Another frog, this one near the shore of a nearby lake. This spot attracts a lot of small frogs each summer. They blend in so well that I usually stop a while, and listen for a splash or just get lucky and spot one.
I haven’t seen too many Baltimore Orioles so it was a pleasure to photograph this bird, feeding on the nectar of these flowers. They are among the many migrants to our area each spring.
I took a break from aiming at warblers high in the pine trees when I saw the wood duck. I don’t often see these birds on land and thought the background made for an interesting photo. (I don’t think anyone with me noticed the wood duck, as they had their eyes trained on the quick darting warblers.)
A bit of cheer brought to you by this handsome pair. This bridge is a nice place to stop and look around to see where the locals are. Cardinals are usually pretty skittish but these two weren’t. Lucky for me.
There’s a little pond in a wildlife garden we go to that has several resident leopard frogs. I always check the pond when we first get there and again when we leave. Most times the frogs hardly budge, so I can always take a few more photos.
The log was a popular spot for both turtles and ducks that day, crowded but room for everyone. I love scenes like these. A good lesson for us all!
I took these photos early last fall. It was a good year for these brilliantly coloured bees. The first was taken in the woods and the second in a neighbourhood garden, both with my 300 mm lens, which I often use for close ups like these. It keeps me at a comfortable distance from stinging insects although these bees are usually too busy feeding to pay me any attention.
If you follow my blog you’ll know that I’m pretty partial to mallards. I never get tired of photographing them. Unlike their more flashy cousins, many are here year round, always ready for a close up or group photo. Good looking ducks full of personality.
I took this photo early last Spring. The bee was slowly warming up on the lily; the air is still quite cool in the early morning and all insects need a little heat to keep flying.
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.
The Great Blue Heron in the first photo was taken at our local reserve. I saw the second bird at a city park close to the river. The heron at the reserve was looking for lunch, while the second heron had already found his; the unlucky frog in his beak.
A chickadee from last spring. Usually at this point, I’m at the reserve looking out for early spring migrants. This year, it’s different for everyone. So for the time being I’ll be posting photos I took earlier last year.
It was nice to see this goldfinch in plain view, it was in no hurry at all. They are often just flashes of colour, flying away as I approach. Not that day though.
We don’t see many hooded mergansers. When we do, they’re usually too far away to get a decent photo. This female was closer to shore than usual, she was on her own, no other ducks in sight. When she saw me, she swam away but I did manage to get this parting shot.
The lake has a lot of fallen trees that form ledges in the water. The mallard found a footing to dry off after a swim. It was late fall, and the water reflected the leaden sky. The ducks added the colour that day.
Last year was a terrific one for butterflies; monarchs and painted ladies seemed to be everywhere. Monarchs were a particular pleasure as we hadn’t seen too many in recent years. I took these in September, shortly they would begin their migration to central Mexico.
I’ve photographed many red squirrels but I’ve never seen one with such striking highlights before. Perhaps it was the light and shadow that day. A fine little guy, enjoying his snack.
A female red-winged blackbird taken last spring. A bit of cheer and a reminder that as dire as things might be right now, things will turn around and when they do, the trails and reserves will welcome us back.
On a cold day, I noticed the mourning dove high up in the tree puffed up against the cold. Although many migrate in winter, the nearby feeder in the wildlife garden was a drawing card for this bird and many others.
I took a lot of dragonfly photographs last June. They tend to emerge in bursts and you see them everywhere. I particularly like to watch them when they land on lily pads and turn slowly towards the sun. They look like mini helicopters.
The first photo was taken at our favourite reserve. We see a few irises along the water’s edge every June. The second photo was taken in a neighbourhood garden. The cultivated irises are beautiful but I prefer the more subtle colour of the wild flower. And though it looks delicate, it really can’t be as it thrives in this natural setting.
I imagine that somewhere, people are enjoying the sight of tulips and daffodils. Ours make an appearance mid-Spring. I took this photo at Ottawa’s Annual Tulip Festival. I never miss it!
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. 😊
Far from any green space, we stopped to photograph this downy woodpecker on a busy street. The management of the office tower had just planted trees outside and the bird decided to investigate. Office workers rushed by and no one else seemed to notice the downy at work.
Frogs blend into their surroundings so well that unless you see them move or spot one in the open, they are difficult to find. I think the leopard frog is a very good looking frog, and this one sparkled. 😊
This mallard was standing on a log, staring in my direction as I walked along a bridge that crossed a pond. I couldn’t back up and I was using a 300mm lens so I just took the shot. I was glad I did, it was one of my last duck photos of the year.
This little wood duck has appeared on my blog before, this photo caught it slightly differently. It’s still a while before the adults return and form pairs and several more months before we see sights like this again.
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.
You’re never alone in the woods. There’s a well trodden path in the reserve that sees a lot of foot traffic, both human and duck. Looking around we often see a mallard following us (or maybe just enjoying a walk too 😊).
As we were about to leave the park after several hours in the field, we saw a flash of yellow by the side of the road. The goldfinch was feasting on the seeds of the dried flower. As he moved the fluff would separate forming a fan around him.
When the Black-crowned night herons first return in the spring, we usually spot them high up in the trees. If we see one at the water’s edge it usually takes flight. The one pictured here was photographed later in the season and the fishing was good. It looked up to stare at us and then continued about its business.
By late March, the ground begins to thaw and the ice starts to melt on the waterways. We’ll be outside with our cameras, enjoying the beginning of spring. I live in a country of contrasts – the snow and ice of winter giving way to the warmer days that follow!
This flower is an annual, native to North America, and often grows close to a water source. Every summer I see it growing by a small pond in a wonderful tangled mass of colour.
When I took the photograph of this mating pair, I didn’t notice the other insects in the frame until I downloaded the image. I did a larger crop to show the damselfly on the far left, and a few other hangers-on on the tree stump. It was a busy time of year for these insects.
The pileated woodpecker, native to North America is also its largest woodpecker. We heard the bird excavating the tree before we saw it. These loud, colourful birds populate our woods year round although we see them most often in April, as they begin nest building, and into the fall. Other animals benefit from their home construction. As these woodpeckers nest only once in the same tree, other birds and animals will often move in and feed on the insects the woodpecker has disturbed.
The snapping turtle surfaced from the murky water as I stood on a viewing platform. I thought it was quite young given its size but with all the algae on its shell I’m not so sure. This small lake has three kinds of turtles, the snapper growing the largest. After a long winter of hibernation deep in the mud, we’ll see them again when the ice melts in spring.
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.
These medium sized gulls are sociable birds and opportunistic feeders. Ring-billed gulls often congregate in large numbers so I was surprised to see these two on their own. The first photo is of a breeding adult, the second is a non-breeding gull. I’m not overly fond of gulls but seeing them close up, they can be admired for their bearing and striking eyes.
On another note, this is the 4th Anniversary of my blog. 🎂
The photograph was taken in late fall just before the first snowfall. The chickadee stopped for a moment but seemed on alert as he perched on the tree branch. Although the trees were bare, the bird and the forest floor provided nice dabs of colour on that grey November day.
I usually see more orange skippers than the silver-spotted variety shown here. I was pleased to spot this one though, he was as perfect an example as you could hope for. I like to keep my photos as natural as possible and the butterfly made that easy. I cropped in a bit and added some contrast and that about did it.