Friday, 24 June 2016

Snapping, snapping, Snapping Turtles (20160623) my favourite (so far) subject here in Nova Scotia.

Well it was one year ago today that the moving truck arrived and we moved into our new abode here in Middle Sackville. With a bright, beautiful, calm morning Bizzy and thought we would walk the tracks to see if we could find any turtles. Our encounter on Tuesday has got me all cranked up about finding more of these neanderthals! As we strolled down the tracks we greeted with this sight:
What a great way to start the morning! This girl seemed be struggling between the tracks finding a place to dig her nest. Here is a view that you might never have seen before. They have quite a tail.
We spent a little time with this lady and we were working our way around her to give her some room, and received this surprise.
For the size of these beasts, they are very easily hid on the gravel background. This is Mama Number 2. It looks like her eggs are buried and she is just finishing up her nights work. Here is another shot of Mama 1.
With this activity on the tracks I decided to take a look around the lake a little and found two more of these large turtles in out in the open water. Here isa shot of one of the long distance "floaters".
Then I started to be more acutely aware of what was happening right at the shoreline. I was not disappointed at all, rather it was another bonanza! I found this lady fully submerged in about 12-15 inches of water. I have darkened the photo to emphasize the shape in the water.
Here is a nice image of a girl just sticking her head out of the water.
I popped back to see how Mama 2 was making out and grabbed this up close portrait. Shot @ 270mm. What a prehistoric looking critter.
Turning back to the shoreline, I spotted this lady which looks like number 7 on the morning. I like how clear this shot is considering she is under water. You can see her tail and even her small eyes.
With Mama two finished her work, we backed away and let her move along her way. Here she is getting over the railway track seperating her from her pond.
I included this shot to show just how high they will lift their hind legs as they walk. Nothing but good fortune and thanks to my gifts of nature this morning.
On the way back to the truck we stumbled across this dead critter which I believe is a shrew of some sort. I was surprised to see it in this state considering the crows and coyotes that are around.
As far as the Snappers are concerned, these beautiful, but fierce reptiles have taken the place of my much sought after Grizzlies of the rockies. These are my Nova Scotia Grizzlies. I love 'em! Get out for a walk around in your neighbourhood, no telling what you might find that will put some "wild" in your life!

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Chestnut, Snapper, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (20160621) A welcome to Summer.

The first day of summer was supposed to be summer like so I invited Angela G out to see how the Sapsucker  chicks were doing. I thought that I owed her the privilege as she introduced me to the walk. We had both of our puppies with us so it would be a new experience. Just as we got started we found this Chestnut-sided warbler.
We then spotted a long distance Yellow Warbler, but we almost stepped upon the find of the day as far as I am concerned. Right on the edge of the trail we came across this lovely lady putting the finishing touches on her "nest".
This is the first nesting Snapper I have found anywhere. What a pleasureable encounter. I certainly hope we didn't create any stress for her  with us and the dogs around. A beauty of this rarity deserves another image on the blog.
Mothers seemed to be the theme of the day as this female Purple Finch was doing the injured wing routine to distract us from her babies.
Next up we found yet another mother as she was gathering "old man's beard" to line her nest. The Cedar Waxwings are always great to find.
We did manage to find a few males around. Like an American Redstart and this male Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, take chow home for the youngsters.
We were also treated to this Song Sparrow in a field where we also spotted another couple of Waxwings. It was also bordered in areas with this beautiful flower which I think is called purple fushia.
On the stroll back to the truck we took special note that the turtle had returned to her watery world. We also found this beautiful butterfly, identification unknown.
Another successful fun walk with Angela and Macy. We certainly had the "wild" added to our lives!

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Robin, Pheasant, Bumblebee(20160611 and 15) More practice subjects from around the house.

