Honey, I'm home

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Flight of the Red-Tailed Hawk
Pleasantly Plump Pouches
Untitled
A happy wife means a happy life ;)
The hug ;)
Morning has broken..
Grinning from Eye to Eye
Snowy White
I used to be Snow White, but I drifted ~Mae West~
Eastern Screech Owl
Urban Living
Barred Owl
Red Shouldered Hawk
Eagle Owl
A woman's work is never done
I've got you babe
Summer Greens
Just me and a few of my buds ;))
So many berries, so little time
Berrydelicious!
Berry Delicious
Patience
Summer Blues
Common Loon
Dude, can you spare a rolling paper ;)
Aplomado Falcon at sunset
Female Hairy Woodpecker at sunset
Chickadee why did you stay...
Mantled in Mist
A new beginning
What, no butter OR salt?
Royal Tern
Great Spangled Fritillary Butterfly
Relocating
Portrait of a Bald Eagle
Winter
Horned Grebe transition
It's a scary world out there!
Nature's camouflage
Wilson's Snipe in the rain
Green Heron with Green Darner
Male Hairy Woodpecker
Summer Gift
Sunset Snack
Male Eastern Bluebird
Long, tall shorebird!
Great Black Wasp and Black Eyed Susan
Sanderling
Female Downy Woodpecker
Perched Great Egret
Freezie
Monarch Butterfly
Female White-Breasted Nuthatch
Cedar Waxwing
Sleeping Beauty ;)
It's just a tickle....
Whiskey Jack
Wood Duck Drake
Wood Duck Hen
Springtime Ladybug
Eastern Phoebe
Affectionate Voles
Jagged Ambush Bug
Sunset Snack
Tight Web Walkers
Common Redpoll
Upland Sandpiper
Male American Robin
Cosmo Perch
Long-Tailed Duck Drake
Killdeer
I'm a birder and a bugger :+)
Eastern Loggerhead Shrike
Gosling
Male Mourning Dove
Big Foot Pillow
Pie-Billed Grebe
Eastern Bluebird
Groomin' on a Sunday afternoon..
Female Hairy Woodpecker
In the winter snow you play..
Classic Pose
Itty Bitty Piggy
Bling
Stormy Sunset
White Tailed Deer
Black-Bellied Plover
French Kiss
Black-Capped Chickadee
Male Yellow Warbler breeding plumage
Rainy Days and Monday's always get me down...
Wilson's Snipe
Juvenile Male Downy Woodpecker
Hummingbird Heart
Hey out there, I'm starving in here..
Ambush in the marigolds
Demure
I'm a leg man myself
Tree Swallow
Male American Wigeon
Living on the edge :)
Anhinga Portrait
Greater Yellowlegs fishing
Spring Rituals
Blondes have more fun
A bugs eye view
With this moth, I thee wed...
The camera does add 10 lbs.!!
Ruddy Turnstone
"Speak no evil"
Female Downy Woodpecker
Blue Jay
Elegance
Gag me with a beak
Find peace in the morning rush and you will have a good day ~Mike Dolan~
Eastern Screech Owl
Precious Cargo
Double Jointed Snipe
Stick 'Em Up
Juvenile Red Squirrel
Food fit for a King(bird)
Anticipation......
Spaghetti for two
An apple a day, keeps the doctor away ;)
I'd like mornings better if they started later :)
Merlin
Autumn Merlin
Speak no evil..
Walking on Sunshine
I think you need a big 'ole hug
Male Eastern Bluebird
I'm berry overwhelmed
Petite Powerful Peanut Packing Pouches
AHH CHOO!!
Moss for the boss ;)
Sampling the sushi
Cute things come in small packages
Male Yellow Warbler breeding plumage
The sun goes down, the stars come out….
Never be afraid to spread your wings..
I just need someone to feed...
So many seeds, so little time....
What big eyes you have...
Juggling Jay
Bee Happy :)
Wilson's Snipe at sunrise
Summer sight I will miss
Seats with a view ;)
Male American Wigeon
How to stand out in a crowd ;)
I'm furr-ocious
Whiskey Jack
I'm a hoot
Happy Thanksgiving Canada
Subtle Colours
Five more minutes, please!
A good home must be made, not bought (Joyce Maynard) :))
Psychedelic Baby..
Pine Etchings
The Sounds of Silence
Sampling the Sushi Bar
Too cute to spook ;)
Bald Eagle of the shallow water
American Kestrel in the fall
Juvenile Eastern Bluebird
Little Red
Hypnotic Stare
On your mark, get set, go…..
Male Hairy Woodpecker
That breath could knock over a buffalo!!
Chock full of nuts ;)
Upside down bird
Berry Prickly Perch
I give thanks....
Breakfast, lunch & dinner
Nature's Coolant
Clouds
Mirror, Mirror on the water...
Knackered
Monday's should be illegal
White Ibis feeding frenzy in the fog
Chest Deep in Marsh Marigolds
Greenzilla
Tiny but Mighty
Someone on 500px stole my picture & posted to their 500px stream as their own
Endangered Florida Scrub Jay
True Love Stories Never Have Endings ~Richard Bach~
Winter Visitor
Snowshoein' Snowman
White-Breasted Nuthatch
Cold Feet, Warm Heart
Wakey, wakey ;)
Willet fishing in the bubbling surf
Touching Down
"High Key" Tune
Fugly is the new pretty ;)
Winter Blues (Endangered Species)
Size does matter ;-)
A few feathers short of a beauty ;)
Smile, it's Friday ;)
Portrait of a female Pileated Woodpecker
American Kestrel in autumn
I'm a hoot ;)
Long-Tailed Duck Drake
Using her head ;-)
Equal opportunity photographer
My feather-dresser is on vacation!!
Perhaps we should "tweet" mom and dad ;)
This is where you'll find me until spring arrives!!
Take a left at the next intersection!!
If I could change the alphabet, I'd put U and I together babe ;)
She pays me "peanuts" for posing ;)
Male Yellow Shafted Northern Flicker
Handsome Redhead
White-Breasted Nuthatch
Bluebird Romance
All tied up in a bow ;)
Voicing her dismay
Time for chillaxin', the weekend has arrived ;)
Happy Mother's Day
Hanging around
Happy, happy, happy Hump Day!
Pretty Woman
Great Horned Owlets
Never be afraid to spread your wings!
Busy Mommy
Barn Owl
Legs on the menu ;)
Red-Tailed Hawk
My feet are killing me :)
Great Horned Owl at sunset
Northern Bobwhite male (endangered in Ontario)
Double trouble ;)
Female Northern Bobwhite (endangered in Ontario)
Open Air Market
Great Crested Flycatcher
I am NOT picking my nose ;)
Close encounters of the loon kind ;)
Keep calm & do yoga
New additions for Sonny & Cher
A rare sighting
Common Loon Evening Stretch
Forever Foraging
Upland Sandpiper
Nature's pastels
Flower Child
Northern Saw Whet Owl
I'll keep you safe
Eat your greens ;)
Doing nothing is hard, you never know when you're finished :)
Snowy Owlets
Mutual respect
"She thinks we're adorable, you know"
Flying into the weekend
Matching accessories
Swainson's Hawk
Great Northern Loon
You can never have enough sticks :)
The birds & the bees
House Wren-ovations
OMG
Camouflaged Predator
Perfectly camouflaged
Juvenile Red-Winged Blackbird
What a tangled web we weave….
Branchling Siblings
That's the last time I wear heels!!
Monarch Butterflies need our help
Power Nap
A penny for your thoughts
There's a new chipmunk in town
A splash of autumn colour
Singing in the rain
Trick or Treat
Red-Shouldered Hawk
Happy Ending
Has anyone seen my dentures???
The Impaler
Fly softly and carry a big stick
Peace Out
Is it a bird, is it a plane….
Happiness is like a kiss
American Bittern striking
Fang
You otter be on 500px
Happy Thanksgiving to all of my friends south of the border
Kindness is like snow, it beautifies everything it covers~author unknown~
Sticky Fingers
Red-Shouldered Hawk at sunrise
Loggerhead Shrike
Cattle Egret
Red-Tailed Hawk portrait
Owl always love you :)
I'm not fat, it's just my awesomeness swelling up inside of me :)
A crab apple a day….
Music to my ears ;)
Gulp
Springtime
Upside Down Bird
Me & my shadow
Survival
Male American Wigeon
Male Hairy Woodpecker
Female Common Goldeneye
Smile, it's the weekend :)
Red-Shouldered Hawk at sunrise
Striking a pose
The Swamp Thing
Knackered
Any closer and I'll shoot :)
Reddish Egret
Black-Bellied Plover
Flower Child
Owl always love you :)
Burrowing Owlet
Ruddy Turnstone breeding plumage
People who sleep like a baby, usually don't have one (or five)!!
Good News :)
You again!!
Please help name me :)
Grazing in the grass is a gas.....
Orange is the new black :)
It wasn't my idea to come to this fishing hole!!
Friday is my second favourite "F" word ;)
Honest, I didn't eat it!!
D.I.Y.
Curious
D.I.Y.
Happy Canada Day ;)
Grub Day 10
Common Loon & Chick
Family
Owl be back
If Monday morning had a face, this would be it!
Don't forget to floss ;)
The sunrise that couldn't
Dream big :)
Juvenile Male Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
Born to pose!
Wilson's Snipe
Mom & Chick
Question Mark Butterfly
Seeing life from a different perspective...
Smile it's Friday & you're on 500px
Monarch Butterfly
Yes, I took my meds :)
Magical Morning
Born to pose
Double Trouble
Reddish Egret grooming
Mudflat Meal
Juvenile Hummingbird
WHAT, you're going away again!!
Fall Fox
Autumn in Algonquin
Nighty night
Baby Chipmunk
Into the sun
Foxy Encounter
Eyes
Morning at Algonquin
Snail Kite
What do you think of my big stick Ginger ;)
SSsshrike & SSssnake
Happy Hump Day
Limpkin in the rain
Gourmet Meal
Red-Shouldered Hawk
Scrub Jay
Water Ballet
Male Pileated Woodpecker
Bill to Bill, Chest to Chest
Something to be thankful for...
Contemplation....
Male Snail Kite
American Bittern
Juvenile Little Blue Heron
Tastes like chicken
Slam, Bam, Thank you Ma'am!
Anticipation...
Female Snail Kite
Common Loon & Chick
Snowy
Pink is an attitude
I've been framed.....
Redecorating
Female Pileated Closeup
Male Hairy Woodpecker
Ghost Owl
Female Pileated Woodpecker
Yin and Yang
Fred the Great Blue Heron
Built in storage
Snowy Fly By
Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl and sunshine :)
Chickadee black and gray
Next year I'm flying south ;)
Male Pileated Woodpecker
An apple a day....
Daylight Savings is for the birds !!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Owlets
When all else fails, take a nap !
Dad
First my mother, forever my friend
Cute as can bee
Spring
Travelling Incognito
Smoking is bad for your health!
Environmentally Friendly Weed Control
One too many
Feather Topper
My feather dresser is on vacation
Happy Hump Day
Peanut Thief
One birds trash, is another birds treasure
Too much fabric softener ;)
Bull Moose
Common Loon on nest
Juvenile Bull Moose
I'm not fat, I'm just 9" too short ;)
Making a comeback....
Eastern Phoebe
Life's a beach
Just do it....
Juvenile Piping Plover foraging

Flight of the Red-Tailed Hawk

:) Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Pleasantly Plump Pouches

Sweet Eleanor the chipmunk doing what she does best :) In past years, I haven't taken many photos of chipmunks wondering if I would be taken seriously as a wildlife photographer. I've decided I really don't care. Chipmunk images have been my money makers and my most widely published photos in this competitive market ;) Published Photography Week Magazine Xposure Gallery :) Have a lovely Sunday.

Untitled

A happy wife means a happy life ;)

All we need is a big stick (sorry couldn't resist)! Here is the second in the series of the heron couple while they were busy building their nest. She was a happy wife with all of his labours of love/lust and I think he was quite proud of himself. He would fly down to the tree line, break off a branch and then fly back up to the top of the palm tree where they would both work on adding it to the existing sticks. I think the fluffed out chest feathers and crown show her appreciation on this image. I still have some more to post - including the hug when he was finished for the day :)) Although they don't mate for life, they form a strong bond and stay together until their young have fledged. The display above is part of their mating ritual, it was a privilege to watch and photograph this intimate behaviour.

The hug ;)

It was the most adorable thing to watch the female hug the male when he had finished collecting sticks and helping arrange them on their nest for the day. This was the last stick of the day and somehow she must have known it. Hard work, cooperation, communication and gratitude. No one can tell me that birds don't have feelings. He looked so pleased to be appreciated. It was such a special moment to witness and photograph. Happy Monday ;)

Morning has broken..

Misty sunrise over Lake of Two Rivers at Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada. It turned out to be a beautiful autumn day.

Grinning from Eye to Eye

Published in Nature's Best Photography Magazine Spring/Summer Issue 2012. Damselfly resting on purple flowering bush. Thank you for the overwhelming response to Eleanor the chipmunk yesterday - it will take me some time to catch up with all of the comments and faves. Have a wonderful weekend ;)

Snowy White

Snowy Egret preening. Just returned from Florida - lot's of catching up to do :))

I used to be Snow White, but I drifted ~Mae West~

The exquisite Snowy Egret is one of North America's most familiar herons, having staged a rapid comeback after protective legislation was enacted in the early 1900s (it was nearly hunted to extinction). Found throughout the Western Hemisphere, these wading birds are delicately built, with snowy white feathers, black legs, and bright yellow feet, which they use to actively stir up prey in the shallow waters of ponds and marshes. Keeping themselves so sparkling white must take a lot of work!! This pretty subject had just finished preening, when it posed for a second before it was off to forage for the day at Merritt :)

Eastern Screech Owl

Meet Echo. The tree where Echo was born was cut down and she was the only owlet to survive. She was saved and raised and has now imprinted with humans which means she can never live in the wild again. She now lives at the Mountsberg Conservation Area where she helps educate the public. Ray Barlow has workshops periodically at the centre and we are able to photograph a variety of raptors in the park. The money helps with their upkeep. Sorry I have been a bad contact - we had a stretch of bad luck - all within a week. My daughter broke her collarbone, my husband had knee surgery two days later and a couple of days after that my mom was admitted to the hospital :( Published Photography Week Magazine.

Urban Living

The more trees we humans cut down, the more habitat is lost for our feathered friends and other animals we share this earth with. Some birds are able to adapt like this Pileated Woodpecker that is working on a hydro pole for her new home. Sadly, other birds die. I'm worried about this woodpecker because it's on the side of a highway and I'm praying that she is not hit by a car/truck when she flies away to eat and when she eventually feeds her family who will live here until they fledge. A girl always wants to look good while she's working on her new home :)

Barred Owl

Barred Owl photographed just as the sun was setting on a dirt road in Florida with blurred palm tree background. I wish you a Happy & Safe Holiday Season.

Red Shouldered Hawk

I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas (or whatever it is you celebrate) and a Healthy, Happy & Prosperous New Year with lots of sunshine and photo ops ;)) I appreciate your comments, faves & likes and always try to reciprocate. Thanks so much for the support this past year. This Red Shouldered Hawk was posing all morning and the fog was so thick I could barely make it out. I kept praying for the sun to break through and the hawk to stay close, finally the sun was able to make a dent in the fog and I was able to get off a few shots before this hawk was on it's way.

