Saturday, November 19, 2016

Ready for winter?

I'm ready!

There's a whole checklist of things that had to happen to get ready, and I'm done. Today, my neighbour Jack came over to help (wrong word: he did the work!) by sweeping the chimney and removing some trees that had grown too close to the house. The other day I got my ATV back from the mechanic, it now sports a dedicated 4WD switch (electrical problems. It was intermittent) and the battery from my boat is now mounted on the back of the ATV to help power the winch that controls the snowplow. The car's been serviced, the furnace people were here three times to iron out issues with the heat, I've split and stacked all the firewood, snow shovels are by the doors. 
The boat's parked in the garage, the gazebo and lawn furniture are in storage. I'm done.

Let it snow! 

A few more Lake Superior pictures

I still have lots more to process, mostly "people pictures" from the weekend. Here are a few more landscape shots from my trip

I didn't record exactly where this was. It was somewhere south of the Montreal River Harbour, maybe Alona Bay? 

Another shot in the same location 

Commercial fishing boat at Mamainse Harbour. 

Algonquin Park

I managed to get a few days at home early in November. I woke up one day and decided I'd drive up to Algonquin Park to see what there is to see before winter sets in. It was certainly a lucky day! I got there early and saw this cow and calf moose. I took a bunch of pictures, then decided to move along, to see what else I could find. I really wanted to find a bull moose!

 A couple of fellow photographers were there (Jerry and Dave from Barrie) and one of them said, "a bird in the hand, you know..." so I stayed a bit longer!

Yearling male. You can see the nubs of his antlers coming in.

My favourites are the last two; they're "environmental portraits" which tell of the animal in its surroundings. Closeups are fine, but I prefer to tell a story
Eventually they moved on, and so did I. Next stop: check out if the Pine Martens were back. I wonder where they go in the summer...

They were – or at least one was – but the backlighting was horrendous and it was really dark where he was. Still, I got a shot or two! 

Continuing east, I drove up Opeongo Road to see if I could find that elusive Bull Moose... no such luck, but I did come across a couple of spruce grouse!

Check out the gorgeous colours of this male bird! 

The spruce and ruffed grouse share a defense mechanism: they freeze and they're very hard to spot in the bush — are you kidding me? Maybe for the Ruffed grouse and the female Spruces... I think they were handed a short supply of brains. It's a wonder any of them are still around! Dig the bright colours and contrasty feathers!

I decided to hold off on the foxes until after I turned for home (no, I'm not going to share where they hang out... don't ask!).

This is "Papa" fox. He's been around for a while and he's really good at posing for a shot! 

So all in all, not a bad day... kidding! It was an awesome day.

The next day, at 11:30 at night, after I had posted a few pictures, my phone rang. It was Dr. Ron. "I'll be there at 7 am, we're going up to Algonquin. {sigh}. SURE!  Up we went!

While we were waiting for the foxes to show up, this blue jay entertained us. 

I think the Blue Jay should have been named Canada's National Bird instead of the Grey Jay or WhiskeyJack. This name is a variation on Wisakedjak, a benevolent trickster and cultural hero in Cree, Algonquin and Menominee mythologies

Right on schedule, our furry friends showed up. This is either Mama or one of last year's kits. 

Off to look for Pine Martens. Again, we found birds to shoot:

A fearless red-breasted Nuthatch comes down for a treat! 

Hard to see, as I said earlier. Here's a Ruffed Grouse hanging out in a pine tree. Dr. Ron spotted this guy.

And our friendly neighbourhood Pine Marten came for a visit. There was a bit more light than the previous visit, so I managed a decent picture. 

Parting Shot

That was a long couple of days! Rewarding, wouldn't you say?

Then there was all that hype about a "Super Moon". Folks, the super moon looks exactly like any other full moon, except it was (wait for it) 7% bigger. Whoopie. But I was duty bound to go out and shoot it. When I got back to the computer, as I said, it looked just like every other moon shot. So I decided to play with it and came up with this:

Super Moon Rising over Horseshoe Lake. This is a composite image, the foreground is from a shot at the Shuyler's Island Causeway, looking for Northern Lights last summer. 

A lot of people on Facebook liked this image and asked for it as "wallpaper" for their computers. So I made a 1920x1080 pixel version and uploaded it to If you want it for your computer background image (wallpaper), just go to the link, right click and save it, then follow the procedure in your operating system. Enjoy!

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