Well with a nice sunny day in front of me what is better than snapping a few pics in the yard? So I stayed on the deck for a couple of hours to see what would appear. There are a few Grackles around, and their colour is always wonderful.
Of course the American Robins are out in force getting chow for the young-uns.
My resident Black-throated Green Warbler also came out to sing to me. I have been a little disappointed that I haven't seen more warblers in the yard so far this year.
Mr. Hairy woodpecker also put in an appearance, he is always welcome at the feeders.
While the birds were cooperative, I also found this nice sunny Chipmunk.
Certainly the star of the show was this wonderfully coloured rooster Pheasant.
On the 15th I headed out to spend a little time with Len. While waiting for him to get back to the house I grabbed this shot of a bumble bee.
And as the other dayI finished up the evening with another beautiful pheasant.
Around my house or Len's, it is never tough to put a little "wild" in the life!

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Hummer, Flowers, Chipmunk (20160609&10) Stuff around the yard.

Well with new gear I am anxious to master the new format and lens. There is a lot of adjustments so I try and take some images every day. Here are some from just around the yard. Thankfully the back yard is pretty active so there is almost always something available, like this Chipmunk.
I grabbed a few shots of one of the crows that live in the neighbourhood.
I have been learning more about the wildflowers that we have here on the property too. Here is a small plot of Yellow Clintonia.
Here is a closer look of these tiny yellow flowers. 
 I have also been pleased to find a wild orchid on the lot, but so far just this one pink Ladyslipper. 
The next morning I spent some time waiting for Hummer opportunities. Here is one, kind of stretched out a little. 
It was really nice to see two female hummers at the same time. I am hopeful that we will have a buzzing place in a couple of months. 
And of course, Bizzy is always willing to provide a modeling pose or two for me on the back deck.
It was a great couple of days of just shooting around the house. We are glad to be in a new spot with so much potential to put some "wild" in our lives every day!

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Loons, Gray Jay, Palm Warbler (20160607) Another fishing trip with Len.

We were getting painfully aware that the best trout fishing in the province will be coming to an end soon so we headed to the east hoping for some action. Unfortunately the road in was empty of subjects, and even the landing was quiet. So we had to keep our eyes peeled for opportunity on the lake. We spied this Grey Jay on shore, and just after seeing this bird an accipitor swooped into the area.
Nearing the end of our trolling we had the pleasure of being joined by a couple of curious Loons. While they did come closer than their usual 1/2 mile circle they did not come right up to the boat. 
My buddy Jamie got some super Loon shots earlier this year that I would encourage you to visit at his "head shot" here. Here are a couple more shots of this pair, in terrible lighting conditions. 
Here is one of my best from the day. Maybe the closest they came to us. 
My best effort of the day of a single bird on a heavily cropped edit. 
We had a super day on the lake, it was warm and beautiful and we even landed a few trout. When we got back to the truck we were able to find this little Palm Warbler, which is my first of the year. 
The drive out was as uneventful as the drive in unfortunately. Last year we had a little excitement in one direction or the other, C'est la vie!  Take some time and put a little "wild" in your life!

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Humming Birds, Purple Finch, wild flowers (20160604) Some backyard activity

Of course with new Camera equipment every subject is now on the list to see if the there is any opportunity to improve the quality of subjects already shot with other gear. In the back yard at this time of year the Humming birds are always first choice.
These guys are awful tough to get close to, so soon I will need to be putting up the blind.
Hopefully we can start getting some nice sunny days so that I can freeze those wings once or twice.
Here is a bird that I have been boosting my image quality with. The Purple Finch has typically been a very tough bird for me to shoot.
Here is another shot, just to prove to you that the first wasn't just a fluke.
I took a little walk around the yard and was pleasantly surprised to find a number of these beautiful Painted Triliums.
I also spotted these delicate little white starburst flowers. I have yet to be able to identify them.
Mrs Hairy also put in an appearance even though the light was almost non-existant.
We headed out to New Minas to watch the Blue Jays game with Mom. She mentioned that her female hummer was coming every twentyminutes. So I sit outside for a little while to try anf get a shot or two.
And here is one with a little different background.
Love those Hummers! Take some time with someone and put some "wild" in your life, it'll do you both good!