Category Archives: Wildlife

“First Red Admiral of the Season”

“First Red Admiral of the Season”

“If you feel lost, disappointed, hesitant, or weak, return to yourself, to who you are, here and now and when you get there, you will discover yourself, like a lotus flower in full bloom, even in a muddy pond, beautiful and strong.”
― Masaru Emoto

This week seems to be a day of firsts. Earlier, I posted an image of the first Bloodroot blossom of the year. This image, of a Red Admiral butterfly was made a few yards away from the flower photo.

This is what I love about spring, it’s a time of firsts, or rather, a time of returns. The return of those familiar things associated with each season, the things that mark that season and location as unique in our recall.

What makes this photo special to me is not just the beauty of the butterfly, but the small signs of green around last year’s dead leaves. A sign to me, that life is returning, as it always has, to the forests around me. And with that, new wonders, new plants, and new images to make and share.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 200 mm
1/160 sec, f/7.1 ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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or my website (some images available for purchase)
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“Start of the Spawn”

“Start of the Spawn”

“Give a man a fish, and you’ll feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll buy a funny hat. Talk to a hungry man about fish, and you’re a consultant.”
― Scott Adams

With vegetation emerging and the ground warming, all the elements are aligned for the beginning of the annual Rainbow Trout on Duffins Creek. It has started, ever so slowly, the water a bit murky with spring runoff, but it has started.

There is a real pleasure for me to witness this large migration from Lake Ontario, many miles below, up Duffins Creek and the many obstacles along the way, to the waters above Whitevale, where they spawn and eventually return to the lake.

This one is the first real opportunity which presented itself. Though the lighting was not ideal, it’s still a nice representation of these beautiful fish. More to follow.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 200 mm
1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/EdLehming
or my website (some images available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

“Chickadee in Flight”

“Chickadee in Flight”

“Let your boys test their wings. They may not be eagles, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t soar free.”
― C.J. Milbrandt

This image was a surprising treat for me. I had been photographing a chickadee perching on some cattails along a local pond. As with many small birds, they tend to be a bit skittish and fast moving. This one seemed to be quite content but suddenly took to flight. I hit the shutter a split second after it took off. Thinking I had missed it, I proceeded to make a few other photos before going home.

When I got home and reviewed my images, this one startled me. Where I was expecting a frame filled with out of focus cattails, I found this wonderful image of the chickadee in flight and looking quite determined. The slight motion blur enhances the experience for me, accenting the motion of the quickly beating wings.

I probably could not have planned for this any better, especially considering that I had only my macro lense with me. My one saving grace was that I had set my shutter speed high to freeze the twitchy movement of the chickadee feeding in the first place. Sometime things just work out.

Also, shooting with my D800 made it possible to crop the original (see below), significantly, to get his composition."Chickadee in Flight" original

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/1600 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100

High Resolution Image on 500px

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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or my website (some images available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

“Waterfront Guardians”

“Waterfront Guardians”

“Well, best to remain vigilant. It’s when everything is calm that you need to be most alert.”
― Brandon Sanderson

Above is an image of a pair of Canada Geese, standing guard on a path leading to the shores of Lake Ontario. Those familiar with Canada Geese know that they can be very territorial, especially later in the spring, during nesting season.

I stood and watched them for a bit before approaching them. They had been standing here, barely moving for quite some time and I watched how they reacted as people approached. In the end, they simply stood their ground, the gander letting out a brief hiss of warning if anyone approached a bit too closely.

Having witnessed this, I walked past them and they barely batted an eye. On my return, they still had not moved and were still doing an excellent job at keeping visitors uneasy.

Nikon D800
Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G I AF-S VR Zoom @ 155mm
1/250 sec, f/8.0 ISO 400

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/EdLehming
or my website (some images available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

“Mid-March Chickadee”

“Mid-March Chickadee”

“I can assure you that the life outside the front door is bright and full of life”
― Sunday Adelaja

I could not resist publishing this bright little fellow today. It’s dull,cold, and dreary outside and I’m thinking back to last week, when the sun shone through, briefly. WHile on a short stroll to get a breath of fresh air, I came across this Chickadee, also enjoying the bright sunshine from his perch among the red-osier dogwoods.

While the chickadees do stay around through the winter here, it’s been pleasant to hear them singing once more, yet another harbinger of spring, which seems to be coming in fits and starts this year.

Nikon D800
Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G I AF-S VR Zoom @ 300mm
1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 400

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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or my website (some images available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

“Cold Water Visitor”

“Cold Water Visitor”

“I am so grateful to be here on this awesome planet with its diverse life – everything we need to not just survive but to thrive. I am excited to continually learn more about it, and always curious to see what is going to come up next.”
― Jay Woodman

While photographing the Lake Ontario shore line recently, one of the thousands of Canada Geese floating offshore decided to give me a closer look. Most of the geese tend to be fairly tame, being in close proximity with humans in this area.

People and geese tend to occupy the same spaces, along the shore, in parks, and open fields. It becomes a bit of a problem when the geese get dependant on humans, who provide them food and the opportunity for food. In some parks, the geese don’t even migrate south anymore, since they have all they need. That becomes an even bigger problem when the temperatures drop, which has been fairly infrequent her in the past few years. But, deep drops in temperature can freeze even large bodies of water like Lake Ontario. We’ve had some mild winters, but extended cold spells are a game changer, sometimes leaving the geese without the open water they need.

In any case, this one wanted to get a closer look at me. I tend not to photograph the Canada Geese much, primarily because they are so commonplace around here. This one made me look again. As it emerged from the frigid waters, small drops of water glistened on its breast feathers, like small jewels in the late afternoon sun, and it posed so nicely for me, I simply could not resist the opportunity.

There’s also the small pile of melting snow to the left, a reminder that winter is not quite finished with us here.

Nikon D800
Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G I AF-S VR Zoom @ 70mm
1/320 sec, f/10.0, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/EdLehming
or my website (some images available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

“The Breach” – Chileno Beach

Breach at Chileo

“Every now and then one paints a picture that seems to have opened a door and serves as a stepping stone to other things.”
― Pablo Picasso

Though this is my photo blog I have, recently, posted a few paintings. Actually, they are photos of paintings, so I’m really not crossing a line, am I?

As those of you who follow this blog regularly would know, I’ve commented in the past about the idea that I can’t paint, and that I have used digital painting as a proxy for this deficit. However, those digital paintings stirred something inside me to give painting a try. It was a big risk on my part. What if I proved myself right? Well, no harm in trying.

I was surprised to find that something that sat dormant for so long could be so easily awakened, simply by listening to my inner voice and a bit of preparation. I went out and bought some good quality paints and an assortment of brushes and really surprised myself. It has been a LONG time since I put brush to canvas and I never really enjoyed it, because I was just not good at mixing colours.

Time, and experience with photo composition and colour balance has taught me why my colours were off and a few online beginner courses in acrylic painting technique made me somewhat ready to try it again.

My recent whale watching trip and subsequent photos inspired me to attempt a painting of the whales breaching. So, here it is. I believe I have a long way to go to get my paintings to the level I desire, but I’m not disappointed in the result. This is my third painting since I started in mid-February.