Genetic Mutation: ISO 400, 170mm, f/4.0, 1/640
These are small flowers in our backyard garden. The majority of them are white with a pink interior. The odd one is all pink. Makes you think of the the saying, "Be Different."
Nature is full of surprises and wonders.
Blue on Green: ISO 200, 87mm, f/4.0, 1/1600
This was taken at Elizabeth Hall Wetlands in Lethbridge, Alberta. A blue eyed dragon fly resting in the marsh.
Wind was blowing pretty good the day I took this. Hard to get a sharp photo.
Iceland Poppy Close up: ISO 400, 190mm, f/4.0, 1/1250
We planted an Iceland Poppy in our backyard garden this spring. We had them in our garden in Red Deer and missed their colour and constant blooms.
The flowers on this new plant are much larger than we experienced in Red Deer. This bloom is about the size of a palm of a hand. I believe that is some sort of tiny bug on underneath the right side filaments.
Seeking Shade: ISO 250, 102mm, f/4.5, 1/200
A photo of a frog seeking shade and waiting for food in my father's backyard pond.
I did not wait to see if that little bug on the stalk of the lily pad was frog food. It was hard to see with the naked eye.
Feeding Butterfly: ISO 320, 175mm, f/5, 1/1250
The butterflies were out at my Dad's backyard garden in Ontario two weeks ago.
This particular butterfly was floating around these purple flowers from one of his hanging baskets. You can see his long tongue seeking food.
Sleepy Panda at the Calgary Zoo: ISO 320, 200mm, f/5.6, 1/90
The Calgary Zoo recently became the new home of some Panda Bears.
We finally got to see them last month. I am not quite sure what all the excitement is about. They just seem to eat and sleep. But they do look quite cuddly!
Back to the Future: ISO 200, 7mm, f/3.2, 1/8000
This past weekend Airdrie hosted a Show and Shine (August 12th, 2017).
Lots of vehicles to look at and admire. I am always drawn to the long lines of the older Cadillacs. Looks like this old beauty is ready for space travel.
Air Canada: ISO 200, 210mm, f/4.5, 1/2000
As mentioned in my previous post there is a man made marsh close to our home in Airdrie, Alberta. I was taking pictures of grebes and blackbirds that were looking after their young. I heard a plane that was headed in my direction and turned around to see a great opportunity.
We see a lot of airplanes as our skies in Airdrie are in Calgary Airport's flight path. I caught this Air Canada jet coming in for a landing as it was banking steeply and coming in low. Usually we only get to see the bottoms of the planes as they pass overhead. I got to get a quick snap of it's tail fin which shows the Red Maple Leaf of Air Canada.
Juvenile Robin: ISO 200, 210mm, f/7.1, 1/500
There is a man made marsh in our neighbourhood park system. I went to snap some photos of blackbirds and waterfowl this afternoon.
One rule of photography is always look behind you to see what you are missing. I took a look behind me and this young Robin was checking me out atop of a fence post.
Downtown Calgary Hail Storm 2015: ISO 800, 15mm, f/5.6, 1/45
The wife and I went out for supper last night and we decided to be adventurous and try a new restaurant. The car I was driving took us to downtown Calgary. After supper we took a walk along Stephen Avenue, Eau Claire Market, Prince's Island Park and through Chinatown before heading back to the car.
We walked past a few of the Downtown Community Gardens that were set up for the local food banks. We were very sad when we saw what the August 4th Hail Storm did to these well intentioned gardens. As you can see there is basically nothing left of most of the plants.
Although we had a wonderful supper last night after seeing this damage both our stomachs were not feeling all that settled.
Downtown Calgary Hail Damaged Community Garden: ISO 800, 35mm, f/5.6, 1/45
Pulverized lettuce in one of the hail damaged Downtown Calgary Community Garden. It basically looks like mulch.
