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    June 26 Nature Blitz - Part 14:

    Floral Emblem


    Ontario's official provincial flower is the White Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum).

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    As children we were taught that it's illegal to pick a White Trillium in Ontario. It's not. But it's still not a good idea to do it. Trilliums are quite sensitive flowers which are unlikely to survive transplantation. Additionally, Trilliums are already under pressure due to habitat destruction and grazing by deer and other animals. The widespread collecting of wild Trilliums could easily lead to local extirpations of this fragile species. No one wants their provincial flower to be extirpated from their own province. So the myth of the no pick law persists although there's never been any truth to it. (Note: While it's not illegal to harvest Trilliums per se in Ontario, it is illegal in Ontario to pick wildflowers on provincially owned land, such as provincial parks and conservation areas, where many of these blooms are found.)

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    Trilliums are flowers of deciduous forests. They are spring ephemerals, timing their lifecycles to coincide with that of their forest habitat, such that the flowers bloom in early spring, once pollinators have returned to the area but before the leaves on the trees overhead fill in and block out the sunlight which the flowers need to grow. A Trillium's gorgeous white bloom is only with us for a short while before these flowers turn pink and die.

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      June 26 Nature Blitz - Part 15:

      Provincial Bird


      The official provincial bird of Ontario is the Common Loon (Gavia immer). These are majestic, fancily-patterned black-and-white birds in their breeding plumage. While I have often seen these birds during camping trips up in Algonquin Provincial Park, I normally see them either while paddling (when I don't have a camera handy) or early in the morning while the lake is still shrouded in mist, or as dark shapes out on the water at night, unmistakable as loons by their haunting calls but not great photographic subjects in the dark. Consequently, I sadly do not have any great photographs of loons. I'll show you what I do have though, and leave you to visit the link above for some better photos if you're interested in seeing more.

      Common Loon in breeding plumage:

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      Common Loon in non-breeding plumage:

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      For those of you who are familiar with Canadian currency, the Common Loon is the bird which is featured on our one-dollar coin, commonly called the "Loonie".

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        I made it to 100 species in 100 days (sort of) for my (not always) Daily Dose of Nature posts. I hit species 100 during last night's blitz--long after midnight in my own time zone, but still on June 26 in Alaska, Pitcairn Islands, French Polynesia, Hawaii, Cook Islands, and Niue. I've decided to call that a win (in spite of so epically abandoning GBOT for the night). I'm going to attempt to get back to daily posts now; although, in an effort to make things a little easier on myself, I aim to adhere to the following schedule for the next five weeks:

        Scenic Saturdays: landscape photos
        Sunday Stories: personal stories of adventures in nature
        Monday Meditations: short videos of favourite meditation spots--no commentary or editing, just natural sound and video--to be used for the focus of a short meditation or otherwise enjoyed however you like
        Turtle Tuesdays: one species each week
        Wildflower Wednesdays: one species each week
        Thrifty Thursday Threesomes: three photos, three species, three words to describe each
        Fresh-faced Fridays: photos of baby organisms--probably lots of cuteness without much commentary, but you never know

        In five weeks' time we'll be into August and my annual Thirty-by-Thirty Nature Challenge (now renamed the One Nature Challenge). The basic premise of the challenge is simply to commit to getting outside in nature for 30 minutes a day, every day, for 30 days. Since I do this year-round anyhow, I like to add in extra stretch goals for the challenge for myself. I have a big one for this year, which is going to affect my DDoN posts significantly for the month of August (I hope in a good way). I will share the details with you soon (later today--I just need to sign off now for a bit to walk my dogs before it gets any hotter outside). Stay tuned!

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          Sounds great

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            Hey, you’re pushing back up from the push up plank hold! Good JOB!!🥳💪🏼

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              Inspired by you, DorothyMH . Thank you!

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                Friday, June 26 - Rainbow's Consecutive Days of Fitness Day 65


                running: 3K in 17:16

                50 Push-ups (in one go) Challenge - Day 18: 3:35 - 44 push-ups this day. (Completed all reps as full push-ups, but I needed multiple down dog breaks to get through, including one during the final set. I tried to keep my down dogs to only a few seconds and definitely worked to the edge of failure before each one. One minute breaks between sets.) 186/126 week-to-date for The Pushers Week #7.

                Workout with my mother:

                Cardio Go! - Day 8 - 5 sets.
                Upper Body Light Challenge - Day 8
                Core Control Challenge - Day 8
                Touch Your Toes Challenge - Day 8


                Total time for Cardio Go! + the 3 challenges: 28:30 - All done with my mother.


