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Sunday, 30 June 2013

Flowers Flowers Some Plants and More Flowers

Although I was never in to painting or drawing flowers, and don't enjoy receiving flowers in many cases (feel bad when they die and get tossed), I often cannot resist exciting visuals to do with them on many of our walks.

Anything with different lighting situations going on will attract my eye, make me stop, and try to compose in my view finder, an image that will allow me to take with me a reminder of that exciting visual. There are literally zillions of small little things that catch the eye on walks, especially after a rain. Lots of opportunity for "ye ole cliche water droplets on petals and leaves photos". Other attractions are the transparency of the leaves and petals, cast shadows, bees going for pollen,and vibrant and contrasting colours. There are just millions of reasons to find plants and flowers to be exciting subjects.

These images come from both Edward's Garden's and a walk near the GM plant in Oshawa, on the east side of Second Marsh, near the Darlington Provincial Park entrance.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Foggy Mornings are my Favs!

They don't come up often, the conditions have to be right, but when they do I definitely will be out there. They are my most favourite lighting and mood conditions for taking cool photos! They also need to fall on a weekend too, which lowers the odds for me.

This past weekend, one was forecast! Sure enough, though it's hard, I make sure to get up early so I can get out there and not miss it.

This past weekend, it wasn't the most exciting fog and light conditions I've ever seen, btu anything is great :-)

HERE is a previous and ANOTHER post where the fog and light balance were extremely unusual, bright yet fog - I have yet to see this type of atmosphere again, probably this was also a first, and I won't hold my breath waiting for it - it was probably a once in a life time.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Turtles Laying Eggs

On a recent walk, we were so lucky to run into turtles up on land attempting to lay eggs. This is apparently a very long and vulnerable process for them. The temperatures need to be right as well.

We ran into wood frames with wire mesh centers sitting on the ground with rocks on top to weight them down. Signs told us that the Conservation Authority wants to try to protect the turtle's nests from predators and give the turtles a better chance for survival. Despite this effort, we did see dug up turtle nests, destroyed eggs, as well as a nest that had even been gotten to under the protective cover. The wood frame with wire had been dug under and pushed aside by probably a raccoon, and the eggs eaten.

One of the covers was over what appeared to be a partially dug up nest, with some empty soft turtle shells around it, but in the opening, untouched turtle eggs could be seen. We wondered if the partially exposed eggs would end up surviving. Not sure what went down here but there was a cover over this partially exposed nest.

As we continued on the path, ahead, right in the center of the path, was a large snapping turtle. A little scary to have to walk past but really incredible to get a close look at her. She'd be out there for hours, digging a hole and laying eggs. An hour or so after walking one way past her, we saw her on our way back, still digging. The second turtle we ran into was a painted turtle, but she just seemed to be sitting.

It'd be awesome to get to see the little hatched turtles running for the marsh but it's luck really, being in the right place at the right time, that would allow us that exciting experience.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Gorgeous Textures and Beautiful Skies at the Pier

The last couple of nights, we've revisited Whitby Harbour and the pier, something we've not done much since discovering other areas.

There's been some beautiful skies and some gorgeous textures on the water. We've seen the Bonaparte's Gull several times now, which is cool. The terns go nuts fighting each other over a fish catch and the Killdeer are running all over the construction site.

People have their boats out and you can see tons of sail boats dotting the horizon, far out in the lake.

It is a nice walk in the evening. There's lots of opportunity for people watching, as well as birds, animals and flowers. The chip truck's been closed every time we've walked down there though, dang - probably a good thing though lol!

baby swallow in tree branch

Thursday, 20 June 2013

I LOVE Canadian Authors!!!

I have always read, since I can recall. It began with my mother introducing me to Stephen King when I was in grade 4 or 5 - first significant memory of me and my love of reading being eternally emeshed anyway. Probably Not the best choice to give a 9 year old Stephen King, or JAWS for that matter (a funny memory was being asked to read it to the other kids at the school bus stop 'cause their parents wouldn't let them see the movie lol!). I should have just told them I'd be glad to trade them Moms lol! (would make a best seller 200+ pages long in itself but I'm not a writer really). However, by grade 9 I was reading things like The Gulag Archipelago, and other such humongous books.

I have been one who basically refuses to buy books. The library was like my second home and I'm sure with all the late fines (a bad habit of mine I can't seem to shake even now) I probably was one of their largest financial supporters lol! (Block Buster and Rogers probably loved me too). Anyway, I read as much as possible, often to and from work on the Go and also at lunch. I make it a habit to read about 10mins before bed most nights too as it relaxes the mind and makes one sleepy (not that the book is boring always).

My favourite books that I luck out and choose randonly and end up Loving are usually by Canadian writer. Except, and I know I am in the minority, I do not care for Margaret Atwood. I love Margaret Laurence though! I think what it is with Canadian novels, they tend to be about People - everyday people and life and they often are in a written style that breaks through to the bare bones, states things simply yet effectively. Very hard to describe in words, especially since I am no writer really.

Right now I am reading a book called Nights Below Station Street. It is fantastic, right up my alley for falling into the vein of writing that I most love.

One thing I do love is going to the library and just pickign 6 or 7 books randomly and hitting on a little gem I will not forget :-)

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Bonaparte's Gull Sighting and Glorious Sky

At the end of a nice weekend full of walks and after picking my son up from work, we had dinner and decided last minute to take a walk to Whitby Harbour. We haven't done that walk in a while. It was still quite warm out thought the sun was due to set in about 1 hr or so.

The Killdeer were all over the construction site that we pass on the way. We miss the grape vines that used to grow along the fence there since the land has been cleared and ready for 5 new condos. So, it's not so visually interesting a walk anymore.

The harbour seemed pretty quiet as we got to the water. We saw seagulls diving for fish and thought we heard a Tern. As the bird neared, it leven looked like a Tern. Then when it passed right close to me I realized it was a Bonaparte's Gull - something we've heard others we run into on walks, mention they've seen recently. It was the first time I've ever seen one! We saw 3 different ones, all in different stages with the head markings. I managed to get pictures of them all, even with the receding light.

To top the whole walk off, as we neared the actual pier, I turned and saw probably what was the most spectacular sky I've seen down there in a long time. Photos just don't do it justice.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

New Drawing - "Backwards 3"

I decided to begin a new still life, to have a bit of a change from the old one. I am pretty close to finishing the other one, with the feathers and rock, so will take turns every few weekends on that one too. Fresh eyes are always good.

I have a portrait of John on the go too so will work on that when I get tired of inatimate objects, which are actually far more challenging for me than portraits.

This particular set of, sort of ended up being a bit more complex than the 3 rocks together I had imagined I'd set up. I set this up then I began to draw and I realized this is Not going to be an easy drawing lol!

The metal plate with the 3 is a number from an old telephone pole I assume, which I found on the shore one day. The other items are rocks and a tiny delicate bone, all found on the shore on walks.

The little metal plate with the 3, I liked the texture and look of the back better than the front, hence the title of the drawing.

I grabbed a cell phone pic of this set up as it is more complex therefore may be harder to set up again, although I do have most placements of objects done in the initial drawing which has about 1 1/2 hrs work in it so far. Even where the lamp sits will cause shadows to be different enough to throw things off, there is so much subtle areas in this that I like so want to set it up as accurately as possible every time.