Saturday, 26 January 2013

Lynde Shores & 2nd Marsh
-- January 26th, 2013

We had a fresh snowfall last night. This morning the snow was still clinging to tree branches... a winter wonderland. So, with camera in hand, I went over to Lynde Shores Conservation Area.

Unlike Second Marsh, where I seldom meet more than a few people, Lynde Shores is a family gathering place where kids feed the Chickadees out of their hand, or they spread seeds for the Cardinals, squirrels, etc. Or some just enjoy  a winter stroll with their parents. There were a couple dozen there today.

I also ran into a photographer buddy in the parking lot so we caught up on the news, as we went looking for a Barred Owl & Wild Turkeys we were told were there.

This has been a year for Barred Owls. This one was easy to find, beside the trail, half-dozing in a Black Locust tree. He couldn't have cared less about the stream of photographers and onlookers that came to see him. He'd open his eyes once in a while, look around, almost always in the opposite direction to where I was, then he'd go back to dozing.

You can see some of the thorns on the Black Locust in these shots. They're hard and deadly if you catch yourself on one.

They're beautiful birds.

Lynde Shores is a pretty large area but families tend to stick to the fairly short Chickadee Trail loop where there are lots of feeders and pretty much guaranteed Chickadees for the kids to feed.

There were half a dozen Cardinals on the trail where someone had left lots of seed. The snow in this shot is completely blown out but I like the end result.

Crown held high.

 High and proud!

It's interesting how friendly the squirrels have become at Lynde Shores. One came between my feet as I stood on the trail getting some shots of one of his buddies. At Second Marsh, they're gone if you're within 50 ft.

A very chubby Red Squirrel in a rather interesting pose.

We left the Chickadee loop, cutting through the bush to see if we could find the flock of Wild Turkeys someone had told us was in a field over yonder. I fully expected to find that they'd wandered back into the bush and we wouldn't see hide nor hair of them, but lo and behold, they were still there, wandering, albeit slowly, back in the direction of the bush.

And as luck would have it, just after we spotted the turkeys we saw a family of White Tails over to the right, closer to the bush.

It then became a matter of a couple shots of the turkeys, then a couple of the deer, then a couple more of the turkeys. A treat to be sure. A first for me in the wild, of having a choice of shots of two interesting species at the same time.

I don't think the deer took their eyes off us for more than a second or two at a time. Most of the 5 minutes or so that they were there, this was the view we had.

Whereas we want a clear view of things we look at, deer prefer a few blades of grass or a twig or two to 'hide' behind.

Another friendly squirrel on our way out.

The marsh area at Lynde Shores.

2nd Marsh
Before I went home I went down to the marsh for a quick look at Farewell Creek from the foot bridge, a scene I photograph throughout the seasons and over the years. There wasn't enough snow or open water to compete with the shot I got in 2008.

Here's my 2008 shot. My chances of catching the same kind of day... blue sky, deep snow, etc. are pretty slim. But I'll check again after any major snowfalls we get, to get another shot or two... but just as important, to take in and enjoy the beautiful scene.

January colors.

Farewell Creek north of Colonel Sam Drive.

It warmed up a bit as the day went on. Several people at Lynde Shores remarked on what a gorgeous day it was.

Add to that the turkeys, deer, Cardinals, Chickadees and squirrels... and sharing it with a friend. Kinda hard to beat.

- fini -

Monday, 14 January 2013

2nd Marsh -- January 14th, 2013

It was time to get out in nature again. With the very mild weather we've been having, I thought I'd go to the marsh to see if the beavers were out & about. The bay is mostly open water. One beaver surfaced for few seconds, then he slipped back below the water. A real contrast to the day I saw half a dozen. Such is nature.

A sky full of geese is a treat any day but as the experts say, on an overcast day try to keep the sky out of your pictures... the skies will be featureless and bald. This shot shows why they say that, but if you want a shot of geese in the sky, you don't have any choice.

To make matters worse, there's a good chance of getting chromatic aberration in the shot as I did here. Maybe I should invest in a more expensive lens.

We're lucky today. If you want to take the time, just put in a new sky using Photoshop. I did this in a couple minutes but it's a poor job. Spend 15-30 minutes and you could do a good job. This shot just isn't worth investing that much time though. Most aren't in fact.

A Mute Swan relaxes on the ice in the bay while a pair of Trumpeters swim about.

Not sure what happened here but there's obviously a story. The longer feathers are about a foot long... not sure what they'd be from. Crow? Raven?

A very poor shot but you have to take what you get some days. I think swans are the most beautiful of all birds in flight... large, elegant & graceful. They make the rest look ordinary in my eyes.
These Mutes had this corner of the lake to themselves. Most often it's gulls or ducks that you find on the lake.

Contrasty light sometimes adds to a scene. This is Farewell Creek entering Lake Ontario.

Farewell Creek alongside the berm.

There's lots of brown this time of year.

But with all the snow gone, there's lots of green too. It's green we wouldn't normally see until the spring when the snow disappears, but a preview a couple months early is nice to see.

I like this section along the berm... Crack Willows leaning towards the path, green along the path edges and Ghost Road Bush behind.

The odd couple.

Most dogs are in front of their masters.

Grasses are much more photogenic when they're dormant than when they're green.

There were a bunch of fishermen at the marsh today. One of these guys had a big Steelhead (Rainbow Trout) beside him.

As always, it was good to get out to see what Mother Nature had in store for me.

The Friends of Second Marsh web site...
A direct link to a map of the paths/trails in the marsh...

A link to a page that has my past posts re the marsh, in one place rather than scattered throughout this blog...

- fini -

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