I didn't have much time so I decided to go for a walk on a reliable section of the Walter Bean Grand River trail in Kitchener. It didn't take long to see a garter snake on a path which startled me. By the time I recovered and tried for a picture it was long gone. I have a fear of snakes since childhood but don't mind photographing them. No luck this time.
As I got closer to the water I noticed a pair of bright blue damselflies flying around each other. I watched them for a while and made this picture when one landed on a plant in the river. I love seeing all the different colour combinations a hike along the river can offer a photographer or nature lover this time of year.
I had waken early and tried once again to find some morning deer riverside. No luck but while cycling across the Freeport bridge I noticed a great blue heron fishing in the fog that was still hanging around on the river. What people say about the morning being the best time of the day was true in this case.
New England Aster blooms against a backdrop of goldenrod flowers along the Grand River in Kitchener. It was a late afternoon and the sun was low and warm, and as I sat surrounded by a meadow full of colour, I thought that I'll miss shooting for this project when it's done.
I spent my morning around the Grand River with Christopher Bunt and his crew. His fish and wildlife research company maintains several cameras in the Grand River that monitor fish activity. One of these is inside the Donil fish way within the Mannheim weir. This camera can provide an accurate account of how many fish and what kinds are using the fish ladder to move upstream. While checking this camera with Chris I noticed a large spider had caught something in its web and I took this picture.
A snap dragon blooms on the shores of the Grand River in Waterloo. I used a bit of strobe to light the inside of the flower, where the flower is most colourful. These colours attract various pollinating insects and a few times I had to make way for bees as they shimmied in and out.
While I was trying to find the right mix of strobe and ambient light, the right direction for the strobe, and the the right flower to photograph I was startled by a splash behind me. My first thought was that a muskrat or beaver had flopped off the high bank and when I turned to look, a huge osprey was working its way out of the water, talons empty, and with a few powerful strokes it was gone.
It was a pretty great thing to see. But since I had my back to the water, a macro lens on my camera, a TTL cord wrapped around my arm and neck, and not much to show for myself except a stunned look on my face, you'll just have to trust me on that.
I decided to take a small hike on the Grand near Ottawa St. in Kitchener. The M.R. Good Family trailway is part of the Walter Bean Grand River Trail and I always seem to find some peace when walking there. It is a popular place for dog walkers and cyclists alike. Today it was just me and a fly fisherman upstream by 300 yards. I noticed a bouquet of flowers had found its way in to the Grand and floated down the current. One bloom was left alone, washed up beside a stone sitting on a tangled mass of weeds. I wondered what the story was behind these flowers and how they ended up floating down the river.
I have had some really good luck spotting ruby throated hummingbirds this summer. This picture was taken on a early morning walk a long Riverbank Drive near the Region of Waterloo International Airport. I was once again on a quest to see deer. A reliable source had informed me that large groups of deer come down to the river to drink in the early morning around this area. When I arrived around 7 am I was discovered two technicians had picked that same morning to use a noisy pump for gathering samples. That kind of ruined my chances of seeing deer.
On the positive side this little bird buzzed by me and landed on a dew covered tree branch nearby. This is the third time I have spotted a humming bird, all on three different areas of the Grand. I hope this means their numbers are rising. In my opinion it is so much more satisfying to see a hummingbird in the wild away from the popular backyard plastic flower feeders, full of sugar water.