Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Bear Olympics - Team Sandy from Canada!

It is August and time for the Bear Olympics!!

As Team Tango seem to have very good instructions... we will follow them as well...

Team Sandy (Canada) is hosting the Staring Contest on Wednesday August 8. You can either post your photo entries on your own blog by that date (we can link up from here) or email your photo entry to me (Sandy) to put here. (Email Address -

Voting is like this... give each team a score out of ten (you don't vote for your own team though) and then the contest host adds them up to find out the orders... and the winner announced (Thanks Beanie for the voting instructions!)

Prizes for the staring contest are miniature dinosaurs:
Runner-ups get a consolation prize of dinosaur sticker(s)

Let the games begin!!

A Folk Bear

The Folkfest was in town on the weekend, and since Sandy has some guests from Hally-fax visiting, he thought he would take them (and Mama) to the Folkfest. Sandy had never been to the Folkfest though, so he wasn't sure what to expect. Mama's partner has been many times before and told Sandy to bring lots and lots of water!! Which is good... because most of the stages were in the sun!
They even had mobile water stations walking around filling up people's water bottles - which was very nice of them. But it was still very hot... so Sandy went on the prowl for a stage that had shade and... success!
This was much better - although the trees did block the view a bit. But it's not so much the view Sandy was interested in as the music... which means you have to peruse the Programme...
There were artists from Canada, the United States (none from South Dakota who might know Jerry and Ben), Europe, Africa and South America! Sandy decided that the shady spot had some very good music coming up and it would be good to stay there! At least until the main show. One thing Sandy was a bit perplexed by was the mascot of the Folkfest - a cow with a guitar. Do all cows play guitars?? Do Dutch cows play guitar (or do they just block traffic)?
In between the stage shows and the main show, Sandy wandered through the artisan booths and saw something so pretty that he wanted to buy one for himself (or have Mama buy it). It was a t-shirt... but not just any t-shirt... it was a most colourful t-shirt... a swirly rainbow t-shirt!
This one is a kid's t-shirt too and Sandy figured that maybe... just maybe... it would fit him.
Alas the t-shirt was a bit too big... but that green was almost a perfect match with Sandy's coat. Ah well... at least there is a picture of him with the t-shirt! Finally it was time for the main show and Sandy found himself a good seat and sat back and enjoyed the performers.
The sun was going down at that point - so it started to get cooler and Sandy was very glad that he had his coat with him!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Furry Critters at the Conservation Area

Sandy was told that he would see all sorts of animals at the conservation area. There certainly were lots of flying animals but other than one deer (way off in the distance) he kept looking and looking and not seeing much.
Mind you... who can see much with all of that tall grass. What Sandy needs is a lookout spot! And... it just so happens that there is one spot called Sandy's Lookout! (not kidding)...
Sandy had a great view of the mountains but... no animals... So he went back to looking for flowers instead.
This one looks very pretty and is called Cow Parsnip - so it is named after a furry animal! It even had a slightly bedraggled butterfly sitting on it.
The antenna on this butterfly are kind of furry... so maybe that counts as a furry animal?? There was also a butterfly convention happening on an alfalfa flower.
At a cross-roads, Sandy found some evidence of furry animals - two antlers bolted with a chain to a post in the ground. Maybe it's called Antler Crossing??
And then finally... a furry animal!!! A very cute little striped and speckled ground squirrel.
It is apparently called a Thirteen-Lined Ground Squirrel (who comes up with these names)... and was very pretty! So Sandy ended his hike with at least one live furry creature sighting... although it was only when he got back to the parking lot that he was glad he didn't see another type of furry creature!!
Luckily Mama had seen it earlier - so we traveled in a group of four (plus one bear) and even had bear spray along (which probably works well on cougars too). And the only cougar we saw was on an interpretive sign!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Flying Critters at the Conservation Area

