Sunday, April 20, 2014

Searching for Spring

It stopped snowing but outside it looked more like winter than spring. But it wasn't cold, and after hiding inside all day yesterday I thought I'd better get outside.

I took a camera because that's what I do. At first I didn't see much to catch my eye. Dirty wet snow, bare trees, cloudy gray day. But as usually happens, once I started I found lots to photograph. I stopped at Museo at the Mendel for coffee and a splash of color in the conservatory. Quite a contrast between the drab outside and the luscious colors inside.

Despite the snow, there are signs of spring if you look closely. Buds are swelling and trees are flowering (at least the ones that flower before they get the leaves). There are signs of the beavers at work. I don't see them too often, but I love that they're around. They must be waiting for fresh growth too.

As usual, click on a photo to view larger, or view all 25 photos as a slideshow or overview

waiting for spring

The geese are still around of course. The snow doesn't seem to bother them too much.

goose prints

The only green is the lichens and mosses on the trees. It's nice to live somewhere the air is clean enough that the lichens still grow.

moss & lichen

Moving into the conservatory...

flowers at the Mendel

What's your preference - the subtle shades of green and cream, or the big bold colors?

flowers at the Mendel

and back outdoors again...


All these were taken with the little Sony RX100m2. It does quite well at the macro shots, although focus is a bit hit or miss. Even setting it to the center focus point it still sometimes stubbornly refuses to focus on what I want it to. As usual, the answer is to shoot lots and hope some will come out.

View all 25 photos as a slideshow or overview

Friday, April 18, 2014

Print of the Week

This was a suggestion from one of my viewers (thanks Steve) from the ones I took a couple of weeks ago. I'd rather be thinking about spring flowers, but seeing as it's been snowing all day, perhaps ice is more appropriate!


I'm guessing the blobs formed from waves adding layers of water which then froze.

I tried it black and white but didn't like it as much.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Surprise Visitor

I saw some movement out of the corner of my eye late this afternoon, and turned to see this hawk outside my office window. I didn't think he'd stay long so I just watched and tried to remember so I could identify it later. (I think it's a Cooper's Hawk) It was fantastic to be able to see him up close.

He seemed to be staying for a bit so I hurriedly dug my camera out of my pack. Luckily I don't think he could see me moving through the reflective glass. Of course, the reflections also interfered with my photographs, as did the dirty windows! Still I was happy that I managed a few half decent shots. (click to view larger)

Coopers Hawk

Coopers Hawk

Despite the cold snowy weather, spring does seem to be arriving. At lunch I sat beside a window and watched a mouse scurrying back and forth. And on my walk home the gophers (Richardson's ground squirrels) were out and about. Some of the trees are starting to flower. I haven't seen any rabbits lately, but judging by the tracks in the fresh snow they are around. And of course, the geese are back on the river. The pelicans are usually back by now (April 15th last year), but I haven't seen them yet this year.

I don't think Innovation Place will be too happy about another visitor this winter. Something (porcupine?) has chewed the bark off the trunks of many of the apple trees. Since the bark is chewed off all the way around, I suspect that spells death for these trees. It must be tastier bark since other trees don't seem to be damaged.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Geese and More

Here are the non-ice photos from Sunday morning, mostly of the Canada Geese. It's nice to see them back on the river, mostly in pairs this time of the year.

Click to view larger, or view all 15 photos in this set as a slideshow or overview




Another sign of spring were the water boatmen beetles in the river. Amazing that they are active in water that must be close to freezing.

water beetles

Not much green yet, the only grass is left from last year.



View all 15 photos in this set as a slideshow or overview

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Ice Too

After breakfast, the sun was shining and it looked too nice to stay indoors, so I headed out, with my camera, of course. It was already -4c and rising, but it's cold standing around taking photos, so I dressed warmly. I was glad I did when I ended up lying on the wet ice for some shots. As usual, click to view larger, or view all 27 photos as a slideshow or overview.

I didn't make it out of the back alley before starting on the photos:

back alley river of ice

You can see why some shots required lying on the ice:


Some of these shots invite playing with brightness and contrast:





I also took photos of geese and a few other non-ice things, but I'll save them for a second post.

I was forced to stop shooting when I ran out of memory. I usually have spare memory cards with me, but almost all of them are full of trip pictures and I had set them aside until they were all safely backed up in multiple locations. It was probably just as well that I ran out anyway since 500 photos was plenty to edit. And it was time for coffee :-)

View all 27 photos as a slideshow or overview

Wednesday, April 02, 2014


It finally warmed up enough to think about getting my camera out on the walk to work. It's still cold on the hands but at least I didn't have to worry about frostbite! I know we're all eagerly waiting for the ice and snow to melt, but in the meantime I might as well photograph it :-)

The ice on the edge of the river had melted and frozen into some wonderful shapes and patterns. The only trick was getting close enough to photograph it. Obviously, the ice is slippery and I was a little worried about sliding in. On the positive side, it was shallow and it would have just been embarrassing, not dangerous. Thankfully I stayed dry!





This last one is looking down from the railway bridge.

The articulated screen on the RX100m2 came in handy for getting a low angle on some of these shots. I wish I'd thought to override the aperture to get more depth of focus - that spoiled a bunch of the shots.

See all 11 photos as a slideshow or overview