Prince's Island Park Hail Damaged Black Eyed Susie: ISO 320, 85mm, f/5.6, 1/30
These Black Eyed Susans were under trees in Prince's Island Park. They still suffered damaged from the August 4th Calgary hailstorm.
Large Boulder: ISO 200, 29mm, f/6.3 1/60
I found the textures and colours on this rock to be interesting. It also looked out of place in the Alberta Badlands where I found it.
Small Wild Flower, Big Hill Springs Provincial Park: ISO 500, 40mm, f/3.2, 1/500
Last week I decided to check out a provincial park that is close to where I live. Big Hill Springs Provincial Park is located north of Calgary between Cochrane and Airdrie.
It is a nice little hike through parkland and foothills. A large natural springs flows through the park. I was surprised by the abundance of wild flowers and birds singing. I will be returning to this nice oasis away from the big city.
Delphinium Bokeh: ISO 800, 159mm, f/4.0, 1/4000
Delphinium Bokeh II: ISO 400, 145mm, f/4.0, 1/2000
I noticed this backlit delphinium in our garden late last month. I also noticed how the sun was hitting the large black patio umbrella in the background. Combine the two using a zoom lens and these are some of the results you get.
Bat Hiding in Umbrella: ISO 800, 122mm, f/4.0, 1/125
I opened up one of our patio umbrellas yesterday afternoon and noticed this little bat hiding from the sun.
I didn’t have any True Blood to offer him!
Chickadee Watching: ISO 200, 200mm, f/6.3, 1/1250
As I was waiting for the wrens to come back and feed their new additions to their family this chickadee perched right in front of me.
Breakfast Time: ISO 200, 200mm, f/6.3, 1/1600
I set up a bunch of bird houses in our backyard a few years ago. Every year but the last a wren pair had used one of them to start a new family. This year I was losing hope that they would again not use a house . It seemed they were busy building a nest in the neighbours’ trees.
Last week the wrens were getting agitated whenever someone or something invaded our backyard. Watching the wrens revealed that they had set up a nest in the birdhouse I set up in our garage side garden.
I got this image by sitting down on the lawn waiting for the wren to take its usual path from the back fence to the bird house. As you can see by the picture the bug is almost as big as this small bird. I also took the shot mid morning so that the low sun would illuminate the garden and bird.
Hide and Seek Squirrel: ISO 250, 85mm, f/5.6, 1/180
Hide and Seek Squirrel II: ISO 250, 85mm, f/5.6, 1/180
I was cooking Sunday supper at the BBQ when I noticed something running back and forth along our garage wall. I turned around and this squirrel wanted to play Hide n’Seek or Peek-a-boo.
At the time I only had my iPhone in my pocket. I called into the house for Angela to grab the “Heavy Duty” camera. I thought I was too late as the squirrel had vanished.
A few minutes later he had come back to play his games with me.
Squirrel on old Wheel: ISO 250, 80mm, f/5.6, 1/60
The shot above you can see that the tail is out of focus. He was busy twitching it. Warning me that he was getting agitated with how close I was getting.
The squirrels in the neighbourhood are busy foraging for food. They have been chewing off branches of the neighbour’s Mountain Ash tree to get the berries. Today, I watched another one busy carrying pines cones along the neighbour’s fence.
Orange Lily: ISO 200, 35mm, f/5.6, 1/800
Our neighbour over the last couple of years has given us lilies to plant in our garden. I guess they multiply rapidly and she doesn’t like to waste flowers. I believe she sees them as a major investment.
This year they have finally bloomed and there is an abundance of them. I cheated by adding a little Miracle Grow a few times.
This was taken a couple of evenings ago as the sun was setting. I was trying to capture the shadows of the stamen and carpel of the plant. See Mom, I paid attention in science class!
Bowl of Raspberries: ISO 200, 35mm, f/3.5, 1/500
So far this summer we have had a couple of weeks of very warm weather. The raspberries in our backyard garden have ripened overnight. I picked these tonight and I could have filled another two containers this size.
After posting this entry I will be grabbing the ice cream. Bon Appetit!!