Despite being rather short and earth-bound... Sandy was able to spy quite a few flying critters on his little hike through the conservation area. First up were some butterflies. There were tonnes and tonnes of little orange butterflies. They could be moths too... but because they are orange, Sandy is calling them butterflies.
They weren't all that pretty and didn't pose all that well for pictures. But the dragonfly did very well! Sandy wondered why it's called a dragon-fly when it looks nothing like a dragon (like Eldritch or Dilly) or a fly!
It was a tad more photogenic and stayed still for quite a long time which made photo-taking much easier. The next flighted creature wasn't a bug - but an owl!! It sat on a branch and turned its head for a while examining Sandy with a judicious eye. Sandy was all for going closer but when he learned that owls prey on small mammals, he decided that it might be better to hide in Mama's backpack!
At which point the owl flew away - it's just a blur there - silly owl... sitting still for so long and then flying as soon as the camera comes out! Mama says it was a Grey Owl. The butterflies are sometimes more photogenic...
And finally we came to a red barn - which doesn't fly - so it was easy to get a picture of that.
Sandy wanted to check out the inside... but the doors were all locked so he had to content himself with a peak through the window. It was a typical barn...
But on the side of the barn were some atypical little wooden contraptions. Sandy had no idea what they could be but Mama explained that they were bat-houses!!
Sandy was all for hanging around and waiting for the bats to come out... but when he learned that they only come out at dusk... he thought that might be a beary long wait!
Sandy found a bench all overgrown with grass and thistles (ouch)... and then heard some running water and found a drinking hole for cattle... or something.
It was big and round with water flowing in through a pipe, and then getting sucked out through the middle thing... Can you tell what the drinking hole is made out of??
Hint... they use them on vehicles! Sandy wanted to drink out of the pool but Mama said it might not be good water for little bears to drink. But everyone dunked their ball caps in the water and then put them on their heads because it was a very hot day. Sandy's hat was already wet from a leaking water bottle so he was already quite cool!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Well-Behaved Bear Reward

For being so well-behaved (and not packing himself in a box that went with the movers)... Sandy got to go for a lonnnggg hike today! This was a new place which is very exciting. Seeing the same old places can get a little boring after a while. Today Sandy went to a place called Ann and Sandy Cross Conservation Area.
 Sandy was thrilled to see his named carved in stone but wondered about the "Cross" part.
Apparently Ann and Sandy Cross had a ranch out here which they donated as a conservation area when they passed away. Which is very nice for little bears! There are even trail maps to help little bears navigate...
But sometimes the maps weren't all that clear and Sandy thought that it might be more helpful to have a bear at each sign post, pointing the way for people!
But then some people are afraid of bears so... that might not be so helpful for some people! But Sandy figured out the map and happily trotted off through meadows and forests.
Sandy was very excited to see a bunch of familiar flowers... bee balm, basket flower, and blue bells...
He was even more excited to see some new flowers that he hadn't met before. The first one was a bit dangerous to approach and Mama says it is a real thistle (as opposed to a Milk Thistle - which is a fake thistle).
Sandy also saw some red berries which he thought were new... but Mama said that they were actually Saskatoon berries - getting riper - but not quite ready yet!
And then Sandy saw some very weird things - they weren't flowers... they weren't animals... what could they be?? They looked kind of like rocks... but weren't... Mama says that they are mushrooms...
This one looks kind of like a pancake so Sandy called it a pancake-mushroom (remember the egg-flowers??). Another one was a lot bigger and Mama said it was edible and Sandy wanted to nibble on it right there but Mama said it was a bit old and might be kind of wormy (icky!!).
Wow... there was a lot of new stuff to see at this place - too much for one blog posting... Sandy got very tired posting this after his hike and needed to go and have a nap!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Bear on the Loose

The movers came and the boxes and furniture went out the door very quickly! And soon the house was very empty. But where was Sandy?
That looks like him heading up the stairs! Running as fast as his little legs would take him.
He moves pretty fast for a little bear... doing pretty good on those stairs too!
Getting closer! He's cornered now in that room!
Ah... one last box... lucky the movers didn't take this box... because this is someone's hiding spot!
There he is... tucked away in the box. It's a good thing the movers didn't take this one... or Sandy wouldn't be going on a Grand Adventure soon.
And somehow Sandy has a gift for finding green stickers that match his coat (garage sale stickers, moving box stickers). Definitely a good thing he didn't have this sticker on him when the movers were here, or they would have packed him up!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Something's Afoot

Sandy thinks something is afoot! For weeks now, boxes have been appearing and things have been disappearing.
The boxes are stacking up... lots and lots of boxes! Which is fun for a little bear because there are lots of places in which to play hide and seek!
But then... there are all sorts of fun things disappearing from the shelves, which means there aren't as many places to hide there.
Mama tells Sandy that they are "moo-ving". Sandy's not sure what moo's have to do with all of the boxes... or what a ving-dynasty (China?) has to do with anything. Mind you... the boxes are quite colourful with labels that list the various rooms.
On top of all that... there are fun things to play with... like bubble-wrap! Stamp on them loud enough and they make a big popping noise!
This isn't a bag of bubble wrap - just a layer that is covering Sandy. And then there are biodegradable peanuts as well. Sandy always thought peanuts were organic so obviously biodegradable but... these are not those type of peanuts!

These are foamy types of peanuts and are very good for packing. Just don't try to eat them! Sandy wants to know what all this packing and moo-ving means... but he'll have to wait a bit... it does, however, involve a Grand Adventure!