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Entries in barrie (21)


Nature 10+1 - 2.33 "Into the Wild"

Shot in Oro ~ iPhone 4S


Nature 10+1 - 1.59 "Blurred Seasons"

Combo Pan/Zoom Blur ~ Canon Rebel XS, EF 100-400mm 4.5-5.6L IS, f/7.1, 1/6, ISO 100


Nature 10+1 - 1.50 "Redpoll to the Rescue"

Shot at our place in Barrie ~ Canon 50D Handheld, EF-S 55-250mm 4-5.6 IS @250mm, f/5.6, 1/800, ISO 640

There was an increase of activity at our feeders today and we were lucky to have both Redpolls and Siskins show up!!  A full post with lots of pictures to come tomorrow morning.  Hope you had a great weekend!

Great Backyard Bird Count/Project Feeder Watch Results : Am Goldfinch (43), BC Chickadee (6), Dark-eyed Junco (5), Mourning Dove (3), Am Crow (3), COMMON REDPOLL (2), Downy Woodpecker (2), House Finch (2), PINE SISKIN (1), Red-breasted Nuthatch (1), Eu Starling (1)


Wildflower Wednesday ~ True Forget-Me-Not (Myosotis Scorpioides)

This week's flower is the small but mighty cute True Forget-Me-Not.  We see this wildflower all over the place, all summer long and they always puts a smile on my face.  I hope this post does the same for you!! :)

  • a herbaceous perennial plant that flowers from May through to the first frosts of October.
  • was introduced from Asia and Europe - is now naturalized over much of North America.  
  • is considered a noxious weed(*) in Connecticut and Massachussetts.   
  • is a member of the Borage Family.
  • the five lobed flowers are only 1/4 of an inch across and are light blue with a yellow centre, called a corolla.
  • the leaves are oblong, hairy and stalkless, about 1 - 2 inches in size.  
  • they grow 6 - 24 inches in height, thriving in or near wet spaces such as rivers, streams and bogs.
  • The name 'myosotis' is Greek for 'mouse ear' in relation to the shape of the leaves.
  • The name 'scorpioides' is in reference to the tightly coiled flower bud clusters which are said to resemble a scorpion.
  • the French called them 'Ne m'oubliez pas.'  It is suggested that term was first anglicized and used as Forget-Me-Not back in 1532. 
  • the seeds are in pods found along the stem.  If you want to collect its seeds all you have to do is put something underneath the stem and give the plant a shake.
  • an abundance of folklore and legend surround this wildflower.  There is a German legend that suggests when God forgot to name it, it cried out 'forget me not,' and so that is what God so named it. 
  • another legend suggests a young Jesus wanted to preserve the beauty of Mary's blue eyes and so he touched them, waved his hand over the ground and Forget-Me-Nots appeared.
  • there is a story in medieval legend where a knight falls into a river while picking flowers for his ladylove; as he is drowning, he throws up the flowers to her and shouts 'forget me not.'
  • Henry IV adopted the True Forget-Me-Not as his symbol during his exile in 1398 and upon his return to England a year later.

"It is one of the most interesting minute flowers.  It is the more beautiful for being small and unpretending; even flowers must be modest."  HD Thoreau  

*Noxious Weed: refers to an invasive species of plant that has been designated as one that injurious to agricultural and/or horticultural crops, natural habitats and/or ecosystems and/or humans or livestock.


Last Week in Birds

Total Species for the Week - 27             Locations - Oro, Barrie and the Minesing Wetlands

Another week down, another week closer to spring ;-)  We did have a couple of good sightings this week which all came while doing the mail route in Oro.  Once again we were able to see Evening Grosbeaks and once again they eluded our lenses! Arrgggg, so frustrating!! LOL  Other notable sightings were a close up viewing of a male Pileated WP and Kelly finally was able to see and photograph Bohemian Waxwings for the first time!   We're still waiting on our first Snowy Owl - maybe they're holding off for Kelly's birthday, let's go with that and hopefully next we'll have one to report. Have a great week everyone!

