Tree Squirrels.


“If a gray squirrel’s tail has stripes it means that the squirrel is still adolescent, adult gray squirrels don’t have stripes.” – Black mouth cur


“Sciurus carolinensis, common name eastern gray squirrel or grey squirrel depending on region, is a tree squirrel in the genus Sciurus. It is native to eastern North America, but has since been introduced to European regions.” – Wikipedia


One of the Black Squirrels living in our yard. You can see more photos of them here.


It’s fur is very shiny and they seem to be very healthy.


Are you looking at me?


Hard at work carrying nesting material to their den before that white stuff hits us.


They have become  less skittish and even visited us on the deck for an introduction as the new neighbors.


Coming down.


Resting after all that hard work.


My husband has built them a nest, just in case they need one if their nest get blown down during a winter storm (don’t want them to move in with us).


The nest can open up at the front in case we need to clean it out.


It has tie down anchors to hang up by.


The nest in one of our trees, tied with nylon straps as to not damage the tree.

We can’t see the nest from our deck at the moment, but once the leaves fall down, we should be able to see it.


Taken through our lounge window.

The squirrel watching us.


Trying to get to the bird feeder in the tree but no success yet.


Rather goes for a Crab-apple.


Running with the Crab-apple along the fence, taking lunch home.


Moving it on the super highway.




Really moving it.

Fall is here.


Black Squirrels.



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Crows in our Crab-apple tree, on our lawn, in the street and on the roofs.


They moved down the street, from one crab apple tree to the next, damaging the crop, stripping the tree almost bare.

These guys got way too much smarts for my liking

“Crows are black birds known for their intelligence and adaptability, and for their loud, harsh “caw.” They also have a reputation for damaging crops; however, their impact may be less than previously thought. ” – Live science.


Raven Tutorial by Louise’s Graphics


What a mean stare…


Damaging the crop of crappy apples.



Walking down the street on their way to murder the next crab-apple tree.


After we chased them away, they kept coming back and back and back…


They just take a peck out of a Crab-apple and then leave it.



“Crabapples are distinguished by their less-than-golf ball size and their tart, bitter flesh. Coloring varies depending on variety but expect variances of red, ruby, pink and gold with apple stems as long as the length of the fruit itself. The two general attributes all Crabapple varieties share is their petite ornamental size and their high acid content. Crabapples’ flesh is ivory to creamy, semi-starchy and considered inedible raw. Dark seeds fill the Crabapple core, leaving very little flesh available for culinary use. ” – Specialty produce.


Not our street but still enough to scare the pants of me.

The Birds (1963) trailer

For the Birds

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Black Squirrels.


Two Black Tree squirrels have moved into our backyard, they are quite skittish and move very fast. The other  Brown Tree Squirrels are also still around.


“Calgary is home to three species of tree squirrels, but it’s the Eastern Grey Squirrel that’s most dominant in the City. This introduced species is quite large and may have grey, black or brown colored fur.” – The city of Calgary


They sure can move when it’s starts to hail.


It’s hailing !

Not sure where to go to while it’s hailing.


“The black squirrel occurs as a melanistic subgroup of the eastern gray squirrel and of the fox squirrel.[1] They are common in the Midwestern United States, eastern Canada, and parts of the Northeastern United States and the United Kingdom.” – Wikipedia

Besides running along the fence they spend most of their time in these trees.


Nest taken a few days ago.

“Leaf nests are constructed from various twigs, leaves, moss and other material. To start, twigs are loosely woven together to make up the floor of the nest. Next, squirrels create more stability by packing damp leaves and moss on top of the twig platform to reinforce the structure. Then a spherical frame is woven around the base, which creates the outer shell. The final touches include stuffing in leaves, moss, twigs and sometimes even paper to build up the outer shell of the new home.” – Animals

“The inner cavity of its leaf nest is about six to eight inches in diameter and lined with more material, usually shredded bark, grass and leaves. However, some squirrel species, including Gray Squirrels, can have nests that are much larger. Some nest cavities can span 2 feet wide!” –Animals


The real squirrel nest construction boom happens during the fall. While many wild birds and animals are migrating to avoid the colder winter months, squirrels are busy collecting material and assembling strong, secure nests that can make it through a blustery winter.” – Birdfeeders

We have observed them eating seeds dropped from the bird feeder.


Eating bird seed.


They also eat Crab-apples from the tree in the front yard.



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Blog Avatar.


I thought our Recreating Old Fashioned Portraits was so much fun, we decided to update my Blog Avatar. These are some of the photos my husband took of me. 


“An avatar is a visual representation of yourself, often a comic or cartoon. Instead of a photo in your blog profile, you can use an avatar!” Dummies.


