This part of the trail is closely packed with undergrowth. The maple leaf’s fall was broken by a nearby stem. I enjoy finding these minor players in the bigger fall show.
We are very lucky to live in a climate where we’re treated to the changing seasons. The trees are beginning to make dazzling displays. As colourful as they are right now, I find them interesting subjects and still beautiful as they begin to fade and show the effects of time.
This photo was taken late last October. I remember being surprised at how green the leaf was while the rest of the landscape looked like the frost had done its work. Although it’s still summer here I know that scenes like this aren’t far off.
I liked the crisp green and white of the leaves. Though each leaf is distinctive, together they form an interesting whole. A bit of controlled chaos.
There is something special to me about walking through fields like these in summer. The colours and smells and sounds never, ever disappoint. So much to see and photograph.
Just a walk in the park, actually a photo from a walk I took at the Dominion Arboretum, located on 64 acres of land in the city of Ottawa. You can’t see an offshoot of the Rideau Canal because the vegetation was so thick it hid it. A spot I hope to return to soon.
Another scene from the countryside last summer. I love taking these walks, no hustle or bustle, just the buzz of insects and the sweet meadow smell with every step.
On a sunny day last July, we found a shady spot by the water to cool off. The air was hot and still and the scent of iris hung in the air. The snow might be falling outside right now but a scene like this reminds me that we’re headed in the right direction. 😊
On a sunny day last fall, we parked the car and took a walk along an interesting back road. Ottawa is surrounded by fields and country roads and we’re fortunate to come across sights like these.
Looking out the window, in an older section of Montreal, you can see a mix of low rise and taller buildings surrounded by a lot of greenery. Towards the back and centre of the frame, a nine story mural of Leonard Cohen, caught my attention. The mural is one of two in Montreal commemorating the life of Leonard Cohen; Montreal born, singer-songwriter, poet and author who died in 2016.
Staring at the countryside speeding past my window, I took a few photos with my cell phone. I’m not familiar with my phone camera, and I was a considerable distance from the farm but the countryside was beautiful and I wanted to capture what I saw.
A weathered barn in a field of wild flowers. One of the pleasures of a country drive. I’m fortunate that the city I live in encompasses a lot of rural farmland, a short drive from the concrete and high rises.
I wondered if I could photograph a leaf as it floated to the ground. At 1/640th of a second I managed to get one leaf in perfect focus.
The second photo was taken this fall. When I first saw the thing in the water several years ago, it startled me as it looked like an exotic vine or reptile. I later found out that it was the work of beavers. (After all, we don’t have alligators in Ottawa😏 .)
The way the sun hit the lime coloured leaf reminded me of holiday lights. As I continued my walk I came upon these rich purple berries (which the birds will enjoy in the cold months ahead). Both photos required little cropping, I just moved around a bit to get a pleasing composition.
This is the second in a series of photographs I took on a recent walk. The colours are not quite as bold as they were in my earlier post, but there are still plenty of opportunities for photos like these.
The leaves are almost at their peak now. Sun or cloud, the woods are ablaze with colour. Walking along the paths, I’ve been selecting small portions of the landscape that have stood out for me. Their shapes, patterns and colours make for nice compositions. Black and white works well too.
This photo was taken on the weekend at a nearby reserve. The lake has several beaver lodges, the one in the background is one of the largest and provides a nice backdrop for the Canada Geese.
Another photo from the Dominion Arboretum in Ottawa that we visited earlier in the summer. This one tree stood out. Its outstretched branches were welcoming and I couldn’t help but be impressed by its size and age. The black and white emphasized the tree’s texture and detail and the shadow cast on the grass.
We stopped the car when we saw the horses in the field. They were at a considerable distance yet one curious horse stopped grazing to look our way. Not much detail in the horses given how far away they were, but they added a tranquil feeling to the scene.
On a recent weekend afternoon, a drive through the countryside with friends provided many scenes like this one. The colours of late summer and the light are different now, not as brilliant but still beautiful.
I took this photograph at the Dominion Arboretum in Ottawa, Canada. Established in 1889, it occupies 64 acres (25.89 hectares) of green space in the city core and contains over 4000 varieties of trees and woody plants. On a recent hot, sunny day the bench was inviting us to sit a while and enjoy the view.
The intricate design in this tree stump was carved by beetles and their larvae. Although their designs or galleries are beautiful, these insects end up killing their host by destroying the tree’s ability to transport nutrients. The design is revealed when the bark falls away. There is not much left of the original tree but it still has a role in the forest. Fungi grow on its side, vines encircle it and seeds are left on its surface for a passing squirrel or bird.
Although my eye was drawn to the tall grass it was the field behind it, with its light and colour that completed the scene. All elements equally important. This photo was taken on a perfect fall day last year.
The fungi and vine on the tree trunk formed a very pleasing arrangement. Nature’s artistry. The bark of the tree added texture and detail.