                Total: 49 minutes


                Other stuff:

                Breathe Easy - done with my mother
                3 km hiking

                Only Homemade Food - ​​ - Total Days: 177/177
                A Salad a Day - ​​ - Total Days: 167/167
                No Video Games - ​ - Total Consecutive Days: 198
                No Seated Television - - Total Consecutive Days: 117
                No Chairs - - Total Days: 34/34
                GBOT (10:30) - - Total Days: 32/35 (Not remotely close!)
                GOBOT (6:30) - - Total Days: 34/35

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                  June 27 DDoN: Scenic Saturday

                  For today's Scenic Saturday you get some photos from my trip last September up to Bruce Peninsula National Park in Tobermory, Ontario. These views depict Georgian Bay and some of the natural rock formations in the area.

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                    My August 2020 30x30 (One Nature Challenge) Plan:

                    The other day when I was trying to show you photographs of the American White Pelicans I spotted down in Erieau, it took me a long time to get them off my camera and onto my computer so I could edit and upload them. Why? Because my computer's hard drive is full--mostly with photographs! Once I sort through my photos, discard the junk ones, and upload the good ones to iNaturalist, eBird, here, and anyplace else I want to share them, I copy the best shots onto a USB key and discard the rest to make room for more photos in the future. The trouble with this plan is that I take so many photographs, I don't have time to sort through them. I am months and months and literally thousands of photographs behind on this task at present, and all of those old photographs (most of which are probably out-of-focus, over-exposed, under-exposed, or even missing their intended subject entirely) are currently taking up 133 GB of space on my poor little Surface Pro. I need to get those old photos off this machine! And I need to slow down my rate of taking new ones to something that's manageable. I also want to get back to working on my drawing skills, start developing some watercolour skills, get serious about nature journalling, and start spending more time in nature without the technological barrier of a camera between my face and the world out there. To this end, I am making a commitment to put all three of my cameras away for the entire month of August.

                    I suspect this will not be easy. I have pretty serious FOMO about going anywhere without my camera. What if I take my paddleboard out on Rondeau Bay without a camera and I spot a Spiny Softshell basking on the sand spit at the end of the peninsula? What if I hike without my camera and spot a rare bird that's never visited Canada before? What if I see a rare bird and don't even know that I'm seeing a rarity because it's so far away I cannot identify it without the crazy-high zoom of my P900? The reality is that any one of the above scenarios, while unlikely, could happen. Another reality, however, is that if I don't force myself to put down my camera at least some of the time, I definitely will keep relying on it to document everything for me, I definitely will never develop the sketching skills or nature journalling habits that I desire, and I definitely will continue to have a problem with taking thousands of photographs which are in fact useless to me because I'll never have the time to go back and look through them all. So...

                    For my 30 x 30 Nature Challenge this year I am challenging myself to get outside in nature every day without my camera and with my nature journal. I am challenging myself to create a journal entry every day for the month which will include my written notes on what I have observed and wondered about that day as well as at least one sketch per journal entry. Furthermore, I am challenging myself to enhance at least ten of my sketches with colour in some fashion and for the nature of that colour enhancement to be watercolour painting at least four times during the month.

                    I fully expect this will prove to be my most challenging 30 x 30 experience yet. I also expect it will prove to be my most rewarding.

                    Throughout the month of July I aim to slow down my rate of photo-taking and start to incorporate some journalling and sketching into my nature excursions to get myself warmed up for August. I also hope to work through some of my backlog of old photographs, so that when I do pick up my cameras again in September, I will have space on my computer to work with any new photographs I do take. I'm not going to be sorting through old photographs in August, however. I will be devoting all of my available time to fulfilling the parameters of the challenges I have set for myself that month. Therefore, I will not be including any photographs in my DDoN posts during the month of August. Instead, you will all get to see content from my nature journal. This will help to keep me on the straight and narrow w.r.t. fulfilling my challenge commitments. Hopefully it will be enjoyable for all of you as well.

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                      Very nice, I haven't been to Tobermory since around 2013.

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                        It was, I think, my first time since 2004, CaptainCanuck . And I was just passing through in 2004. Last fall was my first time visiting to actually see the sights since I went there as a child with my parents. Georgian Bay truly has some spectacular scenery.

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                          Yes pretty amazing, I don't want to spoil any potential upcoming entries but one of my favorite provincial parks is between parry sound and sudbury on GB

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                            That is an ambitious challenge you’ve set up for yourself! But, you are very disciplined, so I am positive you will make it work, and get a bang out of it, while you’re at it! I look forward to those posts

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                              Originally posted by CaptainCanuck View Post
                              Yes pretty amazing, I don't want to spoil any potential upcoming entries but one of my favorite provincial parks is between parry sound and sudbury on GB
                              French River? I don't think I've ever been there.

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                                Killarney ... if you haven't been you should put it on your to-do list

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