The story behind my Blog name.

I chose my blog name when we moved to Canada from South-Africa, I needed a user name for my Email and I chose Tokoloshe.

In Zulu mythology, Tikoloshe, Tokoloshe or Hili is a dwarf-like water sprite. It is considered a mischievous and evil spirit that can become invisible by drinking water. Tokoloshes are called upon by malevolent people to cause trouble for others. At its least harmful a tokoloshe can be used to scare children, but its power extends to causing illness or even the death of the victim. The creature might be banished by a n’anga (witch doctor), who has the power to expel it from the area.” –Wikipedia


I adjusted the photos in Adobe Photoshop and added a vignette to make them look darker.

The Tokoloshe myth is well known and feared in most especially by Southern African countries. Many people place their beds on bricks (some tales state that they are wrapped in paper) in order to lift them higher off the ground so that the Tokoloshe cannot hide underneath and attack them.” – Wikipedia


We started wearing old cowboy hats which we got from the thrift store for camping, we wet and then shape them.


My jewelry is made from plastic and sold for Halloween costumes.



This  is one of my previous avatars, my husband took this photo on one of our camping trips in Elk Falls Provincial Park in May 2015, which you can see here. I changed the photo to black and white and added a vignette in Adobe Photoshop.

Tokeloshe’s hat in the woods, which was also taken in Elk Falls Provincial Park.


“They are considered a mischievous and evil spirit. They can become invisible by swallowing a pebble.” –Wikipedia


Horsey Meadows,  June 2016


I used this photo as an avatar for a while, it was taken while camping during Canada Day Long Weekend. South Africans say I look more like Liewe Heksie (Afrikaans for “Beloved Little Witch”) an Afrikaans work of fiction created by children’s book author Verna Vels in 1961- Wikipedia

Some of the bloggers I’ve known for a while will recognize some of my earlier avatars, I seem to be always wearing a hat.


Heritage Park Historical Village, Stampede Party , 2006

Heritage Park Historical Village, Stampede Party


Coastal Celebration 2010


Ice magic 2009, Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada.


This was my first Blog Avatar which I made with an Africa ding from House of Lime.


“Every African knows what a Tokoloshe is.” –Wikipedia


You can see more of the Blog Graphics I have made here.


Blog Graphics

“Running gags about Tokoloshes are common in the South African daily comic strip Madam and EveWikipedia


How did you choose your avatar, I would love to hear ?




The story behind my Blog name.


Recreating Old Fashioned Portraits.

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These photos of squirrels running along the fence, were taken in our backyard from our deck.


“Sciurus carolinensis, common name eastern gray squirrel or grey squirrel depending on region, is a tree squirrel in the genus Sciurus. It is native to eastern North America, but has since been introduced to European regions.” – Wikipedia


There are quite a few bird’s nests in our area.

 “Grey squirrels are mainly herbivorous, eating acorns, hazel nuts, berries, fungi, buds and shoots, and even bark. However, on rare occasions when plant food is very scarce they will eat insects, smaller rodents, bird eggs and nestlings.” – Wild life in the city.



I call this bird’s nest the condominium.


This squirrel can move !


Until he spots the owl and stops dead in he’s tracks.


Then he runs back to the condominium.


“The ones you see around town, the Eastern Grey Squirrel (they also come in black or brown), are from Toronto. The Toronto Zoo gifted a few to the Calgary Zoo but they escaped and soon became the gift that keeps on giving. And giving. I haven’t forgiven the big bullies for running all the Red Squirrels out of town.” – Jennifer Allford


Black Squirrels.

View from our deck.

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The Hunter’s cabin on wheels.

My husband recently went on a scouting trip in Southern Alberta with a friend, these are some of the photos he took.


The rigged out, mobile hunting cabin.


Now that is a fire pit that has seen many a good nights relaxing.


If that throne could only talk…


Gods country.



The hunter testing out he’s bugling skills.


These trees are hundreds of years old.



Winds in southern Alberta can be devastating on the older trees, especially high up in the foothills.



Quad trail through the old growth from the camp to the view-point in the photos below.



Perfect look-out for the golden eagles.



Looking out West.


What ever happened to this tree you can only wonder.



Clearing quad trails with the damn chainsaw that is being testy….



Taken on the Eastern slope.



Are they glaring at me?



Interested visitors, makes you worry about their intentions.


Dutch Creek



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Old Fashioned Portraits Revealed.


We recently took some color photos of me dressed up in some of my vintage looking clothes, to recreate old-fashioned portraits, which you can see here.


This is how we did it. We hung a white sheet against a door as a backdrop, fortunately we have a beautiful old chair, which we used as a prop.


