoodle Retriever 16s

Duct Tape Labradoodle Retriever

Jaxx is a 3 year old Labradoodle that lives the spoiled life in Sault Ste Marie. He is always seeking attention and will pick up anything he finds around the house to happily prance around with. Every morning, and I do mean every morning is when he seems to be at his best in this regard. Generally he finds an envelope or some other piece of paper and proudly shows this off. He is more than willing to hand it over for your examination, but definitely wants it back. The recycle bin in the mud room is his main source for selecting items and on occasion he will bring you an entire newspaper. Should the recycle bin not be available it is not strange at all for him to search in a purse that may have been left on the floor. If he is finding his hunt challenging he will do a room to groom grid search until he locates any sort of item that may fill the desire. His sibling sister is completely baffled as to how this can be any form of entertainment and simply lays on a favorite piece of furniture and watches the show. It is very rare that he actually chews something to pieces unless he determines that it is perhaps somewhat edible. On the morning we see here, he has been downstairs in the laundry or utility room. A roll of duct tape was probably the most convenient item that he found. When he came up the stairs it was immediately noted to be a somewhat worthy display. Initially I thought that it was perhaps encircling his whole snout but on further examination it was just over his top jaw. A handsome fellow, this new retriever item just had to be videoed. As far as cuteness goes, this one had to be ranked as number two all-time, just behind the morning he appeared with a long line of toilet paper trailing behind him. He does have personality !

SKIDOODLES take their First Ride 13s

SKIDOODLES take their First Ride

Jaxx and Dia are labradoodle siblings that enjoy a good life in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario. A pair of spoiled pups, they are always actively enjoying the Northern Onatrio out of doors. These dogs have been exposed to a wide variety of activities and modes of transportation. On the water, pontoon boats, motor boats, canoes, kayaks and paddleboards, they ride them all. Side by side they ride on the back of an ATV. When a snowmobile was purchased, it just made sense that they would be reliable in riding that too. The small storage area on the rear of the Polaris would usually hold a packsack, now it seemed like the logical spot for a pair of dogs. Medium-sized at 35 and 55 pounds, they were set in place and told to sit and stay. They took to their first ride just fine and seemed to enjoy the new experience. How were they trained to cooperate in riding these various machines and vessels ? Trial and error, praise and a bit of pain, unfortunately. Jaxx is the leader in the outdoors, a bit rambunctious and not very cerebral. Dia is more cautious and tries to seek my direction and praise, but she is a follower of Jaxx's lead. When Jaxx jumped off of a kayak one time, Dia took the plunge as well. This action resulted in a lengthy swim both both. After a couple such adventured they soon learned that it was preferable to stick with the ship. Jaxx has leapt off of the back of an ATV at 30- 40 km/h and both times it considerably more unpleasant than jumping into water. Again, Dia followed his lead as well and was just as regretful. They no longer attempt that maneuver and comfortably ride on the ATV until it comes to a stop and they are asked to jump down. As for the snowmachine, for their introduction, the first step was a run behind it until they were a bit winded. I then set them on and gave them praise and advise and they immediately grasped the concept of comfy ride verses exerting run. Will they ever attempt to jump off ? That remains to be seen, but I am hopeful not. Next exposure will be in a sleigh in tow behind the Polaris. Stay tuned.