Before and After: Peony Bud and Bloom
We have a few peony plants in our garden. We notice that ants seem to love the bud heads in early spring.
After doing some reading the peony and ant seem to have a symbiotic relationship. The peony bud produces nectar to attract ants. The ants are protective of food sources which in turn will keep other pests away. The end result is well feed ants and beautiful and huge peony blooms.
Delphinium Sky: ISO 200, 15mm, F/8, 1/500
We are experiencing a lot of rain this spring/summer. Our gardens are growing fast with the July heat. These Delphiniums are almost as tall as me (6 Feet).
I thought I would try a different perspective using my wide angle lens. On my knees looking up to the big Alberta sky.
African Daisy: ISO200, 35mm, f/4.0, 1/160
I took this shot of African Daisies (Osteospermums) a couple of evenings ago.
My mother in law was visiting from Vancouver and had asked me why my flower shots were getting better colours than hers. (She uses a little Canon Point and Shoot camera.) I informed her that the worst time to take pictures of flowers is when the sun is very bright and high in the sky. The best time for flower photography is when the sun is low or when it is overcast with clouds.
One can use polarizing filters during sunny days to help achieve better colours as well. With her point and shoot camera this might prove difficult.
So, as I was walking the garden with my camera she was following me with hers. At the time it was early evening and had a light cloud overhead. As she snapped her pictures she noticed the difference and seen what I was talking about.
Rained on Roses: ISO 200, 131mm, f/4, 1/1000
I find the best time to take photos of our garden flowers is early morning or late evening just as the sun is rising or falling. The problem with living in the northern climate of Red Deer, Alberta is the sun rises in the summer as early as 4:30AM and sets as late as 11:00PM. So, you have to be an early riser or a night owl.
I was up early enough to capture this shot of one of our rose bushes after a early morning rain with my Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L. I bought this lens for bird/wildlife photography but I am finding it well suited for close up floral shots as well.
Mating Dance 1: ISO 200, 200mm, F/4, 1/1000
Mating Dance 2: ISO 200, 200mm, f/4, 1/1000
House Sparrows love our neighbourhood. They love the trees and the food everyone leaves out for them.
Watching them over the years you get used to their quirky behaviour. Once and awhile you will notice a male showing off to a female by keeping his chest low, wings down, and tail up going into some sort of dance that resembles an epileptic seizure. When I see it, I tell my wife the sparrows are "chicken dancing."
The camera doesn't quite capture it. I will have to carry my little Kodak Playsport around with me more often to try to capture video.
Busy Bee: ISO 400, 35mm, f/4, 1/500
Things have been a little crazy at work so my photography hobby has taken a bit of a back seat. I feel like a bee. Always moving and feeling like my work is never done.
This was shot with my 35mm macro lens in my parent's backyard a few weeks ago.
Duck out of Water: ISO 400, 140mm, f/4, 1/60
This is another shot I took while visiting family near Peterborough, Ontario. The ducks along the river banks of Peterborough are known for being pretty tame and not really afraid of people.
I did not bring my tripod. I was lucky to get a fairly sharp image while hand holding the camera at the 140mm focal length using a slow shutter speed of 1/60th of a second.
Just returned from a trip from Ontario visiting family. My father and brother in law (who was visiting from South Africa) decided to go fishing at Youngs Point one night after supper. I went along with my camera.
Dad called me over to his fishing spot and told me that I had to check out the Great Blue Heron standing at the bottom of the dam. It was close to sunset so I had to set my ISO to 800 in order to get a fast shutter speed while using my telephoto lens.
Dad and my brother in law never caught a fish that night but while watching the Heron he had caught two. Looks like he had the better fishing spot picked out!
Pair of Theives: ISO 400, 163mm, f/4, 1/1500
Pair of Theives: ISO 400, 163mm, f/4, 1/1500
Mine, All Mine: ISO 400, 163mm, f/4, 1/1000
We bought a new type of seed that supposedly attracts more types of birds to the feeder. The only problem is it that it is attracting Crows and Magpies which in turn scare away the smaller more colourful birds that I want to attract.
