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Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

Hi everyone! It’s Cindy here. About a month ago I showed you pictures of some ducks at Webster Park. Since then the weather has turned much colder and snowier and there isn’t much open water to see any more.

Webster Park Pier in Black & White

To see how different the pier looked in December you can scroll down to the last picture in this post. All the white to the left in that picture is the frozen lake but on the right the water is still fairly open.

Webster Park Jetty

This moon scape looking scene is actually a jetty where the rocks are and in warmer weather is open water where you see those small humps. Here is what the jetty looks like in warmer times although the pictures aren’t taken from quite the same angle.

Webster Park Jetty in October 2020

It’s been fun seeing how this little park area has changed as the temps have dropped. There may be more views of the lake as it fills more with solid ice to come.

We’re joining Comedy Plus for their Wordless Wednesday blog hop.

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Hi everyone! It’s Cindy here. A couple of weeks ago I showed you some pictures of the birds that were feeding on common buckthorn berries in our yard. I’ve finally processed the videos I took and wanted to show you just how much action there was.

American Robins & European Starlings in Common Buckthorn

The Common Buckthorn species is naturalized and invasive in parts of North America. We didn’t realize this tree was growing in our garden for a few years because its form and leaves are very similar to the Miss Kim lilacs that it’s growing near. When it finally grew taller we could see that it was an introduced tree. Charlie did some research to figure out just what it was.

The birds gobbled up the plentiful berries.

According to Wikipedia:

The seeds and leaves are mildly poisonous for humans and most other animals, but are readily eaten by birds, who disperse the seeds in their droppings. The toxins cause stomach cramps and laxative effects that may function in seed dispersal.

We would like to remove this tree but it’s behind a few shrubs that make it difficult to get to. This tree was full of berries before this flock descended on it. Here is a video of some of the action.

If you can’t see the video you can go here to view it.

As you could see by the end of the video there were very few berries left on the tree and ultimately there were no berries left.

There are very few berries left at this point.

It is very rare to see so many American Robins in January but some are more hardy and stick around all winter although we’ve never see a flock this large before. It was a treat to get to see all the different colorings from the very dark orange to the paler looking ones. I hope you enjoyed seeing them too.

Join the Nature Friday Blog Hop

We are joining the LLB Gang for their Nature Friday Blog Hop. You should pop over to their blog to see all the other posts.

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Hi everyone. It’s Millie and Walter here. We were watching rugby with our dad this morning and got a little sleepy.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzz…..

We were sharing the pillow our dad had under his knees so we were very comfy. 

This pillow is very comfy.

Our dad says he had to be a contortionist to maneuver his phone to get these pictures. We’re glad he did because we think we look cute.

We’re joining The Cat on My Head for their Selfie Sunday blog hop. You should check out the hop to see some of the other selfies. Thanks for stopping by.

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Hi everyone. It’s Millie and Walter here. We finally got a decent amount of snow and were able to enjoy some time playing in the yard. The temperature wasn’t too cold so that it, plus wind chill, wasn’t so bad either. In our opinion it was close to perfect winter weather.

I love getting snow on my face.

We had fun chasing each other and sniffing under the snow for critters. 

What’s Millie doing over there?

We hope you all had a fun day and were able to get out a bit and explore in the cold or warmth of wherever you live.

We’re joining The Cat on My Head for their Selfie Sunday blog hop. You should check out the hop to see some of the other selfies. Thanks for stopping by.

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Hi everyone! It’s Cindy here. Earlier this week I happened upon a scene in our backyard that amazed me. I had just walked into the kitchen to get a drink when I noticed a tremendous amount of bird activity in a small tree that was full of berries.

American Robin

There was a large flock of birds taking turns eating berries from the Common Buckthorn tree. The flock was made up mostly of American Robins and European Starlings.

European Starling

Charlie managed to get the back door from the garage opened without scaring the birds away so I got my long lens mounted to a tripod (it helps to keep it steady and with taking videos) and stood in the doorway taking pictures for about an hour. 

Northern Mockingbird

It’s unusual to see so many robins around this time of year but up until now our weather has been fairly mild so that might be why they’ve stuck around. The mockingbird has been a resident of our yard this winter and he (or she…there were actually two around) was not happy with this huge flock of robins and starlings eating all the berries he was trying to keep for himself.

American Robin with a full belly

I don’t know when the flock first showed up but after an hour of taking pictures in burst mode I had about 850 images to cull through and some videos I will show you later. The buckthorn was completely stripped of all its berries in the end too. By the way I was still thirsty as I completely forgot the reason I went to the kitchen in the first place!

