Saturday, December 24, 2011

Pesky photographer!

Two days ago I went up to Mount Royal to see what might be out and about and came across this young Raccoon as it was descending a tree.  Here is what transpired and I felt like I could read his thoughts.

Oh, oh!  What is she doing there?!

Maybe if I climb back up a bit and hide my face she will go away.

Hmm ... she's still there.  Ok, I'll hide more of my face.

Oh well, I might as well pose and get this over with ...

I took a few more shots and then he clambered back up the tree and into a cosy cavity where he waited for the intrusive human to leave.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The snail

It seems that a snail was mugged by a tortoise.

When he was being interviewed by the police and asked whether he thought he could identify his assailant,

he replied ...

"I'm afraid not. It all happened so fast!".

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Winning entry

Well it has been quite awhile since my last blog posting and here I am now to blow my own horn!

I just won a photo contest put on by CPAWS (Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society).

I nearly missed the deadline and quickly submitted the photograph above at the last minute and it won in the "Forest Dwellers" category.

I am invited to a Soirée to receive my prizes (one of which is my photograph framed) this Thursday evening but it is in Calgary! They will mail it to me instead.

You can see the other entries here:

You can see the winners here:

I'm so glad my sweet foxes won and hope it will bring in some money for the organization.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Interesting insects and others

Finding that mammals and birds are not always available or cooperative, I have lowered my sights (so to speak) to peer into the insect world.  I must add that I have included spiders and their kin as well.  Here is a selection of some of the more interesting subjects.

Crane Fly

Plume Moth

Jumping Spider (cute little guy!)

Phantom Crane Fly

Green Darner Dragonfly

Giant Ichneumon Wasp laying eggs

Daddy Longlegs

I am still waiting for a good photo of a Praying Mantis and my all time favourite - a Luna Moth!

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Magic Of Lanterns - Montreal Botanical Gardens

I recently visited the Botanical Gardens and stayed at night to see the show entitled "The Magic Of Lanterns".  It was very beautiful and I hope these pictures do it justice.

An added bonus was the full moon which, positioned beside the Olympic Stadium tower, added to the magic.  I was trying to get the reflections of the tower, moon and lanterns in the still waters when a duck very noisily landed with a loud splash and sent the water rippling in all directions.  Talk about a grand entrance for an audience!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Can't resist another bird sequence

At the Montreal Botanical Gardens I came across something that I had never seen before - a Great Blue Heron taking a bath.  It was quite a show!   

Monday, September 5, 2011

The second sequence of Grebe photos

Back in June I posted a sequence of a yawning Grebe.  I mentioned that I would post another sequence of the same Grebe doing a "ballet".  Well, here it is.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

"Longer than a lifetime"

This past Saturday I watched the funeral of Jack Layton in its entirety and I was alternately moved to tears, amused to laughter, roused in spirit and just spellbound. 
The music was poignant and the singers magnificent.  The eulogies were a pleasure to listen to and the priest cracked me up! 
Jack - you had a terrfic send off.  I wish you could have seen it. 
During Jack Layton's son's eulogy, he mentioned some advice that Jack had given and it resonated with me. 
I have reproduced it here. 
It inspires me.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

In an Octopus' garden

I have a fascination with camouflage and thought this video was very interesting!

"And we'll change the world"

Jack Layton -
the best Prime Minister that Canada never had.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Downy Woodpeckers

This past spring I found a Downy Woodpecker's nest and monitored it from the excavation to the young ones' departure.

On the evening before the little ones (there were at least two - one male and one female) left I managed to get this short video.

The poor parents, already run ragged by demanding babies were now being bullied by the hungry little ones. The parent leaps backwards when the baby lunges forward. I can't help but laugh.

The parents were fastidious in cleaning the nest after every feeding (which is what you will see at the end).

I hope you enjoy it.

It is posted at:

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Close encounters of the hawk kind.

Recently I had the extraordinary experience of spending well over half an hour sitting between two low slung trees at the Montreal Botanical Gardens while surrounded by four young Cooper's Hawks.

These hawks (along with the two parents) have been drawing dozens of photographers to the Gardens and sometimes there seem to be more tripods than trees!

That being said, I was extremely lucky to have had such a long time alone with the foursome. I was able to squat down and waddle slowly (such an elegant gait) up to each bird until I was within 3 to 4 feet.

The reason I could do this was based on a few factors: the birds have been raised in a place that brings them in close contact with humans; they are young and more trusting than the wiser adults; and one was eating its prey which meant the others were waiting for their opportunity to get a share and I was the least of their concerns.

I took hundreds of photos constantly changing settings, angles, flash versus no flash, etc. and here are some of the best results.

Here is a 28 second video. I get a chill each time the hawk seems to look directly at me!