BELINDA GROVER PHOTOGRAPHY

STOPS ALONG THE WAY


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PICNIC IN THE PARK

This grey squirrel was tucking in as I passed. A felled tree makes a nice surface for dining and hikers often leave seeds and nuts for birds and squirrels, particularly in the colder months. I was glad to see that this diner was well fed.

 


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CHIPMUNK (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

I think this was a young chipmunk as it stayed quite close and watched me as I took some photographs of him. Young animals seem quite curious, this one was. I hope it grows up quickly because there’s a lot of danger lurking nearby.


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MUSKRAT

Muskrat

I haven’t returned to the reserve where this was taken at all this year. There are just too many people. In looking through my folders, I came upon this photo I took a few years ago.  We usually see a few muskrats each summer and that year was no exception.  They can be tricky subjects as their wet fur often reflects odd colours.


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ALL EYES

Squirrel

While walking through the woods if you feel eyes on you, chances are one of these characters is watching you approach. Sometimes the squirrel will run off but often it will remain and and fix you with a look, like this one did.


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FINE COMPANY (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

DogWalker-2As I was leaving a store, this sight greeted me across the street. This lot was pretty relaxed but I still was impressed at the way the dog walker handled all the dogs at once.
I grew up with a West Highland Terrier and can never resist stopping to have a look at one or take a photo if my camera is handy.

DogWalker


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EASY LIVING

Red SquirrelIn mid summer, the living is easy for animals in our local reserve. At least it’s easier for this red squirrel than it is now with the approach of winter. The squirrels were busy in the fall hiding their winter provisions. This along with people feeding them, will help them make do until spring.


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GROUNDHOG (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

Groundhog-2This groundhog was taken from a distance which might explain his confidant stare. Normally they run away or stand motionless hoping to blend in to their surroundings. This is a city groundhog, I found his burrow close to a water treatment plant. A lucky find indeed.

Groundhog


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EASTERN COTTONTAIL

Cottontails are known to come out at twilight or once it’s dark when it’s safer for them to feed, although I spot them during the day from time to time. Cottontails are solitary and territorial and I’ve never seen more than one at any one time. I  approached this rabbit slowly. He was curious but didn’t seem wary of me. I took a quick photo and left him to the spring grass.


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RED SQUIRRELS (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

The first photo was taken in the fall and the second barely a month later; the landscape changes rapidly with the seasons. Red squirrels can be found all year long and seem to shadow you in the winter when food is scarce. In the photo below the squirrel found the seeds that someone had left and stayed put as I approached. I didn’t want to disturb him, so I took this photo and then left him to his meal.

 


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IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

Walking along in the Ottawa market area, a crowd was gathered around a very small convertible. As we approached we could see why. This wonderful Great Dane sat calmly in the front seat waiting for his owner to finish his shopping. The dog was riding in style on this pleasant November day. Once the snow arrives he’ll have to hit the pavement again, being way too big to fit in this tiny car.


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CAT IN THE WINDOW

The cat was a perfect advertisement for this animal groomer. It sat so still that at first I wasn’t certain if it was a figurine or real. It was staring straight ahead and ignored me completely as I set up the shot, a very cooperative subject. As the weather cools off and many birds head south I plan to do more street photography. I get to practice using my Fuji and there’s always a warm coffee shop close by!


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RED SQUIRREL (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

They are our smallest squirrels and yet the most assertive of the lot. It’s funny to see red squirrels chase the larger greys around the park. I’m not sure if it’s because they’re territorial or they just enjoy it. Maybe it’s a bit of both. This little guy was giving me the eye, I blinked first and moved along.


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CHIPMUNK

We’ve seen more chipmunks than usual this summer. Two reasons for this I imagine – their food sources are plentiful and we’ve seen fewer of their natural enemies in the woods, hawks and owls. This little guy was enjoying a snack and judging from his full cheeks hadn’t finished consuming an earlier one.


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ONE FOR DINNER (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

Raccoons will eat practically anything, in this case the raccoon was eating some feed that had been left for the birds and squirrels. He was having a fine time of it as we approached along the trail. I have never encountered a raccoon this close up before or one so well fed and relaxed. He ate happily and only left when someone else came along.


