I Found a Roughy!

Yup, that’s right.  I found a ‘Roughy’, or Rough-legged Hawk this morning.  Actually, I first spotted this one hovering on Monday, however I could not ID by marks.  Roughies are known for hovering while they hunt, so I had my suspicions.  I went back this morning and managed to get a couple of (terrible) shots that were good enough to make and ID.  Below is the ‘best’ shot of the lot.

Rough-legged Hawk

Rough-legged Hawk (Buteo lagopus) - Click for larger size

Yay!  My first Roughie!  I hope it stays for the winter; I would like to drop by a few more times…

Bringing Back the Blog: A Resurrection

OK, I’ll admit it. My blog is stale. My rationalizing to avoid it has been working for a while (family addition, renovations, 500px, and G+, and the desire to produce larger more significant posts). Enough is enough. Time to raise this ship and keep it regular; twice a week is my initial goal.  This is a bigger post, many may just be a short story about one or two images.  My main goal is to share and have fun with it and not worry too much about stats.

Boardwalk as seen from the lookout tower

The Boardwalk at Point Pelee NP

Today’s post is about my trip to Point Pelee National Park in Ontario, Canada. If you like the outdoors, walking, biking, canoeing, or bird watching, this is a really good place to go.

Point Pelee Boardwalk

The boardwalk snakes through the marsh providing walkers with great views of birds, fish, plants, and flowers.  They also rent canoes allowing you really get out there and get close to the scenery.  Canoeing was one of the highlights of the trip, for the whole family.

Point Pelee Boardwalk

The boardwalk does a loop and returns where it started, near the lookout tower.

Frogs and other small critters abound here, however the real treat is bird watching.

Green Frog

Point Pelee is the gateway to the north for a lot of migratory birds.  Every spring hundreds of different species fly through here on their way to their breeding and nesting grounds.  The Fall season also offers good bird watching as the birds head back to their winter homes.

Sanderlings

Sanderlings

My visit was late Fall, so I didn’t get a lot of bird shots.  Maybe next time.

Turkey Vultures

Turkey Vultures - Soaring High

Continuing towards the Tip of Point Pelee, there are nice beaches on both sides.  This image is from the East side an a rather windy but warm  October day.

Point Pelee - East Beach

Point Pelee - East Beach

My next trip to Point Pelee will be during the Spring migration, and I should have a few more bird photos to share then.

See you next time.  Thanks for dropping by!

Point Pelee - Beach Rocks

Point Pelee - Beach Rocks

A Home Left Behind

When I first moved out of Toronto into a more rural setting (I love the city, but I’m not a big fan of living there), this house was still maintained a bit.  At that time plants were kept from devouring it whole.  That was over 10 years ago.

These plants are quickly reclaiming what was taken away- Click to view larger size

I would love to show a before image, which would show the change more dramatically.  Unfortunately, back then I wasn’t into photography.  I guess there’s good advice for everyone; get out there and take more pictures.  You never know when something interesting will no longer be there to photograph later.

Macro Monday: You Can’t See Me

OK, here’ my first Macro Monday post.  We’ll call it my Flower Friday post too, since I missed it last week.  I recently picked up a Canon EF35-80mm III lens which is a poor lens as-is.  However, by removing the first three elements the lens becomes a pretty decent zoom macro lens.  Of course there are some pretty big limitations; no auto focus and the working distance is not much more than an inch.  Magnification varies from around 0.85x (35mm end) to 1.85x (80mm end).   DOF is razor-thin and a very small aperture is mandatory for anything other than a perfectly flat object.  Below are a couple of images that came out OK.

You Can't See Me

The flower is ~ four mm wide. The little guy hiding in there is less than one mm long

I took several shots of this flower before I realized there was a critter hiding on it!  I have no idea what it is.  The flower is Black Medic, a clover weed that is very common in my lawn. Shot with a Canon XTI at 80mm, f32, 0.6s, ISO100.  Even at f32, the DOF is probably no more than a millimeter thick.  Yikes!

Common Bluebell flower, ~15mm wide

This is an example at the 35mm end of the lens.  The DOF makes it impossible to capture the entire flower in focus, so some creativity is needed to make the most of what’s available.  Taken with a Canon XTI at 35mm, f22, 0.6s, at ISO100.

Overall, I’m very happy with this lens, considering it cost me nothing (a good friend gave it to me for repairing a bent CF pin on his DSLR).  If you have to pay, I’ve seen them for $40-50.  A bargain for what you can do with it.  Enjoy!

Photo Party, 500px Style!

I’ve posted an entry on my 500px blog, that summarizes my experience of the 500px Photo Party.   Enjoy!

Spring is Here!

It’s finally warming up in Ontario!  The last of the snow melted out of my backyard yesterday.

This was in taken in February.  Looking forward to green trees and ground again.  The birds are venturing back.  More and more things to photograph every day.

I’m just getting the hang of this Blog thingy, so venture back often as I get familiar with the tools and do more timely and thorough posts.

Hello world!

Canon 400D, 18-135 F3.5-5.6 IS @62mm, f5.6, 1/100s P Mode, -1EV, ISO200, hand-held, Mar. 15, 2011

Hi to everyone!  This is my first blog post.  I’ll start with something simple…because I have no idea what I’m doing yet.  Please bear with me!

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