Eagle Owl

Owls are my favorite bird of prey and this beauty is so powerful it can take down a small deer.

A woman's work is never done

I have been lucky enough to witness different species of birds building their nests this spring. The females work extremely hard, while the males act as guards. Some of the males will feed their mates while she is busy collecting nesting material and building, while others escort her back and forth keeping her safe, some will guard the nesting site. I hope to watch this pair as well as a pair of Tree Swallows (Lucy & Ricky) through the process of building and fledging their young. I have named this couple Sonny and Cher. It looks like Cher has been stripping a tree :)

I've got you babe

Meet Sonny, Cher's mate. He was singing away on a bleached out snag while she was lining the nest with feathers and fur - not sure where she found them. Their song sounds like a cross between crickets and frogs singing but I'm sure it sounds beautiful to Cher. Hope you are all having a wonderful weekend. I'm off on a day trip to photograph raptors in flight tomorrow. Crossing my fingers for sunny weather.

Summer Greens

Praying Mantis posing on wild grass. Happy Sunday. Thanks for looking. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Just me and a few of my buds ;))

Handsome and colourful male Common Redpoll posing on a Pussy Willow/Furry Catkin tree on a beautiful spring day in Wasaga Beach. There were hundreds of Common Redpolls with a few Hoary Redpolls mixed in stopping to fuel up before heading further north. Had our big Easter dinner yesterday so today company is going home and I'm going to relax :)

So many berries, so little time

This was the last time we saw Eleanor the Chipmunk before she retired to her burrow for the winter. She has lived in our backyard for four years and entertains us with her antics. Can't wait until she emerges in the spring. Thanks to EarthShots.org for posting two in the series on their website - one as recent as January 1st, 2012. Nice way to start the New Year!

Berrydelicious!

This is the third and final shot of the series of Eleanor storing winterberries in her pouches. This was the last time we saw her before she retired to her burrow for the winter.EarthShots.org picture of the day January 1st, 2012.Please be advised that my images are fully protected by Canadian Copyright Law. The images may not be downloaded for personal, commercial or educational use, copied to blogs, personal websites, used as wallpaper, screensavers, deep-linked, etc. If you would like to use an image, you MUST contact me to obtain written permission. Acknowledging the source of the copyrighted material does not substitute for obtaining written permission.

Berry Delicious

Eleanor is an Eastern Chipmunk who has lived in our backyard for the past four years. She keeps us entertained throughout the spring, summer and early fall with her antics. She stuffed her cheeks with winterberries the last time we saw her this fall - in fact the berry she is just above to stuff into her rather roomy pouches was the last one before she retired to her burrow. The snow has since fallen and we can't wait to see her emerge next spring. © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright © 2012 Barb D'Arpino/naturethroughmyeyes.com. This image is protected under the Canadian and International Copyright laws. These images are presented here for viewing purposes only. They are NOT stock images or royalty free. They may not be used for commercial or private use. They are copyrighted by me. Any such use whatsoever of these images is strictly prohibited. They may not be copied, downloaded, manipulated, blogged, deep-linked, tweeted, pinned, Stumbled, tumbled or reproduced by any other means or sold without my prior written consent. Linking back to me does not substitute for written permission.

Patience

Only available for licencing through Getty's Images. Praying Mantis waiting for breakfast to wander by. Testing the 1DX with macro shots. Migration is in full swing and most of our song birds have started flying south :( Juvenile hummingbirds remain along with some birds that overwinter (oops I said the "w" word)!!

Summer Blues

Blue symbolism provides a fascinating look at one of the most prevalent and beloved colors around the world. Blue symbolism affects many areas of life, including clothing choices, language and cliches, interior design, art, religion and health. Although blue is even more popular in the western world than in other areas of the world, blue skies and blue water are full of positive meaning in every culture. We are, after all, living on the "blue planet."

Common Loon

Photographed this common Loon in breeding colours this past July at sunrise.

Dude, can you spare a rolling paper ;)

Couldn't resist. AND no I'm not a dude!! Photographed (at a respectful distance) a pair of Eastern Bluebirds collecting material for their nest. The female did most of the work but the male would occasionally feed her a bug to thank her for all of her efforts. Have a wonderful week ahead.

Aplomado Falcon at sunset

One of the most beautiful falcons (IMHO). Let's hope their populations continue to grow in their former range in the U.S. Until the 1950s it was found in the extreme southwestern United States, and reintroduction efforts are under way in Western and Southern Texas. It began to reoccupy its former range in West Texas and southern New Mexico in the 1990s. Documentary evidence for these naturally occurring birds was obtained in New Mexico in 1991, and sightings built steadily through that decade and the next, leading to successful fledging of three young in 2002. Sightings and nesting activity continue to the present.The expansion of the reintroduction program to that area has met with criticism, because technically, all Aplomado Falcons in New Mexico are classified as part of the "experimental" (reintroduction) population. As such, while they are still legally protected from hunting, they are not protected by Endangered Species Act requirements to preserve habitat and the like. It is believed that mainly habitat destruction caused the species near-disappearance from the US and hinders reestablishment of a wild breeding population. A coalition of environmental groups is attempting to have full protection restored so as not to jeopardize the success of the expanding wild population and the reintroduction efforts. Photographed at the Canadian Raptor Conservancy with Ray Barlow.

Female Hairy Woodpecker at sunset

Sweet hairy woodpecker photographed as the sun was setting on a beautiful autumn's day in Wasaga Beach. We haven't seen much of the sun for the past couple of months. Happy Sunday :)

Chickadee why did you stay...

It always amazes me that these adorable Black-Capped Chickadees overwinter in Ontario. They seem to thrive throughout the cold winter months. Photographed at Algonquin Provinicial Park a couple of winters ago perched on poison berry.

Mantled in Mist

Mute Swan cloaked in heavy fog yesterday morning at the Toronto Lakeshore. Happy Spring everyone. I'm off to catch up on your beautiful images that I have missed.

A new beginning

Misty sunrise over Brewers Lake at Algonquin Provincial Park during the autumn of 2010. The sun was slowly burning away the thick mist after a cold evening.

What, no butter OR salt?

We had fastened a cob of corn on a snag for the birds to enjoy. We sat down to dinner and out of the corner of my eye I noticed movement on the corn. Imagine my surprise when I saw Eleanor stuffing her cheeks with kernels until she looked ready to explode. It didn't take her long to strip the cob. Grabbed my camera, snapped a few pictures and the rest is history :+) © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright © 2012 Barb D'Arpino/naturethroughmyeyes.com. This image is protected under the Canadian and International Copyright laws. These images are presented here for viewing purposes only. They are NOT stock images or royalty free. They may not be used for commercial or private use. They are copyrighted by me. Any such use whatsoever of these images is strictly prohibited. They may not be copied, downloaded, manipulated, blogged, deep-linked, tweeted, pinned, Stumbled, tumbled or reproduced by any other means or sold without my prior written consent. Linking back to me does not substitute for written permission. Published Nature's Best Photography Magazine Summer, Canadian Geographic Best Wildlife Pictures 2012, First for Women, cover of USA Scholastic Magazine and several other publications around the world.

Royal Tern

Photographed at Merritt Island, Florida on a lovely autumn day. It was a windy day and several surfers were enjoying the waves. You can see a big wave about to hit shore just behind this funky looking tern.

Great Spangled Fritillary Butterfly

..enjoying some cone flower nectar as the sun was setting. The white patterns picked up some of the pink from the flowers.

Relocating

Nature never ceases to amaze me - how did the couple communicate this move. First he had a mouthful of grasses that he took to the old home - I assume to keep the babies busy eating while he moved them one by one. When he returned - his wife was following (not carrying a baby) and he had the first baby. She stayed on the new nest in the marsh while he retrieved the rest of their family. It was a lot of fun to watch and we were lucky to be in the right place at the right time. 2 1/2 hours later he had moved 5 babies and must have been exhausted - he went back to the old home, but hadn't returned within 45 minutes so we left. He was aware of me, even though I was at a respectable distance and he would swim by quickly - changed my camera body to the 7D for a faster shutter speed with the available evening light. Some babies were moved upside down, others with their bum toward me so it was nice that this one's head was facing my way. The marsh is surrounded by trees as you can see reflected in the water. He was moving them from one pond to another and had to dive under a culvert with the baby in his mouth - this is just as they are breaking the surface of the water. Dropping in to say hello - I was hoping to be back on 500px more regularly but it hasn't worked out - hopefully I'll be back soon. Miss you all and want you to know that I check your images every chance I get. Will catch up on your latest tonight. © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright © 2012 Barb D'Arpino/naturethroughmyeyes.com This image is protected under the Canadian and International Copyright laws. These images are presented here for viewing purposes only. They are NOT stock images or royalty free. They may not be used for commercial or private use. They are copyrighted by me. Any such use whatsoever of these images is strictly prohibited. They may not be copied, downloaded, manipulated, blogged, deep-linked, tweeted, pinned, Stumbled, tumbled or reproduced by any other means or sold without my prior written consent. Linking back to me does not substitute for written permission.

Portrait of a Bald Eagle

The plumage of the immature is brown, speckled with white until approximately the fifth year, when it reaches sexual maturity. This bald eagle looks like he must be reaching his fifth year because he's almost completely white. Joined Ray Barlow to practice my birds in flight, unfortunately the weather wasn't cooperating - it was dark, windy, rainy and cold. I did photograph this beautiful raptor though.

Winter

Footsteps over a frozen Georgian Bay on a beautiful winter's day.

Horned Grebe transition

Horned Grebe transitioning into breeding plumage. Photographed last spring on a wavy spring morning. If you have time please view in large.

It's a scary world out there!

Juvenile black squirrel peeking out of knot in tree.

Nature's camouflage

I'm not sure how "eagle eye" manservant spotted this Gray Tree Frog as it is so tiny and blends in to it's environment perfectly, but I'm happy he did :) He was just above knee high poison ivy - luckily he stayed until I returned with my boots. It's much smaller than this image.

Wilson's Snipe in the rain

One of my favorite times to photograph is in the rain. This Snipe posed nicely for me at the Alvar this past spring.

Green Heron with Green Darner

I was really lucky this past summer to get close to a Green Heron for a few days and observe his behavior at fairly close range. The blue jays were tormenting him and when I was close they left him alone and I believe the heron realized this - we had a short-term symbiotic relationship. I was amazed at how smart he was, he would catch a dragonfly and then lay it on top of the water to lure fish - the ultimate fishing machine.

Male Hairy Woodpecker

Miss you all so I thought I would drop by and check out everyone's streams to see what you've been up to. Looks like 500px made some changes while I've been gone :+))

Summer Gift

What could be more beautiful than a sunflower in bloom during our summer.

Sunset Snack

Just as the sun was setting I was laying at the edge of a pond photographing this hungry beaver who was busily stripping the bark from a branch, when he became quite curious about me and my shutter clicks. He started walking out of the water toward me and he was really quite large. I was a little nervous and made a quick exit without my beloved (LOL) camera and lens. All the while manservant (pet name for my husband) who was a safe distance away was yelling at me to keep snapping pix - yea right.

Male Eastern Bluebird

I suspect he is a juvenile by the little bits of yellow on his beak, however he was already so colourful.

Long, tall shorebird!

Only available through Getty's Images for licencing. Happy 2012! Hope everyone has a healthy, happy New Year filled with sunshine and photo ops :+) Willet on the Atlantic Coast enjoying some fresh clam.

Great Black Wasp and Black Eyed Susan

Needed a splash of colour on this cold winter's day.

Sanderling

Only available through Getty's Images for licencing. Clam shells had washed up on shore or were left there by fishermen using them as bait and they were a favorite of several species of shorebirds.

Female Downy Woodpecker

Photographed in Wasaga Beach, Ontario.

Perched Great Egret

Egrets and herons (along with gators, water mocassins and several other species of birds) grace just about every pond and body of water you come across in Florida. Back home in Ontario I might be lucky to see one or two through our summer months. It was a real treat to see so many and have a chance to photograph them. I hope the natives know how lucky they have it :+)) This one was taking a break from fishing - just below this egret were wood storks, roseate spoonbills and a number of other species. Can't wait to go back!!

Freezie

Last winter was brutal in Wasaga Beach, Ontario. It started snowing in October and didn't stop until some time in March. It always amazes me how the little goldfinches and chickadees seem to thrive during our harsh winter months. I was surprised to see this one eating the ice off of this tree.

Monarch Butterfly

In years past there was nothing more common than seeing these beautiful butterflies during our summer months. Sadly, their numbers are decreasing quickly. Famers are eradicating milkweed and their territory in Mexico is shrinking quickly.

Female White-Breasted Nuthatch

Birds are scarce during the wintertime in Northern Ontario (along with the sun) so I'm happy that the nuthatches, chickadees and finches stay and brave it out with us so I have some models through the cold months ahead.

Cedar Waxwing

Not everyone's favorite perch for birds, I happen to really like it - birds tend to love perching on it and it allows for clean backgrounds in most cases. I was surprised at the number of different birds I was able to capture on galvanized/barbed wire this past summer.

Sleeping Beauty ;)

Adorable and sleepy Eastern Screech Owl, unable to keep her eyes open (controlled conditions) at a Ray Barlow workshop.

It's just a tickle....

Green Heron following a grooming session - coughing up a feather ball :+)

Whiskey Jack

Photographed last winter at Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario. Algonquin is their southernmost range.

Wood Duck Drake

Photographed last spring.

Wood Duck Hen

Photographed in the spring of 2011.

Springtime Ladybug

Thank you for your support and encouragement on my previous posts. We have been having July weather in March in Ontario - unheard of. Several bugs have awakened, birds are migrating early, bears are coming out of hibernation. There is very little in bloom in our yard except for our pussy willow tree. The bees and other insects are collecting pollen and enjoying some tasty greens like this ladybug. Hope you enjoy this image.

Eastern Phoebe

I was photographing a pair of Phoebes building their nest at one of my favorite birding spots yesterday. Although I did capture them with mouthfuls of horse hair and other soft material for their nest this was one of my favorite images I shot - I think it shows their sweet personalities.

Affectionate Voles

First let me say this is a huge crop. I was photographing some winter birds around the marsh when something caught my eye. These two voles were running in and out of snow tunnels and having a great time. Photographed in between two large trees that needed to be cropped off the sides. Not sure if it's 500px worthy but it was just too cute not to share!

Jagged Ambush Bug

Reminds me of a transformer - LOL! Cleaning his antennae perched on butterfly weed around protected marshland. This is a tiny bug - always amazes me what I can capture with my macro lens and not see with the naked eye.

Sunset Snack

We were out on a boat photographing loons when my husband (manservant as I lovingly refer to him) spotted this osprey just as the sun was setting perched low over the water with it's last catch of the evening.

Tight Web Walkers

I headed to Minesing Wetlands in hopes of photographing raptors in flight and this is what I came home with ;+))

Common Redpoll

He was eating female catkins on this alder tree on a cold but sunny winter's day last February. Stopped long enough to strike a pose.