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CHIPMUNK (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

We don’t see too many chipmunks anymore. They’re outnumbered by red and grey squirrels. I was happy to see this little fellow enjoying his cracker with no competition from the bigger guys. It looks like his snack just fell out of a picnic basket, his for the asking.


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I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU

It was a warm day in September and a street festival was going on in the neighbourhood. This women and her dog were taking a break from the heat. She was distracted by her phone but the dog’s attention was undivided. I love spotting people out with their pets enjoying the city and each other’s company and I always keep an eye out for scenes like this.


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SPRING COTTONTAIL

I came across this rabbit as he was feeding on winter grass that was slowly coming back to life. We spotted each other at about the same time. As I was moving quietly and gave him plenty of space he watched me for a few moments and then went back to his meal. I took a few photos and then left him to it.


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WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

It was mid March last year when I took this photo. A long winter was drawing to a close and more people were out in the woods enjoying the milder weather and bearing gifts for the locals. This squirrel was enjoying the bounty and neither this photographer nor any competition was going to move him along.


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RED AND GREY (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

Both of these squirrels are well represented in our woods. The red squirrel looked like a young one, relaxed as he ate his snack. Maybe he thought I couldn’t see him with the branches providing a bit of cover. The black eastern grey squirrels are more common here than the grey variety and he was more on the alert than the red.


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MEADOW VOLE (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

Like many kids growing up, I loved The “Wind in the Willows” by Kenneth Grahame. This gentle looking meadow vole reminded me of this childhood favourite. We stood and watched as it munched its way along the lakefront, not giving us a second look. We were lucky to see one as they’re mainly active at night.


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PATIENCE

I can’t resist a shot like this. Every dog seems to strike the same pose when waiting for its owner to emerge from a shop. It sits and stares towards the shop with a singular concentration. A bit expectant, a bit anxious and full of longing.


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WINTER WOODS

Red squirrels are shyer than grey squirrels except in winter when food is scarce. They watch you closely as you walk along hoping for a snack. I had nothing with me that day and felt kind of badly as I did my rounds. Someone ahead of me had left a trail of seeds and nuts though and it wasn’t long before the squirrel was eating his fill.


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SPRING COTTONTAIL (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

We came upon this cottontail in a less travelled area of the park. They usually freeze in place when they see us (which this one did) or run away. The rabbit must have been pretty pleased with this patch of grass because he held his ground. We took a few photographs and then left him to his lunch.


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RED SQUIRRELS (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

The calendar indicates it’s still fall but it sure looks like winter in the first photo. The second shot was taken in the same location in mid-Spring. It’s tough going for these little guys right now. I hope their stockpiles of food hold out, augmented by kindly passersby.


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RED SQUIRREL

Red Squirrels are pretty bold with other squirrels. Although much smaller than the greys they often chase them around. In this case the squirrel stood his ground and kept eating as I took his picture. He never took his eyes off me but didn’t budge either.


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YOUNG RED SQUIRREL (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

By this time in May we usually see a lot of young birds in the woods and on the water. Given the below normal temperatures in our area and heavy spring flooding the natural cycle has been delayed by a few weeks. Squirrels don’t seem to have been effected though as we’ve some young about. This young squirrel wasn’t scared off by my presence. He kept an eye on me but held his ground (and his nut) while I photographed him. I took a few shots and then I left him to it.


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RASCALLY RABBIT

The path we were on led to a field bordered by some underbrush. While looking around, this Cottontail appeared. At first it froze in place and then not bothered by our presence continued feeding; glancing in our direction from time to time. I thought it must have been rather young and trusting to react this way. I took a few shots before he decided to move along.


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MOVE OVER

The air was cool but the sun was nice and warm and the painted turtles were out in force. In this sheltered little bay every log was host to crowds of turtles. The spring melt has flooded parts of the park and we had to wade through shin high water to get to the little bridge that overlooked the turtles. What a sight they were for winter weary eyes.