Nigel and I found a new favourite hike, and it’s in Wellington County. The Drynan Forest trail is located on the west side of Cambridge. This 5-kilometre trail is a loop trail that passes some small lakes with some spectacular views.
Lake in Drynan Forest
The first lake we came across had a couple of lookouts, where we were able to get some shots of the autumn colours. With the stormy-looking clouds, we had some great reflections and soft light.
Orange Jelly Mushroom
Of course, I can’t forget about the little things. This Orange Jelly mushroom also called Witches Butter, can be found year-round, even in very cold temperatures. Apparently, it is edible and also has some medicinal properties. I can’t say I would rush out to try it, but maybe one day, If an experienced forager told me it wouldn’t poison me, I might taste it.
The great thing about the Drynan trail is it’s varied. You definitely don’t get bored on this walk, there is always something to see even when there are only trees around you. This particular tree in the distance stood out among its neighbours. I wanted to highlight it when I processed my image, so I darkened the edges and brightened up the tree.
The final lake we passed at the end of the trail caught my eye. There were lots of colours here, and although the water wasn’t absolutely still, I liked how the reflections blurred slightly.
I was a little sad when the trail brought us back to the car. We will definitely be coming back to hike this one again.
I’m back on the creek path in my neighbourhood today. The autumn colours are fading fast but I guess you can’t expect much at the end of October. There is still some colour but the trees are heading towards brown or bare.
There are some trees that have turned a little later so there is still some good colour in spots. I just have to be more creative finding shots by changing my perspective. In the photo above I shot through the reeds from a low angle towards the tree. This kept the bare ground directly in front and to the side of the tree out of the shot.
Autumn Creek Path
With an overcast sky today it made for some nice soft light to be cast onto our scenes There was still enough light to light up different parts of the scene above to create the effect of a short tree tunnel. This spot is great from summer to fall and I tend to take a photo of it every time I walk past.
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.
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
Close to the end of my walk, I found this white-lipped snail having a munch on a dried leaf.
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?
I’m off to Colonel Sam Smith Park with my friend Nigel. It’s the middle of January and we are hoping to find something to photograph. We’re anticipating seeing some ducks and lo and behold we find – ducks.
Gadwall Playing in the Waves
This Gadwall duck is playing in the waves at the shoreline before swimming as far from us as possible. I guess our long lenses are intimidating. Interesting fact about the Gadwall is that they often snatch food from diving ducks as they surface. They’re the pirates of the lake.
I notice that the ducks seem to congregate along the shoreline. I guess the shallows are warmer. Do ducks even feel the cold? I wonder sometimes as I’ve seen them stand on ice for long periods and they seem to enjoy just barely unfrozen water all winter. How? And can you give that superpower to me?
Male Long Tail Duck
This long-tailed duck is one of many enjoying a paddle around the shoreline. He has an impressive tail which I assume is for mating purposes but what’s interesting to note is his plumage during winter The males have two mirror-image plumages: in summer mostly black with a white face patch; in winter mostly white with rich brown, black, and gray on the face. I’ve only ever seen the winter plumage as they are from the high arctic and they are there for the summer and my travels don’t take me that far.
After our fill of the ducks we head home to warm up and plan our next outing.
The day started on the gloomy side as I drove with my friend Nigel to Hockley Valley Provincial Park. On the way up we stopped on the side of the road to photograph this barn.
There are times when I try to stop for photos, if its safe to do so, while I’m driving to and from my destinations. Occasionally, I’ll get something I really like or and sometimes not. If you don’t stop to take these photos (as I sometimes don’t) there’s a chance you might regret it. So, if you can, stop and take that roadside photo when it catches your eye,
Nigel and I decided to hike the Glen Cross Side Trail, a 4 kilometre hike inside Hockley Valley Provincial Park. Our hike was mostly though forest but we did find a large opening overlooking the valley below. It was here that we came across some purple flowers just about to bloom. I guess it’s not too late in the season to find little pops of colour.
This late bloomer is the New England Aster.
I also found some mushrooms. ‘Tis the season as they say…lol One of my favourite mushrooms is the crown-tipped coral mushroom. It is one of the more uniquely shaped mushrooms since it looks like something that came from the ocean.
And then there is the yellow-orange fly agaric mushroom. Or as I like to call it the fairy mushroom,
Yellow-Orange Fly Agaric
This reddish-orange mushroom reminds me of the mushrooms you see in stories about fairies or even something from Alice in Wonderland. It was the perfect mushroom to end our hike with. From here it was back to the car to head home.