Upland Sandpiper

I photographed this Sandpiper perched on a snag from my car window last spring. The background is a green meadow at the Carden Plains. During the late 1800's high demand for their meat led to catastrophic declines in their population over much of North America. They have since rebounded in Ontario but only in limited areas where grassland habitats persist. Twice each year, these shorebirds make the incredible journey between Canada and South America - all that way and no in-flight movies ;+)

Male American Robin

Robin's are usually seen foraging on the ground for worms and grubs. Last spring it was so cold and snowy well into April that they had to wait quite a while to enjoy their favorite food. This one was eating berries from a sumac tree.

Cosmo Perch

Longing for warmer, sunnier days and needed a reminder.

Long-Tailed Duck Drake

Unfortunately I was not able to get an eye level shot of the long tail ducks because of all of the ice on the rocks at the lakeshore. Photographed on a windy, choppy day in Toronto. The only time these pretty ducks come close to shore is throughout the winter. Formerly called Old Squaw Duck.

Killdeer

I'm a birder and a bugger :+)

Skipper butterfly, the tiniest of all butterflies drinking nectar from a cone flower. I shot it wide open so I could get it's proboscis (tongue) in action. There are over 3,500 species of Skippers across the world.

Eastern Loggerhead Shrike

Sadly, the Eastern Loggerhead Shrike is critically endangered in Canada. Luckily, I was able to photograph a few in Florida. Hope their numbers can make a comeback in Canada despite the threats which include - fragmentation of suitable habitat, collision with motor vehicles and the use of dust supressant dombind on roads - which affect the insect population and their diet.

Gosling

This gosling had just plopped down exhuasted after running around the shore digging in the dirt and eating dandelions. Composition wise I know I should have left him more room to look into, but I liked the blurred grasses on the right so I left them in the frame. His parents were close by keeping a watchful eye on him. They protect their babies with a fierceness which is sometimes hard to watch.

Male Mourning Dove

I love the soft coo of the mourning dove. We have several that overwinter in Wasaga Beach but it's hard to get anywhere near them. I usually see them when we scare each other - they take flight when I approach and the noise scares the heck out of me. An interesting fact about this gentle bird is that they feed milk to their young - it's not true milk but a nutritious liquid produced by glands in the birds crop. The chicks insert their beaks (the book called them bills?) down the adult's throat to eat this protein rich fluid.

Big Foot Pillow

I followed raccoon prints on freshly fallen snow at Tiny Marsh, when the prints stopped I looked up and was surprised that I had actually found them - HA! There was a whole family but these two were visible and there was a little bit of lighting on the side through the trees. I suspect those big feet are moms that the bottom one is resting upon.

Pie-Billed Grebe

Driving along Blackpoint Drive at Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge there is a small creek with trees and bushes on both sides (colours in the water). There were a few of these shy tiny grebes fishing. As soon as there was any movement they would dive in never to be seen again. Using the car as a blind I waited where there was a small opening and I was rewarded when one swam quickly by. Upon hearing my shutter button he dove down in a flash.

Eastern Bluebird

Groomin' on a Sunday afternoon..

During our long, cold winter I long for the wildlife subjects of Florida, Africa and many other places on our diverse planet, but until then I have to photograph what is available in my neck of the woods. I only see Red Squirrels in our area during the winter months. Unlike the Eurasian Red Squirrel their status is not endangered in North America except in Arizona.

Female Hairy Woodpecker

Thought I should give equal time to the pretty female. Photographed just as the sun was setting on a beautiful afternoon in Wasaga Beach. Happy Monday!

In the winter snow you play..

When I was young (oh so long ago) my parent's used to sing me a song; Chickadee black and gray, in the winter snow you play, When the birds all went away, Chickadee why did you stay. I often wonder that myself - but these tiny birds thrive during our harsh winters.

Classic Pose

Male White-Breasted Nuthatch posing and vocalizing on a tree. These guys are easy to spot because they are so loud, but they run up and down trees very seldom keeping still. Background is snow - sigh!!

Itty Bitty Piggy

I was laying down on the grass determined to photograph a frog catching a fly when I felt some nibbling on my toes and it was really distracting. I turned around to look and there was Eleanor tasting my toes - I guess they may look like peanuts (being 6' tall my toes are on the long side - LOL). Fearing she may take a bite and I would end up in the hospital having rabies shots I grabbed some peanuts and threw them down on the grass. She managed to shove 3 full peanuts in the shell in her pouches and carry another one to her burrow. I never did capture the frog and the fly - perhaps this summer :+(

Bling

This gray jay/whiskey jack was sporting a pink, green, blue and silver bracelet at Algonquin Provincial Park yesterday. Algonquin is their southernmost range so I like to travel there to photograph them at least once a year. Smart birds that hide their food during the summer to survive our harsh Canadian winters - they find the food by memory. Friendly and boisterous they are a pleasure to photograph. The white is snow in the trees behind the jay. Also bumped into fox, moose, wolves, evening grosbeaks, pine grosbeaks, crossbills, several chickadees - but not the elusive boreal.

Stormy Sunset

Over Georgian Bay behind Blue Mountains. When I photographed this sunset we hadn't seen the sun in a long time. I was so excited to see it as sunset was approaching on this stormy October evening I grabbed my gear and off I went to the beach. I laid down on the sand - thinking I was far enough that the waves would not reach me. Well I was wrong - where the sunset is reflected is where I had just been laying down - ha!! I didn't last much longer because I was wet and cold :+((

White Tailed Deer

Last January when I photographed this deer running through the snow it was -38 with at least a foot of snow. This year we have virtually no snow and yesterday was +7 - what a difference a year makes!!

Black-Bellied Plover

Captured at Merritt Island in December. It would be wonderful to capture one in breeding plumage - they change quite drastically, however they breed in the Arctic.

French Kiss

This female Hairy Woodpecker was busy digging for lunch.

Black-Capped Chickadee

On cold winter nights, these birds reduce their body temperature by up to 10–12 °C (from their normal temperature of about 42 °C) to conserve energy. Such a capacity for torpor is rare in birds (or at least, rarely studied). Very few subjects at the moment so I hope you don't mind a few sweet winter chickadees :-)) I think the sumac seeds give scale to how tiny this bird is.

Male Yellow Warbler breeding plumage

Rainy Days and Monday's always get me down...

Only available through Getty's Images for licencing. Rain water had pooled on this leaf that wasn't far from the ground and this tiny (small as my baby fingernail) frog/toad was sitting on it while it rained. I'm not sure what type it is - can't find it in any of my nature books? If anyone knows I would appreciate an ID. Testing out the 1DX in low light situations.

Wilson's Snipe

Vocalizing to it's mate on a farmer's fence post last spring. Photographed from my car window.



With the 5D when blue and green meet in any of my images I get that swirly effect that you can see? Anyone else have this problem?

Juvenile Male Downy Woodpecker

Much smaller than the Hairy Woodpecker I uploaded yesterday, however they have such similar markings. Even though some of the birch bark is blocking the woodpecker I quite liked all the curly birch bark.

Hummingbird Heart

Anyone can catch your eye, but it takes someone special to catch your heart - author unknown. Just a fun post for a special occasion!!

Hey out there, I'm starving in here..

Sorry - been a bad contact - just not much time at the moment. I usually stay away from nests and babies because I'm worried the parent's may abandon them, however I was photographing warblers (attempting would be more accurate) when I noticed nestlings popping their heads out of this hole as this little one is doing. They didn't make a sound, but had their beaks wide open. I believe they are bluebird babies because there was a male and female hanging out in the area. I took a couple of pix and left so they would feed them :) Hope you all had a wonderful weekend full of photo ops.

Ambush in the marigolds

This tiny jumping spider had just captured breakfast. Thought I needed a splash of colour on my stream ;)

Demure

It was so peaceful watching and photographing the grebes, swans, geese and ducks in the fog. It was a magical day.

Have a wonderful weekend.

I'm a leg man myself

Well in reality I'm a female and a vegetarian ;)

Tree Swallow

Two signs of spring - pussy willows and tree swallows - when the swallows are back you know the bugs have also returned :-) Now I can't wait for the trees and grass to turn green for those beautiful green backgrounds that compliment wildlife so well.

Male American Wigeon

I suspect this one is a juvenile as his colours are much more subtle than many I have photographed.


Have a wonderful Easter weekend to those contacts that celebrate.

Living on the edge :)

The bugger in me is pleased to have some insect action the last couple of days. Nothing much in bloom except for dandelions and daffodils but it won't be long now. This hoverfly was enjoying this daffodil. Have a wonderful weekend. I have been busy so not much time for 500px at the moment - going to catch up on your streams now.

Anhinga Portrait

Another one of the interesting looking birds I encountered while in Florida. I know it's probably as common as our mallard ducks - so I apologize to my Florida contacts. This was the first time I had seen and photographed one. They are referred to also as a snake bird because they swim with their heads just above the water. Unlike ducks their wings are not waterproof therefore they must dry them out to enable them to fly - otherwise the heaviness helps with diving deep to catch their meals.

Greater Yellowlegs fishing

These shorebirds are quick - they grab the fish and come up swallowing. I have a whole fishing series but 500px doesn't allow you to post in a series :(

Used my car as a blind so not at eye level.

Still really busy but checking in to see what I've missed.

Spring Rituals

What is spring without an image of a Male Red-Winged Blackbird displaying for a female. Photographed at the edge of the marsh at sunset.
Thank you to The Cornell Lab of Ornithology for displaying on their home page (Bird Share) for the upcoming week.


Have a wonderful weekend my fellow photographers.

Blondes have more fun

This male Bobolink flew up from a farmers field taking a break from enjoying dandelions, to impress a female across the way.

A bugs eye view

Nature will bear the closest inspection. She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain. Henry David Thoreau

With this moth, I thee wed...

This male bluebird searched for bugs for the female while she picked up nesting material. It's so cute how he catches the food and then feeds it to her (after beating it to death of course - which I'm sure she appreciated) - I'm guessing this is all part of their mating ritual and I do believe she has accepted his proposal:)) He was looking at a fence post so not the best comp.

The camera does add 10 lbs.!!

:)

Ruddy Turnstone

This turnstone had worked so hard to extract that clam from the shell and just when I turned over to capture some pelicans in flight overhead a gull swooped down and stole his meal - sigh. Always expect the unexpected!!

"Speak no evil"

Tiniest damselfly perched on May Night Sage with sage in the background. The "bugger" in me is kind of obsessed with damselflies - they are so tiny, yet so colourful and those eyes are very cool!! I've been determined to get the shot on a blade of grass with both eyes on either side looking at me - I'll keep trying :)

Female Downy Woodpecker

Woodpeckers have quickly become one of my favorite subjects to photograph. Usually they are so engrossed in their work that they don't notice or care if they are photographed. I thought I should give equal time to a female.

Blue Jay

Elegance

Took a trip to Florida to meet up with some contacts. It was a lot of fun even though the temperature dipped down to freezing on 3 mornings and the sun wasn't very cooperative. I was hoping to capture some of the many birds in breeding plumage. This Great Egret was sitting on her eggs and her bright green was starting to fade to blue which I thought was quite lovely. Happy Thursday ;)

Gag me with a beak

It was a blast watching and photographing the barn swallows feeding their young. Most of the time there were eight babies lined up on the barbed wire. I had no idea which one would be the lucky recipient of the next insect - there was no rhyme or reason to the order. Some were fed twice in a row, some were neglected. Once in a while I was lucky and focused on the correct bird. At this point they were flying and able to catch their own meals, but they know how to milk this baby thing :)

Find peace in the morning rush and you will have a good day ~Mike Dolan~

The sun was rising on what turned out to be a beautiful summer's day while this backlit & dewy dragonfly dried it's wings to prepare for a day of hunting around the marsh.

Eastern Screech Owl

Tired and moulting but still adorable :) Have a wonderful weekend. Controlled conditions - Ray Barlow workshop.

Precious Cargo

Female Common Baskettail Dragonfly resting with eggs in tow on May Night Sage. She was close to the marsh where she would eventually lay her eggs.

Double Jointed Snipe

Wilson's Snipe striking a pose on a beautiful spring day.

Stick 'Em Up

A fun Sunday Post. Hope you are having a wonderful weekend. Eastern Kingbird Sorry for the overload of uploads - I have been off for so long I'm catching up :-)

Juvenile Red Squirrel

Had some sunshine today - hadn't seen any in so long - it was a nice change. Grabbed my gear and off I went in search of some photo ops. Spotted quite a few winter visitors including this red squirrel.

Food fit for a King(bird)

I had so much fun watching and photographing the kingbirds feeding their babies, even in the rain and overcast conditions. It was a challenge focusing on the correct baby. Wish you could see this one in large for more detail as Dad shoves a large grasshopper in it's mouth.

Anticipation......

Have a wonderful weekend full of photo ops and sunshine ;) As luck would have it the second one in the series is directly below it.

Spaghetti for two

Happy Monday. Last one in the Kingbird series - I promise - they gave me several cute poses while feeding their young ;+)

An apple a day, keeps the doctor away ;)

Still testing out the limits of the 1DX - it was extremely dark and windy - in fact it started raining while I was photographing robins enjoying ornamental crab apples. Shot at +1 comp, shutter speed priority 1/1250 which gave me an automatic ISO of 1600 and an aperture of 4.5.. Less DOF than I'd like but hey I can't complain about the performance of the 1DX. Even blown up to 100% there was very little visible noise. I have a few contacts that are thinking of purchasing this body (camera not mine - mine is way past it's prime - lol) so I thought I would post some low light images!! Now if only the robins leave some of the apples for a sunny day :))

I'd like mornings better if they started later :)

Upland Sandpiper waking up at sunrise. Happy Hump Day!

Merlin

I went to Minesing Wetlands yesterday hoping to capture some shorebirds, at this time there are usually thousands in the flooded wetlands. Sadly, there wasn't one shorebird :( Shows how far behind our spring is. I spent about an hour photographing a frog (yes I'm a little hard up). I like frog pix, but this one wasn't even in an interesting environment - he was in the middle of a dirt path :) I did see a shrike impale a mouse/vole? on a tree for later consumption. No pix of the shrike so I'm not sure whether it was a Northern or Loggerhead but I did get some pix of the poor rodent. This is my last post for a few days. Have a wonderful week and I'll see you in a few days.

Autumn Merlin

Only available for licencing through Getty's Images. I will be out of commission for a while. I received an email from Apple advising that I have an affected 1 TB Seagate hardrive - which means it could fail at any time - sigh. They will replace at no charge, but what an inconvenience. Need to back everything up and drop off at an Apple service provider. Last of my raptors in fall series. This is a beautiful raptor with it's subtle blues. A much higher ISO than I would have liked, but the 1DX handles it quite well. Photographed at Mountsberg Conservation Area with Ray Barlow under controlled conditions.

Speak no evil..

;)

Walking on Sunshine

Happy last full day of summer ;)

I think you need a big 'ole hug

There are a few osprey nests that I monitor throughout the summer a few hours away from home. This is one of the fledglings of Lucy and Ricky, two osprey that have been coming back to the same nest for several years. It's built high on top of a hydro pole. I stood on the back of the cab to try and get a little closer. He was enjoying a fish that he wasn't about to share with anyone.