I was sitting on our deck and noticed a pair of Blue Jays (Not from Toronto) flying to the feeder to find some food. They are not so scared of the Magpies and Crows.
The Jays are kind of like dogs with their bones. They tend to hide their food for consumption later on. In the spring when cleaning out the eaves trough or replanting our planter boxes it is common to find peanuts hidden amongst the dirt/compost. Not sure how they remember where they hid it.
Tiny Spider on Bee Balm Leaf: ISO 200, 90mm, f/8, 1/750
A friend of mine in Australia posted an image of a white spider on her blog this week. I found it some what similar to this spider which I found in our garden this past July.
We live on opposite sides of the earth and have different climates and habitats, yet there are still some things we have in common.
California Poppy: ISO 80, 6.2mm, f/2.8, 1/125
This summer I planted some California Poppy seeds in some of our beds. One patch managed to survive without being mistaken for weeds. I am posting this shot now as they have shown to be pretty resilient to the cold fall temperatures. They flowered up until a week ago when Angela finally trimmed them back for fall hibernation.
This was taken with a point and shoot camera. I set the camera to Macro Mode and it took care of the rest.
Cattails and Ladybug: ISO 800, 400mm, f/6.7, 1/1500
Without the Ladybug would you know what this is an image of?
I took this shot in August when I did a photowalk at a local park in Red Deer, Alberta. Bower Ponds is about a 5 minute drive from my backyard.
The ladybug is not as sharp in focus as I would have liked but she was moving at a brisk pace. As I had my long telephoto lens on and no time to set up the tripod I had to turn up the ISO to get a fast enough shutter speed to capture her.
The ladybug is a small part of the photo in my opinion. I think my eyes are drawn more to the pattern of the cattail grass and the way the sun creates definition and shadows on their blades. The ladybug just puts things in perspective and gives you a hint of what the actual pattern is made up of.
Purple Parachutes: ISO 400, 90mm, f/5.6, 1/60
Purple Parachutes II: ISO 400, 90mm, f/5.6, 1/60
We have a variety of clematis' in our yard. But this is the only one that seems to explode with flowers this summer.
Zinnia and Mosquito Bokeh: ISO 400, 90mm, f/5.6, 1/500
Click on Image (Or Here) to see larger size.
Zinnia and Spider: ISO 400, 90mm, f/5.6, 1/125
Zinnia Close Up: ISO 400, 90mm, f/6.3, 1/100
Three shots of Zinnias. Took these during the golden hours just before sunset in our backyard.
I just want to make a point about backgrounds. The first two images are using natural backgrounds.
The Zinnia and Mosquito was shooting into the shadows of our potato and sunflower plants. The background is very undistacting and does not take away from the main subject.
The second one has our worn out picnic table as a background. The white background takes away from the flower by providing no real contrast. Then there is the edge where it cuts across the stem of the flower. The black along the bottom does provide nice contrast for the leaves of the plant. I could have easily moved the picnic table to get rid of the background but sometimes backgrounds can't be moved (ie: a House). I could have moved to the other side of the flower but I would have our deck as the background(Which can't be moved).
The last picture is the same flower as the Zinnia and Spider. I brought out my black Foam Board/ Foamcore to use as a backdrop. Like the first image, the background in undistracting and does not take away from the main subject.
Mosquito on Ninebark Leaf: ISO 400, 90mm, f/8. 1/250
These little guys are in huge numbers this year. The amount of rain we got this summer is above average which provides the mosquito plenty of breeding grounds.
Solar Seekers: ISO 80, 6.2mm, f/2.8, 1/500
Just like my previous post this was taken with a point and shoot compact camera set in Macro Mode. The camera did provide quite a nice bokeh effect in the distant tree.
I did some post processing work using Tiffen Dfx Software. Used a Warm Polarizer setting to deepen the blue sky.
