Backyard Views

I was sitting out on the patio this evening with my camera in hopes of catching something interesting. 

One-Legged Robin

One-Legged Robin

I got lucky when a robin decided to visit. She look a little rough land in this photo seem to be a one-legged robin. Okay, she wasn’t really one-legged but she kept sitting there staring at me with her foot up. It looked so odd. Eventually she had enough and flew away. After her brief visit I decided to explore the garden and work on some close-up photography.

Cherry Bark

Cherry Bark

This closeup is of a cherry tree that is over 40 years old and unfortunately will not be around much longer. The trunk has been split open for years and the main branches have broken in the past due to the weight of the cherries. Nowadays there are very little cherries to eat in the hot summer sun so its time for this tree to go and a new one to take its place.

Cameron Ranch on the Carden Alvar

My friend Galina suggested a trip to the Carden Alvar located in the Kawartha Lakes region. It was a great opportunity to photograph one of Ontario’s newest provincial parks. So with my friend Nigel joining us, we all headed up to the Alvar for a day of shooting.

Hoverfly on Chicory Bloom

Hoverfly on Chicory Bloom

Since this new park is quite large we had to choose a specific area to explore so we started our day at Cameron Ranch. With an overcast sky above us to somewhat mute the harsh sunlight we set out on a hike in this beautiful park.

Bee with Crown Vetch flowers

Bee with Crown Vetch flowers

There was so much to see. The Alvar is full of all sorts of wildlife and flowers. I couldn’t get over how much was flourishing here. This bee was busy working away getting the pollen for his hive from some crown vetch.

Old Man's Whiskers

Prairie Smoke Flower

The most interesting flowers that I came across here was the Prairie Smoke flower aka Old Man’s Whiskers. What fun names for such an interesting looking flower. I have never seen anything like it. It was also on of the hardest flowers to photograph because of its wispiness.

Tawny Crescent

Tawny Crescent

Hiking further down the trail I came across this Tawny Crescent butterfly sunbathing on some flowers. I’m surprised I didn’t startle it into flying away but it was nice enough to stay around while I shot some photos.

After spending most of the day at Cameron Ranch we decided to get in one more hike before heading home. Out next stop was place called Prairie Smoke. As we started heading over the clouds broke open and the rain came down. By the time we got over to Prairie Smoke the rain had petered off and we were able to get in our short hike without getting wet. 

Yellow Goatsbeard

Yellow Goatsbeard

It was a quick hike here but I came away with some great photos. My favourite was of the raindrops that had accumulated on this Yellow Goatsbeard. It was a great day here at the Carden Alvar and I look forward to more trips here in the future.

You can find out more about the Carden Alvar here and here.

Some Little Things

The macro lens is my all time favourite lens. That is what I’ve decided today. I’m having so much fun walking around my little piece of the world capturing the little things.

Chicory

Chicory

These Chicory flowers were just hanging out on some cement, which provided a different background compared to normal.

As I continued my walk I happened to stop to take some photos of some flowers and as I raised my head I noticed something orange in front of me.

Skipper

Skipper

This little skipper butterfly was keeping a close eye on me as I took multiple photos. He wasn’t too bothered by my presence for which I am grateful for. I mean, come on, look at this shot. I couldn’t get closer if I wanted to.

And then…

Bee on Thistle

Bee on Thistle 

This bee hovered into view on a nearby clover and decided to dig for some pollen. Apparently I stopped in a prime place for little critters. Talk about lucky.

Afternoon Light

Another glorious late day walk around the neighbourhood with my macro lens. First up is this beautiful Red Clover which you will notice is purple. I’m not sure why its considered a Red Clover. If anyone knows, please feel free to comment below because I have no idea.

Red Clover

I absolutely loved how the light played off these Foxtails. Normally you wouldn’t notice that there is a little pink in its tail but with the slight breeze and the angle of the light it caught it perfectly.

Foxtail Barley

Near the end of my walk I came across Smooth Bromegrass. (Yeah, I had to look that one up. And it took awhile to figure it out. It might not even be right.) The light was dancing amongst the grass as the breeze blew in.

A soft light on Smooth Bromegrass

Absolutely beautiful! That late day light makes the same boring walk extra special.

Early Mornings and Late Nights

We decided to stay in Lion’s Head rather than in Tobermory this year, just for a change in pace. The decision ended up being a good one since our B&B was so close to a harbour with a picturesque view of sailboats in view of the morning sunrise. We knew we had to get up early to take advantage of this.

Sunrise at Lion's Head

Sunrise at Lion’s Head

The sunrise did not disappoint and neither did the view.

After the sun rose over the marina we headed back to our B&B and dug in to a well deserved breakfast. With our bellies full we were ready to conquer a hike on the Bruce Trail.

Driftwood on the rocky shoreline.

Driftwood on the rocky shoreline.

It turned out to be a great day with clear sunny skies and a bit of breeze as we hiked along with shoreline of Georgian Bay. I made sure to get really low on the shot above to make the driftwood seem much larger than it really was. Changing your point of view can dramatically change your photo results. Give it a try next time you’re out.

Lakeside Daisy

Lakeside Daisy

As we were driving back to the B&B we noticed an area filled with Lakeside daisies, so you know we had to stop and get some photos. Again I decided to get very low for this shot. The daisies are very short at only a couple inches so shooting down on them would not have given me the photo I was looking for.

Back at the B&B we got in a short nap before dinner and then it was time to prepare for a late night shoot. My main goal for this trip was to focus on improving my skills in astrophotography. One of the things I wanted to try was a panoramic to capture the full Milky Way across Little Cove.

Milky Way at Dave's Bay

Milky Way at Dave’s Bay

It looks to me as though I may have captured some northern lights. It was a beautiful Way to end a great day on the shores of Georgian Bay.

A True Ontario Spring

Nothing says Ontario more than the white trillium flower. It is the emblem of Ontario after all. I’m lucky enough to have a few of these beauties in my backyard. They only show themselves briefly in mid spring and if it’s a good year you will see them in abundance when out hiking in the local parks.

Trillium

They don’t just come in white but occasionally, if you’re lucky, you can find a red trillium, a nodding trillium, a painted trillium or the endangered dropping trillium here in Ontario. I’ve been lucky in my travels to have seen the red trillium and the nodding trillium. Which have you spotted in the wild?