Merganser Ducks

On the way up to Canada to visit some relatives and on the return as well I spent a few days in the Adirondack Mountains kayaking on different lakes and ponds. One one body of water I was lucky enough to witness several types of wildlife. One bird I saw was the merganser duck.

All of these shots were in shaded areas next to shore.

The only place I have seen a merganser is on lakes in the Adirondack Mountains. One this day I saw more than one female with a trail of young. This is the one I saw in early evening. It had quite the crew with it. I never counted. but I am sure there were at least a dozen young. The other female I saw in the morning had a much smaller group following with her. I did see both groups in the morning.

Eagles were nearby.

All the ducks I saw that day stayed mostly on the shoreline in well shaded areas. Since there were eagles visiting and known to fly in and out I am sure that was for survival purposes.

I cannot tell if this was a yawn or if the duckling was making a sound.

For those of you who have never been to the Adirondack Mountains, I highly recommend it. It was mostly in the low 70s during the day and 50s at night. If you ever go, go slow and enjoy the local wildlife.

Canned Water

Are you trying to cut plastic out of your life? Are you trying to find products to reduce your reliance on plastic? I will introduce you to two alternatives to water in plastic water bottles and briefly detail why you should switch.

Reasons to Switch

Not all of us have access to good quality drinking water unfortunately. The water quality where I live is poor. Many times we have do not drink orders. The same is the case at my workplace. Also, I do not want to worry about leaving water in the car as I have a long commute.

One reason to switch to canned water is 90 percent of plastic water bottles are not recycled after they are used. Most of the material is not recyclable. It is said plastic items take many years to break down once thrown out and can cause chemicals to get into the soil and water. Too many of these plastic water bottles end up in the ocean where they affect fish and sea animals. Canned water containers are 100 percent recyclable.

Another reason you should switch to canned water is if you drink water from plastic bottles you can be exposed to the toxins from the plastic. If the bottle has been exposed to heat at any point, the toxins can get into the water and end up in your body. This can cause cancer and other issues.

An additional added bonus to having canned water is the water stays colder longer than water in plastic containers.

Liquid Death

Liquid Death sells in New York in some convenience stores. Liquid Death also has sparkling water and flavoured sparkling water. This company says the water comes from the Alps so it originates outside the U.S. The company mottos seem to be Death to Plastic and Murder Your Thirst, hence the name. The art on the cans is kind of cool, however it resembles a beer can. I needed to explain to numerous people at work it was canned water and show them the can. I have not found this in Sam’s Club or any other bulk seller locally. Some sell Liquid Death on Amazon for cheaper than a convenience store with free shipping.


Rain is from a source in Georgia, so it is U.S. origin. The great thing about this company is if you order three 24 can cases, they will ship for free. The convenience stores that carry it jack the price up substantially. I have not found it available in Sam’s Club or any other bulk seller locally. I have ordered this directly from the company two times with no issues. They shipped both times through UPS.

Below is a link to buy from Rain:

The thought of chemicals getting into my body and the fact plastic bottles are not recyclable for the most part was enough to get me to switch. I have seen canned water in England and in Massachusetts but only in seaside areas in the past. I was happy these options started to be available. Both Liquid Death and Rain taste good, but I prefer Rain. I am hoping more companies make the switch to canned water.

I did not get paid for writing this article.

Great Blue Heron

Is this a baby? I had heard one baby was out of the nest. What do you think? The story is these herons fight a lot. One may have fallen out. If this is a baby it is doing better than its siblings still in the nest. Sink of swim it is feeding itself it appears. I did not see the parents drop anything off for this one. I visited this one by kayak.

It was at the water’s edge at low tide.
It appeared to be about the same size as the ones in the nest. It did not fly, but stayed in the mud flats area at the water’s edge. It seemed unfazed by me.
This may be the same one later on in the day. It stayed on a pile of wood at the water’s edge. It did not fly and spent most of the time preening.

What is your verdict? Youngster? Or not?

Product Photography Soap 2

I worked on more photos this week for a relative. Let me know what you think. I appreciate everyone’s thoughts. Thanks!

Sandalwood Rose 1
Sandalwood Rose 2
Sandalwood Rose 3
Sandalwood Rose 4
Charcoal Lavender
Charcoal Lemon

If you are in Canada, I hope you enjoy the rest of your extended Canada Day weekend. If you are in the U.S. Happy Independence Day!

Product Photography- Soap

Again I am trying something new. I am helping out a relative by taking some product photography shots. These are some of the ones I took.

