My friend Nigel and I went out for a hike at Lynde Shores today. The trails at Lynde Shores are full of wildlife, most likely because they have several feeders on one of their popular trails. The Chickadee trail is only 500m long. On most winter days, you can find wild turkeys, chickadees, nuthatches, squirrels and more on this trail.
Under the walking bridge by the parking lot, ducks and geese were congregating in the river below. I got lucky when this goose decided to wash his feathers and put on quite the display doing so.
Starting on the Chickadee Trail, we spotted this Mourning Dove sitting on one of the trail fences.
The feeders are quite popular, and you won’t just see birds here. This squirrel was taking advantage of the free food. Do you think he looks a little worried that we’ve discovered him inside the feeder?
We stopped a little further down the trail and decided to take out the seed Nigel brought with him to feed the chickadees. Little did we know that this Red-breasted Nuthatch preferred to be feed by hand. When we put the seed on a nearby bench, to be able to free our hands to photograph, he scolded us from a branch above us. It wasn’t until we put the seed in our hand that he stopped scolding us and came down to eat. Someone’s a little spoiled.
We continued hiking, eventually coming to LeVay’s Lane trail, which looped us back towards the parking lot. On LeVay’s trail, we found this cute red squirrel, who couldn’t decide if we were friends or foes. After overcoming some of its fear, it came a little closer, and we were able to get a few photos.
I met Nigel at Claireville Conservation Area today for a walk around the park. We selected the south entrance as our starting point and headed east along the trail. Things are nice and brown again, meaning I have to work a little harder to get that inspiration.
I didn’t take many photos here, but I did like this one I took of a rock in a sea of yellow grasses.
Nigel and I decided to head back over to Drynan Forest for another hike. When we were here last time, we spoke to someone who mentioned another nearby trail. So, we have decided to try both trails today, with the Drynan Forest loop trail up first.
Drynan Forest Reflections
You’ll notice a big change from our last hike. All the deciduous trees have lost their leaves, leaving only the evergreens. Which means everything is green again! One of my first photos today was of the trees across the small lake. The lake is very still and acting as the perfect mirror, making the reflections look almost real.
After hiking the Drynan trail, we travelled to the Chesney Wilderness Trail. We began hiking the trail counterclockwise and were greeted by this pathway of Hemlock trees. They make an impressive entrance to the trail. Although the Chesney trail is on the shorter side at only two kilometres, it makes it perfect as an add-on hike. And it was a great way to end our hiking journey today.
I met Nigel at Claireville for another walk around the trails today. I had a hard time being inspired by what we saw along the path. Although I took a bunch of photos, a lot of them ended up in the trash.
I liked this area of goldenrod flowers that had gone to seed. They look so soft and fluffy.
We liked the look of the footbridge crossing over the river in the late day’s light. The challenge was to find a spot to get a clear photo without any trees poking into our shots. We found that spot once we crossed the river and moved upstream. I focused more on the river, leaving the bridge as some interest in the background. This image was the best of the day.
Just another day in the neighbourhood, walking around, taking some photos. But before I get to that, I did get out for a walk in Claireville with my friend Nigel. And I only have one photo to show for it.
Under the Old Tree
Yup, this is it. No other photo I took here looked good to me. I heavily edited this one – added a new sky (the old one was so blah) and I gave it a nice autumn glow.
Because I was so underwhelmed by the Claireville photos, I went for that neighbourhood walk I mentioned. I was much more successful on this walk.
I mean, come on, look at this pretty pink leaf. I have no idea what kind of plant it is, but I can tell you it was low to the ground and the nearby tree didn’t have the same leaves. Another one to add to the books to figure out. Oh, and you’ll notice the focus is not sharp on the entire leaf. That’s because I was using my old manual 55mm lens. It has a very small area of focus. It frustrates me a lot. Now and again I still try to use it. One day I will conquer it. I may have to come back again and shoot it with my 105mm lens to compare the difference.
Further down the path, I found an apple tree with its yellow fruit just hanging around. These particular apples caught my attention because of how the light was shining on them. I was much happier with the photos from my neighbourhood walk today. Sometimes you just need a change of scenery. And surprisingly for me, that was going back to my neighbourhood walk.
I’m back in Claireville today with my friend NIgel. We met at the east entrance and decided to take a different path. We hoped to find some interesting things to photograph on this unused trail.
Deep in the Forest
The trail is overgrown and I’m not sure if that’s because the main path is much easier to walk or if its because they have taken this trail off the map. It wan’t one that was well travelled in the past and with COVID and the parking lot shut down for a few months things that may have been the cause of this trail’s state.
New England Aster
When I first shot this photograph of the New England aster I thought it was a new flower that I haven’t come across before. I didn’t realize that this is how the aster grows. It’s prettier all curled up then when its open. LOL
Small Milkweed Bug
Wandering into a large meadow in a small valley I decided to shoot a specific milkweed pod that came to my attention. It wasn’t until I was photographing it that I realized that there was this small milkweed bug making its rounds on it. It was a stroke of luck to catch this guy on this particular plant and we took full advantage of the situation. This was my favourite shot from our hike today.