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Posts Tagged ‘agriculture’

Rainbow and Passing Storm, Thornton, Ontario
Nikon D800, Nikkor 18-35mm lens
ISO 200
f11 @ 1/80 sec
Nikon Polarizing Filter

 

Inclement weather can often be a landscape photographer’s best friend. This is especially true during the moments of changing weather patterns as dramatic lighting can and will likely occur. Two nights ago as a series of thunder storms were rolling through the farmland surrounding my home an incredible fleeting moment presented itself as the storms began to clear . As I looked out the window, across my backyard, I could see that there was some clearing in the skies to the west. I grabbed a camera body and lens, ran outside, and across the road into the freshly plowed field as I was certain there was going to be a glorious rainbow as soon as the sun shone through the clearing in the western sky. I did not have to wait long before my prediction became a reality and the sun lit up the field before me and cast a rainbow in the east. After capturing a few frames of the full rainbow, with a partial double rainbow visible, many of the dark storm clouds had passed and a tiny bit of blue sky were being revealed but a very interesting and ominous cloud formation had formed overhead, while a touch of the rainbow remained. The incredible opportunity presented by this passing storm cell lasted only 10 minutes. Being prepared and attuned to the ongoing weather system ensured that I was ready for this fleeting moment in nature.

 

Rainbow and Passing Storm, Thornton, Ontario
Nikon D800, Nikkor 24-85mm VR Lens
ISO 400
f11 @ 1/250 sec

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Abandoned Tractor in Winter

Abandoned Tractor in Winter

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

I thought I would ring-in the new year with grunged rendition of an old abandoned tractor that sits at the end of a laneway on a nearby farm. To grunge the tractor I made a selection of the tractor using the quick selection tool in Photoshop CS6 and then hit it with a double-shot of Nik Software’s Color Efex Pro Detail Extractor.

 

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Green Frog (male)

The two images of the male Green Frog (Rana clamitans) may very well be the last frogs I will photograph in the vernal ponds behind my home. As followers of this blog know my home backs onto an abandoned cattle pasture which has several low lying areas that fill with rain water and snow melt, thus creating vernal ponds. These ponds are temporary and dry out by the end of summer, but they do hold water long enough for numerous species of frogs and toads to reproduce. According to my dear, elderly neighbors that arrived in Canada, from Germany many, many years ago after the war, the field has been laying fallow since about 1975. This 40 acre plot of abandoned agricultural land is used by many ground nesting songbirds such as Bobolink, Meadowlark, Horned Lark and Upland Sandpipers. Deep in the ground Chimney Crayfish await the rains to emerge and breed in the vernal ponds. Hawks, Owls, Fox , and Coyote hunt the Meadow Voles that inhabit the field also. During the winter months I take my daughter skating on the frozen pond. Most importantly though are the vast numbers of frogs and toads that arrive at the vernal ponds each spring to reproduce – a sight and sound to behold. Having sat in the ponds among the frogs and toads during peak chorus, I can honestly state that they are louder than any RAMONES concert I ever attended 🙂 A truly remarkable experience, but…

Green Frog and Water Scorpion

It is with great sorrow that today I report on October the 18th this has been wiped out. The field was recently sold to a farmer that has cut down every tree that lined the field to open up more fields and has since tilled the soil for the planting of crops. This of course will mean more fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. I have always believed that this little corner of nature, located in Simcoe County, would one day be wiped out for either agriculture (it has always been zoned for agriculture) or housing developments, but I do wish I did not have to witness its destruction.With amphibian populations in serious decline around the globe, largely due to human impact, such loss of habitat, even on this small 40 acre plot of land, can yield a deadly blow to the local populations of frogs and toads.

I do hope that I am wrong, but I believe that in the fields behind my home, the Spring of 2013 will be the season without song. A sad, but all too familiar occurrence in the world that struck home on October 18, 2012. Below you will see the photos of how the field looks today.

In the photo above you are looking out over the field where each spring the largest vernal pond is to be found.

In the above photograph you are looking back toward my home, and again, across the field where additional ponds are found each spring. My home can be found immediately behind the trees on the right side of the image.

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