Sunday, October 9, 2011

Flora & Fauna & Etc.

You folks may have noticed I have a thing for herons, especially the Great Blues. (I always have, and will try to explain the connection someday, likely in a book.) And although I live in the country and Hilary in a large city, I had never seen a Night Heron or Green Heron before visiting the mid-city pond near her home. Though not exactly common, we might spot night herons 10 times a year and greens two or three. Usually we see them roosting on some deadfall along one side of the pond -- the side farthest away. Even with a spiffy 400mm lens, sharp shots, depending on lighting, range from difficult to impossible.

On a walk around the pond earlier this summer, I startled a night heron and took a hurried shot as he flew away. Fortunately, the photography gods favoured me and I actually caught the bird in the frame and pretty much in focus. I know! I was amazed too! Here's the pic.

This past summer was a great one for flowers. The lilies were especially nice.

What colour describes that one - burgundy maybe?

I don't know what this next flower is called but there's a bunch of them in my yard. Hilary was kind enough to tilt it towards my lens.

Did you notice her colourful wrist bling? Hil's notoriously camera shy but I have permission to show her wrists whenever I wish. Here's a closer look.

Neighbourhood urchins, I mean, children, are frequent visitors to Hil's. Sometimes, we need to feed the little buggers and they're not the most fastidious eaters. Sometimes, they'll drop something on the ground, oh, like a small piece of cracker. Sometimes, a guy with a camera will spot that piece a half-hour later and take a picture of it.

Nothing is wasted in nature.

A bottle of bubble solution, the stuff that keeps Benny airborne, attracts a fly. Both of which attracted me.

Back to the fauna for a sec. I like Clematis plants. They're a great plant for guys with brown thumbs as they require no care and bloom much of the summer. And they look nice, even when a tad wet and bedraggled.

Sandpipers are busy little birds and fun to watch.

A flowering thistle is an apt symbol for sending a mixed message: The flower says "come hither" while the thorns say "stay away."

There's more but I've seen a few of you tapping your feet and checking your watches. So, I'll wrap this up with a pic I took when Hilary and I were visiting a mall specializing in Asian products. Most of the shops seemed to sell cell phone/iPod-related products, or foodstuffs from the Orient. There were hundreds of colourful signs designed to lure folks into the booths. The following one was my favourite.

That'll do for this go-round. It's Thanksgiving weekend here in Canuckland. I hope wherever you are, you're enjoying friends, family, and nature's bounty.