Monthly Archives: April 2015

“Mink on York River II” – York River, near Bancroft, Ontario

Mink on York River

This is the second shot of this little fellow. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I was walking along the York River, planning on  taking some long exposure shots of the rapids when this mink appeared among the rocks. He tried real hard to avoid me seeing him and I found myself dodging and weaving between the rocks to get a clear shot of him. At one point he even went into the rapids and was briefly washed downstream, where he eventually came to shore (that’s why he’s wet). Fortunately for me, my wife, who was also along for the photo shoot, happened to be on the shore and that forced him to come back towards me. After lots of hide-and-seek, he eventually popped his head up long enough for me to get this shot of him, before he disappeared for good.

It is so nice to see wildlife around me and to be able to share those moments and experiences through photography.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm
1/60 sec @ f/3.0, ISO 200

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“Coltsfoot” – Duffins Creek, near Whitevale, Ontario

This plant is, from my experience, the first plant to flower in spring in southern Ontario. It’s also a signal for me that the Rainbow Trout spawn is starting.

It’s an unusual plant in that it blooms before it puts out foliage. The bright yellow flowers, that people often mistake for dandelions, form quickly on tough brown stalks and then go to seed. Shortly thereafter, large hoof shaped leaves form, thus the name.

Nikon D300
Nikor 70-300 mm @ 250mm
1/550 sec @ f/5.6, ISO 250

“Raft at Dawn” Marble Lake, Bancroft

Raft at Dawn - Marble Lake

I have reflected on this photo many times. It was made one foggy morning in late September 2014. It was a cool morning and the air hung thick with fog and the feeling of change that comes at this time of year. I decided to go for a walk down to the lake shore. Through the fog, you could see the blue sky emerging, revealing shreds of clouds not typical of this time of year. On the lake, the swimming raft seemed to float in mid-air, the fog obscuring the line between water and air and a faint outline of the distant shore was barely discernible in the distance. The photo feels dream-like; somewhat haunting, yet peaceful. It represents transition, between the water and the sky, as well as the transition from summer to fall. It’s one of those photos that draws me in and causes me to see that there is more to it than first impressions would reveal.

Nikon D300
Tamron 17-50 mm f/2.8 @17 mm
1/500 @ f/9.0, ISO 800

“Reservoir Poplars” – Stouffville Reservoir

“Reservoir Poplars” - Stouffville Reservoir

Yet another tree abstraction. I’ve walked past these poplars many times, and every time, the light is a bit different or the foliage in the background has changed, every so slightly. This photo was made on Saturday as I went for a walk around our local reservoir. On this particular visit, the trees and undergrowth are not yet in bud and the bright red of the Red-Osier Dogwood shows clearly to the lower left, while the bright green of the cedars glows in the background. There is still a reminder that winter is not long past in the dull grey-brown of the ground at the base of the poplars.

Nikon D300
Nikor 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 70 mm
1/4 sec @f/32, ISO 200

“End of the Day” – Memorial Park, Stouffville

"End of the Day" - Stouffville Sunset

On returning from a late day walk last summer, I looked up and saw this unique view of the sunset in Stouffville’s Memorial Park. The sun was just setting and the silhouette of the leaves against the setting sun got my interest. I’m always pleasantly surprised at the beauty all around us, whether grand mountain vistas or a simple tree in a park. You just have to be able to see it. This was a nice way to wind down from the day.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm
1/320 sec @ f/9, ISO 200

“Pine Cone Gall on Sandbank Willow” – Whitevale, Ontario

“Pine Cone Gall on Sanbank Willow” - Whitevale, Ontario

Pinecones on willows? I keep seeing these pin cone-like structures on the ends of sandbank willow branches along Duffins creek and always wondered what they were. They actually are not a natural part of the willow, but rather, the homes of Pinecone Willow Gall-midges (Rhabdophaga strobiloides). These midges secrete a chemical that forces the willow to create these pinecone-like pods to provide the midges food and shelter. The adult midge lays its eggs in the terminal bud of the plant in the early spring and the willow begins to form the pods. The larval infection does not seem to have any adverse effects on the willow. In fact, some of the ‘infected’ branches look larger than the non-infected ones. Bio-chemistry in the insect world!

I did notice that some of the pods have burst open into what looks like a dried flower. Nature is truly amazing. I’ll have to pay closer attention to these next time I’m out.

Nikon D300
Nikor 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 140 mm
1/160 sec @ f/7.1, ISO 250

“Rainbow Trout Jump” – Whitevale Dam, Pickering , Ontario

“Rainbow Trout Jump” - Whitevale Dam, Pickering , Ontario

With the weather turning warmer in Ontario, I thought today would be a nice day to take a walk along Duffins Creek, near Whitevale, Ontario. It’s spring, the snow is gone, and the Coltsfoot is blooming, so it’s also time for the annual rainbow trout run up Duffins Creek to the Whitevale Dam. The dam was built several years ago to prevent the rainbow trout, which are an introduced species, from eating the native brown trout fry. The rainbow spawn up Duffins Creek but can’t get beyond the dam. In the right conditions, like today, they jump up the skirt of the dam trying to climb it. But, it’s much too high.

This photo is one of those times where everything just comes together, with lots of patience. Timing the jump of the trout into the shadows, to light it up like this, and to get the shape of the fish in the air just right took many attempts and I have to say that I am very pleased with this ‘mid-flight’ image.

Nikon D300
Nikor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 70 mm
1/400 sec @ f/10.1, ISO 250

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