Rose Soap
Oatmeal Lavender
Oatmeal Lavender Soap
Eucalyptus Lemon Soap
Citrus Cedar Sage

I have two favourite shots: the rose soap and the oatmeal lavender on wood. Do any of these catch your eye? I would like to know. It may help me improve.

Daytime Owlet

I had Monday off for a new bank holiday. What do I do on a holiday? If I have time I hike and see if I can spot owls or their owlets.

Owlet on a lower branch. None of my owl pictures are in the raw. I don’t know how to open these new Canon generated raw files.

Luckily I found two of the three owlets on lower branches. They planted themselves on this tree for a few hours. I got a lot of nice pictures out of it. One seems to stay well hidden now. I look at him as the designated driver. Instead of not drinking to stay safe and keeping everyone else safe he stays well hidden to stay safe. Or am I wrong about this and the third one is more shy?

Buck With Velvety Antlers

Bucks are rare to come across on a hike in New York. It is rare to even see them when driving. You normally will see does and fawns. I am excited I got the chance two times to see this guy from a distance on hikes before sunset.

It appears he has an outer velvety coating on his antlers. They almost look glued on or fake. I wonder if this is a teenager or full grown adult. Anyone have any idea? I have seen it with one other deer, a female both times. If you are in the U. S. enjoy your bank holiday tomorrow (Juneteenth) if you have off.

Flying Owlets

This week I got to see the babies a few times. They are like little children on sugar when they are awake. They fly from branch to branch following each other. It looks like they are chasing each other in a game of tag. They don’t linger on trees too long before they take flight again while they are awake.

Peek-A-Boo! A baby barred owlet in view and one of its siblings hiding behind some leaves.
Sibling flew off.
Perched on a broken branch.
Flying from tree to tree.
Screeching for food. At least one of them got either a mole or vole that night.


Click on the audio file below to hear the noise barred owlets make.

Good-bye baby owl!

Do owlets have ADHD? With all the flying they do while they are awake I wonder how many rodents their parents need to catch for them a day.

Brant Lake

What lake in the Adirondacks has the same name as an Mohawk Indian Chief who supported the British in the War for Independence? It is Brant Lake in Warren County. It is another lake worth visiting in the area north of Lake George in the Adirondack Mountains of N.Y.

History of a Name

I cannot say the lake is named after the Indian chief, but so far I have not found information online saying where the name came from. I even emailed a nearby historical group with no response. Joseph Brant was a Mohawk Chief who sided with the British during the Revolutionary War. According to the National Park Service during the French and Indian War “In 1755, at age 13 he accompanied Sir William Johnson to the Battle of Lake George.” Lake George is south of Brant Lake and a short drive by car. Mohawks today have tribal land on both sides of the border with Canada north of the Adirondack Mountains.


Brant Lake is north of Lake George. If coming from the south you take the Adirondack Northway route 87 north of Albany. Get off at exit 25- the exit for NY 8 north. Go approximately 2.6 miles to the boat launch. The address is 6799 NY 8 , Brant Lake, NY.

Boat Ramp
They had a boat ramp and dock.

This boat ramp had multiple people working it on a weekend, and it is no wonder. I likened this to the Grand Central Station of boat ramps in the Adirondack Mountains. There were boats constantly coming in and going of the the lake here. I had to wait to launch and wait to get out. I was able to park without waiting. If I remember correctly, they had port a potty toilets or privy here.

Two islands
Paddling between two islands.

This lake is big enough that I was able to avoid motor boats by sticking to paddling along the shore. It is about 5 miles in length.It was a little windy, and I was worried about the possibility of a storm, but things ended up fine.

Regardless of the motorboat traffic it was still a nice ride. There is not a lot of development along the lake. There are a few houses spread out and camps. There is a lot of wide open spaces with nice views in the Adirondack Mountains. Get out and enjoy it.

Feeding Time

I placed another tick in a box last night. I was beginning to think I would never see an owl feed their babies. They seemed to shy away from doing that within eyesight of me. Then, last night I saw and heard them in all one areas again.

Mother perhaps with prey.

The one parent flew to the same tree as the children. I could not tell if it had someone, but someone I was with said they saw it was holding a chipmunk. If you look carefully under the branch you see dangling legs.

Parent with two of the three owlets visible.

The parent flew to another tree and the owlets followed.

Tearing up the chipmunk.

The parent then proceeded to tear out pieces of the chipmunk and feed them to the owlets.

Two were very interested and were nearby. The third was higher up.

They don’t always do this within view. Sometimes it is high up in the tree tops with leaves blocking the view. I was so happy to see this tonight. Owls are predators. It is what they do to survive.

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