Male Eastern Bluebird

The male and female bluebirds were busy feeding their young. The young were still in their nest so I stayed a respectable distance away so as not to disturb them. The female seemed to feed the young at a ratio of 3 to 1 to the male - just saying :))

I'm berry overwhelmed

Don't worry little nuthatch - the weekend has arrived :) Happy Fun Friday. Have a great one!! Nature Canada photo of the month March 2013.

Petite Powerful Peanut Packing Pouches

Say that quickly :) Eleanor had just stuffed three peanuts in her rather ample pouches. If only this was an Olympic Sport. The Olympics are over for another four years, England put on a fabulous show and were wonderful hosts. Congrats to our Canadian athletes and all the athletes worldwide.

AHH CHOO!!

Praying mantis on Queen Anne's Lace.

Moss for the boss ;)

So much action...so little light :( We actually watched the osprey as they grabbed the hanging moss from the cypress trees in their talons to take home for their nests. It was so much fun photographing the osprey while they were building their nests and coupling up for the season. Unfortunately the first morning was thick cloud and frosty (the day I captured this image) although near the very end of our trip it started to lighten up slightly. The second day was pure sun but we didn't have the same guide on the boat - I wonder if this had anything to do with it - the first morning we were out on the lake, Graham (all the way from England) was standing behind our boat pilot and guide Jeff (a nice looking guy), and he asked if anyone minded if he had a fag - well you should have seen Jeff's face. We had a good laugh over that one. Thanks to Graham for treating us to the second outing ;)

Sampling the sushi

Sanderling photographed at Merritt Island in Florida enjoying clam as the surf washed up shells.

Cute things come in small packages

Eleanor our backyardigan will soon be retiring to her burrow the end of autumn or early winter until next spring :(( We have enjoyed her antics this summer.

Male Yellow Warbler breeding plumage

Serenading a tree trunk on a beautiful spring morning. Warblers are beautiful little song birds, but such a challenge to photograph. Have a wonderful weekend everyone.

The sun goes down, the stars come out….

This was a lovely way to end a day in Florida. Just as the sun was setting, this Red Shouldered Hawk posed on a tall barbed wire fence post for the paparazzi. Dropping in today and then back out of town for another week :)

Never be afraid to spread your wings..

The sun had yet to rise on a misty summer's morning while the loons were on the lake feeding their young. This male took a moment to stretch before resuming his daddy duties.

I just need someone to feed...

This European Starling tried to feed the baby barn swallows and/or the baby phoebes. The parents of both sets kept scaring her off - she tried and tried again - eventually she ate this mouthful but immediately started collecting bugs/caterpillars again and started on her mission once more. I'm not sure what it means - did she lose her own babies, does she just feel the need to feed baby birds when she hears them cry. I felt sorry for her. This was early morning and when I returned hours later she was still trying :( Thanks to those who take the time to read my descriptions :))

So many seeds, so little time....

I had been searching for a field of sunflowers for as long as I can remember. Lo and behold, on our way to the Carden Plains I spot a field that we must have passed a hundred times in the past. We decide that we will stop there on our way home. When we drive up the long driveway, I fully expect to see a farmhouse, but before me is a beautiful home surrounded by fields of sunflowers. We park and I walk to the front door, which is about 500 yards from the driveway. I ring the bell and wait. I wait for about 3 minutes and no one answers. I hear a big WOOF and think they have a dog and it sounds big. The garage is open and the ride-on mower is on the lawn. I decide I should try another door. Just then I hear a growl behind me, and there is the largest dog I have ever seen. I climb one of the chairs on the front porch and the dog climbs right up with me. I am not sure whether he has me cornered or he's just friendly. I'm frantically waving to manservant in the truck to do something. He doesn't budge from the truck. I'm thinking - get out draw his attention from me - anything!! I'm picturing the owners are going to answer the door with me and their huge dog on their chair. Once again I try to get manservant to do something - he doesn't even stick his head out of the window to acknowledge he can see me in this predicament. I have a funny feeling that he is laughing at me. I have to calm myself down because I'm thinking this dog can feel my fear. I know my dogs love to answer the door, so I say to him - let's go see who is at the door. He jumps down and runs down the pathway. I start jogging to the truck, ready to jump in. Just as I'm about to jump in, a truck drives up and the occupant is looking suspiciously at us - go figure - someone running from his front door. It's the owner of the house. I explain why I'm there and give him a card and he's happy to allow me to photograph the sunflowers. The dogs name is Bear and he's a Burmese Mountain Dog and really friendly. He followed me around for the rest of the day. The owner said I was welcome to go back once they turned to seed. Apparently manservant's duties begin and end with lugging around my heavy equipment. Although he did say if the dog attacked me he would have come to my rescue - I fear it would have been too late :( Thanks for reading and have a wonderful weekend!!

What big eyes you have...

Mantids blend in so well it's really hard to spot them. Luckily for me I have "eagle eye" manservant. Even though he doesn't save me from attacks from dogs, horses, etc. (I have so many stories) he does lug around my heavy equipment and spot the occasional subject.

Juggling Jay

We had a rainy dark day yesterday so I decided to put the rain jacket on my camera and lens and test the 1DX in really low light conditions. I had it on static shots when this Jay landed on a snag not far from me and threw his food in the air and swallowed. I'd never seen this behaviour before and thought it was interesting. I only wish I had of had it set for a faster shutter speed, but with the low light I wasn't thinking action :( So far the 1DX hasn't disappointed in low light.

Bee Happy :)

Mining Bee mining pollen! Have a great weekend - it's a long one in Canada.

Wilson's Snipe at sunrise

Hope you are all having a wonderful week :)

Summer sight I will miss

Monarch's have started their long migration back to Mexico :( It won't be this generation that eventually arrives - could be two or three later. Can't wait to see them again next spring.

Seats with a view ;)

The sun was quickly setting over Georgian Bay with Blue Mountains on the left while three friends sat in the water and enjoyed a late summer's evening. There wasn't much colour at the time I shot this image, but it turned out to be a beautiful summer sunset. Something I will never tire of witnessing! Hope you had lots of time this weekend to relax and enjoy the view.

Male American Wigeon

One from the archives that I can remember photographing like it was yesterday. I had my extender in my pocket and I was laying on the ground. To get a better vantage point I rolled and landed right on my extender, I heard my rib crack and thought ouch that can't be good. I continued to photograph for a short time. I had a bad bruise and a sore rib for about two months. Happy Monday and thanks for looking :)

How to stand out in a crowd ;)

Hope your weekend is full of colour and photo ops! Just returned from a road trip - catching up today :))

I'm furr-ocious

Mantis in praying stance on Smoke Bush. The cable man was driving away from our home after a service call a few days ago. My husband (aka manservant) noticed a praying mantis on the hood of his car. He chased him down and told him. The cable man said he had seen that creature and was scared of it and thought he would drive with him on the hood in hopes that he would blow off. Manservant took him off the hood and placed him in some flowers. This isn't that mantis but I thought it was a cute story :))

Whiskey Jack

If you ever visit Algonquin, you must make an effort to see the Gray Jay's that make Algonquin their year round home. This is their southernmost territory so it's always a treat to see and photograph these friendly birds. Most of the Jays are tagged as Algonquin has been studying them for years.

I'm a hoot

Eagle Owl with it's eye on a feral cat.

Happy Thanksgiving Canada

Have a wonderful and safe long weekend. Second in a series of three images of Eleanor, the eastern chipmunk who lives in our backyard, stuffing her amples pouches with corn to store in her burrow for the long winter ahead. She repeated this until the cob was bare.

Subtle Colours

Testing the dynamic range of the 1DX shooting white in the sunlight at 0 comp with a darker background. Looks like there is no noise in the background so it passes the test :)) Mute Swan preening close to shore on Lake Ontario.

Five more minutes, please!

This is Echo, an Eastern Screech Owl. She was the only one in her family that was saved when the tree that they called home was cut down. She has imprinted with humans therefore can never be released into the wild ;( She lives permanently at Mountsberg Conservation Area where she helps educate the public. I met her through Ray Barlow where she poses for photographers and the money helps pay for her upkeep. I love how they have feathers on their eyelids.

A good home must be made, not bought (Joyce Maynard) :))

Only available for licencing through Getty's Images. It was a blast to watch these two Great Blue Heron's building their nest. The male worked very hard breaking off sticks at the tree line and proudly flying back up to the nest with them. The female was always appreciative and then they worked together to situate the sticks just right. The mating process had not yet begun, but it won't be long. When he had finished collecting sticks for the day, she actually gave him a big hug - it was adorable. I would love to go back when the little ones are hatched :))

Psychedelic Baby..

Wanna do some antacid ;))

Pine Etchings

Male Downy Woodpecker admiring his handiwork. Hope everyone is having a wonderful spring weekend!! In Wasaga Beach March came in like a lamb and out like a lion - snow here for the past two days - sigh! Here's hoping it's the end of the white stuff!!

The Sounds of Silence

This image is from a couple of years ago at Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario. The sun was totally obscured on this sunrise by the fog/mist but light was illuminating the tops of the trees that I found enchanting. Looks better against black ;)

Sampling the Sushi Bar

Bellyshot of a tiny sanderling enjoying some washed up clam on the Altantic shore in Florida last December. These adorable shorebirds just didn't keep still. You can see the surf behind him.

Too cute to spook ;)

Only available for licencing through Getty's Images. Getting into the Halloween spirit early as Eleanor could be underground tucked away for the long cold winter ahead by then. One thing is for sure, she should have enough food stored for several winters!! Have a wonderful weekend.

Bald Eagle of the shallow water

Sadly this Bald Eagle fell out of her nest when she was very young. She somehow survived and at 4 months old was found wondering the shores near Thunder Bay, Ontario by some caring individuals. She was taken to a vets where they found that her wing had healed incorrectly and she would never fly again. She is named Pawgwashijng Migizi ("Pawgwa", for short-- her full name is Ojibway and translates to "Bald Eagle of the Shallow Water") She now lives at Mountsberg Conservation Area where she is taken care of and she in turn helps educate the public. I met her on a Ray Barlow workshop where we had the pleasure of photographing her. She is beautiful and at 3 years old her head isn't fully white as it will be in a couple of years as an adult.

American Kestrel in the fall

American Kestrel (controlled conditions) against an autumn coloured tree on a Ray Barlow workshop at Mountsberg Conservation Area. These birds have all been injured and can never be released into the wild. It's a lot of fun to photograph them outside in their natural environment, up close and personal and in turn help pay for their upkeep.

Juvenile Eastern Bluebird

Photographed in Ontario at the Carden Alvar. This juvenile bluebird had recently fledged and was still hoping it's parent's would come by and feed it, even though quite capable of catching it's own food. One from the archives. Have a great weekend and stay safe from the "Perfect Storm" or "Frankenstorm" or whatever they choose to call it.

Little Red

Bribed this adorable squirrel with some sunflowers and in turn it posed for a few pix. From last winter's archives. If you are in the path of the "Perfect Storm" as we are, stay safe my friends.

Hypnotic Stare

Happy Monday. Hoping Sandy has been kind to our neighbors in the U.S. She's heading our way next :(( Eastern Screech Owl posing on a snag at Mountsberg Conservation Area in Campbellville, Ontario. Photographed at a Ray Barlow workshop under controlled conditions.

On your mark, get set, go…..

A fun Saturday post. Sweet little Chickadee doing it's morning yoga exercises. The background is last year's reed grass and bullrushes with a little snow mixed in for good measure :) Have a wonderful weekend. There are so many bird posts, I wonder why 500px doesn't have a category just for birds - it would make sense to me!!

Male Hairy Woodpecker

We have had sunshine the past couple of mornings after months of gloomy weather :) Hope your weekend is full of sunshine and photo ops.

That breath could knock over a buffalo!!

OR - Might I suggest anger management classes my red-breasted friend :)) Happy Sunday.

Chock full of nuts ;)

Eleanor the Chipmunk filling her cheeks with nuts. She may also be chock full of babies now. She's getting a little rotund around the belly. Have a wonderful Thursday.

Upside down bird

Female White Breasted Nuthatch - classic pose. Happy Tuesday :))

Berry Prickly Perch

Black-Capped Chickadee posing on this berry branch after being bribed with a peanut. These tiny but tough birds overwinter in Canada and thrive in the frigid temps. They will land on your hand for peanuts, which makes them smart also - they know we are not a threat :)) Happy Hump Day.

I give thanks....

to all of my contacts for your support and encouragement. Happy Thanksgiving to all of my U.S. friends. 'Lil Red giving thanks for the bounty for which he is about to receive. Only available through Getty's Images for licencing.

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Eastern Phoebe with prey :))

Nature's Coolant

Thinking of everyone in the U.K. and Canada (and anywhere else in this big world of ours) who are in the middle of this sweltering heat wave. Sending a little visual cool down. We are supposed to get some relief tomorrow - fingers crossed. Right now I could use a little snow - I know bite my tongue. Stay cool my friends. Eleanor in the spring when she woke up to SNOW.

Clouds

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add colour to my sunset sky. Tagare

SOOC Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! The sun had just set behind Blue Mountains, over Georgian Bay.

Mirror, Mirror on the water...

What does 2013 hold in store for us this year. Health, happiness, sunshine and photo ops would be my wish for you all. Happy New Year!! Little Blue Heron fishing early one foggy morning.

Knackered

Sweet and sleepy wild Barred Owl photographed just as the sun was setting on a beautiful day in Florida. Last image showed him from the back and this one shows him from the front :)) Hope you are having a wonderful weekend and start to 2013!!

Monday's should be illegal

Have a wonderful week ;) This is what the Great Blue Heron thinks of Monday morning!!

White Ibis feeding frenzy in the fog

The Ibis came close to shore early one foggy morning feeding on some type of small shells/mollusks at Merritt Island. It was a challenge trying to isolate one and capture this feeding behaviour with the low light. They must have to consume many shells to fill up but they seem to be a favourite.

Chest Deep in Marsh Marigolds

I think his GPS has malfunctioned. Not sure how this Great Blue Heron is going to locate any fish in this marsh - perhaps a snake or two though. Happy Heron Hump Day ;)

Greenzilla

I miss these cool looking insects already :)) Have a fantastic weekend!!

Tiny but Mighty

One of the smallest, friendliest and most intelligent birds, the chickadee thrives through our brutal winter months. They seem to know that humans (most of us) are not a threat and therefore seem to have no fear. I've seen many that will land on someone's hand for a treat. Getting them to keep still for a moment is another story though :) When I was young I remember my mom singing me this song: Chickadee black and gray, In the winter snow you play, When the birds all went away, Chickadee why did you stay.

Someone on 500px stole my picture & posted to their 500px stream as their own

Someone stole this picture today and posted to their own 500px stream as their copyright - removed mine!! 500px.com/photo/23559543 Pola Baban I have already posted a better quality shot of this to my stream and will remove it, but wanted to post today to show what nerve some people have. How can anyone trust that this "person" posts any of their own work???? I have asked to have it removed to no avail by the poster - 500px is closed for the weekend - I'm hoping they will take care of the problem on Monday!

