Wednesday, December 14, 2016

My bitter sweet experience with Great Horned Owl 

I found an owl hanging by one of it's feet from a fence. The was no signs of injury,  it just looked like it landed and died. Thanks to many of you it has been confirmed as a great horned owl. 

I quickly learned after calling the MNR that it is not legal to just pick up a hawk or owl, there are legal requirements. There is a registration process to get set up on the MNR computer system, once you get registered then you apply for a Notice of Possession. The reason I need the N of P is so if I want to get the owl mounted I have to present a copy to the Taxidermist so he can notify MNR he is in possession of the bird.

Now after doing the registration what to do with the bird, MNR don't want it too common. I call a local rehabilitation center, no they have enough. Finally someone suggest trying a taxidermist, so I call , yes he will take it if I have a N of P which I do. Turns out the lives 3 minutes from me so tomorrow he picks it up and I hope to see it when he has it mounted.

Freeze Over
Cold front took hold last night and this morning the river is iced over, first time this year. Thames River Dorchester Ontario

Friday, December 9, 2016

Follow the Leader
We had our first lake effect snow today so there is a winter wonderland outside. Last week it was just fall and I like to get out and drive around the back roads near my home. The area just south has a large Mennonite community and the farm community is preparing the fields for planting.
I saw this wonderful 5 horse hitch plowing a field, it is great to see a working horse hitch of large horses. The team was dominated but a large horse in the center position.

  I didn't notice right away but there was only one set of reins for 5 horses. The large center horse was the guide to the other four, who where hitched to follow it's movements.
Very interesting to watch them move as a team.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

I love Autumn, everything is changing the sights, sounds and smells. All you have to do is look down and there is a palate of colour, shapes and texture.
This is one square foot of fall leaf cover in the backyard, I see many things, perhaps the foot print of a wonderfulness long gone creature. The wintering place for all manner of insects and moths all tucked away to wait.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

An Osprey Dive
I was at my desk and I just caught a glimpse of a large bird flying up the river, Looking out the window I saw an osprey in a tree. I hurried to get the camera and get down to the river, it was on the opposite bank about 3/4 of a block away.
I clicked off several pictures but the auto focus had a hard time picking it out of the background so I went to manual focus. 
It launched off the branch and I was able to get a set of diving images but when it hit the water, I could not get the focus and the fish capture and fly off where not keepers. I am slowly learning the use of the Olympus 300mm +1.4 extender Dorchester Ontario

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Osprey and the Woodpecker

Tigger and I were putting in some bench time watching the ever growing flocks of geese on the river in Dorchester Ontario when an Osprey caught a fish in the river. It flew into a tree about a block from us and started to have lunch. I had a 300 mm on the camera but no tripod so I shot hand held. I go a bonus when a red bellied wood pecker flew into the frame and settled down to explore for insects. After it finished the fish, and pretty much relaxed for about half an hour until a murder of crows came along harassing a hawk. They went by the Osprey and did not see it so it slipped away.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Lift me onto the wind one more time.
The Fall season gives me a wonderful opportunity to wander around my backyard and discover new things. I particular like to sit and watch the river with all the things that change from moment to moment. This set of images is the result of my observation and interpretation of Fall on and round the river

Sunday, September 18, 2016

James Irwin Civil War Veteran - My chance encounter
Today, I went to the Civil war re-enactment at Otterville Ontario, I took lots of picture and then decided it was lunch time. There was a table facing a row a tombstones from an early cemetery. I took one shot of a stone not looking at the details, when I got home I looked at the image.

these are some of the stones arranged in a long row

This is the marker I took a picture of for no particular reason.

Looking at the details this James Irwin's marker he died on March 15th 1898 at the age of 60. This is the interesting thing James was a veteran of the American civil war serving in the Union Army Company C 100th Pennsylvania Regiment. I did a little research , he was a private mustered in Feb 3 1865 and mustered out with the rest of the regiment on July 24 1865.
I found a regimental history, during his service the regiment was at   Fort Stedman March 25, 1865. Appomattox Campaign March 28-April 9. Assault on and fall of Petersburg April 2. Occupation of Petersburg April 3. Pursuit of Lee April 3-8. Moved to Washington, D. C., April 21-28, and duty there till July. Grand Review May 23. Mustered out July 24, 1865. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Raptor Count I spent a very enjoyable morning at the Hawk Cliff Forest just east of Port Stanley Ontario observing migrating raptors. Joining me where a group of a dozen or so very dedicated and knowledgeable bird watchers. The objective for this morning was to continue the annual fall raptor count, this is done by identifying counting and recording bird numbers. The counters arrange themselves in folding chairs at the edge of a large field facing east, the process is to spot a bird call out it's location and have others verify what kind of hawk it is. I soon discovered that farther away you can spot the bird the better, there were lots of hawks but most came no closer than half a mile. Suddenly there appeared a kettle of raptors over 60 in number, this happens when an off shore wind pushes the birds out over the water. They do not like flying over open water and attempt to move back on shore, the strong wind pushes them into a group and they are forced to reduce altitude to escape the winds. These are mostly broad wing hawks. This caused great excitement amoung my fellow birders. By the way a hummingbird, spotted and verified does not make the tally sheet.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

I saw these two in the backyard this morning, I checked 2 guides and could not nail down the identification. We had a front move through and the wind is blowing north west to break our latest heat wave.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Are We There Yet?
What a delightful group just makes me smile

Time for a change

Time for a change Today I saw one of the Swallowtail caterpillars just completing one to the 5 molts of it's Instar. I think this is number 3 for this one. Dorchester Ontario Olympus E-M5Markll f/16 iso 800 1/125 sec, Olympus 40-150mm f2.8 150mm

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Kai Lee's Miniature Horse Ranch Class of 2016

Kathleen and Paul Brown have created Kai Lee's Miniature Horse Ranch just West of Ingersoll Ontario. They breed, show and sell miniature horses, there is quite a dedicated group of mini owners who follow the AMHR American Minuture Horse Registry show trail culminating in the Nationals.

The first show of the year was hosted at the Brown Ranch. I fully intended to take pictures of the show but I got side tracked by the mares and foals and this is the result.

Brown's Southwestern AMHR Show 2016Kai Lee's Miniature Horse Ranch class of 2016

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Don't Try this at Home

Do not do this, it is illegal and dangerous but I just happened to be driving along a road parallel to the tracks and saw this great reflection of the setting sun. I had my camera so a quick trip onto the tracks at ground level got me this shot. I wanted to add a little creativity with layers and masks

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Masking Trees with ON1 Photo 10

I have been using On1 for about 3 months and the more I use it the more I realize what a versatile program it is. I am using it more than Photoshop and loving the results. In addition to the program On1 has a great tutorial library in On1 University. I just looked at this tutorial on masking and found it easy to follow and more important to me I could actually do it.

On1 has a free offer (I hope it is still on) On1 version 9.0
Have a look

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Wednesday Walk Group to visit Heeman's Nursery

I went with my Wednesday walk group to visit Heeman's Nursery just outside of London Ontario. They overwinter customer's tropical plants and trees in two large greenhouses so there was an opportunity to shoot. I have three examples of focal stacked images with textured backgrounds

Click HERE to go to ALBUM

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Bugs & Flowers

This sunny warm weather has me looking forward to the spring and beyond. Looking thought last years crop of bugs, I selected these.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Getting all Bent out of Shape

This is my beloved Olympus E-1 and I have been working and revisiting this image many times so this is the latest edition. In the beginning, God and I knew what we did to get the image you see today but now I am afraid only God knows.