The First Snowfall

And just like that, the world is white.

First Snowfall

We had our first significant snowfall here in the GTA, and it looks so pretty.

Snowy Trail

These photos are from my usual walk along the creek path. Things look so much different when pristine white snow decides to land on all that brown.

The Black and White Neighbourhood

Today on my neighbourhood walk, I decided to focus on photographing subjects that would look good in black and white. It had rained earlier today so things were wet and droplets were in abundance. Droplets on leaves always look fantastic in black and white, in my opinion.

Wet Leaves

Wet Leaves

On the sidewalk, I came across this leaf that was infested with eggs, or at least, I think they’re eggs. Regardless, it looked neat and it caught my attention and so the photo was taken.

Eggs on Leaf

Eggs on Leaf

Close to the end of my walk, I found this white-lipped snail having a munch on a dried leaf. 

White-lipped snail

White-lipped snail

Usually I just see these little guys hanging out on stems – either snoozing or slowing making their way somewhere. This one, however, I could actually see eating, If you look hard at the photo can you “see” him eating?

Patterns

On today’s installment of my neighborhood walk, I decided to look for groupings and patterns in nature. My first grouping of flowers is these fluffy little puffballs that have obviously moved onto their next stage of life. I have no idea what they might be but they are soft to the touch.

Fluffy Balls

Fluffy Balls

I guess that they may have been a type of thistle or something.

I then came across this Queen’s Anne Lace whose pattern was broken by a little petal from the sumac.

Sumac petal on Queen Anne's Lace

Sumac petal on Queen Anne’s Lace

I don’t know if they call this little nub a petal or not but I’m going to refer to it that way.

Zuchinni leaf

Zucchini leaf

Walking back home, I noticed these leaves poking out from a backyard fence into the creek area. I think they either belong to the zucchini plant or possibly a cucumber plant. Either way, I was intrigued by the veining in the leaf. I created a black and white image to accentuate the contrast between the veins and the rest of the leaf.

There are a lot of patterns in nature, and when you make an effort to look for it, you’ll find it everywhere.

Monotone Patterns

Today I decided not to bring my Nikon camera along on my walk but rather take the smaller Fuji camera that my friend Nigel gave me. It’s a great camera but I just love my Nikon so much I just can’t seem to go out without it. But today, I finally tore myself away from Nikon and stepped into the world of Fuji.

Dried Leaf

Dried Leaf

I walked over to one of the local parks and I decided to focus on patterns and texture in my photos today. A dried leaf on the piece of wood caught my eye and I immediately got a few shots of it. The original shot is in colour but I found I was able to see more of the textures if I converted the image to black and white and really cropped into the leaf.

Wood Pattern

Wood Pattern

Not too far from the leaf, I found this old log. It’s irregular pattern and texture was amazing. I can almost feel the wood under my hand.

I think my Fuji did a very good job of capturing the images I was looking for. Now I just have to occasionally give up the dependency on my Nikon. 😉

Another Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood

At the beginning of my walk today I noticed a couple of birds flying in and out of this very tall birdhouse. The macro lens is not the tool for this job but I thought it was an interesting viewpoint from way down below. With a little cropping and adding some clouds to the cloudless sky, I created the photo below.

Bird House

Bird House

From here I focused on finding macro shots, that is what my challenge to myself is after all. I have been taking lots of macro photos but they haven’t been that great so that’s why you are seeing such a mix of shots photographed with the105mm macro lens.

Seed pods

Seed pods

I keep coming across interesting seed pods and I wonder what the heck they look like in full bloom. The seeds in the photo above reminded me of these creatures from an original Star Trek episode (Operation–Annihilate). I wonder what kind of plant it is and what it looks like in summer. Hopefully, I’ll be able to recognize it to take a photo.

Leaf in BW

Leaf in BW

I found this dried leaf that has somehow wrapped itself around its stem and still kept curling in on itself. It really popped when I decided to change it to a black and white image. Sometimes taking the colour out of an image can make an image you thought was too busy or just not that great into something that you love.

Snowless February

Today I, with my friend Nigel, head out to Humber Bay park in search of…you guessed it…ducks. Beause what else are you going to find in the middle of February when there is no snow?

Mallard

Mallard

Going later in the day (which isn’t thalate this time of year) gave us this beautiful golden light that reflected off our subjects. There were lots of mallards, but then again, when aren’t there lots of mallards? As we explored the park we came across something unusual none of the mallard groups – a white mallard. 

White Duck

White Duck

It’s not an albino. Its eyes, beak and feet are the same as the other mallards. Plus those other mallards seemed to have no issue with this weirdly coloured duck in their midst. So what’s up with its white feathers? Is it a spirit mallard, like the spirit bears from BC? I’m so curious to find out more.

I found out that it isn’t that uncommon for a mallard to be white due to Leucism. Leucism is the partial loss of pigmentation that can result in white, patchy or pale pigments. We see this in nature more than we realize – a white tiger, a white snake and, of course, the well known spirit bears from the west coast. 

So, essentially our white duck is a mallard in all respects except its white colouring. 

Swan

Swan

There was one other common bird hanging around – the swan. You have to watch out for swans. They can be one mean bird if they don’t like you and yet there they are paddling away, looking all graceful and stuff. I see you swan, being all handsome and unassuming, trying to pretend you’re not coming up with some evil plan to take over the world. lol 

As always it was a great evening out exploring the park and getting some unexpected photos and some fun close-ups.