2020 The Year of Covid-19

We did not have the three photographic travels we planned for 2020 because of Covid, but we did manage some stay-at-home photography anyway.

Three kilometres east of us there is an osprey box/nest with a convenient viewing area. I visited two days a week from June to the end of July to witness the seemingly endless sitting on the eggs, emergence of the two chicks, nest repairs, take-out delivery, flapping of wings in preparation for flight, first flight, and a close encounter. Overall this was all very thrilling, and I would have missed it all if our travel plans had not been thwarted. A few of the pictures are here in the osprey gallery.

We have had bird feeders for years, but, perhaps because of Covid, this was the first year I made a point of keeping the camera at the ready. What fun to record the images of the critters, feathered and otherwise, that visited our property. The following Yard gallery showcases our visitors.

We did manage a fall outing to the Muskoka region and spent a week away without contacting others. We explored Arrowhead Provincial Park just north of Huntsville, ON and came back with a few interesting fall pictures. We particularly enjoyed photographing Stubbs Falls. These photos are in the Arrowhead gallery.

Thanks for your visit.  

Please note: clicking on an image below opens a gallery of several images, and clicking on one of those images will open the slides in a larger view. Clicking the X at the bottom of the viewer will put your screen in Full Screen mode. 

Alaska – the second trip!

In July of 2019 we returned to Alaska. On this trip, we joined up with photographer John Solnina (website link) once again for a photo tour. We  travelled from Anchorage to Seward and Homer, both coastal communities in the Kenai Peninsula. Although we took in many sights while travelling in a large van, the main events were our three days on board two small boats where we were totally spellbound by our surroundings.

In addition to the ever present beautiful scenery, including an up close encounter with a glacier, we enjoyed being in the company of lots of wildlife. This was our first sighting of the super-cute sea otters and it was a privilege to hang out with them for the time we did; they even seemed as interested in us as we in them. Finding ourselves in the midst of an estimated 30 orcas was exciting too, but it would be a stretch to say we hung out with them, more like we were there when they passed by.

The Tufted Puffin was also new for us which was a treat to see, and the sea lions & harbour seals are always fun to be around. The two humpback whales we encountered were very camera shy and only stayed long enough to wave goodbye with their huge tails. On our last day, while driving back to Anchorage, we happened to see a cow moose grazing along a side road; we made a quick exit and she was quite tolerant of about six cameras recording her every move.

The biggest thrill photographically, however, was our afternoon with several bald eagle families. On numerous occasions we witnessed these majestic birds descend from the trees along the rugged coast to catch a fish in the waters below. To observe the whole bird in flight through a 200mm lens was quite exhilarating!

Thanks for visiting, and I hope you enjoy viewing the images below.

Please note: clicking on an image below opens a gallery of several images, and clicking on one of those images will open the slides in a larger view. Clicking the X at the bottom of the viewer will put your screen in Full Screen mode. 

alaska2019

The selected pictures are in two galleries:

The first is a collection of scenery and wildlife to give an overview of what we saw;

eagles

The second is exclusively eagle shots. Beware, I did include more than I should have, but if you are like me, these birds are just so cool to look at!

Note: the X at the bottom center of the displayed image in the gallery will generate the full screen mode.

Road Trip: Spring 2019

We found leaving Belleville, Ontario in late April with the tree buds barely visible and watching through the car’s windscreen the transition to summer leaves (and temperature) in Tennessee a very interesting experience.  We met up with photographer John Solnina (website link) on a photo tour of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The first gallery of images are from that outing. We enjoyed our visit to Tennessee and photographing the pioneer structures, waterfalls, elk, bears, and the overall landscape. 

The second gallery is from the Hocking Hills area in Ohio. We spent a few days exploring Hocking Hills State Park.  The main attraction for us was Ash Cave which is a huge cavern with a waterfall falling over the edge. We were not disappointed and enjoyed photographing this landmark as well as other spots of interest in the park. The last image I took, which is the first seen in the gallery,  was at a small waterfall at Conkle’s Hollow; when the sun popped out and shone on the water in the dark cave, it was magical!

Thanks for your visit. We hope you enjoy viewing our photos from this trip.

Please note: clicking on an image below opens a gallery of several images, and clicking on one of those images will open the slides in a larger view. Clicking the X at the bottom of the viewer will put your screen in Full Screen mode. 

Shenandoah National Park, VA

In June of 2018 we found ourselves at high altitude in Shenandoah National Park to photograph the Blue Mountains for several days. This was another photo workshop run by our friend and mentor Tom Dwyer, an upstate New York photographer; his website can be seen here.

We were very impressed with the park and what it has to offer. This gallery offers some of the cool landscapes we enjoyed.

Our other photography adventures can be found in the Gallery tab in the menu bar. 

Thanks for your visit. We hope you enjoy viewing our photos from this trip.

