BELINDA GROVER PHOTOGRAPHY

STOPS ALONG THE WAY


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NO TWO DAYS ALIKE (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

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When I set up my gear that morning I was hoping to take some photographs of hooded mergansers I had seen the day before. They usually remain just out of range of my favoured lens, so I had my 300mm lens with me instead. There were no mergansers that day but I did come across these wood ducks along the lakefront. I couldn’t move back far enough to capture the entire bird so I took portrait shots instead. No two days in photography are the same. There are disappointments sometimes, but I know before too long something else will strike me and I’m off…

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DANCING IN THE LIGHT (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

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In the spring with their goslings and in the fall when the leaves change colour, these are my favourite times to photograph Canada Geese. The goose here appears to be doing the two-step, the vegetation serving as the backdrop. The reflections in the water and the soft fall light enhancing the scene.

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PALM WARBLER (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

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Palm Warblers are known to stay low or on the ground but this bird went his own way and remained high up in the pines, darting in and out of the branches catching insects in mid flight. You have to be patient with warblers but the rewards are worth it. In the eastern part of the country we are treated to yellow palm warblers, the western variety are a duller colour. These warblers migrate through our region in the spring and fall. After spending the winter months due south (the birds not me), I look forward to their return again in May.

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FOREST FLOOR

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The reserve we go to is left to evolve with little interference from the agency that oversees the area’s green spaces. If a tree is brought down in a windstorm or by decay, unless it blocks the path, it’s left where it falls to break down and eventually feed the forest floor. Insects, vegetation, birds and mammals benefit from all stages of the trees’ existence.
Mushrooms were scarce this year given the dry summer we had but this old tree seemed to provide the perfect conditions for them as well as other vegetation. I liked the “hedge” the mushrooms formed to the hollow in the tree, perhaps it was the entrance to someone’s den.


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ANTICIPATION

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The temperature has been up and down the last little while, it was -20C earlier in the week and +4C today but the skipper above is pure summer! They are pretty common in our area and a favourite of mine to photograph. I started doing more insect photography last year and look forward to a lot more when the warmer weather returns.


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RING-BILLED GULL (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

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I took these photos last fall. Many birds had already migrated but this gull had not moved on yet. It was perched so nicely on this fallen tree and shifted positions several times before it flew off. It was doing a fine impression of two bookends. Ring-billed gulls are among the most common gulls in North America, are usually seen in groups and are known to be loud and opportunistic feeders. I thought that this solitary gull, standing quietly, taking in its surroundings an impressive sight. I was pleased to have seen it as I was walking by on that November afternoon.

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CHICKADEES (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

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Chickadees are the most acrobatic of birds and they’re fun to capture as they fly in and land nearby. They never stay still for long so I’m always pleased to get a decent close up shot. As the weather gets colder they do linger a little longer though hoping for some seed from passersby. They are also one of the few birds that can lower their body temperature to conserve energy on cold winter nights.

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