NEW SERIES AND EVENTS

I am working on a new “Eyes” series to be unvieled this weekend at the Muskoka Arts and Crafts Christmas Show. It is being held at the Sportsplex in Bracebridge, ON, Saturday and Sunday. It was a juried show this year and I am pleased to be doing it for the second year in a row. I will have lots of my calendars and cards to go with the framed, unframed and canvas prints. I do hope to see some of my local friends there.

My new “Eyes” series includes both owls and mammals.

BLACK BEAR EYES

RED FOX EYES

Over the years, while working on many animals, I have taken the opportunity to take close-ups as well as wide-angle images in every composition. You never know when you might want to use something differently!

GREAT-HORNED OWL EYES

I have my new Epson 3880 printer hooked up and have given it a few test runs. I might give someone my Epson 2200 if they would like to pick it up and pay $10 each for all the new ink cartridges I have for it. I’ll have to do a better check but I have at least three whole sets of cartridges with Matte Black. If nobody is interested I’ll keep it and use up the cartridges!

On a totally different note, many of you have heard about my long-term problems with the Muskoka Lakes Snow Trails Association. A few years ago I thought this was all settled and a new trail had been put through but a month ago my neighbours and I found out that the MLSTA has received a grant from Ontario Tourism (our tax dollars at work) to put through a new trail on the new road allowance. It starts all over again with Delegations to Councill meetings, letters, phone calls and all the stressfull things that go with all of that. At least we have lots of support this time. One good thing about it is that I decided to take a fly-over to see just what everything looks like, presumably, before new work starts.

Although not a great photo, this is what my area looks like. The orange circle is around my house. The approximage location of the trail is the white line and it will make a half circle around my house.

We are aware that a wetland has been drained without a permit and are concerned that this could happen again. Multiple Species at Risk are involved. The list includes, Blandings, Spotted and Snapping Turtles, Hognose Snakes and Massassauga Rattlesmakes and Five-lined Skinks.

This image of a Massassauga Rattlesnake was taken a few yards from where the trail will cross my road. I have posted images of skinks, hognose snakes and Blandings turtles several times on this blog.

Good thing I have lots of other things to keep me busy and I’m enjoying the lack of snow so far!

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2011 CALENDAR

Yes, I know I said I wasn’t ever going to do another one! I changed my mind! I wanted to do one for family and Christmas gifts anyway, so have added a few to my order.

As the forms used by Print Pelican do not allow for any information to be added to the calendar month page I thought this would be a good place to do a bit of a description about the images I chose.

The whole calendar may be seen on my website in a slideshow. I have placed the bird species with the month in which it may be seen in appropriate habitat.

Front Cover: Chestnut-sided Warbler – taken this year at the end of my own road. These birds were everywhere I went with my camera this breeding season. They are so inquisitive and perky and I had to have at least one warbler in the group.

Horned Lark: Taken near Casselman, Ontario, SE of Ottawa, the first year I photographed Snowy Owls in the area.

Snowy Owl: Taken on Amherst Island on an excursion several years ago.

Tundra Swans: From the Aylmer Wildlife Managent area where they gather and are fed in March during a stopover on their way North.

Northern Cardinal: From a target bird trip to Ohio April, 2010, where I spent six days with Matthew Studebaker and the rest of two weeks working on my own. Cardinals do come to feeders in towns near where I live but not to the scattered feeders in more rural areas.

Baltimore Oriole: While looking for resident species at Torrance Barrens, close to home, this male oriole made himself available and perched in the top of this flowering tree in May of 2010.

Sandhill Cranes: I saw the adult Sandhill Cranes at a newly completed nest on Manitoulin Island and returned to attempt to photograph the adults tending the eggs and the hatchlings. These birds are much more easily captured on nests in Florida and I considered myself very fortunate to be able to have had this opportunity.

Northern Gannet: Photographed with Chris Dodds on Bonaventure Island in 2009. The weather was very changeable and I loved photographing in this fog. This was a very special experience that would not have been possible for me without Chris’ planning and the co-operation of the park staff.

Common Loons: There have to be loons! Every year I work on new and different loon images to add to my collection. This is one of my favourites from the summer of 2010.

American Goldfinch: Taken out my open front door where I had saved a thistle just hoping the goldfinches would be attracted. It was propped and tied into ever changing positions as new thistle heads matured. American Goldfinches are late nesters as they wait until these thistles are nearly ready before they breed. They use the down to line their nests, feed a milk of unripe seeds to their young and feed on the seeds themselves.

Golden Eagle: Each year I spend some time at Hawk Cliff, along Lake Erie, during the fall hawk migration. With just one day on my second trip in 2010 I had my 1.4 converter on my 500mm lens and was able to get this, the first of my Golden Eagle images.

Snow Goose: For the last number of years a hundred thousand Snow Geese have been gathering at Victoriaville, Quebec on their journey South from their Arctic breeding grounds. November 2009 was the first year I went and it won’t be the last!

Pine Grosbeak: Each year birds that breed in Boreal regions disperse South to find food. For part of one week they spent some time at a Mountain Ash tree in Bracebridge, Ontario, along with a flock of Bohemian Waxwings. The tree was stripped of its berries and the birds disappeared to another area.

2012 Calendar with Ovenbird: A warbler found, in breeding season, in woodland habitat and one that joins the feeding flock around my house. This one was photographed in Ohio in the spring of 2010.

Back Cover, Red-eyed Vireo: Another species found at Torrance Barrens this past breeding season.

The calendars will be available at my booth at the Muskoka Arts and Crafts Christmas Show, November 27 & 28, at the Sports Complex in Bracebridge, Ontario,
Iroquois Artisans, Bala, Ontario and by mail from me. They are, once again, priced at $16 each plus $2 each for shipping and handling.

Contact me for any questions about the birds species and anything else to do with the calendars.

In a less happy vein it was with great sadness that I learned of the death of Reta Hall on Sunday, November 7, 2010. She was a very special lady. Reta and her husband, Steve hosted many birding groups and individuals on birding outings around Manitoulin and specially, to the Sharp-tailed Grouse lek at the Gore Bay airport. Both Reta and Steve have been staunch supporters and hard-working volunteers for the Friends of Misery Bay for years and very knowledgeable about the plants and wildlife of Manitoulin Island.

I felt very privileged to have been shown one of Reta’s secrect places where Calypso Orchids still grew.