It was a great opportunity to take some beautiful portraits of the American Robin, European Starlings and the Northern Mockingbird. When these birds are around in the summer it can be more difficult to catch a picture of them as they are often hiding in the foliage.

I hope you enjoyed seeing these birds this week. I promise to come back and show you more of the action from the day.

Join the Nature Friday Blog Hop

We are joining the LLB Gang for their Nature Friday Blog Hop. You should pop over to their blog to see all the other posts.

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Hi everyone! It’s Millie & Walter here. We got out of the house today and went to our town hall park for a walk.

I love walking at this park.
Me too!

It’s nice that they plow the main loop around the park and there are trails through the woods too.

Hey! I think I see our car.

Come on, dad! You don’t want to get left behind.

We had lots of fun on our walk. Walter left plenty of messages behind to let everyone else know we were there. BOL!

We’re joining Comedy Plus for their Wordless Wednesday blog hop.

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Hi everyone! It’s Cindy here. About a week ago we had a rare somewhat sunny day so Charlie and I headed to our favorite place to do some nature photography, Lake Ontario at Webster Park. I reported in my last nature Friday post that the parking lot had been closed but this time it was open! It was nice to get out and enjoy what has become a very rare sunny day. We had gone about 60 days with complete cloud cover and since last Saturday it’s been mostly cloudy every day again.

Female Long-Tailed Duck

By the time we arrived at the park it was later in the morning so there were no opportunities for any sunrise pictures but we were lucky enough to find some Long-Tailed ducks in the water. 

Male Long-Tailed Duck

The water was quite choppy which made photographing the ducks very challenging as they bobbed up and down on the waves. There were two males and one female in the area. The female stayed near the mouth of a creek that drains into Lake Ontario where the waves were crashing as the water rushed out. There was quite a bit of debris like sticks and small logs in the water there too. Long-Tailed ducks are diving ducks that spend the most time underwater compared to other diving ducks and the female was demonstrating that very well.

Female Long-Tailed duck getting ready to dive.

Dive!

Submerged!

I don’t know what she found under the water as I never saw her bring anything up. She was diving so frequently that I wasn’t sure I got any decent pictures of her until I got home. Since I had the camera set to shoot slow speed burst I was happy to see I captured one of her dives. It was quite a challenge photographing the female as she would only spend a few seconds on the surface before diving again and you were never quite sure where she would come up next. By the time I had her in my viewfinder she was diving again!

Meanwhile the boys were just hanging out, riding the waves.

The boys spent some of their time preening.

I thought it was funny that while the female was working so hard diving the boys were making themselves more beautiful. In all the time I was watching them I didn’t see the males dive once. 

I hope you enjoyed seeing these ducks on Lake Ontario at Webster Park this week.

Join the Nature Friday Blog Hop

We are joining the LLB Gang for their Nature Friday Blog Hop. You should pop over to their blog to see all the other posts.

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Hi everyone! It’s Cindy here. This past Tuesday the weather looked good to catch a nice sunset on Lake Ontario at Webster Park so Charlie and I headed up there to take a look. Since December 1st the parking lot closest to the shore has been closed but there is room at the top of the driveway for a couple of cars to park there. So far we’ve been lucky to be able to park there and this time, for the first time since we could remember, there was nobody else in this area of the park. Usually there are always a few fishermen but thanks to the high waves and cold temps (it was about 30°F with a stiff wind) they stayed away! (Don’t forget to click on the pictures to see a bigger view)

The waves were crashing against the break wall

I’ve been waiting for a day just like this to try to capture the waves as they crash into the break wall. I set my camera on a tripod with my camera about 2 feet above the ground so it would be about eye level with the waves.

A large wave crests close to the wall.

In order to freeze the water in the air I set my aperture at f6.4, and my ISO at 1600 to achieve a shutter speed between 1/800th to 1/1000th of a second. Since you can’t really anticipate the exact moment when the perfect wave crash will occur I also set my camera to take high speed burst pictures (15 frames per second). In the 20 or so minutes I was taking pictures I managed to shoot about 700 pictures!

The sunset was the perfect background for the crashing waves

Here is a little video of the wave action that day.

If you can’t see the video you can go here to view it.

Charlie captured this picture of the pier while I was shooting the crashing waves

I hope you enjoyed a different view of Lake Ontario at Webster Park this week.

Join the Nature Friday Blog Hop

We are joining the LLB Gang for their Nature Friday Blog Hop. You should pop over to their blog to see all the other posts.

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