Archive for August, 2010

This will most likely be my last post for about 2 weeks. In a day or two I will begin meandering around Ontario to capture some fresh images. The above image was literally taken right at the end of my driveway on a cool summer morning. The image below was captured on Highway 129 in the Algoma Highlands north of Thessalon, Ontario. It is an old slide image, shot on Fuji Velvia 50, recently scanned and tweaked a little with Nik Software’s Viveza.

When hitting the road, I find a selection of great music always makes the miles roll by a little easier. Along for the ride this time will be the latest offering by the world’s greatest country band ever, Jason and the Scorchers Their new record “Halcyon Times” also has a special guest appearance by Dan Baird You may remember Dan Baird from the Georgia Satellites. When the Georgia Satellites folded Dan Baird released a solo record “Love Songs for the Hearing Impaired” which is one of my all time favorites. Check out his new band Homemade Sin. Dan Baird and Jason Ringenberg are both great songwriters that have stood the test of time. I will also take along a selection of John Hiatt, Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle, The Ramones, The Pogues and the Scorpions “Sting in the Tail” record (hey, its my 3 year old daughter’s favorite band).

See you soon!

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Here is an archived photograph from Hilton Falls taken this past spring. Hilton Falls is one of the many waterfalls found along the Niagara Escarpment. The Niagara Escarpment is a UNESCO World Biosphere. This particular waterfall can be found in the Hilton Falls Conservation Area in the Halton Hills region near Milton, Ontario. I arrived at this location just after noon to bright sunny skies and harsh lighting conditions. There was the odd cloud in the sky so I decided to walk the trail out to the falls. As luck would have it, there were several large clouds moving across the sky that would block the sun long enough for me to make several exposures in more favorable light. This image is my favorite from the day. I like how this image due to the waterfall being centered within the vertical axis of  the frame while the escarpment cliffs draw the viewer to the cascading water. I also placed the cascade a little higher on the horizontal axis so that the river would be dominate the foreground.

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A couple of weeks ago when I turned on to our cottage’s driveway, in Ontario’s Muskoka Region, I was greeted by this sign placed by the local hydro utility. I was immediately irritated by what I consider to be not only a colossal waste of time and money, but a complete disregard for the environment in a time when we are suppose to be vigilant about saving our natural world from our destructive habits. The local hydro utility has also marked several trees to be removed at a later date. Many of these trees are large mature sugar maples, that are frequently used for nesting by rose-breasted grosbeaks, and also some large dead trees. Dead trees are an essential part of the forest’s ecosystem. Some of the trees that have been marked for removal are no threat to any of the hydro lines, but nonetheless they will be removed. I am certain, in some way, shape or form the the removal of these trees and the pesticides used to kill plant life (and who knows what else) around the hydro corridor will be reflected on our hydro bills. My hydro bill actually has a “debt retirement charge” on it. In a nut-shell, this means that I have to pay for their poor management and excessive severance packages. Not to mention the hydro workers I encountered at a small restaurant asking a waitress for some empty tubs so they could pick blackberries during working hours. I guess that must be written into their job description. I won’t be picking blackberries on our cottage property this year as this pesticide was also sprayed on our blackberry patch.

Can we please try a little harder to save our natural world!

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August is one of my favorite months for photography in central Ontario. As the nights begin to cool, there is often heavy dew and mist in the wetlands. The image for this post does not much in the way of mist, but the back-lit tamarack trees heavy with dew immediately drew me into this wetland scene on Horseshoe Lake near Parry Sound, Ontario. This photograph was shot handheld, from canoe, with my Nikon 80-400 VR lens with vibration reduction turned on.

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I thought I would share an update on the Common Loons with two babies that I wrote about a few weeks earlier. I am very pleased to report that both chicks have survived. There are lots of snapping turtles in Horseshoe Lake, which is located near Parry Sound, Ontario, and I feared that one of the chicks would fall prey to them. They have not and are doing well. They are diving now to feed themselves, but like most babies still want mom and dad to feed them too. It is very difficult to try and get both parents and juveniles in the same photograph as they tend to spread out quite a bit when feeding. Below are two additional photos of one juvenile and one of the juveniles with one of the parents. Hope you like the photographs.

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Here is a recent sunrise image from Tiny Marsh near Elmvale, Ontario. Tiny Marsh is one of my favorite wetlands to shoot at sunrise. Despite its name, Tiny Marsh is quite large at approximately 600 hectares making it an important wetland in south-central Ontario for migrating waterfowl. It was once drained for agriculture, but through the efforts of conservation organizations it is now a flourishing wetland once again and a popular spot for birding, naturalists and duck hunting when in season.

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