Although quite common, I’ve only seen a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker once, a few years ago. They are fairly small and beautifully patterned woodpeckers. We heard the bird hammering away at a tree and followed the sound. It was busy feeding and wasn’t at all bothered by our presence.
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.
I was surprised to see these crocus growing in a friend’s garden. It’s a flower I thought only grew in the spring, often pushing through the melting snow. For a second there I thought we had skipped winter and gone directly into spring 😏.
The metallic bee goes by several names, the least attractive being sweat bee which doesn’t do it justice. This one is a female, as its able to carry pollen on its back legs, the male is not. Their season is drawing to a close so it was nice to catch sight of just one more this year.
This is another photo taken late last fall. The water has a flat murky look and the only real colour is the mallard which also looks a bit muted in tone and expression.
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.
Most flowers are not as vibrant as they were earlier in the summer but they still hold a special beauty.
The swallowtail was flitting from flower to flower when I caught it in flight looking my way. It lingered for quite a while and so did I.
A took this photograph in a friend’s garden in mid-August. She told me its name which I’ve forgotten but I believe it’s a member of the orchid family. A summer beauty.
It was nice to catch the mourning dove tilting its head. I thought it made for a more interesting photo. I learned that they exist in large numbers and are prolific breeders which is a good thing, as they’re heavily hunted in North America. Their name is derived from their rather plaintive call.
Different male cardinals, photographed on the same day. Both birds are moulting although the first bird looks somewhat rougher than the second. I took these photos last year about this time. The breeding season is now past, food is plentiful and even the birds get to chill for a bit. 😊
You can see how the muskrat got its name. It has quite the tail. Like the beaver the muskrat uses its tail as a rudder and slaps it when it senses danger. They are terrific swimmers and when they dive it’s difficult to determine where they will resurface.
The woods were quiet, no squirrels about. This usually means there’s an owl or hawk nearby. Sure enough we saw this Screech Owl comfortably perched in the cavity of a tree. What did surprise me was the agitated chickadee flying close to the dozing owl. Brave or reckless, I couldn’t decide.
I was looking at some Queen Anne’s Lace in the garden and saw this single flower off to the side. It seemed to be floating, suspended in mid air. A little garden gem.
I found this image on a memory card that was in a camera I hadn’t picked up in months. It was like finding something you had forgotten about in a coat pocket. The cooler days aren’t here yet but scenes like these are fast approaching.
It’s been a very hot dry summer. After just a bit of rain, a few mushrooms are starting to appear. I spotted these two in deep shade. Even at ISO 1000 my depth of field was a bit narrow. This rather ordinary subject is always challenging fun.
I took these photos from a floating bridge. I was using a long lens, the duck was close by and I couldn’t put much distance between me and the duck. I would have liked more but you can’t really go wrong with a subject like this.
Orange hawkweed is considered a weed but it produces a lovely flower and it grows just about anywhere. It’s also favoured by honeybees so it can’t be all bad!
A lot of old homes in my neighbourhood have wrought iron fences with flowers peaking through the gaps. The grass is always greener…
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.
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.
I feature chickadees quite often. They’re seen frequently and are always up for a photograph. You have to be quick though because they don’t sit still very long.
Painted turtles always look grumpy. In doing a bit of reading, I’ve discovered that they are a species of Special Concern here in Ontario. Cars and habitat loss are their main threats. Painted turtles are also slow to mature and only lay a small clutch of eggs. If just a few die the whole turtle population can be impacted. I now see why they look so grumpy.
It was a cloudy day and the woodpecker was well off the path. I chose to do little to edit the photo as I liked the mood created by the overcast day and the tree branches in the background.
A gardener friend introduced me to these insects a few years ago. She had seen a hummingbird moth at a nursery and I joined her the next time she went. I saw one that day and most summers since. Hovering as they go from flower to flower they do live up to their name.
This little beetle is always on the move which makes taking their photo a bit of a sport. If you see one on a plant, wait a minute and you’ll probably see a few more. A good thing too, as it means you get more than one chance to take a photo.
This must be a young one, as I’ve never seen a leopard frog this tiny before. It was nestled comfortably and remained on the vegetation as I took the photo.
The chickadee, about to tuck into his snack, was at quite a distance from me but still in range. It’s nice to photograph birds and other animals when they’re engaged in some activity, or as in this case, about to be.
I hadn’t remembered taking this mauve poppy last year and found it when I was searching for a photo to post. I still prefer red poppies but the mauve has a delicate beauty all its own.
Our woods, roadsides and gardens abound in these daisies throughout the summer. The mimic fly was on a common daisy while the fleabane stood on its own. Both attract pollinators but only one did that day.
I took the top photo last fall when the leaves were beginning to fade, I couldn’t miss the cardinal though he was at quite a distance. The photo below of the female cardinal was taken earlier in the summer.
I’ve never seen a monarch feeding so intently before. It would have been nice if it had turned slightly but I caught its beautiful colours and its position added interest.
Summer is short here, a whole lot of living has to be done in a brief period of time. True for many creatures, particularly damselflies. Normally skittish but not on this day.
Wood Ducks arrive every spring like clockwork and last year was no exception. The reserve we go to has a good number of these ducks and the lake has many coves to catch a quiet moment 😊.
Female Wood Ducks are less colourful than the male, but equally good looking. I took this photo last fall when the autumn colours were at their height. The birds swam into the reflection and I took the shot.
I look forward to seeing wildflowers each summer. They are hardy and don’t need special conditions to grow: just some soil, water and sunshine, and a few pollinators. Left undisturbed, that’s about it.
I’m more accustomed to seeing orange skippers (the Least or European) in my area so I was pleased to see this new variety. As the summer progresses, many butterflies linger as they feed and don’t seem to be bothered by the passing photographer.
I do enjoy walking alongside meadows. In June, lupines are a common sight and shine like gems in the grass.
My eye was on the tortoiseshell butterfly, I didn’t see the bee at first. This was the first and only time I’ve seen this kind of butterfly. It’s interesting to see more than one insect on a plant at once, a bit of drama at play. In the end the butterfly blinked first and moved on.
I saw quite a few sulphurs last year, all within the span of a few days. We were walking along some flower beds in a botanical garden hoping to see some painted lady butterflies. The day was a bonanza of butterflies, we saw three different kinds, including the sulphur.