Please note: clicking on an image below opens the gallery to view individual images, and and clicking left or right will advance the slides. Also, clicking the X at the bottom of the viewer will put your screen in Full Screen mode. 

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Iceland

Our 11 day photo tour of Reykjavík and southern Iceland was very interesting and enjoyable in spite of Iceland’s unusually wet summer! We had a number of excellent photo opportunities of waterfalls, birds, glaciers, and icebergs. We particularly enjoyed our couple of visits to Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and adjacent Diamond Beach to photograph the icebergs. The various waterfalls, especially the ones that flowed over moss covered rocks, were quite different for us. We did an inland tour around the Vatnajökull glacier and witnessed some amazing scenery. Our guide, Siggi, was very capable and knowledgeable, and he treated us to an inside view of his beautiful country. We also particularly enjoyed spending time with three new bird species for us:  Arctic terns, puffins, and skuas.  (BTW – A flying puffin is quite the challenge to photograph!)

Thanks for your visit. We hope you enjoy viewing our photos from this trip.

Please note: clicking on an image below opens the gallery to view individual images, and and clicking left or right will advance the slides. Also, clicking the X at the bottom of the viewer will put your screen in Full Screen mode. 

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Galapagos!

The Galapagos Islands, 620 miles off the coast of Ecuador, are home to a great variety of wildlife waiting to be photographed; perhaps that’s a stretch, but photography has proven to be an important tool to promote the preservation of our natural world and, if the wildlife was aware of this, they would be happy to be photographed.

When the opportunity arose to visit Galapagos on the boat called the Samba, we were excited to sign up for this adventure. The stars aligned on this trip; everything exceeded our expectations!

There were thirteen photographers and seven crew aboard the Samba. The crew was exceptional in providing the accommodations, meals, facilitating excursions, and getting us to each destination. A tour like this is geared around photography, so the excursions, and there were many, were single focused.

Clicking on either image here will show you a larger view of our itinerary or of the Samba

Prior to our visit, we thought the giant tortoises found on Galapagos would be the highlight, but I think they looked very much like the images that photographs show them to be. We were taken aback, again and again, by the vividness of the Sally Lightfoot crabs, the grandness of the frigate birds, the awesomeness of the albatrosses, the delicateness of the tropic birds, the cuteness of the sea lions, and the perkiness of the penguins. Even the land & marine iguanas proved to be very attractive in real life. But it was the blue footed boobies that totally stole our hearts! These amazing birds were everywhere, and we saw them flying, courting, mating, nesting, and caring for their chicks.

Overall, our favorite memory (but alas no photos) took place during a snorkelling outing. Four penguins flitted about us while having their lunch on the available fish, also swimming among us; it was truly breathtaking to watch these birds fly by, under the water, only an arm’s reach away.

Each island we visited was different from the others. It was as though each island was assigned a theme. It is very difficult for the photographs to reveal what Galapagos looks like without making a point of documenting the landscape and vegetation of each island. In this collection there are some landscape style pictures, but these provide only a narrow view of our visual experience. You may notice the variety of terrain behind some of the wildlife presented here.

Some of the included photographs are taken from the water. None of these were taken from the Samba as you might assume. The Samba was equipped with two pangas (or zodiacs) and these were used several times for photographic excursions. We also had a few outings in kayaks in the quieter waters. We were able to get quite close to coastal wildlife like sea lions, penguins, pelicans, and oyster catchers, and we were able to see them from a very different perspective.

For this entry, we have divided the pictures into Part I and Part II. The idea is, if you finish Part I and would like to see more of the same, then Part II is available. Part II has different pictures but the same mix so, if you enjoyed Part I, then Part II is a continuation.

Thanks for your visit. We hope you enjoy viewing our photos from this trip.

Please note: clicking on an image below opens a gallery of several images, and clicking on one of those images will open the slides in a larger view. Clicking the X at the bottom of the viewer will put your screen in Full Screen mode. 

Back
Giant Tortoise
Giant Tortoise
A Masked Booby through a blow hole
Sea Lion on the Move
Flamingo
Sally Lightfoot Crab
Sea Lion
Waved Albatross
Waved Albatross
Masked Boobies
Marine Iguanas
Waved Albatross
Waved Albatross
Sea Lions
Sea Lion
Hermit Crab
Blue Footed Boobies
Blue Footed Booby
Red Footed Booby
Red Footed Booby
Sea Lion
Pelican
Kicker Rock
Sea Lions
Land Iguana
Sally Lightfoot Crab
Tropic Bird
Land Iguana
Swallow Tail Gull
Tropic Bird
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Costa Rica Trip Two

Our last photography adventure for our very exciting 2017 was a return visit to Costa Rica. We visited, once again, the canopy walks in  Monteverde and went to the same butterfly and hummingbird spots as before; however, there were very few butterflies this year, and the vegetation generally was not as lush and colourful as our previous visit.

