Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Falling in the Fall

Time for some local photos.

On Friday morning, I awoke early, which I often do, and Sue awoke late, as she often does. This resulted in her coffee not being exactly delicious when she got around to it.

You see, I make the coffee when I arose, and our coffee-maker will keep it warm for up to 4 hours, but we discovered on that day that at the end of 4 hours, the brew would be less than wonderful.

After a bit, closer to lunch time really, she wondered if we could go out, get a coffee and take it to the park.

We hadn't been out much in the week and a half since we returned from the cottage, so it seemed like a viable plan.

The weather has mostly been overcast and dreary recently, but for about the half hour that we were there, the sun decided to shine upon us.

And ... there were still enough leaves on the trees, as well as on the ground, to make for a highly pleasurable stroll.

I had taken the camera, just in case, and it turned out unexpectedly well.

The wind was blowing and leaves were falling, so I took a few shots from one position, knowing that I could composite them later in Photoshop. I should say 'thinking' and not 'knowing' because I didn't know how well it would work.

But this is the one that worked best for me — yellow maple leaves falling against a background of red maples.

You see the carpet of red in the above photo? Well, I got closer to emphasize it and got a good result.

There are more, but I think that will do for today. Sometimes, I publish too many photos, and if others are like me, people just start to scroll by quickly, but I think 4 is a good number.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

This is It

This will be it. Promise. A few final cottage photos before we leave until ... whenever.


The edge of a lake

A picnic table that will almost certainly remain vacant until late spring at the earliest.

Those rapids again.



That frosty morning

The Backyard: I seem to just step out of the cottage at least once per visit to grab a morning shot

!! Done !!


Monday, October 29, 2018

The Attraction of Rust

I am getting as weary as you of the cottage trip, but I feel obliged to finish it, and we're getting there, folks.

After our trip up to Eagle's Nest in Bancroft, we found two trucks in what seemed to be a public park just off the main street. There's something about old trucks, well maybe old things in general, including people, I suppose. Therefore, I couldn't resist.

The other truck.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

A Few Compositional Concepts

I post a lot of photos, and I guess I can get a bit pedantic when I am just trying to be pedagogic, but occasionally I like to post a few photo suggestions. I am just a hobbyist and very far from being an expert photographer who is also just learning.

I have found that vertical can make for an interesting design especially against or with non-vertical elements, such as the colourful foliage in these two photos.

Frames are useful when you can find them.

Foreground elements can improve a composition a lot. If I had just shot this photo from eye-level concentrating on the background trees, I don't think it would have been as interesting. (And we have verticals too.)

An example of just pointing the camera down to emphasize the foreground leaves. Also there is a leading line which leads the viewer through the frame, or at least I hope it does.

I used the curve of the river to try to draw eyes through the photo. I could have shot just across the river and did that too, but I think this is more interesting.

While it would be nice to have brighter foliage around the bend, the road still leads us through the frame and to me becomes more important than the saturated foliage to the right.

That's it for now. I don't necessarily consider any of the above to be praise-worthy. I was just trying to illustrate some ideas without using photos that I have presented previously and that I may have liked better. Or not.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Autumn at the Cottage

We have been home for more than a week, and I continue to work through photos from our week-long vacation. I took more than 1000 photos, over 600 of just the birds from the recent posts. I know when I take them that most will be sent to the recycling bin, but I still get some satisfaction at the time, looking for a decent composition through the lens — at least as far as scenic shots are concerned. For the birds, however, I mostly just set up the camera and fired from a distance, knowing that a few might work. I had also intended from the start to merge some photos together to get more than one bird at the feeder. Despite this, I think I have said that my two favourite blue jay shots were single photos when the natural light was propitious.

I want to return to the autumn theme today showing photos just on the cottage property at which we stay. It's ~130 acres, primarily of forested land. The Crowe River forms what is more or less the eastern boundary of the property. A county road splits the property in two, and the western side (the house is on the eastern side) is hillier, rockier and more interesting ... to me at least.

But let's begin with the cottage side.

How nice is this single, red maple and its reflection by the edge of the river.

In the woods by the river, I liked this shot of orange leaves hanging over the river beyond triangular branches.

I really like this simple photo of sumac with trees (dead) and fog in the background as the sun begins to light the day.

A macro on our one frosty morning.

On the other side now. It's rockier and hillier. Just beyond this clearing there is a drop into a depression that is filled with trees. The boulder must be a glacial erratic left behind by the melting glaciers about 10 000 years ago.

I have gone to the edge of the ravine in the above photo and taken a panorama of just the trees. This pano is composed of 10 photos.

Another multiple-shot pano from a similar spot. I like the depth; having the stump in the foreground helps that.

And one more pano, a vertical one this time: a vertorama as it were.

As you can see, I like the effect of vertical tree trunks against a colourful background, particularly if I can find a foreground element or frame (although I don't always nail the focus).

I'll leave you with one more shot (for now anyway) of Sue tossing milkweed fibres in the air on a little stroll that we took.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Other Stations and Critters

There has been a birdhouse attached to a fence post for decades now. It is unused except for that one winter when we had a glorious time with the chickadees. Just the roof though.

Heather put some peanut butter on the roof, which became just another attractant for the jays.

But not just the jays. There are two sparrows and one junco in the next image.

Cottage country is red squirrel country. Reds are smaller than the grays and blacks of our more southerly urban areas. They are quicker of foot, quite feisty, and don't mind scolding two-legged animals when they are not amused with us.

Here one is riding the bike, or so I like to think.

There was also a visit from a chipmunk.

I did see two deer over the week but didn't get a shot. But I did manage to photograph this little fellow.

I guess that about does it for wildlife. Now what?

Well, here's what ... sort of. I mentioned the winter of the chickadees up above and found this post from 10 years ago. You can see that we had some close and wonderful encounters including one eating on the top of my head: .

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The Blue Jays Many Splendid Eating Venues

I almost lost you all and would have had to start over although it might not have been a bad thing. Having to do some computer maintenance, I lost my Feedly ... um ... feed, which is how I follow blogs and some other newsy things.

I could get back in but how? There are three methods: email, FB and Google. So, I asked them to send me the password associated with my email. No response, so maybe I used another method. I logged in using FB, but my stuff wasn't there. Finally, I tried logging in with Google, and my contacts are back. But I really need to clean my Feedly list because there are so many dead links there, and to some degree, you can take that statement as literal. Sadly.

The experience was for the birds, so to speak, and speaking of birds ... let's get back to Heather's feeding stations, shall we?

I left you with the second station, which was the wagon wheels. You may recall that I didn't get any photos of the first station, which was just a post.

Well, the wagon was a little far to observe from the cottage, so Heather went on the attack and set this up across the driveway with a clear view from the cottage. I have posted this one previously, but am posting again for the sake of the chronology.

But my sister-in-law had just begun. This was the next setup. You can see in this shot and most of the rest that the days became much more overcast.

She also set this up at ground level. The other bird is a junco.

The next day's theme was quite intoxicating.

That was followed by the village.

But the village had to be modified because it wasn't completely structurally sound in the wind.

Finally, the birds had a tea partly and dressed for the occasion in their feathery finery.

All in all, what fun we had.