I posed looking very serious as our ancestors did in Circa 1900 photos.


My husband took the photos in color, which I then changed to sepia in Adobe Photoshop. I also applied other effects like vignettes, etc.


“a picture (as an engraving or photograph) that shades off gradually into the surrounding paper.” – Merriam Webster.


Here I changed one of the photos into black and white with Adobe Photoshop.

My beautiful purse was made by Natalie Gerber, a very talented lady who grew up in South Africa.


I have had the cotton gloves since my mime teaching days.


Silver shoes.


Black long-sleeved blouse.


Long black skirt.


Fooling around😉

Download adobe photoshop cs2 9.0 full version free.

Picasa – latest version 2016 free download


Recreating Old Fashioned Portraits.

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Recreating Old Fashioned Portraits.


My husband took some color photos of me dressed up in some of my vintage looking clothes.


I posed looking very serious as our ancestors did in Circa 1900 photos.


I then added special effects in Adobe Photoshop, like sepia, vignettes, etc.


“A photograph is a most important document, and there is nothing more damning to go down to posterity than a silly, foolish smile caught and fixed forever.” – Mark Twain


Although it took some effort, I am so glad that we did it. I want to print and frame then, I imagine they will confuse someone in the future.


I sneaked in a smile😉
In my next post I will reveal how we did it.


The Serious and the Smirk: The Smile in Portraiture

Why Didn’t People Smile in Old Photos?

Why Don’t People Smile in Old Photographs?

The Pose

Me with Pony Tail.

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Wild Mushrooms.


We went boondocking in the Bearberry Valley on crown-land, near Sundre, Alberta with some friends over the Heritage day long weekend. We have camped in the area before, but it was the first  time at this spot. We arrived in the rain, but we had better weather for the rest of the weekend.


The dogs loved the creek even though it was a bit cold.


Quading through the creek (who is the blond with the ponytail?).


Quading through the creek (water was cold).


Who you lookin’ at?


Watch out for spiders.


Can you spot the quail in the tree?


White Tailed Deer.


The water was very clear with some deep pools for swimming if you can handle the cold water.


A fallen tree trunk.


Beautiful bark.


Wildflowers and a butterfly.


Red berries ripe for picking but watch out for the bears.


There were many different varieties of wild mushrooms.


“Although mushrooms are very interesting to look at the microscopic spores found on the gills can contain serious toxins, wash your hands well after handling wild mushrooms. I quote a mycologist, who said the following “Fungal species are to numerous to identify and no one can claim to be an expert”. There are several deadly look a like’s and some have not even been documented, this is what makes eating wild mushrooms so dangerous and at the same time so mystical. Mushrooms are always fun to observe when considering all the above. If you’re lucky enough to find a healthy patch of mushrooms it’s truly a magical sight.” – Alberta Wow




Squirrels gathering acorns for the winter.


“Squirrels bury many nuts, but usually don’t retrieve all of them. The ones that stay buried in the ground sprout into new trees!” –


“Because nuts and seeds are not readily available in winter, squirrels spend a lot of time in the fall collecting them to prepare! In the middle of winter, when there aren’t new nuts or seeds falling from the trees, squirrels can rely on their storage for food to eat! ”








Our dogs enjoyed exploring as much as we did.


Kris is a female Belgium German shepherd cross.




Alberta Mushrooms.



Place in the woods.

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Ghost Towns we have visited.

Ghost Town


“A deserted town with few or no remaining inhabitants:it’s like a ghost town at weekends“- Oxford dictionaries.

Alberta, Canada.

Wayne, Alberta, Canada. 2015.

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“The tiny town of Wayne in Alberta’s Badlands is not exactly a ghost town, but it’s not far off. Before the coal mine shut down, the town boasted a population of nearly 2,500 souls. Today, there are only 27 or, to be more accurate, 27 1/2 , as one of the town’s residents is pregnant. That’s big news in a community that has been in decline for decades.” –

Wayne, Alberta, Canada. 2015.

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“Coal mining started in the Badlands in 1912, boosting the population of Wayne to more than 2,500. ” Last Chance saloon.

Wayne, Alberta, Canada. 2007.
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Wayne is off the main valley highway, cross 11 one-lane bridges to get to town-site.

Wayne, Alberta, Canada.
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“From Drumheller to the community of Wayne, count the number of one-way bridges over the Rosebud Creek. The answer is in Ripley’s Believe It or Not. Wayne offers a campground for visitors. While traveling through the beautiful Wintering Hills pass through the hamlet of Dalum with its striking Lutheran Church. ” Canadian Badlands

Wayne, Alberta, Canada.2007.
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“The Rosedeer Hotel opened in 1913 in the dusty boomtown of Wayne, Alberta.” – Last Chance saloon.