On Top Dragonfly: ISO 125, 6.2mm, f/2.8, 1/250
Dragonfly and Rose Leaves: ISO 125, 6.2mm, F/2.8, 1/500
Up Close Dragonfly: ISO 80, 6.2mm, f/2.8, 1/1250
Angela and I were preparing our supper on the Barbeque when I noticed this dragonfly flying around our one rosebush. Angela just happenned to have her Point and Shoot Compact camera outside because she was taking pictures of our cats.
I set her camera to macro mode and played around. If I had gone inside the house to grab my camera I probably would have lost track of this little guy.
Point and Shoots are great for macro photography. The small sensors capture the details nicely. For me the drawbacks are the camera chooses the settings and only shoots JPEGs.
Angela's camera does allow manual settings but by the time you change everything the shot is gone. When you set Angela's camera to Macro mode it fixes the Aperture to f/2.8 and the camera's processor figures out everything else.
When I shoot with my DSLR my cameras are set up to shoot in RAW instead of JPEG. RAW means that the camera has done very little processing work. When I import the RAW image to my computer it allows me to do the processing work as I would like to see it. If I do that too much to a JPEG you will notice image quality will decrease.
The very top shot you can see camera noise in the dragonfly's body and the rose leaves. I adjusted the exposure to bring out the details in the dragonfly as he was pretty dark in the original shot. With RAW I could have brought out more detail and colour without so much noise. However, if I used my camera I might not have gotten any of these shots at all.
To me Photography is all about catching the moment. You can only catch these moments with the camera you have with you.
Poppies and Seed Head: ISO 200, 90mm, f/4, 1/90
Summer is coming to an end. Poppies are getting ready to spread their colour next year!
Shovel at Sunrise: ISO 400, 50mm, f/6.3, 1/30
Took this a couple of mornings ago. Sun was over the horizon and breaking through our neighbour's trees.
This is a Virginia Creeper surrounding a shovel. We have been using the shovel to dig up fresh potatoes.
3D Daisy: ISO 200, 90mm, f/5.6, 1/1000
Some things come easy. Flowers lined up perfectly in their planter with no help from me.
Seen it, took it!
Moth and Mosquito: ISO 200, 90mm, f/8, 1/125
Moth on Spirea Flower: ISO 200, 90mm, f/8, 1/125
These images were taken the same day as the previous post. The sky was overcast which allows to camera to be able to get a more accurate reading on the colours. The highlights will not be blown out while trying to get detail in the shadows. To make a long explanation short; the best time to take pictures is on a overcast day when the sun isn't shining so bright.
I mentioned to my wife, Angela, last week that our flower gardens do not seem to attract butterflies. Then this week along comes this moth. I have not been able to identify it's name but there are a few of them in our garden.
The top picture you can make out a mosquito hanging out in the top right of the same flower the moth is on. The bottom macro shot looks much better when enlarged (Click Here to See it). The details are much clearer, especially the antenna. If you click on either picture it will take you to my Flickr set where more images of this moth can be found.
Bee Still: ISO 200, 90mm, f/8, 1/60
Took a walk around our garden yesterday. The sky was pretty overcast with the odd break of sun shining through.
I came across this bee and she was pretty still except for once and awhile one of her legs would rise above her head. I think she was was waving at me to make sure I noticed and got some shots of her.
Hidden Camera in Apple Tree: ISO 200, 90mm, f/8, 1/250
Kodak Playsport and Joby Gorillapod: ISO 200, 90mm, f/8, 1/350
Today I thought I would share with you how I captured the Baby Wren videos I posted earlier this month.
I had been on the look out for a durable point and shoot camera that could take Time Lapse photos and then along came the Kodak Playsport pocket, memory card, HD video recorder. Some of the other blogs I read regularly have talked about the video quality of this little pocket recorder and the low price. The camera is also waterproof up to 10 feet and supposedly shockproof (Which I will not test on purpose). However, it does not do the Time Lapse I had been after.
