Nuthatch in Claireville

Four days ago the World Health Organization announced that this new virus that has been circulating, is now considered a pandemic. Pandemic – something we hope to never have to deal with in our lifetime is now here. My employer has asked everyone to work from home as of end of day today. How long will this last? No one truly knows but we all hope its over soon. In order to get out of my head I decide to get myself out into the world. A world that for some reason still seems to have no snow. Winter, where did you go?

So today I’m back in Claireville with my friend Nigel to photograph some nature. 

Nuthatch

Nuthatch

As we walk through the marsh we are greeted by a pretty nuthatch who seems to be curious enough to get a little closer. I, of course, have the wrong lens for birding but I figured I can alway crop in if its not too far away. And that’s exactly what I did with the above photo.

Corridor of Trees

Corridor of Trees

As we walk back to the main road we take a path through this corridor of trees. As silly as it is for us to be planting trees in rows since the natural world does not do this, it does make for a great photo. Especially when you have soft golden light shining through their branches.

The Bear Den Trail

I’m out hiking again with my friend Nigel and this time we are in Guelph hiking the Bear Den Trail. Nigel found out about this trail from the Loops & Lattes: Caledon Hikes book. It’s supposed to have some wacky Alice in Wonderland type boardwalk but first we have to hike most of the the 6.6 kilometre trail until we find it. I am a little curious to see what else we find along this trail.

Beware of Poison Ivy

Beware of Poison Ivy

This is the only trail I’ve been on that has a sign warning people to beware the poison ivy. Is it going to jump out an attack us? Is it going to creep along the ground and reach out with its roots to infect us with its poison? LOL Absolutely love it.

Rock Wall

Rock Wall

We came across some small stone walls during our hike. I found out later that these were built by early pioneers who farmed this land. The trail was pretty easy to hike with a lot of flat areas but we got a little confused when we ended up at the scout camp and had to turn around. We did find the right path pretty quickly after that. Have you noticed that we seem to be having a lot of navigation issues lately?

Crooked Path

Crooked Path

Towards the end of the hike we finally came across the weird and wacky boardwalk we had read about. This “whimsical” boardwalk (as described in the book) zig zagged here and there with no rhyme or reason.  It even went “through” a tree. Very strange and fun to navigate, especially since it was a little slippery.

End of the Trail

End of the Trail

Coming off the boardwalk we turned onto the last stretch of the path before we were back at the start of this loop. Another fun trail to check out just watch out for times when it might be slippery – that boardwalk could be dangerous!

A Trip to Terra Cotta

My friend Nigel and I headed out to Terra Cotta Conservation Area for a late fall hike. Our plan was to hike the Terra Cotta Loop (found in the Loops & Lattes – Caledon Hikes book) a 6-kilometre trail that follows the perimeter of the park. We did have some snow recently as well so we were hiking on some slushy paths.

Snowy Terra Cotta CA

Snowy Terra Cotta CA

The photo above is the only one I really liked from this hike. For most of the hike we were concentrating on figuring out where the heck we were. After a wrong turn and a back track we did finally find our way back to the start but I have a feeling that we may not have followed the path from the book exactly. Either way we had a good time even with our little adventure..

Autumn in Claireville

Just a quick photograph to share from a short walk I took in Claireville today.

Claireville Autumn Colours

Claireville Autumn Colours

I only wish that tree stump was gone or had something spectacular sitting on it – like a hawk. And I definitely have to explore those trees in the background a little closer, if possible.

Creatures of Claireville

Today on my walk at Claireville Conservation Area I noticed a lot of little critters were out and about in the park. Usually I hear the birds but they are not always that keen to show themselves around us humans. Today for some reason they were more than happy to give me a brief view.

Grey Catbird

In one of the ravines I was able to capture this shot of a Catbird before it flew away. Birds are particularly difficult to capture because they rarely sit still unless they are eating at a feeder and even then you have to be quick and anticipate their movements. If you want to practice photographing birds I found it helpful to plant myself near a feeder with the camera on a tripod. Make sure to have a very high shutter speed to capture them as they move about the feeder. 1/500 of a second or faster will usually do the trick.

Chipmunk with leaves

The animals are just as quick as the birds when you want to take their photo but I do find a lot of them will freeze before they run off while others are a little more on the friendlier side. This chipmunk appeared to be gathering some leaves, possibly for its nest. I was lucky that she decided to pose for me a few times before finally running off.

Osprey with Carp

On my walk back to the car I was trying to photograph some Blue Jays high up in a tree when I noticed this osprey with something in his talons. After reviewing the photos I quickly snapped as he flew by, I realized it was a fish! Talk about lucky capture!