Signs of Spring

Spring is a fickle mistress in Ontario. One day it’s 21°C, the next it’s 2°C. It could snow at any moment. For this reason we don’t rely on the temperatures to tell us summer is coming. It’s better to watch for the first of the Red-Winged Blackbirds, the return of the Turkey Vultures, the Warblers and the Killdear; To listen for the Spring Peepers chirping their chorus and best of all to watch the spring flowers burst from the ground. Crocus and snow drops are usually the first garden flowers. Skunk cabbage, wild ginger, blue cohosh, sharp-lobed hepatica, blood root, early meadow-rue and trout lily are the first of the wild-flowers around here (Carolinian Forest Area).

Here are a few signs of spring I’ve seen in the last week!

Night Skies

Getting a good photo at night is challenging. Finding the correct exposure takes a while and before you now it the clouds of blown in and your chance at the perfect shot is gone. I’m lucky enough to have a guy who doesn’t mind keeping me company (and juggling the lenses and lens caps and tripod and bags that I’m constantly asking him to hold for me) every time there’s a Super Moon or a really starry sky. I think I take the romance right out of a walk under the stars when I say “shut up for a second and don’t move,” so that nothing shakes during a 30 second exposure, haha!

So, this one is dedicated to my partner in crime. Thanks for putting up with me!

Summers Past

A small selection of images from summers past. I’m particularly proud of the shot of the fork lightning bolt striking Lake Ontario near the Burlington Skyway Bridge! What are you looking forward to this summer? Flowers? Thunder storms? Sunsets on quiet lakes? Walking the dog without having to put on long underwear? What are you favourite memories of summers past?

Raptors

It’s always exciting to get a great shot of a bird of prey, and it can be difficult because they are very shy of people in the wild and don’t like to be approached. Some of these are lucky shots of wild birds and some are shots of captive birds at the Raptor Centre at Mountsberg Conservation area. Either way, they are such beautiful animals and a joy to photograph.

Cottage Life

It has been frigid, and I really haven’t had the urge to brave the cold to take some new photos. So instead of dwelling on the wintery situation, I’ve decided to remind you of summer.

A portion of almost every summer of life has been spent in the Parry Sound area/cottage country in Ontario. I have been lucky enough to have had a family cottage and relatives in the area.  My summers, therefore, have always involved listening to loons, watching the sun set on the lake, being amazed at the ability of pine, cedar and spruce trees to grow on bare rock, fishing, roasting marshmallows at a camp fire, and most importantly catching frogs and the occasional snake.

Here are a few photos  that bring me right back to my summers “up north” and make me feel warm on the inside while my outside shivers. BRRRRR!

Spring In The Cold

Today’s post is a bit of a mish-mash of images.  I had a look through some photos I took the day of the 2013 ice storm and found some that I liked but never shared, so I’ve included them today (the Foreboding Road and Kelso Conservation Area)! There’s also a shot of the Burlington beach following the snow storm we had on the weekend.  The ice shelf doubled in size over night and if you live in Burlington it’s a sight to see! I’ve spoken to some people who have no idea that the ice shelf forms every winter (provided we have a few good storms with an east wind)!  That’s all very cold and icy, but I also had some pink tulips and thought I’d include a hazy, soft photo of them as well; A little hint of spring because right about now I’m sure a lot of you are sick of snow and ice. Happy Friday, everyone! Stay warm!

Winsome Winter

It’s sometimes hard not to get whiny in winter. With the holidays over and 2 months of cold left to live through, dreams of Spring begin to take over my brain. I start to complain that I miss colour, flowers and the smell of freshly mown grass. I have to remind myself that in the dead of last summer, when I couldn’t sleep for sweating, and the itch of my mosquito bites was driving me insane, I whined just as loud for sweater weather- hot chocolate, fluffy snow flakes falling from the sky, and the smell of fireplace smoke in the cold night air. The grass is always greener, right? When I get ahead of myself in any given season, it’s good to stop and notice how beautiful things are right where I am in time and space. For instance, in my corner of Southern Ontario, we have a lot of species of over-wintering birds, particularly ducks that gather in Hamilton Harbour. We also have hundreds of kilometers of trails dotted with waterfalls and criss-crossed by ravines. These places are treasure troves of breath taking scenery all year round. Maybe these photos will remind you that Winter really isn’t so bad and encourage you to go see for yourself!