Tag Archives: Ontario Trails

“Maple Emerging” – Walkers Woods, Uxbridge

“Maple Emerging” - Walkers Woods, Uxbridge

“The world is exploding in emerald, sage, and lusty chartreuse – neon green with so much yellow in it. It is an explosive green that, if one could watch it moment by moment throughout the day, would grow in every dimension.”
― Amy Seidl

Another image from this past weekend. The trees are a yellow-green with fresh leaves bursting from buds and pollen laden flowers. It’s not the best time of years for allergy sufferers but wonderful for the unafflicted.

I walked for hours, every bend in teh trail alive with new growth and bright morning sunshine providing soft backlighting. The leaves will only remain in this state for a few more days and will be full grown in short measure, fulfilling their role of drinking in sunshine and moisture from the air, providing nourishment to their host. For me , this is like an extended time-lapse. The expansion is so rapid, you can almost see it happening before your eyes.

Nikon D800
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm
1/160 sec, f/6.3, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Pain in the Butt” – Seaton Trail

“Pain in the Butt” - Seaton Trail

“Such is the condition of organic nature! Whose first law might be expressed in the words ‘Eat or be eaten!’ and which would seem to be one great slaughter-house, one universal scene of rapacity and injustice!”
― Erasmus Darwin

Ever have one of those days where, out of nowhere, something just sneaks up and gets you from behind? You can take small comfort that you are not this Wood Frog. I’d say our troubles are tame compared to his.

I came across this scene a few days ago while on a short hike along Ontario’s Seaton Trail. I heard a rustle of leaves and spotted motion just off the trail. At first all I saw was the large Garter Snake, then I noticed it had caught the frog. The light was awesome, so I sat to watch this process play out and document it with my camera. I’ve seen photos in elementary school textbooks of how snakes eat their prey, but have never witnessed it firsthand. It’s quite the process

How the snake would get this large frog into it’s mouth was beyond me, especially considering the frog’s legs were still free and active, and he had filled himself up with air. Well, after a few mis-timed kicks, the frog’s legs were in the snake’s gullet and the rest was just a matter of time. Twenty minutes, to be precise, from when this image was made to the time the last trace of the frog disappeared. You just never know what you might see when out on the trails.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm
1/100 sec, f/5.6 ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Glowing Keys” – Seaton Trail

“Glowing Keys” - Seaton Trail

“Let your soul stand cool and composed before a million universes.” – Walt Whitman

Like stars in a dark sky, these maple keys glowed against a shadowy forest. Lit by a late afternoon sun that seemed to spark some inner light, more than just the sunlight itself, these dried Manitoba Maple keys mesmerized me. I stood for a while, just enjoying this scene and considering ways to photograph it in a way that communicated this light effectively. It was difficult to get the angle right and minimize the artifacting that can occur when light is at an inopportune angle.

I beleive this image does justice to the show that nature provided me. I rarely notice the fine details as I’m composing the image and enjoy ‘discovering’ these little extras as I work with the final product, deatils such as the fine bent stems remaining after the keys have dropped.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm
1/160 sec, f/6.3, ISO 250

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Early Fall Snow in the Pines” – East Duffins Headwaters Trail

"Early Fall Snow in the Pines" - East Duffins Headwaters Trail

I’m finding myself going back to some photos from last year, around this same time. The primary reason for this is we are having a very mild December, the leaves have now come down and we’re in a bit of a mild, yet gray, time. The vibrant colours of November are a recent memory and days are dull and short.

Last year, in mid to late November, we had a few light snowfalls and the days seemed a bit brighter, at least to my recollection.

This photo was made at one of the nearby hiking trails, among planted pines. The area is known as East Duffins Creek Headwaters, though that reference really encompasses a very large area. I have hiked most of the numerous creeks that eventually end up becoming the main Duffins Creek, which flows into Lake Ontario. Because the headwaters cover such a large area, the landscape and scenery is quite diverse. It’s comprised primarily of farmland, and some large gravel pits, with vast tracts of conservation lands, which I often visit: Goodwood Forest, Claremont Conservation Area, Secord Forest, and Durham Forest, to name a few of the larger sites.

I’d categorize specifically East Duffins Creek Headwaters trails as primarily planted pine, interspersed with hardwood forest. The planted pines, with their straight rows and uncluttered bases make ideal subjects for my abstract photography. In this case, I had the straight lines of the trees, some highlights of early snow on the ground, a bit of remaining greenery, and a beautiful late afternoon sun lighting it all up.

There’s a lot going on in this composition and I find myself drawn into the background details. Take some time and enter this space, take a deep breath and imaging the scent of pine in the crisp November air.

Nikon D300
Tamron 17-50 mm f/2.8 @ 32mm
1/4 sec @ f/32, ISO 200

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“Alight in Golds”

“Alight in Golds”

One of my favourite abstracts from this past autumn. This photo was made while hiking the Secord Conservation Area trails a few weeks ago. As noted on earlier posts, this year produced beautiful gold tones in the beech trees along the trail and the autumn sunlight filtered down to the forest floor, producing a beautiful soft, warm light.

I used my vertical pan technique to produce the abstract blur effect which has become a bit of my brand. Since it’s done handheld, the results are often surprising and a bit variable. I have a pretty good idea how it will look and carefully select a composition which will yield favourable results.

In this particular composition, the golden beech leaves are in the foreground with maples and pines in the background. There are beech leaves mixed with maple on the ground and some low greenery at the base of the maples. The overall result is a somewhat serene image with soft splashes of gold against a darker background. It’s an image I am often drawn to on busy days and reminds me of the quiet times on the hiking trails.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70mm
1/4 sec @ f/20.0, ISO 250

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“Glowing Beech Leaves”

“Glowing Beech Leaves” Durham Forest, Uxbridge

Did I mention I love the light in the fall?

During one of my hikes this fall, I was covered with a glowing canopy of golden beech leaves, brightly lit by the sun. All the light around me was this beautiful, warm yellow/orange and the entire forest just glowed.

Amid all this warmth, it was difficult to isolate a single image that showed the source of this wonderful light. This image is probably the best representation of what I saw. Multiply this image by thousands and that would give a good idea of just how glorious the light was. The leaves literally looked like they were made of gold. Granted, some had some decay and did not look their best, but that was not noticeable till you got up close.

This particular cluster showed its finery the best, with nice structure and clean lines, against the darker  pine forest in the background.

Whenever I look at this photo, it brings me back to the place and time when I made it and fills me with a warmth and longing to return, knowing it was just one of those fleeting moments that we can only return to in memory, but I’ll hold onto it, nonetheless and look forward to the next season with hopes that nature repeats her show once more.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 165mm
1/250 sec @ f/9.0 -.33, ISO 250

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