Endangered Florida Scrub Jay

A sought after species for both birders and photographers because of it's status. I was happy to observe and photograph this friendly and pretty jay recently in Florida. Scrub Jays are an inquisitive and intelligent species, the most striking attribute of the Florida Scrub Jay's behavior is its remarkable tameness. As such, scrub jays willingly take food from human hands. Unfortunately, this tameness is dangerous to the well-being of the species. Florida Scrub Jays that are fed by humans will reproduce earlier in the year than those that are not. However, fledgling scrub jays feed primarily on caterpillars present in the late spring and summer; if they hatch too early in the year when the caterpillars are not available, this can lead to their malnutrition or starvation. Another potential danger of feeding Florida Scrub Jays occurs when people feed them near a road, as one major cause of death for scrub jays in urban areas is collision with vehicles. You can be incarcerated in Florida for feeding a Scrub Jay :) Will be off of 500px for a while either travelling or working on taxes and year ends. Will catch up with you all upon my return.

True Love Stories Never Have Endings ~Richard Bach~

Just a fun post. Happy Valentine's Day. Posting a little early because I'm going out of town on business tomorrow.

Winter Visitor

Male Common Redpoll posing on a snowy winter's day in Wasaga Beach, Ontario. These pretty, yet tiny birds thrive despite the cold and snowy days of winter.

Snowshoein' Snowman

Just a fun post today :) He looks happy, happy, happy but I've had just about enough of winter and I'm more than ready for spring!! Bring on the migration!!

White-Breasted Nuthatch

Happy Hump Day :)

Cold Feet, Warm Heart

Female Common Redpoll posing on a fallen tree in the snow.

Wakey, wakey ;)

Spring is near and that means Eleanor will soon be emerging from her burrow. Can't wait to see her again :) As the sun was rising, Eleanor was peeking out of her burrow preening before she started her day of foraging for food.

Willet fishing in the bubbling surf

The shorebirds had only seconds to fish before the next wave crashed in. The sandy beach had all but disappeared but it was a blast watching the birds running in and out of the waves. This willet was lucky and stabbed a Sand Flea for breakfast :) Not sure if it's my computer or 500px but man it's slow going - I'm trying to catch up with everyone :)

Touching Down

Just returned from Florida photographing birds and wildlife and I see 500px has made some changes. Where is activity and friends uploads?? Am I missing them? If they have been removed it is going to make it really hard to comment on photographers images who have commented on your pix and to find the new uploads from your contacts. Once I figure out what's going on I will catch up.

"High Key" Tune

Eastern Meadowlark singing his heart out on a cold dull day in Florida!! Why do the best photo ops always present themselves when the light is at it's worse????

Fugly is the new pretty ;)

It was a blast to observe and photograph this baby egret. Mom was standing off to the side and dad had flown away. We were hoping dad was going to return with breakfast but as long as we were there he did not. There was a gator just under the nest, in hopes of a meal. Thankfully, when we left the chick was safe and sound. Happy Weekend and March break :))

Winter Blues (Endangered Species)

The day before we left Florida (kicking and screaming) we had a lovely sunny day from sunrise until sunset. We decided to go and pay the scrub jays another visit in the late afternoon after spending the morning with hundreds of osprey. The Jays didn't disappoint. I would be photographing one scrub jay and another would land on my hat trying to pull the button off. They are pretty and playful and I hope their numbers increase because it would be a crime to lose yet another species we share this planet with. Let us respect and care for each other, for the earth itself and for all of the creatures and gifts it has to offer. I know I have just returned to 500px, however I am going out of town (without camera :() for approximately a month. This will be my last post for a while. I'll try to check your images when I'm able. Thank for for your support and not giving up on me while I have been mostly a part-time contact.

Size does matter ;-)

Happy Sunday!! Dropping in today and then back out of town for another week to work.

A few feathers short of a beauty ;)

This egret chick will soon be as beautiful as both of it's parents - they were standing on the nest just behind and to the side of their baby. Home for a couple of days and out of town for another week :) Will catch up today.

Smile, it's Friday ;)

Happy Fun Friday. Have a wonderful weekend. I'm just hoping all of our snow finally melts and spring arrives.Someone please tell winter it's spring's turn.

Portrait of a female Pileated Woodpecker

First, thank you for all of the comments, likes and faves on Eleanor the chipmunk - much appreciated!! I was photographing smaller passerines with the 500 + 1.4 teleconverter when this woodpecker flew so close all I was able to capture was the top half of it - how often does that happen???

American Kestrel in autumn

American Kestrel posing with a fall backdrop. One from the archives.

I'm a hoot ;)

Another one from the archives. Another snowstorm is hitting Ontario tomorrow. Waiting (not so) patiently for spring to arrive.Great Horned Owl posing on a snag at Mountsberg Conservation Area at a Ray Barlow shoot.

Long-Tailed Duck Drake

They remind me of puppy dogs - with their long tail feathers, pink bill and brown markings that look like ears :) I laid on the shore for hours trying to capture the migrating ducks at eye level (my favourite angle), unfortunately they wouldn't come close enough. I finally crawled up the rocks and they started to feel more comfortable and swam closer. Formerly named Old Squaw (changed for obvious reasons).

Using her head ;-)

Female Hairy Woodpecker as the sun was setting last November in Wasaga Beach. Still digging into the archives. I hope wherever you are in this great big world of ours, spring has arrived. Happy Saturday!!

Equal opportunity photographer

Thought I would post a male Hairy Woodpecker today!! Happy Sunday.

My feather-dresser is on vacation!!

Only available through Getty's Images for licencing. Eastern Screech Owl looking a little worse for wear while in a moult. She doesn't look impressed. The weekend goes by far too quickly. Enjoy your week.

Perhaps we should "tweet" mom and dad ;)

Happy Fun Friday. Baby Eastern Bluebirds waiting for some grub.

This is where you'll find me until spring arrives!!

April 20th and the snow is coming down so hard I can't even see outside of my window!!

Take a left at the next intersection!!

Why anyone would think that manservant and I need directions - okay truthfully we are directionally challenged and get lost quite often :+) Had to sacrifice some DOF because these tiny tree swallows are so quick!

If I could change the alphabet, I'd put U and I together babe ;)

Okay - so it's a cheezy pick-up line, but I think she's falling for it. It was a blast photographing the swallows as they were communicating and starting to build their nests. I just love the sounds they make. Happy Wednesday. We've had sunshine for a few days in a row - SSHH - don't want to jinx it.

She pays me "peanuts" for posing ;)

I find these little red squirrels hard to resist :) Happy Hump Day!!

Male Yellow Shafted Northern Flicker

Happy Thursday. The best image I have captured to show all of this pretty birds colours and patterns and sadly his head was turned the wrong way to cast a shadow :(

Handsome Redhead

There were a pair of Hairy Woodpeckers chasing each other around the treeline. It was a lot of fun to watch and photograph. This male was puffing up showing his best side in hopes of attracting her for his wife (for the season). They flew off together so I'm guessing it worked :)) Have an awesome weekend. Spring weather may have finally arrived. The flooding is starting to subside a bit further north of us.

White-Breasted Nuthatch

Have a fantastic weekend. The weatherman has promised sunshine in Wasaga Beach for Sunday - my fingers are crossed :)

Bluebird Romance

This male Eastern Bluebird waited patiently with his offering for his "wife" as she placed the dried grasses on their nest. This was his job while she collected and arranged the nesting material. I did capture both the male and female on natural perches with the blue sky behind them, however I liked the background of dried grass better. I know barbed wire isn't everyone's favourite perch.

All tied up in a bow ;)

It was so much fun photographing and observing the nesting Eastern Bluebirds. They are the sweetest natured birds. This is a back view of the female with dried grass for her nest. The male was waiting close by with a snack for his hard working wife. Hope your weekend is full of sunshine and photo ops!!

Voicing her dismay

Female Pileated Woodpecker digging out a hole for her future family in a hydro pole. Three or four vultures were circling overhead and she wasn't too pleased and let them know it.

Time for chillaxin', the weekend has arrived ;)

Happy Fun Friday!! It's hard work constructing your new home while hanging sideways with only a beak!! Sometimes a girl needs a power nap. Don't want to bore you with this Pileated Woodpecker but I must have taken 3,000 pix of her. It's not often that one co-operates and allows you a glimpse into their everyday lives :) Have a wonderful weekend!!

Happy Mother's Day

If I had a single flower for every time I think about you, I could walk forever in my garden. Warm wishes for all the mom's, grandmother's and the dad's who had to be both mom and dad today and every day of the year :) I'm usually a stickler for natural but I did change the background from green to orange for a splash of colour - just for Mother's Day!

Hanging around

I heard it through the grapevine that the weekend has arrived :)) Toronto is playing for the Grey Cup this weekend - woo hoo - Go Argos!! Have a great time hanging out with friends and family.

Happy, happy, happy Hump Day!

This Eastern Kingbird was happily posing on a barbed wire fence singing away. He had a mate that was perched close by, plenty of insects to dine on - what could be better than that. The hooked tip of his beak is broken off (if you could blow up pix on 500px you would be able to see the crack) - it didn't seem to affect him at all. Sorry for the large watermarks but I find it has actually helped with theft of my images.

Pretty Woman

I was using the car as a blind to capture Eastern Bluebirds at sunrise yesterday when this beautiful female Baltimore Oriole flew in a sumac tree so close I was worried I wouldn't be able to focus on her. My times and dates are not set correctly on the camera (I really need to fix that). Funnily enough I captured a male in the open in a completely different Ontario town the day before :) It's the first long weekend of the season in Ontario. Catching up with everyone's images today and then I'll be busy with friends and family so I'll see everyone next week. Enjoy your weekend!!

Great Horned Owlets

I had the pleasure of photographing these two sweet Great Horned Owl branchlings. It was also the first time I had heard that term. Apparently the owlets go from nestlings to branchlings and then to fledglings. They are only approximately 8 weeks old but losing their downy feathers and they are starting to fly. It was a lovely spring evening just before sunset. Photographed at the Canadian Raptor Conservancy with Ray Barlow :) I could have photographed them all evening. Happy almost Friday!!

Never be afraid to spread your wings!

TGIF! Great Horned Owl landing just as the sun was setting on a beautiful spring evening. Although very little eye contact - I did like the wingspan in the sunset light. You can let me know what you think. Have a wonderful weekend hopefully filled with sunshine, photo ops and laughter :)

Busy Mommy

Hope everyone is well. I've been out of town for a few days photographing birds and wildlife. Many bluebirds have hatched and the parents are being run ragged keeping up with their demands. Busy female Eastern Bluebird with a beakful of bugs to feed her young. They work so hard and the babies receive a balanced and varied diet of spiders, beetles, moths, caterpillars, bees and many other insects. Trust me I have lots of pix to prove it!! I may just share a few more!!The mother would feed the birds at a ratio of 10X to 1X compared to the male - just saying...Happy Hump Day.

Barn Owl

This image is dedicated to Gray (Graham Turner) who asked for more owls, and who can turn down a man that is at home convalescing from knee surgery. Hope you enjoy it and are feeling better every day. Although the most widespread globally of all owls, the barn owl is endangered in Canada, both provincially and nationally. Ontario would be considered the northern fringe of their range. There are many recovery programs working on re-establishing populations in Ontario. To see if you can help please check the info on the Ontario Barn Owl Recovery Project. Happy Thursday - where does the time go???

Legs on the menu ;)

Sweet female Bluebird with a beak full of bugs for her nestlings as the sun was rising on a beautiful spring day. Have a wonderful weekend :)

Red-Tailed Hawk

You have grumpy cat and then you have grumpy hawk :) Should be happier - it's Friday!!

My feet are killing me :)

Wilson's Snipe posing as the sun was rising on a beautiful day at the Alvar. An interesting fact - hunters (boo hunters) who were skilled enough to shoot one were known as snipers - that term was later adopted by the military. Have a fantastic week ahead.

Great Horned Owl at sunset

I'm not sure if this beautiful owl was looking at me and my lens or the sun setting on a beautiful spring day directly behind me. Photographed at the Canadian Raptor Conservancy. No jessies as the owl is trusted not to fly too far. Happy Tuesday!!

Northern Bobwhite male (endangered in Ontario)

I was a few hours from home at the Carden Alvar photographing Upland Sandpipers and Wilson's Snipe's when I heard rustling in the tall grass. I could see the grass moving in my direction so I kept my camera pointed down thinking it could be a fox, raccoon, skunk (I really wasn't sure). Suddenly, two funky looking birds emerged to a tiny open spot. I had never seen them before so I snapped a few pix of the pair before they turned back into the tall grassland. The IUCN Conservation Status is near threatened, however in Ontario they are endangered. Happy Hump Day :)

Double trouble ;)

Baby Chipmunks starting to peek out of their burrow. They will soon be ready to explore this new world on their own. These are not Eleanor's babies - she had at least three but I'm unable to get anywhere near them. These are the offspring of Heidi - a sweet chipmunk that lives in my mom's backyard at the edge of the woods.

Female Northern Bobwhite (endangered in Ontario)

I was a few hours from home at the Carden Alvar photographing Upland Sandpipers and Wilson's Snipe's when I heard rustling in the tall grass. I could see the grass moving in my direction so I kept my camera pointed down thinking it could be a fox, raccoon, skunk (I really wasn't sure). Suddenly, two funky looking birds emerged to a tiny open spot. I had never seen them before so I snapped a few pix of the pair before they turned back into the tall grassland. The IUCN Conservation Status is near threatened, however in Ontario they are endangered.

Open Air Market

Sorry for the double upload. I meant to put the female Bobwhite in my portfolio but not my stream, but I obviously did something wrong and I can't seem to change it. If anyone knows how to do that please let me know. Female Eastern Bluebird with food for hatchlings.

Great Crested Flycatcher

We have a pair of flycatchers that are nesting around our pond. Her name is Cher and I guess you can guess the male's name ;) Have a wonderful weekend. I'm off photographing next week, take care and I will see you when I return.

I am NOT picking my nose ;)

Just a fun image. This image is dedicated to my mom. We are celebrating her 80th birthday today and this is Heidi who lives in her backyard at the edge of the woods. My mom is the person who instilled a love of all things nature and wildlife in my brother and I. Why this picture you might ask - well she hates SNOT. If she sees it - she gags so I thought this image was fitting - HA! Happy 80th Mom and many more!

Close encounters of the loon kind ;)

A common loon in breeding plumage at Algonquin Provincial Park. As the sun rose and the mist burned away this beautiful loon swam by undisturbed by our presence and continued to fish and preen. It's mate was on the nest and they seemed to change positions every 12 hours or so. They are very awkward on land and had a hard time getting to the nest. It was so much fun observing and photographing loons for a few days. On another note the black flies and mosquitoes are brutal. Manservant and I are covered in bites. It seems deet doesn't work on black flies and the mosquitoes seem to get used to it very quickly. I was lucky to photograph a black-backed woodpecker, moose, cedar waxwings and deer. We went to visit the Gray Jays however the bugs swarmed us and I couldn't even see past them so I will have to save that for a less buggy time of year.

Keep calm & do yoga

Happy Sunday! Common Loon preening on a choppy bay at Algonquin Provincial Park. I left the water as shot because that was the true colour of it albeit dark.

