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.


  1. well, damn. I had a long comment going about specific pictures and I stupidly closed the window before sending it. so I guess all you're getting is 'great pics'. the heron is awesome. and tell Hilary I've got a bracelet almost just like that. different colors.

  2. Never do i check my watch when i have your photos to admire!

    Have a blessed and beautiful Thanksgiving.

  3. Amusing and entertaining! Thank you.

  4. I don't believe I've ever seen a night heron. Your photo is stunning. You are getting such wonderful images with your new camera. You could do a Canon ad. :)

  5. I'm not surprised at all that you caught that heron. After all, you've had practice catching the Amazing Benny in mid-flight. :)

    Happy Thanksgiving, all.

  6. Enjoyable pics, Frank. Even the ants. Happy Thanksgiving.

  7. I love the Great Blues, too. We see quite a few of them when we visit Florida. We even saw a night heron, once. Or rather we heard him. It was dark and he was on a jetty at the beach, so we couldn't see him clearly. We thought he resembled a Great Blue only much smaller.

  8. Love that heron shot. I'm still trying to get a good one of ours!

  9. Your herons and your thistle are all over the place at my fishing hole near the M*A*S*H site. But my camera and I are both too antiquated and/or under-skilled to match your imagery. I used to be a leg man, but you've got me considering wrists. Bubbles and bidets? Never mind. Nice work.

  10. - Ellen, "great pics" works just fine. Thanks. ;)

    - Thank you, mimi. We had a terrific day.

    - Thanks, Daniel.

    - Linda, you make me blush. Never stop. ;)

    - Charlie, that may indeed have helped hone the reflexes. :)

    - Thanks, Leah.

    - Linda, the major difference, aside from colouring, seems to be their legs. The night heron's are considerably shorter.

    - Barbara, I hope you succeed. They're wonderful birds.

    - Thanks, Cay. Now you've got Hil flashing her wrists at construction workers. There'll be no living with her.

    Thanks all for taking the time to visit and comment. I'm going up to the cottage for a few days, so please forgive the tardy reply to any future visitors.

  11. Love the heron and, of course, Hilary's divine wrists. lol

  12. great captures! lovely bracelet that Hilary has and I like the ant shot.

  13. Great shot of the heron in flight! Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving.

  14. terrific shots! great close-ups too.

    your photos are worth the look!!

    happy weekend!

  15. Anvil, I share your admiration -- of both. :)

    Thank you, Reb. I appreciate your time and comments. You've been a faithful blog-pal for a long time (along with your cousin). :)

    Thank you, Elizabeth. And I sure did. :)

    Thanks, Betty. You too.

  16. that's some lovely bling on that graceful wrist

    I LOVE the fly on the bubble bottle, it's like he wants to play too

    great series of shots Frank

  17. I did not read the comments..sorry if I am repeating others...but the second purple flower is a phlox. It probably smelled quite nice.

  18. Thanks, Dianne. You're a peach. :)

    Tabor, you mean the one that Hil's holding, right? Thanks for the ID. :)

  19. Those photos certainly are brilliant. Thanks for visiting me.

  20. these are amazing shots, i especially like the last one...but they are all great.
    well done:)

    the header is so lovely as well.

    i love your blog.

    have a nice weekend!

  21. Well, Tabor beat me to the phlox identification and everyone else to the compliments on the other photos and the happy Thanksgiving wishes so I'll just say hi :)

  22. Thank YOU, Bob.

    Thanks, Betty.

    And thank you, Pauline. :)

    Sorry all, for the delayed response. I'm a dolt.