A Visit to Cold Creek

It was a nice warm day for a hike at Cold Creek Conservation Area in Nobleton.  I visited this park with my friend @nigelbanks57 today and as the day progressed it got pretty hot out.

Turtles

Turtles

This could be why we spotted so many painted turtles sunning themselves on floating logs in the pond. This is the best one I was able to get. I definitely had the wrong lens with me to get shots of them. 

Yellow flowers

Yellow flowers

But, I did have the right one for this great macro shot of the Marsh Marigolds.

Check out their trail map here.

When Spring Gets Prettier

I discovered a new trail out in Caledon called the Alton Grange Trail. The trail is a short 4-kilometer loop that’s definitely on the easy side to hike. It’s a beautiful trail and one of my new favourites.

Alton Grange Trail

At the beginning of the trail, I was feeling all the forest vibes. Even the light was looking good, and it was only going to get better.

Tree in Ice

The trail crosses the Credit River, and I noticed this mossy tree lying in the water. I wanted to accentuate the length of the tree, so I shot from a lower position. The tree acted as a leading line to the trees in the background.

Forest Trail

My favourite image of the day was this forest trail. The light was so perfect, and I would not have noticed this image if I hadn’t turned to look back. I have to remind myself when I’m out on my hikes to remember to turn around. Today, I’m glad I did just that.

A Walk in the Park

I met my friend Nigel for a walk at Claireville Conservation Area this afternoon. Mostly we were out for a walk, but I did capture a couple of photos that I liked.

The Path

When I processed this image above, I first worked on a colour version, but there was too much brown for my liking. I decided black and white was the way to go for the photos.

White Branches

The image above was one of the last photos I took from my walk today. There was beautiful light hitting these trees, and I couldn’t resist taking a couple of shots. I punched up the “glow” on the branches to make it more dramatic.

Overall, it was a lovely day for a walk, and I’m happy to come away with a couple, not so bad, photos.

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. 

The Summer Homes of Sintra: Part 3

My final destination in Sintra was Quinta da Regaliera, a very interesting estate just outside the historic center of Sintra. As you walk uphill (yup that’s right, uphill – again) to the entrance you pass the grand 5-story gothic palace, giving a glimpse of what might lie in the grounds themselves.

Quinta da Regaleira

Quinta da Regaleira

Antonio Augusto Carvalho Monterio, an eccentric millionaire, was the brainchild behind this particular estate. The grounds are riddled with secret passage and tunnels along with occult symbols and religious references. 

I started slow with this water fountain. The strange fish acts as the spout for the water to flow into the two-tiered bowls.

Water Fountain

Water Fountain

The grounds themselves are a challenge to navigate as they twist and turn and head off into unexpected directions or dead ends. Needless to say, I definitely walked the same paths a couple of times if not more.

The one place I was looking most forward to was the Initiatic Well. My friend, Jason told me all about it, which is why I choose Quinta da Regaleira as my final destination of the day. The well did not disappoint. Entering from the top I walked down the ten stories to the bottom where it opens up to the tunnels. There is a second smaller well on the property. The wells were used for ceremonial purposes that included Tarot initiation rites. The tunnels connect the wells to one another, in addition to various caves and other monuments located around the park.

Initiatic Well

Initiatic Well

Part of the cave system on the property is the Laybrinthic Grotto. For these tunnels, you will need a light source in order to get around because once you leave the cave opening there are no lights to guide you as there are in the tunnels near the Initiatic Well.

Labyrinthic Grotto

Labyrinthic Grotto

There is so much here in Quinta da Regaliera to see that you should plan to spend a few hours here if you can. I spent most of my time here at this estate more than the other two (Pena Palace and Moorish Castle) and I wish I had more time and energy. If I get a chance to get back I will be coming here first.