I was surprised to see these crocus growing in a friend’s garden. It’s a flower I thought only grew in the spring, often pushing through the melting snow. For a second there I thought we had skipped winter and gone directly into spring 😏.
This photo was taken late last October. I remember being surprised at how green the leaf was while the rest of the landscape looked like the frost had done its work. Although it’s still summer here I know that scenes like this aren’t far off.
These mallards were enjoying a quiet swim away from the noisy raft of ducks closer to shore. This was another image from last fall that I found on an old memory card.
You can see how the muskrat got its name. It has quite the tail. Like the beaver the muskrat uses its tail as a rudder and slaps it when it senses danger. They are terrific swimmers and when they dive it’s difficult to determine where they will resurface.
A gardener friend introduced me to these insects a few years ago. She had seen a hummingbird moth at a nursery and I joined her the next time she went. I saw one that day and most summers since. Hovering as they go from flower to flower they do live up to their name.
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.
Queen Anne’s Lace is a flower I enjoy seeing and photographing. It grows alongside other wild flowers and grasses which makes for interesting compositions and it’s such a fine looking flower all on its own.
Another sure sign of summer are cabbage white butterflies. Their caterpillars are rough on gardeners but as adults they feed on nectar and are a pleasure to see. Unlike many butterflies, they fly slowly between the flowers and seem to linger longer than most.
Just a walk in the park, actually a photo from a walk I took at the Dominion Arboretum, located on 64 acres of land in the city of Ottawa. You can’t see an offshoot of the Rideau Canal because the vegetation was so thick it hid it. A spot I hope to return to soon.
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.
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.
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.
It’s fun to wander down some of the laneways in town. They often run several city blocks. I sometimes catch a glimpse of a garden, back stoop or garage and there’s always plenty of sun and greenery. The dogs in the backyards are friendly too, they rarely bark as I pass by.
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.
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. 😊
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 😊).
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.
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.
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.
Staring at the countryside speeding past my window, I took a few photos with my cell phone. I’m not familiar with my phone camera, and I was a considerable distance from the farm but the countryside was beautiful and I wanted to capture what I saw.
This building once housed a tavern built in 1909, it’s now a fine restaurant. Over a side door, it has retained a sign from a time when women required an escort to enter a bar. Another find on a walk through the city.
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.
A toy shop in Montreal. Walking along a street with not a chain store in sight, I stopped to admire the window and smiled as I took the photograph.
I took this photo in late fall, one of my last sightings of wood ducks for the year. I would have liked it if there was less distance between the ducks, but with water like this I couldn’t really complain.
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.
The downy woodpecker landed in the nearby tree. I kept an eye on it, as it kept an eye on a nearby feeder until the larger birds flew off. One of several woodpeckers we see year round.
A scene like this works wonders on a snowy day, a bit of “duck relief”. Mallards always make for good photography subjects and the photo brought back a bit of summer.
The frog is well camouflaged! A little trade secret – I added a vignette to darken the background and a radial dial to brighten his face, both Lightroom edits. A fine subject, nicely placed, the photo just needed a bit of fine tuning to do this handsome fellow justice.
This is another photo of the female red-winged blackbird I featured a few days ago. It was a hot day and the bird found a shady spot to rest. We usually see the first of these birds return to our region in late March. The males announce their arrival with noisy song.
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.
I’ve featured quite a few photos of red squirrels. I find them very attractive, for their looks and lively temperament. This one was enjoying a snack by a well stocked feeder. The birds often scatter a lot of seeds on the ground, leaving tasty leftovers for the taking.
The painted turtle was soaking up the sun on a fine summer morning. Often they crowd together on the same log. This one chose a solitary perch.
A weathered barn in a field of wild flowers. One of the pleasures of a country drive. I’m fortunate that the city I live in encompasses a lot of rural farmland, a short drive from the concrete and high rises.
Daisies are some of our earlier wild flowers, sunflowers appear later in the summer and last long into the fall. They are both members of the same family of plants, Asteraceae, which I look forward to seeing when the warm weather returns.
A bit too cold for photography lately. I pulled this photo from my summer files. It was taken in August when everything was at its brightest and most colourful. A bit of cheer on this cold December day.
The weather today is cold, grey and wet. I thought a scene like this was a good antidote. The duckling was exploring his new surroundings. There are a lot of predators of these young birds and I wished it well as I walked along.