nature

Weekly Photo Challenge: Ephemeral

As a street photographer, I strive to capture those fleeting moments that would otherwise be lost forever. I suppose I could plop any old image from my archive into this post and it would fit the theme of this week’s photo challenge.

However I thought I’d turn to nature since I have been spending a heck of a lot more time enjoying the natural surroundings of Mother Nature here in Ottawa, than I could in Toronto. Our capital city is alive with greenery, waterways and wildlife, and I enjoy every minute of it. Here is an image I shot while on a hike last fall in Mer Bleue. You can read about my hike here and lose yourselves in the beautiful landscape.

The image below is a capture (or almost capture) of the ephemeral feeding ways of a chickadee.

Mer Bleue

Winter Wonderland

I can’t believe we’re already approaching the end of January. I mean, I’m still finding Christmas decorations scattered around the house.

It’s about this time of year that I start dreaming about spring and summer, but since this is my first full winter in Ottawa, I’m trying to suppress those warm thoughts and enjoy everything Ottawa has to offer in the winter… and there’s a lot.

The weekend weather was absolutely beautiful. Though yesterday was -26 degrees Celsius, we didn’t let that stop us from getting out and exploring the nearby trails.

We searched for birds and squirrels, and ended the hike with a bit of sledding on a massive hill. It was the boys first real time tackling a big hill.

Here are a couple shots of the morning hike taken with my phone, processed using the Snapseed app, and posted using the WordPress mobile app.

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Black (& White) Friday: Graceful and Deadly

This is a new take on an old friend. I think I’ve shared this image at some point in the past, but in colour. So, I decided to try it out in black and white and I think I really like the result.

I’m not sure if it’s simply because I’m Canadian and we have these big fluffy guys in our Great White North, but I’m fascinated by polar bears. They’re such massive animals that truly live at the top of the food chain. This was shot at the Toronto Zoo, and though I’ve written about my feelings on captive animals in the past, this will likely be my only opportunity to see these beautiful beasts up close.

I love animals and nature so much, and I feel that this image captures the true innocence and grace of the polar bear.

polar bear b/w

Beauty In Ottawa: Mer Bleue Bog

Since moving to Ottawa this summer, I have been itching for autumn to arrive so I could see the spectacular colours in Gatineau Park. I think I had visited the park at this time of year, once, many years ago, but I don’t think I have any pictures from that visit. And besides, I wasn’t that into taking pictures back then anyway.

So, since the weather has been perfect here this past week, I was really looking forward to making the trip out there this weekend… but it didn’t happen. Instead, our friends talked us into visiting Mer Bleue Bog. The disappointment of not seeing Gatineau Park almost made me want to skip this trip and do some work around the house.

THANK GOD I DIDN’T!!!

Mer Bleue

Mer Bleue is easily the most stunning bit of scenery I’ve seen since moving to Ottawa. Mer Bleue is a 7,700 year old bog (yes, that is not a typo) located about twenty minutes east of Ottawa that possesses an eco-system that more closely resembles that of the Arctic than the Ottawa Valley. It is home to a vast array of plant life and wildlife, and is one of the most studied bogs in the world due to its characteristics.

There are apparently more than twenty kilometres of hiking trails, but we chose to walk the 1km boardwalk that leads visitors directly through the bog and surrounding forest.

My friends told me to bring my camera, so I simply brought my trusty 18-55, but I think this place is deserving of a wide angle and a macro lens combo, as well as several hours of free time.

Here are some of the sights that caught my eye on this initial visit…

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And then I was surprised to find out that there was a spot where we could feed chickadees. Who knew that this little exercise could have such a calming effect on a band of highly energetic kids…

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