New additions for Sonny & Cher

I'm so excited, the eggs have hatched and Sonny & Cher are busily feeding their hatchlings from dawn until dusk. For anyone that reads my descriptions you know that I have been following a pair of Great Crested Flycatchers through building their nest, mating and now raising their young. I hope that all young will fledge successfully.Lucy & Ricky's babies (Tree Swallows) have also hatched. Have a wonderful week :)

A rare sighting

One of the hi-lights of my trip to Algonquin was photographing a pair of Black Backed Woodpeckers. These woodpeckers are rarely seen - this is my first sighting of them. The pair were taking turns sitting on their eggs. The nesting hole (shown here) was in a shaded part of Algonquin and they changed places infrequently, and when they did it all happened so quickly. I did capture the male with his beautiful yellow crown sticking his head out of the hole which I will post another day. This is where I received the majority of bites from black flies and mosquitoes because I was determined to capture some images and had to wait in the shade!! This is an uncropped, full frame capture.

Common Loon Evening Stretch

From what we observed this Loon and it's mate changed duties at intervals of 12 hours. At approximately 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. This one had just left the nest and was ready to start it's evening of fishing - it must have been starving.

Forever Foraging

Eleanor the chipmunk foraging around the pond. When I took this picture she was feeding her young who were still tucked away safely in their burrow. They have since left and are surviving on their own on our plants and trees and the occasional bug around the pond. I have left peanuts close by, but they are not interested or have no idea what they are.

Upland Sandpiper

Upland Sandpiper posing on the edge of a farmers field with dried grasses and a little chicory as a backdrop. Corinne Lamontagne, a friend and fellow photographer came to stay with us last week. She travelled 7 hours one way from Northern Ontario. We had been planning this trip around the weather and finally gave up and just decided on a date before all of the birds had fledged and migrated south. I especially wanted her to meet Sonny & Cher, the Great Crested Flycatchers that nested in our backyard. Their babies actually fledged on the Friday morning before her departure so I was happy she was able to meet and photograph them. A couple of road trips to the Alvar and even though light was a challenge we were able to photograph Snipes, Sandpipers, Osprey and a few other species. It was a lot of fun Cor and I wish you lived closer so we could do this more often :)

Nature's pastels

Duckling resting on the grass with a flowery background mixed with some mosquitoes (the ones that weren't biting me) :) Mom, sisters and brothers were close by.

Flower Child

Newly hatched dragonfly peeking over the lilacs. Taken earlier in the spring - at the moment my macro lens is sick and at the doctors :(

Northern Saw Whet Owl

These owls are tiny and just adorable. I would have liked more DOF however it was dark, windy and shadowy in the forest and at F4 I was only able to get a shutter speed of 1/40th. This is Luna, she was rescued when she was younger and taken to the vets. She had a broken wing and it was deemed she would never fly again. She was adopted by the Muskoka Wildlife Centre and used in their outreach programs. She was also the star of the Telus Mobility commercials.

I'll keep you safe

The owlet on our right had his wing around it's sibling and the funny thing was the owlet on the left was the biggest of the two. I had the pleasure of photographing these Great Horned Owlets who were now branchlings. They start out as nestlings, then branchlings and then fledglings. They were adorable and full of personality. They were photographed at the Canadian Raptor Conservancy with Ray Barlow. I could have photographed them for hours.

Eat your greens ;)

Female Bluebird with caterpillars for her young as the sun was rising. This couple seem to be a little later than most that have raised their young - unless it's their second of the year :) Have a wonderful weekend and don't forget to eat your greens.

Doing nothing is hard, you never know when you're finished :)

The weekend is the best time to try it :) Wilson's Snipe enjoying the morning sun on a farmer's fence post. Taken on a road trip with my friend and fellow photographer Corinne Lamontagne.

Snowy Owlets

Look at those feet and talons - you can see they have a bit of growing to do :) These two were completely adorable and I fell head over heels in love with them. These two siblings were photographed as the sun was setting on a hot and steamy night in Simcoe. Thanks to Ray Barlow for the opportunity to photograph these two beauties.

Mutual respect

Falconer flying a Great Horned Owl at the Canadian Raptor Conservancy in Simcoe, Ontario. The first time I've had to ask for permission to post an image :)

"She thinks we're adorable, you know"

Yes, she does :) These Snowy Owlets were so much fun to observe and photograph as they were full of personality and the interaction between the two was quite entertaining. I can't promise I won't be posting more of this encounter. Photographed as the sun was setting at the Canadian Raptor Conservancy.Happy Thursday. It's still hot and humid in Ontario. I do believe we are going to get some relief on Saturday. Keep cool wherever you are.

Flying into the weekend

Thanks everyone for all of your comments/faves/likes on Eleanor the chipmunk in the snow. Sweet Barn Owl flying in the late afternoon sunshine over a field of tall grasses and wildflowers at the Canadian Raptor Conservancy.

Matching accessories

This image is more for the message! There has been a dramatic decline in honeybee populations. This is not a honey bee because quite frankly I haven't seen any this spring/summer which is extremely worrisome. Chemicals May Be Killing the Honeybees Many believe that our increasing use of chemical pesticides and herbicides, which honeybees ingest during their daily pollination rounds, are largely to blame. Commercial beehives are also subjected to direct chemical fumigation at regular intervals to ward off destructive mites. Another leading suspect is genetically modified crops, which may generate pollen with compromised nutritional value. It may be that the build-up of both synthetic chemicals and genetically modified crop pollen has reached a “tipping point,” stressing bee populations to the point of collapse. Lending credence to this theory is that organic bee colonies, where chemicals and genetically modified crops are avoided, are not experiencing the same kind of catastrophic collapses, according to the non-profit Organic Consumers Association. Something must be done and quickly!

Swainson's Hawk

Happy Monday. Have a wonderful week. My Canon 1DX has a recall so I'm driving it down to Canon today for repairs so I'll be without it for a while. It's sad that I'll miss it, isn't it :) A beautiful Swainson's Hawk photographed just minutes before the sun went down at the Canadian Raptor Conservancy.

Great Northern Loon

Photographed as the sun was rising and burning the mist from the lake. We followed a couple of pair of loons for two days. It was wonderful getting a glimpse into their natural behaviour. This one had just changed places sitting on their eggs and was going to feed, preen and hunt for the day until it took the night duty. They are named for their awkwardness on land and we really got to see this when they changed spots. Their nest was on a small island and they had to climb slightly upward over a few rocks to finally get to the nest. The loons were really comfortable as they would go about their business like we weren't even there.

You can never have enough sticks :)

There are a few osprey nests we monitor throughout the summer a couple of hours from home. While we were on a photo adventure with Corinne Lamontagne, a friend and fellow photographer we checked out this couple and their chicks. We noticed the male osprey dive down and come up with a long snake. We were hoping he would take it home to the chicks. While we waited the female came home with a small twig to add to the already large nest, but she must have had a spot for it. The male landed close by, but never brought the snake home while we were there. We didn't stay too long so he would go home and feed his chicks. Happy Hump Day :)

The birds & the bees

Please view in full screen for more detail if you have the time. I was photographing this juvenile blue jay begging for food from it's parents when all of a sudden he stopped and his attention was diverted elsewhere (just like a kid)!! I kept snapping and have a series of this jay and bee/wasp - the jay watched the bee/wasp wherever it went - I guess hoping for a quick meal or just curious as to what the heck this little flying creature was :) The weekend has arrived - where does the time go!!

House Wren-ovations

House Wrens nest quite late in Ontario. Most other species have raised and fledged their young and they are just beginning to build their nests. I observed and photographed a pair last week at the Carden Plains. I was amazed at the size of the sticks they would snap off of dead trees (this was one of the smaller ones). The female would get the sticks and the male would collect spider web. They communicated constantly and the female would even check out the males work before she continued her work. It was a lot of fun to watch - I know it doesn't take much to entertain me :) Have a wonderful weekend.

OMG

OR - WHO had too much botox :) I'm going to be very busy for a couple of weeks, so I'll be off of 500px after tonight. I'll pop in every once in a while when time allows to check out your images. Owl be back!! Sweet Snowy Owlet posing by itself after it's sibling launched itself onto the ground and tall grasses.

Camouflaged Predator

Happy Thursday. Had some time and thought I would drop in and say hi and check out your images. Praying Mantis posing on a wildflower blending in nicely. I have eagle eye manservant though :) The mantis is much smaller than it appears on this image (about 1" and growing). Have a wonderful weekend ahead - in Canada it's a long one!!

Perfectly camouflaged

Apparently 8 legs are not enough :) Crab Spider laying in wait. Happy Friday.

Juvenile Red-Winged Blackbird

A common bird in our area, however I liked the setting. I'm not sure what the flowers are but they grow to 12-14' high. These juveniles are now quite capable of feeding themselves but are still milking the baby thing. Not sure whether this one will be male or female - they all look like females to start :) Have a wonderful weekend!!

What a tangled web we weave….

Sweet Male House Wren with spider web for their nest. It was so much fun watching the pair collect branches and web to make their nest solid and comfortable :) I have a few images of the female with huge branches twice her size and she was able to fly with them and maneuver them on the nest. Happy Hump Day. There seems to be a problem with the map so I'm sure I haven't mapped it correctly!!

Branchling Siblings

Owlets go from nestlings to branchlings and then fledglings. This pair were so much fun to observe and photograph. The smaller of the two was very protective of it's sibling. The Great Horned Owlets were photographed at the Canadian Raptor Conservancy. Happy Thursday ;) What's with the mapping??

That's the last time I wear heels!!

Wilson's Snipe posing on a fence post at the edge of a farmer's field at the Carden Alvar this summer. I hope you have a wonderful weekend full of sunshine and photo ops!! What's with maps???

Monarch Butterflies need our help

Monarch Butterflies numbers have declined by 80%. We are not sure who is to blame - Mexico or North America. Loss of habitat because of corn ethanol production in Mexico, pesticides and herbicides and the destruction of their main food source (milkweed) in North America. Perhaps we are equally to blame. I wonder if the late spring could have added to the negatives. You can help by planting milkweed, butterfly bush, joe pie weed (shown above) or any nectar producing plant. I have only seen two monarchs this summer, whereas in years past I would have seen hundreds. Summer just wouldn't be the same without this beautiful sight!!

Power Nap

Who wants to wake up on Monday mornings!! The juvenile hummingbirds have fledged and it's amazing how territorial they are right from the "get-go". This male (you'll have to take my word for it - his little dots are starting to turn red) was busy defending the flowers and feeders in our yard from dawn until dusk. He took a moment to rest - it was short-lived because it wasn't long before another juvenile had to be chased away. Didn't follow the rule of thirds as I liked the shape of the branch it was perched upon. Two of my favourite summer sights - hummingbirds and blue skies :) Thanks for looking! Copyright Barb D'Arpino

A penny for your thoughts

Depending on their environment/perch the Praying Mantis is either green or brown. I tend to see more green mantids but occasionally find a brown one like the one pictured above. The bugger in me is a little obsessed with these long legged alien looking insects. I find them quite interesting. It's also much easier to photograph them than many other insects because they are usually quite still while they blend in and lay in wait for unsuspecting bugs. Thanks for looking. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

There's a new chipmunk in town

I believe this is one of Eleanor's offspring and it's taken over her burrow. Although you can't tell on this image, it only has half of a tail. It's still not used to us and I have to stay back and lay down quietly before it takes any of our offerings. It has started foraging from dawn until dusk every day. It's the sweetest little chipmunk and I believe we will become friends :) We are not sure whether it's male or female so we have named it Taylor (unisex name). Have a fantastic weekend. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

A splash of autumn colour

I photographed this image for my screen saver for the fall season and thought I would share it on 500px. Needed some colour - we have had non stop rain and dark for weeks :( Dropping in to say I'm still alive. Thank you for the emails and notes. I have popped in occasionally to check out your awesome images. I had been posting to flickr and pixoto. I had allowed uploads on my pix on Pixoto for images that were not already licenced or being sold through Getty's Images/Solent News Agency, etc. - however I ended up with $ .25 for the full resolution copy unlimited usage - YIKES. I quickly changed that. Just a warning if anyone else is selling through them. Catching up on your latest images today :)

Singing in the rain

Happy Monday!! I think it's better in large - push M if you have the time.

Trick or Treat

A fun post for Halloween!! We know which one Eleanor chose :) Posting this early as manservant and I are off to sunnier climes for a couple of weeks in hopes of capturing some wildlife images - fingers crossed. Have a fangtastic Halloween night. Happy Halloween from my house to yours. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Red-Shouldered Hawk

It seems I've missed all the excitement on 500px while I was away photographing wildlife in Florida!! I understand that they have listened to their customer's, the photographers and things will be back to normal (fingers crossed). It would be a shame for 500px to lose many high profile photographers so I believe they will. I encountered two Red-Shouldered Hawk's hunting for insects in the early morning light. There were warblers and sparrows all around, I guess they opted for an easy meal. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Happy Ending

If only all conservation efforts were as successful. The bald eagle populations rebounded from near extinction and are thriving. I guess it would be even better if conservation efforts were not needed to help save and/or protect the creatures we are privileged to share this earth with :) The Canadian government opened up the hunting of Mourning Doves (like Canada Geese they mate for life) - their reasoning - to get younger people interested in hunting. Some of the ducks that are of special concern in Ontario like the Barrow's Goldeneye - hunters are only allowed to kill one (what if thousands or tens of thousands of hunters killed one - does that make any sense)??? Conservation is near and dear to my heart. We need to give a voice to the birds and animals that can't protect themselves from man-made issues. Sadly billion dollar industry wins out every time :( We were lucky to see many adult and juvenile bald eagles while in Florida. What a thrill. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Has anyone seen my dentures???

Happy Fun Day Hump Day :) Captured this pretty Male Eastern Meadowlark singing his heart out as the sun was rising on a beautiful day in Florida. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

The Impaler

I observed many Loggerhead Shrike impaling their prey on barbed wire for later consumption. Unfortunately for the Shrike, many times they were stolen by Kestrels, Ravens and other birds before they returned to enjoy their efforts. Barbed Wire fencing is the perfect place for Shrikes to impale their prey. It's always a treat to see Shrikes in Florida as sadly they are endangered in Canada. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Fly softly and carry a big stick

On a rainy morning in Florida I was photographing another pair of Great Blue Herons building their nest when this macho heron flew by with this huge branch - bigger than himself. I didn't photograph him when he arrived at the nest because it was a distance from where I was standing - I just hope he was duly rewarded for his efforts :) It was really entertaining observing and photographing the herons while they chose mates, worked on building their nests and interacted. I could watch them for hours (and have)!! Of course, we named the pairs - which made it even harder to leave them :( Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Peace Out

Fell head over heels in love with Fiddler and Ghost Crabs while photographing on the Atlantic Coast. They were hard to capture in the open as they would scurry back to their holes quickly. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Is it a bird, is it a plane….