British Columbia, Canada.

Gerrard, British Columbia, Canada.
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“Gerrard is a ghost town located in the West Kootenay region of British Columbia. The town is situated near south end of Trout Lake, east of Upper Arrow Lake.“-Wikipedia

Rusty crank shaft found on the beach at Gerrard (if it only could tell it’s story).
Gerrard, British Columbia, Canada.
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“Gerrard Post Office opened 1 November 1906, named after George Bentley Gerrard; this was the terminus of the CPR line running north from Lardeau, abandoned sometime before 1946. Post Office closed 5 January 1957. “- B.C. Geographical names.

Another cabin near GerrardBritish Columbia, Canada.
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View of the long drop taken from inside the cabin, near Gerrard, British Columbia, Canada.
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Cabin near Gerrard, British Columbia, Canada.
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Quesnel Forks, British Columbia, Canada.
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“Today Quesnel Forks is BC’s last remaining ghost town, dating back to 1858. By the early 1860’s, gold fever was rampant at the forks of the Quesnel and Cariboo Rivers and “The Forks” quickly became a rowdy gold camp attracting close to 5,000 people. Even after prospectors moved further north, the Forks remained a busy centre until bypassed by the Cariboo Wagon Road. By 1875, it became a thriving Chinese community with over 200 merchants and miners. The site had several revivals, but during the 1920’s most of the area mines closed and by 1956, it was abandoned. Today, the Likely Cemetery Society lovingly cares for Quesnel Forks.”- Travel British Columbia

Quesnel Forks, British Columbia, Canada.
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Quesnel Forks became another of the instant settlements spawned by the gold rush. Soon boarding houses, bars and stores covered the flats between the rivers and toll bridges were thrown up by wiley businessmen. There was a great deal of profitable activity in the immediate area but like any rush claims were quickly staked and later comers either worked for an existing operation or pushed further inland.”- Quesnel Museum.

Quesnel Forks, British Columbia, Canada.
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“As the prospectors followed the gold trail up the Fraser River they soon discovered that the Quesnel river was the key source. Following that river to where it was joined by the Cariboo river they found gold bearing gravels in the creeks, on the lakes, on the rivers and Quesnel Forks sprung up to supply them.” Quesnel Museum.

Quesnel Forks, British Columbia, Canada.
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“Today, visitors to Quesnel Forks can explore the restored pioneer buildings and historic cemetery. Historical research and work projects began in the 1990s under the leadership of the Likely Cemetery Society and teacher/historian David Falconer. The cemetery area was cleared and secured, graves identified with headboards, and the Chee Kung Tong house stabilized with the assistance of local residents.Wikipedia

Sandon, British Columbia, Canada.
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“Sandon, located between New Denver and Kaslo, was once the centre of commerce in the region, but was largely abandoned after a 1955 flood.’ More at Ghost Town Mysteries: The old trolley buses of Sandon,

“Formerly operated as the Molly Brown Brothel in world famous Sandon. During the early ’90’s, a group of locals restored this turn of the previous century’s two storey French Provincial building.” – Realtor

Sandon, British Columbia, Canada. Click above for more.

Sandon, British Columbia, Canada.
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Considered as being one of the true classic ghost towns of west, Sandon is the focal point of B.C.’s famed Valley of the Ghosts.At one time boasting a population of 10,000, Sandon was the prime mineral (silver, lead and zinc) mining community in the valley, five miles off the main Highway 31A”Ghost towns of Canada-Sandon

Sandon, British Columbia, Canada.
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The town of Sandon was born April 7, 1892 when J.M.”Johnny” Harris uncovered a fabulous vein of silver. He was born in Virginia and spent his early boyhood in the tobacco and cotton fields. Still only a boy, he left Virginia and wound up in Idaho in 1884 where he worked in the gold mines.- Read more at Ghost towns of Canada-Sandon

Sandon, British Columbia, Canada.
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“In 2001, hundreds of them were slated for a scrap heap in Richmond after the auto parts yard they had sat in was sold.” More at Ghost Town Mysteries: The old trolley buses of Sandon, B.C.

Ghost Towns: Various towns, KOOTENAY ROCKIES, BC.

List of ghost towns in British Columbia

Ghost Towns.

Ghost Towns of the Lardeau, BRITISH COLUMBIA.

Barkerville, British Columbia, Canada.
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Barkerville’s cemetery, British Columbia, Canada.
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Barkerville, B.C. Gallery British Columbia, Canada.
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Barkerville’s China-town, British Columbia, Canada.
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