Chums from England have been visiting this past couple of weeks and have “enjoyed” the wet summer that Canada is experiencing – fortunately, the sun and the heat reappeared before they left and we took ourselves off to the remarkable reserve on Lac-St-Francois near to Dundee where, amongst many splendid things we enjoyed a close view of one of the now resident (and rare, rare) Sandhill Cranes in flight over the marsh.

Of course, being a hot day in mid summer the birding – other than the Crane – was not spectacular but the insects were very evident and equally interesting:

Monarch butterfly on a flowering head of Joe Pie Weed

Un-named critter with big eyes

Finally, as I approach middle age (60 in less than a month – I remember the Beatles and the Stones before they were anybody but prefer Gilbert and Sullivan by a long way) our visitors presented a walking stick to mark the impending passage of the years and i need to show it here.  Not any walking stick, but a hand-made stick of Blackthorn with a handle made from Bison horn.  A work of true art – and something that will be very handy to me as I have knees.  I suppose everyone has a functional pair of ordinary knees, but knees are different, especially on hills.  Thanks friends.