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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Another insect post. I miss these vibrant summer colours. We see a lot of white and grey in the winter but when the sun does shine, the sky never looked bluer.
These beetles tend to climb on long grass stalks which make for an attractive background and gather in groups too so photo opportunities are abundant.
The reserve we go to has both beavers and muskrats although muskrats are more common. This muskrat was gliding silently through the water in among the reeds. Interesting fact – muskrats are more closely related to voles than to beavers and their tail is more like a rat tail as you can see in the photo.