A couple of weeks ago I was pleasantly surprised to see for the first time in my yard, a pileated woodpecker. A couple of days ago, as I was sitting on the front porch admiring spring coming into its own, I heard the unmistakable sound of a pileated woodpecker. This time, I had enough time to quietly sneak into the house and grab my 'wildlife' camera and capture a couple of images of the once threatened species as it foraged for insects in my tall Manitoba maple tree. Unfortunately, this does not bode well for my tree!
October 26, 2015
Every year I look forward to the return of spring. I enjoy the four seasons which bring about different experiences. When we moved into our current house some 25 years ago, I planted a Nanking Cherry shrub and looked forward each year seeing the pinkish blossoms brighten up the backyard, even if only for a few days. Being an avid bird watcher for years, I often looked for the arrival of new species each spring and thought about how nice it would be to photograph a bird surrounded by the bright cherry blossoms. One year I purchased a small blind and set it up about 15-20 feet in front of the Nanking Cherry and waited patiently. I was rewarded with a few visits from a number of warblers including, from top to bottom, a Chestnut-sided warbler, a Cape May warbler, a Tennessee warbler and an Eastern Phoebe which I photographed on my rhubarb plant near the cherry shrub. Both the Nanking Cherry and the rhubarb are no longer but I will be planting another Nanking Cherry very soon! Trees and shrubs offer many benefits to the home owner including habitat and food for wildlife, to say nothing of the aesthetic appeal.
October 25, 2015
Like many of you, I love to travel ! In my own situation, I have focused most of my travels in my beloved country of Canada. Over the last 40 years, I have crisscrossed this great country in search of beauty and I have found plenty of it!
Most of us live in one place, one home. We spend a large part of our lives in our home, in the house and in the yard. Whether you live in an apartment, a condo, a house, a cottage, a mansion or a country home, you have a place that you can explore almost any time.
While it's fun to see the world, you don't have to travel very far to see interesting things or to make nice images. We have plenty of opportunities where we live. I am starting a new Category on my Blog called 'In the Backyard' where I will post images made solely within a 100 meters or so from my house.
My house is a modest one, situated on an average sized city lot. My yard happens to back up to city property which leads to a man-made water retention pond. But how many of us really know our own place? As a photographer, I realized long ago that it doesn't mater where you live, there are always plenty of opportunities to see and explore. Over the years, I have photographed often in my yard as well as in my house and I have also published many photographs made from my home.
You will be amazed at what you will discover in your own yard. I have witnessed all kinds of interesting life and phenomena from my 100 meter radius, everything from apple blossoms to willow leaves on freshly fallen snow, from bunny rabbits nibbling on my cedar trees to a bear in the neighbor's poplar tree, from a bald eagle at the edge of the pond to an incredible display of northern lights. I want to share some of my discoveries with you and encourage you to do the same in your own yard, no matter where you live.
This first series of images was made this morning shortly after the sun rose above the horizon. I had not had much time of late to go out and photograph so I thought I would create a few images of the fallen leaves in the front yard before I picked them up. A few minutes turned into an hour and a half and I ended up exploring the front and back yards as well as walking to the pond. The first set of leaves was made in the shade while the second set was lit by the sun. I 'zoomed' in to the leaves to create the third image.