The only pocket camera I could find that did Time Lapse, was waterproof, and did HD Video had a considerably high price and only got average reviews for image and video quality. So, when a local store had the Kodak Playsport on sale and with an added bonus of a free spare battery I took the plunge.
The video from this camera is quite good in my opinion and easy to upload to YouTube. The only flaw I seen in my Wren videos was that I had the camera too close to the bird house and the focus isn't quite as sharp as it should be. Inside the crab apple tree, it was also quite dark as the tree is heavily leaved. But the end result was what I wanted. Watching the birds without causing too much stress on them and able to share this with my readers.
I attached the camera to a Joby Gorillapod that I had gotten a few years ago. I have used it before to give me a steady mount low to the ground for some macro shots with my regular camera and have used it to mount my flash/strobe off camera and attach it to the legs of my tripod. With the hidden camera I actually used the Gorillapod for what it is good at, attaching itself to tree branches, fence posts and anything else it can wrap its legs around and give your camera a unique point of view.
I attached the Gorillapod to one of the many branches in the tree faced the camera towards the bird house and then turned the camera on and went off to do other things. You have seen clips from the end result.
The only drawback to the Kodak Playsport is the battery life is pretty short. I got about 40 minutes of 720p recording out of full charged battery. So, I am glad I got the free spare battery with my purchase.
Stigma, Style and Stamens: ISO 200, 90mm, f/9.5, 1/125
The height of summer is upon us. With the warmer temperatures our Lilies have decided to start blooming.
Not sure what type this is but the flowers hang almost facing down. I had to lie on my back to get this shot.
Air Traffic Control Needed
Air Traffic Control: ISO 400, 90mm, f/9.5, 1/350
Took this shot tonight. Bees were all over these flower collecting pollen.
Now that the birds are done nesting the telephoto is off the camera and the macro lens will be on for much of the summer.
Morning Sunrise: ISO 800, 90mm, f/8, 1/125
Actually shot this last night so technically it is a evening twilight shot. A newly seeded daisy in our front garden.
Update to Coming Out
As promised, the video of a baby wren falling out of its nest. I am also posting below a shorter clip of the wren coming back and hanging on a leaf. The baby wrens have no real tail yet.
Baby on Bark: ISO 800, 90mm, f/19, 1/250
Gaining Strength: ISO 800, 90mm, f/8, 1/250
Peering Out: ISO 800, 90mm, f/8, 1/45
The backyard is very quiet now. The House Wrens have left the crabapple tree and our yard. I was very fortunate to have the day off when the babies left the nest. I am still processing the images and video!
The above shots were of two different babies. The first two photos are of the same bird. He/she was the first to literally fall out of the nest. The bottom picture is the second bird to fall out. I managed to video record the second baby falling out. I will upload here when I get a chance.
I ended up using my Tamron 90mm 2.8 Macro lens to get these shots. My zoom lens could not focus at the short distance I was able to get to the nest. My 35mm was not filling the frame and I would have to crop a lot of the shots. I forgot how versatile the 90mm is for not only macro but for all other shooting situations.
I also had to increase the camera ISO to 800. This was uncharted territory for my newest camera (Canon 40D). One of the reasons I hunted it down on Ebay was because it was to have good image quality and low noise at 800 ISO or less. I am very happy with the results. You can detect noise in the darker areas of the photos but the detail is still pretty good in my opinion. I hope you agree.
Pushing my Luck
Open Wide: ISO 400, 100mm, f/5.6, 1/30 (Same Settings for Both Pics)
Well the baby wren's are getting bigger. Parents are flying around looking for bugs to feed them every 5-10 minutes it seems.
The parents are very agitated when I peer into the apple tree to snap shots. I don't want to push my luck too much. I noticed my settings weren't the greatest on my camera. I didn't check them before I peered in. I should have set my aperture to around 8 or 11 but then I might have had to push up my ISO to get the faster shutter speed.