Juvenile Cara Cara doing it's best impersonation of Linda Blair in the Exorcist. Copyright Barb D"Arpino

Happiness is like a kiss

I photographed these amorous Great Blue Heron's on a rainy morning in Florida. They were very affectionate and I'm guessing she was quite pleased with his last branch delivery for their nest. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

American Bittern striking

I waited patiently hoping this Bittern would show itself in this small opening in the reeds. As luck would have it, he ran out, speared something, turned around and with the speed of a bullet, he ran back into the reeds. They do not like to be in the open so I consider myself lucky to have captured this image. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Fang

Photographed this Jumping Spider while he was preening his fangs. You can actually see mine and manservant's reflections in his eyes - apparently he didn't want to take his eyes off of us, just as much as I didn't want to take my eyes of off him. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

You otter be on 500px

I look a bit like this at the end of a day of photographing :) Most of us try to wash the dirt off, however otters love to have dirt baths. They may be marking their territory or washing off parasites, whatever this one was doing it was a lot of fun to photograph him rolling around in the dirt. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my friends south of the border

Kindness is like snow, it beautifies everything it covers~author unknown~

We had our first major snow storm of the season (and it's not winter yet)!! It was -18 this morning when I took this pix. The sun doesn't shine very often on Wasaga Beach from November to February so it was a nice change. It won't be long before the snow will lose it's appeal for me (just after Christmas), but for now I'm enjoying it (did I just say that). Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Sticky Fingers

"Eagle Eye" Manservant spotted this tiny tree frog sunning on a piece of palm tree bark from the car - and he was driving!! Every time I got out of the car to macro this cute frog, a dog from a neighbouring ranch would run out - I would run back in the car. I wasn't sure if he was friendly or not. He finally walked far enough away and I was able to macro the frog while he watched me from a safe distance. The dog himself was quite large and attractive with two different coloured eyes - I took some pix of him from the car - HA!! Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Red-Shouldered Hawk at sunrise

Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Loggerhead Shrike

On the lookout for insects! Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Cattle Egret

I have never seen a Cattle Egret perched anywhere besides the ground or on a cow so I couldn't resist photographing this one perched on an aged fence post at the edge of a farmer's field. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Red-Tailed Hawk portrait

I had my settings ready for an inflight shot at shutter speed 1/4000 sec. The only advantage with the wide open aperture of F4 is the blurred background of dried grasses. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Owl always love you :)

Manservant and I went searching for Snowy Owls in our area this weekend. We lost count at 10 Snowy Owls!! They have irrupted into our area with a vengeance and I couldn't be happier. Most of them are still far off in the farm fields or open tundra but with a little time they should become accustomed to traffic and humans. Hopefully they will venture a little closer (a safe distance of course) for some photo ops. It reminded me of the Snowy Owlets that I had the pleasure of photographing as the sun was setting on a beautiful day in Simcoe with Ray Barlow. They were adorable and full of personality and I fell in love. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

I'm not fat, it's just my awesomeness swelling up inside of me :)

Eleanor the Chipmunk absolutely stuffed to the brim with more peanuts that I've ever seen her shove in her ample pouches. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

A crab apple a day….

Black Squirrel enjoying a Crab Apple on a cold morning in the snow. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Music to my ears ;)

The Eastern Meadowlarks bathed in the dewy grass and then flew up to aged fence posts at the edge of a farmer's field and sang their hearts out as the sun was rising. It was a beautiful sight to observe, photograph and hear. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Gulp

The second before this Loggerhead Shrike swallowed this grasshopper whole :) Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Springtime

American Goldfinch perching on Pussy Willows/Furry Catkins. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Upside Down Bird

White Breasted Nuthatch classic pose :) Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Me & my shadow

White-Tailed Deer foraging as the sun was setting. She was curious because she could hear my shutter button snapping away but couldn't see me in my blind. Thank you for all of your comments, likes and faves. I will catch up with you all soon. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Survival

This image depicts how hard this past winter has been for the creatures we share the earth with. The raccoons carcass had been frozen underneath many feet of snow. The temperature finally climbed to the plus side of the thermometer yesterday and much of the snow melted. The raccoon was now visible and this hungry, possibly starving Red-Shouldered Hawk claimed it as his own. He wasn't going to give up this meal without a fight. This allowed me to capture a series of images while he enjoyed his find. Normally hawks like fresh kill but when you're hungry, a meal is a meal.... I apologize for being a terrible contact. I've been crazy busy (I know just like everyone else)!!

Male American Wigeon

Photographed on a partially frozen Lake Ontario in Toronto. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Male Hairy Woodpecker

He was posing as the sun was setting on a beautiful spring day in Wasaga Beach. Mother Nature is teasing us with some mild temperatures and sunshine, but it's calling for a snow/rain mix this afternoon - sigh. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Female Common Goldeneye

I was ecstatic when this Goldeneye started diving under the ice close to the shore of Lake Ontario in Toronto. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Smile, it's the weekend :)

Red Squirrel happy to see blue skies and sunshine. I can't wait for backgrounds other than snow or blue skies. Just below where Little Red is sitting there are still a few feet of snow. Happy Weekend. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Red-Shouldered Hawk at sunrise

As the sun was rising on a beautiful day in Florida, a pair of Red-Shouldered Hawk's were hunting in a farmer's field. There were several warblers and sparrows around so I was surprised when this one swooped down and grabbed an insect. I guess he went for the easy breakfast. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Striking a pose

These feisty Red-Breasted Nuthatches are easy to spot with their boisterous call as they travel up and down trees in search of insects. They overwinter with us and thrive in the freezing temperatures. Can't wait for the snow to be gone so I can photograph backgrounds other than snow or blue skies (although I'm not complaining about blue skies)!! Copyright Barb D'Arpino

The Swamp Thing

It was amazing that this Green Heron was able to fish in the duck weed, algae covered water.

Knackered

Sleepy Burrowing Owl - you'd be sleepy also if you were raising quintuplets :) Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Any closer and I'll shoot :)

I fell in love with these tiny Burrowing Owls. I had so much fun observing and photographing them. Had to be dragged kicking and screaming to the plane. I miss them already!! Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Reddish Egret

The sun was rising on a beautiful morning in Florida while this Egret worked on catching it's breakfast. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Black-Bellied Plover

Black-Bellied Plover posing on the shells with the surf in the background in breeding plumage. It's quite a transformation from non-breeding to breeding colours. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Flower Child

Sweet Burrowing Owlet getting brave and venturing a short distance from the burrow. They are adorable, curious and entertaining. Loved observing their behaviour and photographing them for a couple of weeks. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Owl always love you :)

Burrowing Owls mate for life. The sun was setting on a beautiful day in Florida and their owlets were all tucked away safely in the burrow, when this couple had a moment to themselves. She has a little grass stuck on her beak!! They were one of my favourite couples/families. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Burrowing Owlet

This little owlet was very curious and it was being so brave leaving the burrow to check me out :) Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Ruddy Turnstone breeding plumage

Ruddy Turnstone foraging on the shore of the Gulf of Mexico for breakfast. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

People who sleep like a baby, usually don't have one (or five)!!

Big yawn from a tiny Burrowing Owl :) Copyright Barb D'Arpino Happy Weekend!

Good News :)

Sonny & Cher made it all the way back from South America to our backyard in Wasaga Beach, Ontario to nest. She has been busy making the nest as comfie as possible while Sonny has escorted her back and forth and kept her safe while she works hard. He does help with sitting on the eggs and feeding the young. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

You again!!

Adult Burrowing Owl chillaxin' as the sun was setting on a beautiful day in Florida :) Thought I'd sneak another one in!! Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Please help name me :)

She has a nick out of both ears so we thought of Nicky or Vee. We also like Daisy or Clover. We can't make up our minds - please help name her. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Grazing in the grass is a gas.....

Male Wood Duck grazing in the grass. His best friend is a female mallard. He protects her and keeps her close. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Orange is the new black :)

Or Sunkist!! Male Baltimore Oriole posing with a little bribing. My two favourite oranges. Happy Hump Day. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

It wasn't my idea to come to this fishing hole!!

A pair of Reddish Egrets sharing the same marshy pond. Happy Thursday :) Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Friday is my second favourite "F" word ;)

Besides FISH that is. Osprey enjoying his catch at sunrise on a rock with the sandy seashore behind him. Have a wonderful weekend!! Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Honest, I didn't eat it!!

Thank you everyone on Facebook and 500px that helped named her. Her name is Nicky. Thanks for looking and have a wonderful weekend. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

D.I.Y.

Female Eastern Bluebird with dried grasses for her nest. Photographed from my car so as not to disturb the pair. Copyright Barb D'Arpino How many people are taking part in One Minute on Earth? In Toronto the time would be 5:00 p.m. Take a pix between 5 and 5:01 - the only rule is the sky must be in the frame. It's for a good cause.

Curious

This Burrowing Owlet was getting brave and leaving the safety of his parent's and siblings to check out the world around him. Not too far though. If his parent's sounded the alarm he could scurry back to the burrow quickly. Here he was keeping an eye on some groundskeepers that were taking care of the lawn. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

D.I.Y.

Sweet Female Eastern Bluebird with nesting material as the sun was rising. The background is buttercups, Indian Paintbrush and Prairie Smoke. I used my car as a blind so as not to disturb the pair :) Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Happy Canada Day ;)

Hope your weekend is full of sunshine and photo ops. Stay safe my friends from around the world. Nicky posing for peanuts!! Lot's of peanuts. I'm pretty sure she's already set for the winter :) Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Grub Day 10

Sonny & Cher work so hard. This is the size of the offerings for their hatchlings Day 10. They've graduated from small spiders, caterpillars and flies to large dragonflies and lion ants (shown above). You can see the toll it's taking on the adult birds. They have become much slimmer and are quite dirty from flying in and out with food and poop sacs. It's been a pleasure to observe and photograph them and I hope with all my heart that they return again next year. First they need to have a safe trip to South America and back :) Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Common Loon & Chick

Took a trip to Algonquin Provincial Park to spend some time with Loons and chicks. I missed the "hitching a ride" stage by a day or two. If this little loon tried to climb up mom or dad would no longer allow it. This was a tight knit family. The three stayed together all of the time. Two of the mornings were thick with mist on the lake. The first morning the sun wasn't able to burn it away until late morning when the light was too harsh. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Family

I loved spending time with this adorable Loon family. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Owl be back

After tonight I'll be off until next week. Stay safe, enjoy the week and weekend ahead (long one in Canada). Sleepy Burrowing Owl as the sun was setting standing guard over it's burrow. This family had a late family and their chicks were still really tiny. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

If Monday morning had a face, this would be it!

Juvenile Hummingbird posing for a split second. They are flying around defending their territory with a vengeance - you need a hard hat. I keep thinking I might lose an eye. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Don't forget to floss ;)

Praying Mantis preening on Teasel. Happy Hump Day! Copyright Barb D'Arpino

The sunrise that couldn't

The fog rolled in just as the sun was breaking the horizon. You can see the little dot on the left hand side of this image. The sun was not able to burn through the thick fog until close to noon. Once it did the day turned out to be just beautiful. Picture of the day Outdoor Photography Magazine :) Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Dream big :)

Spent a little time in Tobermory, Ontario. This was taken from a boat on a beautiful summer's day. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Juvenile Male Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

Happy last long weekend of summer. Where did the time go??? The Hummingbird's will soon be migrating back to Mexico. The adults have already started their long journey back and the juveniles will be leaving any day :( Wishing them a safe journey back to return to us again next spring. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Born to pose!

Praying Mantids are the only insects I know of that seem to love being photographed. We have several around the protected marshland in our backyard and they just love to pose and do not seem to have a fear of humans. This one is on Queen Anne's Lace waiting for the next unsuspecting insect to drop by. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Wilson's Snipe

Wilson's Snipe relaxing as the sun was rising. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Mom & Chick

The sun had just burned off the morning mist and mother and chick were waiting as Dad was off a little bit in the distance fishing. It was a beautiful day at Algonquin made even more speciall observing and photographing this sweet family. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Question Mark Butterfly

I was stoked to see and photograph this pretty butterfly in Wasaga Beach. They usually don't travel this far north. A welcome visitor :) Copyright Barb D'Arpino Happy Monday

Seeing life from a different perspective...

Sweet Burrowing Owlet checking out his surroundings (me) from a different angle - hope I looked good :) Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Smile it's Friday & you're on 500px

Eleanor the chipmunk happy because it's Friday and she has plenty of peanuts :) Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Monarch Butterfly

Environmentalists Petition to Put the Monarch Butterfly on the Endangered Species List as Its Population Plummets. Monarch numbers have fallen 97 percent since the 1990s—industrial agriculture is eliminating the iconic butterfly’s food source (milkweed). How many monarch's have you seen this summer? I've only seen 3 or 4 compared to hundreds in the past. How very sad. Let's not lose another species. Help Monarch's by planting milkweed - or letting it grow wild by not eliminating it. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Yes, I took my meds :)

I had my clothes on, honest!! Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Magical Morning

As the sun was rising I was sitting on the shore of Lake Ontario in Toronto. The fog was so thick you couldn't see two feet in front of you. The water was still, the morning was crisp and the world was peaceful. This Red-Necked Grebe was up early and busy collecting branches for it's floating nest and every once in a while I could just make him out as he swam in front of me. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Born to pose

Love these funky looking insects and I love the fact that they don't run away and seem to love to be photographed :) Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Double Trouble

The sun was setting and I was having a blast photographing a family of Burrowing Owls when both parents made a horrible noise. All five Owlets ran back to the Burrow. I knew it couldn't have been me because I had been sitting there for about an hour and they were quite used to me and my shutter button. I looked behind me and there stood a dog. These two Owlets watched it until it went around the corner and out they all came again. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Reddish Egret grooming

I hope you are as relaxed this weekend as this Reddish Egret. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Mudflat Meal

Black-Bellied Plover about to enjoy breakfast as the sun was rising on a beautiful day in Florida. Happy Weekend! Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Juvenile Hummingbird

Starting the beginning of August we needed a hard hat and goggles in our backyard when the juvenile hummingbirds had fledged and were busy defending their new territory. I know I didn't use rule of thirds and put the bird smack dab in the middle of the frame - sometimes rules are made to be broken - sumac in the background. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

WHAT, you're going away again!!

