Monthly Archives: January 2014

You lookin’ at me?

American Tree Sparrow feeding on Brown-eyed Susan seeds.

If you can, plant a bird-friendly garden, and don’t prune back the seedheads until spring – your feathered friends will much appreciate it on these cold winter days!

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Inspiration: ILEP photography

So. I have these friends. And they’re biologists, as well as nature photographers. (Those two careers seem to go hand-in-hand a lot, y’know?). Anyway, they are gooooood. Their portfolio includes gorgeous scenery, wildlife portraits, and travel chronicles. Starry nights, majestic mountains, northern lights, misty mornings, wintry fields, fall splendour; moose, owls, bears, wolves, fox;  Nepal, Italy, Thailand… I am awed by their landscapes, impressed by their wildlife captures, and inspired by their travel experiences.

I think what impresses me the most is the commitment it takes to take these kinds of pictures. It’s one thing to take photos of an alpine wildflower meadow; it’s an entirely different thing to take photos of a bear in that meadow. Or to be up with the northern lights on a ridge top in the middle of the night. Or to capture a lightning strike in the prairies. All of this takes patience, as well as fortitude – get up when you’d rather be sleeping, get cold and wet when you’d rather be warm and dry, be eaten alive by mosquitoes when you’re waiting by the stream for a perfect shot of that moose. Kudos, gentlemen, kudos – keep up the good work!

ILEP is currently having a sale, with 30% off their images until the end of the month. So if you’re looking for some incredible nature images, as a fine art print, or some photo merchandise (mouse pads, tshirts, magnets, etc), look no further – ilep has you covered.

http://ilep.smugmug.com/

ilep

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A Reprieve 4

I just noticed how much blue and orange there has been in the last few posts. And here I was complaining about how boring grey and wintry white this month has been.

Looks like nature has proved me wrong.

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A Reprieve 3

If there was a forest chiropractor, his most frequent clients would be nuthatches.

Did you know both Red- and White-breasted Nuthatches work their way down a tree when foraging under the bark for food? And Brown Creepers work their way up a tree along the trunk. This is a classic example of niche partitioning to reduce competition, allowing for habitat coexistence. *biology geek, out*

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A Reprieve 2

It’s a triple fuzzy whammy: the indirect gray light made the world so soft and gentle; the cattails had all started to unravel; and then, on top of it all, I added unfocus.

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A Reprieve 1

Winter backed off a bit today, with a slight rise in the temperature to just below zero, and a light dusting of snow bringing traction to the icy trails. A walk in the woods at Jack Pine Trail proved exactly the reprieve we needed from the doldrums of January. And nature had much to offer us – we found a goshawk being mobbed by a dozen blue jays, a cozy bed of a white-tailed deer, and many hungry chickadees to eat out of our hands. It was the perfect winter day out there – and now we’re home, with rosy cheeks, slippers on, and hot chocolate in hand. I couldn’t have asked for a better Saturday morning.

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Music Mondays: The Strumbellas

I’ve been trying to pick just one song off The Strumbellas new album, We Still Move On Dance Floors, to highlight here, and well, goshdarnedit, I just can’t do it. The whole album, with it’s country/folk/roots sound, is so good, you just have to hit play and listen to the whole thing (while stomping your foot).  They’re playing in the area a few times this month, if you’re wanting to check them out live. I’m hoping to make it out, too – they look like they would be great to see in concert!

https://soundcloud.com/thestrumbellas/sets/the-strumbellas-second-record/s-ujNrr

Check out this video, for ‘Ride On’.

 

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Woot! Woot!

After a few failed attempts, we finally spotted this hard-to-find Eastern screech owl, roosting in a cavity in a cemetery in Hamilton, ON.

Woot! Woot!…or should I say Hoot! Hoot!

(I stole that joke from my husband…which goes to show you how perfectly matched we are – I actually find that funny!).

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Ice Storm 7

Considering the damage the ice storm left behind, it’s nice to have spent the week admiring the beauty in it’s embrace. Now I’m off to have a bath – after 2 wipeouts on the ice today, my right butt cheek needs to embrace some hot water and epsom salts.

To finish off my Ice Storm series, here is an ice-covered tree, gilded by the light from a fading sunset.

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