I bought a Kodak Playsport Video Recorder and have set it up to record the feedings. Video will follow shortly. From what I seen yesterday there is 3 baby birds in the house.
Update: Here is the Video Link. I adjust the camera at the beginning and the babies hear the rustle of the leaves and pop their beaks out real quick then Mom comes and makes her warning call. At the end of the clip she comes back and feeds the kids.
Happy Canada Day
Maple Leaves and Spruce Needles: ISO 200, 35mm, f/8, 1/500
July 1st is the day we celebrate the birth of our great nation.
I was going through my photographs to find something red but did not have much luck. I came across this shot I took a couple of weeks ago while visiting my parents in Ontario. When I was much younger the trees in our front yard were not very high. As I was admiring their height and realizing how long ago I left home, I noticed this sky and how the light was hitting the leaves on the maple tree. I snapped off a few shots.
So for Canada Day, I am not posting red but instead giving you a shot of Canadian maple leaves, spruce needles and a bright blue sky.
A Walk in the Park
Walk in the Park: ISO 200, 5.8mm, f/8, 1/100
Had to go to City Hall yesterday and pay property taxes. It is about a 10 minute walk from the house.
I took our point and shoot camera with me as it was pretty hot and didn't want the added weight of my DSLR and the added stress of not bringing along the right lense.
This park is on the way to downtown. If your eye follows the path you are looking into downtown Red Deer, Alberta.
Our Huge Poppies
Ornamental Poppies: ISO 400, 250mm, f/4.5, 1/250
Our gardens have exploded with colour. These are our large poppies. The flower is about the size of my hand.
Nothing Like Comfy Slippers
Lady Slippers: ISO 200, 35mm, f/5.6, 1/60
Just got back from a trip to Ontario, Canada visiting my parents. I was hoping while we were gone that I would not miss the annual Lady Slipper bloom under our front yard's cedar tree.
Every year we get more flowers. This year we have 7 flowers pop up. Last year we had 4.
Lest We Forget...
I took this picture of poppies in the Red Deer City Hall Gardens this summer knowing I would be using this image on Remembrance Day.
We do have poppies in our backyard but not this many red ones.
Missing the Sun
It’s November and I am really missing the warmth of the summer sun.
These House Sparrows were caught this summer taking a break on the neighbour’s shed catching the morning rays.
Warm Colours, Hot Temperature
Reached record highs today. Reached 34 degrees here in Red Deer.
This was shot a few weeks ago. Same day as the shot taken in “Glad Days are Here!” The gladiolas have all bloomed. Just have to dig out the bulbs and store them for the winter.
Well, so much for fall weather. Reached high 20’s again today and calling for temperatures in the 30’s tomorrow. Still watering our gardens and some of the plants are coming up for another round of blooms.
I chose this picture today because it reminds me of the hot sun we have had the past two weeks. This is a close up of a begonia. The flower petals look like hot rays of sun shining down on us.
Coming to an End
We had warm weather last week. Reached the 30 Celcius mark a few days in a row. That is unusual for an Alberta September. Frost is now coming so I will post as much summer garden pictures off before the snow flies. I guess I could also save some for the doldrums of winter.
This is a close up of a Geranium bloom outside our garage.
Glad Days are Here!
We were worried they would not come this year. Our Gladiola’s are finally starting to bloom. Took this shot last night as the sun was setting behind this flower.
This House Finch has frequented our yard the past few years. He usually does his unmistakable song in the late afternoon from high atop the trees.
A Honey Bee gathering pollen from a Globethistle.
Flower for a Day II
This a picture of a daylily that grows in front of our living room window. Took the picture just after watering the gardens during the unusual early September heat wave.
A Bird in Hand
I was watering the garden last night due to the extreme heat the last couple of days.
Yes, extreme heat in September in Alberta. I will try to enjoy it while it lasts.