We covered new ground in the Tenorio area where we visited a beautiful waterfall at Rio Celeste and witnessed the deep aqua colour of the water here.  We also saw our first sloth and had fun photographing the very green, red eyed frog.

Our last stop was a few days in the Guanacaste area where we took a river boat trip at Palo Verde National Park, and we saw iguanas, monkeys (howler and capuchin), egrets, herons (tiger, green, blue and great blue), basilisk lizard and crocodile. We also took pictures of the sunset from a sailboat and over the beach/water from the hotel grounds.

Note: The picture box which is accessed by clicking on any image below, features a cool full screen mode which is accessed by clicking on the X in the lower middle of the image.

Thanks for your visit. We hope you enjoy viewing our photos from this trip.

Please note: clicking on an image below opens the gallery to view individual images, and and clicking left or right will advance the slides. Also, clicking the X at the bottom of the viewer will put your screen in Full Screen mode. 

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Ricketts Glen, Pennsylvania Part I

I am titling this as Part I because I am sure we will return at least two more times. There are 22 named waterfalls in the gorge that forms a Y with the rivers and there are falls on all three arms. We saw only about nine falls on this trip, so we are excited to see the rest.

This was our second outing with noted Upstate New York photographer Tom Dwyer. He led a workshop for seven participants and, for the second time, we thoroughly enjoyed our time with him.

Our group stayed at a great B&B in the countryside and were delighted to encounter the regular dinnertime visitors. These deer were, indeed, an unexpected and added bonus.

Thanks for your visit. We hope you enjoy viewing our photos from this trip.

Please note: clicking on an image below opens the gallery to view individual images, and and clicking left or right will advance the slides. Also, clicking the X at the bottom of the viewer will put your screen in Full Screen mode. 

Alaska Bears, Glaciers, & Scenery

August 2017 was a memorable month. We started with a bear photo tour in the Lake Clark & Katmai parks. Each morning our group of ten flew out in three float planes to find bears. We flew through wilderness and beautiful mountain passes, with snow-capped mountains in the distance, to areas where the sockeye salmon were moving upstream to their spawning area. The salmon, having already undertaken a long journey, are now bright red, ready to spawn and then will die.

On several days, we went to Moraine Creek/Funnel Creek in the Katmai area. After landing, we walked a mile or so across the tundra in waders to the shore of the stream, or the bluff overlooking the stream to look for bears and salmon and set up for taking photographs. Brown bears come from throughout the region to this area where two large creeks come together and the salmon are plentiful. On one day the weather precluded landing at Moraine and we went to Brooks Falls at Katmai National Park.

The second part of the trip was cruising from Seward, Alaska, through the inside passage to Vancouver, British Columbia. As part of the cruise package we took the McKinley Explorer train to Denali National Park where we enjoyed a three day stay before boarding the Zaandam in Seward. Although it was fun to be on the ship, it was the glaciers that made this a truly memorable experience.

Thanks for your visit. We hope you enjoy viewing our photos from this trip.

Please note: clicking on an image below opens a gallery of several images, and clicking on one of those images will open the slides in a larger view. Clicking the X at the bottom of the viewer will put your screen in Full Screen mode. 

Loons In Muskoka

In early July of 2017 we went in search of loons and their chicks with Michael Bertelsen of Algonquin Park Photography Tours. Michael monitors 15 pairs of loons on different lakes and takes participants to the most favorable locations to photograph loons and their chicks. Regrettably, this year, the water levels have been quite high making it difficult for the small-island nesting loons to find a place to nest. Of the 15 pairs, only 3 were nesting and none had chicks yet, which is a problem for the loon population and disappointing for us photographers.

However, we did enjoy our two morning and two evening outings with Michael to get up close and photograph some loons in the Muskoka area. Michael has a small boat with 4 swivel seats low to the water from which to photograph. He has a high speed gas motor to get from one end of the lake to the other very quickly, and two electric positioning motors, fore & aft, to quietly travel with the loons we encountered. It was an interesting experience to have the boat move sideways so the four participants were able to have a front row seat to observe these beautiful water birds.

We began by very briefly visiting a nesting loon for a couple of photos, but stayed clear of the nest for the rest of the stay for fear of interrupting the nesting cycle. We observed loons in different lighting situations, including significant fog/mist one morning; we also were present when a third loon visited for a brief time; and we even witnessed a loon preparing to eat a rock bass for lunch!

The gallery below shows a selection of images of the several loons we had the privilege of viewing from the boat. The gallery ends with photos of a heron that we also saw from the boat, turtles from a turtle research station on the Mizzy Lake trail in Algonquin Provincial Park, and a grazing moose also on the Mizzy Lake trail at March Hare Lake.

We hope you enjoy our photos; clicking on any image will launch the viewer and please note the option to view in full screen mode to see an even larger image.

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