Of course you can view the entire list of birds seen by clicking on the image above ;-)


Nature 10+1 - 1.35 "Sumac Zoom Blur"

Shot at our place in Barrie ~ Canon 50D Tripod, EF 100-400mm 4.5-5.6L IS, f/8, 1/10, ISO 125


Nature 10+1 - 1.33 "Lady Junco on Spruce"

Shot at our place in Barrie ~ Canon 50D Handheld, EF 100-400mm 4.5-5.6L IS @400mm, f/5.6, 1/250, ISO 500, EV +1

Another day, another winter storm ;-)  We managed to get through the mail route today and only got stuck once!  Thanks to all the kind people that helped us get out of the ditch, it's amazing how selfless people can be! We arrived home early and I thought the feeders would be a hoppin' but alas, it was pretty quiet.  I managed to get a few images of one of our local Junco's when I was outside cleaning the patio, she must have known I still needed to get nature shot!!


Nature 10+1 - 1.31 "Lady Cardinal"

Shot at our place in Barrie ~ Canon 50D Handheld, EF 100-400mm 4.5-5.6L IS @400mm, f/6.3, 1/60, ISO 800


Last Week in Birds - Jan 24th to Jan 30th, 2011

BC Chickadee shot at Tiffin Conservation Area

Total Species for the Week - 35       Locations - Oro, Barrie and the Minesing Wetlands

It's now the end of January and we still have yet to see a Snowy Owl - surprising since we surely have enough snow ;-)  We did manage to see a bird that has also been eluding this winter when we visited the feeders at Tiffin CA - the super camo'd Brown Creeper!  We also got some great looks at 2 Hairy Woodpeckers, both were nestled in amongst the branches which prevented any good photo's from being taken.

At home we got a nice surprise on Saturday in a small group of Common Redpolls which also had a few Pine Siskins mixed in.  We adore these little winter finches!  We've also noticed that Tree Sparrows have been missing from our feeders for over two weeks now and both Red and White-breasted Nuthatche sightings are few and far in between. Goldfinches continue to storm the feeders on a daily basis and a female Cardinal has also been visiting at dawn and dusk.

That's it for this week and you can view the entire list of birds seen by clicking on the picture or here, happy birding!


Pearl Jam 20 - "Yield"

Our favourite band Pearl Jam is celebrating their 20th anniversary this year!!  In celebration we've decided to post through the course of the year 20 different images in their honour, and each image posted will be named after one of their song titles or albums.  Happy Anniversary PJ!! :)



Nature 10+1 - 1.29 "Afternoon Nap"

Shot at our place in Barrie ~ Canon 50D, EF 100-400mm 4.5-5.6L IS @310mm, f/7.1, 1/500, ISO 500

Project Feeder Watch Results : Am Goldfinch (23), Common Redpoll (8), Dark-eyed Junco (7), Mourning Doves (5), Pine Siskin (2), Downy Woodpecker (2), House Finch (2), White-breasted Nuthatch (1), Cardinal (1)


Nature 10+1 - 1.28  "Tiffin"

Shot at Tiffin CA ~ Canon RebelXS, EF-S 55-250mm 4-5.6 IS @55mm, f/6.3, 1/1000, ISO 400, EV + 2/3

And as a special Friday treat here's the behind the scenes photo of Kelly getting the Nature 10+1 image. Have a great weekend everyone!


