Monthly Archives: February 2014

Found!

We’ve been looking for these guys in the neighbouring rivers for a year now, ever since this encounter. So it was a  surprise to see them today, but as always, a pleasure – they look like they’re having so much fun, slipping in and out of the water, rolling around on the ice.

We couldn’t get very close to them, and it was freakin’ cold out so I didn’t last very long, but now that we know where to look, I hope to head back and get better images of them soon. ‘Cause they’re such a RIOT!*watchingitallunfold_found

*A little bit of biologist humour there…If you take the first two letters of each word in River Otter, it gives you their shorthand name: RIOT. Get it? Haha, haha. Sigh.

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Music Mondays: Jeremy Fisher

A wonderful afternoon yesterday was spent at a Jeremy Fisher all ages show at the Black Dog Inn in Wakefield. In between great tracks like ‘Lay down’, ‘Cigarette’, ‘Canned Goods’, and ‘Lemon Meringue Pie’, Jeremy told funny stories about his North American bike tour, his mom, and social media. His musical talent was on display,  as he jumped between guitar, harmonica and piano, and then was joined by his new trio (drums and bass) in the second half of the show. The hits from his past albums were awesome to hear, but it was a treat to hear some new songs from his upcoming May release.  Can’t wait! As Jeremy lives in the Ottawa valley now, hopefully we’ll get to catch him live more often – his shows are intimate, interactive, and full of superb tunes.

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Check out one of my favourite songs:

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On Fire

The setting sun set fire to the marsh, engulfing the cattails in flames.

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Nature-Inspired Etsy Love

Some recent lovely etsy discoveries, celebrating this long white winter we’ve been having!

Winter Paper Sculpture Print:

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Bear soft sculpture:

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Winter Landscape Mug:

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Arctic Necklace:

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The Three Giants

While towering and imposing, they were still gracious enough to let a sunbeam or two through their defenses.

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Owl Bonanza

A Sunday drive in the surrounding agricultural areas yielded three (3!) Snowy Owls within a kilometer stretch of one road. That’s just nuts.

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This is most likely a female, due to size and colouration (females are bigger, males are whiter). Her glare is a little unnerving, don’t you think? But she was so calm and not at all bothered by us.

I don’t know if you’ve heard about the irruption going on right now, but there is a smorgasborg of Snowy Owls all over North America, a result of a very successful breeding season up North (thanks to a high lemming population). They’ve even made it as far South as Florida! So if you’re keen to spot an owl or two, head out of the city where there are wide open fields, and check on the tops of fenceposts and power poles. Happy searching!

If you’re wanting to know more about why the owls are here, I’ve added links to a few articles explaining the occurrence:

Washington Post article

Tree Hugger article

National Geographic article

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Ice Bubbles

Art underfoot at a friend’s backyard hockey rink today.

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Up, then down

I recently posted a photo of a white-breasted nuthatch, and described their foraging habits: they work their way down a tree trunk, searching for food in the bark, and when they get to the bottom, they fly to the top of the next tree and continue the hunt. This bird, the brown creeper, does the exact opposite: they start at the bottom of a tree, work their way up, and when they get to the top, they fly to the bottom of the next tree and continue their search. Niche separation is so cool! The more you get to know about birds and bird behaviour, the more fascinating they are.

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Watercolour tableau

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Forest shadows on the snow make a watercolour tableau.

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Crystals

With a fresh snowfall and bright sun beckoning, and a ‘why the heck not’ kinda mood, I made my first ever attempt at photographing a snowflake. I used the snow berm across the road from the house, and my 100 mm macro lens.

Granted, the contrast isn’t there, the plane of the snowflake wasn’t matching the plane of the camera, and the sun had already started to alter the detail in the flake, but, BUT, I can see individual crystals!

I think it’s not too shabby for a first try, considering my (usual) inability to manually focus properly, and my (usual) ineptitude at keeping a steady hand. If the conditions are right to try again, I think I just might go for round 2. Cheers to not being afraid of new challenges, and learning in the process!

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