There is something special to me about walking through fields like these in summer. The colours and smells and sounds never, ever disappoint. So much to see and photograph.
With most of us homebound, it struck me how much kids used to enjoy playing with toys like these. They just needed a bit of space and imagination. Nothing fancy, no screens in sight. I took the photo at a fair last year. I didn’t adjust the colour, the toys are a bit garish but that was part of their attraction.
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.
We visited one of Ottawa’s water filtration plants at a Doors Open event last summer. The Lemieux Island Water Purification Plant opened in 1932 and is a wonderful limestone structure with fine brass work and marble galleries. I’ve visited several times and can’t help but be impressed by the beauty of a building that houses a public utility.
Looking out the window, in an older section of Montreal, you can see a mix of low rise and taller buildings surrounded by a lot of greenery. Towards the back and centre of the frame, a nine story mural of Leonard Cohen, caught my attention. The mural is one of two in Montreal commemorating the life of Leonard Cohen; Montreal born, singer-songwriter, poet and author who died in 2016.
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.
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.
The Chateau Laurier, an iconic hotel in Ottawa’s Parliament district was built in the Gothic Revival style between 1909 and 1912. It was commissioned by the Grand Trunk Railway and designated a national historic site in 1980. In the first photo you see it reflected in the window of the Senate of Canada (the former Union Station). The second photo provides a view of the hotel taken from a park just behind it.
Tall buildings and architectural features aren’t my usual photo subjects. But it’s nice to try new things with my photography which are as much a part of my environment as the woods I love to walk. The sky peering through the towers is still a nod to nature.
The powerful base of The Old Union Station, (now the Senate of Canada), a building I walk by often is impressive for its form and detail.
People with backyard feeders tell me they often have blue jays visit their feeders. Living in the city and having no backyard, my sightings are in the woods and far less frequent. The bird’s noisy call usually alerts me to its presence as it did so here. The jay stopped for a minute amid the fall colours.
These frogs can be grey, brown or green. This one was a lovely shade of green. I’ve heard them calling a few times but had never seen one close up. A friend was focused on a patch of sunflowers as we approached and he pointed to this well camouflaged frog. They overwinter under leaf litter and snow.
I watched the sparrow as it paused on the edge of the pond and then walked about. This pond is a favourite of frogs too and attracts other birds and insects during the course of the summer. The sparrow is an energetic little bird with striking colouring. Always fun to photograph.