Nature 10+1 - 1.25  "H2O"

Shot at Milligan's Pond in Barrie ~ Canon 50D Handheld, EF 100-400mm 4.5-5.6L IS @100mm, f/14, 1/8, ISO 320


Nature 10+1 - 1.23 "Red-tail Sitting Pretty"

Shot in Barrie ~ Canon 50D, EF 100-400mm 4.5-5.6L IS, f/7.1, 1/1000, ISO 160, EV - 2/3

Project Feeder Watch: Am Goldfinch (17), Dark-eyed Junco (2), BC Chickadee (2), Cardinal (2), House Finch (2), Downy Woodpecker (1)


Nature 10+1 - 1.22 "Two for the Price of One"

Am Golfinches shot at our place in Barrie ~ Canon 50D, EF 100-400mm 4.5-5.6L IS @210mm, f/5, 1/250, ISO 640, EV +1

Project Feeder Watch Results: Am Goldfinch (18), Dark-eyed Junco (5), Downy Woodpecker (2), White-breasted Nuthatch (1), House Finch (1


Nature 365 - Day 305 - Maple Leaf Macro

Shot in Barrie, ON


Nature 365 - Day 210

"Night Flowers" -  Shot at the South Shore Building in Downtown Barrie

Day 4 of Nature 365 Challenge Week - Night Shoot

It was only our second time shooting at night and we're still learning the ropes.  The process of shooting slows down to a crawl at night with a lot of time spent getting the tripod set up, then spending more time on getting the right exposure.   If we'd had a little more time I could have worked the spiders a little more but I managed to catch a good image of these flowers growing beside the building that were lit from a nearby lamp in the parking lot.  I do foresee another outing at night very soon.


Next up - Back to Square One  Restricted the Canon SX5IS (Our first camera)


Nature 365 - Day 209

"Dharma Sumac" - Shot in Barrie

Day Three of the Nature 365 Challenge Week - Restricted to using the 50mm1.8 lens only.

Today went alright with using just the 50mm.  I had a good little session in the morning from which this picture was taken.  On my evening outing I was strongly considering bringing a telephoto with me "just in case" but didn't cave in.  I spent my time trying some panoramics while birds fluttered around me.  It was actually quite nice to be able to just watch the birds instead of lining them up for pictures. 

Next up - Lestat's Shoot, we have some interesting ideas brewing for our nighttime shoot tomorrow, so stay tuned.



Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk 2010

Although it rained off and on and was extremely humid at times we had a great afternoon at our first ever photowalk.  Along with 25+ local photographers we shot our way from The Spirit Catcher in downtown Barrie, all the way to Johnston's Beach and back.  It was very interesting and enjoyable being around so many great photographers and not one of them was a "bird" photographer.

The goal of our day was to step outside of the box and photograph things other than birds and flowers.  I will admit that this was difficult for both of us, especially when we found a group of 5-6 Kingbirds along the waterfront. :)

Here are some images from the afternoon.

Spirit Catcher - Shot with the Lensbaby Composer

Baby Mallard along the shoreline

Yellow Lily

Two ladies from a downtown wedding ceremony

Purple and Green

Downtown fountains

Common Tansy

White Gate

Former Dandelion



Overall we had a great time and met some great people!  Hope everyone had a great day as well.  Happy birding and picture making!!!!





Nature 365 - Day 172

Trees of Sunnidale Park

I put my long lens down for the past couple of days and have been experimenting with HDR photography and my wide angle lens instead.  I've recently been inspired by the work of Trey Ratcliff over at Stuck In Customs.  You can check out his site for some amazing images and free tutorials on HDR.

For those out there that don't know,  HDR stands for High Dynamic Range.  Despite how far cameras have come they still cannot capture what our eyes see, not even close! That's where HDR comes in; you essentially take multiple images with various exposures then blend them together to get a high dynamic range. 

In the photo above, the sun is actually behind some leaves near the top of the image and for anybody that has pointed a camera at the sun and taken a picture you know the results don't usually look like this.  You can either have the sky exposed properly or the trees and leaves, but not both unless you go to HDR techniques.  Yesterday's Nature 365 image was also an HDR image and I imagine you'll see some more of them in the near future as I learn this new technique.

You should also check out Rick Sammon's blog this week.  He has declared June 26th, International HDR Day and will be giving loads of tips and showing great HDR images.