BELINDA GROVER PHOTOGRAPHY

STOPS ALONG THE WAY


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HOODED MERGANSER

MerganserWe 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.


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MONARCHS (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

MonarchsLast 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.

Monarchs-2


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WILD CHILD OR CITY BRED (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

IrisThe 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.

Iris-2


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OFF COURSE

DownyFar 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.


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WATCHFUL DUCK

Mallard 2This 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.


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MALLARD ON THE MOVE

MallardYou’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 😊).


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FAN DANCER (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

Goldfinch-2As 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.

Goldfinch


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BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON

BCNH-2When 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.

BCNH


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TO EVERY SEASON (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

Queen Anne'sLace

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!

Queen Anne's Lace- 2


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DRAGONFLIES (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS

DragonfliesWhen 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.

Dragonflies-2


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PILEATED WOODPECKER

Pileated WoodpeckerThe 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.


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SNAPPING TURTLE

TurtleThe 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.


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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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RING-BILLED GULLS (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

Ring billed gullsThese 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. 🎂

Ring billed gulls-2


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ANTICIPATION (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

ChickadeesThe 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.

Chickadees-2


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SILVER-SPOTTED SKIPPER

SkipperI 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.


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SINGLE SPARROW

SparrowThese 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.


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AROUND THE CORNER (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

Easter Island Head_-2I 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.

Easter Island Head_

 


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IT’S ALL RELATIVE (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

Vole

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.

Vole 2


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CHICKADEE CHEER (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

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.


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SERVING OF SUMMER (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

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.


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TOP OF THE WORLD (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

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.


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GIVE ME A BEE

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………….


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METRO (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

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.


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AFTER YOU

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😊.


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MALLARD IN LATE FALL

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.


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WHAT’S IN A NAME

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.


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PRETTY IN PINK (AND WHITE) – TWO PHOTOGRAPHS

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.


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RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH

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.


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SUMMER DELIGHT (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

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.