A Christmas tradition of sorts is going to visit family in my home town of Dundas, Ontario a week or so before Christmas. This is a way to visit, do the Christmas thing and avoid the typical bad weather (or try to) that hits around the end of December.
If I can, I like to find time to go up the “hill” to where the main line of the CN Dundas sub runs. When I was younger, on Saturdays I would ride my bike up to this location to watch trains in the morning, returning around noon. There used to be a station there, which by then was a whistle stop, but it has a washroom (if one could call it that) and a place to hide out from the weather if needed. That station is long gone, burned down by vandals in the mid 90s.
Access to the area is now by foot only. A bit of a walk, but no big deal. The line up to Copetown is uphill, so the trains are struggling to make the grade, and you can hear them coming. There is also signal lights to help know if there is something coming. On the opposite direction, you can see the headlights long before the train passes.
So I went up. I stayed for about an hour, and nothing came, even though there was a green light. Still, I wandered and took a few photos with my X-Pro1.
This year, in an effort to help boost the insect and bee population, we planted a number of flowers that would attract butterflies and various bees. Not much has been around, but over the weekend, we had a visitor. A butterfly appeared and was feeding from the flowers. We had the sprinkler on to water the garden, and it seemed liked it was playing in the water.
When it appeared, I grabbed my camera – Fuji X-T1 with the 59-140mm telephoto to try and get a picture of it. Its not that easy to do. They don’t stay in one spot too long. But I did manage a few shots.
We thought it was a type of Monarch butterfly, but thanks to Google and its photo search feature, I discovered it is actually a variant of the Painted Lady butterfly.
Being in the suburbs, there is a lot of wildlife around. There are a couple chipmunks that live nearby and like to gather up the bird seed that falls from the feeder. Sadly, they also like my tomatoes, so its an ongoing battle to keep them out.
Now that it’s summer, I like to keep my X-T1 and new 50-140 lens close by for any bird pictures or other fauna that comes by. So I was pleased to see the little chipmunk finding a place to clean his face. I was able to snap this picture. It looks like he is saying “I can’t see you, so you can’t see me”.
So, I’m sitting outside with the Fuji X-T1 with the 50-140 by my side. I had stood up with the camera, and in comes a pair of Blue Jays to eat at the bird feeder. These have been elusive birds for me. They don’t like to stick around when humans are near and in any type of motion.
As I was standing with camera in hand, they didn’t notice me, and I didn’t need to move, so I had a great view to shoot some pictures. The lens was fantastic and I got some great pictures. The problem is, which to put online to show? Here are a few.
Its been a nice few days. After last week’s snow storms and dump of 50cm of snow, this weekend was well above normal, and freezing temperatures was a happy change. It was Family Day in Ontario, which means a day off from work, so we went to the Jack Pine trail for a bit of time outside.
Others did too, so it wasn’t quite as quiet in the woods as one would like. But still, nice to see people outside and not sitting in their houses watching TV.
I brought along the Fuji X-T1 and wide angle lens to get some photos. I’ve been lacking in photos for a while. While I did get some good shots, a telephoto lens would have been useful for some bird shots. In this area, the chickadees will land on your hand for some seed.
Happy New Year!
January in Ottawa always brings some crazy weather. Storms, rain, snow, warm and cold. In this first week of 2017, we had a nice bout of freezing rain followed by 10 cms of snow. It made for crappy driving, but the ice on the trees looked magical.
This shot is from my office. I was hoping to catch some sun before it became to warm and everything melted away. As expected, the sun came out, it got above zero and the wind picked up, shaking off the icy designs on the trees.
And believe it or not, this is a colour image.
Taken with my Fuji X100T.
We picked up this really neat flower on sale. One of those end-of-season things. It is a slow bloomer but the flowers that come are awesome. The other day I took to it with my X-T1 and 60mm macro lens. Here are a couple shots. Without context, it looks like something from another planet. Or a Dr. Seuss book.
Over the summer I’ve taken up cycling as a way to stay in shape and keep some weight off. There are a few bike paths near the house so I don’t need to ride on the streets. I find that going out early in the morning on the weekends the best. Most people tend to sleep in so there are less people on the paths other than joggers or dog walkers. Not that its a problem, it makes for a hassle-less ride.
Last weekend I awoke early and saw on the weather site that there was fog. I jumped to it to ride to a spot I knew there would be fog. I brought along my X-Pro1 and 35mm lens to get something.
Sadly, at 8:00 am the fog was burning off already, such that by the time I got to where I wanted to be, it was too late. I carried on though and ended up down at the Rideau river by the locks. There I scored a few photos. So all was not lost. There was still mist on the very calm waters.
And in an inlet the water was perfectly still allowing me to get these photos for my reflections series I’m poking along with.
As the days get shorter, and my ability to get out for a ride after work continues, I hope to maybe get some nice sunset photos as well. We shall see.
Trying to keep the photography going. Again, an evening outside after work, a fly landed on the chair next to me and was eating away at something. Probably Chipmunk poop or something. Enough that it didn’t care I was there. I had the Fuji X-T1 and the 60mm lens for the birds. As a bonus, its a macro lens. So I was able to get really close.
This is a fairly extreme crop, but still, cool how close I managed it.
Living in the suburbs presents an interesting dichotomy. While it is a bunch of humans in big boxes, there is still the ever-present wildlife, who have adapted to having people around.
Our backyard on some days, is like something out of a Disney movie: various birds and animals coming and going. From the birds at the feeder (Chickadees, Finches, Cardinals, Grackles and now Red-winged Black Birds) to other wildlife in red and black squirrels, chipmunks and rabbits.
Tonight there was a couple of visitors, one being a new little bunny. We have a couple of domestic bunnies, and to see the wild ones are fun to see and forever welcome in the backyard. I grabbed my Fuji X-T1 and affixed the 60mm (my longest lens) to get some shots. And the chipmunk also made an appearance. Both these shots have an extreme crop to “zoom in”. The 60 is my longest lens, and I’m thinking its time to invest in something longer to get some better shots.