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Monday, 27 May 2013

Seagulls Don't Just Eat McDonald's Fries

The funniest (not at the time though) Seagull episode I've encountered was at the Toronto Zoo. My son was about 6 and my daughter 4. We used to have a yearly pass and I'd take the kids there about 6 or 7 times in a summer. My daughter was terrified of the animals and my son would get bored lol!

Not often would I buy lunch because it was bloody expensive. But, off and on I would. I tend to enjoy eating out, unfortunately, as opposed to making and bringing food on day excursions. One of the times that I bought McDee's for the kids and I, I had just enough cash on me and we basically had about 5 cents left after I paid $20 or so for lunch. So, when my son reached up holding his hamburger, out of which he'd probably had one bite, in his hand, and it was grabbed right out of his hand by a seagull, and he was balling his eyes out, I gave him mine because they didn't take debit (if it existed) at that time and I couldn't get him a new one lol!

Needless to say, the last little while, I've had fun trying to photograph gulls actually fishing for their food - ever since we discovered one evening's windy weather had brought tons of little fish up on the waves, leaving many on the shore to flip helplessly, but most were being hunted by the hundreds of hovering gulls. It's quite the sight to watch them fly, look down, raise up and stop and hover, then dive under the water, often with their catch.

They aren't just scavengers, they actually work for their food too :-)

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Baby Birds and Animals 2013

Last spring, we saw baby birds quite early, and cool ones all throughout the year. Saw baby Cardinals, rabbits, raccoons, king birds, ducks, swans and geese. Granted, I was looking for a job so had the luxury of being home weekdays too, so more opportunity to nip out for walks on more days than just weekends.

One post about baby animals last year:


This year, we've seen a few. Geese were the first, then mallards. Next we witnessed a mom raccoon carrying her baby up a tree. It was so cute!

Hopefully, we will see the baby swans again this year as well.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Peacefulness and Beauty

Is peacefulness a word?! If not, oh well, it fits.

Sometimes, when things become so overwhelming in life, it never hurts to just go out for a walk at Halls Rd. No matter what upsetting frame of mind, the calming atmosphere of the evening light and water, the could carelessness of animals and birds, who know only the instinct for continuous survival, is always good. It doesn't cure, but it calms. One realizes, looking up at the sun or moon in the sky, that both will be here long after we are gone.

Halls is like a mini vacation, one that can be afforded, better than any all inclusive 1 week pseudo escape that is then left behind except on one's credit cards, where it can live on for a while.

Here are some of my recent images that capture somewhat, the calming and gorgeous serene atmosphere that is encountered on our walks, even short ones, down on the shores of Lake Ontario, or Cranberry Marsh, off Halls Rd.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

New to Me - Carel Fabritius "Goldfinch"

I inadvertently discovered a painting I've never seen before, by an artist from the 1600's, a student of Rembrandt no less. How I discovered this? I have a Flickr account from way back, mainly used to host images of small more loosely painted acrylic paintings I sold through the notorious eBay, as well as to share pics via albums - used mainly as an image hosting site. I recently discovered that I can view my Stats, something I generally don't care enough to spend time doing on the few websites I post images on, even when I had a portrait commission site years back. I noticed in my Stats that someone found my images through a Google search for Goldfinch Painting. I followed the link back to the Google search and in the foray of images, one caught my eye. Wow!

I am putting the image here, of this painting by 17th century artist Carel Fabritius. He has other bird paintings too. But this one was my favourite! My boyfriend will chide ( he Loves Rembrandt, although I feel my boyfriend's work is more thrilling visually than his even lol!) me but I actually like this painting better than his teacher Rembrandt's work lol!

GOLDFINCH - by Carel

MY GOLDFINCH  (Carel's is definitely better!)

Monday, 20 May 2013

Warbler City!

We went for a walk at Thickson Woods Sunday and there were just tons of Warblers. I caught a few in some (not so fantastic) photos. Some first sightings for us, like the Bay Breasted Warbler.

Lots of Orioles and Warblers there - Cape May Warbler, Yellow Rumped Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Pine Warbler, and Magnolia Warbler.

Another exciting first for us was spotting a Northern Parula, though the photo, with a blurred Chickadee below, was the best I could get.

There were tons of American Redstarts as well, hanging amongst the Warblers.

We also were lucky enough to discover a Robin's nest at almost eye level. It is amazing how vulnerable the spots they choose for their nests seem sometimes. We looked for a few minutes then left as it seemed the Mom was wanting to feed them but was too wary of us. The babies were already sprouting some feathers and looked not new born by any means.