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.
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!
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.
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.
These common sparrows are often found in groups. You might appreciate their song but don’t often really consider them. This little sparrow enjoying the water on a hot day didn’t mind my presence, so I took the opportunity to admire him and take some shots.
The wind carves out the snow in waves. A pretty sight made more so by the cardinal that wandered into the frame. Although bright and solid the bird looked a little lost in all that white.
I didn’t have to travel far to see this Easter Island statue. In fact it was the first of several replicas I saw in this downtown neighbourhood. I had to smile when I saw it peering over the grass as I approached the house.
Another cheerful summer memory. We’ve reached the half way point of winter but it’s still too cold to get out with my camera. I’m waiting for +0 C temperatures. If and when that ever happens I’ll be out there😏.
This cute little rodent is a relative of the mouse and is commonly called a vole or field mouse. It’s the only one I’ve ever seen and I was able to take a number of photographs as he was unaware of or unconcerned by my presence. He might have been a young animal that had not yet developed a sense of fear. I watched him for a while and then left him to his ramble.
I always look out for these birds on my walks through the woods. They’re usually found along the path often flying away just as you put the camera up to your eye. These photos were taken in the spring and summer but chickadees are around all year and a little easier to photograph in the winter when they’re looking to be fed.
I live in Ottawa, the capitol city that is often ranked the coldest in the world. It’s hard to believe that only a few short months ago the nearby fields were covered in flowers. Here’s a sweet reminder of what’s to come.
Nothing compares with ducks for their natural enthusiasm! Ducks appear frequently on my blog and mallards most often, as they are the most common duck (and bird) in this area. We have more exotic avian visitors during the warmer months but for dependability, good looks and charm mallards are my pick.
I featured this bee on my blog earlier in the year, although this is a different image. Opportunities for photos like these are scarce these days, given it’s -21C with windchill! It’s going to be a long winter………….
Montreal’s Metro or subway was built for Expo ’67, The 1967 International and Universal Exposition which the city hosted marking Canada’s centenary. Over the years the system has been expanded and is a quick and efficient way to get around town. As we descended into the station a train had just pulled in and so was my interest, attracted by the lines and colours and shadows. I rather like it in black and white as well. Something different for a change.
I’ve sat on this image for quite a while, not sure whether to post it or not. I usually like to crop closer in to my subject(s) but in this case, I decided to focus on the rugged terrain and the challenging conditions these painted turtles face at our local reserve. I assume they made it safely across but I had to be somewhere that afternoon so I couldn’t wait around to find out😊.
I watched as this mallard trod carefully on a fine sheen of ice that had formed on the lake. It was late afternoon and I was taken by the light. At this time of the year no matter how grey and wet the day the golden hour truly is golden.
An attractive little bird, it landed close by and remained long enough for me to photograph it. This was taken in early spring, and it’s a migrant species. I believe it’s a phoebe, but please correct me if I’ve got it wrong.
Trilliums appear in our woods in spring and have a relatively long growing season, blooming through April and May. It’s another species that is supposed to be quite common yet I haven’t seen them that often. On this occasion they were dotted along the pathway, ours to enjoy.
I hadn’t been to our local reserve in a while so I was particularly happy to see this Red-breasted nuthatch close to the entrance. A bit smaller than the white-breasted variety and not as numerous in our woods, this little guy was very active, flying and landing briefly in the surrounding trees. A nice start to our walk.
The warm weather is long gone in these parts but a quick look through my photo catalogues brought to light these summer delights. The colours, scents and quality of light for a few short months each year make any walk, at any time, a pleasure.