Geese and turtles that is. This old tree still attracts wildlife during the warmer months. Ducks, turtles and geese swim over and sit a while. Though not much of the tree is left standing I love it’s graceful silver arch. I’ve always known it in this spot and hope it continues to stand and provide enjoyment to visitors and wildlife well into the future.
This photo was meant to be a practice shot. One morning while at the reserve, I checked the back of my camera and noticed a lot of the images were out of focus. I hadn’t used my 70-200mm in a while, so I wondered if it was me or if the lens was the problem. I pointed the camera at these leaves (which were perfectly still) and pressed the shutter release. This is the result. Flighty birds taken at too low a speed caused the blurry images. Not my lens😏.
This scene in Quebec, reminded me of black and white postcards I’ve seen in shops selling old prints. The stillness of the lake, the empty chairs waiting for their occupants to arrive, sit a while or take out the canoe. Ah, Summertime!
A few of my recent posts have had river based themes. As I walked by this scene what first caught my eye were the fungi on the fallen log. I had just seen some mushrooms further up the trail and I guess I was on the lookout. But taking in the surroundings, I was again struck by the stillness and the serenity of the scene, so very appealing.
The water is still high along the river. The winter thaw and runoff is a constant in Spring. This part of the province isn’t too badly effected this year although parts of the country are having a very hard time of it. This is about as close as we get to “swamp-like” conditions and like the other images from Hudson, Quebec I featured last week, I was struck by the tranquility of the scene.
I have always loved this old tree. It hangs on by the edge of the lake, battered and scarred but still standing. The graceful curve of its bark forming a waterfall-like reflection in the water and one of its branches forming a jetty. Birds still gather near it, the wood duck and her chicks having a rest for a while.
Early November, before winter has truly set in is a nice time to be at the lake. As the ice begins to form, a fall tableau is revealed under the frozen surface of the water. The park is quiet and expectant, waiting like us all for the long season of cold and snow that’s quickly approaching.
I took this photo in March 2017, the tail end of winter. The snow on the pond had frozen and thawed many times and no longer had the pristine look of new snow. The two Canada Geese had made an early reappearance and as they look towards the shoreline with its bare trees and snow cover you can imagine their regret. This being Canada though, shortly after I took this photo the snow started to melt and other spring migrants began to return.
There is a lot of beautiful countryside not far from Ottawa but it’s rare to get a good vantage point to do landscape photography. There are more highways than gravel roads so it’s difficult to stop the car, get out and set up the shot. I took this photograph last year so I can’t remember exactly where it was was taken. If I could, I’d go back again. The scene was lovely, and it had all the elements of fall in the countryside (minus the cows 🙂 ).
Another set of photographs when fall was bursting with colour. The first photo was taken through the trees. I like the contrast of the dark wood and the leaves against the brilliant blue of the sky. I also spotted this one leaf that had been perfectly placed by the wind. It dressed up an already colourful tree trunk.
These photographs were taken late last month when the leaves were at their peak. The trees were late to change this year and as a result there is still nice colour to enjoy. The reflection in the second photograph was so spectacular that other than a minimal crop and a bit of contrast adjustment, the photo was as taken. I was hoping to photograph birds the day I took these so I had my 70-200mm lens with me. Although not ideal for landscape shots, at 70mm I was pretty pleased with the results.
There’s something about mushrooms and fungi I like! Their curious shapes and colours; their sudden appearance or development over time. In these two examples they were growing in poorly lit areas. In the first photo, exposing for the mushroom brought it to life and gave the background a dark, eerie look. A high ISO in the second allowed me to capture the scene you see here. I wish I had had more opportunities for shots like these, maybe next year.
With so many birds and insects gone for the season, but temperatures still warm enough to enjoy photography, I cast about for different subjects that interest me. As the landscape changes and the colours begin to fade, familiar flowers and trees take on a different appearance. Here are two examples, I will feature more in the coming days.
The early part of October was very mild so the trees have been slow to turn colour although they’re catching up now that the colder weather has arrived. These two photographs were taken mid month as the leaves began to change. As I walk along the trails I look for the sun to direct its light on a solitary leaf or a small grouping as it does in these photos.
I had driven by this old gated lot many times before but hadn’t paid it much attention. We were returning from a neighbourhood street festival one day and walked by on our way home. I was struck by these wildflowers pushing through the gate and stopped to take a photograph. I wanted the attention of the viewer to focus on the centre of the photograph. To do this I used an adjustment layer in Photoshop to lower the brightness of the stone, and then again for the entire photo. Finally I painted back some brightness in the flower and lock to make them stand out from the background.
There weren’t many birds around as we walked through the park and most of the fall leaves had faded and fallen. As I looked about I came across the first scene. I couldn’t have made a better arrangement myself than this naturally formed still life. The autumn light enhanced it all. The leaf in the second photo wasn’t easily given up by the tree. I liked the way the leaves in the background mirrored its colour.