I noticed this House Sparrow was caught in the neighbour’s lawn ornament and couldn’t move. I had to help it out and looked like it was in pretty rough shape. Her feet wouldn’t grab hold of anything and she wasn’t struggling as I held her. A few minutes later one of her feet wanted to hold on and she fluttered from my hands a few times and landed softly on the ground. I hid her under our apple tree in the dense vegetation so the neighbourhood cats wouldn’t spot her easily. I think the bird was in shock and pretty tired from trying to escape her trap.
Flower for a Day
A closeup of a daylily with Purple Ninebark as the backdrop.
Reach for the Sky
Same flower as the previous post.
We seem to get a double headed flower from this plant every year. One stem, two blooms.
Raspberries are so good. They are a little late this year compared to years past.
This is a picture of an Iris and some heads ready to bloom. Shot straight down. These are little Iris’ no bigger than the palm of my hand compared to the purple Iris’ shown earlier which would be hard to fit in a hand.
I am getting a little behind on posting some pictures I wanted to post. These are Peonies that bloomed last month. Most of the times the blooms get so big that the stem can no longer hold them up.
Just as I Feared
I have not seen the Wren and her newest addition to her family since late last week. It’s so sad when they leave the nest.
This is one of the final shots I have got of the mother Wren.
When I travelled back home to Lakefield in June my Dad taught me some tricks to lure Goldfinch to the backyard. This is one that frequents our feeder and birdbath during the day. I hid the feeder in our crabapple tree and the birdbath is almost directly below it.
It took a few weeks before I actually seen Goldfinch come to our backyard after placing the feeder.
Look at Me
I wasn’t giving up with the Wren. I have spent the last couple of days trying to get more Wren shots as who knows how long the Baby Wren will call our backyard brush a safe harbour from the neighbourhood cats. I was trying to get photos of the baby last night and I was getting to close and she did fly a few feet into our crabapple tree.
This shot is of Mom trying to get my attention and at the same time looking for more bugs to feed Baby.
The last few days we have had an agitated wren flying around the yard. I found out why this afternoon. She was creating a diversion so that we would not spot her baby.
This shot isn’t the greatest but I had to be quick to get the moment. I wish I had the tripod handy as the light was the best I was ever going to get.
Our Peonies are in bloom!
This is a wasp peeking out of one of our pink peonies. I got lucky. I wanted some dreamy shots of the peony waves and next thing I know this guy pops out. When I get close ups of the peonies I usually can’t get a shot without an insect of some sort or another. I guess the petals are as soft as they look and provide a safe, comfortable harbour for our backyard travelers.
More Deep Purple
Thought I would show another image of our Purple Iris’. I took this one in the early morning as the flowers were getting the morning sun.
Got home from work one afternoon and was lucky to spot a baby magpie learning to fly. He was sitting on the fence of our compost heap. I was able to get within arms reach to take some good shots.
Those not familiar to these birds they may look pretty but they do make for some annoying alarm clocks in the early morning as well as scare and destroy pretty songbirds that share their territory.
Our iris’ are in bloom now. We have a nice bunch of purple iris’ by our back door. I took this shot during a short afternoon rain sprinkle. It is still dry here so that is why I said sprinkle.
When the light hits the iris’ just right you kind of get an iridescent display of colour. I tried to capture it in this picture.
Nothing Like a Cold Shower
Well summer is here and it is abnormally dry here this year. So that means we water the gardens a little more.
One morning I was watering and heard what sounded like a couple of birds fighting (or whatever else birds might do) in our crabapple tree. Turns out it was one chickadee taking a shower in the freshly sprinkled crab apple leaves. I think I made his day!
Watch My Back
Another picture from my Parent’s backyard. They have a nyjer seed feeder which the finches congregate and pig out. I set up the camera and tripod in various positions around the feeder hoping to get some good shots of them perching on nearby plants/trees.
Standing in the backyard yesterday morning and noticed the light hitting the back of these bleeding hearts under the crabapple tree. Had to rush to get the camera before the sun rose any further.