Manservant and I are off another photo adventure. We are travelling further north hoping to find some pretty fall colours. I haven't finished going through my Burrowing Owl images and when I do they make me smile with their expressions and personalities. Though I would share another one. Happy Fall!! Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Fall Fox

We spent a couple of days at Algonquin Provincial Park. We couldn't have asked for more perfect weather or fall colours. The colours were the best I can remember in all of the years we've been visiting Algonquin. This male Red Fox posed for a few images just after a bear had sauntered across the road. You just never know what you are going to bump into at Algonquin. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Autumn in Algonquin

Sunrise wasn't possible because the fog had obscured the sun. This scene was photographed shortly after the sun rose and burned away the fog. It turned out to be a gorgeous Autumn's Day. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Nighty night

Sunset tonight beside Blue Mountain over Georgian Bay. Straight out of camera. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Baby Chipmunk

I went to visit the Gray Jays at Algonquin and while there we had a family of 6 chipmunks running around and foraging before the winter hits. Of course, I couldn't pass up the chance to photograph this rambunctious, adorable family. Sorry, I've been a terrible contact - trying to catch up later tonight - tore my ACL and meniscus :( Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Into the sun

Where the deer and the moose play. Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Foxy Encounter

Close encounter Algonquin Provincial Park. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Eyes

My eyes are my favourite part of me, not for how they look, but for how they see. Hope you all take the time to enjoy the beauty all around you. Praying Mantis on aster at Tiny Marsh. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Morning at Algonquin

The sun was burning away the fog and the wildlife was awakening. Turned out to be a beautiful fall day at Algonquin Provincial Park. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Snail Kite

I was so happy to locate and photograph a pair of Snail Kites in Florida on a beautiful sunny day. She worked with her curved beak to dislodge the snail - took some time but she was successful. The Apple Snail was bigger than I anticipated. You can see the shell falling. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

What do you think of my big stick Ginger ;)

We had the pleasure of observing and photographing a pair of Great Blue Heron's who had started their mating rituals. We called them Fred & Ginger. I would be at the wetlands before sunrise while they were asleep atop their palm tree. When the sun started to rise they would start to stir, preen, display and eventually Fred would fly down to collect sticks for their nest. Happy Monday. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

SSsshrike & SSssnake

We came upon this Ssshrike and Ssssnake as the Ssssun was Ssssetting. I was hoping to ssssee the whole sssscene play out as a Kestrel was waiting to sssswoop in and ssssteal the ssssnake but it was too sssshy even though I was using my car as a blind. The Ssshrike eventually flew away with the ssssnake so I have no idea how the sssstory ended Happy Tuesday. Hope you all have a great one. We are supposed to get lot's of ssssnow today. Bbrrrr. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Happy Hump Day

Would this be considered Autoerotica Asphyxiation? Look at the way he's squeezing her neck with his bill. I was so happy they finally faced me :) Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Limpkin in the rain

Upon us all a little rain must fall. I'm pretty sure this Limpkin felt the same about the torrential rain as I did. Happy Thursday. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Gourmet Meal

As the sun was setting on most evenings we watched the Heron's and Egret's walking around the edges of the marshes, ponds and wetlands and catching frogs, snakes, sirens and fish. If they were lucky they were able to eat their own meals, the unlucky ones lost their meals to the lurking gators. This heron (I believe it's Fred) was able to enjoy his meal. Happy Friday. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Red-Shouldered Hawk

Good Morning and Happy Saturday. Red-Shouldered Hawk sitting pretty as the sun was rising on a beautiful day in Florida. How I miss the sunshine, warmth and photo ops. I'll keep buying those lottery tickets. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Scrub Jay

I love visiting with these endangered Jay's when I'm in Florida. Technically it's illegal to feed them, however these were some type of acorn that we found in their natural environment. Manservant was being my hand model. Happy Sunday. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Water Ballet

It's a blast watching the Snowy Egrets fishing as they run on the surface of the water, with the help of their wings and grab fish on the run. Happy Monday. Copyright Barb D"Arpino

Male Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker in Wasaga Beach, Ontario. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Bill to Bill, Chest to Chest

As the sun was rising, Fred and Ginger were starting to stir. I love watching their mating rituals. They are so touchy feely and loving toward each other while they mate for the season. These two were a blast to watch and photograph. I could have watched them all day and miss them now that I'm back home :( Does that make me strange (wait don't answer that)!! Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Something to be thankful for...

One of the many things we have to be thankful for - back from the brink of extinction and thriving :) Happy Thanksgiving to my friends south of the border. Have a safe and happy holiday. Enjoy yourself and worry about the calories tomorrow You can wear them off shopping!! I had a close encounter with a Bald Eagle while in Florida as the sun was rising. I was excited to see him posing on a post at the edge of the water. I started taking pix of him from quite a distance, then creeped up closer and closer in my camo gear. I'm pretty sure he was fully aware of me and my clicking and would have allowed me to pet him. I actually left before he did (and that very seldom happens). Always a pleasure when it does. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Contemplation....

This little Green Heron looked like he was planning his day around the Wetlands as the sun was rising (how to stay out of a gators jaws, where to catch the most tasty fish, where all the good looking female Green Heron's are hanging out, etc.)!! TGIF Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Male Snail Kite

I was stoked to photograph a pair of Snail Kites while in Florida. They are locally endangered and were so much fun to observe and photograph. The male was tagged, however the female was not. He looks a little grumpy doesn't he!! Check out the shape of his beak enabling him to get the Apple Snails out of their shells. Thanks for looking. Happy Weekend :) Copyright Barb D'Arpino

American Bittern

I had so many sightings of Bitterns while in Florida this month. The challenge is being patient and hoping they emerge from the grasses to an area that's open enough to capture it. We even watched one catch a snake and squeal with delight. it was the cutest thing. Unfortunately, he took his meal into the weeds to eat and only emerged again when it was completely finished the only evidence blood on his bill. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Juvenile Little Blue Heron

Juvenile Little Blue Heron posing around the wetlands before starting it's day foraging for fish. Adult Little Blue Heron's are a rich purple/maroon on their heads and necks and slaty blue on their bodies. As you can see the juveniles are pure white. This one will soon be a patchwork of blue and white before becoming a fully grown beautiful adult. Happy Monday. Rabbit Rabbit - good luck for the new month. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Tastes like chicken

Slam, Bam, Thank you Ma'am!

Fred dismounting after his husbandly duties :) Hope you're not sick of Fred and Ginger, I still have a few more pix to share of them. Happy Hump Day. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Anticipation...

Female Hairy Woodpecker posing in the late afternoon light. We had sunshine most of the day yesterday for the first time in forever. It felt good to get out and photograph all day even though it was really cold. TGIF Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Female Snail Kite

Female Snail Kite showing off her beak and tongue - both shaped to dig out the Apple Snails from their shells. Happy Weekend. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Common Loon & Chick

The fog had almost burned off as the sun was rising on a beautiful day at Algonquin Provincial Park made even more special spending it with this Loon family. The chick was showing it's independence by taking the lead. Dad was off fishing not too far from mom and baby. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Snowy

Had a fun encounter today amidst the snow squalls and snow. Happy Friday :) Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Pink is an attitude

Needed a splash of colour on my stream. This tiny hoverfly was enjoying the nectar of a wild rose. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

I've been framed.....

Male Downy Woodpecker posing for a moment. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Redecorating

While Ginger flew off to fish, Fred decided to do some redecorating of the nest. Earlier he had flown in with this large stick and they had both worked to place it just right - I guess he wasn't satisfied. I just hope Ginger approves when she returns. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Female Pileated Closeup

She landed so close to me I could have petted her - don't you hate when that happens :) My friend Corinne (also a photographer) told me the yellow feathers on her face are bristly and help keep the wood out of their eyes. Copyright Barb D"Arpino

Male Hairy Woodpecker

Male Hairy Woodpecker taking a moment to pose. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Ghost Owl

Male Snowy Owl on a snowy, cold, blizzardy day in Wasaga Beach, Ontario, Canada. Never baited. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Female Pileated Woodpecker

We have a pair of Pileated Woodpecker's living around the protected marshland in our backyard. I have named them Betty and Barney. Meet Betty. She's quite used to me and my clicking but Barney is a different story. He's very shy. I'll win him over in the end :) Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Yin and Yang

I was photographing a family of Burrowing Owls as the sun was setting. I had been there for about an hour and they were quite used to me and my shutter button clicking away. All of a sudden, the parent's made a horrible noise and all of the owlets ran back into their burrow. I turned around and there was a dog walking behind me. These two Owlets peeked out of their Burrow and watched until the dog turned the corner. Once he was out of sight, all was quiet. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Fred the Great Blue Heron

I observed a pair of Great Blue Heron's for two weeks while they chose each other as mates, built their nest and hunted. I named them Fred and Ginger. This is Fred shortly after the sun had risen. I added my 1.4 extender on my 500 to get a closer view. Loved watching this pair while in Florida. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Built in storage

An Eastern Chipmunk we named Nicky stuffing her cheeks FULL :) Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Snowy Fly By

Happy Monday. 38 days, 5 hours, 57 minutes, 43 seconds 'til spring (but WHO's counting)!! The snow was flying when this beautiful female Snowy Owl flew by! Still no sunshine. One of these days!! Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Snowy Owl

This Snowy Owl has become the toast of our town with photographer's travelling far and wide for a chance to photograph her. They have nicknamed her Dirty Girl. She's very cooperative. As you know, I don't bait, but there are photographer's that do bait. One of the good things is, she's not on a road that's travelled during the winter and she's still looking healthy and flying well. She sure looks happy :) Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Snowy Owl and sunshine :)

I was finally able to capture a Snowy Owl without a white background and in a snowstorm. It was really cold, but I was so excited that I didn't even notice I couldn't feel my nose, hands or feet. Manservant turned to me at one point and said I had icicles hanging off of my whole face. (NOT BAITED) Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Chickadee black and gray

Chickadee black and gray, in the winter snow you play, when the birds all went away, chickadee why did you stay. A poem my mom read to my brother and I every winter. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Next year I'm flying south ;)

We came upon a small section of open water and there were hundreds of dabbling ducks, diving ducks, swans and geese sharing it. It was so nice to see everyone getting along so well. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Male Pileated Woodpecker

Barney, posing for me on a cold winter's day :) Copyright Barb D'Arpino

An apple a day....

Black-Capped Chickadee on a winter scene :) Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Daylight Savings is for the birds !!

I spent sunrise with Dirty Girl Friday morning. Not baited :) Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Teenage Mutant Ninja Owlets

Happy Hump Day! Burrowing Owlets playing as the sun was rising. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

When all else fails, take a nap !

Good Morning and Happy Thursday. I was going to give you a break from Burrowing Owls but decided I would keep Owl week going. The Owlets would play hard as the sun was rising and setting and just as suddenly they would tire out. During the hotter hours they were usually in their Burrow keeping cool. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Dad

Dad Burrowing Owl as the sun was breaking the horizon. Check out his feet, legs and beak - he had been working on digging out the burrow. Mom hadn't laid her eggs yet. Late Bloomers :) Copyright Barb D'Arpino

First my mother, forever my friend

Happy Mother's Day to every mother and single father out there. Have a fantastic weekend. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Cute as can bee

Have a bee-utiful Monday. Where does the time go? It was so much fun photographing the Burrowing Owlets while they watched the bees and butterflies that buzzed around their burrows. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Spring

The Goldfinches colours are changing ever so slightly and the Pussy Willows are sprouting. Spring has sprung. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Travelling Incognito

Eastern Phoebe with breakfast as the sun was rising. Happy Hump Day. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Smoking is bad for your health!

The adult Burrowing Owls brought home the strangest items for the Owlets to practice hunting on. This one was attacking and tearing apart a cigarette filter. The owlet eventually tired itself out and fell asleep with it. They were so much fun to photograph as you may have noticed by the amount of pix I am posting of them. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Environmentally Friendly Weed Control

Hope everyone had a safe weekend. A few families of goslings appeared on our pond this weekend. It's amazing how they hatch and can swim and forage immediately. It's much smaller than it appears. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

One too many

Curious Burrowing Owlet trying to understand the world around him ;) Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Feather Topper

Meet Lucy. Her mate is Ricky and they have nested in our backyard in a nesting box for several years. This year Lucy worked hard and built her nest in their historic box. About two weeks ago, they abandoned that box and started building in another box. They continued to protect that box and wouldn't allow another pair to nest there. Prior to abandoning their nest another couple tried to take it over. We finally opened it up this past weekend and inside was a beautiful nest with two hatched eggs (no nestlings or dead nestlings though) and two eggs that had not hatched. Another couple had laid their eggs in their nest after all of her hard work, so they left to build another. We took the nest out of the box. She had collected all of the feathers and straw on her own and they are being recycled now in her new nest. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

My feather dresser is on vacation

Osprey with some feather issues posing in Kawartha Lakes this past weekend. Happy Tuesday. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Happy Hump Day

Ricky and Lucy mating - a little bit of bird porn for Wednesday morn. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Peanut Thief

Look who is raiding the squirrels Peanut stash. I was surprised to see this Male Hairy Woodpecker going in to the hole and coming out with peanuts. This was in the dead of winter. Desperate measures..... Copyright Barb D'Arpino

One birds trash, is another birds treasure

I spent sunrise photographing Bluebirds a couple of hours from home. I used my car as a blind so as not to disturb the beautiful pair. It was fun observing and photographing as she built her nest. She used feathers, grasses, sticks, horse and cow fur. It's amazing how hard they work and I wish them a successful breeding season. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Too much fabric softener ;)

Mr. Bluebird stood guard while Mrs. Bluebird collected nesting material and placed it in the nest. He followed her everywhere and perched just above her. Copyright Barb D'Arpino Happy Monday

Bull Moose

Moose gorging on lily pads at Algonquin Provincial Park this past week. We could literally see his belly growing. When we left this moose was still eating. I have to wonder if he didn't explode. This was shortly after a bear swam across the lake and scared this bull moose along with another back into the woods. He was brave enough, or hungry enough to come back out shortly after. Lily pads are full of sodium and the moose crave salt after the long winter in the early spring and summer. BTW - the bear ran one way and the moose ran the other. Secretly I'm glad there wasn't a confrontation. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Common Loon on nest

During our travels we saw many Loons and nests. I was a little worried about this nest as it was so low and out in the open. Luckily, they are in an area where the water level is fairly steady and it's so far away from civilization they should not be disturbed. The eggs will probably hatch in a couple of days if they haven't already. I wish them a successful year. We stayed back at a respectable distance so as not to disturb the Loons. It's mate was calling and making it's way back to either switch places or check on it's mate, so we left. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Juvenile Bull Moose

It was a rainy, windy, dull day when we came upon this youngster enjoying Lily Pads. Like the adults we encountered the day before, he ate and ate and ate. We left and he was still eating. The mosquitoes, deer and black flies will also drive them out of the woods, however on this day the wind should have kept them at bay. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

I'm not fat, I'm just 9" too short ;)

Burrowing Owlet posing amongst the wild flowers. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Making a comeback....

Happy Monday. Spent the weekend with my friend Corinne (another wildlife and nature photographer) from Timmins. We spent time at one of our favourite bird watching areas on Saturday (had her up at 4 a.m.)!! Sunday we spent a gorgeous morning on the beach with the piping plovers. There are 10 babies this year (from 3 pair of adults) - which is exciting news. We hope they all fledge successfully. It was an exciting morning as they ran around the beach and allowed us to observe and photograph them. This adult was warning off an intruder. The Piping Plover is endangered due to loss of habitat. For the first time in over 80 years a pair has returned to the Toronto Lakeshore to nest. Someone said it much better than I - nature works on its own timelines, which may not always align with our own, but every once in a while we bear witness to what happens when we extend a helping hand, and the results are both hopeful and inspiring. Something we can all celebrate! Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Eastern Phoebe

Another image from our photo adventures this weekend. Eastern Phoebe with a Skipper Butterfly for her nestlings. Thankfully we had some diffused light later in the morning. We had some great photo ops earlier, but the sun was obscured by thick cloud!! The OOF purple you can see are wildflowers in the background. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Life's a beach

Sweet endangered Piping Plover foraging on the shores of Georgian Bay in Wasaga Beach. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Just do it....

Happy FUNday SUNday. Ginger posing in my old volleyball shoe. Copyright Barb D'Arpino

Juvenile Piping Plover foraging

Sadly Piping Plovers are endangered due to loss of habitat. This year on the shore of Wasaga Beach 9 babies have survived so far this summer. We are praying that all 9 fledge. Copyright Barb D'Arpino