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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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😏.
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.
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.
We had been running some errands and I brought a 50 mm lens with me, thinking if the opportunity arose… When we had finished, we weren’t far from a small woodland area and had a look around. The colours along the path were beautiful and I stopped for a few shots. I was particularly happy to see some mushrooms. They were the first ones I’d seen in decent shape after the hot dry summer. The rain has finally caught up with us now. I hope there’s still a bit of fall foliage remaining once the wet and wind taper off and that I have a wide angle lens with me next time.